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constrained to bend at last. At length Captain Denny, who was Governor Morris's successor, ventured to disobey those instructions; how that was brought about I shall show hereafter.
But I am got forward too fast with my story: there are still some transactions to be mentioned, that happened during the administration of Governor Morris.
War being in a manner commenced with France, the government of Massachusets Bay projected an attack upon Crown Point, and
Crown Point, and sent Mr. Quincy to Pennsylvania, and Mr. Pownal, (afterwards Governor Pownal,) to New-York to solicit assistance. As I was in the assembly, knew its temper, and was Mr. Quincy's countryman, he applied to me for my influence and assistance: I dictated his address to them, which was well received. They voted an aid of ten thousand pounds, to be laid out in provisions. But the Governor refusing his assent to their bill (which included this with other sums granted for the use of the crown) unless a clause were inserted, exempting the proprietary estate from bearing any part of the tax that would be necessary; the assembly, though very desirous of making their grant to New England effectual, were at a loss how to accomplish it. Mr. Quincy laboręd hard with the Governor to obtain his assent, but he was obstinate. I then suggested a method of doing the business without the Governor, '
by orders on the trustees of the Loan-Office, which by law, the assembly had the right of drawing. There was indeed little or no money at the time in the office, and therefore I proposed that the orders should be payable in a year, and to bear'an interest of five per cent.: with these orders I supposed the provisions might easily be purchased. The assembly with very little hesitation adopted the proposal. The orders were immediately printed, and I was one of the committee directed to sign and dispose of them. The fund for paying them, was the interest of all the paper currency then extant in the province upon loan, together with the revenue arising from the excise, which being known to be more than sufficient, they obtained credit, and were not only taken in payment for the provisions, but many monied people who had cash lying by them, vested it in those orders, which they found advantageous, as they bore interest while upon hand, and might on any occasion be used as money. So that they were eagerly all bought up, and in a few weeks none of them were to be seen. Thus this important affair was by my means completed. Mr. Quincy returned thanks to the assembly in a handsome memorial, went home highly pleased with the success of his embassy, and ever after bore for me the most cordial and affectionate friendship.
The British government, not choosing to permit the union of the colonies, as proposed at Albany, and to trust that union with their defence, lest they should thereby grow too military, and feel their own strength; (suspicion and jealousies at this time being entertained of them) sent over General Braddock with two regiments of regular English troops for that purpose. He landed at Alexandria in Virginia, and thence marched to Frederic Town in Maryland, where he halted for.carriages. Our assembly apprehending from some information, that he had received violent prejudices against them as averse to the service, wished me to wait
upon him, not as from them, but as Post-Master-General, under the guise of proposing to settle with him the mode of conducting with most celerity and certainty, the dispatches between him and the governors of the several provinces, with whom he must necessarily have continual correspondence; and of which they proposed to pay the expense. My son accompanied me on this journey. We found the general at Frederic Town, waiting impatiently for the return of those he had sent through the back parts of Maryland and Virginia to collect waggons. I staid with him several days, dined with him daily, and had full opportunities of removing his prejudices, by the information of what the assembly had before his arrival actually done, and were still willing to do, to facilitate his operations. When I was about to depart, the returns of waggons to be obtained were brought in, by which it appeared, that they amounted only to twenty-five, and not all of those were in serviceable condition. The general and all the officers were
surprised, declared the expedition was then at an end, being impossible; and exclaimed against the ministers for ignorantly sending them into a country destitute of the means of conveying their stores, baggage, &c., not less than 150 waggons being necessary. I happened to say, I thought it was a pity they had not been landed in Pennsylvania, as in that country almost every farmer had his waggon. The general eagerly laid hold of my words, and said, “ Then you, sir, who are a man of interest there, can probably procure them for us; and I beg you will undertake it.” I asked what terms were to be offered the owners of the waggons; and I was desired to put on paper the terms that appeared to me necessary. This I did, and they were agreed to; and a commission and instructions accordingly prepared immediately. What those terms were will appear in the advertisement I published as soon as I arrived at Lancaster; which being, from the great and sudden effect it produced, a piece of some curiosity, I shall insert it at length as follows.
“ Lancaster, April 26, 1753. Whereas, 150 waggons, with 4 horses to each waggon, and 1500 saddle or pack horses, are wanted for the service of his Majesty's forces, now about to rendezvous at Wills's Creek; and his Excellency General Braddock having been pleased to empower me to contract for the hire of the same; I hereby give notice, that I shall attend for that purpose at Lancaster from this day to next Wednesday evening; and at York from next Thursday morning, 'till Friday evening; where I shall be ready to agree for waggons and teams, or single horses, on the following terms: viz. 1. That there shall be paid for each waggon with four good horses and a driver, fifteen shillings per diem. And for each able horse with a pack-saddle, or other saddle and furniture, two shillings per diem, And for each able horse without a saddle, eighteen pence per diem. 2. That the pay commence from the time of their joining the forces at Wills's Creek (which must be on or before the 20th May ensuing) and that a reasonable allowance be paid over and above for the time necessary for their travelling to Wills's Creek and home again after their discharge. 3. Each waggon and team, and every saddle or pack-horse, is to be valued by indifferent persons chosen between me and the owner; and in case of the loss of any waggon, team or other horse in the service, the price according to such valuation is to be allowed and paid. 4. Seven days' pay is to be advanced and paid in hand by me to the owner of each waggon and team, or horse, at the time of contracting, if required; and the remainder to be paid by General Braddock, or by the paymaster of the army, at the time of their discharge ; or from time to time as it shall be demanded.