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s. But Franklin did not attempt to overrule the opinions or defy the scruples of his colleagues, and, after earnest debates, congress adopted the proposal of Jay to petition the king once more. The second petition to the king was drafted by Dickinson, and in these words put forward Duane's proposal for a negotiation to be preceded by a truce: We beseech your majesty to direct some mode by Chap. XLI.} 1775. July. which the united applications of your faithful colonists to the throne, in punies, by refusing to treat separately and offering to treat jointly, announced their union, which thus preceded their independence. Yet as the king would not receive a document from congress, the petition was signed by the members individually Dickinson, confident of success, was proud of his work. There is but one word in it which I wish altered, said he, and that is—congress. It is the only word I wish should remain, answered Harrison, of Virginia. Having thus owned the continuing sover
with loud promises of prowess when they should be called to the field. Yet the majority of the congress, scrupulous not to outrun the convictions and sympathies of their constituents, and pleasing themselves by confiding in the speedy restoration of peace, not only made no adequate preparations for resistance, but would not even consent to relieve the state of anarchy by sanctioning the institution of governments in the several colonies. The hesitancy of so many members, especially of Dickinson, incensed John Adams, who maintained Chap. XLIII.} 1775. July. that the fifty or sixty men composing the congress, should at once form a constitution for a great empire, provide for its defence, and, in that safe attitude, await the decision of the king. His letters to New England, avowing these opinions, were intercepted; and so little were the central colonies prepared for the bold advice, they were published by the royalists as the surest way of destroying his influence, and heaping o
f New Jersey to languor was confirmed by Pennsylvania, where, from the first, Dickinson acted in concert with the proprietary government; and the ardent patriots, whnment upon the whole might wish him to be on their side. It was noticed that Dickinson did not make his appearance in the meeting till the day before its dissolutiosary. The events at Lexington and Bunker Hill did not shake the purpose of Dickinson to prevent the meeting of another convention. His wish that the province shoor peace, or at furthest, to passive resistance. To these elements of power, Dickinson, who still claimed to lead the patriot party of Pennsylvania, added his influ In this manner the house, in June, appointed a committee of safety, but with Dickinson at its head; and placed at its disposition thirty-five thousand pounds in bils of the colonies with an uncompromising vigor and prophetic insight, such as Dickinson, who wrote after him, never could equal. His deep blue eyes are now Chap.
ely unbosomed his complaints of its tardiness, and had justly thrown blame on the piddling genius, as he phrased it, of Dickinson, were approved by many; but Dickinson himself was unforgiving; wounded in his self-love and vexed by the ridicule throwDickinson himself was unforgiving; wounded in his self-love and vexed by the ridicule thrown on his system, from this time he resisted independence with a morbid fixedness. He brushed past John Adams in the street without returning his salutation; and the New England statesman encountered also the hostility of the proprietary party and oensions, I bless God there is such a people in America. Harmony was maintained only by acquiescence in the policy of Dickinson. From Pittsburg, Lewis Morris of New York and James Wilson of Pennsylvania, the commissioners, recommended an expe- I.} 1775. Oct. the state-house, and delivered their remonstrance; but the spirit of the assembly, under the guidance of Dickinson, followed the bent of the quakers. Congress, for the time, was like a ship at sea without a rudder, still buoyant, b
elected for Philadelphia through the Irish and the Presbyterians, would never take his seat. Dickinson had been returned for the county by an almost unanimous vote; supported by patriots who still majesty did not receive it on the throne, no answer would be given. The proclamation included Dickinson among the dangerous and designing men, rebels and traitors, whom the civil and military office way to effective measures, sowing broadcast the seeds of domestic discord, and preparing for Dickinson a Chap. XLIX.} 1775. Nov. life of regrets. Had it done no more than express its opposition tinstructions did not prevail; but on the twenty ninth of November Harrison, Franklin, Johnson, Dickinson, and Jay were appointed a secret committee for the sole purpose of corresponding with friends h terms as the British parliament propose; and in this I speak the sentiments of America. But Dickinson still soothed himself with the belief, that the petition of his drafting had not been rejected
