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moving in the affair, attempted to canvass Philadelphia without his concurrence, but little progress was made. Franklin however, when consulted, had too much nobleness of spirit to resent this conduct, but fairly examined the doctor's scheme, and entered into it fully. The Junto, and the paper of the province, were duly put in motion, and very important friends to the measure gained ; but a grant of public money seemed essential to place it on a solid footing. This Franklin obtained with no common adroitness; he himself calls it a political manquyre of Dame Cunning. He in fact placed the projected hospital in the situation of a bride elect, whose parents and guardians require a proper stimulus to liberality; while the Pennsylvanian assembly was required to yield a genteel fortune on the other side, as in the place of the guardians of the expectant bridegroom. He therefore brought a bill into the house, by which it was proposed to present 20001. to the hospital funds, on the condition, that 20001. more should be obtained by private subscription; and that when, to the satisfaction of the speaker of the said house, the private money should be raised, then, and not till then, he was required to sign an order on the provincial treasurer for the payment of 2000l. out of the provincial funds, in two yearly payments of 1000l. each. The parties were thus made by able management to act upon each other. With the house he pleaded the great public benefit intended, and the patriotic disposition of numerous respectable individuals to contribute to it; while with private persons he pressed the condition and pledge so happily obtained, and the manner in which each individual subscription became doubled in its amount of contribution to the general scheme.
To another public project, in hand at this time, he contributed advice, at least worth remembering, and in keeping with his general character and cleverness. Being solicited by the Rev. Mr Tennant, one of Whitfield's admirers, to assist him in obtaining funds
for the erection of a meeting-house, he declined pressing it upon his connexions in Philadelphia, as it might possibly appear making too free with them. “But apply you," said he, "first to those you know will give you something ; next to those of whose willingness or ability you are uncertain (and shew to them the actual subscriptions obtained ;) lastly go to those whom you believe will give nothing, for in some of them you may be mistaken.” The preacher tried the plan, says our author; asked everybody, and was able to erect one of the most spacious and well-built places of worship in the province.
The history of civilized nations, especially those of considerable power, has always been blended. We now arrive at the commencement of that last and most important contest between Great Britain and France in America, the first effect of which was to annihilate the power of the French in this part of the globe ; the next, in order of importance perhaps, to teach America her own strength and resources, calling into actual service the very men who were afterwards the authors of her revolution, and the pillars of her independence; and last, not least, by an easy but inperceptible consequence, to bring the British colonies and the mother-country into collision; a con-test that terminated in possibly the most important event in modern history. Franklin and Washington (but especially the former) were both conspicuous public characters in this war.
As, after this period, Great Britain never exercised unmolested sway over her North American colonies, and as their subsequent independence and prosperity, when the United States of America, have brought to them material accessions of territory, it will much illustrate our sketch of the war, and Franklin's various exertions in it, to present the reader with a brief sketch of the situation and boundaries of the British possessions at this time.
The then British colonies, bordering on each other, and extending along the sea-coast from Davies-strait
as far south as Florida (if we comprehend the country around Hudson's Bay and the banks of Newfoundland) included a territory of seventeen hundred miles, in a direct line from 60th to 31st degree of northern latitude. It was washed on the east by the Atlantic, and had Spanish Florida for its southern limit; but its western boundaries were uncertain, some confining them to the river Illinois, which nearly connects the great chain of internal lakes with the Mississippi, and others tracing them to the western shores of America itself, or to the great Southern Ocean.
We begin with the northern extremity, of which East Main in the west, and Labrador on the east, constitute the principal divisions. They are still amongst the unconquered regions of America, and were at this time very little known.
Newfoundland, forming the extreme eastern point of North America, and being the first of our transatlantic possessions, was, with St John's, a neighbouring island, included in the government of Nova Scotia. It alone measures one hundred and twentyfive leagues from north to south, and from east to west nearly one hundred. A few Esquimaux are found scattered up and down its trackless wilds. It was ceded to the English by France at the peace of Utrecht, and is principally valuable for its vast fishing bank, from which myriads of cod have been taken annually for two centuries, without appearing in any way to diminish their numbers.
Nova Scotia, formerly called Acadia by the French, was wholly neglected by Europeans till about the year 1748 (when the town of Halifax was settled by Great Britain ;) and at that period it comprehended the present province of New Brunswick. It is intersected by noble rivers, and crowned with inexhaustible forests of pine, spruce, birch, beech, elm, fir, and other timber. Proceeding now southward (the French at this time possessing to the west the whole of Canada) New England was composed of the four provinces known by the names of New Hampshire,
Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, The southern boundary was New York, which exa tended to the north on both sides of the river Hudson, about two hundred miles into the country once belonging to the Irroquois, the Indians of the Five Nations. This province included Long Island. Contiguous to New York, in a south-west direction along the shores of the Atlantic, was the small province of New Jersey, bounded westward by the river Delaware, which separated it from Pennsylvania,
The soil, climate, and produce, of these provinces, were very similar. In New York several mines of iron were worked profitably, and New Jersey yielded very rich copper ore. Forests abounding with oak, ash, beech, walnut-tree, pine, cypress, cedar, &c., were scattered over the whole country; and weighty crops of grain, with abundance of sheep, horses, hogs, and horned cattle, were everywhere found ; also poultry, game, vegetables of all sorts, and excellent fruit, particularly peaches and melons.
Pennsylvania, containing the capital, was two hun. dred and fifty miles in length, two hundred in breadth, and understood to extend from the Atlantic to the lake Erie, on which the French had a fort. It was originally settled by Quaker families, under the direction of the celebrated William Penn, whose descendants were the proprietaries of the province, down to the period of its separation from the mother-country.
Maryland, a settlement of Catholics, extended along the bay of Chesapeake about one hundred and forty miles, and was of about the same breadth, being bounded northward by Pennsylvania, on the east by the Atlantic, and by the river Potowmac on the south. The climate here indicates our nearer approach to the equator, the summers being very sultry, and the soil proportionably fruitful. Tobacco was at this time the staple commodity.
Adjoining this province was Virginia, having the bay of Chesapeake for its eastern boundary, Carolina on the south, and extending westward to the Allegany
mountains: its breadth and length being about two hundred miles. Here also were noble forests, plains covered with luxuriant vegetation and grazed by prolific herds of European cattle, and numerous wild animals. Farther south, between the 31st and 46th degrees of north latitude, were the two Carolinas, comprising a tract of country upwards of four hundred miles in length, and in breadth about three hundred miles, extending from the sea to the territory of the Creek and Cherokee nations. North Carolina carried on a flourishing trade with the mother-country in tar, pitch, turpentine, staves, shingles, grain, &c., through the commodious harbour of Charlestown.
The most southern of the British North American settlements was Georgia, extending along the seacoast about sixty miles from north to south, and of various breadth inland, being in the direction of the great Apalachian ridge nearly three hundred miles from east to west. It was bounded on the south by the river Attamaha and Spanish Florida, and carried on the most extensive trade with the Indian tribes of any of our provinces.
With this succinct view of the British colonies before him, the reader will now be better able to resume our narrative.
The home government, apprehending war with France, in the year 1754, felt the importance of conciliating both the colonists and the native tribes of America. Commissioners from all the colonies were therefore appointed to assemble at Albany to concert measures for their common defence, as well as to conclude treaties with the chiefs of the Six Nations. Franklin was at this time so much impressed with the importance of a permanent union among the colonies, that he prepared on his way a project for their being comprehended under one government, with reasons against partial unions, &c. Indeed this seemed with Franklin the all-important business of their present meeting. He therefore moved a resolution expressive of the general opinion of the com