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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1757-1758
Volume 55, Preface 15   View pdf image (33K)
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Introduction. xv

The Lower House on April 16 then appointed a committee to draw up a bill
for raising and supporting a force of not more than 500 men for use on the
frontier (p. 61); the terms of this bill are discussed elsewhere (pp. xxiii-xxv).
A committee was appointed on April 8 to act with a committee from the Upper
House to examine the accounts of the commissioners or trustees of the Paper
Currency Office, or the Office for Emitting Bills of Credit, as it was called
by the Upper House (pp. 19, 49, 50). It was also more familiarly known as
the Loan Office. Another committee was directed to bring before the Lower
House a copy of the proceedings of the commissioners which had met in Octo-
ber 1756 to lay the public levy (p. 53).

The Lower House then proceeded to bring forward for discussion various
questions which at previous sessions had been the subjects of disagreement
between the two houses. In an address dated April 14, it called the Governor
to account for not entering suit against the naval officers at ports of entry
who had allowed servants having seven years or more to serve, and who were
in fact transported convicts, to land before paying the import duties imposed
by the Maryland law of 1754 (p. 56). This dispute as to the legality of a tax
on convicts is gone into in detail later so need not be discussed here (pp. xlv-
xlvii). The Supply bill for his Majesty's service was introduced on April 18
and was promptly passed without amendment, and sent to the Upper House on
April 20 (pp 62, 64). Elsewhere it will be told how it was amended in the
upper chamber, and the sharp differences of opinion which then developed
between the two houses as to the methods of taxation to be employed to raise
the necessary funds, and as to the restrictions which the Lower House sought
to impose upon the Governor in the handling of these funds and in the disposb
tion of the troops. Two other questions which had occupied the attention of
the Assembly at previous sessions, and were to be subjects of acrimonious
dispute at future meetings, cropped up at this session. These were the measures
directed against the Roman Catholics by the Lower House (pp. 79-87) and
the vindictive attitude of this house towards John Rawlings, a former jus-
tice of Frederick County. The Catholic question is separately discussed at
length elsewhere in this introduction (pp. xli-xlii). The reader is referred to a
previous volume of the Archives for a summary of the Rawlings affair
(lii, pp. xiv-xv). Charges of high handed methods in the administration
of his office had been brought against Rawlings in the Lower House in 1755,
and he had been summoned before its bar. The Governor, who had investi-
gated these charges and found them unjustified, had pointedly reminded the
house that he, and not the legislative branch of the government, was respon-
sible for the courts and the conduct of the judges, and it was not the business
of the house to meddle in such matters. A renewed attempt on the part of the
house at this session to revive the old controversy, notwithstanding the fact
that Rawlings had died some time since, brought a sharp rejoinder from the
Governor in which he advised the house to attend to the important business
before it, and accused it of having omitted in the record of the proceedings of
that body certain parts of his message of March 25, 1755, on this subject
(pp. 100-105, 114-115).


 

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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1757-1758
Volume 55, Preface 15   View pdf image (33K)
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