William Hand Browne.

Archives of Maryland (Volume v.52) online

. (page 39 of 74)
Online LibraryWilliam Hand BrowneArchives of Maryland (Volume v.52) → online text (page 39 of 74)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


to receive it : They return and acquaint M."" Speaker that his Excel-
lency was pleased to signify he would receive the Address in an
Hour's Time in the Conference Chamber.

Ordered, That M."' Dulany, with Three more, do present the
Address to the Governor.

The House adjourns until the Morrow Morning at 8 of the Clock.



April 23 Friday Morning, 23*^ April, 1756.

The House met according to Adjournment, &c.
p. 241 The Bill entituled. An Act for granting a Supply of Forty Thou-
sand Pounds for his Majesty's Service, and Striking Thirty four
Thousand and fifteen Pounds Six shillings thereof in Bills of Credit



The Lotvcr House. 379

and raising a Fund for sinking the same was read the second Time, L.H.J,
and will pass ; and, with the following Message, viz. ApHl 23°

By the Lower House of Assembly, 23^ April, 1756.
May it please your Honours,

We are not less concerned than your Honours, that your Senti-
ments on a Bill of such Importance, as that sent up by us for his
Majesty's Service in general, and our Security in particular, should
be communicated to us in a Method not only disagreeable to us, but
such as must be disagreeable to this House as long as either estab-
lished Rules, or Reason, exists.

The Suspicion of your being capable of endeavouring to draw us
into Measures, contrary to the established Rules, and destructive to
the Rights and Privileges of our House, so naturally arising from
the Method of Proceeding proposed in your Message, tho' we would
willingly forget, we are afraid must appear to be too well grounded
to every judicious Reader.

We are extremely sorry to find your Honours, after saying you
have neither Leisure nor Inclination to enter into Controversies with
us, immediately proceeding to justify your own, and blame our Con-
duct, in the Dispute between us; a Behaviour which can tend to
nothing but to promote Controversy.

Our Determination not to give you any Answer to what Objec-
tions you mentioned against our Bill, did not proceed, as you are
pleased to say, from your Honours not having been so fortunate
as to make use of the Word all, but very justly from your having
been so unfortunate, or whatever you'll please to term it, as to make
use of the Word some.

If your Honours had at first, or afterwards, when we desired it,
said, as you did in, your last Message, that you had made what
Objections you had to our Bill, we should immediately have consid-
ered them, and we are persuaded should have found Means to have
obviated such as we thought unreasonable ; and we cannot see why
you might not as well have kept the Bill till you had known our
Result upon that Message, as to have sent it then down with a Nega-
tive: Nor do we apprehend, tho' you take it for granted, because
we had refused to answer your Objections, when you told us you
had taken Notice of and particularized only some of them, that those
Objections, not being removed, will justify your Conduct, when,
by sending down the Bill with your Negative, with the only Mes-
sage whereby we could understand you had no more Objections
to make to it, you precluded us from falling upon any regular
Method of Proceeding, which might have brought about the desired
Event as to that Bill. But as we are still earnestly desirous to relieve
the unhappy People on our Frontier from their Distresses, and to
prevent, if possible, the Desolation of that Part of our Country, as



380 Assembly Proceedings, Feb. 23-M'ay 22, 1756.

L. H.J. well as to demonstrate our Willingness to do every Thing in our

Liber^No.^48 Pq^pj. towards the Support of his Majesty's undoubted Rights on

this Continent, we herewith send your Honours another Bill, well

calculated for those important Purposes, which we doubt not will

meet with your ready Concurrence.

Signed per Order, M. Macnemara, CI. Lo. Ho.

Was sent to the Upper House by Philip Hammond, Esq; and
Nine more,
p. 242 On Motion, Ordered, That an Address be prepared to his Excel-
lency, in Answer to his Message of the 19th Instant, and that the
Committee of Laws do prepare and bring in the same.

The House adjourns until Two of the Clock Afternoon.

Post-Meridiem.

The House met according to Adjournment, &c.

M.'' Carroll, from the Committee of Laws, brings in and delivers
to M.*" Speaker an Address to the Governor; which was read, ap-
proved, and ordered to be ingrossed.

Col. Hammond, from the Upper House, delivers to M."" Speaker
a Bill entituled. An Act to prevent the Growth of Popery within
this Province : indorsed. By the LTpper House of Assembly, April 23'',
1756. Read the second Time and will pass.

Signed per Order, J. Ross, CI. Up. Ho.

Which Bill was read here the first Time, and ordered to lie on the
Table.

