Pennsylvania Governor Hits Snags Raising War Funds From Quaker Assembly

William Markham was the acting governor of the Pennsylvania colony in , when the governor of New York (Benjamin Fletcher) requested assistance against the French who were battling English colonists and allied Indian nations there.

In , Fletcher had also requested assistance of Pennsylvania, and, in a nod to the Quakers who controlled the legislature there, had written:

[I]f there be any amongst you that scruple the giving of money to support war, there are a great many other charges in that government, for the support thereof, as officers salaries and other charges, that amount to a considerable sum: Your money shall be converted to these uses, and shall not be dipped in blood.

On , Markham conveyed Fletcher’s new request to the Pennsylvania legislature (excerpt):

…I have received the sd Gor ffletcher’s speech to the assembly of newyorke, dated … which I give you, that thereby you may see the pressures of that province, & the great occasion they Have of men & monie, & of food & rayment, to be given to those nations of Indians that Have Latelie suffered extreamlie by the French, which is a fair opportunitie for you (yt for Conscience cannot Contribute to warr) to raise monie for that occasion, be it undr the Colour of support of governmt, or of reliefe of those Indians, or what else you may call it.

The legislature held out in order to exact concessions from the Governor that gave more power to the legislature, but eventually approved the funds.