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JOSEPH GALLOWAY (1731-1803)

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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 422 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOSEPH GALLOWAY (1731-1803), American lawyer and politician, one of the most prominent of the Loyalists, was born in West River, Anne Arundel county, Maryland, in 1731. He early removed to Philadelphia, where he acquired a high standing as a lawyer. From 1756 until 1774 (except in 1764) he was one of the most influential members of the Pennsylvania Assembly, over which he presided in 1766-1773. During this period, with his friend Benjamin Franklin, he led the opposition to the Proprietary government, and in 1764 and 1765 attempted to secure a royal charter for the province. With the approach of the crisis in the relations between Great Britain and the American colonies he adopted a conservative course, and, while recognizing the justice of many of the colonial complaints, discouraged radical action and advocated a compromise. As a member of the First Continental Congress, he introduced (28th September 1774) a " Plan of a Proposed Union between Great Britain, and the Colonies," and it is for this chiefly that he is remembered. It provided for a president-general appointed by the crown, who should have supreme executive authority over all the colonies, and for a grand council, elected triennially by the several provincial assemblies, and to have such " rights, liberties and privileges as are held and exercised by and in the House of Commons of. Great Britain "; the president-general and grand council were to be " an inferior distinct branch of the British legislature, united and incorporated with it." The assent of. the grand council and of the British parliament was to be " requisite to the validity of all . . . general acts or statutes," except that " in time of War, all bills for granting aid to the crown, prepared by the grand council and approved by the president-general, shall be valid and passed into a law, without the assent of the British parliament." The individual colonies, however, were to retain control over their strictly internal affairs. The measure was debated at length, was advocated by such influential members as John Jay and James Duane of New York and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, and was eventually defeated only by the vote of six colonies to five. Galloway declined a second election to Congress in 1775, joined the British army at New Brunswick, New Jersey (December 1776), advised the British to attack Philadelphia by the Delaware, and during the British occupation of Philadelphia (1777–1778) was superintendent of the port, of prohibited articles, and of police of the city. In October 1778 he went to England, where he remained until his death at Watford, Hertfordshire, on the 29th of August 1803. After he left America his life was attainted, and his property, valued at £40,000, was confiscated by the Pennsylvania Assembly, a loss for which he received a partial recompense in the form of a small parliamentary pension. He was one of the clearest thinkers and ablest political writers among the American Loyalists, and, according to Prof. Tyler, " shared with Thomas Hutchinson the supreme place among American statesmen opposed to the Revolution." Among his pamphlets are A Candid Examination of the Mutual Claims of Great Britain and the Colonies (1775); Historical and Political Reflections on the Rise and Progress of the American Rebellion (178o) ; Cool Thoughts on the Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence (1780); and The Claim of the American Loyalists Reviewed and Maintained upon Incontrovertible Principles of Law and Justice (1788). See Thomas Balch (Ed.), The Examination of Joseph Galloway by a Committee of the House of Commons (Philadelphia, 1855) ; Ernest H. Baldwin, Joseph Galloway, the Loyalist Politician (New Haven, 1903) ; and M. C. Tyler, Literary History of the American Revolution (2 vols., New York, 1897).
End of Article: JOSEPH GALLOWAY (1731-1803)
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