Major Hall, from the Committee of Laws, brings in and delivers
to Mr. Speaker the following ingrossed Address, viz.
To his Excellency Horatio Sharpe, Esq ; Governor and Commander
in Chief in and over the Province of Maryland.
The humble Address of the House of Delegates.
May it please your Excellency,

In Answer to your Message of the 19*"* Instant, we beg Leave to
acquaint your Excellency, that we are truly sensible of the deplor-
able Situation of the back Inhabitants, and desirous to do every
Thing in our Power for their Relief, and earnestly hope, that the
Bill, just prepared by us, and sent to the Upper House, will meet
with Concurrence, and sufficiently provide for repelling the daring
Attempts that may be expected from the Enemy. We shall imme-
diately proceed to take under our Consideration the Condition of
the late Inhabitants of Nova-Scotia sent into this Province, and
endeavour to fix on some Expedient for their Relief, and to prevent
their leaving the Counties into which they have been distributed,
and to punish such as may be discovered on the Frontier of the
Province.



The Lower House. 381

Which was read and assented to, and signed, by Order of the L.H.J.
House, by the Honourable Speaker. ^prj] 23

Ordered, That PhiHp Hammond, Esq; and Major Hall, do ac-
quaint his Excellency, That this House hath prepared an Address,
to be presented to him, and desires to know when and where he
will be pleased to receive it : They return and acquaint M.'' Speaker
that the Governor was pleased to signify he would receive the
Address immediately in the Conference Chamber.

Ordered, That Major Travers, with Three more, do present the
Address to the Governor.

The House adjourns until the Morrow Morning at 8 of the Clock.



Saturday Morning, 24* April, 1756. April 24

The House met according to Adjournment, &c.

The Bill entituled, An Act for Quieting the Diflferences that have p. 243
arisen, and may hereafter arise, between the Inhabitants of this
Province and the several Indian Nations, &c. was read the second
Time, and will pass ; and was sent to the Upper House by Capt.
Stoddert and Major Hynson.

Col. Tilghman, from the Committee of Laws, brings in and deliv-
ers to M."" Speaker a Bill entituled. An Act continuing an Act enti-
tuled. An Act directing the Manner of punishing Fornication and
Adultery before a single Justice of the Peace out of Court ; and a
Bill entituled, An Act continuing an Act entituled. An Act for the
speedy and effectual Publication of the Laws of this Province, and
for the Encouragement of Jonas Green, of the City of Annapolis,
Printer ; which Bills were severally read the first Time, and ordered
to lie on the Table.

His Excellency the Governor communicates to M.*" Speaker the
following Message, viz.
Gentlemen of the Lower House of Assembly,

I am sorry to find by your Address of the i6th, that the Answer
I returned to your last on this Subject, did not give you entire Sat-
isfaction, and to hear you still complaining of those Acts of Benevo-
lence and Lenity, which I little thought, at the Time they were done,
would be so much excepted against by your or your Constituents.
As the first or historical Part of your Address relates to Matters
that occurred long before I had the Honour to be known in this
Province, I hope it is not expected that I should particularly Answer
it, or be accountable for the Transactions of those Days ; but what
appears to be a more reasonable Talk, I desire not to be excused
from, and shall chearfully undertake to vindicate and justify, as well
as I am able, my own Conduct.



382 Assembly Proceedings, Feb. 22,-May 22, 1756.

L.H.J. To begin then with the Affair of the Criminal in St. Mary's
April 24 County, which, according to your minute Detail, was thus : He had,
by repeated Acts of Villainy, rendered himself so obnoxious to the
People among whom he lived, that when he fled from Justice, a
Contribution was made, and a Reward offered, by the Gentlemen of
the Neighbourhood for apprehending him : Upon his Conviction,
the Principal of these Gentlemen were in vain applied to, and desired
to sollicit his Pardon : Afterward the Criminal changed his Religion,
and then those, or some of those very Gentlemen, who had before
declined solliciting his Pardon, petitioned me to grant a Reprieve,
without acquainting me with the Circumstance of his being a Convert
to the Church of Rome, and that he was thereby become Guilty of
High-Treason ; which, it should seem, in your Opinion, clearly shews,
that the unhappy Wretch did, upon the Merit of becoming a Proselyte
to the Popish Religion, obtain the Reprieve the Benefit of which he
now enjoys ; and that therefore, I suppose, I ought to suspect the
Loyalty of those who recommended him for Mercy, tho' they had,
on all Occasions before, shewn the firmest Attachment to his Maj-
esty, and Zeal for the Protestant Religion.

