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Full text of "The writings of Benjamin Franklin;"

THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

VOLUME IV 



THE WRITINGS 



OF 



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

*/ M 

COLLECTED AND EDITED 
WITH A LIFE AND INTRODUCTION 

BY 

ALBERT HENRY SMYTH 



VOLUME IV 
1760-1766 

q&ft^jje- 
/</." - ssr 



gorft 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

LONDON : MACMILLAN & CO., LTD. 
1906 

All rights reserved 



COPYRIGHT, 1906, 
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1906. 



<T, 8. Gushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 



PREFATORY NOTE 

SEVERAL letters from Franklin to William Strahan in- 
cluded in this volume were copied by permission from the 
private collection of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker, Governor 
of Pennsylvania. Since these pages were printed the 
books and papers relating to Benjamin Franklin, collected 
by Governor Pennypacker, have been sold, and the 
Franklin-Strahan correspondence is now the property of 
Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. 

Several letters and articles contributed by Franklin to 
London newspapers in 1765 and 1766, relating to the 
Stamp Act, are here for the first time reprinted. Frank- 
lin's declaration that he was the author of these articles 
exists in the Library of Congress (Stevens Collection, 
No. 170). 

Certain marginal notes scribbled by Franklin in various 
pamphlets, formerly in the Athenaeum Library of Phila- 
delphia, and now in the Lenox Library, New York, have 
been included hitherto among the works of Franklin. 
They concern taxation, the right of impressing seamen, 
the prerogatives of Parliament, etc. They are crude and 
fragmentary, and were never intended for publication. 
Whatever is valuable among them will be found in the 
final volume of this edition; all other marginalia are 

omitted. 

A. H. S. 



CONTENTS 

VOLUME IV 

N - FAGB 

278. To Sir Alexander Dick. January 3, 1760 i 

279. To Lord Kames. January 3, 1760 3 

280. To John Hughes. January 7, 1760 7 

281. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. March 5, 1760 ... 9 

282. To Miss Mary Stevenson. May i, 1760 . . . . 10 

283. To Lord Kames. May 3, 1760 II 

284. To Peter Franklin. May 7, 1760 14 

285. To Alexander Small. May 12, 1760 16 

286. To Miss Mary Stevenson. May 17, 1760 18 

287. To Miss Mary Stevenson. June n, 1760 .... 20 

288. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 27, 1760 ... 22 

289. To Miss Mary Stevenson. September 13, 1760 ... 26 
290. The Interest of Great Britain considered with Regard to her 

Colonies. 1760 32 

291. To David Hume. September 27, 1760 .... 82 

292. To Lord Kames. September 27, 1760 .... 85 

293. To Isaac Norris. November 19, 1760 . 86 

294. To John Baskerville. 1760 86 

295. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. 1760 88 

296. To the Printer of the London Chronicle. 1760 . . .89 

297. To Hugh Roberts. February 26, 1761 . . . . 95 

298. To Miss Mary Stevenson. March 30, 1761 ... 97 

299. To Josiah Quincy. April 8, 1761 . . .... 98 

300. To Henry Potts. April 23, 1761 loo 

301. To Edward Penington. May 9, 1761 .... 106 

302. To Miss Mary Stevenson. August 10, 1761 . . . 108 

303. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. September 14, 1761 . . no 

304. To Miss Mary Stevenson. September 20, 1761 . . .in 

305. To William Cullen, M.D. October 21, 1761 , . .116 

306. To Miss Mary Stevenson. October 29, 1761 . . 117 

vii 



viii CONTENTS 

NO. PAGE 

307. To Charles Norris and Thomas Leech. November 17, 1761 118 

308. To Lord Kames. November, 1761 120 

309. To Sir Alexander Dick. January 21, 1762 . . . 123 

310. To David Hume. January 24, 1762 127 

311. To Charles Norris and Thomas Leech. February 13, 1762 130 

312. To Ebenezer Kinnersley. February 20, 1762 . . -131 

313. To Miss Mary Stevenson. March 8, 1762 .... 148 

314. To Miss Mary Stevenson. March 22, 1762 . . .149 

315. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. March 24, 1762 . . .150 

316. To Rev. M ? March 30, 1762 152 

317. From David Hume to B. Franklin. May 10, 1762 . . 153 

318. To David Hume. May 19, 1762 155 

319. To Miss Mary Stevenson. June 7, 1762 .... 158 

320. To William Strahan. June 14, 1762 . . . . 159 

321. On Fire. June 21, 1762 159 

322. Electrical Experiments on Amber. July 3, 1762 . . 162 

323. To Giambatista Beccaria. July 13, 1762 . . . .163 

324. To Oliver Neave. July 20, 1762 169 

325. To William Strahan. July 20, 1762 . . . , . 172 

326. To William Strahan. July 23, 1762 . . . . .173 

327. To Miss Mary Stevenson. August n, 1762 . . 173 

328. To Lord Kames. August 17, 1762 174 

329. To William Strahan. August 23, 1762 . . . . 176 

330. To John Pringle. December i, 1762 . . . . . 177 

331. To William Strahan. December 2, 1762 . . . . 179 

332. To William Strahan. December 7, 1762 . . . .180 

333. To Peter Collinson. December 7, 1762 .' , . . 182 

334. To Caleb Whitefoord. December 7, 1762 . . . .183 

335. To Jared Ingersoll. December n, 1762 .... 185 

336. To Mr. Peter Franklin. 1762 . . . . . .186 

337. To Mrs. Catherine Greene. January 23, 1763 . . . 188 

338. To Isaac Norris. February 15, 1763 189 

339. To William Strahan. February 23, 1763 . . . .191 

340. Congelation of Quicksilver, etc. February 26, 1763 . .191 

341. To Miss Mary Stevenson. March 25, 1763 . . . 193 

342. To William Strahan. March 28, 1763 . . . .196 

343. To Jonathan Williams. April 13, 1763 .... 198 

344. To William Strahan. June 2, 1763 199 

345. To William Strahan. June 10, 1763 ..... 200 

346. To Miss Mary Stevenson. June 10, 1763 . <, . .201 



CONTENTS 



ix 



NO. PAGB 

347. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 16, 1763 . . . 202 

348. To William Strahan. June 28, 1763 ..... 203 

349. To William Greene. July 19, 1763 ..... 205 

350. To Mrs. Catherine Greene. August i, 1763 . . . 205 

351. To William Strahan. August 8, 1763 .... 206 

352. To Mrs. Catherine Greene. September 5, 1763 . . . 207 

353. To William Strahan. September 22, 1763 .... 208 

354. To Jonathan Williams. November 28, 1763 . . . 209 

355. To Sir Alexander Dick. December u, 1763 . . . 209 

356. To William Strahan. December 19, 1763 . 211 

357. To Sir Francis Bernard. January u, 1764 . . . 214 

358. To Anthony Todd. January 16, 1764 .... 214 

359. To Mrs. Catherine Greene. February 15, 1764 . . . 215 

360. To Miss Mary Stevenson. March 14, 1764 . . .216 

361. To John Canton. March 14, 1764 ..... 218 

362. To John Fothergill, M.D. March 14, 1764 . . .221 

363. To William Strahan. March 30, 1764 .... 225 
^364. Cool Thoughts on the Present Situation of our Public Affairs. 

April 12, 1764 ........ 226 

365. To Peter Collinson. April 12, 1764 ..... 241 

366. To Peter Collinson. April 30, 1764 ..... 242 

367. To William Strahan. May i, 1764 ..... 245 

368. To Jonathan Williams. May 24, 1764 .... 247 

369. To George Whiten* eld. June 19, 1764 .... 248 

370. To William Strahan. June 25, 1764 ..... 249 

371. To John Winthrop. July 10, 1764 ..... 250 

372. To Colonel Henry Bouquet. August 16, 1764 . . . 252 

373. To Anthony Todd. September 2, 1764 .... 255 

374. To William Strahan. September 24, 1764 . . . .257 

375. To Peter Collinson. September 24, 1764 . . . . 260 
^376. Remarks on a Particular Militia Bill. September 28, 1764 . 261 

377. To Colonel Henry Bouquet. September 30, -1764 . . 267 

378. Preface to Poor Richard, Improved, 1765. October, 1764 . 269 

379. To Jonathan Williams. November 3, 1764 . . .271 
^380. Remarks on a Late Protest against the Appointment of 

Mr. Franklin an Agent for this Province. November 5, 

1764 ...... .... 273 

381. To Anthony Todd. November 6, 1764 . . . .285 

382. To Sarah Franklin. November 8, 1764 . . . .286 

383. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. December 9, 1764 . . . 288 



x CONTENTS 

NO. PAGE 

384. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. December 27, 1764 . . 288 

385. A Narrative of the Late Massacres in Lancaster County. 

1764 289 

386. Petition to the King. 1764 314 

387. Preface to the Speech of Joseph Galloway. 1764 . -315 

388. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 9, 1765 . . . 358 

389. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 14, 1765 . . . 359 

390. To John Ross. February 14, 1765 361 

391. To David Hall. February 14, 1765 363 

392. From Joseph Galloway to B. Franklin. February 27, 1765 364 

393. To the Editor of a Newspaper. May 20, 1765 . . . 367 

394. To John Canton. May 29, 1765 370 

395. To Sir Alexander Dick. June 2, 1765 .... 371 

396. To Lord Kames. June 2, 1765 373 

397. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 4, 1765 .... 382 

398. To John Ross. June 8, 1765 384 

399. To Hugh Roberts. July 7, 1765 385 

400. To Samuel Rhoads. July 8, 1765 387 

401. To Charles Thomson. July n, 1765 389 

402. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. July 13, 1765 . , . 391 

403. To John Hughes. August 9, 1765 391 

404. Four Letters concerning the Stamp Act. (Addressed to the 

Printer of The Public Advertiser and of the Gazetteer?) 

January 2, 14, and 15, 1766 . . . . . . 393 

405. Letter concerning the Gratitude of America. January 6, 

1766 400 

406. Report of William Pitt's Speech against the Stamp Act. 

January, 1766 . . 405 

407. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 22, 1766 . . . 408 

408. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 27, 1766 . . . 409 

409. To Hugh Roberts. February 27, 1766 .... 410 

410. To Charles Thomson. February 27, 1766 . . . .411 

411. The Examination of Doctor Benjamin Franklin. 1766 . 412 

412. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. April 6, 1766 . . . 449 

413. To Thomas Ronayne. April 20, 1766 . . . .451 

414. To Jonathan Williams. April 28, 1766 .... 454 

415. To Cadwallader Evans. May 9, 1766 .... 455 

416. To Giambatista Beccaria. May 29, 1766 . . . 457 

417. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 13, 1766 . . . 459 

418. To Mrs. Mary Franklin. August 26, 1766 .... 460 



CONTENTS 



N ' PAGE 

419. To Sir William Johnson. September 12, 1766 . . .461 

420. To Charles Thomson. September 27, 1766 . . . 462 

421. To an Unknown Correspondent. October 4, 1766 . . 463 

422. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. October n, 1766 . . . 464 

423. To Mrs. Ann Penn. November 20, 1766 .... 466 

424. Remarks on a Plan for regulating the Indian Affairs . 1766 467 



TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS 

A. P. S American Philosophical Society. 

B. M British Museum. 

B. N Bibliotheque Nationale. 

D. S. W Department of State, Washington. 

H Harvard University. 

L. C Library of Congress. 

L. L - Lenox Library. 

Lans Lansdowne House. 

M.H.S Massachusetts Historical Society. 

P. C Private Collection. 

P. H. S Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

P. R. O Public Record Office. 

P. R. O. A. W. I Public Record Office : America and 

West Indies. 
P. A. E. E. U Paris Departement des Affaires 

Etrangeres, Etats-Unis. 

U. of P University of Pennsylvania. 

Y Yale University. 

B Bigelow. 

F Benjamin Franklin. 

S Sparks. 

V Benjamin Vaughan. 

W. T. F W. T. Franklin. 

Franklin's Mss. exist in several forms. He made a rough draft of 
every letter that he wrote ; he then made a clean copy to send away, and 
often retained a letter-press copy. To indicate the state of the docu- 
ment, the following abbreviations are used : d. = draft, trans. = transcript, 
1. p. = letter-press copy. 



278. TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK 1 (i. L.) 

London, Jan. 3, 1760. 

DEAR SIR, 

After we took leave of you, we spent some Weeks in York- 
shire and Lincolnshire, and at length arriv'd at our House 
here in good health, having made a Tour of nearly 1500 
Miles, in which we had enjoy'd a great deal of Pleasure, and 
received a great deal of useful Information. 

But no part of our Journey affords us, on Recollection a 
more pleasing Remembrance, than that which relates to 
Scotland, particularly the time we so agreably spent with you, 2 
your Friends and Family. The many Civilities, Favours and 
Kindnesses heap'd upon us while we were among you, have 
made the most lasting Impression on our Minds, and have 
endear'd that Country to us beyond Expression. 

I hope Lady Dick 3 continues well and chearful. Be 
pleased to present my most respectful Complim*. 8 and assure 
her I have great Faith in her parting Prayers, that the Purse 
she honoured me with will never be quite empty. 

I inclose you one of our Philadelphia Newspapers suppos- 
ing it may give you and my good Lord Provost some Pleasure, 

1 Sir Alexander Dick (1703-1785), student of medicine at Edinburgh and 
Leyden, President of the College of Physicians, Edinburgh. He promoted 
the establishment of a medical school in the Royal Infirmary. ED. 

2 At Prestonfield, at the foot of Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh. ED. 

8 Sarah, daughter of Alexander Dick, merchant of Edinburgh. ED. 



VOL. iv : 



2 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

to see that we have imitated the Edinburgh Institution of 
an Infirmary in that remote Part of the World. Thus they 
that do good, not only do good themselves, but by their Ex- 
ample are the Occasion of much Good being done by others. 
Pray present my best Respects to his Lordship, for whom if 
I had not a very great Esteem, I find I should be extreamly 
singular. You will see in the same Paper an Advertisement 
of the Acting of Douglas, 1 one of your Scottish Tragedies, at 
our Theatre, which may show the regard we have for your 
Writers. And as I remember to have heard some Com- 
plaints from Persons in Edinburgh that their Letters to their 
Friends in America, did not get regularly to hand, I take the 
Liberty to send you another Paper, in which you will see the 
careful Method they take in those Countries, to advertise 
the Letters that remain in the Post Office ; I think it is gen- 
erally done every Quarter. By that List of Names, too, 
you may form some Judgment of the Proportion of North 
Britons in America, which I think you once enquired about. 
My Son joins in the sincerest Wishes of Happiness to you 
& all yours, and in the Compliments of the Season, with 

Dear Sir 

Your most obliged, & most 
obedient humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN 

Please to acqu* honest Pythagoras that I have not forgot 
what he desired of me, & that he shall hear from me soon 



1 " At the Theatre, on Society Hill, on Friday Evening, the Seventh in- 
stant, will be presented (by particular Desire) DOUGLASS. Tickets to be had 
of Mr. Dunlap. Box 75 6d, Pit 5*, Gallery 35." The Pennsylvania Gazette, 
September 6, 1759. ED. 



1760] TO LORD KAMES 



279. TO LORD KAMES 1 

London, January 3. 1760. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

You have been pleased kindly to desire to have all my pub- 
lications. I had daily expectations of procuring some of them 
from a friend to whom I formerly sent them, when I was in 
America, and postponed writing to you, till I should obtain 
them ; but at length he tells me he cannot find them. Very 
mortifying this to an author, that his works should so soon be 
lost ! So I can now only send you my Observations on the 
Peopling of Countries, which happens to have been reprinted 
here; The Description of the Pennsylvania Fire-place, a 
machine of my contriving ; and some little sketches that have 
been printed in the Grand Magazine, 2 which I should hardly 
own, did I not know that your friendly partiality would make 
them seem at least tolerable. 

How unfortunate I was, that I did not press you and Lady 
Kames 3 more strongly to favour us with your company 
farther. How much more agreeable would our journey have 
been, if we could have enjoyed you as far as York. We could 
have beguiled the way, by discoursing of a thousand things, 
that now we may never have an opportunity of considering 
together; for conversation warms the mind, enlivens the 

1 From "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry 
Home of Kames" (Edinburgh, 1807). Vol. I, p. 263. 

Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782), a judge of the Court of Session; 
author of " Elements of Criticism " (1762), " Sketches of the History of Man " 
(1773), and "An Introduction to the Art of Thinking" (1761). ED. 

2 The Gentleman's Magazine. ED. 
8 Agatha Drummond. ED. 



4 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

imagination, and is continually starting fresh game, that is 
immediately pursued and taken, and which would never have 
occurred in the duller intercourse of epistolary correspond- 
ence. So that whenever I reflect on the great pleasure and 
advantage I received from the free communication of senti- 
ment, in the conversations we had at Kames, and in the 
agreeable little rides to the Tweed side, I shall for ever regret 
our premature parting. 

-J No one can more sincerely rejoice than I do, on the reduc- 
tion of Canada; and this is not merely as I am a colonist, 
but as I am a Briton. I have long been of opinion, that the 
foundations of the future grandeur and stability of the British 
empire lie in America; and though, like other foundations, 
they are low and little seen, they are, nevertheless, broad and 
strong enough to support the greatest political structure 
human wisdom ever yet erected. I am therefore by no means 
for restoring Canada. If we keep it, all the country from the 
St. Lawrence to the Mississippi will in another century be 
filled with British people. Britain itself will become vastly 
more populous, by the immense increase of its commerce; 
the Atlantic sea will be covered with your trading ships ; and 
your naval power, thence continually increasing, will extend 
your influence round the whole globe, and awe the world! 
If the French remain in Canada, they will continually harass 
our colonies by the Indians, and impede if not prevent their 
growth ; your progress to greatness will at best be slow, and 
give room for many accidents that may for ever prevent it. 
But I refrain, for I see you begin to think my notions ex- 
travagant, and look upon them as the ravings of a mad 
prophet. 
Your Lordship's kind offer of Penn's picture is extremely 



1760] TO LORD KAMES 5 

obliging. 1 But were it certainly his picture, it would be too 
valuable a curiosity for me to think of accepting it. I should 
only desire the favour of leave to take a copy of it. I could 
wish to know the history of the picture before it came into 
your hands, and the grounds for supposing it his. I have at 
present some doubts about it; first, because the primitive 
Quakers used to declare against pictures as a vain expence; 
a man's suffering his portrait to be taken was conceived as 
pride ; and I think to this day it is very little practised among 
them. Then, it is on a board; and I imagine the practice 
of painting portraits on boards, did not come down so low as 
Penn's time ; but of this I am not certain. My other reason 
is, an anecdote I have heard, viz. That when old Lord Cob- 
ham was adorning his gardens at Stowe with the busts of 
famous men, he made inquiry of the family, for the picture 
of William Penn, in order to get a bust formed from it, but 
could find none: That Sylvanus Bevan, an old Quaker 
apothecary, remarkable for the notice he takes of counte- 
nances, and a knack he has of cutting in ivory strong like- 
nesses of persons he has once seen, hearing of Lord Cobham's 
desire, set himself to recollect Penn's face, with which he had 
been well acquainted ; and cut a little bust of him in ivory, 

1 Nothing is known of this portrait. Tytler says that it was sent to Frank- 
lin, and never returned. The most authentic likeness of Penn is that referred 
to in the letter as an ivory medallion by Sylvanus Bevan. An engraving of 
it by Smithers appeared in the Universal Magazine, January 2, 1797, with 
the printed note : " Esteemed by R. Penn a good likeness." Robert Proud 
was in England in 1750, and stayed with Bevan. He says: "The likeness is 
a real and true one, as I have been informed, not only by himself (S. B.), but 
also by the old men in England of the first character in the Society of Friends 
who knew him in their youth" (Watson's "Annals," 1844, p. ill). This 
ivory carving was bequeathed to Paul Bevan, of Tottenham, from whom it 
descended to his grandson, Alfred Waterhouse, and is now in the possession 
of Paul Bevan, of London. ED. 



6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

which he sent to Lord Cobham, without any letter or notice 
that it was Penn's. But my Lord, who had personally known 
Penn, on seeing it, immediately cried out, "Whence comes 
this ? It is William Penn himself ! " And from this little bust, 
they say, the large one in the gardens was formed. 

I doubt, too, whether the whisker was not quite out of use 
at the time when Penn must have been of an age appearing 
in the face of that picture. And yet, notwithstanding these 
reasons, I am not without some hope that it may be his; 
because I know some eminent Quakers have had their pic- 
tures privately drawn and deposited with trusty friends ; and 
I know also that there is extant at Philadelphia a very good 
picture of Mrs. Penn, his last wife. After all, I own I have 
a strong desire to be satisfied concerning this picture; and 
as Bevan is yet living here, and some other old Quakers that 
remember William Penn, who died but in 1718, I would 
wish to have it sent to me carefully packed up in a box by the 
waggon, (for I would not trust it by sea), that I may obtain 
their opinion. The charges I shall very cheerfully pay ; and 
if it proves to be Penn's picture, I shall be greatly obliged to 
your Lordship for leave to take a copy of it, and will carefully 
return the original. 

My son joins with me in the most respectful compliments 
to you and to lady Kames. Our conversation till we came 
to York, was chiefly a recollection of what we had seen and 
heard, the pleasure we had enjoyed, and the kindnesses we 
had received in Scotland, and how far that country had ex- 
ceeded our expectations. On the whole, I must say, I think 
the time we spent there, was six weeks of the densest happi- 
ness I have met with in any part of my life : and the agreeable 
and instructive society we found there in such plenty, has left 



1760] TO JOHN HUGHES 7 

so pleasing an impression on my memory, that did not strong 
connexions draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be 
the country I should choose to spend the remainder of my 
days in. I have the honour to be, with the sincerest esteem 
and affection, my dear Lord, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 



280. TO JOHN HUGHES 1 (A.P.S.) 

London, Jan. 7. 1760. 

DEAR SIR, 

On my Return from our Northern Journey, I found several 
of your obliging Favours ; and have now before me those of 
June 20, July 4, 25, Aug. 9, 22, 23, Sept. 25, and two of 
Oct. 3, for which please to accept my hearty Thanks. I 
congratulate you on the glorious Successes of the Year 
past. There has been for some time a Talk of Peace, and 
probably we should have had one this Winter, if the King of 
Prussia's late Misfortunes 2 had not given the Enemy fresh 
Spirits, and encouraged them to try their Luck another Cam- 
paign, and exert all their remaining Strength, that if possible 
they might treat with Hanover in their Hands. If this should 
be the Case, possibly most of our Advantages may be given up 
again at the Treaty, and some among our great Men begin 
already to prepare the Minds of People for this, by discours- 
ing, that to keep Canada would draw on us the Envy of other 

1 John Hughes, stamp officer (1711-1772), stamp distributor for Pennsyl- 
vania, and the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex. He held the office 
of Collector of Customs for the Colonies from September 4, 1769, until his 
death. His will, dated January 31, 1772, describes him as late of the Province 
of Pennsylvania, but now collector of his Majesty's Customs at Charles-Town 
in South Carolina. ED. 

2 Kunersdorf, August 12, 1759. ED. 



8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

Powers, and occasion a Confederacy against us; that the 
Country is too large for us to people; not worth possessing, 
and the like. These Notions I am every day and every where 
combating, and I think not without some Success. The Event 
God only knows. The Argument that seems to have principal 
Weight is, that, in Case of another War, if we keep Possession 
of Canada, the Nation will save two or three Millions a Year, 
now spent in defending the American Colonies, and be so 
much the stronger in Europe, by the Addition of the Troops 
now employ'd on that Side of the Water. To this I add, that 
the Colonies would thrive and increase in a much greater 
Degree, and that a vast additional Demand would arise for 
British Manufactures, to supply so great an Extent of Indian 
Country, etc., with many other Topics, which I urge occasion- 
ally, according to the Company I happen into, or the Persons 
I address. And on the whole, I flatter myself that my being 
here at this time may be of some Service to the general 
Interest of America. 

The Acts of the last Year have all come to hand, but not all 
in a Condition proper to be laid before the King for his Appro- 
bation, as the Governor's propos'd Amendments are tack'd 
to 'em, and no Distinction which were agreed to, or whether any 
or none ; so that, in some of the most material Acts, there is no 
Ascertaining what is intended to be Law and what not. This 
Mistake was fallen into, I suppose, from the late Practice of 
sending home the Bills refus'd by the Governor, with his pro- 
pos'd Amendments, certify'd by the Clerk of the House and 
under the Great Seal, that the true State of such refus'd Bills 
might be known here. But when Bills are pass'd into Laws, 
the Copies to be sent here should be taken from the Rolls 
Office after the Laws are deposited there, and certify'd by the 



1760] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN g 

Master of the Rolls to be true Copies; and then the Gov- 
ernor, under the Great Seal, certifys that the Master of the 
Rolls is such an Officer, and that Credit ought to be given to 
his Certificate ; or otherwise, that those Copies are true Copies, 
agreable to the Laws passed by him as Governor. But the 
Certificate with these Laws only expresses, that such Bills were 
sent up to him for his Assent on such a Day ; that he proposed 
the annex'd Amendments on such a Day, and on such a Day 
he pass'd the Bills, without saying a Word whether the 
Amendments were agreed to or not. Indeed by that Part of 
the Minutes of March and April which came l 



281. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, March 5. 1760 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received the Enclos'd some time since from Mr. Strahan. 
I afterwards spent an Evening in Conversation with him on 
the Subject. He was very urgent with me to stay in England 
and prevail with you to remove hither with Sally. He pro- 
pos'd several advantageous Schemes to me, which appeared 
reasonably founded. His Family is a very agreable one; 
Mrs. Strahan a sensible and good Woman, the Children of 
amiable Characters, and particularly the young Man, [who 
is] sober, ingenious, and industrious, and a [desirable] Person. 
In Point of Circumstances there can be no Objection; Mr, 
Strahan being [now] living a Way as to lay up a Thousand 
Pounds every Year from the Profits of his Business, after 
maintaining his Family and paying all Charges. I gave him, 

1 The remainder of the letter is lost. -ED. 



10 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

however, two Reasons why I could not think of removing 
hither. One, my Affection to Pensilvania, and long established 
Friendships and other connections there : The other, your in- 
vincible Aversion to crossing the Seas. And without remov- 
ing hither, I could not think of parting with my Daughter to 
such a Distance. I thank'd him for the Regard shown us 
in the Proposal ; but gave him no Expectation that I should 
forward the Letters. So you are at liberty to answer or not, 
as you think proper. Let me however know your Senti- 
ments. You need not deliver the Letter to Sally, if you do 
not think it proper. 

My best Respects to Mr. Hughes, Mr. Bartram, and all 
enquiring Friends. I am, your ever loving Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I have wrote several Letters to you lately, but can 
now hardly tell by what Ships. 



282. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON ' (P. c.) 

Craven Street, May i, 1760. 

I embrace, most gladly, my dear Friend's Proposal of a 
Subject for our future Correspondence; not only as it will 
occasion my hearing from her more frequently, but as it will 
lay me under a Necessity of improving my own Knowledge, 
that I may be better able to assist in her Improvement. I 
only fear my necessary Business and Journeys, with the natu- 
ral Indolence of an old Man, will make me too unpunctuai 
a Correspondent. For this I must hope some Indulgence. 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



1760] TO LORD KAMES 



ii 



But why will you, by the Cultivation of your Mind, make 
yourself still more amiable, and a more desirable Companion 
for a Man of Understanding, when you are determin'd, as I 
hear, to live single ? If we enter, as you propose, into moral 
as well as natural Philosophy, I fancy, when I have fully 
establish'd my Authority as a Tutor, I shall take upon me to 
lecture you a little on that Chapter of Duty. 

But to be serious. Our easiest Method of Proceeding I 
think will be, for you to read some Books that I may recom- 
mend to you ; and, in the Course of your Reading, whatever 
occurs, that you do not thoroughly apprehend, or that you 
clearly conceive and find Pleasure in, may occasion either 
some Questions for further Information, or some Observa- 
tions that show how far you are satisfy'd and pleas' d with 
your Author. These will furnish Matter for your Letters to 
me, and, in consequence of mine also to you. 

Let me know, then, what Books you have already perus'd 
on the Subject intended, that I may the better judge what to 
advise for your next Reading. And believe me ever, my 
dear good Girl, your affectionate Friend and Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



283. TO LORD KAMES 1 

London, May 3, 1760. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

I I have endeavoured to comply with your request in writing 
something on the present situation of our affairs in America, 
in order to give more correct notions of the British interest 

1 From " Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry 
Home of Kames," Vol. I, p. 268. ED. 



12 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

with regard to the colonies, than those I found many sensible 
men possessed of. Inclosed you have the production, such 
as it is. I wish it may in any degree be of service to the pub- 
lic. I shall at least hope this from it, for my own part, that 
you will consider it as a letter from me to you, and take its 
length as some excuse for being so long a-coming. 1 

I am now reading with great pleasure and improvement 
your excellent work, The Principles of Equity. It will be of 
the greatest advantage to the Judges in our colonies, not only 
in those which have Courts of Chancery, but also in those 
which, having no such courts, are obliged to mix equity with 
the common law. It will be of more service to the colony 
Judges, as few of them have been bred to the law. I have 
sent a book to a particular friend, one of the Judges of the 
Supreme Court in Pennsylvania. \\ 

I will shortly send you a copy of the Chapter you are pleased 
to mention in so obliging a manner; and shall be extremely 
obliged in receiving a copy of the collection of Maxims for 
the Conduct of Life, which you are preparing for the use of 
your children. I purpose likewise a little work for the benefit 
of youth, to be called The Art of Virtue. From the title I 
think you will hardly conjecture what the nature of such a 
book may be. I must therefore explain it a little. Many 
people lead bad lives that would gladly lead good ones, but 
know not how to make the change. They have frequently 
resolved and endeavoured it; but in vain, because their 
endeavours have not been properly conducted. To expect 
people to be good, to be just, to be temperate, &c., without 
shewing them how they should become so, seems like the 

1 This was probably the tract, entitled " The Interest of Great Britain 
Considered." ED. 



1760] TO LORD KAMES 13 

ineffectual charity mentioned by the Apostle, which consisted 
in saying to the hungry, the cold, and the naked, "Be ye fed, 
be ye warmed, be ye clothed," without shewing them how 
they should get food, fire, or clothing. 

Most people have naturally some virtues, but none have 
naturally all the virtues. To acquire those that are wanting, 
and secure what we acquire, as well as those we have natu- 
rally, is the subject of an art. It is as properly an art as paint- 
ing, navigation, or architecture. If a man would become a 
painter, navigator, or architect, it is not enough that he is 
advised to be one, that he is convinced by the arguments of his 
adviser, that it would be for his advantage to be one, and that 
he resolves to be one, but he must also be taught the princi- 
ples of the art, be shewn all the methods of working, and how 
to acquire the habits of using properly all the instruments; 
and thus regularly and gradually he arrives, by practice, at 
some perfection in the art. If he does not proceed thus, he 
is apt to meet with difficulties that discourage him, and make 
him drop the pursuit. 

My Art of Virtue has also its instruments, and teaches the 
manner of using them. Christians are directed to have faith 
in Christ, as the effectual means of obtaining the change they 
desire. It may, when sufficiently strong, be effectual with 
many: for a full opinion, that a Teacher is infinitely wise, 
good, and powerful, and that he will certainly reward and 
punish the obedient and disobedient, must give great weight 
to his precepts, and make them much more attended to by his 
disciples. But many have this faith in so weak a degree, that 
it does not produce the effect. Our Art of Virtue may, there- 
fore, be of great service to those whose faith is unhappily not 
so strong, and may come in aid of its weakness. Such as are 



14 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760- 

naturally well disposed, and have been so carefully educated, 
as that good habits have been early established, and bad ones 
prevented, have less need of this art ; but all may be more or 
less benefited by it. It is, in short, to be adapted for universal 
use. I imagine what I have now been writing will seem to 
savour of great presumption : I must therefore speedily finish 
my little piece, and communicate the manuscript to you, 
that you may judge whether it is possible to make good such 
pretensions. I shall at the same time hope for the benefit 
of your corrections. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 



284. TO PETER FRANKLIN 1 

London, May 7, 1760. 

SIR 

It has, indeed, as you observe, been the opinion of 



some very great naturalists, that the sea is salt only from the 
dissolution of mineral or rock salt, which its waters happened 1 
to meet with. But this opinion takes it for granted that all 
water was originally fresh, of which we can have no proof. I 
own I am inclined to a different opinion, and rather think all 
the water on this globe was originally salt, and that the fresh 
water we find in springs and rivers, is the produce of distilla- 
tion. The sun raises the vapours from the sea, which form 
clouds, and fall in rain upon the land, and springs and rivers 
are formed of that rain. As to the rock salt found in mines, 
I conceive, that instead of communicating its saltness to the 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769,, 
p. 379. Peter Franklin, second son of Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger,,, 
born November 22, 1692, lived at Newport, Rhode Island. ED. 



1760] TO PETER FRANKLIN t $ 

sea, it is itself drawn from the sea, and that of course the sea 
is now fresher than it was originally. This is only another 
effect of nature's distillery, and might be performed various, 
ways. 

It is evident from the quantities of sea-shells, and the bone? 
and teeth of fishes found in high lands, that the sea has for- 
merly covered them. Then, either the sea has been higher 
than it now is, and has fallen away from those high lands ; or 
they have been lower than they are, and were lifted up out 
of the water to their present height, by some internal mighty 
force, such as we still feel some remains of, when whole con- 
tinents are moved by earthquakes. In either case it may be 
supposed that large hollows, or valleys among hills, might be 
left filled with sea- water, which evaporating, and the fluid part 
drying away in a course of years, would leave the salt cover- 
ing the bottom ; and that salt, coming afterwards to be cov- 
ered with earth from the neighbouring hills, could only be 
found by digging through that earth. Or, as we know from 
their effects, that there are deep fiery caverns under the earth, 
and even under the sea, if at any time the sea leaks into any 
of them, the fluid parts of the water must evaporate from that 
heat, and pass off through some volcano, while the salt, 
remains, and by degrees, and continual accretion, becomes a 
great mass. Thus the cavern may at length be filled, and the 
volcano connected with it cease burning, as many it is said 
have done ; and future miners, penetrating such cavern, find 
what we call a salt-mine. This is a fancy I had on visiting, 
the salt-mines at Northwich, with my son. I send you a piece 
of the rock salt which he brought up with him out of the mine., 

... I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



16 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 



285. TO ALEXANDER SMALL 1 

May 12, 1760. 

DEAR SIR, 

Agreeable to your request, I send you my reasons for think- 
ing that our NorthEast storms in North America begin first, in 
point of time, in the SouthWest parts: That is to say, the air 
in Georgia, the farthest of our colonies to the SouthWest, 
begins to move Southwesterly before the air of Carolina, 
which is the next colony NorthEastward ; the air of Caro- 
lina has the same motion before the air of Virginia, which 
lies still more NorthEastward; and so on NorthEasterly 
through Pensylvania, New-York, New-England, &c., quite 
to Newfoundland. 

