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Letters from Benjamin Franklin, with some papers on publick affairs


July 20, 1774. The House met pursuant to their adjournment. Mr˙ Speaker and Mr˙ Rhoads laid before the House two Letters from Benjamin Franklin, Esquire, dated London, the 6th and 26th of April last, with some other Papers, on publick affairs, which being severally read were,

Ordered to lie on the table.

The Members appointed to wait on the Governour with the Message of last night, reported that they had delivered the same according to order; and that his Honour was pleased to say, he had already laid before the House all the Papers he was possessed of relating to the ranging companies on the frontiers, but would endeavour to procure as soon as possible, the further information requested by the House, and lay it before such Commissioners as may be appointed to pay the said Companies.

The House then proceeded in the consideration of the Governour' s Message, and after some time spent therein, adjourned to three o' clock, P˙ M.

The House again taking into consideration the Governour' s Message and the Papers sent down with it,

Resolved, That Michael Hillegas, George Gray, Thomas Mifflin, and Charles Humphreys, Esquires, or any three of them, by and with the consent and approbation of the Governour of this Province for the time being, may draw orders on the Provincial Treasurer for any sum not exceeding two thousand pounds, to be disposed of in paying and victualling, until the tenth day of August next, a number of rangers lately raised by the Magistrates of Westmoreland County, for removing the panick into which the inhabitants of the said county have been thrown by the


late Indian disturbances, and for other incidental expenses; and also in maintaining the peace and friendship subsisting between this Province and the Indians; the said sum to be paid out of the money struck by virtue of the Act, entitled, "An Act for the support of the Government of this Province, making the excise on wine, rum, brandy, and other spirits, more equal, and for preventing frauds in collecting and paying the said excise."

Resolved, That if, after the said tenth day of August, it shall appear to the Governour, and the said Michael Hillegas, George Gray, Thomas Mifflin, and Charles Humphreys, necessary to employ any number of the said rangers, this House will pass a Bill for paying and victualling them, until the 20th of September next, provided their number shall not exceed two hundred.

Resolved, That this House will make provision for paying the reward of one hundred pounds to any person who shall apprehend James Cooper and John Hinkson, who it is said, have barbarously murdered an Indian on the frontiers of this Province, and deliver them into the custody of the keeper of the jail within either of the Counties of Lancaster, York, or Cumberland, or the sum of fifty pounds for either of them.

Resolved, That this House will, at its next sitting, pass a bill, and present the same to the Governour for indemnifying the Provincial Treasurer for the payment of the said moneys.