That the Gentlemen you allude to should offer a Reward for
apprehending a Felon, whom they desired to have brought to Justice,
does not seem at all strange ; and perhaps you would have thought,
that, from their making Application afterwards in the same Person's
Favour, no Conclusion ought to be drawn to their Prejudice, if you
had recollected or heard, that in 1739 the Honourable the Speaker,
and most of the House of Delegates, waited on his Excellency the
late Governor, to sollicit and obtain a Pardon for a most notorious
Offender, then under Condemnation, for apprehending whom a very
large Reward had been offered and given by Virtue of an Act of
Assembly specially made for that Purpose : From the Circumstance,
then, abovementioned, I conceive, it cannot be fairly deduced; and
as you have not thought proper by other Arguments to prove, that
the Gentlemen who made Application to me in Favour of the Crimi-
nal in St. Mary's County, did, when they made such Application,
really know that he had changed his Religion, and on that Account
make it, I am afraid you have been a little too hasty in resolving
that the Motives you were pleased to suggest, and no other, did or
p. 244 could induce those Gentlemen to make such Application. I have had
an Opportunity of speaking to the worthy Person, whom you, I pre-
sume, distinguish by the Title of Lawyer and Judge, and am con-
vinced, that at the Time of signing the Petition he was a Stranger
to what you do not say, but would insinuate, he was acquainted
with : And tho' all the other Gentlemen may not have been ignorant
of that Matter, yet, I am satisfied, that it was not one of the Motives
that induced them to subscribe the Petition. I have already assured
you, and indeed you do me the Justice to believe, that I was not



The Lower House. 383

apprized of the Criminal's being a Roman Catholic, when I granted L.H.J,
him a Reprieve; but really if I had, I do not think I should have ApHl24°
ordered him to be executed purely on that Account : For, tho' my
own Principles, as well as Duty, will incline and oblige me to coun-
tenance and encourage, as much as lies in my Power, the Propaga-
tion of the Established Religion; yet, I cannot promise you, that
either in administring Justice I will distinguish one Sect from
another, or that when a Person appears, or may be represented to
me, as a proper Object of Mercy, it shall be my first Enquiry,
Whether he is of the same Sentiments in Religion as myself. What
has been already said, would, I am inclined to think, convince every
impartial Person, that you have not even yet elucidated the First of
the Three particular Facts, which were, according to your Account,
notorious Instances of the Prevalence and Power of a Popish Fac-
tion, and of Partiality shewn them. But, lest you should be dis-
pleased at my having hesitated to believe what you advanced in your
first Address on this Subject, till you should produce some extraor-
dinary Evidence in Support of the Facts, then barely asserted, I
shall communicate to you what I know for certain in Relation to this
Afifair, and am not without Hopes, that you yourselves will, on
perusing it, excuse my Incredulity : After Edward Caster, the Of-
fender mentioned so often, had been convicted of Felony, and there-
upon condemned, his Wife came to Annapolis, and in the most
pathetic Terms implored Mercy for her Husband, and intreated me
to pity herself and Family, who, by the Execution of the Sentence
pronounced against him, would be reduced to the utmost Distress
and Misery. I must acknowledge I could not see and hear the
wretched Woman without some Emotion ; and, tho' it should be
deemed a Fault, I will not deny that I told her, if she could get the
Judges, who condemned her Husband, to make any Representation
in his Favour, I should, perhaps, be prevailed on to extend my Mercy
towards him : Upon this, the poor affectionate Wife hastened to
throw herself at the Feet of the Gentlemen, by whose Intercession
alone she found her Husband could be saved ; and, addressing her-
self to them severally, as she had done to me, at length prevailed
with them to shew that they were not insensible or destitute of
Humanity, and to take such a Step as tended to alleviate her Afflic-
tions, and expose themselves (as it has proved) to the Censure of
some who were pleased to take Offence thereat. As M."" Key seems
to be more particularly hinted at in your Address than the other
Gentlemen, I must do him the Justice to observe to you, that he was
the last that signed the Petition, and moreover, wrote to me, desiring
the Criminal might receive no Benefit therefrom, unless he should
immediately depart the Province, and never return again; which
Condition, I presume, was accordingly complied with.