These NorthEast storms are generally very violent, con- 
tinue sometimes two or three days, and often do considerable 
damage in the harbours along the coast. They are attended 
with thick clouds and rain. 

What first gave me this idea, was the following circum- 
stance. About twenty years ago, a few more or less, I cannot 
from my memory be certain, we were to have an eclipse of 
the moon at Philadelphia, on a Friday evening, about nine 
o'clock. I intended to observe it, but was prevented by a 
NorthEast storm, which came on about seven, with thick 
clouds as usual, that quite obscured the whole hemisphere. 
Yet when the post brought us the Boston newspaper, giving 
an account of the effects of the same storm in those parts, I 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 381. Dr. Small was an army surgeon, and a member of the Society of Arts. 
In 1760 he was in London. ED. 



1760] TO ALEXANDER SMALL 17 

found the beginning of the eclipse had been well observed 
there, though Boston lies N. E. of Philadelphia about 400 
miles. This puzzled me because the storm began with us 
so soon as to prevent any observation, and being a N. E. 
storm, I imagined it must have begun rather sooner in places 
farther to the NorthEastward than it did at Philadelphia. I 
therefore mentioned it in a letter to my brother, who lived at 
Boston; and he informed me the storm did not begin with 
them till near eleven o'clock, so that they had a good observa- 
tion of the eclipse : And upon comparing all the other accounts 
I received from the several colonies, of the time of beginning 
of the same storm, and, since that of other storms of the same 
kind, I found the beginning to be always later the farther 
NorthEastward. I have not my notes with me here in Eng- 
land, and cannot, from memory, say the proportion of tune 
to distance, but I think it is about an hour to every hundred 
miles. 1 

From thence I formed an idea of the cause of these storms, 
which I would explain by a familiar instance or two. Sup- 
pose a long canal of water stopped at the end by a gate. The 
water is quite at rest till the gate is open, then it begins to 
move out through the gate; the water next the gate is first 
in motion, and moves towards the gate; the water next to 
that first water moves next, and so on successively, till the 
water at the head of the canal is in motion, which is last of all. 
In this case all the water moves indeed towards the gate, but 
the successive times of beginning motion are the contrary 
way, viz. from the gate backwards to the head of the canal. 
Again, suppose the air in a chamber at rest, no current through 
the room till you make a fire in the chimney. Immediately 

1 See Introduction, Vol. I, pp. 57-58. ED. 
VOL. iv c 



18 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

the air in the chimney, being rarefied by the fire, rises; the 
air next the chimney flows in to supply its place, moving 
towards the chimney ; and, in consequence, the rest of the air 
successively, quite back to the door. Thus to produce our 
NorthEast storms, I suppose some great heat and rarefaction 
of the air in or about the Gulph of Mexico; the air thence 
rising has its place supplied by the next more northern, cooler, 
and therefore denser and heavier, air ; that, being in motion, 
is followed by the next more northern air, &c. &c., in a suc- 
cessive current, to which current our coast and inland ridge 
of mountains give the direction of NorthEast, as they lie N. E. 
and S. W. 

This I offer only as an hypothesis to account for this par- 
ticular fact; and, perhaps, on farther examination, a better 
and truer may be found. I do not suppose all storms gener- 
ated in the same manner. Our North West thunder-gusts 
in America I know are not; but of them I have written my 
opinion fully in a paper which you have seen. I am, etc. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



286. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON * (L. c.) 

(p. c.) 
Craven Street, May 17, 1760. 

I send my good Girl the Books I mention'd to her last 
Night. I beg her to accept them as a small Mark of my Es- 
teem and Friendship. They are written in the familiar, easy 
Manner, for which the French are so remarkable ; and afford 
a good deal of philosophic and practical Knowledge, unem- 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ; im- 
perfect trans, in L. C. ED. 



1760] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON ig 

barras'd with the dry Mathematics us'd by more exact 
Reasoners, but which is apt to discourage young Beginners. 

I would advise you to read with a Pen in your Hand, and 
enter in a little Book short Hints of what you find that is curi- 
ous, or that may be useful ; for this will be the best Method 
of imprinting such Particulars in your Memory, where they 
will be ready, either for Practice on some future Occasion, if 
they are Matters of Utility, or at least to adorn and improve 
your Conversation, if they are rather Points of Curiosity. 
And, as many of the Terms of Science are such as you cannot 
have met with in your common Reading and may therefore be 
unacquainted with, I think it would be well for you to have a 
good Dictionary at hand, to consult immediately when you 
meet with a Word you do not comprehend the precise Mean- 
ing of. This may at first seem troublesome and interrupting ; 
but 'tis a Trouble that will daily diminish, as you will daily 
find less and less Occasion for your Dictionary, as you 
become more acquainted with the Terms; and in the mean 
time you will read with more Satisfaction, because with more 
Understanding. 

When any Point occurs, in which you would be glad to have 
farther Information than your Book affords you, I beg you 
would not in the least apprehend, that I should think it a 
Trouble to receive and answer your Questions. It will be a 
Pleasure, and no Trouble. For tho' I may not be able, out 
of my own little Stock of Knowledge, to afford you what you 
require, I can easily direct you to the Books, where it may 
most readily be found. Adieu, and believe me ever, my 
dear Friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



20 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

287. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (p. c.) 

Craven Street, June 11, 1760. 

DEAR POLLY: 

'Tis a very sensible Question you ask, how the Air can affect 
the Barometer, when its Opening appears covered with 
Wood? If indeed it was so closely covered as to admit of 
no Communication of the outward Air to the Surface of the 
Mercury, the Change of Weight in the Air could not possibly 
affect it. But the least Crevice is sufficient for the Purpose ; 
a Pinhole will do the Business. And if you could look 
behind the Frame to which your Barometer is fixed, you 
would certainly find some small Opening. 

There are indeed some Barometers in which the Body of 
Mercury at the lower End is contained in a close Leather Bag, 
and so the Air cannot come into immediate Contact with the 
Mercury ; yet the same Effect is produc'd. For, the Leather 
being flexible, when the Bag is press'd by any additional 
Weight of Air, it contracts, and the Mercury is forced up into 
the Tube; when the Air becomes lighter, and its Pressure 
less, the Weight of the Mercury prevails, and it descends 
again into the Bag. 

Your Observation on what you have lately read concerning 
Insects is very just and solid. Superficial Minds are apt to 
despise those who make that Part of the Creation their Study, 
as mere Triflers; but certainly the World has been much 
oblig'd to them. Under the Care and Management of Man, 
the Labours of the little Silkworm afford Employment and 
Subsistence to Thousands of Families, and become an im- 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



1760] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 



21 



mense Article of Commerce. The Bee, too, yields us its 
delicious Honey, and its Wax useful to a Multitude of Pur- 
poses. Another Insect, it is said, produces the Cochineal, 
from whence we have our rich Scarlet Dye. The Usefulness 
of the Cantharides, or Spanish Flies, in Medicine, is known 
to all, and Thousands owe their Lives to that Knowledge. 
By human Industry and Observation, other Properties of 
other Insects may possibly be hereafter discovered, and of 
equal Utility. A thorough Acquaintance with the Nature 
of these little Creatures may also enable Mankind to prevent 
the Increase of such as are noxious, or secure us against 
the Mischiefs they occasion. These Things doubtless your 
Books make mention of: I can only add a particular late 
Instance which I had from a Swedish Gentleman of good 
Credit. In the green Timber, intended for Ship-building at 
the King's Yards in that Country, a kind of Worms were 
found, which every year became more numerous and more 
pernicious, so that the Ships were greatly damag'd before they 
came into Use. The King sent Linnaeus, the great Naturalist, 
from Stockholm, to enquire into the Affair, and see if the Mis- 
chief was capable of any Remedy. He found, on Examina- 
tion, that the Worm was produced from a small Egg, deposited 
in the little Roughnesses on the Surface of the Wood, by a 
particular kind of Fly or Beetle ; from whence the Worm, as 
soon as it was hatched, began to eat into the Substance of the 
Wood, and after some time came out again a Fly of the 
Parent kind, and so the Species increased. The season in 
which this Fly laid its Eggs, Linnaeus knew to be about a 
Fortnight (I think) in the Month of May, and at no other 
time of the Year. He therefore advis'd, that, some Days 
before that Season, all the green Timber should be thrown 



22 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

into the Water, and kept under Water till the Season was over. 
Which being done by the King's Order, the Flies missing 
their usual Nests, could not increase; and the Species was 
either destroy'd or went elsewhere ; and the Wood was effectu- 
ally preserved ; for, after the first Year, it became too dry and 
hard for their purpose. 

There is, however, a prudent Moderation to be used in 
Studies of this kind. The Knowledge of Nature may be 
ornamental, and it may be useful ; but if, to attain an Emi- 
nence in that, we neglect the Knowledge and Practice of 
essential Duties, we deserve Reprehension. For there is no 
Rank in Natural Knowledge of equal Dignity and Importance 
with that of being a good Parent, a good Child, a good Hus- 
band or Wife, a good Neighbour or Friend, a good Subject 
or Citizen, that is, in short, a good Christian. Nicholas 
Gimcrack, therefore, who neglected the Care of his Family, 
to pursue Butterflies, was a just Object of Ridicule, and we 
must give him up as fair Game to the satyrist. 

Adieu, my dear Friend, and believe me ever 

Yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN 



288. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. P. s.) 

London, June 27, 1760. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I wrote a Line to you by the Pacquet, to let you know we 
were well, and I promis'd to write you fully by Capt. Budden, 
and answer all your Letters, which I accordingly now sit down 
to do. I am concern'd that so much Trouble should be given 
you by idle Reports concerning me. Be satisfied, my dear, 



1760] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 33 

that while I have my Senses, and God vouchsafes me his Pro- 
tection, I shall do nothing unworthy the Character of an 
honest Man, and one that loves his Family. 

I have not yet seen Mr. Beatty, nor do I know where to 
write to him. He forwarded your Letter to me from Ireland. 
The Paragraph of your Letter inserted in the Papers, related 
to the Negro School. I gave it to the Gentlemen concerned, 
as it was a Testimony in favour of their pious Design. But 
I did not expect they would have printed it with your Name. 
They have since chosen [me] one of the Society, and I am 
at present Chairman for the current year. I enclose you an 
Account of their Proceedings. 1 

I did not receive the Prospect of Quebec, which you mention 
that you sent me. Peter continues with me, and behaves as 
well as I can expect, in a Country where there are many Occa- 
sions of spoiling Servants, if they are ever so good. He has 
as few Faults as most of them, and I see with only one Eye, 
and hear only with one Ear ; so we rub on pretty comfortably. 
King, that you enquire after, is not with us. He ran away 
from our House, near two Years ago, while we were absent 
in the Country ; But was soon found in Suffolk, where he had 
been taken in the Service of a Lady, that was very fond of the 

1 This relates to a scheme, which had been set on foot by the philanthropic 
Dr. Thomas Bray, who passed a large part of his life in performing deeds of 
benevolence and charity. He became acquainted with M. D'Allone, at the 
Hague, who approved and favored his schemes. M. D'Allone, during his 
lifetime, gave to Dr. Bray a considerable sum of money, which was to be 
applied to the conversion of negroes in the British Plantations, and at his 
death he left an additional sum of nine hundred pounds for the same object. 
Dr. Bray formed an association for the management and proper disposal of 
these funds. He died in 1730, and the same trust continued to be executed 
by a company of gentlemen, called " Dr. Bray's Associates." Dr. Franklin 
was for several years one of these associates. S. 



24 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

Merit of making him a Christian, and contributing to his 
Education and Improvement. As he was of little Use, and 
often in Mischief, Billy consented to her keeping him while 
we stay in England. So the Lady sent him to School, has 
him taught to read and write, to play on the Violin and French 
Horn, with some other Accomplishments more useful in a 
Servant. Whether she will finally be willing to part with 
him, or persuade Billy to sell him to her, I know not. In the 
mean time he is no Expence to us. The dried Venison was 
very acceptable, and I thank you for it. We have had it con- 
stantly shav'd to eat with our Bread and Butter for Breakfast,, 
and this Week saw the last of it. The Bacon still holds out, 
for we are choice of it. Some Rashers of it, yesterday relish'd 
a Dish of Green Pease. Mrs. Stevenson thinks there was 
never any in England so good. The smok'd Beef was also 
excellent. 

The Accounts you give me of the Marriages of our friends 
are very agreeable. I love to hear of every thing that tends 
to increase the Number of good People. You cannot con- 
ceive how shamefully the Mode here is a single Life. One 
can scarce be in the Company of a Dozen Men of Circum- 
stance and Fortune, but what it is odds that you find on 
enquiry eleven of them are single. The great Complaint is 
the excessive Expensiveness of English Wives. 

I am extreamly concerned with you at the Misfortune of 
our Friend Mr. Griffith. How could it possibly happen? 
'Twas a terrible Fire that of Boston. I shall contribute here 
towards the Relief of the Sufferers. Our Relations have 
escaped I believe generally; but some of my particular 
Friends must have suffered greatly. 

I think you will not complain this Year, as you did the last,, 



1760] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 25 

of being so long without a Letter. I have wrote to you very 
frequently ; and shall not be so much out of the Way of writing 
this Summer as I was the last. I hope our friend Bartram is 
safely return' d to his Family. Remember me to him in the 
kindest Manner. 

Poor David Edwards died this Day Week, of a Consump- 
tion. I had a Letter from a Friend of his, acquainting me 
that he had been long ill, and incapable of doing his Business, 
and was at Board in the Country. I fear'd he might be in 
Straits, as he never was prudent enough to lay up any thing. 
So I wrote to him immediately, that, if he had occasion, he 
might draw on me for Five Guineas. But he died before my 
Letter got to hand. I hear the Woman, at whose House he 
long lodg'd and boarded, has buried him and taken all he 
left, which could not be much, and there are some small 
Debts unpaid. He maintained a good Character at Bury, 
where he lived some years, and was well respected, to my 
Knowledge, by some Persons of Note there. I wrote to you 
before, that we saw him at Bury, when we went thro* Suffolk 
into Norfolk, the Year before last. I hope his good Father, 
my old Friend, continues well. 

Give my Duty to Mother, and Love to my dear Sally. 
Remember me affectionately to all Enquiring Friends, and 
believe me ever, my dearest Debby, your loving Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



26 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

289. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (P. c.) 

MY DEAR FRIEND, London > Se P t " '* '7 60 - 

I have your agreable letter from Bristol, which I take this 
first Leisure Hour to answer, having for some time been much 
engaged in Business. 

Your first Question, What is the Reason the Water at this 
place, tho* cold at the Spring, becomes warm by Pumping ? it 
will be most prudent in me to forbear attempting to answer, 
till, by a more circumstantial account, you assure me of the 
Fact. I own I should expect that Operation to warm, not 
so much the Water pump'd, as the Person pumping. The 
Rubbing of dry Solids together has been long observed to 
produce Heat ; but the like Effect has never yet, that I have 
heard, been produc'd by the mere Agitation of Fluids, or 
Friction of Fluids with Solids. Water in a Bottle, shook for 
Hours by a Mill-Hopper, it is said, discover'd no sensible 
Addition of Heat. The Production of Animal Heat by Exer- 
cise is therefore to be accounted for in another manner, which 
I may hereafter endeavour to make you acquainted with. 

This Prudence of not attempting to give Reasons before one 
is sure of Facts, I learned from one of your Sex, who, as Selden 
tells us, being in company with some Gentlemen that were 
viewing and considering something which they call'd a Chi- 
nese Shoe, and disputing earnestly about the manner of wear- 
ing it, and how it could possibly be put on ; put in her Word, 
and said modestly, Gentlemen, are you sure it is a Shoe? 
Should not that be settled first? 

But I shall now endeavour to explain what I said to you 
about the Tide in Rivers, and to that End shall make a Figure, 
which, tho' not very like a River, may serve to convey my 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



1760] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 27 

Meaning. Suppose a Canal 140 Miles long, communicating 
at one End with the Sea, and filFd therefore with Sea Water. 
I chuse a Canal at first, rather than a River, to throw out of 
Consideration the Effects produced by the Streams of Fresh 
Water from the Land, the Inequality in Breadth, and the 
Crookedness of Courses. 

Let A, C, be the Head of the Canal ; C, D, the Bottom of 
it ; D, F, the open Mouth of it, next the Sea. Let the strait 
prick' d Line, B, G, represent Low- Water Mark, the whole 
Length of the Canal. A, F, High- Water Mark: Now if a 
Person, standing at E, and observing, at the time of High 
Water there, that the Canal is quite full at that Place up to 




the Line E, should conclude that the Canal is equally full to 
the same Height from End to End, and therefore there was 
as much more Water come into the Canal since it was down 
at Low- Water Mark, as would be included in the oblong 
Space A, B, G, F, he would be greatly mistaken. For the 
Tide is a Wave, and the Top of the Wave, which makes High 
Water, as well as every other lower Part, is progressive; and 
it is High Water successively, but not at the same time, in all 
the several Points between G, F, and A, B. And in such a 
Length as I have mention' d, it is Low Water at F, G, and 
also at A, B, at or near the same time with its being High 
Water at E; so that the Surface of the Water in the Canal, 
during that Situation, is properly represented by the Curve 



28 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

prick'd Line, B, E, G. And on the other hand, when it is 
Low Water at E, H, it is High Water both at F, G, and at 
A, B, at or near the same time ; and the Surface would then 
be describ'd by the inverted Curve Line, A, H, F. 

In this View of the Case, you will easily see, that there must 
be very little more Water in the Canal at what we call High 
Water, than there is at Low Water, those Terms not relating 
to the whole Canal at the same time, but successively to its 
Parts. And, if you suppose the Canal six times as long, the 
Case would not vary as to the Quantity of Water at different 
times of the Tide ; there would only be six Waves in the Canal 
at the same time, instead of one, and the Hollows in the Water 
would be equal to the Hills. 

That this is not mere Theory, but conformable to Fact, we 
know by our long Rivers in America. The Delaware, on 
which Philadelphia stands, is in this particular similar to the 
Canal I have supposed of one Wave; for, when it is High 
Water at the Capes or Mouth of the river, it is also High 
Water at Philadelphia, which stands about 140 Miles from 
the Sea; and there is at the same time a Low Water in the 
Middle between the two High Waters ; where, when it comes 
to be High Water, it is at the same time Low Water at the 
Capes and at Philadelphia. And the longer Rivers have 
some a Wave and Half, some two, three, or four Waves, ac- 
cording to their Length. In the shorter Rivers of this Island, 
one may see the same thing in Part ; for Instance, it is High 
Water at Gravesend an Hour before it is High Water at Lon- 
don Bridge ; and 20 Miles below Gravesend an Hour before it 
is High Water at Gravesend. Therefore at the Time of High 
Water at Gravesend the Top of the Wave is there, and the 
Water is then not so high by some feet where the Top of the 



1760] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON' 29 

Wave was an Hour before, or where it will be an Hour after, 
as it is just then at Gravesend. 

Now we are not to suppose that because the Swell or Top 
of the Wave runs at the Rate of 20 Miles an Hour, that there- 
fore the Current, or Water itself of which the Wave is com- 
pos' d, runs at that rate. Far from it. To conceive this 
Motion of a Wave, make a small Experiment or two. Fasten 
one End of a Cord in a Window near the Top of a House, and 
let the other End come down to the Ground ; take this End 
in your Hand, and you may, by a sudden Motion, occasion a 
Wave in the Cord that will run quite up to the Window ; but 
tho' the Wave is progressive from your Hand to the Window, 
the Parts of the Rope do not proceed with the Wave, but 
remain where they were, except only that kind of Motion that 
produces the Wave. So if you throw a Stone into a Pond of 
Water when the Surface is still and smooth, you will see a 
circular Wave proceed from the Stone as its Centre, quite to 
the Sides of the Pond ; but the Water does not proceed with 
the Wave, it only rises and falls to form it in the different Parts 
of its Course ; and the Waves that follow the first, all make use 
of the same Water with their Predecessors. 

But a Wave in Water is not indeed in all circumstances 
exactly like that in a Cord; for, Water being a Fluid, and 
gravitating to the Earth, it naturally runs from a higher Place 
to a lower; therefore the Parts of the Wave in Water do actu- 
ally run a little both ways from its Top towards its lower Sides, 
which the Parts of the Wave in the Cord cannot do. Thus, 
when it is high and standing Water at Gravesend, the Water 
20 Miles below has been running Ebb, or towards the Sea 
for an Hour, or ever since it was High Water there; but the 
Water at London Bridge will run flood, or from the Sea yet 



30 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

another Hour, till it is High Water or the Top of the Wave 
arrives at that Bridge, and then it will have run Ebb an Hour 
at Gravesend, &c. &c. Now this Motion of the Water, 
occasioned only by its Gravity, or Tendency to run from a 
higher Place to a lower, is by no means so swift as the Motion 
of the Wave. It scarce exceeds perhaps two Miles in an Hour. 

If it went, as the Wave does, 20 Miles an Hour, no Ships 
could ride at Anchor in such a Stream, nor Boats row against it. 

In common Speech, indeed, this Current of the Water both 
Ways from the Top of the Wave is called the Tide; thus we 
say, the Tide runs strong, the Tide runs at the rate of i, 2, or 3 
Miles an hour, &c.; and, when we are at a Part of the River 
behind the Top of the Wave, and find the Water lower than 
High- water Mark, and running towards the Sea, we say, the 
Tide runs Ebb; and, when we are before the Top of the Wave, 
and find the Water higher than Low- water Mark, and running 
from the Sea, we say, the Tide runs flood ; but these Expres- 
sions are only locally proper ; for a Tide, strictly speaking, is one 
whole Wave, including all its Parts higher and lower, and these 
Waves succeed one another about twice in twenty-four Hours. 

This Motion of the Water, occasioned by its Gravity, will 
explain to you why the Water near the Mouth of Rivers may 
be salter at High water than at Low. Some of the Salt Water, 
as the Tide Wave enters the river, runs from its Top and fore 
Side, and mixes with the fresh, and also pushes it back up the 
River. 

Supposing that the Water commonly runs during the Flood 
at the rate of two Miles in an Hour, and that the Flood runs 
5 Hours, you see that it can bring at most into our Canal only 
a Quantity of Water equal to the Space included in the 
Breadth of the Canal, ten Miles of its Length, and the Depth 



1760] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 3I 

between Low and High- water Mark: Which is but a four- 
teenth Part of what would be necessary to fill all the Space 
between Low and High- water Mark for 140 Miles, the whole 
Length of the Canal. 

And indeed such a Quantity of Water as would fill that 
whole Space, to run in and out every Tide, must create so 
outrageous a Current, as would do infinite Damage to the 
Shores, Shipping, &c., and make the Navigation of a River 
almost impracticable. 

I have made this Letter longer than I intended, and there- 
fore reserve for another what I have farther to say on the Sub- 
ject of Tides and Rivers. I shall now only add, that I have not 
been exact in the Numbers, because I would avoid perplexing 
you with minute Calculations, my Design at present being 
chiefly to give you distinct and clear Ideas of the first Principles. 

After writing 6 Folio Pages of Philosophy to a young Girl, 
is it necessary to finish such a Letter with a Compliment? 
Is not such a Letter of itself a Compliment ? Does it not say, 
she has a Mind thirsty after Knowledge, and capable of receiv- 
ing it ; and that the most agreable Things one can write to her 
are those that tend to the Improvement of her Understanding ? 
It does indeed say all this, but then it is still no Compliment; 
it is no more than plain honest Truth, which is not the Char- 
acter of a Compliment. So if I would finish my Letter in the 
M ode, I should yet add something that means nothing, and is 
merely civil and polite. But, being naturally awkward at 
every Circumstance of Ceremony, I shall not attempt it. I 
had rather conclude abruptly with what pleases me more 
than any Compliment can please you, that I am allow'd to 
subscribe myself 

Your affectionate Friend, B. FRANKLIN. 



32 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 
290, THE 

INTEREST 

OF 

GREAT BRITAIN 
CONSIDERED 

WITH REGARD TO HER 

COLONIES 
AND THE ACQUISITIONS OF 

CANADA AND GUADALOUPE 

TO WHICH ARE ADDED 
OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THE INCREASE OF 

MANKIND, PEOPLING OF COUNTRIES, &c. 

London : 

Printed for T. Becket, at Tully's Head, near 
Surry-street in the Strand. 

MDCCLX. 1 



1 From a copy in P. H. S. presented " to the Rev. D r . Mayhew, from his 
humble Serv*, the Author." 

See Introduction, Vol. I, pp. 138 and 145. ED. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 33 

I HAVE perused, with no small pleasure, the Letter addressed 
to Two Great Men, and the Remarks on that letter. It is not 
merely from the beauty, the force, and perspicuity of expres- 
sion, or the general elegance of manner, conspicuous in both 
pamphlets, that my pleasure chiefly arises ; it is rather from 
this, that I have lived to see subjects of the greatest impor- 
tance to this nation publickly discussed without party views 
or party heat, with decency and politeness, and with no other 
warmth than what a zeal for the honour and happiness of our 
King and country may inspire; and this by writers whose 
understanding (however they may differ from each other) 
appears not unequal to their candour and the uprightness of 
their intention. 

But, as great abilities have not always the best information, 
there are, I apprehend, in the Remarks, some opinions not well 
founded, and some mistakes of so important a nature, as to 
render a few observations on them necessary for the better 
information of the publick. 

The author of the Letter, who must be every way best able 
to support his own sentiments, will, I hope, excuse me, if I 
seem officiously to interfere; when he considers, that the 
spirit of patriotism, like other qualities good and bad, is 
catching ; and that his long silence since the Remarks ap- 
peared, has made us despair of seeing the subject farther 
discussed by his masterly hand. The ingenious and candid 
remarker, too, who must have been misled himself, before 
he employed his skill and address to mislead others, will 
certainly, since he declares he aims at no seduction, be dis- 
posed to excuse even the weakest effort to prevent it. 

And surely if the general opinions that possess the minds of 
the people may possibly be of consequence in publick affairs, 

VOL. IV D 



34 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

it must be fit to set those opinions right. If there is danger, 
as the remarker supposes, that " extravagant expectations" 
may embarass "a virtuous and able ministry," and "render 
the negotiation for peace a work of infinite difficulty," l there 
is no less danger, that expectations too low, thro' want of 
proper information, may have a contrary effect, may make 
even a virtuous and able ministry less anxious, and less atten- 
tive to the obtaining points, in which the honour and interest 
of the nation are essentially concerned; and the people less 
hearty in supporting such a ministry and its measures. 
j The people of this nation are indeed respectable, not for 
their numbers only, but for their understanding and their 
publick spirit: they manifest the first, by their universal 
approbation of the late prudent and vigorous measures, and 
the confidence they so justly repose in a wise and good prince, 
and an honest and able administration ; the latter they have 
demonstrated by the immense supplies granted in Parliament 
unanimously, and paid through the whole kingdom with 
chearfulness.^ And since to this spirit and these supplies 
our "victories and successes" 2 have in great measure been 
owing, is it quite right, is it generous to say, with the re- 
marker, that the people "had no share in acquiring them?" 
The mere mob he cannot mean, even where he speaks of the 
madness of the people; for the madness of the mob must be 
too feeble and impotent, arm'd as the government of this 
country at present is, to "overrule," 3 even in the slightest 
instances, the "virtue and moderation" of a firm and steady 
ministry. 

While the war continues, its final event is quite uncertain. 
The Victorious of this year may be the vanquish' d of the next. 

1 Remarks, p. 6. 2 Ibid., p. 7. 8 Ibid., p. 7. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 35 

It may therefore be too early to say, what advantages we ought 
absolutely to insist on, and make the sine quibus non of a 
peace. If the necessity of our affairs should oblige us to 
accept of terms less advantageous than our present suc- 
cesses seem to promise us, an intelligent people as ours is, 
must see that necessity, and will acquiesce. But as a peace, 
when it is made, may be made hastily ; and as the unhappy 
continuance of the war affords us time to consider, among 
several advantages gain'd or to be gain'd, which of them 
may be most for our interest to retain, if some and not all may 
possibly be retained; I do not blame the public disquisition 
of these points, as premature or useless. Light often arises 
from a collision of opinions, as fire from flint and steel ; and 
if we can obtain the benefit of the light, without danger from 
the heat sometimes produc'd by controversy, why should we 
discourage it? 

Supposing then, that heaven may still continue to bless his 
Majesty's arms, and that the event of this just war may put 
it in our power to retain some of our conquests at the making 
of a peace ; let us consider whether we are to confine ourselves 
to those possessions only, that were "the objects for which we 
began the war." * This the remarker seems to think right, 
when the question relates to "Canada, properly so catted; it 
having never been mentioned as one of those objects, in any 
of our memorials or declarations, or in any national or public 
act whatsoever." But the gentleman himself will probably 
agree, that if the Cession of Canada would be a real advantage 
to us, we may demand it under his second head, as an "indem- 
nification for the charges incurred" in recovering our just 
rights ; otherwise according to his own principles, the demand 

1 Remarks, p. 19. 



36 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

of Guadaloupe can have no foundation. That "our claims 
before the war were large enough for possession and for secu- 
rity too," 1 tho' it seems a clear point with the ingenious 
remarker, is, I own, not so with me. I am rather of the 
contrary opinion, and shall presently give my reasons. 

But first let me observe, that we did not make those claims 
because they were large enough for security, but because we 
could rightfully claim no more. Advantages gain'd in the 
course of this war may increase the extent of our rights. Our 
claims before the war contained some security ; but that is 
no reason why we should neglect acquiring more when the 
demand of more is become reasonable. It may be reasonable 
in the case of America to ask for the security recommended 
by the author of the letter, 3 tho' it would be preposterous 
to do it in many other cases : his proposed demand is founded 
on the little value of Canada to the French; the right we have 
to ask, and the power we may have to insist on an indemnifi- 
cation for our expences ; the difficulty the French themselves 
will be under of restraining their restless subjects in America 
from encroaching on our limits and disturbing our trade; 
and the difficulty on our part of preventing encroachments 
that may possibly exist many years without coming to our 
knowledge. 

But the remarker "does not see why the arguments em- 
ploy'd concerning a security for a peaceable behaviour in 
Canada, would not be equally cogent for calling for the same 
security in Europe" 3 On a little farther reflection, he must 
I think be sensible, that the circumstances of the two cases 
are widely different. Here we are separated by the best and 

1 Remarks, p. 19. 

2 Page 30 of the Letter, and p. 21 of the Remarks. 8 Remarks, p. 28. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 



37 



clearest of boundaries, the ocean, and we have people in or 
near every part of our territory. Any attempt to encroach 
upon us, by building a fort, even in the obscurest corner of 
these islands, must therefore be known and prevented im- 
mediately. The aggressors also must be known, and the 
nation they belong to would be accountable for their aggres- 
sion. I In America it is quite otherwise. A vast wilderness 
thinly or scarce at all peopled, conceals with ease the march 
of troops and workmen. Important passes may be seiz'd 
within our limits, and forts built in a month, at a small 
expence, that may cost us an age, and a million to remove. 
Dear experience has taught us this. But what is still worse, 
the wide-extended forests between our settlements and theirs 
are inhabited by barbarous tribes of savages, that delight in 
war, and take pride in murder, subjects properly neither of 
the French nor English, but strongly attached to the former 
by the art and indefatigable industry of priests, similarity of 
superstitions, and frequent family alliances. These are easily, 
and have been continually, instigated to fall upon and mas- 
sacre our planters, even in times of full peace between the 
two crowns, to the certain diminution of our people and the 
contraction of our settlements. 1 And though it is known they 

1 A very intelligent writer of that country, Dr. Clark, in his " Observations 
on the late and present Conduct of the French, &c.," printed at Boston, 1755, 
says : 

" The Indians in the French interest are, upon all proper opportunities, 
instigated by their priests, who have generally the chief management of their 
public councils, to acts of hostility against the English, even in time of pro- 
found peace between the two crowns. Of this there are many undeniable 
instances : The war between the Indians and the colonies of the Massachu- 
setts Bay and New Hampshire, in 1723, by which those colonies suffered so 
much damage, was begun by the instigation of the French ; their supplies 
were from them, and there are now original letters of several Jesuits to be 
produced, whereby it evidently appears, that they were continually animating 



38 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

are supply'd by the French, and carry their prisoners to them, 
we can by complaining obtain no redress, as the governors of 
Canada have a ready excuse, that the Indians are an indepen- 
dent people, over whom they have no power, and for whose 
actions they are therefore not accountable. Surely circum- 
stances so widely different, may reasonably authorize different 
demands of security in America, from such as are usual or 
necessary in Europe. 

The remarker, however, thinks, that our real dependance for 
keeping "France or any other nation true to her engagements, 
must not be in demanding securities, which no nation whilst 
independent can give, but on our own strength and our own 
vigilance." * No nation that has carried on a war with dis- 
advantage, and is unable to continue it, can be said, under 
such circumstances, to be independent; and while either side 
thinks itself in a condition to demand an indemnification, 
there is no man in his senses, but will, cceteris paribus, prefer 



the Indians, when almost tired with the war, to a farther prosecution of it. 
The French not only excited the Indians, and supported them, but joined 
their own forces with them in all the late hostilities, that have been committed 
within his Majesty's province of Nova Scotia. And from an intercepted letter 
this year from the Jesuit at Penobscot, and from other information, it is cer- 
tain, that they have been using their utmost endeavours to excite the Indians 
to new acts of hostility against his Majesty's colony of the Massachusetts Bay ; 
and some have been committed. The French not only excite the Indians to 
acts of hostility, but reward them for it by buying the English prisoners of 
them; for the ransom of each of which they afterwards demand of us the 
price, that is usually given for a slave in these colonies. They do this under 
the specious pretense of rescuing the poor prisoners from the cruelties and 
barbarities of the savages ; but in reality to encourage them to continue their 
depredations, as they can by this means get more by hunting the English, 
than by hunting wild beasts ; and the French at the same time are thereby 
enabled to keep up a large body of Indians, entirely at the expence of the 
English." F. 
1 Remarks, p. 25. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 39 

an indemnification that is a cheaper and more effectual 
security than any other he can think of. Nations in this 
situation demand and cede countries by almost every treaty 
of peace that is made. The French part of the island of Sf. 
Christopher's was added to Great Britain in circumstances 
altogether similar to those in which a few months may prob- 
ably place the country of Canada. Farther security has 
always been deemed a motive with a conqueror to be less 
moderate ; and even the vanquish'd insist upon security as a 
reason for demanding what they acknowledge they could not 
otherwise properly ask. 

The security of the frontier of France on the side of the 
Netherlands was always considered, in the negotiation that 
began at Gertruydenburgh, and ended with that war. For the 
same reason they demanded and had Cape Breton. But a 
war concluded to the advantage of France has always added 
something to the power, either of France or the House of Bour- 
bon. Even that of 1733, which she commenced with declara- 
tions of her having no ambitious views, and which finished 
by a treaty at which the ministers of France repeatedly de- 
clared that she desired nothing for herself, in effect gained for 
her Lorrain, an indemnification ten times the value of all her 
North American possessions. 

