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Remonstrance and Petition


A Remonstrance and Petition from the Committee of Inspection and Observation of the County of Chester, was presented to the House, and is as follows, viz:

"To the Honourable the Representatives of the Freemen of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, in General Assembly met.

"The Remonstrance and Petition of the Committee of Inspection and Observation of CHESTER County, humbly showeth:

"That your Remonstrants, in obedience to the resolves of this honourable House, and from zeal to the cause of their


country, have, since your last session, used their best endeavours to prevail on the people of this County to adopt and sign the articles for the better government of the Military Association; but we find them not so well received as the exigency of the times requires; and are apprehensive, unless your Honours will, at this session, amend such parts thereof as are the most exceptionable they will not be generally signed but by those who think it better to adopt any government rather than none.

"Your Remonstrants beg leave briefly to mention some of the articles which the people most generally object to, viz: They say, ‘that the burden of the Association falls chiefly on the poor and middling sort of the Inhabitants, whilst the more opulent are, for the most part, exempt, they carrying on their business by bought servants and Negroes. On the contrary, those in low and middling circumstances are obliged to take in apprentices; the arming of which, together with their loss of time, will be extremely burdensome; so much so, that they cannot comply with the resolves of the House, without distressing themselves and families. But, were arms and accoutrements to be provided at the publick charge, they are ready to conform to the other parts as far as in their power.’

"Your Remonstrants are humbly of opinion, that the above objections are founded in justice; and firmly believe that, was some measure taken to provide arms for the whole, at the publick charge, and all able-bodied men, from sixteen to sixty, obliged to associate or pay the fine, that then it would be generally adopted.

"Your Remonstrants therefore humbly request your Honours to take the premises under your serious consideration, and make such alterations in the present Association as to you may seem just and reasonable.

"Signed by order and in behalf of the Committee:


"Chester, February 12, 1776."

Ordered to lie on the table.

The House adjourned to ten o' clock to-morrow morning.