Perhaps the most telling is to be found in the exchange that took place between John Dickinson and Charles Thomson on the one hand and Galloway on the other, early in 1775. It is often illustrated with Franklin's famous snake cartoon. The high-roads through the whole extent, are for the most part very good, in which forty or fifty miles a day may very well be and frequently are travelled. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962, pp. And as Canada is chiefly supported by that trade, if it could be drawn into the hands of the English, as it might be if the Indians were supplied on moderate terms, and by honest traders appointed by and acting for the public that alone would contribute greatly to the weakening of our enemies.
The President General, besides one half of the legislative power, hath in his hands the whole executive power. However, the colonial governments' own fears of losing power, territory, and commerce at one another's expense, and at the expense of the British Parliament, ensured the Albany Plan's failure. The delegates passed the plan unanimously. That the Commissioners from the several Governments be desired to lay the same before their respective constituents for their consideration, and that the Secretary to this Board transmit a copy thereof with their vote thereon to the Governor of each of the Colonies which have not sent their Commissioners to this Congress. Again, the final plan was more specific in the matter of the representation to be allowed each colony in the Grand Council, at least at the start. .
The Crown worried that the Plan would create a powerful colonial bloc that might prove difficult to control, while the colonists themselves did not yet recognize the value of intercolonial unity. Stevenson and Polly formed a surrogate family. The New England and northern tier colonies had long been subject to raiding from Canada during times of conflict. The making of laws suitable for the new colonies, it was thought would be properly vested in the President General and grand council; under whose protection they will at first necessarily be, and who would be well acquainted with their circumstances, as having settled them. Where particular colonies have selfish views, as New York with regard to Indian trade and lands; or are less exposed, being covered by others, as New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland; or have particular whims and prejudices against warlike measures in general, as Pensylvania, where the Quakers predominate; such colonies would have more weight in a partial union, and be better able to oppose and obstruct the measures necessary for the general good, than where they are swallowed up in the general union. Benjamin Franklin said in 1789: encouraging support for the Congress On Reflection it now seems probable, that if the foregoing Plan or some thing like it, had been adopted and carried into Execution, the subsequent Separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country might not so soon have happened, nor the Mischiefs suffered on both sides have occurred, perhaps during another Century.
This was reported to Galloway in a February 25, 1775, letter from Benjamin Franklin, who had also received a copy of the plan from Galloway. Assent of President General and his Duty. Those statements closest in time to the meeting of the Congress come from Franklin. It proposed a president general presiding over a grand council made up of delegates from the various colonies. The Albany Plan was the first proposed unification of the colonies for the purposes of defense.
When they are become sufficiently populous, they may by the crown, be formed into compleat and distinct governments. Representatives met daily at the in , from June 18 to July 11, 1754, to discuss better relations with the tribes and common defensive measures against the threat from Canada in the opening stage of the , the North American front of the between Great Britain and France. The goal of the congress was to establish a system of defense and negotiate relations with Native American allies, like the Iroquois. The North Carolina Assembly alone gave help; it voted £12,000 and proposed to raise 750 men. They have frequently interfered, and occasioned uncertainty of titles, many disputes and expensive law-suits, and hindered the settlement of the land so disputed. Ideally, the British Crown hoped the Albany Congress would result in a treaty between the colonial governments and the Iroquois clearly spelling out a policy of colonial-Indian cooperation. For the Colonies, if so united, would have really been, as they then thought themselves, sufficient to their own Defence, and being trusted with it, as by the Plan, an Army from Britain, for that purpose would have been unnecessary: The Pretences for framing the Stamp-Act would then not have existed, nor the other Projects for drawing a Revenue from America to Britain by Acts of Parliament, which were the Cause of the Breach, and attended with such terrible Expence of Blood and Treasure: so that the different Parts of the Empire might still have remained in Peace and Union.
These would be prevented by public fair purchases. That they make all purchases from Indians, for the crown, of lands not now within the bounds of particular Colonies, or that shall not be within their bounds when some of them are reduced to more convenient dimensions. The Trumbull Long Plan a more finished paper gives the passage in full with the same unimportant changes. The latter is especially the case if the emendations in the Trumbull documents are taken into account. This view has been sharply challenged, especially by Professor Verner W. This put it in the tight spot but Congress was in favour of the plan. In others, however, the priority of the Albany Plan seems probable, and in a few almost conclusive.
In the time of war, small vessels of force are sometimes necessary in the colonies to scour the coast of small privateers. Had the Albany Plan been adopted, the two branches of government, the Grand Council and the president General, would have worked as a unified government charged with dealing with disputes and agreements between the colonies, as well as regulating colonial relations and treaties with the Indian tribes. That they may a General Treasurer and a Particular Treasurer in each Government, when Necessary, And from Time to Time may Order the Sums in the Treasuries of each Government, into the General Treasury, or draw on them for Special payments as they find most Convenient; Yet no money to Issue, but by joint Orders of the President General and Grand Council Except where Sums have been Appropriated to particular Purposes, And the President General is previously impowered By an Act to draw for such Sums. The power of making peace or war with Indian nations is at present supposed to be in every colony, and is expressly granted to some by charter, so that no new power is hereby intended to be granted to the colonies. Particular colonies are so interested in the trade as not to be willing to admit such a regulation as might be best for the whole; and therefore it was thought best under a general direction.
As Gipson has forcefully and justly pointed out, the two plans contain several features which would be objectionable to the political leaders of Connecticut and for that reason Connecticut authorship seems questionable. For their part, the British government was wary of allowing the colonies to consolidate any further power and wanted them to focus on raising troops and fortifications for the Seven Years War. Death of the President General. Proportion of Members after the first three Years. The journey from Charles Town to Philadelphia may likewise be facilitated by boats running up Chesapeak Bay three hundred miles. Its framers saw it instead as a means to reform colonial-imperial relations, while recognizing that the colonies collectively shared certain common interests. They proposed that colonial governors, along with some members of their respective councils, order the raising of troops and building of forts, to be funded by the Treasury of Great Britain.
The plan also allowed the new government to levy taxes for its own support. While his Albany Plan of Union had not proposed separation from Britain, Benjamin Franklin had accounted for many of the challenges the new American government would face after independence. A particular colony has scarce strength enough to extend itself by new settlements, at so great a distance from the old: but the joint force of the union might suddenly establish a new colony or two in those parts, or extend an old colony to particular passes, greatly to the security of our present frontiers, increase of trade and people, breaking off the French communication between Canada and Louisiana, and speedy settlement of the intermediate lands. But if the whole journey be performed on horseback, the most distant members, viz. Probably Connecticut was one, and perhaps Virginia another. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Albany Congress began on June 19, and the commissioners voted unanimously to discuss the possibility of union on June 24. That the Grand Council have power to choose their speaker; and shall neither be dissolved, prorogued, nor continued sitting longer than six weeks at one time; without their own consent or the special command of the crown. Little evidence survives to explain the circumstances which led to rejection of the motion to reconsider his plan on October 22. And since they are in many details so contrary to what Franklin advocated, it is certain that he could have had nothing to do with their composition; hence their texts are not included in this edition of his papers. Its framers saw it instead as a means to reform colonial-imperial relations, while recognizing that the colonies collectively shared certain common interests. It was also thought, that by the frequent meetings-together of commissioners or representatives from all the colonies, the circumstances of the whole would be better known, and the good of the whole better provided for; and that the colonies would by this connection learn to consider themselves, not as so many independent states, but as members of the same body; and thence be more ready to afford assistance and support to each other, and to make diversions in favour even of the most distant, and to join cordially in any expedition for the benefit of all against the common enemy.