In short, security and quiet of princes and states have ever 
been deemed sufficient reasons, when supported by power, for 
disposing of rights; and such dispositions have never been 
looked on as want of moderation. It has always been the 
foundation of the most general treaties. The security of 
Germany was the argument for yielding considerable posses- 
sions there to the Swedes : and the security of Europe divided 
the Spanish monarchy by the partition treaty, made between 



40 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

powers who had no other right to dispose of any part of it. 
There can be no cession that is not supposed at least to in- 
crease the power of the party to whom it is made. It is 
enough that he has a right to ask it, and that he does it not 
merely to serve the purposes of a dangerous ambition. 

Canada, in the hands of Britain, will endanger the kingdom 
of France as little as any other cession ; and from its situation 
and circumstances cannot be hurtful to any other state. 
Rather, if peace be an advantage, this cession may be such 
to all Europe. The present war teaches us, that disputes 
arising in America may be an occasion of embroiling nations 
who have no concerns there. If the French remain in Canada 
and Louisiana, fix the boundaries as you will between us and 
them, we must border on each other for more than 1500 miles. 
The people that inhabit the frontiers are generally the refuse 
of both nations, often of the worst morals and the least dis- 
cretion, remote from the eye, the prudence, and the restraint 
of government. Injuries are therefore frequently, in some 
part or other of so long a frontier, committed on both sides, 
resentment provoked, the colonies are first engaged, and then 
the mother countries. And two great nations can scarce 
be at war in Europe, but some other prince or state thinks it a 
convenient opportunity to revive some ancient claim, seize 
some advantage, obtain some territory, or enlarge some power 
at the expence of a neighbour. The flames of war once kin- 
dled, often spread far and wide, and the mischief is infinite. 
Happy it prov'd to both nations, that the Dutch were pre- 
vailed on finally to cede the New Netherlands (now the 
province of New York) to us at the peace of 1674; a peace 
that has ever since continued between us, but must have been 
frequently disturbed, if they had retained the possession of 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 41 

that country, bordering several hundred miles on our colonies 
of Pensilvania westward, Connecticut and the Massachusetts 
eastward. Nor is it to be wondered at that people of differ- 
ent language, religion, and manners, should in those remote 
parts engage in frequent quarrels, when we find, that even 
the people of our own colonies have frequently been so exas- 
perated against each other in their disputes about boundaries, 
as to proceed to open violence and bloodshed. 

But the remarker thinks we shall be sufficiently secure in 
America, if we "raise English forts at such passes as may at 
once make us respectable to the French and to the Indian 
nations." * The security desirable in America may be con- 
sidered as of three kinds, i. A security of possession, that 
the French shall not drive us out of the country. 2. A 
security of our planters from the inroads of savages, and the 
murders committed by them. 3. A security that the British 
nation shall not be obliged, on every new war, to repeat the 
immense expence occasioned by this, to defend its possessions 
in America. 

Forts in the most important passes, may, I acknowledge, 
be of use to obtain the first kind of security : but as those situa- 
tions are far advanc'd beyond the inhabitants, the expence of 
maintaining and supplying the garrisons, will be very great 
even in time of full peace, and immense on every interruption 
of it ; as it is easy for skulking parties of the enemy in such 
long roads thro' the woods, to intercept and cut off our con- 
voys, unless guarded continually by great bodies of men. 

The second kind of security will not be obtained by such 
forts, unless they were connected by a wall like that of China, 
from one end of our settlements to the other. If the Indians 

1 Remarks, p. 25. 



42 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

when at war, march' d like the Europeans, with great armies, 
heavy cannon, baggage and carriages, the passes thro' which 
alone such armies could penetrate our country or receive 
their supplies, being secur'd, all might be sufficiently secure ; 
but the case is widely different. They go to war, as they call 
it, in small parties, from fifty men down to five. Their hunt- 
ing life has made them acquainted with the whole country, 
and scarce any part of it is impracticable to such a party. 
They can travel thro' the woods even by night, and know how 
to conceal their tracks. They pass easily between your forts 
undiscovered; and privately approach the settlements of 
your frontier inhabitants. They need no convoys of pro- 
visions to follow them; for whether they are shifting from 
place to place in the woods, or lying in wait for an opportunity 
to strike a blow, every thicket and every stream furnishes so 
small a number with sufficient subsistence. When they have 
surpriz'd separately, and murder'd and scalp'd a dozen fami- 
lies, they are gone with inconceivable expedition through 
unknown ways, and 'tis very rare that pursuers have any 
chance of coming up with them. 1 In short, long experience 

1 " Although the Indians live scattered, as a hunter's life requires, they may 
be collected together from almost any distance, as they can find their subsist- 
ence from their gun in their travelling. But let the number of the Indians 
be what it will, they are not formidable merely on account of their numbers ; 
there are many other circumstances that give them a great advantage over the 
English. The English inhabitants, though numerous, are extended over a 
large tract of land, 500 leagues in length on the sea shore ; and although 
some of their trading towns are thick settled, their settlements in the country 
towns must be at a distance from each other : besides, that in a new country 
where lands are cheap, people are fond of acquiring large tracts to themselves ; 
and therefore in the out settlements, they must be more remote : and as the 
people that move out are generally poor, they sit down either where they can 
easiest procure land, or soonest raise a subsistence. Add to this, that the 
English have fixed, settled habitations, the easiest and shortest passages to 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 43 

has taught our planters, that they cannot rely upon forts as a 
security against Indians: The inhabitants of Hackney might 

which the Indians, by constantly hunting in the woods, are perfectly well 
acquainted with ; whereas the English know little or nothing of the Indian 
country, nor of the passages through the woods that lead to it. The Indian 
way of making war is by sudden attack upon exposed places ; and as soon as 
they have done mischief, they retire, and either go home by the same or some 
different rout, as they think safest ; or go to some other place at a distance, 
to renew their stroke. If a sufficient party should happily be ready to pursue 
them, it is a great chance, whether in a country consisting of woods and 
swamps, which the English are not acquainted with, the enemy do not lie in 
ambush for them in some convenient place, and from thence destroy them. 
If this should not be the case, but the English should pursue them, as soon 
as they have gained the rivers, by means of their canoes, to the use of which 
they are brought up from their infancy, they presently get out of their reach : 
further, if a body of men were to march into their country, to the places where 
they are settled, they can, upon the least notice, without great disadvantage, 
quit their present habitations, and betake themselves to new ones." CLARK'S 
" Observations," p. 13. 

" It has been already remarked, that the tribes of the Indians living upon 
the lakes and rivers that run upon the back of the English settlements in 
North America, are very numerous, and can furnish a great number of fight- 
ing men, all perfectly well acquainted with the use of arms as soon as capable 
of carrying them, as they get the whole of their subsistence from hunting ; 
and that this army, large as it may be, can be maintained by the French with- 
out any expence. From their numbers, their situation, and the rivers that run 
into the English settlements, it is easy to conceive that they can at any time 
make an attack upon, and constantly annoy as many of the exposed English 
settlements as they please, and those at any distance from each other. The 
effects of such incursions have been too severely felt by many of the British 
colonies, not to be very well known. The entire breaking up places that 
had been for a considerable time settled at a great expence, both of labour 
and money ; burning the houses, destroying the stock, killing and making 
prisoners great numbers of the inhabitants, with all the cruel usage they meet 
with in their captivity, is only a part of the scene. All other places, that are 
exposed, are kept in continual terror ; the lands lie waste and uncultivated 
from the danger that attends those that shall presume to work upon them ; 
besides the immense charge the governments must be at in a very ineffectual 
manner to defend their extended frontiers ; and all this from the influence 
the French have had over, but comparatively, a few of the Indians. To the 
same or greater evils still will every one of the colonies be exposed, whenever 
the same influence shall be extended to the whole body of them." Ibid., p. 20. 



44 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

as well rely upon the tower of London to secure them against 
highwaymen and housebreakers. 

As to the third kind of security, that we shall not, in a few 
years, have all we have now done to do over again in America; 
and be obliged to employ the same number of troops, and ships, 
at the same immense expence, to defend our possessions there, 
while we are in proportion weakened here : such forts, I think, 
cannot prevent this. During a peace, it is not to be doubted 
the French, who are adroit at fortifying, will likewise erect 
forts in the most advantageous places of the country we leave 
them, which will make it more difficult than ever to be reduc'd 
in case of another war. We know by the experience of this 
war, how extremely difficult it is to march an army through the 
American woods, with its necessary cannon and stores, suf- 
ficient to reduce a very slight fort. The accounts at the treas- 
ury will tell you what amazing sums we have necessarily spent 
in the expeditions against two very trifling forts, Duquesne 
and Crown Point. While the French retain their influence 
over the Indians, they can easily keep our long-extended 
frontier in continual alarm, by a very few of those people; 
and with a small number of regulars and militia, in such a 
country, we find they can keep an army of ours in full employ 
for several years. We therefore shall not need to be told by 
our colonies, that, if we leave Canada, however circumscrib'd, 
to the French, "we have done nothing"; 1 we shall soon be 
made sensible ourselves of this truth, and to our cost. 

I would not be understood to deny that even if we subdue 
and retain Canada, some few forts may be of use to secure the 
goods of the traders, and protect the commerce, in case of any 
sudden misunderstanding with any tribe of Indians: but 

1 Remarks, p. 26. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 45 

these forts will be best under the care of the colonies interested 
in the Indian trade, and garrison'd by their provincial forces, 
and at their own expence. Their own interest will then 
induce the American governments to take care of such forts 
in proportion to their importance ; and see that the officers 
keep their corps full, and mind their duty. But any troops 
of ours plac'd there, and accountable here, would, in such 
remote and obscure places, and at so great a distance from the 
eye and inspection of superiors, soon become of little conse- 
quence, even though the French were left in possession of 
Canada. If the four independent companies, maintained by 
the Crown in New York more than forty years, at a great ex- 
pence, consisted, for most part of the time, of faggots chiefly ; 
if their officers enjoy'd their places as sinecures, and were only, 
as a writer * of that country stiles them, a kind of military 
monks; if this was the state of troops posted in a populous 
country, where the imposition could not be so well conceal'd ; 
what may we expect will be the case of those that shall be 
posted two, three, or four hundred miles from the inhabitants, 
in such obscure and remote places as Crown Point, Oswego, 
Duquesne, or Niagara ? They would scarce be even faggots ; 
they would dwindle to meer names upon paper, and appear 
nowhere but upon the muster-rolls. 

Now all the kinds of security we have mentioned are ob- 
tain'd by subduing and retaining Canada. Our present pos- 
sessions in America are secur'd ; our planters will no longer be 
massacred by the Indians, who depending absolutely on us 
for what are now become the necessaries of life to them, guns, 
powder, hatchets, knives, and cloathing ; and having no other 
Europeans near, that can either supply them, or instigate 

1 Douglass. 



46 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

them against us; there is no doubt of their being always 
disposed, if we treat them with common justice, to live in 
perpetual peace with us. And with regard to France, she can- 
not, in case of another war, put us to the immense expence of 
defending that long-extended frontier; we shall then, as it 
were, have our backs against a wall in America, the sea- 
coast will be easily protected by our superior naval power; 
and here "our own watchfulness and our own strength " will 
be properly, and cannot but be successfully employed. In 
this situation the force now employ'd in that part of the world, 
may be spar'd for any other service here or elsewhere; sa 
that both the offensive and defensive strength of the British 
empire, on the whole, will be greatly increased. 

But to leave the French in possession of Canada, when it is 
in our power to remove them, and depend (as the remarker 
proposes) on our own "strength and watchfulness" l to prevent 
the mischiefs that may attend it, seems neither safe nor pru- 
dent. Happy as we now are, under the best of kings, and in 
the prospect of a succession promising every felicity a nation 
was ever bless'd with : happy too in the wisdom and vigour 
of every part of the administration ; we cannot, we ought not 
to promise ourselves the uninterrupted continuance of those 
blessings. The safety of a considerable part of the state, and 
the interest of the whole are not to be trusted to the wisdom 
and vigor of future administrations, when a security is to be 
had more effectual, more constant, and much less expensive. 
They who can be moved by the apprehension of dangers so 
remote as that of the future independence of our colonies (a 
point I shall hereafter consider) seem scarcely consistent 
with themselves, when they suppose we may rely on the wisdom- 

1 Remarks, p. 25. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 47 

and vigour of an administration for their safety. I should 
indeed think it less material whether Canada were ceded to 
us or not, if I had in view only the security of possession in our 
colonies. I entirely agree with the Remarker, that we are in 
North America "a far greater continental as well as naval 
power," and that only cowardice or ignorance can subject 
our colonies there to a French conquest. But for the same 
reason, I disagree with him widely upon another point. 
| I do not think, that our "blood and treasure has been ex- 
pended," as he intimates, "in the cause of the colonies" and 
that we are, "making conquests for them;" 1 yet I believe this 
is too common an error. I do not say they are altogether 
unconcerned in the event. The inhabitants of them are, in 
common with the other subjects of Great Britain, anxious for 
the glory of her crown, the extent of her power and commerce, 
the welfare and future repose of the whole British people. I 
They could not, therefore but take a large share in the affronts 
offered to Britain, and have been animated with a truely 
British spirit to exert themselves beyond their strength, and 
against their evident interest. Yet so unfortunate have they 
been, that their virtue has made against them; for upon no 
better foundation than this, have they been supposed the 
authors of a war carried on for their advantage only. 

It is a great mistake to imagine, that the American country 
in question between Great Britain and France is claimed as 
the property of any individuals or publick body in America; 
or that the possession of it by Great Britain is likely, in any 
lucrative view, to redound at all to the advantage of any per- 
son there. On the other hand, the bulk of the inhabitants 
of North America are land-owners, whose lands are inferior 

1 Remarks, p. 26. 



48 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

in value to those of Britain only by the want of an equal num- 
ber of people. It is true, the accession of the large territory 
claimed before the war began, especially if that be secured 
by the possession of Canada, will tend to the increase of the 
British subjects faster than if they had been confined within 
the mountains: yet the increase within the mountains only, 
would evidently make the comparative population equal to 
that of Great Britain much sooner than it can be expected 
when our people are spread over a country six times as large. 
I think this is the only point of light in which this question is 
to be viewed, and is the only one in which any of the colonies 
are concerned. 

No colony, no possessor of lands in any colony, therefore 
wishes for conquests, or can be benefited by them, otherwise 
than as they may be a means of securing peace on their 
borders. No considerable advantage has resulted to the colo- 
nies by the conquests of this war, or can result from confirm- 
ing them by the peace, but what they must enjoy in common 
with the rest of the British people ; with this evident drawback 
from their share of these advantages, that they will necessarily 
lessen, or at least prevent the increase of the value of what 
makes the principal part of their private property, j A people 
spread through the whole tract of country, on this side the 
Mississipi 9 and secured by Canada in our hands, would 
probably for some centuries find employment in agriculture, 
and thereby free us at home effectually from our fears of 
American manufactures. Unprejudic'd men well know that 
all the penal and prohibitory laws that ever were thought on 
will not be sufficient to prevent manufactures in a country 
whose inhabitants surpass the number that can subsist by 
the husbandry of it. That this will be the case in America 



I76o] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 49 

soon, if our people remain confined within the mountains, 
and almost as soon should it be unsafe for them to live beyond, 
though the country be ceded to us, no man acquainted with 
political and commercial history can doubt. / Manufactures 
are founded in poverty. It is the multitude of poor without 
land in a country, and who must work for others at low wages 
or starve, that enables undertakers to carry on a manufacture, 
and afford it cheap enough to prevent the importation of the 
same kind from abroad, and to bear the expence of its own 
exportation. 

But no man who can have a piece of land of his own, suf- 
ficient by his labour to subsist his family in plenty, is poor 
enough to be a manufacturer, and work for a master. Hence 
while there is land enough in America for our people, there 
can never be manufactures to any amount or value. It is a 
striking observation of a very able pen, that the natural lively- 
hood of the thin inhabitants of a forest country is hunting; 
that of a greater number, pasturage ; that of a middling popu- 
lation, agriculture; and that of the greatest, manufactures; 
which last must subsist the bulk of the people in a full country, 
or they must be subsisted by charity, or perish. | The ex- 
tended population, therefore, that is most advantageous to 
Great Britain, will be best effected, because only effectually 
secured by the possession of Canada. \ 

So far as the being of our present colonies in North America 
is concerned, I think indeed with the remarker, that the 
French there are not "an enemy to be apprehended;" 1 but 
the expression is too vague to be applicable to the present, 
or indeed to any other case. Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, 
unequal as they are to this nation in power and numbers of 

1 Remarks, p. 27. 
VOL. iv E 



50 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

people, are enemies to be still apprehended ; and the High- 
landers of Scotland have been so for many ages by the greatest 
princes of Scotland and Britain. The wild Irish were able to 
give a great deal of disturbance even to Queen Elizabeth, and 
cost her more blood and treasure than her war with Spain. 
Canada in the hands of France has always stinted the growth 
of our colonies : In the course of this war, and indeed before 
it, has disturb'd and vex'd even the best and strongest of them, 
has found means to murder thousands of their people and 
unsettle a great part of their country. Much more able will 
it be to starve the growth of an infant settlement. Canada 
has also found means to make this nation spend two or three 
millions a year in America; and a people, how small soever, 
that in their present situation, can do this as often as we 
have a war with them, is, methinks, "an enemy to be appre- 
hended." 

Our North American colonies are to be considered as the 
frontier of the British empire on that side. The frontier of 
any dominion being attack'd, it becomes not merely "the 
cause" of the people immediately affected, (the inhabitants 
of that frontier) but properly "the cause" of the whole body. 
Where the frontier people owe and pay obedience, there they 
have a right to look for protection. No political proposition 
is better established than this. It is therefore invidious to 
represent the "blood and treasure" spent in this war, as 
spent in "the cause of the colonies" only, and that they are 
"absurd and ungrateful " if they think we have done nothing 
unless we "make conquests for them," and reduce Canada 
to gratify their "vain ambition," &c. It will not be a con- 
quest for them, nor gratify any vain ambition of theirs. It 
will be a conquest for the whole ; and all our people will, in 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 51 

the increase of trade, and the ease of taxes, find the advantage 
of it. 

Should we be obliged at any time to make a war for the 
protection of our commerce, and to secure the exportation of 
our manufactures, would it be fair to represent such a war 
merely as blood and treasure spent in the cause of the weavers 
of Yorkshire, Norwich, or the West, the cutlers of Sheffield, 
or the button-makers of Birmingham ? I hope it will appear 
before I end these sheets, that if ever there was a national war, 
this is truly such a one : a war in which the interest of the 
whole nation is directly and fundamentally concerned. 
Those who would be thought deeply skilled in human nature, 
affect to discover self-interested views everywhere at the 
bottom of the fairest, the most generous conduct. Sus- 
picions and charges of this kind, meet with ready reception 
and belief in the minds even of the multitude ; and therefore 
less acuteness and address than the remarker is possessed of, 
would be sufficient to persuade the nation generally, that all 
the zeal and spirit manifested and exerted by the colonies in 
this war, was only in "their own cause," to "make conquest 
for themselves," to engage us to make more for them, to 
gratify their own "vain ambition." 

But should they now humbly address the mother country, 
in the terms and the sentiments of the remarker; return her 
their grateful acknowledgements for the blood and treasure 
she had spent in "their cause" ; confess that enough had been 
done "for them" ; allow that "English forts, raised in proper 
passes, will, with the wisdom and vigour of her administra- 
tion," be a sufficient future protection ; express their desires 
that their people may be confined within the mountains, lest 
they are suffered to spread and extend themselves in the fertile 



52 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

and pleasant country on the other side, they should "increase 
infinitely from all causes" "live wholly on their own labour" 
and become independent; beg therefore that the French 
may be suffered to remain in possession of Canada, as their 
neighbourhood may be useful to prevent our increase, and the 
removing them may "in its consequences be even dangerous." 1 
I say, should such an address from the colonies make its ap- 
pearance here, though, according to the remarker, it would 
be a most just and reasonable one ; would it not, might it not 
with more justice be answered; "We understand you, gentle- 
men, perfectly well : you have only your own interest in view : 
you want to have the people confined within your present 
limits, that in a few years the lands you are possessed of may 
increase tenfold in value ! You want to reduce the price of 
labour by increasing numbers on the same territory, that 
you may be able to set up manufactures and vie with your 
mother country 1 You would have your people kept in a 
body, that you may be more able to dispute the commands 
of the crown, and obtain an independency. You would have 
the French left in Canada, to exercise your military virtue, 
and make you a warlike people, that you may have more con- 
fidence to embark in schemes of disobedience, and greater 
ability to support them! You have tasted, too, the sweets 
of TWO OR THREE MILLIONS Sterling per annum spent among 
you by our fleets and forces, and you are unwilling to be 
without a pretence for kindling up another war, and thereby 
occasioning a repetition of the same delightful doses ! But, 
gentlemen, allow us to understand our interest a little likewise ; 
we shall remove the French from Canada, that you may live 
in peace, and we be no more drained by your quarrels. You 

1 Remarks, pp. 50, 51. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 53 

shall have land enough to cultivate, that you may have neither 
necessity nor inclination to go into manufactures, and we 
will manufacture for you, and govern you." 

A reader of the remarks may be apt to say; "If this writer 
would have us restore Canada on principles of moderation, 
how can we, consistent with those principles, retain Guada- 
loup, which he represents of so much greater value !" I will 
endeavour to explain this, because by doing it I shall have an 
opportunity of showing the truth and good sense of the answer 
to the interested application I have just supposed. The 
author, then, is only apparently and not really inconsistent 
with himself. If we can obtain the credit of moderation by 
restoring Canada, it is well : but we should, however, restore 
it at all events ; because it would not only be of no use to us, 
but "the possession of it (in his opinion) may in its conse- 
quences be dangerous." 1 As how? Why, plainly, (at 
length it comes out) if the French are not left there to check 
the growth of our colonies, "they will extend themselves 
almost without bounds into the inland parts, and increase 
infinitely from all causes; becoming a numerous, hardy, 
independent people ; possessed of a strong country, communi- 
cating little or not at all with England, living wholly on their 
own labour, and in process of time knowing little and inquir- 
ing little about the mother country." 

In short, according to this writer, our present colonies are 
large enough and numerous enough; and the French ought 
to be left in North America to prevent their increase, lest they 
become not only useless, but dangerous to Britain. I agree 
with the gentleman, that, with Canada in our possession, our 
people in America will increase amazingly. I know, that 

1 Remarks, pp. 50, 51. 



54 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

their common rate of increase, where they are not molested by 
the enemy, is doubling their numbers every twenty-five years, 
by natural generation only; exclusive of the accession of 
foreigners. 1 I think this increase continuing would probably, 
in a century more, make the number of British subjects on 
that side the water more numerous than they now are on this ; 
but, I am far from entertaining, on that account, any fears of 
their becoming either useless or dangerous to us ; and I look 
on those fears to be merely imaginary, and without any 
probable foundation. The remarker is reserv'd in giving his 
reasons; as, in his opinion, this "is not a fit subject for dis- 
cussion." I shall give mine, because I conceive it a subject 
necessary to be discuss' d ; and the rather, as those fears how 
groundless and chimerical soever, may by possessing the mul- 
titude, possibly induce the ablest ministry to conform to them 
against their own judgment ; and thereby prevent the assur- 
ing to the British name and nation a stability and perma- 
nency that no man acquainted with history durst have hoped 
for, 'till our American possessions opened the pleasing pros- 
pect. 

The remarker thinks, that our people in America, "finding 
no check from Canada would extend themselves almost with- 
out bounds into the inland parts, and increase infinitely from 

1 The reason of this greater increase in America than in Europe is, that in 
old settled countries, all trades, farms, offices, and employments are full, and 
many people refrain marrying till they see an opening, in which they can 
settle themselves, with a reasonable prospect of maintaining a family : but in 
America, it being easy to obtain land, which, with moderate labour will afford 
subsistence and something to spare, people marry more readily and earlier in 
life, whence arises a numerous offspring and the swift population of those 
countries. Tis a common error, that we cannot fill our provinces or increase 
the number of them, without draining this nation of its people. The increase 
alone of our present colonies is sufficient for both those purposes. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 55 

all causes." The very reason he assigns for their so extend- 
ing, and which is indeed the true one, their being "invited to 
it by the pleasantness, fertility and plenty of the country," 
may satisfy us, that this extension will continue to proceed as 
Iqng as there remains any pleasant fertile country within 
their reach. And if we even suppose them confin'd by the 
waters of the Mississipi westward, and by those of St. Lau- 
rence and the lakes to the northward, yet still we shall leave 
them room enough to increase, even in the sparse manner of 
settling now practis'd there, till they amount to perhaps a 
hundred millions of souls. This must take some centuries to 
fulfil, and in the mean time, this nation must necessarily supply 
them with the manufactures they consume, because the new 
settlers will be employed in agriculture; and the new settle- 
ments will so continually draw off the spare hands from the 
old, that our present colonies will not, during the period we 
have mentioned, find themselves in a condition to manu- 
facture even for their own inhabitants, to any considerable 
degree, much less for those who are settling behind them. 

Thus our trade must, till that country becomes as fully 
peopled as England, that is for centuries to come, be con- 
tinually increasing, and with it our naval power ; because the 
ocean is between us and them, and our ships and seamen 
must increase as that trade increases. 

The human body and the political differ in this, that the 
first is limited by nature to a certain stature, which, when 
attain'd, it cannot, ordinarily, exceed; the other by better 
government and more prudent police, as well as by change 
of manners and other circumstances, often takes fresh starts 
of growth, after being long at a stand ; and may add tenfold 
to the dimensions it had for ages been confined to. The 



56 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

mother being of full stature, is in a few years equaFd by a 
growing daughter: but in the case of a mother-country and 
her colonies, it is quite different. The growth of the children 
tends to increase the growth of the mother, and so the differ- 
ence and superiority is longer preserved. Were the inhabit- 
ants of this island limited to their present number by any 
thing in nature, or by unchangeable circumstances, the 
equality of population between the two countries might 
indeed sooner come to pass: but sure experience in those 
parts of the island where manufactures have been introduc'd, 
teaches us, that people increase and multiply in proportion 
as the means and facility of gaining a livelihood increase; 
and that this island, if they could be employed, is capable of 
supporting ten times its present number of people. 
! In proportion, therefore, as the demand increases for the 
manufactures of Britain, by the increase of people in her 
colonies, the number of her people at home will increase, and 
with them the strength as well as the wealth of the nation. 
For satisfaction in this point let the reader compare in his 
mind the number and force of our present fleets with our 
fleet in Queen Elizabeth's time 1 before we had colonies. Let 
him compare the antient with the present state of our towns 
and ports on or near our western coast, Manchester, Liverpool, 
Kendal, Lancaster, Glasgow, and the countries round them, that 
trade with and manufacture for our colonies, not to mention 
Leeds, Halifax, Sheffield and Birmingham, and consider what 
a difference there is in the numbers of people, buildings, rents, 
and the value of land and of the produce of land, even if he 
goes back no farther than is within man's memory. Let him 
compare those countries with others on the same island, 

1 Namely, 40 sail, none of more than 40 guns. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 57 

where manufactures have not yet extended themselves, ob- 
serve the present difference, and reflect how much greater 
our strength may be, if numbers give strength, when our 
manufacturers shall occupy every part of the island where 
they can possibly be subsisted. 

But, say the objectors, "there is a certain distance from 
the sea, in America, beyond which the expence of carriage 
will put a stop to the sale and consumption of your manu- 
factures; and this, with the difficulty of making returns for 
them, will oblige the inhabitants to manufacture for them- 
selves; of course, if you suffer your people to extend their 
settlements beyond that distance, your people become useless 
to you ;" and this distance is limited by some to 200 miles, by 
others to the Apalachlan mountains. 

Not to insist on a very plain truth, that no part of a dominion, 
from whence a government may on occasion draw supplies 
and aids both of men and money, tho' at too great a distance 
to be supply'd with manufactures from some other part, is 
therefore to be deem'd useless to the whole ; I shall endeavour 
to show that these imaginary limits of utility, even in point of 
commerce, are much too narrow. The inland parts of the 
continent of Europe are farther from the sea than the limits 
of settlement proposed for America. Germany is full of 
tradesmen and artificers of all kinds, and the governments 
there, are not all of them always favourable to the commerce 
of Britain, yet it is a well-known fact, that our manufactures 
find their way even into the heart of Germany. Ask the great 
manufacturers and merchants of the Leeds, Sheffield, Bir- 
mingham, Manchester and Norwich goods, and they will 
tell you, that some of them send their riders frequently thro' 
France or Spain and Italy, up to Vienna, and back thro' the 



58 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

middle and northern parts of Germany, to show samples of 
their wares and collect orders, which they receive by almost 
every mail, to a vast amount. Whatever charges arise on 
the carriage of goods, are added to the value, and all paid by 
the consumer. 

If these nations, over whom we have no government, over 
whose consumption we can have no influence, but what arises 
from the cheapness and goodness of our wares ; whose trade, 
manufactures, or commercial connections are not subject to 
the controul of our laws, as those of our colonies certainly are 
in some degree : I say, if these nations purchase and consume 
such quantities of our goods, notwithstanding the remote- 
ness of their situation from the sea ; how much less likely is it 
that the settlers in America, who must for ages be employ'd 
in agriculture chiefly, should make cheaper for themselves 
the goods our manufacturers at present supply them with; 
even if we suppose the carriage five, six, or seven hundred 
miles from the sea as difficult and expensive as the like dis- 
tance into Germany: whereas in the latter, the natural dis- 
tances are frequently doubled by political obstructions, I 
mean the intermixed territories and clashing interests of 
princes. \ ; 

But when we consider that the inland parts of America are 
penetrated by great navigable rivers % and there are a number 
of great lakes, communicating with each other, with those 
rivers and with the sea, very small portages here and there 
excepted; 1 that the sea-coasts (if one may be allow' d the 

1 From New York into Lake Ontario, the land-carriage of the several 
portages altogether, amounts to but about 27 miles. From Lake Ontario into 
Lake Erie, the land-carriage at Niagara is but about 12 miles. All the lakes 
above Niagara communicate by navigable straits, so that no land-carriage is 
necessary, to go out of one into another. From Presqtf Isle on Lake Erie, 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 



59 



expression) of those lakes only, amount at least to 2700 miles, 
exclusive of the rivers running into them ; many of which are 
navigable to a great extent for boats and canoes, thro' vast 
tracts of country; how little likely is it that the expence on 
the carriage of our goods into those countries, should prevent 
the use of them. If the poor Indians in those remote parts 
are now able to pay for the linen, woollen and iron wares they 
are at present furnish'd with by the French and English 
traders, though Indians have nothing but what they get by 
hunting, and the goods are loaded with all the impositions 
fraud and knavery can contrive to inhance their value; will 
not industrious English farmers, hereafter settled in those 
countries, be much better able to pay for what shall be brought 
them in the way of fair commerce? 

If it is asked, What can such farmers raise, wherewith to 
pay for the manufactures they may want from us ? / 1 answer, 
that the inland parts of America in question are well known 
to be fitted for the production of hemp, flax, potash, and, 
above all, silk; the southern parts may produce olive-oil, 
raisins, currans, indigo, and cochineal. Not to mention horses 
and black cattle, which may easily be driven to the maritime 
markets, and at the same time assist in conveying other com- 
modities. That the commodities first mentioned, may easily 
by water or land carriage be brought to the sea-ports from 
interior America, will not seem incredible, when we reflect, 
that hemp formerly came from the Ukraine, and most southern 
parts of Russia, to Wologda, and down the Dwina to Arch- 
angel, and thence by a perilous navigation round the North 

there are but 15 miles land-carriage, and that a good waggon-road, to Beef 
River, a branch of the Ohio ; which brings you into a navigation of many 
thousand miles inland, if you take together the Ohio, the Mississippi, and all 
the great rivers and branches that run into them. 



6o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

Cape to England and other parts of Europe. It now comes 
from the same country up the Dnieper, and down the Duna 
with much land carriage. Great part of the Russia iron, no 
high-priced commodity, is brought 300 miles by land and 
water from the heart of Siberia. Furs, (the produce too of 
America) are brought to Amsterdam from all parts of Siberia, 
even the most remote, Kamschatka. The same country fur- 
nishes me with another instance of extended inland commerce. 

It is found worth while to keep up a mercantile communi- 
cation between Peking in China, and Peter sburgh. And none 
of these instances of inland commerce exceed those of the 
courses by which, at several periods, the whole trade of the 
East was carried on. Before the prosperity of the Mamaluke 
dominion in Egypt fixed the staple for the riches of the East 
at Cairo and Alexandria, whither they were brought from the 
Red Sea, great part of those commodities were carried to the 
cities of Cashgar and Balk. This gave birth to those towns, 
that still subsist upon the remains of their ancient opulence, 
amidst a people and country equally wild. From thence those 
goods were carried down the Amu, the ancient Oxus, to the 
Caspian Sea, and up the Wolga to Astrachan, from whence 
they were carried over to, and down the Don to the mouth of 
that river; and thence again the Venetians directly, and the 
Genoese and Venetians indirectly by way of Kaffa and Trebi- 
sonde, dispersed them thro* the Mediterranean and some other 
parts of Europe. 

Another part of those goods was carried over-land from the 
Wolga to the rivers Duna and Neva; from both they were 
carried to the city of Wisbuy in the Baltick so eminent for its 
sea-laws ; and from the city of Ladoga on the Neva, we are 
told they were even carried by the Dwina to Archangel, and 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN" 61 

from thence round the North Cape. If iron and hemp will 
bear the charge of carriage from this inland country, other 
metals will as well as iron ; and certainly silk, since $d t per 
Ib. is not above i per cent, on the value, and amounts to 28 
per ton. If the growths of a country find their way out of it, 
the manufactures of the countries where they go will infallibly 
find their way into it. 

They who understand the ceconomy and principles of 
manufactures, know, that it is impossible to establish them 
in places not populous ; and even in those that are populous, 
hardly possible to establish them to the prejudice of the places 
already in possession of them. Several attempts have been 
made in France and Spain, countenanced by the government, 
to draw from us and establish in those countries, our hard- 
ware and woollen manufactures ; but without success. 

