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Pennsylvania Assembly



Monday, May 1, 1775.

The House met pursuant to their adjournment.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Gray and Mr˙ Hillegas wait on the Governour, and acquaint him that a quorum of the Representatives being met, they are ready to receive any business his Honour may be pleased to lay before them.

Mr˙ Charles Thomson laid before the House a Letter from, William Bollon, Benjamin Franklin, and Arthur Lee, Esquires, dated London, February 5, 1775, which was read by order, and is as follows, viz:

SIR: Our last letter informed you that the King had declared his intention of laying the Petition before his two Houses, of Parliament. It has accordingly been laid before each House, but undistinguished among a variety of letters and other papers from America.

A motion made by Lord Chatham, to withdraw the Troops from Boston, as the first step towards a conciliating plan, was rejected; and the Ministry have declared, in both Houses, the determination to enforce obedience to all the late laws. For this purpose, we understand that three Regiments of Foot, one of Dragoons, seven hundred Marines, six Sloops-of-War and two Frigates, are now under orders for America.

We think it proper to inform you that your cause was well defended by a considerable number of good and wise men in both Houses of Parliament, though far from being a majority, and that many of the commercial and manufacturing parts of the Nation, concerned in the American Trade, have presented, or, as we understand, are preparing to present Petitions to Parliament, declaring their great concern for the present unhappy controversies with America, and praying expressly, or in effect, for healing measures, as the proper means of preserving their commerce, now greatly suffering or endangered. But the treatment the Petitions already presented have hitherto received, is such as, in our opinion, can afford you no reliance on any present relief through their means.

As soon as we learned that the Petition of the Congress was before the House of Commons, we thought it our duty to support it, if we might be permitted so to do, as there was no other opportunity for the numerous inhabitants of the Colonies to be heard in defence of their rights. Accordingly we joined in a Petition for that purpose. Sir George Savile kindly undertook to present it, but on previously opening the purport of it, as the order is, a debate arose On the propriety of receiving it, and, on a division, it was rejected by a great majority.

The following extract of a letter from General Gage to Lord Dartmouth, as laid before Parliament, we think it our duty to transmit, viz:

"December 15, 1774. — Your Lordship' s idea of disarming certain Provinces would doubtless be consistent with prudence and safety, but it neither is, nor has been practicable, without haying recourse to force, and being masters of the Country."

It was thrown out in debate by a principal member of Administration, that it would be proper to alter the Charters of Connecticut and Rhode-Island.

Enclosed we send you a copy of the Resolutions passed in a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday last, which are to be reported on Monday It is said that these


Resolutions are to be the foundation of several Bills to be brought in; but the purport of these Bills we have not yet learned with sufficient certainty.

We send you likewise a copy of Lord Chatham' s first motion in the House of Lords, and of his plan of a Bill for settling the troubles between Britain and her Colonies, both which were rejected on the first reading.

With great respect, we are, Sir, your most obedient humble servants,


The Members appointed to wait on the Governour With the Message of the House, reported they had delivered the same according to order, and that his Honour was pleased to say he should lay some business before the House shortly.

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