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and twenty, principally inhabitants of Donegal and Peckstang or Paxton townships, in the county of York, assembled; and, mounted on horseback, proceeded to the settlement of these harmless and defenceless Indians, whose number had now been reduced to about twenty. The Indians received intelligence of the attack which was intended against them, but disbelieved it. Considering the white people as their friends, they apprehended no danger from them. When the party arrived at the Indian settlement, they found only some women and children, and a few old men, the rest being absent at work. They murdered all whom they found, and amongst others the chief Shaheas, who had been always distinguished for his friendship to the whites. This bloody deed excited much indignation in the well-disposed part of the community.
The remainder of these unfortunate Indians, who, by absence, bad escaped the massacre, were conducted to Lancaster, and lodged in the jail as a place of security. The Governor issued a Proclamation, expressing the strongest disapprobation of the act, offering a reward for the discovery of the perpetrators of the deed, and prohibiting all injuries to the peaceable Indians in future. But, notwithstanding this, a party of the same men shortly after marched to Lancaster, broke open the jail, and inhumanly butchered the innocent Indians who had been placed there for security. Another Proclamation was issued, but it had no effect. A detachment marched down to Philadelphia, for the express purpose of murdering some friendly Indians, who had been removed to the city for safety. A pumber of the citizens armed in their defence. The Quakers, whose principles are opposed to fighting even in their own defence, were most active upon this
occasion. The rioters came to Germantown. The Governor fled for safety to the house of Dr. Franklin, who, with some others, advanced to meet the Paxton boys, as they were called, and had influence enough to prevail upon them to relinquish their undertaking, and return to their homes.
The disputes between the Proprietaries and the Assembly, which, for a time had subsided, were again revived. The Proprietaries were dissatisfied with the concessions made in favor of the people, and made great struggles to recover the privilege of exempting their estates from taxation, which they had been induced to give up:
In 1763, the Assembly passed a militia bill, to which the Governor refused to give his assent, unless the Assembly would agree to certain amendments which he proposed. These consisted in increasing the fines; and, in some cases, substituting death for fines. He wished too, that the officers should be appointed altogether by himself, and not be noininated by the people, as the bill had proposed. These amendments the Assembly considered as inconsistent with the spirit of liberty. They would not adopt them; the Governor was obstinate, and the bill was lost.
These, and various other circumstances, increased the uneasines3 which subsisted between the Proprietaries and the Assembly, to such a degree that, in 1764 a petition to the king was agreed to by the house, praying an alteration from a proprietary to a regal government. Great opposition was made to this measure, not only in the house, but in the public prints. A speech of Mr. Dickenson, on the subject, was published, with a preface by Dr. Smith, in which great pains were taken to show the impropriety and
impolicy of this proceeding. A speech of Mr. Galloway, in reply to Mr. Dickenson, was published, accompanied with a preface by Dr. Franklin; in which he ably opposed the principles laid down in the preface to Mr. Dickenson's speech. This application to the throne produced no effect. The proprietary government was still continued.
At the election for a new Assembly, in the fall of 1764, the friends of the Proprietaries made great exertions to exclude those of the adverse party; and they obtained a small majority in the city of Philadelphia. Franklin now lost his seatin the house, which he had held for fourteen years. On the meeting of the Assembly, it apo peared that there was still a decided majority of Franklin's friends. He was immediately appoint ed provincial agent, to the great chagrin of his enemies, who made a solemn protest against his appointment; which was refused admission upon the minutes, as being unprecedented. It was, however, published in the papers, and produced a spirited reply from him, just before his depar ture for England.
The disturbances produced in America by Mr. Grenville's stamp act, and the opposition made to it, are well known. Under the Marquis of Rockingham's administration, it appeared expedient to endeavor to calm the minds of the colo. nists; and the repeal of the odious tax was contemplated. Amongst other means of collecting information on the disposition of the people to submit to it, Dr. Franklin was called to the bar of the House of Commons. The examination which he here underwent was published, and contains a striking proof of the extent and accuracy of his information, and the facility with which he communicated his sentiments. He represented
facts in so strong a point of view, that the inexpediency of the act must have appeared clear to every unprejudiced mind. The act, after some opposition, was repealed, about a year after it was enacted, and before it had ever been carried into execution.
In the year 1766, he made a visit to Holland and Germany, and received the greatest marks of attention from men of science. In his passage through Holland, he learned from the watermen the effect which a diminution of the quantity of water in canals bas, in impeding the progress of boats. Upon his return to England, he was led to make a number of experiments, all of which tended to confirm the observation. These, with an explanation of the phenomenon, he communicated in a letter to his friend, Sir John Pringle, which is among his philosophical pieces.
In the following year he travelled into France, where he met with a no less favorable reception than he had experienced in Germany. He was introduced to a number of literary characters, and to the King, Louis XV.
Several letters written by Hutchinson, Oliver, and others, to persons in eminent stations in Great Britain, came into the hands of Dr. Franklin. These contained the most violent in vectives against the leading characters of the state of Massachusetts, and strenuously advised the prosecution of vigorous measures, to compel the people to obedience to the measures of the ministry. These he transmitted to the legislature, by whom they were published. Attested copies of them were sent to Great Britain, with an address, praying the King to discharge from office persons who had rendered themselves sa obnoxious to the people, and who had shown
themselves so unfriendly to their interests. The publication of these letters produced a duel between Mr. Whately and Mr. Temple; each of whom was suspected of having been instrumental in procuring them. To prevent any further disputes on this subject, Dr. Franklin, in one of the public papers, declared that he had sent them to America, but would give no information concerning the manner in which he had obtained them; nor was this ever discovered.
Shortly after, the petition of the Massachusetts Assembly was taken up for examination, before the Privy Council. Dr. Franklin attended as agent for the Assembly; and here a torrent of the most violent and unwarranted abuse was poured upon him by the solicitor general, Wedderburne, who was engaged as counsel for Oliver and Hutchinson. The petition was declared to be scandalous and vexatious; and the prayer of it refused.
Although the parliament of Great Britain had repealed the stamp act, it was only upon the principle of expediency. They still insisted upon their right to tax the colonies; and, at the same time that the stamp act was repealed, an act was passed, declaring the right of parliament to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever. This lan. guage was used even by the most strenuous opposers of the stamp act: and, amongst others, by Mr. Pitt. This right was never recognized by the colonists; but, as they flattered themselves that it would not be exercised, they were not very active in remonstrating against it. Had this pretended right been suffered to remain dormant, the colonists would cheerfully have furnished their quota of supplies, in the mode to which they had been accustomed; that is, by acts of their own assemblies, in consequence of