The reasons are various. A manufacture is part of a great 
system of commerce, which takes in conveniencies of various 
kinds, methods of providing materials of all sorts, machines 
for expediting and facilitating labour, all the channels of cor- 
respondence for vending the wares, the credit and confidence 
necessary to found and support this correspondence, the 
mutual aid of different artizans, and a thousand other par- 
ticulars, which time and long experience have gradually estab- 
lished. A part of such a system cannot support itself without 
the whole, and before the whole can be obtained the part 
perishes. Manufactures where they are in perfection, are 
carried on by a multiplicity of hands, each of which is expert 
only in his own part ; no one of them a master of the whole ; 
and if by any means spirited away to a foreign country, he is 
lost without his fellows. Then it is a matter of the extremest 
difficulty to persuade a compleat set of workmen, skilled in 



62 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

all parts of a manufactory to leave their country together, 
and settle in a foreign land. Some of the idle and drunken 
may be enticed away, but these only disappoint their em- 
ployers, and serve to discourage the undertaking. If by 
royal munificence, and an expence that the profits of the trade 
alone would not bear, a compleat set of good and skilful hands 
are collected and carried over, they find so much of the system 
imperfect, so many things wanting to carry on the trade to 
advantage, so many difficulties to overcome, and the knot of 
hands so easily broken by death, dissatisfaction, and deser- 
tion, that they and their employers are discouraged together, 
and the project vanishes into smoke. 

Hence it happens, that established manufactures are hardly 
ever lost, but by foreign conquest, or by some eminent interior 
fault in manners or government ; a bad police oppressing and 
discouraging the workmen, or religious persecutions driving 
the sober and industrious out of the country. There is, in 
short, scarce a single instance in history of the contrary, where 
manufactures have once taken firm root. They sometimes 
start up in a new place; but are generally supported like 
exotic plants at more expence than they are worth for any 
thing but curiosity ; until these new seats become the refuge 
of the manufacturers driven from the old ones. 

The conquest of Constantinople, and final reduction of the 
Greek empire, dispersed many curious manufacturers into 
different parts of Christendom. The former conquests of its 
provinces had before done the same. The loss of liberty in 
Verona, Milan, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, and other great cities 
of Italy, drove the manufacturers of woollen cloths into Spain 
and Flanders. The latter first lost their trade and manu- 
factures to Antwerp and the cities of Brabant, from whence 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 63 

by persecution for religion, they were sent into Holland and 
England. The civil wars during the minority of Charles 
the First of Spain, which ended in the loss of the liberty of 
their great towns, ended too in the loss of the manufactures of 
Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Medina del campo, &c. The 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes communicated to all the 
Protestant parts of Europe, the paper, silk, and other valuable 
manufactures of France, almost peculiar at that time to that 
country, and till then in vain attempted elsewhere. 

To be convinc'd that it is not soil and climate, or even 
freedom from taxes, that determines the residence of manu- 
facturers, we need only turn our eyes on Holland, where a 
multitude of manufactures are still carried on (perhaps more 
than on the same extent of territory anywhere in Europe) and 
sold on terms upon which they cannot be had in any other 
part of the world. And this too is true of those growths, 
which by their nature and the labour required to raise them, 
come the nearest to manufactures. 

As to the commonplace objection to the North American 
settlements, that they are in the same climate, and their produce 
the same, as that of England; in the first place, it is not true; 
it is particularly not so of the countries now likely to be added 
to our settlements ; and of our present colonies, the products, 
lumber, tobacco, rice and indigo, great articles of commerce, 
do not interfere with the products of England: in the next 
place, a man must know very little of the trade of the world, 
who does not know, that the greater part of it is carried on 
between countries whose climates differ very little. Even the 
trade between the different parts of these British islands, is 
greatly superior to that between England and all the West 
India islands put together. 



64 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

If I have been successful in proving that a considerable 
commerce may and will subsist between us and our future 
most inland settlements in North America, notwithstanding 
their distance, I have more than half proved no other incon- 
veniency will arise from their distance. Many men in such 
a country must "know" must "think" and must "care" 
about the country they chiefly trade with. The juridical and 
other connections of government are yet a faster hold than 
even commercial ties, and spread directly and indirectly far 
and wide. Business to be solicited and causes depending, 
create a great intercourse, even where private property is not 
divided in different countries, yet this division will always 
subsist where different countries are ruled by the same gov- 
ernment. Where a man has landed property both in the 
mother country and a province, he will almost always live in 
the mother country : this, tho' there were no trade, is singly 
a sufficient gain. It is said, that Ireland pays near a million 
Sterling annually to its absentees in England. The ballance 
of trade from Spain or even Portugal is scarcely equal to this. 

Let it not be said we have no absentees from North America. 
There are many, to the writer's knowledge ; and if there are 
at present but few of them that distinguish themselves here 
by great expence, it is owing to the mediocrity of fortune 
among the inhabitants of the Northern colonies, and a more 
equal division of landed property, than in the West India 
islands, so that there are as yet but few large estates. But if 
those who have such estates, reside upon and take care of them 
themselves, are they worse subjects than they would be if they 
lived idly in England ? 

Great merit is assumed for the gentlemen of the West 
Indies, 1 on the score of their residing and spending their 

1 Remarks, pp. 47, 48, &c. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 65 

money in England. I would not depreciate that merit; it 
is considerable, for they might, if they pleased, spend their 
money in France: but the difference between their spending 
it here and at home is not so great. What do they spend it in 
when they are here, but the produce and manufactures of this 
country; and would they not do the same if they were at 
home? Is it of any great importance to the English farmer, 
whether the West India gentleman comes to London and eats 
his beef, pork, and tongues, fresh, or has them brought to 
him in the West[ Indies salted; whether he eats his English 
cheese and butter, or drinks his English ale at London or in 
Barbadoes ? Is the clothier's, or the mercer's, or the cutler's, 
or the toyman's profit less, for their goods being worn and 
consumed by the same persons residing on the other side of 
the ocean ? Would not the profits of the merchant and mari- 
ner be rather greater, and some addition made to our navi- 
gation, ships, and seamen ? If the North American gentleman 
stays in his own country, and lives there in that degree of 
luxury and expence with regard to the use of British manufac- 
tures, that his fortune enables him to ; may not his example 
(from the imitation of superiors so natural to mankind) spread 
the use of those manufactures among hundreds of families 
around him, and occasion a much greater demand for them, 
than it would do if he should remove and live in London? 
However this may be, if in our views of immediate advan- 
tage, it seems preferable that the gentlemen of large fortunes 
in North America should reside much in England, 'tis what 
may surely be expected as fast as such fortunes are acquired 
there. Their having "colleges of their own for the education 
of their youth," will not prevent it. A little knowledge and 
learning acquired, increases the appetite for more, and will 

VOL. IV F 



66 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

make the conversation of the learned on this side the water 
more strongly desired. Ireland has its university likewise ; 
yet this does not prevent the immense pecuniary benefit we 
receive from that kingdom. And there will always be in 
the conveniencies of life, the politeness, the pleasures, the 
magnificence of the reigning country, many other attractions 
besides those of learning, to draw men of substance there, 
where they can, apparently at least, have the best bargain of 
happiness for their money. 

Our trade to the West India islands is undoubtedly a valu- 
able one : but whatever is the amount of it, it has long been 
at a stand. Limited as our sugar planters are by the scanti- 
ness of territory, they cannot increase much beyond their 
present number ; and this is an evil, as I shall show hereafter, 
that will be little helped by our keeping Guadaloupe. 

The trade to our Northern Colonies is not only greater, 
but yearly increasing with the increase of the people : and 
even in a greater proportion, as the people increase in wealth 
and the ability of spending, as well as in numbers. 1 I have 

1 The writer has obtained accounts of the exports to North America and 
the West India Islands, by which it appears, that there has been some increase 
of trade to those Islands, as well as to North America, though in a much less 
degree. The following extract from these accounts will show the reader, at 
one view the amount of the exports to each, in two different terms of five 
years ; the terms taken at ten years' distance from each other, to show the 

increase, viz. 

First term, from 1744 to 1748, inclusive. 



Northern Colonies. 


West India 


Islands. 


1744 


640,114 


12 


4 


;796,"2 


17 


9 


1745 


534,316 


2 


5 


503,669 


19 


9 


1746 


754,945 


4 


3 


472,994 


16 


7 


1747 


726,648 


5 


5 


856,463 


18 


6 


1748 


830,243 


16 


9 


734,095 


15 


3 


Total, 


3,486,268 


i 


2 


3,363,337 


10 


10 










Difference, 122,930 


10 


4 



3,486,268 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 67 

already said, that our people in the Northern Colonies double 
in about 25 years, exclusive of the accession of strangers. 
That I speak within bounds, I appeal to the authentic ac- 
counts frequently required by the board of trade, and trans- 
mitted to that board by the respective governors; of which 

Second term, from 1754 to 1758, inclusive. 
Northern Colonies. West India Islands. 

1754 1,246,615 i ii 685,675 3 o 

*755 1,177,848 6 10 694,667 13 3 

1756 1,428,720 1 8 10 733,45 s l6 3 

1757 i,7 2 7924 2 10 776,488 o 6 

1758 1,832,948 13 10 877,571 19 ii 

Total, 7,414,057 4 3 3,767, 8 4i 12 ii 

Difference, 3,646,215 n 4 

7414,057 4 3 
In the first term, total for West India Islands . 3,363,337 10 10 





Increase, only 








404,504 


2 


I 


In the first term, total for Northern Colonies . 
In the second term, ditto .... 


3,486,268 
7414,057 


I 

4 


2 

3 



Increase, 3,927,789 3 I 

By these accounts it appears, that the exports to the West India Islands, 
and to the Northern Colonies, were in the first term nearly equal ; the differ- 
ence being only 122,936 IDS. 4^., and in the second term, the exports to 
those islands had only increased ^404,504 2s. id. Whereas the increase 
to the Northern Colonies is 3,927,789 3*. id., almost Four Millions. 

Some part of this increased demand for English goods may be ascribed to 
the armies and fleets we have had both in North America and the West Indies ; 
and so much for what is consumed by the soldiery ; their clothing, stores, 
ammunition, &c. sent from hence on account of the government, being (as is 
supposed) not included in these accounts of merchandize exported ; but, as 
the war has occasioned a great plenty of money in America, many of the 
inhabitants have increased their expense. 

N. B. These accounts do not include any exports from Scotland to Amer- 
ica, which are doubtless proportionably considerable ; nor the exports from 
Ireland. F. This note was written after the pamphlet was printed, and 
constitutes a concluding page. ED. 



68 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

accounts I shall select one as a sample, being that from the 
colony of Rhode Island; l a colony that of all the others re- 
ceives the least addition from strangers. For the increase of 
our trade to those colonies, I refer to the accounts frequently 
laid before Parliament, by the officers of the customs, and to 
the custom-house books : from which I have also selected one 
account, that of the trade from England (exclusive of Scot- 
land) to Pensilvania; 2 a colony most remarkable for the 
plain frugal manner of living of its inhabitants, and the most 

1 Copy of the Report of Governor Hopkins to the Board of Trade, on the 

Numbers of People in Rhode Island. 

In obedience to your Lordship's commands, I have caused the within 
account to be taken by officers under oath. By it there appears to be in this 
colony at this time 35,939 white persons, and 4,697 blacks, chiefly negroes. 

In the year 1730, by order of the then lords commissioners of trade and 
plantations, an account was taken of the number of people in this colony, and 
then there appeared to be 15,302 white persons, and 2,633 blacks. 

Again in the year 1748, by like order, an account was taken of the number 
of people in this colony, by which it appears there were at that time 29,755 

white persons, and 4,373 blacks. 

STEPHEN HOPKINS. 
Colony of Rhode Island, Dec. 24, 1755. 

2 An Account of the Value of the Exports from England to Pensylvania, 

in one Year, taken at different Periods, viz. 

In 1723 they amounted only to ^15,992 19 4 

1 730 they were . . . 48,592 7 5 

1737 56,690 6 7 

1742 75295 3 4 

1747 82 4Q4 17 7 

1752 201,666 19 n 

1757 268,426 6 6 

N. B. The accounts for 1758 and 1759 are not yet compleated; but 
those acquainted with the North American trade, know, that the increase in 
those two years has been in a still greater proportion ; the last year being 
supposed to exceed any former year by a third ; and this owing to the in- 
creased ability of the people to spend, from the greater quantities of money 
circulating among them by the war. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 69 

suspected of carrying on manufactures, on account of the 
number of German artizans, who are known to have trans- 
planted themselves into that country; though even these, in 
truth, when they come there, generally apply themselves to 
agriculture, as the surest support and most advantageous 
employment. 

By this account it appears, that the exports to that province 
have, in 28 years, increased nearly in the proportion of 17 to i ; 
whereas the people themselves, who by other authentic ac- 
counts appear to double their numbers (the strangers who 
settle there included) in about 16 years, cannot in the 28 years 
have increased in a greater proportion than as 4 to i : the 
additional demand then, and consumption of goods from 
England, of 13 parts in 17 more than the additional number 
would require, must be owing to this, that the people having 
by their industry mended their circumstances, are enabled to 
indulge themselves in finer cloaths, better furniture, and a 
more general use of all our manufactures than heretofore. 

In fact, the occasion for English goods in North America, 
and the inclination to have and use them, is, and must be for 
ages to come, much greater than the ability of the people to 
pay for them; they must therefore, as they now do, deny 
themselves many things they would otherwise chuse to have, 
or increase their industry to obtain them; and thus, if they 
should at any time manufacture some coarse article, which 
on account of its bulk or some other circumstance, cannot so 
well be brought to them from Britain, it only enables them 
the better to pay for finer goods that otherwise they could not 
indulge themselves in: So that the exports thither are not 
diminished by such manufacture, but rather increased. The 
single article of manufacture in these colonies, mentioned 



70 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

by the remarker, is hats made in New England. It is true 
there have been, ever since the first settlement of that country, 
a few hatters there, drawn thither probably at first by the 
facility of getting beaver, while the woods were but little 
clear' d, and there was plenty of those animals. The case 
is greatly alter'd now. The beaver skins are not now to 
be had in New England, but from very remote places and at 
great prices. The trade is accordingly declining there, so 
that, far from being able to make hats in any quantity for 
exportation, they cannot supply their home demand ; and it 
is well known that some thousand dozens are sent thither 
yearly from London, Bristol, and Liverpool, and sold cheaper 
than the inhabitants can make them of equal goodness. 

In fact, the colonies are so little suited for establishing 
of manufactures, that they are continually losing the few 
branches they accidentally gain. The working brasiers, 
cutlers, and pewterers, as well as hatters, who have happened 
to go over from time to time and settle in the colonies, gradu- 
ally drop the working part of their business, and import their 
respective goods from England, whence they can have them 
cheaper and better than they can make them. They con- 
tinue their shops indeed, in the same way of dealing; but 
become sellers of brasiery, cutlery, pewter, hats, &c. brought 
from England, instead of being makers of those goods. 

Thus much as to the apprehension of our colonies becoming 
useless to us. I shall next consider the other supposition, that 
their growth may render them dangerous. Of this, I own, I 
have not the least conception, when I consider that we have 
already fourteen separate governments on the maritime coast 
of the continent, and if we extend our settlements shall prob- 
ably have as many more behind them on the inland side. 



1766] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 71 

Those we now have, are not only under different governors, 
but have different forms of government, different laws, dif- 
ferent interests, and some of them different religious per- 
suasions, and different manners. 

Their jealousy of each other is so great, that however 
necessary an union of the colonies has long been, for their 
common defence and security against their enemies, and how 
sensible soever each colony has been of that necessity, yet 
they have never been able to effect such an union among them- 
selves, nor even to agree in requesting the mother country to 
establish it for them. \ Nothing but the immediate command 
of the crown has been able to produce even the imperfect 
union, but lately seen there, of the forces of some colonies. 
If they could not agree to unite for their defence against the 
French and Indians, who were perpetually harassing their 
settlements, burning their villages, and murdering their 
people ; can it reasonably be supposed there is any danger of 
their uniting against their own nation, which protects and 
encourages them, with which they have so many connections 
and ties of blood, interest and affection, and which His well 
known they all love much more than they love one another ? 

In short, there are so many causes that must operate to 
prevent it, that I will venture to say, an union amongst them 
for such a purpose is not merely improbable, it is impossible ; 
and if the union of the whole is impossible, the attempt of a 
part must be madness : as those colonies, that did not join the 
rebellion, would join the mother country in suppressing it. \ "' 
When I say such an union is impossible, I mean without the 
most grievous tyranny and oppression. People who have 
property in a country which they may lose, and privileges 
which they may endanger, are generally dispos'd to be quiet ; 



72 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

and even to bear much, rather than hazard all. While the 
government is mild and just, while important civil and reli- 
gious rights are secure, such subjects will be dutiful and obe- 
dient. The waves do not rise but when the winds blow. 

What such an administration, as the Duke of Alva's in the 
Netherlands, might produce, I know not ; but this I think I 
have a right to deem impossible. And yet there were two 
very manifest differences between that case and ours; and 
both are in our favour. The first, that Spain had already 
united the seventeen provinces under one visible government, 
tho' the states continued independent: The second, that the 
inhabitants of those provinces were of a nation, not only dif- 
ferent from, but utterly unlike the Spaniards. Had the 
Netherlands been peopled from Spain, the worst of oppression 
had probably not provoked them to wish a separation of gov- 
ernment. It might, and probably would have ruined the 
country, but would never have produced an independent 
sovereignty. In fact, neither the very worst of governments, 
the worst of politicks in the last century, nor the total abolition 
of their remaining liberty, in the provinces of Spain itself, in 
the present, have produced any independency, that could be 
supported. The same may be observed of France. 

And let it not be said that the neighbourhood of these to 
the seat of government has prevented a separation. While 
our strength at sea continues, the banks of the Ohio (in point 
of easy and expeditious conveyance of troops) are nearer to 
London, than the remote parts of France and Spain to their 
respective capitals; and much nearer than Connaught and 
Ulster were in the days of Queen Elizabeth. Nobody fore- 
tels the dissolution of the Russian monarchy from its extent, 
yet I will venture to say, the eastern parts of it are already 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 73 

much more inaccessible from Petersburg^ than the country 
on the Mississippi is from London; I mean more men in 
less time, might be conveyed the latter than the former dis- 
tance. The rivers Oby, Jenesea and Lena, do not facilitate 
the communication half so well by their course, nor are they 
half so practicable as the American rivers. To this I shall only 
add the observation of Machiavel, in his Prince, that a 
government seldom long preserves its dominion over those 
who are foreigners to it; who, on the other hand, fall with 
great ease, and continue inseparably annexed to the gov- 
ernment of their own nation, which he proves by the fate of 
the English conquests in France. Yet with all these disad- 
vantages, so difficult is it to overturn an established govern- 
ment, that it was not without the assistance of France and 
England, that the United Provinces supported themselves: 
which teaches us, that if the visionary danger of indepen- 
dence in our colonies is to be feared, nothing is more likely 
to render it substantial than the neighbourhood of for- 
eigners at enmity with the sovereign government, capable 
of giving either aid l or an asylum, as the event shall 
require. Yet against even these disadvantages, did Spain 
preserve almost ten provinces, merely thro' their want of 

1 The aid Dr. Franklin alludes to must probably have consisted in early 
and full supplies of arms, officers, intelligence, and trade of export and of 
import, through the River St. Lawrence, on risks both public and private ; in 
the encouragement of splendid promises and a great ally ; in the passage from 
Canada to the back settlements being shut to the British forces ; in the quiet 
of the great body of Indians ; in the support of emissaries and discontented 
citizens; in loans and subsidies to Congress, in ways profitable to France ; in 
a refuge to be granted them in case of defeat, in vacant lands, as settlers ; in 
the probability of war commencing earlier between England and France, at the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence (when the shipping taken were rightfully addressed to 
Frenchmen) than in the present case. All this might have happened, as soon 
as America's distaste of England had exceeded the fear of the foreign nation ; 



74 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

union; which, indeed, could never have taken place among 
the others, but for causes, some of which are in our 
case impossible, and others it is impious to suppose 
.possible. 

The Romans well understood that policy which teaches 
the security arising to the chief government from separate 
states among the governed, when they restored the liberties 
of the states of Greece (oppressed but united under Macedon) 
by an edict that every state should live under its own laws. 1 
They did not even name a governor. Independence of each 
<0ther, and separate interests, tho' among a people united by 
common manners, language, and I may say religion, in- 
ferior neither in wisdom, bravery, nor their love of liberty, 
to the Romans themselves, was all the security the sovereigns 
wished for their sovereignty. 

It is true, they did not call themselves sovereigns ; they set 
no value on the title; they were contented with possessing 
the thing ; and possess it they did, even without a standing 
army. What can be a stronger proof of the security of their 
possession ? And yet by a policy similar to this throughout, 
was the Roman world subdued and held : a world composed 
of above a hundred languages and sets of manners, different 

a circumstance frequently seen possible in history, and which the British min- 
isters took care should not be wanting. 

This explanation would have been superfluous, had not the opinion been 
very general in England, that, had not the French been removed from Canada, 
the revolt of America never would have taken place. Why, then, were the 
French not left in Canada at the peace of 1763 ? Or, since they were not left 
there, why was the American dispute begun ? Yet, in one sense, perhaps this 
opinion is true ; for had the French been left in Canada, the English ministers 
would not only have sooner felt, but sooner have seen, the strange fatality of 
their plans. V. 

1 " Omnes Grsecorum civitates, quse in Europa", quaeque in Asia" essent, lib- 
ertatem ac suas leges haberent," &c. Liv. lib. xxxiii. c. 30. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 75 

from those of their masters. 1 Yet this dominion was un- 
shakeable, till the loss of liberty and corruption of manners 
in the sovereign state overturned it. 

But what is the prudent policy inculcated by the remarker, 
to obtain this end, security of dominion over our colonies? 
It is, to leave the French in Canada, to "check" their growth, 
for otherwise our people may " increase infinitely from all 
causes." 2 We have already seen in what manner the French 
and their Indians check the growth of our colonies. 'Tis a 
modest word, this, check, for massacring men, women and 
children. The writer would, if he could, hide from himself 
as well as from the public, the horror arising from such a pro- 
posal, by couching it in general terms : 'tis no wonder he 
thought it a ''subject not fit for discussion" in his letter, 
tho' he recommends it as "a point that should be the constant 
object of the minister's attention!" 

But if Canada is restored on this principle, will not Britain 
be guilty of all the blood to be shed, all the murders to be 
committed, in order to check this dreaded growth of our own 
people? Will not this be telling the French in plain terms, 

1 When the Romans had subdu'd Macedon and Illyricum, they were both 
form'd into republicks by a decree of the senate, and Macedon was thought 
safe from the danger of a revolution, by being divided, into a division common 
among the Romans, as we learn from the tetrarchs in scripture. " Omnium 
primum liberos esse placebat Macedonas atque Illyrios ; ut omnibus gentibus 
appareret, arma populi Romani non liberis servitutem, sed contra servientibus 
libertatem afferre ; ut et in libertate gentes quse essent, tutam earn sibi per- 
petuamque sub tutela populi Romani esse : et quse sub regibus viverent, et in 
presens tempus mitiores eos justioresque respectu populi Romani habere se, 
et si quando bellum cum populo Romano regibus fuisset suis, exitum ejus vic- 
toriam Romanis, sibi libertatem allaturum crederent. In quatuor regi- 
ones describi Macedoniam, ut suum quseque concilium haberet, placuit : et 
dimidium tributi quam quod regibus ferre soliti erant, populo Romano pen- 
dere. Similia his et in Illyricum mandata." Liv. lib. 45. c. 18. 

2 Remarks, pp. 50, 51. 



76 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

that the horrid barbarities they perpetrate with their Indians 
on our colonists are agreeable to us ; and that they need not 
apprehend the resentment of a government with whose views 
they so happily concur? Will not the colonies view it in this 
light: Will they have reason to consider themselves any 
longer as subjects and children, when they find their cruel 
enemies halloo'd upon them by the country from whence they 
sprung, the government that owes them protection as it 
requires their obedience? Is not this the most likely means 
of driving them into the arms of the French, who can invite 
them by an offer of that security their own government 
chuses not to afford them? I would not be thought to in- 
sinuate, that the remarker wants humanity. I know how 
little many good-natured persons are affected by the dis- 
tresses of people at a distance, and whom they do not know. 
There are even those, who, being present, can sympathize 
sincerely with the grief of a lady on the sudden death of a 
favourite bird, and yet can read of the sinking of a city in 
Syria with very little concern. 

If it be, after all, thought necessary to check the growth of 
our colonies, give me leave to propose a method less cruel. 
It is a method of which we have an example in scripture. 
The murder of husbands, of wives, of brothers, sisters, and 
children, whose pleasing society has been for some time en- 
joyed, affects deeply the respective surviving relations: but 
grief for the death of a child just born is short and easily sup- 
ported. The method I mean is that which was dictated by 
the Egyptian policy, when the "infinite increase" of the 
children o) Israel was apprehended as dangerous to the state. 1 

1 " And Pharaoh said unto his people, behold the people of the children 
of Israel are more and mightier than we ; come on, let us deal wisely with 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 77 

Let an act of parliament then be made, enjoining the colony 
midwives to stifle in the birth every third or fourth child. By 
this means you may keep the colonies to their present size. 
And if they were under the hard alternative of submitting to 
one or the other of these schemes for checking their growth, 
I dare answer for them, they would prefer the latter. 

But all this debate about the propriety or impropriety of 
keeping or restoring Canada is possibly too early. We have 
taken the capital indeed, but the country is yet far from being 
in our possession; and perhaps never will be! for if our 
M rs are persuaded by such counsellors as the remarker, 
that the French there are "not the worst of neighbours," and 
that, if we had conquered Canada, we ought for our own 
sakes to restore it, as a check to the growth of our colonies, I 
am then afraid we shall never take it. For there are many 
ways of avoiding the completion of the conquest, that will be 
less exceptionable and less odious than the giving it up. 

The objection I have often heard, that if we had Canada, 
we could not people it, without draining Britain of its inhab- 
itants, is founded on ignorance of the nature of population in 
new countries. When we first began to colonize in America, 
it was necessary to send people, and to send seed-corn; but 
it is not now necessary that we should furnish, for a new 
colony, either the one or the other. The annual increment 
alone of our present colonies, without diminishing their 
numbers, or requiring a man from hence, is sufficient in ten 
years to fill Canada with double the number of English, that it 

them; lest they multiply; and it come to pass that when there falleth out any 
war, they join also unto our enemies and fight against us, and so get them up 
out of the land. And the king spake to the Hebrew midwives," &c. Exodus, 
Chap. i. 



78 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760- 

now has of French inhabitants. 1 Those who are protestants 

among the French will probably chuse to remain under the 

English government ; many will chuse to remove, if they can 

be allowed to sell their lands, improvements, and effects : the 

y rest in that thin-settled country will in less than half a century,, 

from the crowds of English settling round and among them,. 

be blended and incorporated with our people both in language 

and manners. 

In Guadalupe the case is somewhat different; and though 

1 am far from thinking 2 we have sugar-land enough, 3 1 can- 
not think Guadalupe is so desirable an increase of it, as other 
objects the enemy would probably be infinitely more ready 
to part with. A country fully inhabited by any nation is no 
proper possession for another of different language, manners 
and religion. It is hardly ever tenable at less expence than 
it is worth. But the isle of Cayenne, and its appendix Equi- 
noctial-France, having but very few inhabitants, and these 
therefore easily removed, would indeed be an acquisition every 
way suitable to our situation and desires. This would hold 
all that migrate from Barbadoes, the Leeward Islands, or 
Jamaica. It would certainly recal into an English govern- 
ment (in which there would be room for millions) all who have 

1 In fact, there has not gone from Britain itself to our colonies, these 20 
years past, to settle there, so many as 10 families a year ; the new settlers are 
either the offspring of the old, or emigrants from Germany or the north of 
Ireland. 

2 Remarks, pp. 30, 34. 

8 It is often said, we have plenty of sugar-land still unemployed in Jamaica : 
but those who are well acquainted with that island, know, that the remaining 
vacant land in it is generally situated among mountains, rocks and gullies, 
that make carriage impracticable, so that no profitable use can be made of it, 
unless the price of sugars should so greatly increase as to enable the planter 
to make very expensive roads, by blowing up rocks, erecting bridges, &c., every 

2 or 300 yards. 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 7gt 

before settled or purchased in Martinico, Guadalupe, Santa 
Cruz, or St. John's; except such as know not the value of an, 
English government, and such I am sure are not worth 
recalling. 

But should we keep Guadalupe, we are told it would enable- 
us to export 300,000 in sugars. Admit it to be true, though 
perhaps the amazing increase of English consumption might 
stop most of it here, to whose profit is this to redound ? To, 
the profit of the French inhabitants of the island : except a. 
small part that should fall to the share of the English pur- 
chasers, but whose whole purchase-money must first be added 
to the wealth and circulation of France. I grant, however, 
much of this 300,000 would be expended in British manu- 
factures. Perhaps, too, a few of the land-owners of Guada- 
lupe might dwell and spend their fortunes in Britain (though 
probably much fewer than of the inhabitants of North 
America). I admit the advantage arising to us from these 
circumstances, (as far as they go) in the case of Guadalupe, as 
well as in that of our other West India settlements. Yet even 
this consumption is little better than that of an allied nation 
would be, who should take our manufactures and supply us 
with sugar, and put us to no great expence in defending the 
place of growth. 

But though our own colonies expend among us almost the 
whole produce of our sugar, 1 can we, or ought we to promise 
ourselves this will be the case of Guadalupe ? One ioo,ooo 
will supply them with British manufactures; and supposing 
we can effectually prevent the introduction of those of France,. 
(which is morally impossible in a country used to them) the? 
other 200,000 will still be spent in France, in the education ofc 

1 Remarks, p. 47. 



8o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN* FRANKLIN [1760 

their children and support of themselves ; or else be laid up 
there, where they will always think their home to be. 

Besides this consumption of British manufactures, much 
is said of the benefit we shall have from the situation of 
Guadalupe; and we are told of a trade to the Caraccas and 
Spanish Main. In what respect Guadalupe is better situated 
for this trade than Jamaica, or even any of our other islands, I 
am at a loss to guess. I believe it to be not so well situated for 
that of the windward coast, as Tobago and St. Lucia, which 
in this, as well as other respects, would be more valuable pos- 
sessions, and which, I doubt not, the peace will secure to us. 
Nor is it nearly so well situated for that of the rest of the 
Spanish Main as Jamaica. As to the greater safety of our 
trade by the possession of Guadalupe, experience has con- 
vinced us that in reducing a single island, or even more, we 
stop the privateering business but little. Privateers still sub- 
sist, in equal if not greater numbers, and carry the vessels into 
Martinico, which before it was more convenient to carry into 
Guadalupe. Had we all the Caribbees, it is true, they would 
in those parts be without shelter. 

Yet upon the whole I suppose it to be a doubtful point, 
and well worth consideration, whether our obtaining posses- 
sion of all the Caribbees would be more than a temporary 
benefit, as it would necessarily soon fill the French part of 
Hispaniola with French inhabitants, and thereby render it 
five times more valuable in time of peace, and little less than 
impregnable in time of war ; and would probably end in a few 
years in the uniting the whole of that great and fertile island 
under a French government. It is agreed on all hands, that 
our conquest of St. Christopher's, and driving the French 
from thence, first furnished Hispaniola with skilful and sub- 



1760] THE INTEREST OF GREAT BRITAIN 81 

stantial planters, and was consequently the first occasion of 
its present opulence. On the other hand I will hazard an 
opinion, that valuable as the French possessions in the West 
Indies are, and undeniable the advantages they derive from 
them, there is somewhat to be weighed in the opposite scale. 
They cannot at present make war with England, without 
exposing those advantages while divided among the numerous 
islands they now have, much more than they would, were 
they possessed of St. Domingo only ; their own share of which 
would, if well cultivated, grow more sugar than is now grown 
in all their West India Islands. 

I have before said I do not deny the utility of the conquest, 
or even of our future possession of Guadalupe, if not bought 
too dear. The trade of the West Indies is one of our most 
valuable trades. Our possessions there deserve our greatest 
care and attention. So do those of North America. I shall 
not enter into the invidious task of comparing their due esti- 
mation. It would be a very long and a very disagreeable 
one, to run through every thing material on this head. It is 
enough to our present point, if I have shown, that the value 
of North America is capable of an immense increase, by an 
acquisition and measures, that must necessarily have an effect 
the direct contrary of what we have been industriously taught 
to fear ; and that Guadalupe is, in point of advantage, but a 
very small addition to our West India possessions, rendered 
many ways less valuable to us, than it is to the French, who 
will probably set more value upon it than upon a country that 
is much more valuable to us than to them. 

There is a great deal more to be said on all the parts of 
these subjects ; but as it would carry me into a detail that I 
fear would tire the patience of my readers, and which I am 

VOL. IV G 



82 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

not without apprehensions I have done already, I shall reserve 
what remains till I dare venture again on the indulgence of 
the publick. 



291. TO DAVID HUME 1 

Coventry, September 27, 1760. 

DEAR SIR, 

I have too long postponed answering your obliging letter, 
a fault I will not attempt to excuse, but rather rely on your 
goodness to forgive it, if I am more punctual for the future. 

I am obliged to you for the favourable sentiments you ex- 
press of the pieces sent to you ; though the volume relating to 
our Pennsylvania affairs was not written by me, nor any part 
of it, except the remarks on the Proprietor's estimate of his 
estate, and some of the inserted messages and reports of the 
Assembly, which I wrote when at home, as a member of com- 
mittees appointed by the House for that service. The rest 
was by another hand. 2 

But though I am satisfied by what you say, that the Duke 
of Bedford was hearty in the scheme of the expedition, I am 
not so clear that others in the administration were equally in 
earnest in that matter. It is certain, that, after the Duke of 
Newcastle's first orders to raise troops in the colonies, and 
promise to send over commissions to the officers, with arms 
and clothing for the men, we never had another syllable from 
him for eighteen months ; during all which time the army lay 
idle at Albany for want of orders and necessaries; and it 

1 Original in the Royal Philosophical Society, Edinburgh. ED. 

2 " The Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsyl- 
vania." See Introduction, Vol. I, p. 137. ED. 



1760] TO DAVID HUME 83 

began to be thought at last, that, if an expedition had ever 
been intended, the first design and the orders given must, 
through the multiplicity of business here at home, have been 
quite forgotten. 1 

I am not a little pleased to hear of your change of senti- 
ments in some particulars relating to America; because I 
think it of importance to our general welfare, that the people 
of this nation should have right notions of us, and I know no 
one, that has it more in his power to rectify their notions than 
Mr. Hume. I have lately read with great pleasure, as I do 
every thing of yours, the excellent Essay on the Jealousy of 
Commerce. I think it cannot but have a good effect in pro- 
moting a certain interest, too little thought of by selfish man, 
and scarcely ever mentioned, so that we hardly have a name 
for it ; I mean the interest of humanity, or common good of 
mankind. But I hope, particularly from that Essay, an 
abatement of the jealousy, that reigns here, of the commerce 
of the colonies, at least so far as such abatement may be 
reasonable. 