support of the royal government. On the fifth of December they resolved themselves into a committee of the whole, to consider the draft of a separate address to the king; but as that mode of action tended to divide and insulate he provinces, Dickinson, Jay, and Wythe were sent by Chap. LV.} 1775. Dec. the general congress to Burlington, to dissuade from the measure. Admitted to the assembly, Dickinson, who still refused to believe that no heed would be taken of the petition delivered by RiDickinson, who still refused to believe that no heed would be taken of the petition delivered by Richard Penn, excused the silence of the king, and bade them wait to find an answer in the conduct of parliament and the administration. After Americans were put to death without cause at Lexington, said he, had the new continental congress drawn the sword and thrown away the scabbard, all lovers of liberty would have applauded. To convince Britain that we will fight, an army has been formed, and Canada invaded. Success attends us everywhere; the savages who were to have been let loose to murd
tion of congress. Besides, it was expected by many, that agents, selected from among the friends of America, would be sent from England with full powers to grant every reasonable measure of redress. It was time for Franklin to speak out, for he best Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. knew the folly of expecting peace from British commissioners. On the sixteenth his plan of a confederacy was called up, and he endeavored to get a day fixed for its consideration; but he was opposed by Hooper and by Dickinson, and they carried the question against him. Four days later, the Quakers of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, at a meeting of their representatives in Philadelphia, published their testimony that the setting up and putting down of kings and governments is God's peculiar prerogative. Yet the votes of congress showed a fixed determination to continue the struggle; twenty seven battalions were ordered to be raised in addition to those with Washington; it was intended to send ten thousand men into
in debate than Jefferson; more courageous manliness than Dickinson; more force in motion than Jay; so that, by varying and cthe wisest measure that could have been proposed; and had Dickinson, Morris, and Reed, like Franklin, Clymer, and Mackean, jothe assembly the party of resistance must rely chiefly on Dickinson, Morris, and Reed. But the logical contradiction in the mind of Dickinson, which had manifested itself in the Farmer's Letters, still perplexed his conduct. His narrow breast had nate confidence of Washington, had neither the timidity of Dickinson nor the positiveness of Morris, and he carried into publid to Philadelphia, was brought in by a committee of which Dickinson and Reed were the principal members; and the ayes and noe the proprietary government. This was the result which Dickinson desired; the support of the assembly of Pennsylvania soot colonies, till they declare themselves independent. Yet Dickinson and others, among whom were found William Livingston of N
uency. It was unhappy for the colony that Dickinson and his friends refused to place themselves firm confederation; between these two stood Dickinson, whose central position was the hiding placestructions. Of its members, among whom were Dickinson, Morris, Reed, Clymer, and one or two loyali question on the new instructions was taken, Dickinson, in the assembly, made a speech, in which heence. On that same day, and perhaps while Dickinson was speaking in the Pennsylvania assembly, Rby Robert Livingston of New York, by Wilson, Dickinson, and Edward Rutledge. They made no objectioelected are found the names of Samuel Adams, Dickinson, and Edward Rutledge: it could have been wist of his younger kinsman. In the committee, Dickinson, who, as an opponent of independence, could h foreign powers, was intrusted by ballot to Dickinson, Franklin, John Adams, Harrison, and Robert Morris; and between John Adams and Dickinson there was no difference of opinion that the scheme to
longer, be withheld. The resolution for independence was then sustained by nine colonies, two thirds of the whole number; the vote of South Carolina, unanimously, it would seem, was in the negative; so was that of Pennsylvania, by the vote of Dickinson, Morris, Humphreys, and Willing, against Franklin, Morton, and Wilson; owing to the absence of Rodney, Delaware was divided, each member voting under the new instruction according to his former known opinion, Mackean for independence and Read aeedom was in his eyes a counterbalance to poverty, discord, war, and more. On the second day of July there were present in 2. congress probably just fifty members. Rodney had arrived from Delaware, and joining Mackean secured that colony. Dickinson and Morris stayed away, which enabled Franklin, Wilson, and Morton, of Pennsylvania, to outvote Willing and Humphreys. The South Carolina members, for the sake of unanimity, came round; so though New York was still unable to vote, twelve colon