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Paper enclosed in the foregoing Letter


Paper enclosed in Arthur St˙ Clair' s Letter to the Governor, of
February 2, 1774.

As friends and fellow countrymen, which we ought all to consider each other, from whatever different quarters of the globe we have met here, suffer that we make you acquainted with some things of which you ought not to be ignorant.

We do not blame you for having an affection for the laws of the countries and provinces in which you have been born; ' tis a natural, ' tis a praiseworthy affection! And it requires a length of time and diligent application to discover and give the deserved preference to different systems of laws and forms of Government, for which but few have either leisure or opportunity.

We do not tell you the plan of Pennsylvania is a perfect one. Such no human institution is or ever was;


but the rapid progress Pennsylvania has made, the numbers of people that flock to it from every part of the world, and particularly the much greater value of landed property than in the adjoining parts of the neighbouring countries, evince that it is no very defective one; evince that its laws are mild and salutary, and that property and liberty, civil and religious, is well secured, and that it has some advantages over its neighbours.

We doubt not but you will readily acknowledge these matters; but you will reply, it is nothing to us; the soil we live on being no part of Pennsylvania; we can have no part of the advantages or disadvantages arising from its constitution.

We well know much pains have been taken to persuade many of you to a belief of this, and likewise that the Proprietaries have industriously delayed to settle their boundary. There is not the least foundation for either.

The Proprietaries of Pennsylvania claimed the country about Pittsburg, and the settlers quietly acquiesced in that claim; and as soon as doubts began to arise about it they took effectual pains to satisfy themselves whether or not they were right in that claim, and actually found the country a considerable distance west of that place within their Province: And so far are they from delaying the running their boundary line, we have the best authority for saying that a petition has been a considerable time before his Majesty for that very purpose. You must be sensible it would be to little purpose to run it without the concurrence of the Crown; certainly it would never be conclusive.

The jurisdiction of Pennsylvania has been regularly extended to Pittsburg, and exercised there for a number of years, as the records of Cumberland, Bedford, and Westmoreland counties testify; and you yourselves have acknowledged it, by applying for your lands in that Province. Whether that extension has been legally made or not, can be determined by the Crown alone; but must be submitted to till it is determined. And it must be evident to you that Lord Dunmore, as Governor of Virginia, can have no more right to determine this matter then one of us, for this plain reason: the charters of Pennsylvania and Virginia both flowed originally from the Crown; on that footing they are perfectly independent of each other; but they are both parties in this dispute, and consequently neither can be judge.

We would fondly hope no person in this country would wish to be from under the protection of law. A state of anarchy and confusion, and total subversion of property must inevitably ensue. We cannot help thinking contending jurisdictions in one and the same country must produce similar effects, and every attempt to introduce modes or regulations not warranted by the laws or constitution of Pennsylvania will also do so in a certain degree.

Any grievances the inhabitants of this part of the country suffer there is no doubt the Legislature want only to be informed of to redress. Should it be imagined the protection of a military force is necessary, the votes and proceedings of the last winter session of Assembly will shew that, probably, it was owing; to the representations of the Indian Agent, that an Indian war would certainly follow, establishing a military force at Pittsburg, that such protection was not then granted, and time seems to have shewn he was not in the wrong.

If that effect would have supervened at a time when his Majesty' s troops were just withdrawn, when the country was naked, defenceless, and alarmed, and when the Indians were accustomed to the idea of troops in their neighbourhood, much more is it to be doubted the establishing a militia, which is a military force, will produce that effect now when they have been so long disused to it.

As his Majesty' s Justices and Protectors of the public peace of Pennsylvania, it is our duty to tell you your meeting is an unlawful one, and that it tends to disquiet the minds of his Majesty' s liege subjects. We do in his Majesty' s name require you to disperse, and retire yourselves peaceably to your respective habitations.

Present when this was read.