I thank you for your friendly admonition relating to some 
unusual words in the pamphlet. It will be of service to me. 
The "pejorate" and the "colonize" since they are not in 
common use here, I give up as bad ; for certainly in writings 
intended for persuasion and for general information, one 
cannot be too clear ; and every expression in the least obscure 
is a fault. The " unshakeable" too, though clear, I give up 
as rather low. 2 The introducing new words, where we are 
already possessed of old ones sufficiently expressive, I confess 

1 This was the expedition projected against Canada in the year 1746. S. 

2 The words in question occur in Vol. Ill, p. 68, and Vol. IV, p. 75. 
ED. 



84 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

must be generally wrong, as it tends to change the language ; 
yet, at the same time, I cannot but wish the usage of our 
tongue permitted making new words, when we want them, 
by composition of old ones whose meanings are already well 
understood. The German allows of it, and it is a common 
practice with their writers. Many of our present English 
words were originally so made ; and many of the Latin words. 
In point of clearness, such compound words would have the 
advantage of any we can borrow from the ancient or from 
foreign languages. For instance, the word inaccessible, 
though long in use among us, is not yet, I dare say, so uni- 
versally understood by our people, as the word uncomeatable 
would immediately be, which we are not allowed to write. 
But I hope with you, that we shall always in America make the 
best English of this Island our standard, and I believe it will 
be so. I assure you it often gives me pleasure to reflect, how 
greatly the audience (if I may so term it) of a good English 
writer will, in another century or two, be increased by the 
increase of English people in our colonies. 

My son presents his respects with mine to you and Dr. 
Monro. 1 We received your printed circular letter to the 
members of the Society, 2 and purpose some time next winter 
to send each of us a little philosophical essay. With the 
greatest esteem, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient and 
most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Alexander Monro (1697-1767). ED. 

2 A Philosophical Society lately established at Edinburgh. ED. 



1760] TO LORD KAMES 



292. TO LORD KAMES 

Coventry, September 27, 1760. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

We are here upon a journey, which when first proposed 
was to have extended farther than the season will now per- 
mit. We designed going over to Ireland, and, having made 
the tour of that country, we were to have crossed from its 
northern part to Dumfries, or some other port on your coast, 
which would have given us the pleasing opportunity of seeing 
once more our friends in Scotland. This, if we could have 
left London early in the summer ; but the litigation between 
our province and its Proprietor, in which we were engaged, 
confined us in London till the middle of this month. That 
cause is indeed at length ended, and in a great degree to our 
satisfaction; but, by its continuing so long, we are disap- 
pointed in our hopes of spending some more happy days at 
Kames, with you and your amiable family. 

I do not pretend to charge this to your account as a letter. 
It is rather to acknowledge myself in your debt, and to prom- 
ise payment. It is some time since I received your obliging 
favour of June last. When I return to London, which we 
intend after seeing Cheshire, Wales, Bristol, and spending 
some time at Bath, I hope to be a more punctual corre- 
spondent. I am your Lordship's most obedient and humble 
servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Our thanks to Lady Kames for the receipt. En- 
closed we send the Chapter. 1 

1 This " Chapter " was the " Parable against Persecution." See Introduc- 
tion, Vol. I, p. 181. This letter was first printed by Sparks. ED. 



86 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

293. TO ISAAC NORRIS, ESQ., SPEAKER (A. P. s.) 

DEAR SIR London NOV? 19,1760. 

This is just to acknowledge the Receipt of your Favours 
of Aug! 24. & 27. with the Bill for 100 on Mess r ? Thom- 
linson &c. N. 1876, & to acquaint you, that I have at length 
received the Money from the Exchequer and lodg'd it in the 
Bank as nearly agreeable to the Directions of the Act as I 
possibly could; for they would not, as I acquainted you 
before, receive it subject to the Drafts of the Trustees in 
Pensylvania, it being contrary to their Rules. The House 
will consider what is to be done with it, & send me the neces- 
sary Directions. If I were to advise, it should be to lay it 
out in the Stocks, which will certainly at a Peace produce a 
Profit of near 20 per Cent, besides the intermediate Interest. 
I am applying for the Grant of 1759, but nothing is yet 
done in it. I shall write more fully per Bolitho. With the 
greatest Esteem, I am, &c B. F. 

P. S. The Sum lodg'd in the Bank belonging to the 
Province is 26,648..4..6. out of which I have some Fees to 
pay, of which I have had the Ace*. 



294. TO JOHN BASKERVILLE 1 (L. c.) 
r-v ~ Craven Street, London, 1760. 

Let me give you a pleasant Instance of the Prejudice some 
have entertained against your Work. Soon after I returned, 

1 Stevens Collection (31), L. C. copy, with an additional page of biographi- 
cal memoranda of Baskerville (1706-1775). This letter was written four 



1766] TO JOHN BASKERVILLE 87 

discoursing with a Gentleman concerning the Artists of 
Birmingham, he said you would [be] a Means of blinding 
all the Readers in the Nation ; for the Strokes of your Letters, 
being too thin and narrow, hurt the Eye, and he could never 
read a Line of them without Pain. "I thought," said I, 
"you were going to complain of the Gloss of the Paper, 
some object to." "No, no," says he, "I have heard that 
mentioned, but it is not that; it Is in the Form and Cut of 
the Letters themselves; they have not that Height and 
Thickness of the Stroke, which make the common Printing 
so much the more comfortable to the Eye." You see this 
Gentleman was a Connoisseur. In vain I endeavoured to 
support your character against the Charge; he knew what 
he felt, and could see the Reason of it, and several other 
Gentlemen among his Friends had made the same Ob- 
servation, &c. 

Yesterday he called to visit me, when, mischievously bent 
to try his Judgment, I stept into my Closet, tore off the Top 
of Mr. Caslon's specimen, and produced it to him as yours, 
brought with me from Birmingham; saying, I had been 
examining it, since he spoke to me, and could not for my 
Life perceive the Disproportion he mentioned, desiring him 
to point it out to me. He readily undertook it, and went 
over the several Founts, showing me everywhere what he 
thought Instances of that Disproportion ; and declared, that 
he could not then read the Specimen, without feeling very 
strongly the Pain he had mentioned to me. I spared him 
that Time the Confusion of being told, that these were the 

years after Baskerville published his quarto Virgil, which " astonished all the 
librarians of Europe." Franklin was much interested in Baskerville's " Milton " 
(1758), and secured subscribers for it. ED. 



88 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1760 

Types he had been reading all his life, with so much Ease to 
his Eyes; the Types his adored Newton is printed with, on 
which he has pored not a little ; nay, the very Types his own 
Book is printed with, (for he is himself an Author,) and yet 
never discovered this painful Disproportion in them, till he 
thought they were yours. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 



295. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 

London, 1760. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

Yesterday I received your letter of February loth, in which 
you mention that it was some months since you heard from 
me. During my journey I wrote several times to you, par- 
ticularly from Liverpool and Glasgow, and since my return 
some very long letters, that might have been with you before 
your last to me; but I suppose the severe winter on your 
coast, among other delays, has kept the vessels out. One 
packet, Bonnel, was blown quite back to England. 

I am sorry for the death of your black boy, as you seem to 
have had a regard for him. You must have suffered a good 

deal in the fatigue of nursing him in such a distemper. F * 

has wrote me a very idle letter, desiring me not to furnish 
the woman, pretending to be his wife, with any thing on his 
account, and says the letters she shows are a forgery. But 
I have one she left with me, in which he acknowledges her to 
be his wife, and the children his, and I am sure it is his hand- 
writing by comparing it with this he has now wrote to me and 
a former one. So he must be a very bad man, and I am 
1 A watchmaker, of Philadelphia. ED. 



1760] TO PRINTER OF THE LONDON CHRONICLE 89 

glad I never knew him. She was sick and perishing with her 
children in the beginning of the winter, and has had of me 
in all about four guineas. What is become of her now, I 
know not. She seemed a very helpless body, and I found her 
in some falsehoods that disgusted me ; but I pitied the poor 
children, the more as they were descended though remotely 
from our good old friends, whom you remember. 

I have now the pleasure to acquaint you, that our business 
draws near a conclusion, and that in less than a month we 
shall have a hearing, after which I shall be able to fix a time 
for my return. My love to all, from, dear Debby, your 
affectionate husband, B. FRANKLIN. 



296. TO THE PRINTER OF THE LONDON 

CHRONICLE * (A. P. s.) 

SIR 

I met lately with an old Quarto Book on a Stall, the Title- 
Page and the Author's Name wanting, but containing Dis- 
courses, addressed to some King of Spaine, on the Means of 
extending the Greatness of that Monarchy, translated into 
English, and said in the last Leaf, to be printed at London 
by Bonham Norton and John Bill, Printers to the King's 
most excellent Majestic, MDCXXIX. The Author ap- 
pears to have been a Jesuit, for, speaking of that Order in 
two Places, he calls it our Society. Give me leave to com- 
municate to the Public a Chapter of it, so apropos to our 
present Situation, (only changing Spain for France,) that I 
think it well worth general Attention and Observation, as it 
1 From A. P. S. (d.). The document is undated. ED. 



90 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

discovers the Arts of our Enemies, and may therefore help 
in some Degree to put us on our Guard against them. 

What Effect the Artifices here recommended might have 
had in the Times when our Author wrote, I cannot pretend 
to say ; but I believe, the present Age being more enlightened 
and our People better acquainted than formerly with our 
true National Interest, such Arts can now hardly prove so 
generally successfull; for we may with Pleasure observe, 
and to the Honour of the British People, that tho' Writings 
and Discourses like these have lately not been wanting, yet 
few in any of the Classes he particularizes seem to be affected 
by them, but all Ranks and Degrees among us persist hitherto 
in declaring for a vigorous Prosecution of the War, in Pref- 
erence to an unsafe, disadvantageous, or dishonourable 
Peace; yet as a little Change of Fortune may make such 
Writings more attended to and give them greater Weight, 
I think the Publication of this Piece, as it shows the Spring 
from whence these Scriblers draw their poisoned Waters, 
may be of publick Utility. I am, &c. A BRITON. 

"CHAP. XXXIV. 
" Of the Meanes of disposing the Enemie to Peace. 

"Warres, with whatsoever Prudence undertaken and con- 
ducted, do not always succeed; many thinges out of Man's 
Power to governe, such as Dearth of Provision, Tempests, 
Pestilence, and the like, oftentimes interfering and totally 
overthrowing the best Designes; so that these Enemies 
(England and Holland) of our Monarchy, tho' apparently 
at first the weaker, may by disastrous Events of War, on our 
Part, become the stronger, and tho' not in such degree, as 
to endanger the Body of this great Kingdom, yet, by their 



1760] DISPOSING THE ENEMIE TO PEACE 91 

greater Power of Shipping and Aptness in Sea Affairs, to be 
able to cut off, if I may so speak, some of its smaller Limbs 
and Members, that are remote therefrom and not easily de- 
fended, to wit, our Islands and Colonies in the Indies; 
thereby however depriving the Body of its wonted Nourishe- 
ment, so that it must thenceforthe languish and grow weake, 
if those Parts are not recovered which possibly may by con- 
tinuance of Warre be found unlikely to be done. And the 
Enemy puffed up with their Successes, and hoping still for 
more, may not be disposed to Peace on such Termes as would 
be suitable to the Honour of your Majestic, and to the Wel- 
fare of your State and Subjects. In such Case, the following 
Meanes may have good Effect. 

"It is well knowne, that these Northerne People, though 
hardie of Body and bold in Fight, be nevertheless, through 
overmuch Eating and other Intemperance, slowe of Wit, 
and dull in Understanding, so that they are oftimes more 
easilie to be governed and turn'd by Skill than by Force. 
There is therefore always Hope, that by wise Counsel and 
dextrous Management, those Advantages, which through 
crosse Accidents in Warre, have been lost, may again with 
Honour be recovered. In this Place I shall say little of the 
Power of Money secretly distributed among Grandees or 
their Friends or Paramours; that Method being in all 
Ages known and Practised. If the Minds of Enemies can 
be changed, they may be brought to grant willingly and for 
nothing what much Gold would scarcely have otherwise pre- 
vailed to obtaine. Yet as the procuring this Change is to 
be by fitte Instruments, some few Doublones will not unprof- 
itably be disbursed by your Majestic. The manner whereof 
I shall now briefely recite. 



92 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

"In those Countries, and particularly in England, there 
are not wanting Menne of Learning, ingenious Speakers and 
Writers, who are nevertheless in lowe Estate, and pinched 
by Fortune. These being privately gained by proper 
Meanes, must be instructed in their Sermons, Discourses,, 
Writings, Poems, and Songs, to handle and specially incul- 
cate Points like these which followe. Let them magnine the 
Blessings of Peace, and enlarge mightily thereon, which is 
not unbecoming grave Divines and other Christian Menne. 
Let them expatiate on the Miseries of Warre, the Waste of 
Christian Blood, the growing Scarcitie of Labourers and 
Workmen, the Dearness of all foreign Wares and Merchan- 
dise, the Interruption of Commerce, the Captures of Ships,, 
the Increase and great Burthen of Taxes. Let them repre- 
sent the Warre as an unmeasurable Advantage to Particulars, 
and to Particulars only, (thereby to excite Envie against 
those, who manage and provide for the same,) while so 
prejudicial to the Commonweale and People in general. 
Let them represent the Advantages gained against us as 
trivial and of little import ; the Places taken from us, as of 
small Trade and Produce, inconvenient for Situation, un- 
wholesome for Climate and Ayre, useless to their Nations, 
and greatlie chargeable to keepe, draining the home Coun- 
tries both of Menne and Money. 

"Let them urge, that, if a Peace be forced on us, and those 
Places withhelde, it will nourishe secret Griefe and Malice 
in the King and Grandees of Spaine, which will ere long 
breake forthe in new Warres, when those Places may again 
be retaken, without the Merit and Grace of restoring them 
willingly for Peace' Sake. Let them represent the making 
or continuance of Warres, from view of Gaine, to be Base 



1760] DISPOSING THE ENEMIE TO PEACE 93 

and unworthy a brave People, as those made from Views of 
Ambition are mad and wicked. Let them insinuate that 
the Continuance of the present Warre, on their parte, hath 
these Ingredients in its Nature. Then let them magnifie the 
Great Power of your Majestic, and the Strength of your King- 
dome, the inexhaustible Wealthe of your Mines, the Great- 
ness of your Incomes, and thence your Abilitie of continuing 
the Warre ; hinting withal the new Alliances you may pos- 
siblie make; at the same time setting forth the sincere Dis- 
position you have for Peace, and that it is only a Concerne 
for your Honour, and the Honour of your Realme, that in- 
duceth you to insist on the Restitution of the places taken. 

"If, with all this, they shrewdly intimate, and cause it to 
be understood by artful Words and believed, that their own 
Prince is himself in heart for Peace, on your Majestie's 
Terms, and grieved at the Obstinacy and Perverseness of 
those among his People who are for continuing the Warre, 
a marvellous Effect shall by these Discourses and Writings 
be produced; and a wonderful strong Party shall your 
Majestic raise among your Enemies in favour of the Peace 
you desire; insomuch that their own Princes and wisest 
Counsellours will in a Sorte be constrained to yeeld thereto. 
For in this Warre of Wordes, the Avarice and Ambition, 
the Hopes and Fears, and all the Crowd of Human Passions 
will be raised and put in array to fight for your Interests 
against the reall and substantiall Interest of their own Coun- 
tries. The simple and undiscerning Many shall be carried 
away by the plausibilitie and well-seeming of these Dis- 
courses; and the Opinions becoming more popular, all the 
Rich Men, who have great Possessions, and fear the con- 
tinuance of Taxes, and hope Peace will end them, shall be 



94 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1760 

emboldened thereby to crie aloud for Peace; their Depen- 
dents, who are many, must do the same. 

"All Merchaunts, fearing Loss of Ships and greater Bur- 
thens on Trade by farther Duties and Subsidies, and hoping 
greater Profits by the ending of the Warre, shall join in the 
Crie for Peace. All the Usurers and Lenders of Money to 
the State, who on a Peace hope great Profit on their Bar- 
gains, and fear if the Warre be continued the State shall 
become Bankeroute, and unable to paye them ; these, who 
have no small weighte, shall join the Crie for Peace. All 
who maligne the bold Conductors of the Warre, and envie 
the Glorie they may have thereby obtained; these shall crie 
aloud for Peace; hoping that when the Warre shall cease, 
such Menne becoming less necessarie shall be more lightly 
esteemed, and themselves more sought after. All the Offi- 
cers of the Enemie's Armies and Fleets, who wish for Re- 
pose and to enjoy their Salaries or Rewardes in Quietnesse, 
and without Peril; these and their Friends and Families, 
who desire their Safetie and the Solace of their Societie, 
shall all crie for Peace. 

"All those who be timorous by Nature, amongste whom 
be reckoned Menne of Learning that lead sedentarie Lives, 
using little Exercise of Bodie, and thence obtaining but few 
and weake Spirits; great Statesmen, whose natural Spirits 
be exhausted by much thinking, or depressed by overmuch 
Feasting; together with all Women, whose Power, weake 
as they are, is not a little amongste the Menne ; these shall 
incessantly speake for Peace: and finally all Courtiers, 
who suppose they conforme thereby to the Inclinations of 
the Prince, (ad Exemplum Regis &c.) ; all who are in Places, 
fear to lose them, or hope for better ; all who are out of Places, 



1761] TO HUGH ROBERTS 95 

and hope to obtaine them; with all the worldly minded 
Clergy, who seeke Preferment; these, with all the Weighte 
of their Character and Influence, shall join the Crie for Peace ; 
till it becomes one universal Clamour, and no Sound, but 
that of Peace, Peace, Peace, shall be heard from every 
Quarter. 

"Then shall your Majestie's Termes of Peace be listened 
to with much readinesse, the Places taken from you be will- 
ingly restored, and your Kingdom, recovering its Strength, 
shall only need to waite a few Years for more favourable 
Occasions, when the Advantages to your Power, proposed by 
beginning the Warre, but lost by its bad Successe, shall 
with better Fortune, be finally obtained." 



297. TO HUGH ROBERTS 1 (P. c.) 

London, Feb. 26, 1761. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I think I have before acknowledg'd the Receipt of your 
Favour of the i5th of the 5th Month, 1760. (I use your 
own Notation, because I cannot tell what Month it was, 
without Reckoning.) I thank you for it, however, once 
more. I receiv'd it by the hand of your Son, and had the 
Pleasure withal of seeing him grown up a solid, sensible 
young Man. You will have, I see, a great deal of Satisfaction 
in him, and I congratulate you cordially on that head. 

I was glad to hear that the Hospital is still supported. I 
write to the Managers by this Ship. In my Journeys thro' 
England and Scotland I have visited several of the same kind, 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. C. Morton Smith. ED. 



96 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

which I think were all in a good Way. I send you by this 
Ship sundry of their Accounts and Rules, which were given 
me ; possibly you may find a useful Hint or two in some of 
them. I believe we shall be able to make a small Collection 
here ; but I cannot promise it will be very considerable. 

You tell me you sometimes visit the ancient Junto. I wish 
you would do it oftner. I know they all love and respect 
you, and regret your absenting yourself so much. People 
are apt to grow strange, and not understand one another so 
well, when they meet but seldom. Since we have held that 
Club, till we are grown grey together, let us hold it out to 
the End. For my own Part, I find I love Company, Chat, a 
Laugh, a Glass, and even a Song, as well as ever; and at 
the same Time relish better than I used to do the grave Ob- 
servations and wise Sentences of old Men's Conversation; 
so that I am sure the Junto will be still as agreeable to me as 
it ever has been. I therefore hope it will not be discontinued, 
as long as we are able to crawl together. 

I thank you for the frequent kind Visits you are so good 
as to make my little Family. I now hope in a little Time to 
have the Pleasure of seeing them, and thanking my Friends 
in Person. With the sincerest Esteem and Regard, I am, 
dear Friend, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 

Billy presents his regards. 



1761] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 97 

298. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (p. c.) 
Craven Street, Monday, March 30, 1761. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, 

Supposing the Fact, that the Water of the Well at Bristol 
is wanner after some time pumping, I think your manner 
of accounting for that increas'd Warmth very ingenious 
and probable. It did not occur to me, and therefore I 
doubted of the Fact. 

You are, I think, quite right in your Opinion, that the 
Rising of the Tides in Rivers is not owing to the immediate 
Influence of the Moon on the Rivers. It is rather a sub- 
sequent Effect of the Influence of the Moon on the Sea, and 
does not make its Appearance in some Rivers till the Moon 
has long pass'd by. I have not express'd myself clearly, if 
you have understood me to mean otherwise. You know I 
have mentioned it as a Fact, that there are in some Rivers 
several Tides all existing at the same time; that is, two, 
three, or more High-waters, and as many Low-waters, in 
different Parts of the same River, which cannot possibly be 
all Effects of the Moon's immediate Action on that River; 
but they may be subsequent Effects of her Action on the Sea. 

In the enclos'd Paper you will find my Sentiments on 
several Points relating to the Air, and the Evaporation of 
Water. It is Mr. Collinson's Copy, who took it from one I 
sent thro' his Hands to a Correspondent in France some 
Years since; I have, as he desired me, corrected the Mis- 
takes he made in transcribing, and must return it to him; 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 
VOL. iv H 



98 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

but if you think it worth while, you may take a Copy of it. 
I would have sav'd you any trouble of that kind, but had not 
time. 

Some day in the next or the following Week, I purpose 
to have the pleasure of seeing you at Wanstead. 1 I shall 
accompany your good Mama there, and stay till the next 
Morning, if it may be done without incommoding your 
Family too much. We may then discourse any Points in 
this Paper that do not seem clear to you ; and, taking a Walk 
to some of Lord Tilney's Ponds, make a few Experiments 
there to explain the Nature of the Tides more fully. In 
the mean time, believe me to be, with the highest Esteem 
and Regard, 

Your sincerely affectionate Friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



299. TO JOSIAH QUINCY 3 

London, April 8, 1761. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your very obliging letter of December 25th, by 
the hand of your valuable son, who had before favoured me 
now and then with a kind visit. I congratulate you on his 
account, as I am sure you must have a great deal of satis- 
faction in him. His ingenuous, manly, and generous be- 
haviour, in a transaction here with the Society of Arts, gave 
me great pleasure, as it was much to his reputation. 8 

1 Home of Mrs. Tickell, aunt of Mary Stevenson. ED. 

2 First printed by Sparks. Josiah Quincy (1709-1784), Colonel of the 
Suffolk Regiment, was appointed in 1755 joint commissioner with Thomas 
Pownall to negotiate with the colonies of New York and Pennsylvania for aid 
in erecting a frontier barrier against the French, at Ticonderoga. ED. 

8 Edmund Quincy was the eldest son of Josiah Quincy. The allusion in 



1761] TO JOSIAH QUINCY 99 

I am glad my weak endeavours for our common interest 
were acceptable to you and my American friends. I shall 
be very happy indeed, if any good arises from them. The 
people in power here do now seem convinced of the truth of 
the principles I have inculcated, and incline to act upon 
them; but how far they will be able to do so at a peace, 
is still uncertain, especially as the war in Geimany grows 
daily less favourable to us. My kinsman, Williams, 1 was 
but ill informed in the account he gave you of my situa- 
tion here. The Assembly voted me fifteen hundred pounds 
sterling, when I left Philadelphia, to defray the expense of 

the letter is explained by the following passage from the " Memoir of Thomas 
Hollis": "In a letter, dated July 2d, 1760, Dr. Mayhew had recommended 
to Mr. Hollis's good offices Mr. Edmund Quincy, a gentleman of liberal edu- 
cation, who had been in trade several years, and was come to London with 
a design to settle a mercantile correspondence there, his father being a gentle- 
man of very considerable fortune in New England. Mr. Quincy had thoughts 
of engaging in the potash business, but was at some loss about the premium 
for encouraging importation ; and the purpose of Dr. Mayhew's application 
to Mr. Hollis was, that, as Mr. Hollis was a member of the Society of Arts 
and Commerce, he would be both able and willing to resolve any doubts Mr. 
Quincy might be under respecting that matter." Vol. I, p. 120. 

By a letter from Mr. Quincy to Mr. Hollis, dated July 25th, 1766, it appears 
that he was successful in his scheme for manufacturing potash. "I have the 
pleasure to inform you," said he, " that the manufacture of potash is now so 
firmly established, it needs no further assistance from the Society, than their 
instruction how to assay it, so as to detect fraud, and maintain its credit, con- 
cerning which the Society will have a letter from our General Assembly. As 
far as my influence extends, I have encouraged the culture of silk in this part 
of the world ; and I doubt not, in the course of four or five years, or as soon 
as mulberry trees can be brought to be of use, we shall be able to make some 
figure in that article, especially should the Society's bounty be continued on 
that commodity ; for we find by experience, that the severity of our winters 
is no detriment to the eggs of the silk worm, wherever deposited." Ibid., 

P- 337- 

Edmund Quincy died at sea, March 3ist, 1768, on his homeward voyage 
from the West Indies, at the age of thirty-five. ED. 

1 Jonathan Williams. ED. 



ioo THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

my voyage and negotiations in England, since which they 
have given nothing more, though I have been here near four 
years. They will, I make no doubt, on winding up the 
affair, do what is just ; but they cannot afford to be extrava- 
gant, as that report would make them. 

Pray make my best respects acceptable to your amiable 
family, and do me the justice to believe, that no one more 
sincerely wishes a continuance of your happiness, than, 

dear friend, yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



300. TO HENRY POTTS x (p. R. o.) 
Craven Street, April 23, 1761 

SIR 

In obedience to the Commands of His Majesty's Post- 
master General, signified to me by you, I have considered 
Governor Boone's Letter to my Lord Bessborough & the 
Extract of his Letter to John Pownall, Esq Secretary to 
the Board of Trade, containing a Complaint of some Incon- 
veniency to him arising from "the Posts not passing thro' 
Perth-Amboy and Burlington (the Route established by Act 
of Parliament) in their way between Philadelphia and New 
York;" and alledging, that "thro* this Omission it has 
happen'd and may happen again that Dispatches received 
by him from the Plantation Office could not be answered 
by the first Pacquet, whence he may sometimes appear 

1 The document is endorsed : " New Jersey, Letter from H. Potts, Esq r . Seer* 
to the Post Master Gen! to Mr. Pownall, dated April 29, 1761, inclosS the copy 
of a Letter to him from Mr. Franklyn, joint dep'y post master Gen', in No. 
America relative to the Alteration which Mr. Boone desird might be made in 
the route of the post through New Jersey. Reed Read May I, 1761, K. 11." 

ED. 



1761] TO HENRY POTTS 



101 



tardy to their Lordships with all the Inclinations to be 
otherwise, &c." 

It is true that the Post Route was thro' the Towns of 
Burlington and Amboy in New Jersey, before & at the Time 
of making the act of Queen Anne for Establishing the Post 
Office, and therefore those Towns were mentioned in the 
Act so far as to settle the Rates of Postage between them 
and the Cities of New York and Philadelphia; but it has 
never been understood that the Route was established by 
such mention of those places, or that the Act bound the 
Post Office to continue the Posts in any Route then used, 
if one better and more convenient could be found. Nor 
indeed would such Restraints in an Act of Parliament 
relating to America, be of utility, but the contrary. For our 
first settlements there being near the Sea, the first Roads 
are of course along the Coast where interrupting Waters 
from Bays & inlets are more frequent, and Rivers wider 
and more difficult of Passage, but in Process of time, as 
the People settle farther back & clear the upland Country, 
more convenient Roads are found, the Bays and Inlets 
avoided, & the Interruption of Ferries less frequent, as 
many Rivers are fordable up the Country, that cannot be 
crossed near their Mouths but in Boats, 

Something like this has been the Case with regard to the 
Old and New Roads thro' the Province of New Jersey. As 
soon as the new road in the upper parts of that Province 
was open'd, Travellers between Philadelphia & New York 
began gradually to abandon the Old Road, which was not 
so convenient ; and after some time, on an Application made 
to Col. Spotswood, then Deputy Postmaster General, the Post 
Route was also chang'd from the Old Road to the New. 



102 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

This Change was made about Thirty Years ago, and some 
Years before I had any Concern in the Office ; but as it was 
a matter much talk'd of at the time, I remember well the 
Reasons that were given for the Change which were these, 
viz. 

That the Ferry over the River Delaware from Bristol 
to Burlington, to be pass'd in travelling the old Road, was 
a mile and half wide, and in Winter often incumbered with 
Ice, so as greatly to delay the Post. That the old Road, 
from Burlington to Amboy was for 50 miles chiefly a heavy 
loose sand, very fatiguing to the Horses : That being thro* 
a barren Country, it was not well inhabited, nor the Inns 
well supply 'd with Provisions : That being less travelled 
than formerly, there was not the same Care taken to provide 
suitable Accomodations for Travellers; so that no Gentle- 
man passing between New York and Philadelphia tho' 
desirous of riding Post, could well travel with him; That 
this gradual disuse of the Road occasioned less care to be 
taken of the Bridges which were often out of Repair, so that 
in rainy Seasons crossing the Brooks & Branches of Rivers 
became dangerous and sometimes impracticable to the great 
delay and Injury of Travellers: That the Ferry over to 
Amboy necessary to be pass'd on this Road, was near two 
Miles wide being at the mouth of Raritan River, and often 
so rough from high Winds, or so incumbered with Ice as to 
be impassable for many Hours, to the great delay of the 
Post as well as other Travellers; and after the Post was 
got to Amboy, he had still three large Ferries to cross be- 
tween that Place and New York, viz the Ferry over to Staten 
Island, the Ferry from Staten Island to long Island 3 miles 
wide, and the Ferry from Long Island to New York, in all 



1761] TO HENRY POTTS 



103 



which Places the Ferrymen were generally very dilatory 
and backward to carry the Post in bad Weather, availing 
themselves of every excuse, as they were by Law to receive 
no Ferriage of him. On the other Hand, the new Road was 
over better Ground & kept in better Repair; there were 
every where good Accomodations at the Inns ; Delaware 
River was to be cross'd at Trenton, and Raritan River at 
Brunswick, where they are both narrow, and the latter 
fordable at Low Water; and the People at Elizabeth Town 
Point, undertook voluntarily to have a stout Boat always 
ready to carry the Post & his Company directly to New 
York, by which the three last mention'd Ferries were avoided. 
The Change being accordingly made, the Post went no 
more thro' Burlington & Amboy; but those Places on that 
Account suffered very little Inconveniency ; For an Office 
was still continued at each of them; and their Letters sent 
over to proper Places on the New Post Road, to be carried 
forward by the Post ; and this was easy to do, it being only 
cross the Ferry from Burlington to Bristol, thro' which the 
Post goes; and but 4 miles from Amboy to Woodbridge 
thro' which he also goes. And the Letters for Burlington 
were in like manner sent over to that Office from Bristol, 
& those for Amboy sent to that Office from Woodbridge. 
Tho' the Letters to and from each Place by Post were always 
extreamly few, as they are Towns of little or no Foreign 
Trade, the chief Dealing of Amboy being with New York, 
& that of Burlington with Philadelphia, to and from which 
Places Boats are going almost every day, by which they 
always chose to send their Letters, even when the Post pass'd 
thro' them. On the other hand, two other large & thriv- 
ing Towns, who make much more use of the Post, are accom- 



104 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

odated by it on the New Road, viz. Trenton & Brunswick ; 
not to mention Prince town where a College is lately erected, 
Woodbridge & Elizabeth Town, thro' all which Places the 
new Road passes, and where offices have been long estab- 
lished. 

It is now near 24 Years that I have been concerned in the 
management of the offices between Philadelphia and New 
York, and in all that time have had no Complaint made to 
me of Inconvenience from the Posts continuing the Route 
I found them in. And I must own myself at a Loss to 
conceive the difficulty Governor Boone mentions of his Cor- 
responding regularly with the Board of Trade, and that " Dis- 
patches receiv'd from their Lordships could not be answered 
by the first Pacquet, thro* the Posts omission of Burlington & 
Amboy in their Route." His Excellency resides at Amboy, 
and the Letters for him which arrive at New York in the 
Pacquet, must be forwarded to him at farthest within three 
days, as the Post goes from New York twice a Week and 
passes within 4 miles of Amboy at Woodbridge, where the 
Governor's Letters are left, and sent to him immediately 
by a special messenger from the Office there. The Post re- 
turns twice a Week from Philadelphia to New York, and 
passing thro' Woodbridge takes up and carries forward any 
Letters left there. The Pacquet stays at New York at 
least 20 Days, and During that time the Post passes 6 times 
thro* Woodbridge to New York, and would carry forward 
any Letters the Governor should lodge at Woodbridge for 
that purpose. And if he happened to be at Burlington with 
his Assembly, the Post passes equally often thro' Bristol 
(within a mile & half of him only just cross a Ferry) where 
it cannot be much Trouble to send his Letters. So that on 



1761] TO HENRY POTTS 105 

the whole I am persuaded it must appear, when duly con- 
sider'd, that his Excellency's Want of Punctuality in his 
Correspondence with their Lordships cannot justly be 
charg'd to the Account of the Post Office. 

Mr. Barnard, immediate Predecessor of Governor Boone 
tho' he also liv'd at Amboy, made no Complaint of this kind 
that I ever heard of. Nor did the next preceding Governor 
Belcher, tho' he liv'd great Part of his time at Burlington. 
The Governors of New Jersey have sometimes liv'd on the 
New Road, at Trenton and at Elizabeth Town; and as 
there is no fix'd Place of Residence for Governors in that 
Province, future Governors may happen to chuse some of 
the Towns on the New Road; so that if the Post Route 
were chang'd to Gratify Governor Boone, the next Governor 
might desire to have it back again. And I apprehend that 
the Delays formerly experienced so frequently in the Deten- 
tion of the Post by the wide Ferries in Winter, would if the 
old Route was resum'd occasion great Dissatisfaction to 
the Governors of Pensilvania, New York & New England, 
who as well as the Merchants of their great Trading Towns 
would probably remonstrate warmly against it. 

Nevertheless, if His Majesty's Postmaster General should 
upon the whole think fit to order the old Route to be resum'd, 
and the new one with all the Offices so long established upon 
it to be drop't it is my Duty to carry their orders into Execu- 
tion, which I shall do with great Readiness and Fidelity. 
I am 

Sir 

Your most obedient 

humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



io6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

301. TO EDWARD PENINGTON 1 

London, May 9, 1761. 

SIR, 

I enclose you a letter from your kinsman, Mr. Springet 
Penn, 2 with whom I had no acquaintance until lately, but 
have the pleasure to find him a very sensible, discreet young 
man, with excellent dispositions, which makes me the more 
regret, that the government as well as property of our prov- 
ince should pass out of that line. There has, by his account, 
been something very mysterious in the conduct of his uncle, 
Mr. Thomas Penn, towards him. He was his guardian; 
but, instead of endeavouring to educate him at home under 
his eye in a manner becoming the elder branch of their house, 
has from his infancy been endeavouring to get rid of him. 

He first proposed sending him to the East Indies. When 
that was declined, he had a scheme of sending him to Russia ; 
but, the young gentleman's mother absolutely refusing to 
let him go out of the kingdom, unless to Pennsylvania to be 
educated in the college there, he would by no means hear 
of his going thither, but bound him an apprentice to a county 
attorney in an obscure part of Sussex, which, after two years' 
stay, finding that he was taught nothing valuable, nor could 
see any company that might improve him, he left, and re- 

1 First printed by Sparks. Edward Penington was a merchant of Phila- 
delphia, descended from Isaac Penington, who married Lady Springett (1654). 
William Penn married Gulielma Springett, stepdaughter of Isaac Penington. 
ED. 

