The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 22

cannot so well be executed by two unions
as by one.


LAWS TO GOVERN THEM.

_That they make laws for regulating and governing such new
settlements, till the crown shall think fit to form them into
particular governments._

The making of laws suitable for the new colonies, it was thought,
would be properly vested in the president general and grand council;
under whose protection they will at first necessarily be, and who
would be well acquainted with their circumstances, as having settled
them. When they are become sufficiently populous, they may by the
crown be formed into complete and distinct governments.

The appointment of a sub-president by the crown, to take place in
case of the death or absence of the president general, would perhaps
be an improvement of the plan; and if all the governors of particular
provinces were to be formed into a standing council of state, for the
advice and assistance of the president general, it might be another
considerable improvement.


RAISE SOLDIERS AND EQUIP VESSELS, &C.

_That they raise and pay soldiers and build forts for the defence of
any of the colonies, and equip vessels of force to guard the coasts
and protect the trade on the ocean, lakes[8], or great rivers; but
they shall not impress men in any colony, without the consent of the
legislature._

It was thought, that quotas of men, to be raised and paid by the
several colonies, and joined for any public service, could not always
be got together with the necessary expedition. For instance, suppose
one thousand men should be wanted in New Hampshire on any emergency;
to fetch them by fifties and hundreds out of every colony, as far as
South Carolina, would be inconvenient, the transportation chargeable
and the occasion perhaps passed before they could be assembled;
and therefore, that it would be best to raise them (by offering
bounty-money and pay) near the place where they would be wanted, to
be discharged again when the service should be over.

Particular colonies are at present backward to build forts at
their own expence, which they say will be equally useful to their
neighbouring colonies; who refuse to join, on a presumption that such
forts _will_ be built and kept up, though they contribute nothing.
This unjust conduct weakens the whole; but the forts being for the
good of the whole, it was thought best they should be built and
maintained by the whole, out of the common treasury.

In the time of war, small vessels of force are sometimes necessary
in the colonies to scour the coast of small privateers. These being
provided by the union will be an

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

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15, 16.
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* Notes [n] are at the end of the book as originally published.