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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Proposal by William Penn to form a Congress in the North American colonies
Penn, William, 1644-1718
1697
Volume 01, Pages 473-474

[B. P. R. O. B. T. Plantations General. Vol. 4. P. 274.]
A BRIEFE AND PLAINE SCHEAM. (February 8th 1696-7.)
[From Wm. Penn.]

How the English Colonies in the North parts of America vizt Boston, Conetticut, Road Island, New York, New Jerseys, Pensilvania,

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Maryland, Virginia and Carolina may be made more usefull to the Crowne and one anothers peace and safety with an universall concurrence.

1st That the severall Collonies before menc̄oned, do meet once a year and oftner if need be, dureing the Warr, and at least once in two years in times of Peace, by their stated and appointed Deputies, to debate and resolve of such measures, as are most advisable for their better understanding and their publik Tranquility and Safety.

2dly That in order to it two persons well Qualified for Sence Sobriety and Substance, be appointed by each Province as their Representatives or Deputies, which in the whole make the Congresse to consist of Twenty persons.

3dly That the Kings Comr for that purpose specially appointed shall have the Chaire & preside in the said Congresse.

4thly That they shall meet as neere as conveniently may be, to the most centrale Colony for eaze of the Deputies.

5thly Since that may, in all probability be new Yorke, both because it is neere the Center of the Collonys, and for that it is a Frontier and in the Kings nomination, the Governor of that Colony may therefore also be the Kings high Comr during the Session, after the manner of Scotland.

6thly That their Business shall be to hear and adjust all matters of Complaint or difference between Province and Province, as 1st where persons quit their own Province and go to another, that they may avoid their just debts tho able to pay them 2dly where offenders fly justice, or justice cannot well be had upon such offenders in the Provinces that entertaine them, 3rdly to prevent or cure Injuries in point of commerce. 4thty To consider of wayes and meanes to support the union and safety of those Provinces against the publick Enemies, in the Congress the Quotas of Men and charges will be much easier and more equally sett, then it is possible for any Establishment made here to do, for the Provinces having their own Condition and one another, can debate that matter with more freedom and satisfac̄on, and better adjust and ballance their affaires in all respects for their common safety.

7thly That in times of Warr the Kings high Comr shall be Genll or Cheife Comander of those severall Quota's upon service against the Com̄on Enemy, as he shall be advised for the good and benefit of the whole.