2 Springett Penn, 3d (1738-1762), son of William Penn, 3d. Howard M. 
Jenkins thought that the remarks in this letter were inspired by Ann Penn 
(the mother of Springett), and that the date of the letter should be 1760. 
See "The Family of William Penn" (Jenkins), 1899, p. 215. ED. 



1761] TO EDWARD PENINGTON 107 

turned to his mother, with whom he has been ever since, 
much neglected by his uncle, except lately that he has been 
a little civil, to get him to join in a power of attorney to W. 
Peters and R. Hockley for the sale of some Philadelphia 
lots, of which he is told three undivided fourth parts belong 
to him. But he is not shown the right he has to them; nor 
has he any plan of their situation, by which he may be ad- 
vised of their value ; nor was he told, till lately, that he had 
any such right, which makes him suspect that he may have 
other rights that are concealed from him. 

In some letters to his father's eldest brother, Springet 
Penn, whose heir he is, he finds that Sir William Keith sur- 
veyed for him, the said Springet, a manor of seventy-five 
thousand acres on the Susquehanna, which he called Sprin- 
getsbury, and would be glad to know what became of that 
survey, and whether it was ever conveyed away. By search- 
ing the records, you may possibly obtain some light in this 
and other land affairs, that may be for his interest. The 
good inclinations you have shown towards that interest, in 
a letter that has been shown to me, encourage me to recom- 
mend this matter earnestly to your care and prudence; and 
the more privately you carry on your inquiries, for the pres- 
ent, the better it will be. 

His uncle has lately proposed to him to buy of him Penns- 
bury manor house, 1 with one thousand acres of the land near 
the house, pretending that his principal reason for doing it 
was not the value of the land, but an inclination he had to 
possess the ancient home of the head of the family, and a 
little land round it just to support it. You know the situa- 

1 Pennsbury Manor, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, four miles above Bris- 
tol, on the Delaware River. ED. 



io8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

tion of that manor, and can judge whether it would be 
prudent to sell the part proposed from the rest, and will 
advise him concerning it. He has refused to treat about it 
at present, as well as to sign the power of attorney for the 
sale of the city lots; upon which his late guardian has 
brought in an account against him, and demands a debt of 
four hundred pounds, which he urges him to pay, for that, as 
he says, he very much wants the money, which does not 
seem to look well. 

Not only the Land Office may be searched for warrants 
and surveys to the young gentleman's ancestors, but also 
the Record Office for deeds of gift from the first proprietor, 
and other subsequent grants or conveyances. I may tell 
you in confidence, that some lawyers are of opinion, that the 
government was not legally conveyed from the eldest branch 
to others of the family; but this is to be farther inquired 
into, and at present it is not to be talked of. I am with much 
esteem, Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 



302. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (P. c.) 
Craven Street, Aug. 10, 1761. 

DEAR POLLEY 

We are to set out this Week for Holland, where we may 
possibly spend a Month, but purpose to be at home again 
before the Coronation. I could not go without taking Leave 
of you by a Line at least, when I am so many Letters in your 
Debt. 

In yours of May 19, which I have before me, you speak 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



1761] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON" 109 

of the Ease with which Salt Water may be made fresh by 
Distillation, supposing it to be, as I had said, that in Evapo- 
ration the Air would take up Water, but not the Salt that was 
mix'd with it. It is true, that distilPd Sea Water will not be 
salt, but there are other disagreable Qualities that rise with 
the Water in Distillation; which indeed several besides Dr. 
Hales have endeavoured by sundry Means to prevent; but 
as yet their Methods have not been brought much into Use. 

I have his Pieces on the Subject which I will leave with 
your Mother for your Perusal, as you may possibly make 
her happy a Day or two with your Company upon our Re- 
turn. I have a singular Opinion on this Subject, which I 
will venture to communicate to you, tho' I doubt you will 
rank it among my Whims. It is certain that the Skin has 
imbibing as well as discharging Pores ; witness the Effects of 
a Blister Plaister, &c. I have read, that a Man, hired by a 
Physician to stand by way of Experiment in the open Air 
naked during a moist Night, weighed near 3 Pounds heavier 
in the Morning. I have often observ'd myself, that, however 
thirsty I may have been before going into the Water to 
swim, I am never long so in the Water. These imbibing 
Pores, however, are very fine, perhaps fine enough in filtring 
to separate Salt from Water; for, tho' I have soak'd by 
Swimming, when a Boy, several Hours in the Day for 
several Days successively in Salt water, I never found my 
Blood and Juices salted by that means, so as to make me 
thirsty or feel a salt Taste in my Mouth : And it is remarkable, 
that the Flesh of Sea Fish, tho' bred in Salt Water, is not 
Salt. 

Hence I imagine, that, if People at Sea, distressed by 
Thirst when their fresh Water is unfortunately spent, would 



I io THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

make Bathing-Tubs of their empty Water-Casks, and, filling 
them with Sea Water, sit in them an hour or two each Day, 
they might be greatly relieved. Perhaps keeping their Clothes 
constantly wet might have an almost equal Effect ; and this 
without Danger of catching Cold. Men do not catch Cold 
by wet Clothes at Sea. Damp, but not wet Linen may pos- 
sibly give Colds; but no one catches Cold by Bathing, and 
no Clothes can be wetter than Water itself. Why damp 
Clothes should then occasion Colds, is a curious Question, 
the Discussion of which I reserve for a future Letter, or 
some future Conversation. 

Adieu, my dear little Philosopher. Present my respectful 
Compliments to the good Ladies, your Aunts, and to Miss 
Pitt; and believe me ever 

Your affectionate Friend, 

And humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



303. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

Utrecht, in Holland, Sept. 14, 1761. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I wrote to you just before we left London, that we were 
about to make a short Tour to Holland. I wrote to you 
since from Antwerp in Flanders, and am now to acquaint 
you, that having seen almost all the principal Places and 
Things worthy Notice in those two Countries, we are now 
on our Return to London, where we hope to be next Saturday 
or Sunday, that we may not miss the Coronation. At 
Amsterdam I met with Mr. Crellius and his Daughter that 



1761] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON m 

was formerly Mrs. Neigh; her Husband, Dr. Neigh, died 
in Carolina, and she is married again and lives very well in 
that City. They treated us with great Civility and Kindness ; 
and will be so obliging as to forward this Letter to you, a 
Ship being bound to New York from Amsterdam. We are 
in good Health, and have had a great deal of Pleasure, and 
received a good deal of Information in this Tour that may 
be useful when we return to America. My Love to my 
dear Sally, and affectionate Regards to all Pennsylvania. 
Billy presents his Duty. I am, my dear Debby, your ever 
loving Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 



304. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (p. c.) 

[September 20, 1761.] 

MY DEAR FRIEND, 

It is, as you observed in our late Conversation, a very 
general Opinion, that all rivers run into the Sea, or deposite 
their Waters there. 'Tis a kind of Audacity to call such 
general Opinions in question, and may subject one to censure. 
But we must hazard something in what we think the Cause of 
Truth : And if we propose our Objections modestly, we shall 
tho' mistaken, deserve a Censure less severe, than when we 
are both mistaken and insolent. 

That some Rivers run into the Sea is beyond a doubt; 
such for Instance, are the Amazones and, I think, the Oro- 
noko and the Missisipi. The Proof is, that their Waters 
are fresh quite to the Sea, and out to some Distance from the 
Land. Our Question is, whether the fresh Waters of those 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



U2 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

Rivers whose Beds are filled with Salt Water to a consider- 
able Distance up from the Sea (as the Thames, the Dela- 
ware, and the Rivers that communicate with Chesapeak 
Bay in Virginia) do ever arrive at the Sea. And as I suspect 
they do not, I am now to acquaint you with my Reasons; 
or, if they are not allow' d to be Reasons, my Conceptions 
at least of this Matter. 

The common Supply of Rivers is from Springs, which 
draw their Origin from Rain that has soak'd into the Earth. 
The Union of a Number of springs forms a River. The 
Waters, as they run, exposed to the Sun, Air, and Wind are 
continually evaporating. Hence in Travelling one may often 
see where a River runs, by a long blueish Mist over it, tho' 
we are at such a Distance as not to see the River itself. The 
Quantity of this Evaporation is greater or less, in proportion 
to the Surface exposed by the same Quantity of Water to 
those Causes of Evaporation. While the River runs in a 
narrow confined Channel in the upper hilly Country, only 
a small Surface is exposed; a greater, as the River widens. 
Now, if a River ends in a Lake, as some do, whereby its 
Waters are spread so wide as that the Evaporation is equal 
to the Sum of all its Springs, that Lake will never overflow ; 
And if instead of ending in a Lake, it was drawn into greater 
Length as a River, so as to expose a Surface equal in the whole 
to that Lake, the Evaporation would be equal, and such 
River would end as a Canal; when the Ignorant might 
suppose, as they actually do in such cases, that the River 
loses itself by running under ground, whereas in truth it 
has run up into the Air. 

Now many Rivers that are open to the Sea widen much 
before they arrive at it, not merely by the additional Waters 



1761] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 113 

they receive, but by having their Course stopt by the oppos- 
ing Flood-Tide; by being turned back twice in twenty- 
four Hours, and by finding broader Beds in the low flat 
Countries to dilate themselves in. Hence the Evaporation 
of the fresh Water is proportionally increased; so that in 
some Rivers it may equal the Springs of Supply. In such 
cases, the Salt Water comes up the River, and meets the fresh 
in that part where, if there were a Wall or Bank of Earth 
across from Side to Side, the River would form a Lake, 
fuller indeed at some times than at others, according to the 
Seasons, but whose Evaporation would, one time with an- 
other, be equal to its Supply. 

When the Communication between the two kinds of 
Water is open, this supposed Wall of Separation may be 
conceived as a moveable one, which is not only pushed 
some Miles higher up the River by every Flood Tide from 
the Sea, and carried down again as far by every Tide of 
Ebb, but which has even this Space of Vibration removed 
nearer to the Sea in wet Seasons, when the Springs and 
Brooks in the upper Country are augmented by the falling 
Rains, so as to swell the River, and farther from the Sea 
in dry Seasons. 

Within a few Miles above and below this moveable Line 
of Separation, the different Waters mix a little, partly by their 
Motion to and fro, and partly from the greater specific Gravity 
of the Salt Water, which inclines it to run under the Fresh, 
while the fresh Water, being lighter, runs over the Salt. 

Cast your Eye on the Map of North America, and observe 
the Bay of Chesapeak, in Virginia, mentioned above; you 
will see, communicating with it by their Mouths, the great 
Rivers Susquehanah, Potowmack, Rappahanock, York, and 

VOL. IV I 



114 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

James, besides a Number of smaller Streams, each as big 
as the Thames. It has been propos'd by philosophical 
Writers, that to compute how much Water any River dis- 
charges into the Sea in a given time, we should measure its 
Depth and Swiftness at any Part above the Tide ; as, for the 
Thames, at Kingston or Windsor. But can one imagine, 
that if all the Water of those vast Rivers went to the Sea, 
it would not first have pushed the Salt Water out of that nar- 
row-mouthed Bay, and filled it with fresh? The Susque- 
hanah alone would seem to be sufficient for this, if it were not 
for the Loss by Evaporation. And yet that Bay is salt quite 
up to Annapolis. 

As to our other Subject, the different Degrees of Heat 
imbibed from the Sun's Rays by Cloths of different Colours, 
since I cannot find the Notes of my Experiment to send you, 
I must give it as well as I can from Memory. 

But first let me mention an Experiment you may easily 
make yourself. Walk but a quarter of an Hour in your Gar- 
den when the Sun shines, with a part of your Dress white, 
and a Part black ; then apply your Hand to them alternately, 
and you will find a very great Difference in their Warmth. 
The Black will be quite hot to the Touch, the White still cool. 

Another. Try to fire Paper with a burning Glass. If it is 
White, you will not easily burn it ; but if you bring the Focus 
to a black Spot, or upon Letters, written or printed, the Paper 
will immediately be on fire under the Letters. 

Thus Fullers and Dyers find black Cloths, of equal Thick- 
ness with white ones, and hung out equally wet, dry in the Sun 
much sooner than the white, being more readily heated by the 
Sun's Rays. It is the same before a Fire ; the Heat of which 
sooner penetrates black Stockings than white ones, and so is 



1761] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 115 

apt sooner to burn a Man's Shins. Also Beer much sooner 
warms in a black Mug set before the Fire, than in a white one, 
or in a bright Silver Tankard. 

My Experiment was this. I took a number of little square 
Pieces of Broad Cloth from a Taylor's Pattern-Card, of 
various Colours. There were Black, deep Blue, lighter Blue, 
Green, Purple, Red, Yellow, White, and other Colours, or 
Shades of Colours. I laid them all out upon the Snow in a 
bright Sunshiny Morning. In a few Hours (I cannot now 
be exact as to the Time), the Black, being warm'd most by the 
Sun, was sunk so low as to be below the Stroke of the Sun's 
Rays ; the dark Blue almost as low, the lighter Blue not quite 
so much as the dark, the other Colours less as they were 
lighter ; and the quite White remain'd on the Surface of the 
Snow, not having entred it at all. 

What signifies Philosophy that does not apply to some Use ? 
May we not learn from hence, that black Clothes are not so fit 
to wear in a hot Sunny Climate or Season, as white ones; 
because in such Cloaths the Body is more heated by the Sun 
when we walk abroad, and are at the same time heated by the 
Exercise, which double Heat is apt to bring on putrid danger- 
ous Fevers? That Soldiers and Seamen, who must march 
and labour in the Sun, should in the East or West Indies have 
an Uniform of white? That Summer Hats, for Men or 
Women, should be white, as repelling that Heat which gives 
Headachs to many, and to some the fatal Stroke that the 
French call the Coup de Soleil ? That the Ladies' Summer 
Hats, however, should be lined with Black, as not reverberat- 
ing on their Faces those Rays which are reflected upwards 
from the Earth or Water? That the putting a white Cap of 
Paper or Linnen within the Crown of a black Hat, as some do, 



ii6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

will not keep out the Heat, tho* it would if placed without ? 
That Fruit- Walls being black'd may receive so much Heat 
from the Sun in the Daytime, as to continue warm in some 
degree thro' the Night, and thereby preserve the Fruit from 
Frosts, or forward its Growth ? with sundry other particu- 
lars of less or greater Importance, that will occur from time to 
time to attentive Minds ? I am 

Yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



305. TO WILLIAM CULLEN, M.D. 1 

London, October 21, 1761. 

DEAR SIR, 

I hear, that since I had the pleasure of seeing and convers- 
ing with you on the subject, you have wrote some of your 
sentiments of Fire, and communicated them to the Philo- 
sophical Society. If so, as it may be some time before their 
publication, I should think myself extremely obliged to you 
if I could be favoured with a copy, as there is no subject I am 
more impatient to be acquainted with. It should go no 
further than my own closet without your permission. 

I thank you for the civilities you were so good as to shew my 
friend Mr. Shippen, whom I took the liberty of recommending 
to your notice the last year. Give me leave to recommend 
one friend more to your advice and countenance. The 
bearer, Mr. Morgan, 2 who purposes to reside some time in 
Edinburgh for the completion of his studies in Physic, is a 

1 From " An Account of the Life, Lectures, and Writings of William Cullen, 
M.D." By John Thomson, M.D., F.R.S. L. & E. Edinburgh, 1832. Vol. I, 
p. 140. ED. 

2 See letter to Lord Kames, November, 1761. ED. 



1761] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 117 

young gentleman of Philadelphia, whom I have long known 
and greatly esteem ; and as I interest myself in what relates 
to him, I cannot but wish him the advantage of your conversa- 
tion and instructions. I wish it also for the sake of my coun- 
try, where he is to reside, and where I am persuaded he will 
be not a little useful. I am, with the greatest esteem and 
respect, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble 
servant, B. FRANKLIN. 



306. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (P. c.) 

Craven Street, Oct. 29, 1761. 

My dear Polly's good Mama bids me write two or three 
Lines, by way of Apology for her so long omitting to write. 
She acknowledges the Receiving of two agreable Letters from 
her beloved Daughter, enclosing one for Sally Franklin, which 
was much approv'd (excepting one Word only) and sent as 
directed. 

The Reasons of her not Writing are, that her Time all Day 
is fully taken up, during the DayLight, with the Care of her 
Family, and laying abed in the Morning. And her Eyes 
are so bad, that she cannot see to Write in the Evening for 
Playing at Cards. So she hopes that one, who is all Good- 
ness, will certainly forgive her, when her Excuses are so sub- 
stantial. As for the Secretary, he has not a word to say in his 
own Behalf, tho' full as great an Offender, but throws himself 
upon Mercy; pleading only that he is, with the greatest 
Esteem and sincerest Regard, his dear Polly's ever affectionate 
Friend, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



Ii8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 



307. TO CHARLES NORRIS AND THOMAS 
LEECH l 

London, Nov? 17. 1761. 
GENTLEMEN, 

I have this Day received from each of you a Notification, 
(dated Octf i, 1761) that by a Refolve of the Afsembly you 
are ordered immediately to draw on me for the whole of 
the Parliamentary Grant to our Province for the year I758. 2 
As I had acquainted the Houfe from time to time thro' the 
Speaker with the Purchafes of Stock I had made with that 
Money for the Account of the Province, which would have 
reap'd the whole Benefit of the expected Rife on a Peace, 
I fuppofe the Houfe have been indue' d now to order the 
Drafts on the Apprehenfion that Peace might probably be 
concluded about the Time of their Arrival in England. 
Unfortunately the Negotiations have been broken off, & 
the Stocks have thereupon fallen confiderably ; fo that if 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. William F. Havemeyer. A 
copy is in P. H. S. ED. 

2 " The Governor has now under consideration the Bill for appointing cer- 
tain persons to apply for and receive the distributive Shares & Proportions 
which are or shall be allotted to this Province out of the sum or Sums of 
Money granted or to be granted by Parliament to his Majestie's Colonies in 
America; but before he returns the same, or gives an answer thereto, he desires 
the House will inform him whether the Trustees of the Loan Office have drawn 
for the sum of Twenty-six Thousand nine hundred and two Pounds eight Shill- 
ings Sterling, the part of the Parliamentary Grant allotted to this Province for 
the year 1758, which, by an Act passed in the thirty-third Year of his late Maj- 
esty, was expressly directed to be drawn for by them, & applied in Abate- 
ment of the publick Taxes, & which he understands has already been received 
by Mr. Franklin." Minutes of the Provincial Council, Tuesday the 22nd 
Sept? 1761. ED. 



1761] TO CHARLES NORRIS AND THOMAS LEECH 119 

our 30,000 which coft us ;26,994"7"6, be fold at the 
prefent Rates, it will not Net more than 23,837"io"o, 
whence inftead of a Gain of 5, or 6,000 that we fhould 
probably have had by Delaying to draw till a Peace, we 
fhall now incur a Lofs here of 3i56"i7"6. However, the 
Delay fo far as it has gone, may by the intermediate extream 
Rife in the Price of Bills at Philadelphia, far overbalance this 
Lofs, fo that on the whole with the Intereft receiv'd here, 
the Province may be Gainers, which I fincerely wifh. But 
I fend you this early Notice of the prefent State of Things, 
by different Conveyances, that if not too late, you may judge 
whether it will not be proper to avoid drawing for more than 
will probably be in my Hands ; since if you should go far be- 
yond what the Stocks when sold will produce, it will be impos- 
sible for me duly to honour all your Drafts. I am with the 
utmost Respect for yourselves and the Assembly, Gentlemen 
Your most obedient 

& most humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 
P. S. 

Stocks by this Day's Paper. 

3 P* C* Consol (of which we have 5000 ) 

at 72j to 71 1 
4 P* C* 1760 (of which we have 15,000^) 

at 86J to 86 
3 P* C* 1761 (of which we have 10,000 ) 

at 73l to 73 J- 

What they were when I bought may be seen by my former 
Letters to the Speaker. I shall state and send the whole 
Ace* per next Pacquet. 



120 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 



308. TO LORD KAMES 

London, November, 1761. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

It is long since I have afforded myself the pleasure of writing 
to you. As I grow in years, I find I grow more indolent, and 
more apt to procrastinate. I am indeed a bad correspondent ; 
but what avails confession without amendment? 

When I come so late with my thanks for your truly valuable 
Introduction to the Art of Thinking^ can I have any right to 
inquire after your Elements of Criticism ? I promise myself 
no small satisfaction in perusing that work also, when it shall 
appear. By the first, you sow thick in the young mind the 
seeds of good sense concerning moral conduct, which, as they 
grow and are transplanted into life, must greatly adorn the 
character and promote the happiness of the person. Permit 
me to say, that I think I never saw more solid, useful matter 
contained in so small a compass, and yet the method and ex- 
pression so clear, that the brevity occasions no obscurity. In 
the other you will, by alluring youth to the practice of learning, 
strengthen their judgment, improve and enlarge their under- 
standing, and increase their abilities of being useful. 

To produce the number of valuable men necessary in a 
nation for its prosperity, there is much more hope from 
schemes of early institution than from reformation. And as 
the power of a single man to do national service, in particular 
situations of influence, is often immensely great, a writer can 
hardly conceive the good he may be doing, when engaged in 
works of this kind. I cannot, therefore, but wish you would 



1761] TO LORD KAMES 121 

publish it as soon as your other important employments will 
permit you to give it the finishing hand. 

With these sentiments you will not doubt my being serious 
in the intention of finishing my Art of Virtue. It is not a mere 
ideal work. I planned it first in 1732. I have from time to 
time made, and caused to be made, experiments of the method 
with success. The materials have been growing ever since. 
The form only is now to be given; in which I purpose em- 
ploying my first leisure, after my return to my other country. 

Your invitation to make another jaunt to Scotland, and 
offer to meet us half way en famille, was extremely obliging. 
Certainly I never spent my time anywhere more agreeably, 
nor have I been in any place, where the inhabitants and 
their conversation left such lastingly pleasing impressions 
on my mind, accompanied with the strongest inclination 
once more to visit that hospitable, friendly, and sensible 
people. The friendship your Lordship in particular honours 
me with would not, you may be assured, be among the least 
of my inducements. My son is in the same sentiments 
with me. But we doubt we cannot have that happiness, 
as we are to return to America early in the next spring. 

I am ashamed that I have been so useless a member to 
your Philosophical Society, since they did me the honour of 
admitting me. But I think it will not be long before they 
hear from me. I should be very glad to see Dr. Cullen's * 
paper on Fire. When may we expect the publication? I 
have, as you have heard, been dealing in Smoke, and I think 
it not difficult to manage, when one is once acquainted thor- 
oughly with the principles. But, as the causes are various 

1 William Cullen (1710-1790), teacher of Joseph Black and William 
Hunter. ED. 



122 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1761 

so must the remedies be ; and one cannot prescribe to a pa- 
tient at such a distance, without first having a clear state of 
its case. If you should ever take the trouble of sending me 
a description of the circumstances of your smoky chimneys, 
perhaps I might offer something useful towards their cure. 
But doubtless you have doctors equally skilful nearer home. 

I sent one of your Principles of Equity as a present to a 
particular friend of mine, one of the judges of the Supreme 
Court in Pennsylvania, where, as there is no court of chan- 
cery, equity is often mixed with the common law in their 
judgments. I since received two letters from him. In the 
first, when he had read but part of the work, he seemed to 
think something wanting in it. In the next, he calls his 
first sentiments in question. I think I will send you the 
letters, though of no great importance, lest, since I have 
mentioned them, you should think his remarks might be 
of more consequence. You can return them when any 
friend is coming this way. 

May I take the freedom of recommending the bearer, 
Mr. Morgan, 1 to your Lordship's protection. He purposes 
residing some time in Edinburgh, to improve himself in the 
study of physic, and I think will one day make a good figure 
in the profession, and be of some credit to the school he 
studies in, if great industry and application, joined with 
natural genius and sagacity, afford any foundation for the 
presage. He is the son of a friend and near neighbour of 
mine in Philadelphia, 2 so that I have known him from a 
child, and am confident the same excellent dispositions, 

1 John Morgan, M.D. (1735-1789), an eminent physician of Philadelphia. 
ED. 

2 Evan Morgan, merchant. ED. 



1762] TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK 123 

good morals, and prudent behaviour, that have procured 
him the esteem and affection of all that knew him in his 
own country, will render him not unworthy the regard, 
advice, and countenance your Lordship may be so good as 
to afford him. 

My son (with whom I have lately made the tour of Holland 
and Flanders) joins with me in best wishes for you and Lady 
Kames, and your amiable children. We hope, however far 
we may be removed from you, to hear frequently of your 
welfare, and of the fortunes of your family; being with the 
sincerest esteem and regard, my dear friend, yours most 

affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



309. TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK (L. L.) 

London, Jan. 21, 1762. 

DEAR SIR, 

It gives me Pleasure to learn, by yours of Nov. 12. that 
my young Friend Mf Morgan has rendered himself agreable 
to you, and that your Health and Eyes are much better. 

I sent some time since to M r Dalrymple one of my Ma- 
chines for your Chimney, who readily paid the Smith's Bill 
for the same. But now, on discoursing with some Gentle- 
men from Edinburgh, I am in doubt whether it is what you 
intended and expected. If not, pray let me know, that I 
may endeavour to procure for you the Thing that you desire. 

However let me tell you, that after more than 20 Years 
Experience of my own Contrivances and those of others, 
for the Warming of Rooms, and much Thought on the Sub- 
ject, I am of Opinion, that this, all Circumstances considered, 



124 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

is by far the best for common Use. You will judge of it 
when I have explain'd the Manner of Fixing it up, and its 
Operation. 

It is a thin Iron Plate sliding in a grooved Frame of Iron. 
The Opening of your Chimney I suppose is wider than this 
Plate with its Frame is long, and deeper than it is wide: 
In which Case your Mason is to contract the Opening, by 
raising within it two Jambs of Brickwork about 3 Feet high, 
and at such a Distance from each other, that the Frame & 
Plate being laid on them may rest firmly, and be fix'd by 
additional Brickwork above upon the Jambs, and across 
from Jamb to Jamb over the Frame, so as to close the Open- 
ing above the Frame. This new Brickwork may be fac'd 
with Dutch Tiles, Stone or Marble at your Pleasure. This 
Work is to be plac'd so far back in the Chimney, that when 
the Plate is close thrust in, the Chimney is quite stopt up, 
so as to prevent all passage of Air up or down. Then when 
you make a Fire, the Plate is to be drawn out so far only as 
to admit a Passage for all the Smoke; which will be one, 
two, or three Inches, at different Times, according to the 
Coldness of the Weather, and the Strength of the Draft 
in your Chimney. If at any time, you would have the Fire 
speedily blown up, the Plate is to be drawn out as far as the 
Hinge and let down to hang perpendicular, which enlarging 
the Passage above the Fire, and contracting it before, pro- 
duces the Effect by occasioning a stronger Current of Air 
where it is required for the purpose. 

The Principles of this Construction are these. Chimney 
Funnels are made much larger than is necessary for Con- 
veying the Smoke. In a large Funnel a great quantity of 
Air is continually ascending out of the Room, which must 



1762] TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK 125 

be supply'd thro 1 the Crevices of Doors, Windows, Floors, 
Wainscots, &c. This occasions a continual Current of 
cold Air from the extream Parts of the Room to the Chim- 
ney, which presses the Air warm'd by the direct rays of the 
Fire into the Chimney, and carries it off, thereby preventing 
its diffusing itself to warm the Room. By contracting the 
Funnel with this Plate, the Draft of Air up the Chimney is 
greatly lessened, and the Introduction of cold Air thro' the 
Crevices to supply its Place is proportionally lessen'd. 
Hence the Room is more uniformly warm'd & with less 
Fire; and the Current of cold Air towards the Chimney 
being lessen'd it becomes much more comfortable Sitting 
before the Fire. 

That the Draft of cold Air into the Room is lessen'd by 
this Plate may be demonstrated by several easy Experiments. 
When you have a lively Fire burning, and the Plate as far 
in as it will bear to be without stopping the Smoak, set the 
Door open about \ an Inch, & hold your Hand against the 
Crevice ; you will then feel the Cool Air coming in, but slowly 
& weakly compar'd with what you will feel, if, while your 
Hand continues so plac'd another Person suddenly draws 
out the Plate. The stronger pressure of the outward Air 
into the Room, will when the Plate is drawn out, push the 
Door more strongly; and being shut, the Rushing of the 
Air thro' Crevices make a louder Noise. 

Since I first us'd this Contrivance in the Chimneys of my 
Lodging here, many Hundreds have been set up in Imita- 
tion of it, in and about this City, and they have afforded 
general Satisfaction. Simplicity, Cheapness, and Easy 
Execution, have all contributed to recommend it. Then 
it is no Obstruction to the Sweeping of the Chimney, is at- 



126 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

tended with no ill Smells, & in Summer serves the purpose 
of a Chimney Board, by closing the Chimney entirely. 

It has indeed been mistaken by some as intended for the 
Cure of Smoaky Chimneys. But that is not to be expected 
from it, except in two Cases, viz. where the Chimney smokes 
because the Opening is too large, or where the Room is so 
tight & the Funnel so big, that all the Crevices together 
do not admit Air enough to supply the Draft. In these 
Cases it is of Service. But Chimneys often smoke from 
other Causes, & must have other Remedies. 

Possibly where a Chimney smokes from Wind sometimes 
blowing down, it may also be of some Service, the Push of 
the heated Air upwards being stronger in its narrow Passage. 
But in this Case I have had no Opportunity of seeing it 
try'd. 

If you are desirous of obtaining still more Heat in your 
Room, from the same Fire, I would recommend lining your 
Jambs with coving Plates of polish'd Brass. They throw 
a vast deal of Heat into the Room by Reflection. I have 
done my Parlour Chimney in that Manner with very good 
Effect. The Plates are thin, & the Expence of the two, 
but about twenty-five Shillings. 

Please to acquaint your Friend D r Hope, 1 that I am about 
returning to America this Summer, and will send him free 
of Charge for Postage in America any Letters containing 
Leaves of Plants or small Parcels of Seeds that shall be 
committed to my Care by any of his or your medical Friends 
there. 

My Son joins in best Wishes for you & your Children. 
Our Compliments to the eldest, who proves an excellent 

1 John Hope (1725-1786), Professor of Botany at Edinburgh. ED. 



1762] TO DAVID HUME 



127 



Secretary for you. Be so good as to present our cordial 
Regards to Lord Kaims when you see him. I shall write 
to him shortly, being much in his Debt. With the greatest 
Esteem, I am, 

Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient 
humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN 



310. TO DAVID HUME 1 

London, January 24, 1762. 

DEAR SIR, 

In compliance with my Lord MarischaFs request, com- 
municated to me by you, when I last had the pleasure of 
seeing you, I now send you what at present appears to me 
to be the shortest and simplest method of securing build- 
ings, &c., from the mischiefs of lightning. Prepare a steel 
rod five or six feet long, half an inch thick at its biggest end, 
and tapering to a sharp point; which point should be gilt 
to prevent its rusting. Let the big end of the rod have a 
strong eye or ring of half an inch diameter: Fix this rod 
upright to the chimney or highest part of the house, by 
means of staples, so as it may be kept steady. Let the pointed 
end be upwards, and rise three or four feet above the chimney 
or building that the rod is fixed to. Drive into the ground 

1 First printed in the third volume of a work entitled, " Essays and Ob- 
servations, Physical and Literary ; read before the Philosophical Society in 
Edinburgh, and published by them." Mr. Hume was a member of that 
Society. The volume containing this letter was published in the year 
1771. The original letter is in the Library of the Royal Philosophical Society, 
Edinburgh. ED. 



128 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

an iron rod of about an inch diameter, and ten or twelve feet 
long, that has also an eye or ring in its upper end. It is 
best that the rod should be at some distance from the founda- 
tion of the building, not nearer than ten feet, if your ground 
will allow so much. Then take as much length of iron rod 
of about half an inch diameter, as will reach from the eye in 
the rod above, to that in the rod below; and fasten it 
securely to those rods, by passing its ends through the rings, 
and bending those ends till they likewise form rings. 

This length of rod may either be in one or several pieces. 
If in several, let the ends of the pieces be also well hooked to 
each other. Then close and cover every joint with lead, 
which is easily done, by making a small bag of strong paper 
round the joint, tying it close below, and then pouring in 
the melted lead ; it being of use in these junctures, that there 
should be a considerable quantity of metalline contact be- 
tween piece and piece. For, if they were only hooked 
together and so touched each other but in points, the light- 
ning, in passing through them, might melt and break them 
where they join. The lead will also prevent the weakening 
of the joints by rust. To prevent the shaking of this rod by 
the wind, you may secure it by a few staples to the building, 
till it comes down within ten feet of the ground, and thence 
carry it off to your ground rod; near to which should be 
planted a post, to support the iron conductor above the 
heads of people walking under it. 

If the building be large and long, as an hundred feet or 
upwards, it may not be amiss to erect a pointed rod at each 
end, and form a communication by an iron rod between 
them. If there be a well near the house, so that you can by 
such a rod form a communication from your top rod to the 



1762] TO DAVID HUME 129 

water, it is rather better to do so than to use the ground rod 
above mentioned. It may also be proper to paint the iron, 
to render it more durable by preserving it from rust. 

A building thus guarded, will not be damaged by light- 
ning, nor any person or thing therein killed, hurt, or set on 
fire. For, either the explosion will be prevented by the 
operation of the point; or, if not prevented, then the whole 
quantity of lightning exploded near the house, whether 
passing from the cloud to the earth or from the earth to the 
cloud, will be conveyed in the rods. And, though the iron 
be crooked round the corner of the building, or make ever 
so many turns between the upper and lower rod, the light- 
ning will follow it, and be guided by it, without affecting the 
building. I omit the philosophical reasons and experiments 
on which this practice is founded ; for they are many, and 
would make a book. Besides they are already known to 
most of the learned throughout Europe. In the American 
British colonies, many houses have been, since the year 1752, 
guarded by these principles. Three facts have only come to 
my knowledge of the effects of lightning on such houses. 1 

If I have not been explicit enough in my directions, I 
shall, on the least intimation, endeavour to supply the defect. 

I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 For these facts, relating to the houses of Mr. West in Philadelphia, and 
of Mr. Raven and Mr. Maine in South Carolina, see " Experiments and Ob- 
servations on Electricity," London, 1769, p, 394, and pp. 416-425. ED. 



VOL. iv K 



130 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 



311. TO CHARLES NORRIS AND 

THOMAS LEECH 1 (P. c.) 

London, Feb. 13, 1762. 