384 Assembly Proceedings, Feb. 23-May 22, 1756.

L. H.J. In Answer to your Remark on the second Fact, adduced to shew
' ^A^priiaA *^^ Prevalence of a Popish Faction, I shall repeat what I before
told you, that those who interested themselves in the young Fellow's
Favour, were most of them Protestant-Gentlemen of the Neigh-
bourhood, which, I have heard, has been confirmed to you by a Mem-
ber of your own House: The Delinquent was a Youth; the Son
of a Gentleman who had been universally esteemed : 'twas said to
be his first Fault; whether he was made a useful Evidence against
Crawford, I never enquired, nor shall concern myself about it :
Let it suffice, that I was informed he could be an Evidence; and,
tho' the Youth might have imposed on his Friends, by telling them
p. 24s that he had been privy to a Roguery of that Villain's, when he had
not, or might, on the Trial, have pretended Ignorance to skreen
him, I do not conceive that either myself, or the Gentlemen who
applied to me in his Behalf, are accountable for such his Behaviour.

I must also beg Leave to repeat what I before observed on the
Case of that Woman, who is produced as the third Instance of Par-
tiality shewn to Persons of a different Persuasion from my own,
since my Administration: She was married to a very loose and
extravagant Man ; her Husband had been brought up by, and de-
pended upon, an Uncle; the Wife went with a forged Letter of
Credit, signed with the Name of the Uncle, to M.'' Roundell's Store,
and in Virtue of that Deceit, obtained Credit for some Goods. This
she did, as there was Reason to suppose, with the Privity or by the
Compulsion of a necessitous and base Husband : So, had the Prose-
cution been carried on, the simple Wife might possibly have been
punished, while the more guilty Husband escaped with Impunity
I have been since informed, that, if the Woman had been brought
to her Trial, she must, in all Probability, have been acquitted. But,
whatever might have been the Event of a Trial, I do not apprehend
that in granting a Noli Prosequi, I exercised any Power against
the true Spirit of a British Constitution; and I flatter myself you
will not widely differ from me in that Opinion, if you cooly consider
the Case, and not take into such Consideration the Woman's Relig-
ion. I have already told you, that when Application was made to me
in her Favour, I was a Stranger to her Religious Principles ; and I
have been assured by the Gentlemen who spoke to me about her, that
they were also unacquainted therewith. M."' Roundell, I observe, has
suppressed some Truths ; and, on some Account or other, has not,
by his Deposition, infonned you of the whole Part that he acted, or
how far he was concerned, in having a Stop put to the Prosecution :
To supply such Defect in his, I send you another Deposition; from
which, and a Letter in M.'' Ridout's Hands, which he will shew any
Gentlemen that will ask him, may be seen what Grounds I had for
what was heretofore said concerning M.'' Roundell.



The Lower House. 385

I thank you for candidly informing me, what some People expect L. H. J.
and desire with regard to M/ Henry Darnall, and his Brother, who Aprill 24
were both promoted to Places of Trust and Profit within this Gov-
ernment by my Predecessors : Had you also shewn, that they have
not duly and impartially executed such Offices, I should, indeed, have
thought that your Expectations were not in the least unreasonable.

I am told, that since M/ Darnall's Son, who went to a foreign
University for Education, has finished his Studies and returned to
his Father, he has taken the Oaths, and by his Professions, and
Attendance on Divine Service at the Parochial Church, gives all
possible Proof of his being a sound Protestant. However, for my
own Part, I think none of our Youth should be sent or suffered to
go to Foreign Popish Seminaries ; and I promise you, that whenever
you shall think proper to prepare a Bill to prevent it, I shall readily
give my Consent to its being Enacted into a Law. As to M.' Dar-
nall's Brother, I cannot learn that he has sent any of his Family
Abroad to be Educated in Principles that he himself disavows, and
am given to understand that he suffers no Triest to come to his
House: I will also, if such a Caution be necessary, recommend it to
him to be particularly careful to keep his Children from any Com-
pany, whose Conversation might possibly instill Notions into their
Minds, that he, as a Protestant, must condemn : And as I do not,
upon Enquiry, find, that he is at all disagreeable, or has rendered
himself obnoxious, to that Part of the People among whom the
Office he holds obliges him to reside, or that any Body could rec-
ommend a Person better qualified to discharge the Duty of that
Office, or who would do it with greater Integrity and Impartiality,
I have not fixed on any Gentleman whom I would appoint his
Successor.

