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DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, TO WIT:
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the Twentieth day of February, in the Thirty Third year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1809, WILLIAM DUANE of the said district, hath deposited in this office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit: "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, in Philosophy, "Politics, and Morals: containing, beside all the Writings published " in former Collections, his Diplomatic Correspondence, as minister of "the United States, at the Court of Versailles; a variety of Literary "Articles, and Epistolary Correspondence, never before published: "with Memoirs and Anecdotes of his Life."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned." And also to the Act, entitled "an Act supplementary to an Act, entitled, an Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints." D. CALDWELL,
Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania,
NOTES BY THE EDITOR.
THIS volume contains an interesting review of the political and civil history of Pennsylvania, during a period of much interest to America in general, and of transactions which had much influence on subsequent events of a more comprehensive character and greater magnitude. The heirs of William Penn as proprietaries, had not preserved the entire confidence of the people; the governors sent hither by them from time to time, appear to have aggravated the ill will which arose on the false economy of the government. After several years struggle, between the proprietary and the popular interests, it was determined by the representative assembly, in 1757, to apply to the king of Great Britain in council for relief; and a committee being appointed, a report was drawn up of their grievances, which is the first paper in the present volume.
Dr. Franklin was appointed the agent of Pennsylvania, and directed to present their complaint; for which purpose he departed for England in June of the same year. He began his mission in England by endeavoring to effect an amicable compromise with the proprietaries, in which he did not succeed. The business was then carried before the privy council. The public prints abounded with misrepresentations of the colonists; and two pamphlets on the same subject were published. Meanwhile Dr. Franklin published an anonymous book, entitled An Historical Review of Pennsylvania, which forms the second article in this volume.
This Review attracted much attention, and made a very deep impression in favor of the Pennsylvanians, against whom many prejudices had been previously excited. Much asperity followed against its author, who, thoug he did not absolutely disavow it, thought it preferable to enjoy the secret satisfaction arising from its beneficial effects, than to claim the literary honor that might attach to it. A writer who was a cotemporary, speaking of this Review, says Pennsylvania had in our author a most zealous and able advocate. His sentiments are manly, liberal, and spirited. His style close, nervous, and rhetorical. By a forcible display of the oppressions of his clients, he inclines the reader to pity their condition; and by an enumeration of their virtues he endeavors to remove the idea, which many entertained of their unimportance, and that abstracted from their consideration in a political light, they claim our regard by reason of their own personal merits.
Attempts have been made to deny the venerable patriot the merit of this like others of his more important works, because it was not claimed nor avowed; but it was enough that its object was accomplished; and it was not requisite to court that persecution which no men are so apt to resort to, as those who are defeated in their injustice, against men by whom their evil designs are frustrated.
COMMITTEE OF GRIEVANCES
ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA.
FEB. 22, 1757.
IN obedience to the order of the house, we have drawn up the heads of the most important aggrievances that occur to us, which the people of this province with great difficulty labour under; the many infractions of the constitution (in manifest violation of the royal grant, the proprietary charter, the laws of this province, and of the laws, usages, and customs of our mother-country) and other matters; which we apprehend call aloud for redress.
They are as follow:
First, By the royal charter (which has ever been, ought to be, and truly is, the principal and invariable fundamental of this constitution) king Charles the second did give and grant unto William Penn, his heirs and assigns, the province of Pennsylvania; and also to him and his heirs, and his or their deputies or lieutenants, free, full, and absolute power, for the good and happy government thereof, to make and enact any laws, according to their best discretion; by and with the advice, assent, and approbation of the freemen of