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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 coasts of small privateers. These being provided by the Union will be an advantage in turn to the colonies which are situated on the sea, and whose frontiers on the land-side, being covered by other colonies, reap but little immediate benefit from the advanced forts.

POWER TO MAKE LAWS, LAY DUTIES, ETC. That for these purposes they have power to make laws and lay and levy such general duties, imposts or taxes, as to them shall appear most equal and just (considering the ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies), and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people ; rather discouraging luxury, than loading industry with unnecessary burdens.

The laws which the president-general and grand council aré empowered to make are such only as shall be necessary for the government of the settlements, the raising, regulating, and paying soldiers for the general service; the regulating of Indian trade ; and laying and collecting the general duties and taxes. They should also have a power to restrain the exportation of provisions to the enemy from any of the colonies, on particular occasions, in time of war. But it is not intended that they may interfere with the constitution or government of the particular colonies, who are to be left to their own laws, and to lay, levy and apply their own taxes as before.


That they may appoint a General Treasurer, and Particular Treasurer in government when necessary; and, from time to time, may order the sums in the treasuries of each government into the general treasury, or draw on them for special payments, as they find most convenient.

The treasurers here meant are only for the general funds and not for the particular funds of each colony, which remain in the hands of their own treasurers at their own disposal.


Yet no money to issue but by joint orders of the President-General and Grand Council, except where sums have been appointed to particular purposes, and the PresidentGeneral is previously empowered by an act to draw such


To prevent misapplication of the money, or even application that might be dissatisfactory to the crown or the people, it was thought necessary to join the president-general and grand council in all issues of money


That the general accounts shall be yearly settled and reported to the several Assemblies.

By communicating the accounts yearly to each Assembly, they will be satisfied of the prudent and honest conduct of their representatives in the grand council.


That a quorum of the Grand Council, empowered to act with the President-General, do consist of twentyfive members ; among whom there shall be one or more from a majority of the Colonies.

The quorum seems large, but it was thought it would not be satisfactory to the colonies in general, to have matters of importance to the whole transacted by a smaller number, or even by this number of twenty-five, unless there were among them one at least from a majority of the colonies, because otherwise, the whole quorum being made up of members from three or four colonies at one end of the union, something might be done that would not be equal with respect to the rest, and thence dissatisfaction and discords might rise to the prejudice of the whole.


That the laws made by them for the purposes aforesaid shall not be repugnant, but, as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of England, and shall be transmitted to the King in Council for approbation, as soon as may be after their passing; and if not disapproved within three years after presentation, to remain in force.

This was thought necessary for the satisfaction of the crown, to preserve the connection of the parts of the British empire with the whole, of the members with the head, and to induce greater care and circumspection in making of the laws, that they be good in themselves and for the general bene



That, in case of the death of the President-General, the Speaker of the Grand Council for the time being shall succeed, and be vested with the same powers and authorities, to continue till the King's pleasure be known.

It might be better, perhaps, as was said before, if the crown appointed a vice-president, to take place on the death or absence of the president-general ; for so we should be more sure of a suitable person at the head of the colonies. On the death or absence of both, the speaker to take place (or rather the eldest King's governor) till his Majesty's pleasure be known.


That all military commission officers, whether for land or sea service, to act under this general constitution, shall be nominated by the President-General ; but the approbation of the Grand Council is to be obtained, before they receive their commissions. And all civil offi. cers are to be nominated by the Grand Council, and to receive the President-General's approbation before they officiate.

It was thought it might be very prejudicial to the service, to have officers appointed unknown to the people or unacceptable, the generality of Americans serving willingly under officers they know; and not caring to engage in the service under strangers, or such as are often appointed by govern. ors through favor or interest. The service here meant, is not the stated, settled service in standing troops ; but any sudden and short service, either for defence of our colonies, or invading the enemy's country (such as the expedition to Cape Breton in the last war; in which many substantial farmers and tradesmen engaged as common soldiers, under officers of their own country, for whom they had an esteem and affection ; who would not have engaged in a standing army, or under officers from England). It was therefore thought best to give the Council the power of approving the officers, which the people will look on as a great security of their being good men. And without some such provision as this, it was thought the expense of engaging men in the ser. vice on any emergency would be much greater, and the number who could be induced to engage much less; and that therefore it would be most for the King's service and the general benefit of the nation, that the prerogative should relax a little in this particular throughout all the colonies in America; as it had already done much more in the charters of some particular colonies, viz.: Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The civil officers will be chiefly treasurers and collectors

of taxes; and the suitable persons are most likely to be known by the council.

VACANCIES, HOW SUPPLIED. But, in case of vacancy by death or removal of any officer civil or military, under this constitution, the Governor of the province in which such vacancy happens, may appoint, till the pleasure of the President-General and Grand Council can be known.

The vacancies were thought best supplied by the governors in each province, till a new appointment can be regularly made ; otherwise the service might suffer before the meeting of the president-general and grand council.


EMERGENCY, ETC. That the particular military as well as civil establishments in each colony remain in their present state, the general constitution notwithstanding; and that on sudden emergencies any colony may defend itself, and lay the accounts of expense thence arising before the president-general and general council, who may allow and order payment of the same, as far as they judge such accounts just and reasonable.

Otherwise the union of the whole would weaken the parts, contrary to the design of the union. The accounts are to be judged of by the president-general and grand council, and allowed if found reasonable. This was thought necessary to encourage colonies to defend themselves, as the expense would be light when borne by the whole ; and also to check imprudent and lavish expense in such defences.

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