GENTLEMEN 

Since mine of Jan? 14 most of the Bills therein mentioned 
as not having then appeared have been presented and I 
have accepted three more of them, viz. No. 36, 50. & 121, 
which make the whole sum accepted by me 20.500, all 
of which is now paid except the three above mentioned Bills 
which will be paid in course. The others are noted & 
when protested will be paid by Messrs Sargent & Aufrere. 

A more unlucky time could not have been pitched upon to 
draw Money out of the Stocks here, for it was in the Midst of 
the Damp thrown upon them by the Breaking off the Nego- 
tiations for Peace, the Resignation of Mr. Pitt, & the entering 
into a new War with Spain. All imaginable Care and Pains 
was taken to sell our Stocks to the best Advantage, but it could 
only be done by Degrees & with Difficulty, there being 
some times no Buyers to be found. The whole Produce 
of the 15.000^ 4 per cents was no more than 12.436.10.0. 
and that of the 15.000^ 3 per Cents only 9. 500. o.o 

in all 21.936.10.0. 

as you will see by the Broker's Account of Sales inclos'd. 
However as the Bills you have drawn will all be honour'd 
and paid, no Disappointment will arise to the Trade and 
Merchants of the Province, though perhaps notwithstanding 
the good Price of Exchange received for the Bills, beyond 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. D. McN. Stauff er. A draft 
isinP.H.S. ED. 



1762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 131 

what they would have sold for when the Money was first 
invested in the Funds, there may be still some Loss to the 
Publick. I am Gentlemen, with great Respect 
Your most obedient hum. Serv*. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



312. TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 1 

London, Feb. 20, 1762. 

SIR, 

I received your ingenious letter of the i2th of March last, 
and thank you cordially for the account you give me of the 
new experiments you have lately made in Electricity. It is 
a subject that still affords me pleasure, though of late I 
have not much attended to it. 

Your second experiment, in which you attempted, without 
success, to communicate positive electricity by vapour as- 
cending from electrised water, reminds me of one I formerly 
made, to try if negative electricity might be produced by 
evaporation only. I placed a large heated brass plate, 
containing four or five square feet, on an electric stand; a 
rod of metal, about four feet long, with a bullet at its end, 
extended from the plate horizontally. A light lock of cotton, 
suspended by a fine thread from the cieling, hung opposite 
to, and within an inch of the bullet. I then sprinkled the 
heated plate with water, which arose fast from it in vapour. 
If vapour should be disposed to carry off the electrical, as 
it does the common fire from bodies, I expected the plate 
would, by losing some of its natural quantity, become nega- 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 397. ED. 



132 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

tively electrised. But I could not perceive, by any motion in 
the cotton, that it was at all affected ; nor by any separation 
of small cork balls suspended from the plate, could it be 
observed that the plate was in any manner electrified. 

Mr. Canton here has also found, that two tea-cups, set on 
electric stands, and filled, one with boiling, the other with 
cold water, and equally electrified, continued equally so, 
notwithstanding the plentiful evaporation from the hot 
water. Your experiment and his agreeing, show another 
remarkable difference between electric and common fire. 
For the latter quits most readily the body that contains 
it, where water, or any other fluid, is evaporating from the 
surface of that body, and escapes with the vapour. Hence 
the method long in use in the east, of cooling liquors, 
by wrapping the bottles round with a wet cloth, and exposing 
them to the wind. Dr. Cullen, of Edinburgh, has given 
some experiments of cooling by evaporation; 1 and I was 
present at one made by Dr. Hadley, then professor of chem- 
istry at Cambridge, when, by repeatedly wetting the ball of 
a thermometer with spirit, and quickening the evaporation 
by the blast of a bellows, the mercury fell from 65, the state 
of warmth in the common air, to 7, which is 22 degrees 
below freezing; and, accordingly, from some water mixed 
with the spirit, or from the breath of the assistants, or both, 
ice gathered in small spicula round the ball, to the thickness 
of near a quarter of an inch. To such a degree did the 
mercury lose the fire it before contained, which, as I imagine, 
took the opportunity of escaping, in company with the evapo- 
rating particles of the spirit, by adhering to those particles. 

1 See " Essay on the Cold produced by Evaporating Fluids " (Edin. Philos. 
and Lit. Essays, Vol. II, 1755). ED. 



1762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY I33 

Your experiment of the Florence flask, and boiling water, 
is very curious. I have repeated it, and found it to succeed 
as you describe it, in two flasks out of three. The third 
would not charge when filled with either hot or cold water. 
I repeated it, because I remembered I had once attempted 
to make an electric bottle of a Florence flask, filled with cold 
water, but could not charge it at all; which I then imputed 
to some imperceptible cracks in the small, extremely thin 
bubbles, of which that glass is full, and I concluded none of 
that kind would do. But you have shewn me my mistake. 
Mr. Wilson had formerly acquainted us, that red-hot glass 
would conduct electricity ; but that so small a degree of heat 
as that communicated by boiling water, would so open the 
pores of extremely thin glass, as to suffer the electric fluid 
freely to pass, was not before known. Some experiments 
similar to yours, have, however, been made here, before the 
receipt of your letter, of which I shall now give you an ac- 
count. 

I formerly had an opinion that a Ley den bottle, charg'd 
and then seaPd hermetically, might retain its electricity for 
ever; but having afterwards some suspicion that possibly 
that subtil fluid might, by slow imperceptible degrees, soak 
through the glass, and in time escape, I requested some of 
my friends, who had conveniences for doing it, to make 
trial, whether, after some months, the charge of a bottle so 
sealed would be sensibly diminished. Being at Birmingham, 
in September, 1760, Mr. Bolton of that place opened a bottle 
that had been charged, and its long tube neck hermetically 
sealed in the January preceding. On breaking off the end 
of the neck, and introducing a wire into it, we found it 
possessed of a considerable quantity of electricity, which 



134 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

was discharged by a snap and spark. This bottle had lain 
near seven months on a shelf, in a closet, in contact with 
bodies that would undoubtedly have carried off all its elec- 
tricity, if it could have come readily through the glass. Yet 
as the quantity manifested by the discharge was not ap- 
parently so great as might have been expected from a bottle 
of that size well charged, some doubt remained whether 
part had escaped while the neck was sealing, or had since, 
by degrees, soaked through the glass. But an experiment of 
Mr. Canton's, in which such a bottle was kept under water 
a week, without having its electricity in the least impaired, 
seems to show, that when the glass is cold, though extremely 
thin, the electric fluid is well retained by it. As that in- 
genious and accurate experimenter made a discovery, like 
yours, of the effect of heat in rendering thin glass permeable 
by that fluid, it is but doing him justice to give you his ac- 
count of it, in his own words, extracted from his letter to me, 
in which he communicated it, dated Oct. 31, 1760, viz. 

" Having procured some thin glass balls, of about an inch 
and a half in diameter, with stems, or tubes, of eight or nine 
inches in length, I electrified them, some positively on the 
inside, and others negatively, after the manner of charging 
the Leyden bottle, and sealed them hermetically. Soon after 
I applied the naked balls to my electrometer, and could not 
discover the least sign of their being electrical ; but holding 
them before the fire, at the distance of six or eight inches, 
they became strongly electrical in a very short time, and more 
so when they were cooling. These balls will, every time 
they are heated, give the electrical fluid to, or take it from 
other bodies, according to the plus or minus state of it within 
them. Heating them frequently, I find will sensibly di- 



1762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 135 

minish their power ; but keeping one of them under water a 
week did not appear in the least degree to impair it. That 
which I kept under water, was charged on the 22d of Sep- 
tember last, was several times heated before it was kept in 
water, and has been heated frequently since, and yet it still 
retains its virtue to a very considerable degree. The break- 
ing two of my balls accidentally, gave me an opportunity of 
measuring their thickness, which I found to be between 
seven and eight parts in a thousand of an inch. 

"A down feather, in a thin glass ball, hermetically sealed, 
will not be affected by the application of an excited tube, or 
the wire of a charged vial, unless the ball be considerably 
heated; and if a glass pane be heated till it begins to grow 
soft, and in that state be held between the wire of a charged 
vial, and the discharging wire, the course of the electrical fluid 
will not be through the glass, but on the surface, round by the 
edge of it." 

By this last experiment of Mr. Canton's, it appears, that 
though by a moderate heat, thin glass becomes, in some 
degree, a conductor of electricity, yet, when of the thickness of 
a common pane, it is not, though in a state near melting, so 
rgood a conductor as to pass the shock of a discharged bottle. 
There are other conductors which suffer the electric fluid to 
pass through them gradually, and yet will not conduct a shock. 
For instance, a quire of paper will conduct through its whole 
length, so as to electrify a person, who, standing on wax, pre- 
sents the paper to an electrified prime conductor ; but it will 
not conduct a shock even through its thickness only; hence 
the shock either fails, or passes by rending a hole in the paper. 
Thus a seive will pass water gradually, but a stream from a 
jfire-engine would either be stopped by it, or tear a hole through 
it. 



136 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

It should seem, that to make glass permeable to the elec- 
tric fluid, the heat should be proportioned to the thickness. 
You found the heat of boiling water, which is but 210, suffi- 
cient to render the extreme thin glass in a Florence flask per- 
meable even to a shock. Lord Charles Cavendish, by a very 
ingenious experiment, has found the heat of 400 requisite to 
render thicker glass permeable to the common current. 

"A glass tube (see Plate III.), of which the part C B was 
solid, had wire thrust in each end, reaching to B and C. 

"A small wire was tied on at Z>, reaching to the floor, in 
order to carry off any electricity, that might run along upon 
the tube. 

"The bent part was placed in an iron pot, filled with iron 
filings ; a thermometer was also put into the filings ; a lamp 
was placed under the pot ; and the whole was supported upon 
glass. 

"The wire A being electrified by a machine, before the heat 
was applied, the corks at E separated, at first upon the prin- 
ciple of the Leyden vial. 

"But after the part C B of the tube was heated to 600, 
the corks continued to separate, though you discharged the 
electricity by touching the wire at E, the electrical machine 
continuing in motion. 

"Upon letting the whole cool, the effect remained till the 
thermometer was sunk to 400." 

It were to be wished, that this noble philosopher would 
communicate more of his experiments to the world, as he 
makes many, and with great accuracy. 

You know I have always look'd upon and mentioned the 
equal repulsion in cases of positive and of negative electricity, 
as a phenomenon difficult to be explained. I have sometimes, 



1 762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 137 

too, been inclined, with you, to resolve all into attraction; 
but besides that attraction seems in itself as unintelligible 
as repulsion, there are some appearances of repulsion that I 
cannot so easily explain by attraction ; this for one instance. 
When the pair of cork balls are suspended by flaxen threads, 
from the end of the prime conductor, if you bring a rubbed 
glass tube near the conductor, but without touching it, you 
see the balls separate, as being electrified positively ; and yet 
you have communicated no electricity to the conductor, for, 
if you had, it would have remained there, after withdrawing 
the tube ; but the closing of the balls immediately thereupon, 
shews that the conductor has no more left in it than its natural 
quantity. Then again approaching the conductor with the 
rubbed tube, if, while the balls are separated, you touch with 
a finger that end of the conductor to which they hang, they will 
come together again, as being, with that part of the conductor, 
brought to the same state with your finger, i.e. the natural 
state. But the other end of the conductor, near which the 
tube is held, is not in that state, but in the negative state, as 
appears on removing the tube; for then part of the natural 
quantity left at the end near the balls, leaving that end to 
supply what is wanting at the other, the whole conductor is 
found to be equally in the negative state. Does not this indi- 
cate, that the electricity of the rubbed tube had repelled the 
electric fluid, which was diffused in the conductor while in its 
natural state, and forced it to quit the end to which the tube 
was brought near, accumulating itself on the end to which the 
balls were suspended ? I own I find it difficult to account for 
its quitting that end, on the approach of the rubbed tube, but 
on the supposition of repulsion ; for, while the conductor was 
in the same state with the air, that is, the natural state, it does 



138 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

not seem to me easy to suppose, that an attraction should 
suddenly take place between the air and the natural quantity 
of the electric fluid in the conductor, so as to draw it to, and 
accumulate it on the end opposite to that approached by the 
tube; since bodies, possessing only their natural quantity of 
that fluid, are not usually seen to attract each other, or to 
affect mutually the quantities of electricity each contains. 

There are likewise appearances of repulsion in other parts 
of nature. Not to mention the violent force with which the 
particles of water, heated to a certain degree, separate from 
each other, or those of gunpowder, when touched with the 
smallest spark of fire, there is the seeming repulsion between 
the same poles of the magnet, a body containing a subtle 
moveable fluid, in many respects analogous to the electric 
fluid. If two magnets are so suspended by strings, as that 
their poles of the same denomination are opposite to each 
other, they will separate, and continue so; or if you lay a 
magnetic steel bar on a smooth table, and approach it with 
another parallel to it, the poles of both in the same position, 
the first will recede from the second, so as to avoid the con- 
tact, and may thus be push'd (or at least appear to be push'd) 
off the table. Can this be ascribed to the attraction of any 
surrounding body or matter drawing them asunder, or draw- 
ing the one away from the other ? If not, and repulsion exists 
in nature, and in magnetism, why may it not exist in elec- 
tricity? We should not, indeed, multiply causes in philoso- 
phy without necessity; and the greater simplicity of your 
hypothesis would recommend it to me, if I could see that all 
appearances might be solved by it. But I find, or think I 
find, the two causes more convenient than one of them alone. 
Thus I would solve the circular motion of your horizontal 



4762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 139 

stick, supported on a pivot, with two pins at their ends, point- 
ing contrary ways, and moving in the same direction when 
-electrified, whether positively or negatively : When positively, 
the air opposite to the points, being electrised positively, 
repels the points ; when negatively, the air opposite the points 
being also, by their means, electrised negatively, attraction 
takes place between the electricity in the air behind the heads 
of the pins, and the negative pins, and so they are, in this case, 
drawn in the same direction that in the other they were driven. 
You see I am willing to meet you half way, a complaisance I 
have not met with in our brother Nollet, or any other hypothe- 
sis-maker, and therefore may value myself a little upon it, 
especially as they say I have some ability in defending even the 
wrong side of a question, when I think fit to take it in hand. 
What you give as an established law of the electric fluid, 
"That quantities of different densities mutually attract each 
other, in order to restore the equilibrium," is, I think, not 
well founded, or else not well expressed. Two large cork 
balls, suspended by silk strings, and both well and equally 
electrified, separate to a great distance. By bringing into 
contact with one of them another ball of the same size, sus- 
pended likewise by silk, you will take from it half its electricity. 
It will then, indeed, hang at a less distance from the other, 
but the full and the half quantities will not appear to attract 
each other, that is, the balls will not come together. Indeed, 
I do not know any proof we have, that one quantity of electric 
fluid is attracted by another quantity of that fluid, whatever 
difference there may be in their densities. And, supposing 
in nature a mutual attraction between two parcels of any kind 
of matter, it would be strange if this attraction should subsist 
strongly while those parcels were unequal, and cease when 



140 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

more matter of the same kind was added to the smallest par- 
cel, so as to make it equal to the biggest. By all the laws of 
attraction in matter, that we are acquainted with, the attrac- 
tion is stronger in proportion to the increase of the masses, 
and never in proportion to the difference of the masses. I 
should rather think the law would be, "That the electric fluid 
is attracted strongly by all other matter that we know of, 
while the parts of that fluid mutually repel each other." 
Hence its being equally diffused (except in particular circum- 
stances) throughout all other matter. But this you jokingly 
call "electrical orthodoxy." It is so with some at present, 
but not with all; and, perhaps, it may not always be ortho- 
doxy with anybody. Opinions are continually varying, 
where we cannot have mathematical evidence of the nature of 
things; and they must vary. Nor is that variation without 
its use, since it occasions a more thorough discussion, whereby 
error is often dissipated, true knowledge is encreased, and its 
principles become better understood and more firmly estab- 
lished. 

Air should have, as you observe, "its share of the common 
stock of electricity, as well as glass, and, perhaps, all other 
electrics per se." But I suppose, that, like them, it does not 
easily part with what it has, or receive more, unless when 
mix'd with some non-electric, as moisture for instance, of 
which there is some in our driest air. This, however, is only 
a supposition; and your experiment of restoring electricity 
to a negatively electrised person, by extending his arm up- 
wards into the air, with a needle between his fingers, on the 
point of which light may be seen in the night, is, indeed, a 
curious one. In this town the air is generally moister than 
with us, and here I have seen Mr. Canton electrify the air in 



1762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 141 

one room positively, and in another, which communicated by 
a door, he has electrised the air negatively. The difference 
was easily discovered by his cork balls, as he passed out of one 
room into another. Pkre Beccaria, too, has a pretty experi- 
ment, which shews that air may be electrised. Suspending a 
pair of small light balls, by flaxen threads, to the end of his 
prime conductor, he turns his globe some time, electrising 
positively, the balls diverging and continuing separate all the 
time. Then he presents the point of a needle to his con- 
ductor, which gradually drawing off the electric fluid, the 
balls approach each other, and touch, before all is drawn from 
the conductor; opening again as more is drawn off, and sepa- 
rating nearly as wide as at first, when the conductor is re- 
duced to the natural state. By this it appears, that when the 
balls came together, the air surrounding the balls was just as 
much electrised as the conductor at that time ; and more than 
the conductor, when that was reduced to its natural state. 
For the balls, though in the natural state, will diverge, when 
the air that surrounds them is electrised plus or minus, as well 
as when that is in its natural state and they are electrised plus 
or minus themselves. I foresee that you will apply this 
experiment to the support of your hypothesis, and I think 
you may make a good deal of it. 

It was a curious enquiry of yours, Whether the electricity 
of the air, in clear dry weather, be of the same density at the 
height of two or three hundred yards, as near the surface of 
the earth; and I am glad you made the experiment. Upon 
reflection, it should seem probable, that whether the general 
state of the atmosphere at any time be positive or negative, 
that part of it which is next the earth will be nearer the natural 
state, by having given to the earth in one case, or having 



142 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762- 

received from it in the other. In electrising the air of a room, 
that which is nearest the walls, or floor, is least alterecL 
There is only one small ambiguity in the experiment, which 
may be cleared by more trials ; it arises from the supposition 
that bodies may be electrised positively by the friction of air 
blowing strongly on them, as it does on the kite and its string. 
If at some times the electricity appears to be negative, as that 
friction is the same, the effect must be from a negative state 
of the upper air. 

I am much pleased with your electrical thermometer, and 
the experiments you have made with it. I formerly satisfied 
myself, by an experiment with my phial and syphon, that the 
elasticity of the air was not increased by the mere existence 
of an electric atmosphere within the phial ; but I did not know, 
till you now inform me, that heat may be given to it by an 
electric explosion. The continuance of its rarefaction, for 
some time after the discharge of your glass jar and of your 
case of bottles, seem to make this clear. The other experi- 
ments on wet paper, wet thread, green grass, and green wood r 
are not so satisfactory ; as possibly the reducing part of the 
moisture to vapour, by the electric fluid passing through it, 
might occasion some expansion which would be gradually 
reduced by the condensation of such vapour. The fine silver 
thread, the very small brass wire, and the strip of gilt paper, 
are also subject to a similar objection, as even metals, in such 
circumstances, are often partly reduced to smoke, particularly 
the gilding on paper. 

But your subsequent beautiful experiment on the wire, 
which you made hot by the electric explosion, and in that state 
fired gunpowder with it, puts it out of all question, that heat 
is produced by our artificial electricity, and that the melting; 



1762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 143 

of metals in that way, is not by what I formerly called a cold 
fusion. A late instance here, of the melting a bell-wire, in a 
house struck by lightning, and parts of the wire burning holes 
in the floor on which they fell, has proved the same with regard 
to the electricity of nature. I was too easily led into that error 
by accounts given, even in philosophical books, and from 
remote ages downwards, of melting money in purses, swords, 
in scabbards, &c., without burning the inflammable matters 
that were so near those melted metals. But men are, in 
general, such careless observers, that a philosopher cannot 
be too much on his guard in crediting their relations of things 
extraordinary, and should never build an hypothesis on any 
thing but clear facts and experiments, or it will be in danger 
of soon falling, as this does, like a house of cards. 

How many ways there are of kindling fire, or producing 
heat in bodies ! By the sun's rays, by collision, by friction, by 
hammering, by putrefaction, by fermentation, by mixtures 
of fluids, by mixtures of solids with fluids, and by electricity. 
And yet the fire when produced, though in different bodies 
it may differ in circumstances, as in colour, vehemence, &c., 
yet in the same bodies is generally the same. Does not this 
seem to indicate that the fire existed in the body, though in 
a quiescent state, before it was by any of these means excited, 
disengaged, and brought forth to action and to view ? May it 
not constitute part, and even a principal part, of the solid sub- 
stance of bodies ? If this should be the case, kindling fire in 
a body would be nothing more than developing this inflam- 
mable principle, and setting it at liberty to act in separating 
the parts of that body, which then exhibits the appearances of 
scorching, melting, burning, &c. When a man lights an hun- 
dred candles from the flame of one, without diminishing that 



144 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1762 

flame, can it be properly said to have communicated, all that 
fire ? When a single spark from a flint, applied to a magazine 
of gunpowder, is immediately attended with this consequence, 
that the whole is in flame, exploding with immense violence, 
could all this fire exist first in the spark ? We cannot conceive 
it. And thus we seem led to this supposition, that there is 
fire enough in all bodies to singe, melt, or burn them, whenever 
it is, by any means, set at liberty, so that it may exert itself 
upon them, or be disengaged from them. This liberty seems 
to be afforded it by the passage of electricity through them, 
which we know can and does, of itself, separate the parts even 
of water; and perhaps the immediate appearances of fire 
are only the effects of such separations ? If so, there would be 
no need of supposing that the electric fluid heats itself by the 
swiftness of its motion, or heats bodies by the resistance it 
meets with in passing through them. They would only be 
heated in proportion as such separation could be more easily 
made. Thus a melting heat cannot be given to a large wire 
in the flame of a candle, though it may to a small one ; and 
this not because the large wire resists less that action of the 
flame which tends to separate its parts, but because it resists 
it more than the smaller wire; or because the force being 
divided among more parts, acts weaker on each. 

This reminds me, however, of a little experiment I have 
frequently made, that shews, at one operation, the different 
effects of the same quantity of electric fluid passing through 
different quantities of metal. A strip of tinfoil, three inches 
long, a quarter of an inch wide at one end, and tapering all the 
way to a sharp point at the other, fixed between two pieces of 
glass, and having the electricity of a large glass jar sent 
through it, will not be discomposed in the broadest part; 



1762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 145 

towards the middle will appear melted in spots ; where nar- 
rower, it will be quite melted ; and about half an inch of it 
next the point will be reduced to smoke. 

You were not mistaken in supposing that your account of 
the effect of the pointed rod, in securing Mr. West's house 
from damage by a stroke of lightning, would give me great 
pleasure. I thank you for it most heartily, and for the pains 
you have taken in giving me so complete a description of its 
situation, form, and substance, with the draft of the melted 
point. There is one circumstance, viz. that the lightning was 
seen to diffuse itself from the foot of the rod over the wet pave- 
ment, which seems, I think, to indicate, that the earth under 
the pavement was very dry, and that the rod should have been 
sunk deeper, till it came to earth moister and therefore apter 
to receive and dissipate the electric fluid. And although, in 
this instance, a conductor formed of nail-rods, not much 
above a quarter of an inch thick, served well to convey the 
lightning, yet some accounts I have seen from Carolina, give 
reason to think, that larger may be sometimes necessary, at 
least for the security of the conductor itself, which, when too 
small, may be destroyed in executing its office, though it does, 
at the same time, preserve the house. Indeed, in the con- 
struction of an instrument so new, and of which we could 
have so little experience, it is rather lucky that we should at 
first be so near the truth as we seem to be, and commit so few 
errors. 

There is another reason for sinking deeper the lower end 
of the rod, and also for turning it outwards under ground to 
some distance from the foundation; it is this, that water 
dripping from the eaves falls near the foundation, and some- 
times soaks down there in greater quantities, so as to come 

VOL. IV L 



146 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

near the end of the rod though the ground about it be drier. 
In such case, this water may be exploded, that is, blown into- 
vapour, whereby a force is generated that may damage the 
foundation. Water reduced to vapour, is said to occupy 
14,000 times its former space. I have sent a charge through 
a small glass tube, that has borne it well while empty, but 
when filled first with water, was shattered to pieces and driven 
all about the room : Finding no part of the water on the 
table, I suspected it to have been reduced to vapour ; and was 
confirmed in that suspicion afterwards, when I had filled a 
like piece of tube with ink, and laid it on a sheet of clean paper,, 
whereon, after the explosion, I could find neither any moisture 
nor any sully from the ink. This experiment of the explosion 
of water, which I believe was first made by that most ingenious, 
electrician Father Beccaria t may account for what we some- 
times see in a tree struck by lightning, when part of it is re- 
duced to fine splinters like a broom ; the sap- vessels being so 
many tubes containing a watry fluid, which when reduced to 
vapour, rends every tube lengthways. And perhaps it is this- 
rarefaction of the fluids in animal bodies killed by lightning 
or electricity, that by separating its fibres, renders the flesh 
so tender, and apt so much sooner to putrify. I think too, 
that much of the damage done by lightning to stone and brick 
walls, may sometimes be owing to the explosion of water, found 
during showers, running or lodging in the joints or small 
cavities or cracks that happen to be in the walls. 

Here are some electricians that recommend knobs instead 
of points on the upper end of the rods, from a supposition 
that the points invite the stroke. It is true that points draw 
electricity at greater distances in the gradual, silent way; 
but knobs will draw at the greatest distance a stroke. There 



1 762] TO EBENEZER KINNERSLEY 147 

is an experiment that will settle this. Take a crooked wire 
of the thickness of a quill, and of such a length as that one 
end of it being applied to the lower part of a charged bottle, 
the upper may be brought near the ball on the top of the wire 
that is in the bottle. Let one end of this wire be furnished 
with a knob, and the other be gradually tapered to a fine 
point. When the point is presented to discharge the bottle 
it must be brought much nearer before it will receive the 
stroke, than the knob requires to be. Points besides tend 
to repel the fragments of an electrised cloud, knobs draw them 
nearer. An experiment which, I believe I have shewn you, 
of cotton fleece hanging from an electrised body, shows this 
clearly, when a point or a knob is presented under it. 

You seem to think highly of the importance of this dis- 
covery, as do many others on our side of the water. Here 
it is very little regarded ; so little, that though it is now seven 
or eight years since it was made publick, I have not heard of 
a single house as yet attempted to be secured by it. It is 
true the mischiefs done by lightning are not so frequent here 
as with us, and those who calculate chances may perhaps 
find that not one death (or the destruction of one house) in 
a hundred thousand happens from that cause, and that 
therefore it is scarce worth while to be at any expence to 
guard against it. But in all countries there are particular 
situations of buildings more exposed than others to such 
accidents, and there are minds so strongly impressed with 
the apprehension of them, as to be very unhappy every 
time a little thunder is within their hearing; it may there- 
fore be well to render this little piece of new knowledge as 
general and as well understood as possible, since to make us 
safe is not all its advantage, it is some to make us easy. 



148 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1762 

And as the stroke it secures us from might have chanced 
perhaps but once in our lives, while it may relieve us a hun- 
dred times from those painful apprehensions, the latter may 
possibly on the whole contribute more to the happiness of 
mankind than the former. 

Your kind wishes and congratulations are very obliging. 
I return them cordially ; being with great regard and esteem, 
my dear Sir, your affectionate friend and most obedient 
humble servant, B. F[RANKLIN.] 



313. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON l (p. c.) 

Monday morns, March 8, 1762. 

DEAR POLLY, 

Your good Mama has just been saying to me, that she 
wonders what can possibly be the Reason she has not had a 
Line from you for so long a time. I have made no Com- 
plaint of that kind, being conscious, that, by not writing 
myself, I have forfeited all Claim to such Favour, tho' no 
Letters give me more Pleasure, and I often wish to hear from 
you ; but Indolence grows upon me with Years, and writing 
grows more and more irksome to me. 

Have you finished your Course of Philosophy? No 
more Doubts to be resolv'd? No more Questions to ask? 
If so, you may now be at full Leisure to improve yourself 
in Cards. Adieu, my dear Child, and believe me ever your 
affectionate Friend, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Respects to Mrs. Tickel, 2 &c. Mama bids me tell 
you she is lately much afflicted and half a Cripple with the 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 

2 Aunt of Mary Stevenson. ED. 



1762] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 149 

Rheumatism. I send you two or three French Gazettes de 
Medecine, which I have just receiv'd from Paris, wherein 
is a Translation of the Extract of a Letter you copied out for 
me. You will return them with my French Letters on 
Electricity, when you have penis' d them. 



314. TO MISS [MARY] STEVENSON, AT MRS. 
TICKELL'S, WANSTEAD, ESSEX 1 (p. c.) 

London, March 22, 1762. 

I MUST retract the Charge of Idleness in your Studies, 
when I find you have gone thro' the doubly difficult Task 
of reading so big a Book, on an abstruse Subject, and in a 
foreign Language. * 

The Question you were about to ask is a very sensible one. 
The Hand that holds the Bottle receives and conducts away 
the electric Fluid that is driven out of the outside by the 
repulsive Power of that which is forc'd into the inside of the 
Bottle. As long as that Power remains in the same Situa- 
tion, it must prevent the Return of what it had expelPd; 
tho' the Hand would readily supply the Quantity if it could 
be received. 

Your good Mama bids me tell you, that she has made 
Enquiry and finds that the School for Lovers 2 will not be 
acted till the Benefits are over; but when she hears that it 

1 This letter has always hitherto been printed from a fragment in " Experi- 
ments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, p. 461. I have printed 
the whole letter from the original in the possession of T. Hewson Brad- 
ford, M.D. ED. 

2 By W. Whitehead, 1762. ED. 



ISO THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

is to be acted she will send you timely Notice. I need not 
add that your and your Friends Company at Dinner that 
Day will be a great Pleasure to us all. But methinks 'tis a 
Pity, that when you are so desirous of studying in that School 
it should not be open : and must we be depriv'd of the Hap- 
piness of seeing you till it is ? Rather than that should be, 
I would almost venture to undertake reading to you a few 
Lectures on the Subject myself. 

If you are not to be in town in a few Days, I should be 
glad you would send the French Letters, on Electricity, as a 
Friend is desirous of perusing them. 

My sincere Respects to Mrs. Tickell, Mrs. Rooke, Miss 
Pitt etc. and believe me ever, my dear Polly 

Your affectionate Friend 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. We were greatly alarm'd in the Night between 
Friday and Saturday by a Fire at the Bottom of the Street 
that has almost destroy'd two Houses. Our House and 
Yard were covered with falling Coals of Fire, but as it rain'd 
hard nothing catch'd. We mov'd a few of the most valuable 
Things; but suffered no Damage tho' we lost some Rest. 



315. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A.P.S.) 

London, March 24, 1762 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I condole with you most sincerely on the Death of our 
good Mother, 1 being extreamly sensible of the Distress and 
Affliction it must have thrown you into. Your Comfort will 
1 Mrs. Read, the mother of Mrs. Franklin. ED. 



1762] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 151 

be, that no Care was wanting on your Part towards her, 
and that she had lived as long as this Life could afford her 
any rational Enjoyment. 'Tis, I am sure, a Satisfaction to 
me, that I cannot charge myself with having ever faiFd in 
one Instance of. Duty and Respect to her during the many 
Years that she call'd me Son. The Circumstances attending 
her Death were indeed unhappy in some Respects ; but some- 
thing must bring us all to our End, and few of us shall see 
her Length of Days. My Love to Brother John Read and 
Sister, and Cousin Debbey, and young Cousin Johnny Read, 
and let them all know, that I sympathize with them all 
affectionately. 

This I write in haste, Mr. Beatty having just call'd on me 
to let me know, that he is about to set out for Portsmouth, 
in order to sail for America. I am finishing all Business 
here in order for my Return, which will either be in the 
Virginia Fleet, or by the Packet of May next, I am not 
yet determined which. I pray God grant us a happy Meet- 
ing. 

We are all well, and Billy presents his Duty. Mr. Strahan 
has receiv'd your Letter, and wonders he has not been able 
to persuade you to come over. Mrs. Stevenson desires her 
Compliments; she expected Sally would have answer'd 
her Daughter's Letter, that went with the Gold Needle. I 
have receiv'd yours by the last Pacquet, and one from our 
Friend Mr. Hughes. I will try to write a Line to him if I 
have Time. If not, please to tell him, I will do all I can to 
serve him in his Affair. Acquaint Mr. Charles Norris, that 
I send him a Gardner in Bolitho. 1 The Particulars of your 
Letters I shall answer in the same ship. Tell Sally and 

1 That is, in Captain Bolitho's ship. ED. 



152 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

Cousin Johnny that I receiv'd their Letters also. I can now 
only add, that I am, as ever, my dear Debby, your affection- 
ate Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 



316. TO REV. M- 



London, March 30, 1762. 

REV'D SIR: I am favoured with yours of the 27th in- 
stant, enclosing a bank note of 20, which makes 70 now 
repaid by Overal. I acquainted you in mine by last Satur- 
day's post that I had reason to think the whole sum to be 
repaid would not be so great as I before computed it, and 
perhaps not exceeding 79 or 80. It will be a pleasure to : 
me to find it so, that I may have no occasion to have re- 
course to the law, which is so disagreeable a thing for me, 
that through the whole course of my life I have never 
entered an action against any man. But I own I was 
not a little provoked with these people, as I concluded 
they must certainly have known of the mortgage (and in- 
deed the letters they have since produced show that they did, 
particularly the last you mentioned of December 28, 1756); 
and yet when I asked them if there was no mortgage or other 
incumbrance on the estate, the man said none that he knew 
or had ever heard of; and the woman added: "And to be 
sure, if there had been any such thing in so long a time as 
we have received the rent, we must have heard of it." There 
was such an apparent simplicity in their manner, and they 
answered with such readiness and confidence, that I was 

1 From John BigeloVs "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol.X, 287. ED, 



1762] FROM DAVID HUME TO B. FRANKLIN 153 

perfectly satisfied; and therefore the more surprised and 
chagrined when I afterwards found how easily I had been 
imposed on. They likewise had instructed Mr. Winter- 
bottom to assure the purchaser (as he did me) that the house 
had lately undergone a thorough repair, whereas Spofford in 
his letter had informed them "it will soon want a great deal 
of repair." I think with you that they are weak and foolish 
people; but there seems no small mixture of knavery with 
their folly. I likewise imagined, as you do, that they were 
but little accustomed to money, from some conversation 
between them when they were about to receive it. The man 
said he had been bred to a trade, but that he never liked to 
work at it. "Well, my dear," says she, "you know you 
will now have no occasion ever to work any more." They 
seemed to think it so great a sum that it could never be spent. 
I am very sensible, sir, that this must have been a dis- 
agreeable affair to you, and I am the more obliged. The 
very [mutilated] and generous manner in which you have 
executed it will ever demand my thankful acknowledge- 
ment, which I beg you to accept, and believe me, with the 
sincerest esteem and respect, sir, your most obedient and 
most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 



317. FROM DAVID HUME TO B. FRANKLIN (A.P.S.) 

Edinburgh, May 10, 1762. 

