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[78] so that he and the proprietary party were regarded
Chap. XLV.} 1775.
in the strife as neutrals, not hostile to the American claims of right.

The convention which met at Annapolis on the twenty sixth of July resolved fully to sustain Massachusetts, and meet force by force. They saw ‘no alternative but base submission or manly resistance.’ They therefore ‘approved of the opposition by arms to British troops.’ The temporary government which was instituted, was, in its form, a universal association of the people of Maryland, one by one. Recognising the continental congress as invested with a general supervision, it managed internal affairs through a provincial council of safety, and subordinate executive committees, which were appointed in every county, parish, or hundred. It directed the enrolment of forty companies of minutemen; established a military code; authorized the emission of more than a quarter of a million of dollars, in bills varying in amount from sixteen dollars to two thirds of a dollar; and it extended the franchise to all freemen having a visible estate of forty pounds sterling, so that Protestant and Catholic might henceforward go to the polls together. The government thus instituted, was administered with regularity and lenity.

By the prudent inactivity of the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, those four colonies awaited the decision of Great Britain in tranquillity; south of the Potomac, Dunmore precipitated a conflict, which the people of Virginia, educated in the love of constitutional monarchy, and disinclined to change for the sake of change, would gladly have avoided. In spite of their

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