In 1992, on this day Buckingham Palace announced the appointment of the next President-General of the British North American Union.Join or die
As expected following the retirement of Sir Geoffrey Howe, Mr Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC (pictured) would take up the appointment at Her Majesty's pleasure. A prominent Tory politician and highly experienced diplomat, Mr Patten was considered a "safe pair of hands" - in his current role as Governor of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong, the Baron had introduced limited democratic reforms with the Legislative Council and also negotiated with the Chinese Government on behalf of Great Britain.
A spokesman for the Palace confirmed that the Crown's most senior minister in North America would be presented to members of the Grand Council before the Queen retired to Balmoral Castle for the Christmas break. By January 20th the Crown's appointee would assume his full responsibilities for Indian relations, military preparedness, and execution of laws regulating various trade and financial activities. Historically, those responsibilities had been defined by the Articles of Confederation ratified at the Albany Congress - in 1754, representatives from the colonies of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island met at Albany, New York from June 19 to July 11 to discuss better relations with the Indian tribes and common defensive measures against the French.
In a loyalist appeal to Join or Die, the resulting Plan of Union was urged by a colonist, Benjamin Franklin who subsequently justified the plea in 1789 by explaining that "On Reflection it now seems probable, that if the foregoing Plan or some thing like it, had not been adopted and carried into Execution, a subsequent Separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country might have happened, with Mischiefs suffered on both sides, perhaps during another Century. For the Colonies, so united, were sufficient to their own Defence, and being trusted with it, as by the Plan, so that the different Parts of the Empire might remain in Peace and Union".