you must name the goods, the places, and prices; and whether these places will take in exchange our lumber, our naval stores, our tobacco, flaxseed, &c., &c., and what prices they will give; what credit it is customary for those several places to allow to foreigners on what we commonly call dry goodsfor our country people generally requiring credit, the merchant-importer must have credit too, otherwise trade will be confined to a few rich houses, who will exact what prices they please upon the farmer and consumer. Next, you must show that the charge of supporting Government will be less, in a state of independence, than it hath been heretofore, during a connection; you must name the expenses we now pay, and the expenses we shall then pay; you must give an estimate of the charge of supporting such an Army and Navy in time of peace, as may always preserve the peace. There are many who will not be satisfied with your telling them that a well-regulated Militia will save all the expense arising on the score of an Army; say they, a mans time and labour, when he musters, will always be the same to him as money paid, and that, therefore, you must fix the number of men that are to be enrolled every year, and the number of times they shall appear; for instance, if in Pennsylvania twenty-five thousand should muster eight times in the year, at two shillings and six pence per day, it would amount to twenty-five thousand pounds, which would be just equal to the present one shilling and six pence tax on all the estates in the Province; if they are to receive no pay, it will nevertheless be a loss to them equal to that sum; if they are to be paid, the amount of this tax should certainly be estimated, because it must be paid by the community at large in every Province, in proportion to the numbers so enrolled as a Militia. The expense of building a sufficient fleet should also be ascertained, and also the number of ships and men necessary to be kept in constant pay, as guarda costas, occasional convoys or despatch vessels, conveying Ambassadors to the different ports in Europe; and you must also estimate the annual expense of watching and keeping those vessels in repair which are laid up. Also, the expenses of maintaining in every Court of Europe Ambassadors, Consuls, Messengers, Spies, and even bribe-money, for intelligence of the designs of their respective Cabinets. Also, the expenses of the Fleet and Army in time of war; for we may reasonably expect to share the fate of other nations, and of being sometimes unfortunately engaged in war with some troublesome ambitious Prince or other. Perhaps they may undertake to stop our trade up the Straits, in the Mediterranean, or up the North Seas, to Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia: we must then either give it up, or fight for it, or pay some subsidy to a foreign power for protection in those seasthe expenses in any, or all of these cases, you should give to us. Also, in what proportion the value of our estates in America will increase, so as to defray the necessary charges of Government, taking for granted that a one shilling and six pence tax in the pound on all taxable estates in America does now yield five hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-three dollarsbeing rather more than half a million; which is calculated thus: Pennsylvania is rated by the Congress to pay about one-eighth of all the expenses of the United Colonies; and as a tax of one shilling and six pence in the pound in the said Province, netts about twenty-five thousand pounds, we may suppose a one shilling and six pence tax upon the United Colonies will yield just eight times as much; which is two hundred thousand pounds, our currency, or five hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-three dollars per annum. Lastly, you are to consider, after all things are candidly stated, whether the sums annually raised on the one hand to protect ourselves, and the absolute gain in trade (over and above what we used to make) on the other hand, do or do not render it most for our interest to separate from Britain.
On the part of those who contend for a reunion, they must show what are the advantages that result from such a connection; what were the customary expenses of Government in America before the present rupture; what are the exclusive privileges we derive from exporting goods to Great Britain; whether there are acts of Parliament in favour of the Colonies, to the prejudice of other nations, and which we reap the sole advantage of, and whether these are equivalent to any loss we may sustain by having our trade confined to them; whether our trade is not limited to our great disadvantage. You are to particularize the ports we may trade to under the old regulations, and the different articles of America which we may carry directly to foreign ports. You must also show that the principle part of the goods we import from England and Ireland could not be supplied us upon as good terms from any other country; and that those nations with whom we might incline to trade, would not grant us bounties upon naval stores and sundry other articles, in the same manner as England does; the amount of which, annually paid to the Colonies, you should sum up. You must also show cause, if you can, why America ought not to take credit to herself for all the taxes paid by the English manufacturers before they send their goods to the Colonies, it being generally granted that the consumer ultimately pays all charges. You must also show whether taxes on goods imported into America from Holland, France, or Spain, where imposts are very heavy, are or are not added to the cost of the said goods, in the same manner as we reckon them on English goods. Also, whether the long established credit our American merchants have obtained in England, in the interior part of the kingdom, with the original manufacturers, cannot be as well accomplished in the new countries we may go to; or whether we must take their goods from merchants at the several out-ports, with all the middle mens or intervening dealers profit added to them. And if we should obtain credit at such places for twelve months, as in England, what will be the advance which a Frenchman, a Dutchman, or a Spaniard, will choose to put on his goods, as an equivalent for the risk which he will suppose himself to run by trusting strangers. Whether it is not a generally established custom with all trading nations to trust foreigners, with whom they have no legal or political constitutional connection, as freely as their own subjects in distant parts of the world. If this is not generally the case, you should show why America cannot make treaties with such powers in order to obtain credit, either by pledging to them the estates of the community at large, to make good deficiencies that might happen by individuals failing or neglecting to pay such foreign debts, or by such other means as the American States might think fit to offer. You should also show whether the low price of goods for many years past, was owing to the smallness of the demand, or to the great quantity brought to market, or to the reasonableness and moderation of the importing merchants; and whether if France, Spain, and Holland, should refuse to give credit to every young merchant going out for a cargo, with a tolerable recommendation, as the traders in England have been accustomed to doI say, if this should be the case, and the importations should fall wholly into the hands of a few rich merchants, why might not some mode of restriction be entered into for preventing the exorbitant exactions they might be guilty of, to the great injury of the consumers. You must also convince the farmer, if he bought his goods as low as formerly, occasioned by a reunion with Great Britain, that he would also have the same advantages of shipping off his produce, which he has been used to, without any restriction being laid on our trade that might lower the price when he brought his crops to market. You must also point out what advantage it would be to England to have tobacco once more exported to them; and whether this, among other considerations, would be any inducement for them to offer us better terms. Some might possibly think that, nationally speaking, the being deprived of an expensive luxury would be rather a gain than a loss; for though the tax on this article may be rated at four hundred thousand pounds per annum, yet it is wholly paid by themselves, as well as the nett cost of the tobacco. The publick funds would, indeed, be losers, but the people would be gainers in a sum just equal to the nett amount paid to the American planter; therefore you must show other reasons why England would give up any points for the sake of reconciliation. And before this point is settled, you must convince us that the people of England are not gainers by our withholding trade to the West-Indies; for as the large quantities of rum and sugar, which we formerly imported from the Islands, will now be sent to England, the price to the consumer there will be considerably abated; of course the quantity used by the lower class of people will be increased; and as those