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much disapproved of by Governor Morris and his friends when they found our successors were such as did not an. swer their purposes.
. . . Having mentioned thus far to public affairs, I may add something further with regard to our last election. Many Friends were under some anxiety to know the con. tents of the embassy from the Meeting for Sufferings in London, that we might be able to conduct in such a man. ner as should be consistant with the reputation of Truth, and the sentiments of our Friends on your side, the latter of which could be learned only from the intelligence re. ceived in private letters which it was not thought pru. dent at that time to make too generally known from divers considerations and particularly lest there should be any variation in what the Friends whom we expected might bring, and therefore such Friends who had most regard to the preserving our testimony inviolate, thought it best to decline interesting themselves in the election any further than to prevent a majority of those professing with us being returned as Representatives in the Assembly, and would have preferred that not one under the name should be chosen, and for this reason declined vot. ing themselves, and many others influenced by their example acted in like manner; but notwithstanding this there were too many under our name active in the election, whom no arguments could prevail with to desist, and by this means, and the apprehensions of others of the inhabitants of the ill consequence of being inactive, there are in this county of eight members of the House, two called Quakers, and one that was owned last year, and another who comes to meeting, but not joined in member. ship. In the other counties several Friends were left out. However upon the whole of the 36 members who make up the House, there were 12 under the name of Quakers, and our adversaries reckoned them 16. J. H. and C. W. (John Hunt and Christopher Wilson) arrived 5 days after the election and on their communicating to the Committee appointed by the Yearly Meeting to constitute a Meeting for Sufferings, it was agreed to be most proper that these
friends should have an opportunity of conferring with all of the members chosen in the late election who went under our name, before they took their seats in the House, and intelligence was accordingly sent to them, and most of them came and much pains taken to convince them of the expediency of their declining to take their seats, to which some of them readily assented; the first was old Peter Dicks and Maylon Kirkbride who, and two othera onc from Bucks, and another from Chester were all that could be prevailed with to shake off their rags of imagin. ary honor. . . . The House has been sitting most of the time since the election, and have as yet done little business; they have had under their consideration a militia law, which hath been long in the hands of a committee, and is likely to take up a great deal more of their time; also a bill for raising £100,000 by a land tax of the same kind as your's in England; if these pass it is likely Friends will be subjected to great inconvenience. As the former now stands, as I am told, the great patriot Franklin, who hath the principal direction of forming the bills, hath discovered very little regard to tender consciences, which perhaps may partly arise from the observations he must have made since he hath been in that House of the inconsistent conduct of many of our Friends. That it seems to me he hath almost persuaded himself there are few if any that are in earnest relating to their religious princi. ples, and that he seems exceedingly studious of propagating a martial spirit all he can."
nominal members of the Society who retained their seats were too fow to commit their Church to any policy, and most of them had their actions practically disowned by the ecclesiastical au
ducted with a rcal regard to our true interest, and so per. fectly consistent with our sentiments that they were encouraged and assisted by those members of this meeting in doing everything in their power to render the service proposed effectual, in order to which those of our Society who were chosen representatives in the several counties were requested to give them (John Hunt and Christopher Wilson) a hearing before the usual time of meeting in the Assembly, which was readily complied with by all whom there was at that time any prospect of prevailing with to regard the advice and concern of their brethren, and in con. sequence of it four of them declined taking their seats in the house, and others not of our profession were soon after chosen in their stead, so that there are now but twelve of the members of the Assembly who make any pretensions of being called by our name, and several of these are not acknowledged by us as members of the Society. . . . As six of the friends chosen into the Assembly last year had resigned their seats, and some others since refused to be re-elected those who now remain say they should not think themselves excusable to their constituents if they should decline the service, but we think it may be truly said, they were most of them so clear of intermeddling in the elections and so many friends declined attending or voting in several of the counties, that they appear to be chosen by a majority of people not of our profession many of whom are very apprehensive of the danger from permitting those who have been endeavouring to subvert the constitution to have any considerable share in the legislature.”—From Philadelphia Meeting for Sufferings to Lwoo don Meeting for Sufferings, Twelfth month, 1756.
The ten Assemblymen who resigned, as also those who refused re-election, were succeeded by members of other denominations. The twelve
• " The Friend," Vol. XLVI., page 162.
+ "The manner in which you had proceeded in the consideration of our affairs, and the engagements you had entered into on behalf of Friends here, appeared to be con