Now I have gone through that Part of your Address, which p. 246
seemed more particularly to concern myself, and which, for that
Reason, I have taken more particular TvFotice of ; permit me to make
a few Observations on the other and less interesting Parts also : The
Prorogation of the Assembly so soon after I returned an Answer to
your first Address on this Subject, you will be pleased to remember
was at your own Request ; and tho' it precluded you from the Possi-
bility of making a Reply that Session, yet it afforded you an Oppor-
tunity, and gave you Time, to examine thoroughly into the several
Facts mentioned as well in your Address as in my Answer, and
might have prevented your insisting a second Time on any Matters,
of the Truth of which you were not absolutely certain.

I cannot pass over that Period where you tell me. That tho' you
had been mistaken as to some inconsiderable Circumstances, you
think there would have been no Room to Triumph, without intimat-
ing to you, that, if that Sentence be addressed to me, it might have
been spared ; for I can assure you, that tho' you should be mistaken



386 Assembly Proceedings, Feb. 23-May 22, T756.

L. H. J. even in material or considerable Circumstances, I will not Triumph ;
April 24 That I neither have done nor desire to do over any but our King's
or Country's Enemies and I persuade myself you will never come
under that Denomination.

I now proceed to make a Remark or two on the explicit and exten-
sive Disquisition, by you entered upon, to shew that the Evil you
complained of is very inveterate, and hath long called for Redress.

It will not be disputed, that from the first Settlement of the Prov-
ince down to the Revolution, Offices of Profit and Trust were some
Times conferred on Persons of the Romish Faith, and some Times
on Gentlemen of a dififerent Persuasion ; and I also agree with you,
that, considering the Times, and the general Toleration here in those
Days allowed, it is not greatly to be wondered at. However, it will,
on Enquiry, be found, that whether the Administration of Public
Affairs was in the Hands of Protestants or Papists, or both indif-
ferently, when their Country was in Danger from an Invasion,
Europeans or Savages, they exerted themselves unanimously in op-
posing the common Enemy, and as none thought himself, in those
instant Days of the Colony, more remote than another from Danger,
they generously hastened to each other's Assistance; and they, who
did not expose their Persons, never refused or scrupled to make such
Satisfaction and Allowance to those who did, and who, in Obedience
to the Laws, and their superior Officers Commands, were obliged to
do so, as was reasonable and adequate to their respective Services.
But, during this Period, the Priests were permitted to accept or pur-
chase Landed Estates, which they were allowed to hold after the
Revolution, when the Government of this Province was immediately
in the Crown, and were not compelled to relinquish or resign even
when his late Majesty was pleased to restore it to the present Lord
Proprietary's Honourable Father, the late Lord Baltimore: Who
was to blame, and how it happened, that these People have, at Times,
been suffered to enlarge their Possessions by Purchase or Donation,
the Journals of the Assembly-Proceedings, at such Times, will
inform you : At this Season, I hope no Branch of the Legislature
would be averse to taking proper Measures to prevent it. In 171 6,
you say, many Gentlemen were so strongly persuaded, that the Pap-
ists were then taking Steps to prejudice the Protestant Government
and Religion in Maryland, that they raised a Sum of Money by Sub-
scription to encourage Col. Blackiston to counteract and frustrate
such their Designs; which, I conclude. Col. Blackiston effectually
did, as I find the Assembly, in an Act that was passed soon after,
expressed their Sentiments in these Words : This present General
Assembly are fully sensible how deeply they are engaged to his Lord-
ship the Right Honourable the Proprietary, for his so generous and
ready Compliance with the most important of our late humble
Requests, in committing the Care of all his Public and Private



The Lower House. 387

Affairs, within this Province, entirely into the Hands of well-affected L. H. J.
Protestants, to the Disappointment of others, and much to the Peace j^^\\2±'
and Satisfaction of his Majesty's most affectionate Subjects: From p. 247
which free and public Declaration, I think, it might be presumed, that
the Subscribers before spoken of, and other the good and loyal People
of the Province, were, at this Time, satisfied, that a Remedy was
applied to the Evil, which, you say, was inveterate ; and I apprehend,
that the Gentlemen, who, in such a Manner, expressed their Gratitude
for the Steps his Lordship had taken to remove their Uneasiness,
saw no longer any Evil, nor felt any Grievance that loudly called
for Redress. Before we proceed to remark on what occurred in 1746,
it might not perhaps be improper to premise, that for several Years,
preceding that Time, the Roman Catholics had been Favourites of
and caressed by the Gentlemen of the Lower House of Assembly,
who, in a Message to be seen among their Proceedings, declared to
another Branch of the Legislature, They were well assured, that the



Online LibraryWilliam Hand BrowneArchives of Maryland (Volume v.52) → online text (page 39 of 74)