DEAR SIR, 

I have a great many thanks to give you for your goodness 
in remembering my request, and for the exact description, 
which you sent me of your method of preserving houses 



154 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

from thunder. I communicated it to our Philosophical 
Society, as you gave me permission, and they desire me to 
tell you, that they claim it as their own, and intend to enrich 
with it the first collection, which they may publish. The 
established rule of our Society is, that, after a paper is read 
to them, it is delivered by them to some member, who is 
obliged, in a subsequent meeting, to read some paper of 
remarks upon it. 

It was communicated to our friend, Mr. Russel; who is 
not very expeditious in finishing any undertaking ; and he did 
not read his remarks, till the last week, which is the reason, 
why I have been so late in acknowledging your favour. 
Mr. Russel's remarks, besides the just praises of your inven- 
tion, contained only two proposals for improving it. One 
was, that in houses, where the rain-water is carried off the 
roof by a lead pipe, this metallic body might be employed 
as a conductor to the electric fire, and save the expense of 
a new apparatus. Another was, that the wire might be 
carried down to the foundation of the house, and be thence 
conveyed below ground to the requisite distance, which 
would better secure it against accidents. I thought it 
proper to convey to you these two ideas of so ingenious 
a man, that you might adopt them, if they appear to you 
well founded. 

I am very sorry, that you intend soon to leave our hemi- 
sphere. America has sent us many good things, gold, silver, 
sugar, tobacco, indigo, &c. ; but you are the first philoso- 
pher, and indeed the first great man of letters for whom we 
are beholden to her. It is our own fault, that we have not 
kept him; whence it appears, that we do not agree with 
Solomon, that wisdom is above gold ; for we take care never 



1 762] TO DAVID HUME 



'55 



to send back an ounce of the latter, which we once lay our 
fingers upon. 

I saw yesterday our friend Sir Alexander Dick, who de- 
sired me to present his compliments to you. We are all 
very unwilling to think of your settling in America, and that 
there is some chance of our never seeing you again ; but no 
one regrets it more than does, 
Dear Sir, 
Your most affectionate humble servant, 

DAVID HUME. 



318. TO DAVID HUME 1 

London, May 19, 1762. 

DEAR SIR, , 

It is no small pleasure to me to hear from you that my 
paper on the means of preserving buildings from damage 
by lightning, was acceptable to the Philosophical Society. 
Mr. Russel's 2 proposals of improvement are very sensible 
and just. A leaden spout or pipe is undoubtedly a good 
conductor, so far as it goes. If the conductor enters the 
ground just at the foundation, and from thence is carried 
horizontally to some well, or to a distant rod driven down- 
right into the earth, I would then propose, that the part under 
the ground should be lead, as less liable to consume with 
rust than iron. Because, if the conductor near the foot of 
the wall should be wasted, the lightning might act on the 

1 The original is in the Library of the Royal Philosophical Society, Edin- 
burgh. ED. 

2 Alexander Russell (1715-1768) had been physician to the English fac- 
tory at Aleppo. He wrote the " Natural History of Aleppo," and was elected 
F.R.S. in 1756. ED. 



156 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

moisture of the earth, and by suddenly rarefying it occasion 
an explosion, that may damage the foundation. In the 
experiment of discharging my large case of electrical bottles 
through a piece of small glass tube filled with water, the 
suddenly rarefied water has exploded with a force equal, 
I think, to that of so much gunpowder; bursting the tube 
into many pieces, and driving them with violence in all 
directions and to all parts of the room. The shivering of 
trees into small splinters, like a broom, is probably owing 
to this rarefaction of the sap in the longitudinal pores, or 
capillary pipes, in the substance of the wood. And the 
blowing up of bricks or stones in a hearth, rending stones 
out of a foundation, and splitting of walls, are also probably 
effects sometimes of rarefied moisture in the earth, under 
the hearth, or in the walls. We should therefore have a 
durable conductor under ground, or convey the lightning 
to the earth at some distance. 

It must afford Lord Marischal 1 a good deal of diversion 
to preside in a dispute so ridiculous as that you mention. 
Judges in their decisions often use precedents. I have some- 
where met with one, that is what the lawyers call a case in 
point. The Church people and the Puritans in a country 
town had once a bitter contention concerning the erecting 
of a Maypole, which the former desired and the latter op- 
posed. Each party endeavoured to strengthen itself by 
obtaining the authority of the mayor, directing or forbidding 
a Maypole. He heard their altercation with great patience, 
and then gravely determined thus; "You, that are for hav- 

1 George Keith, tenth Earl Marischal (16937-1778), served under Marlbor- 
ough, participated in Mar's Rebellion, and escaped to the Continent. Fred- 
erick the Great appointed him Governor of Neuchdtel. ED. 



1762] TO DAVID HUME 157 

ing no Maypole, shall have no Maypole ; and you, that are for 
having a Maypole, shall have a Maypole. Get about your 
business, and let me hear no more of this quarrel." 

Your compliment of gold and wisdom is very obliging to 
me, but a little injurious to your country. The various 
value of every thing in every part of this world arises, you 
know, from the various proportions of the quantity to the 
demand. We are told, that gold and silver in Solomon's 
time were so plenty, as to be of no more value in his country 
than the stones in the street. You have here at present 
just such a plenty of wisdom. Your people are, therefore, 
not to be censured for desiring no more among them than 
they have; and if I have any, I should certainly carry it 
where, from its scarcity, it may probably come to a better 
market. 

I nevertheless regret extremely the leaving a country in 
which I have received so much friendship, and friends whose 
conversation has been so agreeable and so improving to me; 
and that I am henceforth to reside at so great a distance 
from them is no small mortification to, my dear friend, 
yours most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. My respectful compliments, if you please, to Sir 
Alexander Dick, Lord Kames, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Russel, 
and any other inquiring friends. I shall write to them before 
I leave the Island. 



158 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

319. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (P. c.) 

London, June 7, 1762. 
DEAR POLLY, 

I received your Favour of the 27th past, and have since 
expected your intended philosophical Epistle. But you 
have not had Leisure to write it ! 

Your good Mama is now perfectly well, as I think, except- 
ing now and then a few Rheumatic Complaints, which, 
however, seem gradually diminishing. I am glad to hear 
you are about to enjoy the Happiness of seeing and being 
with your Friends at Bromley. My best Respects to the 
good Dr. and Mrs. Hawkesworth, 2 and say to the dear 
Ladies, that I kiss their Hands respectfully and affectionately. 

Our Ships for America do not sail so soon as I expected ; 
it will be yet 5 or 6 Weeks before we embark, and leave the 
old World for the New. I fancy I feel a little like dying 
Saints, who, in parting with those they love in this World, 
are only comforted with the Hope of more perfect Happiness 
in the next. I have, in America, Connections of the most 
engaging kind; and, happy as I have been in the Friend- 
ships here contracted, those promise me greater and more 
lasting Felicity. But God only knows whether these Promises 
shall be fulfilled. Adieu, my dear good Girl, and believe 
me ever your affectionate Friend, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 

2 John Hawkesworth, LL.D. (1715-1773), editor of Swift (1755) and a 
contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine. ED. 



1762] ON FIRE 159 

320. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Saturday, June 14, [1762] 

MR. FRANKLIN'S compliments to Mr. Strahan, and out of 
pure kindness to him offers him an opportunity of exercising 
his benevolence as a man and his charity as a Christian. 
One Spencer, formerly a merchant of figure and credit in 
North America, being by various misfortunes reduced to 
poverty, is here in great distress, and would be made happy 
by any employment that would only enable him to eat, 
which he looks as if he had not done for some time. He is 
well acquainted with accounts, and writes a very fair hand, 
as Mr. S may see by the enclosed letter. His expecta- 
tions that brought him over, which are touched on in that 
letter, are at an end. He is a very honest man, but too much 
dispirited to put himself forward. Cannot some smouting 
in the writing way be got for him ? Or some little clerkship ? 
which he would execute very faithfully. He is at Mr* 
Cooper's, at the Hat and Feather, Snow Hill. Mr. F has- 
done what he could to serve him (to little purpose, indeed) i 
and now leaves him as a legacy to good Mr. Strahan. 



321. ON FIRE 2 (L. c.) 

Craven Street, June 21, 1762. 

DID you ever see People at work with Spades and Pick* 
axes, digging a Cellar? When they have loosen'd the 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. X, p. 289. ED. 

2 From an Auto. d. (L. C. 36-37). ED. 



i6o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

Earth perhaps a foot deep, that loose Earth must be carried 
off, or they can go no deeper; it is in their way, and hinders 
the Operation of the Instruments. 

When the first foot of Earth is removed, they can dig and 
loosen the Earth a foot deeper. But if those who remove 
the Earth should with it take away the Spades and Pick- 
axes, the Work will be equally obstructed as if they had left 
the loose Earth unremoved. 

I imagine the operation of Fire upon fuel with the Assist- 
ance of Air may be in some degree similar to this. Fire 
penetrates Bodies, and separates their Parts; the Air re- 
ceives and carries off the Parts separated, which, if not 
carried off, would impede the action of the Fire. With 
this Assistance therefore of a moderate Current of Air, the 
Separation encreases, but too violent a Blast carries off the 
Fire itself ; and thus any Fire may be blown out, as a Candle 
by the Breath, if the Blast be proportionable. 

But, if Air contributed inflammatory Matter, as some 
have thought, then it should seem, that, the more Air, the 
more the Flame would be augmented, which beyond certain 
Bounds does not agree with the Fact. 

Some Substances take Fire, that is, are kindled by the 
Application of Fire, much sooner than others. This is in 
proportion as they are good or bad Conductors of Fire, and 
as their Parts cohere with less or more Strength. A bad 
Conductor of Fire not easily permitting it to penetrate and 
be absorbed, and its force divided among the whole Sub- 
stance, its Operation is so much the Stronger on the Sur- 
face to which it is apply'd, and is in a small Depth of 
Surface strong enough to produce the Separation of Parts 
which we call Burning. All Oils and Fats, Wax, Sulphur, 



1762] ON FIRE 161 

and most vegetable Substances, are bad Conductors of Fire. 
The Oil of a Lamp, burning at the Top, may be scarce 
warm at the Bottom ; a Candle or a Stick of Wood, inflam'd 
at one End, is cool at the other. Metals, which are better 
Conductors, are not so easily kindled, tho', when sufficient 
Fire is apply'd to them to separate their Parts, they will all 
burn. But the Fire apply'd to their Surfaces enters more 
easily, is absorb'd and divided; and not enough left on the 
Surface to overcome the stronger Cohesion of their Parts. 
A close Contact with Metals will for the same Reason pre- 
vent the burning of more inflammable Substances. A 
flaxen Thread, bound close round an Iron Poker, will not 
burn in the Flame of a Candle ; for it must imbibe a certain 
Quantity of Fire before it can burn, that is, before its Parts 
can separate; but the Poker, as fast as the Fire arrives, 
takes it from the Thread, conducts it away, and divides it 
in its own Substance. 

Common Fire I conceive to be collected by Friction from 
the common Mass of that Fluid, in the same manner as the 
electrical Fluid is collected by Friction, which I have endeav- 
oured to explain in some of my electrical Papers, and, to 
avoid length in this Letter, refer you to them. In Wheels, 
the Particles of Grease and Oil acting as so many little 
Rollers, and Preventing Friction between the Wood and 
Wood, do thereby prevent the Collection of Fire. 



VOL. IV M 



162 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

322. ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTS ON AMBER 1 

Saturday, July 3, 1762. 

To try, at the request of a friend, whether amber finely 
powdered might be melted and run together again by means 
of the electric fluid, I took a piece of small glass tube 
about 2 \ inches long, the bore about T ^ of an inch diameter, 
the glass itself about the same thickness ; I introduced into 
this tube some powder of amber, and with two pieces of 
wire nearly fitting the bore, one inserted at one end, the 
other at the other, I rammed the powder hard between them 
in the middle of the tube, where it stuck fast, and was in 
length about half an inch. Then leaving the wires in the 
tube, I made them part of the electric circuit, and discharged 
through them three rows of my case of bottles. The event 
was, that the glass was broke into very small pieces and 
those dispersed with violence in all directions. As I did not 
expect this, I had not, as in other experiments, laid thick 
paper over the glass to save my eyes, so several of the pieces 
struck my face smartly, and one of them cut my lip a little, 
so as to make it bleed. I could find no part of the amber; 
but the table where the tube lay was stained very black in 
spots, such as might be made by a thick smoke forced on it 
by a blast, and the air was filled with a strong smell, some- 
what like that from burnt gunpowder. Whence I imagined, 
that the amber was burnt, and had exploded as gunpowder 
would have done in the same circumstances. 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 425. See also Letter to Dr. William Heberden, June 7, 1759 (Vol. Ill, 
P- 479)- ED- 



1762] TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 163 

That I might better see the effect on the amber, I made 
the next experiment in a tube formed of a card rolled up and 
bound strongly with packthread. Its bore was about J of 
an inch diameter. I rammed powder of amber into this as 
I had done into the other, and as the quantity of amber 
was greater, I increased the quantity of electric fluid, by 
discharging through it at once 5 rows of my bottles. On 
opening the tube, I found that some of the powder had ex- 
ploded, an impression was made on the tube though it 
was not burst, and most of the powder remaining was turned 
black, which I suppose might be by the smoke forced through 
it from the burnt part : Some of it was hard ; but as it 
powdered again when pressed by the fingers, I suppose that 
hardness not to arise from melting any parts in it, but merely 
from my ramming the powder when I charged the tube. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



323. TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 1 

London, July 13, 1762. 

REVEREND SIR, 

I once promised myself the pleasure of seeing you at 
Turin; but as that is not now likely to happen, being just 
about returning to my native country, America, I sit down 
to take leave of you (among others of my European friends 
that I cannot see) by writing. 

I thank you for the honourable mention you have so fre- 
quently made of me in your letters to Mr. Collinson and 

1 This letter, translated into Italian by Baron Vernazza, was published in 
Turin, 1769, and republished with sundry variations in Scelta d'Opuscoli, 
Milan, 1769, Vol. XV; Turin, 1775, Vol. XI. See "Memorie Istoriche in- 
torno gli studi del Padre Giambatista Beccaria," 1783. ED. 



164 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

others, for the generous defence you undertook and executed 
with so much success, of my electrical opinions; and for 
the valuable present you have made me of your new work, 
from which I have received great information and pleasure. 
I wish I could in return entertain you with any thing new of 
mine on that subject ; but I have not lately pursued it. Nor 
do I know of any one here, that is at present much engaged 
in it. 

Perhaps, however, it may be agreeable to you, as you 
live in a musical country, to have an account of the new 
instrument lately added here to the great number that charm- 
ing science was before possessed of: As it is an instrument 
that seems peculiarly adapted to Italian music, especially 
that of the soft and plaintive kind, I will endeavour to give 
you such a description of it, and of the manner of construct- 
ing it, that you, or any of your friends may be enabled to 
imitate it, if you incline so to do, without being at the expence 
and trouble of the many experiments I have made in en- 
deavouring to bring it to its present perfection. 

You have doubtless heard the sweet tone that is drawn 
from a drinking-glass, by passing a wet finger round its brim. 
One Mr. Puckeridge, 1 a gentleman from Ireland, was the 
first who thought of playing tunes, formed of these tones. 
iJe collected a number of glasses of different sizes, fixed 
them near each other on a table, and tuned them by putting 
into them water, more or less, as each note required. The 
tones were brought out by passing his fingers round their 
brims. He was unfortunately burnt here, with his instru- 
ment, in a fire which consumed the house he lived in. Mr. 

1 Richard Puckeridge, or Pockrich, inventor of the musical glasses. He 
died in 1759, about seventy years of age. ED. 



1762] TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 165 

E. Delaval, 1 a most ingenious member of our Royal Society, 
made one in imitation of it, with a better choice and form of 
glasses, which was the first I saw or heard. Being charmed 
by the sweetness of its tones, and the music he produced 
from it, I wished only to see the glasses disposed in a more 
convenient form, and brought together in a narrower com- 
pass, so as to admit of a greater number of tunes, and all 
within reach of hand to a person sitting before the instrument, 
which I accomplished, after various intermediate trials, and 
less commodious forms, both of glasses and construction, 
in the following manner. 

The glasses are blown as near as possible in the form of 
hemispheres, having each an open neck or socket in the 
middle. (See Plate, Figure i.) The thickness of the glass 
near the brim about a tenth of an inch, or hardly quite 
so much, but thicker as it comes nearer the neck, which in 
the largest glasses is about an inch deep, and an inch and 
half wide within, these dimensions lessening as the glasses 
themselves diminish in size, except that the neck of the 
smallest ought not to be shorter than half an inch. The 
largest glass is nine inches diameter, and the smallest three 
inches. Between these there are twenty- three different sizes, 
differing from each other a quarter of an inch in diameter. 
To make a single instrument there should be at least six 
glasses blown of each size; and out of this number one 
may probably pick 37 glasses, (which are sufficient for 
three octaves with all the semitones) that will be each either 
the note one wants or a little sharper than that note, and all 

1 Edmund Hussey Delaval (1729-1814), F.R.S., gave an account of the 
effects of lightning on St. Bride's Church, and was associated with Frank- 
lin in the commission to report on the protection of St. Paul's from light- 
ning. ED. 



166 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

fitting so well into each other as to taper pretty regularly 
from the largest to the smallest. It is true there are not 
37 sizes, but it often happens that two of the same size 
differ a note or half note in tone, by reason of a difference 
in thickness, and these may be placed one in the other 
without sensibly hurting the regularity of the taper form. 

The glasses being chosen and every one marked with a 
diamond the note you intend it for, they are to be tuned by 
diminishing the thickness of those that are too sharp. This 
is done by grinding them round from the neck towards the 
brim, the breadth of one or two inches, as may be required ; 
often trying the glass by a well-tuned harpsichord, comparing 
the tone drawn from the glass by your finger, with the note 
you want, as sounded by that string of the harpsichord. 
When you come near the matter, be careful to wipe the 
glass clean and dry before each trial, because the tone is 
something flatter when the glass is wet, than it will be when 
dry; and grinding a very little between each trial, you will 
thereby tune to great exactness. The more care is necessary 
in this, because if you go below your required tone, there 
is no sharpening it again but by grinding somewhat off the 
brim, which will afterwards require polishing, and thus 
encrease the trouble. 

The glasses being thus tuned, you are to be provided 
with a case for them, and a spindle on which they are to 
be fixed. (See Plate, Figure 2.) My case is about three 
feet long, eleven inches every way wide within at the biggest 
end, and five inches at the smallest end ; for it tapers all the 
way, to adapt it better to the conical figure of the set of 
glasses. This case opens in the middle of its height, and 
the upper part turns up by hinges fixed behind. The spindle 



1762] TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 167 

which is of hard iron, lies horizontally from end to end of 
the box within, exactly in the middle, and is made to turn on 
brass gudgeons at each end. It is round, an inch diameter 
at the thickest end, and tapering to a quarter of an inch at 
the smallest. A square shank comes from its thickest end 
through the box, on which shank a wheel is fixed by a screw. 
This wheel serves as a fly to make the motion equable, when 
the spindle, with the glasses, is turned by the foot like a 
spinning-wheel. My wheel is of mahogany, 18 inches 
diameter, and pretty thick, so as to conceal near its circum- 
ference about 25 Ib of lead. An ivory pin is fixed in the 
face of this wheel, and about 4 inches from the axis. 
Over the neck of this pin is put the loop of the string that 
comes up from the moveable step to give it motion. The 
case stands on a neat frame with four legs. 

To fix the glasses on the spindle, a cork is first to be fitted 
in each neck pretty tight, and projecting a little without the 
neck, that the neck of one may not touch the inside of 
another when put together, for that would make a jarring. 
These corks are to be perforated with holes of different 
diameters, so as to suit that part of the spindle on which 
they are to be fixed. When a glass is put on, by holding it 
stiffly between both hands, while another turns the spindle, 
it may be gradually brought to its place. But care must be 
taken that the hole be not too small, lest, in forcing it up 
the neck should split ; nor too large, lest the glass, not being 
firmly fixed, should turn or move on the spindle, so as to 
touch and jar against its neighbouring glass. The glasses 
thus are placed one in another, the largest on the biggest end 
of the spindle which is to the left hand; the neck of this 
glass is towards the wheel, and the next goes into it in the 



168 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

same position, only about an inch of its brim appearing 
beyond the brim of the first; thus proceeding, every glass 
when fixed shows about an inch of its brim (or three quarters 
of an inch, or half an inch, as they grow smaller) beyond 
the brim of the glass that contains it; and it is from these 
exposed parts of each glass that the tone is drawn, by laying 
a finger upon one of them as the spindle and glasses turn 
round. 

My largest glass is G, a little below the reach of a common 
voice, and my highest G, including three compleat octaves. 
To distinguish the glasses the more readily to the eye, I have 
painted the apparent parts of the glasses within side, every 
semitone white, and the other notes of the octave with the 
seven prismatic colours, viz. C, red; D, orange; E, yellow; 
F, green ; G, blue ; A, indigo ; B, purple ; and C, red again ; 
so that glasses of the same colour (the white excepted) are 
always octaves to each other. 

This instrument is played upon, by sitting before the 
middle of the set of glasses as before the keys of a harpsi- 
chord, turning them with the foot, and wetting them now 
and then with a spunge and clean water. The fingers should 
be first a little soaked in water, and quite free from all 
greasiness ; a little fine chalk upon them is sometimes useful, 
to make them catch the glass and bring out the tone more 
readily. Both hands are used, by which means different 
parts are played together. Observe, that the tones are best 
drawn out when the glasses turn from the ends of the fingers, 
not when they turn to them. 

The advantages of this instrument are, that its tones are 
incomparably sweet beyond those of any other; that they 
may be swelled and softened at pleasure by stronger or 



1762] TO OLIVER NEAVE 169 

weaker pressures of the finger, and continued to any length; 
and that the instrument, being once well tuned, never again 
wants tuning. 

In honour of your musical language, I have borrowed 
from it the name of this instrument, calling it the Armonica. 1 

With great esteem and respect, I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



324. TO OLIVER NEAVE 2 

July 20, 1762. 

DEAR SIR, 

I have perused your paper on sound, and would freely 
mention to you, as you desire it, every thing that appeared 
to me to need correction : But nothing of that kind occurs to 
me, unless it be, where you speak of the air as "the best 
medium for conveying sound." Perhaps this is speaking 
rather too positively, if there be, as I think there are, some 
other mediums that will convey it farther and more readily. 
It is a well-known experiment, that the scratching of a pin at 
one end of a long piece of timber, may be heard by an ear 
applied near the other end, though it could not be heard at 
the same distance through the air. And two stones being 
struck smartly together under water, the stroke may be 
heard at a greater distance by an ear also placed under 
water in the same river, than it can be heard through the air. 

1 Some other particulars respecting the Armonica may be found in a letter 
to M. Dubourg, December 8, 1772. ED. 

2 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769* 
p. 435. Oliver Neave was one of a family of Anglo-American merchants, 
trading in London and Philadelphia. They were also connected with the 
shipping firm of Neate and Neave. ED. 



i;o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

I think I have heard it near a mile; how much farther it 
may be heard, I know not ; but suppose a great deal farther, 
because the sound did not seem faint, as if at a distance, 
like distant sounds through air, but smart and strong; and 
as if present just at the ear. I wish you would repeat these 
experiments now you are upon the subject, and add your own 
observations. And if you were to repeat, with your natu- 
rally exact attention and observation, the common experi- 
ment of the bell in the exhausted receiver, possibly something 
new may occur to you, in considering, 

1. Whether the experiment is not ambiguous; i.e. whether 
the gradual exhausting of the air, as it creates an increasing 
difference of pressure on the outside, may not occasion in 
the glass a difficulty of vibrating, that renders it less fit to 
communicate to the air without, the vibrations that strike it 
from within; and the diminution of the sound arise from 
this cause, rather than from the diminution of the air? 

2. Whether as the particles of air themselves are at a 
distance from each other, there must not be some medium 
between them, proper for conveying sound, since otherwise 
it would stop at the first particle? 

3. Whether the great difference we experience in hearing 
sounds at a distance, when the wind blows towards us from 
the sonorous body, or towards that from us, can be well 
accounted for by adding to or subtracting from the swift- 
ness of sound, the degree of swiftness that is in the wind at 
the time ? The latter is so small in proportion, that it seems 
as if it could scarce produce any sensible effect, and yet the 
difference is very great. Does not this give some hint, as 
if there might be a subtile fluid, the conductor of sound, 
which moves at different times in different directions over 



1762] TO OLIVER NEAVE I 7I 

the surface of the earth, and whose motion may perhaps be 
much swifter than that of the air in our strongest winds; 
and that in passing through air, it may communicate that 
motion to the air which we call wind, though a motion in 
no degree so swift as its own? 

4. It is somewhere related, that a pistol fired on the top of 
an exceeding high mountain, made a noise like thunder in 
the valleys below. Perhaps this fact is not exactly related: 
but if it is, would not one imagine from it, that the rarer the 
air, the greater sound might be produced in it from the same 
cause ? 

5. Those balls of fire which are sometimes seen passing 
over a country, computed by philosophers to be often 30 
miles high at least, sometimes burst at that height; the air 
must be exceeding rare there, and yet the explosion pro- 
duces a sound that is heard at that distance, and for 70 
miles round on the surface of the earth, so violent too as to 
shake buildings, and give an apprehension of an earthquake. 
Does not this look as if a rare atmosphere, almost a vacuum, 
was no bad conductor of sound? 

I have not made up my mind on these points, and only 
mention them for your consideration, knowing that every 
subject is the better for your handling it. 

With the greatest esteem, I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



172 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

325. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN [AT BATH] 1 

London, July 20, 1762. 

DEAR SIR : I received your very kind letter and invita- 
tion to Bath where I am sure I could spend some days very 
happily with you and Mrs. Strahan, if my time would per- 
mit ; but the man-of-war, that is to be our convoy, is under 
sailing orders for the 3oth of this month so that J t is impos- 
sible for me to leave London till I leave it forever, having 
at least twenty days' work to do in the ten days that are 
only left me. 

I shall send to the Angel Inn in Oxford a parcel directed to 
you, containing books I send as presents to some acquaint- 
ance there; which I beg you would cause to be delivered. 
I shall write a line to one of them, as you desire. The 
parcel is to go by Thursday's coach. 

I hope for the pleasure of seeing you before I set out. 
Billy and Mrs. Stevenson join in respects and best wishes for 
you and Mrs. Strahan, with dear Friend, Yours affection- 
ately, B. FRANKLIN 

P. S. I feel here like a thing out of its place, and useless 
because it is out of its place. How then can I any longer be 
happy in England? You have great power of persuasion, 
and might easily prevail on me to do any thing ; but not any 
longer to do nothing. I must go home. Adieu. 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. 
Ill, p. 207. ED. 



1762] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 173 

326. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN [AT OXFORD] ' 

London, July 23, 1762. 

DEAR STRANEY : As Dr. Hawkes worth calls you, I send 
you inclosed a line to my good friend Dr. Kelley; which 
you will do me the favour to deliver with the parcel directed 
to him. As it is vacation time I doubt whether any other 
acquaintance of mine may be in Oxford, or at least any on 
whose good nature I could so far presume; tho* according 
to the way of the world, having received a civility, gives 
one a kind of right to demand another; they took the 
trouble of showing me Oxford, and therefore I might re- 
quest them to show it to any of my friends. None of the 
Oxford people are under any other obligation to me than 
that of having already oblig'd me, and being oblig'd to go 
on as they have begun. My best respects to Mrs. Strahan, 
and love to little Peggy. They say we are to sail in a week 
or ten days. I expect to see you once more. I value my- 
self much, on being able to resolve on doing the right thing, 
in opposition to your almost irresistible eloquence, secretly 
supported and backed by my own treacherous inclinations. 
Adieu, my dear friend. Yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

327. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 2 (P. c.) 

MY DEAR POLLY, Portsmouth, Augt ii, 1762 

This is the best Paper I can get at this wretched Inn, but 
it will convey what is intrusted to it as faithfully as the 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. 
Ill, p. 208. ED. 

2 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



174 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

finest. It will tell my Polly how much her Friend is afflicted, 
that he must, perhaps, never again, see one for whom he has 
so sincere an Affection, join'd to so perfect an Esteem ; who 
he once flatter'd himself might become his own, in the tender 
Relation of a Child, but can now entertain such pleasing 
Hopes no more. Will it tell how much he is afflicted? No, 
it cannot. 

Adieu, my dearest Child. I will call you so. Why 
should I not call you so, since I love you with all the Tender- 
ness, All the Fondness of a Father? Adieu. May the God 
of all Goodness shower down his choicest Blessings upon 
you, and make you infinitely Happier, than that Event 
could have made you. Adieu. And, wherever I am, believe 
me to be, with unalterable Affection, my dear Polly, your 

sincere Friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



328. TO LORD KAMES 1 

Portsmouth, August 17, 1762. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

I am now waiting here only for a wind to waft me to 
America, but cannot leave this happy island and my friends 
in it, without extreme regret, though I am going to a country 
and a people that I love. I am going from the old world to 
the new; and I fancy I feel like those, who are leaving this 
world for the next : grief at the parting ; fear of the passage ; 
hope of the future. These different passions all affect their 
minds at once; and these have tendered me down exceed- 

1 From " Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry 
Home of Kames," Vol. II, p. 10. ED. 



1762] TO LORD KAMES 175 

ingly. It is usual for the dying to beg forgiveness of their 
surviving friends, if they have ever offended them. 

Can you, my Lord, forgive my long silence, and my not 
acknowledging till now the favour you did me in sending me 
your excellent book? Can you make some allowance for a 
fault in others, which you have never experienced in yourself; 
for the bad habit of postponing from day to day, what one 
every day resolves to do to-morrow? A habit that grows 
upon us with years, and whose only excuse is we know not 
how to mend it. If you are disposed to favour me, you will 
also consider how much one's mind is taken up and dis- 
tracted by the many little affairs one has to settle before the 
undertaking such a voyage, after so long a residence in a 
country; and how little, in such a situation, one's mind is 
fitted for serious and attentive reading; which, with regard 
to the Elements of Criticism, I intended before I should 
write. I can now only confess and endeavour to amend. 
In packing up my books I have reserved yours to read on the 
passage. I hope I shall therefore be able to write to you 
upon it soon after my arrival. At present I can only return 
my thanks, and say that the parts I have read gave me both 
pleasure and instruction ; that I am convinced of your posi- 
tion, new as it was to me, that a good taste in the arts con- 
tributes to the improvement of morals ; and that I have had 
the satisfaction of hearing the work universally commended 
by those who have read it. 

And now, my dear Sir, accept my sincere thanks for the 
kindness you have shewn me, and my best wishes of happi- 
ness to you and yours. Wherever I am, I shall esteem the 
friendship you honour me with as one of the felicities of my 
life; I shall endeavour to cultivate it by a more punctual 



176 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

correspondence, and I hope frequently to hear of your wel- 
fare and prosperity. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe 
me ever most affectionately yours, B. FRANKLIN. 



329. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN l (P. c.) 

Portsmouth, Monday, Aug*. 23, 1762. 

DEAR SIR : I have been two Nights on board expecting 
to sail, but the Wind continuing contrary, am just now come 
on shore again, and have met with your kind Letter of the 
2oth. I thank you even for the Reproofs it contains, tho* 
I have not altogether deserved them. I cannot, I assure you, 
quit even this disagreable Place without Regret, as it carries 
me still farther from those I love, and from the Oppor- 
tunities of hearing of their Welfare. The Attraction of 
Reason is at present for the other side of the Water, but 
that of Inclination will be for this side. You know which 
usually prevails. I shall probably make but this one Vibra- 
tion and settle here forever. Nothing will prevent it, if I 
can, as I hope I can, prevail with Mrs. F. to accompany 
me, especially if we have a Peace. I will not tell you that 
to be near and with you and yours is any part of my In- 
ducement: It would look like a Compliment extorted from 
me by your Pretences to Insignificancy. Nor will I own 
that your Persuasion and Arguments have wrought this 
Change in my former Resolutions: tho' it is true that they 
have frequently intruded themselves into my Consideration 
whether I would or not. I trust, however, that we shall 

1 From the original in the possession of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker, Governor 
of Pennsylvania. ED. 



1762] TO JOHN" PRINGLE 177 

once more see each other, and be happy again together, 
which God, &c. 

My Love to Mrs. Strahan, and your amiable and valuable 
Children. Heaven bless you all whatever becomes of 
Your much obliged and affectionate Friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



330. TO JOHN PRINGLE 1 

Philadelphia, Dec. I, 1762. 

SIR, 

During our passage to Madeira, the weather being warm, 
and the cabbin windows constantly open for the benefit of the 
air, the candles at night flared and run very much, which was 
an inconvenience. At Madeira we got oil to burn, and with 
a common glass tumbler or beaker, slung in wire, and sus- 
pended to the cieling of the cabbin, and a little wire hoop for 
the wick, furnish'd with corks to float on the oil, I made an 
Italian lamp, that gave us very good light all over the table. 
The glass at bottom contained water to about one third of 
its height ; another third was taken up with oil ; the rest was 
left empty that the sides of the glass might protect the flame 
from the wind. There is nothing remarkable in all this; 
but what follows is particular. At supper, looking on the 
lamp, I remarked that tho' the surface of the oil was per- 
fectly tranquil, and duly preserved its position and distance 
with regard to the brim of the glass, the water under the oil 
was in great commotion, rising and falling in irregular 
waves, which continued during the whole evening. The 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 438. ED. 

VOL. IV N 



178 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

lamp was kept burning as a watch-light all night, till the oil 
was spent, and the water only remained. In the morning 
I observed, that though the motion of the ship continued 
the same, the water was now quiet, and its surface as tran- 
quil as that of the oil had been the evening before. At 
night again, when oil was put upon it, the water resumed its 
irregular motions, rising in high waves almost to the surface 
of the oil, but without disturbing the smooth level of that 
surface. And this was repeated every day during the voyage. 

Since my arrival in America, I have repeated the experi- 
ment frequently thus. I have put a pack-thread round a 
tumbler, with strings of the same, from each side, meeting 
above it in a knot at about a foot distance from the top of the 
tumbler. Then putting in as much water as would fill 
about one third part of the tumbler, I lifted it up by the knot, 
and swung it to and fro in the air ; when the water appeared 
to keep its place in the tumbler as steadily as if it had been 
ice. But pouring gently in upon the water about as much 
oil, and then again swinging it in the air as before, the tran- 
quility before possessed by the water was transferred to the 
surface of the oil, and the water under it was agitated with 
the same commotions as at sea. 

I have shewn this experiment to a number of ingenious 
persons. Those who are but slightly acquainted with the 
principles of hydrostatics, &c. are apt to fancy immediately 
that they understand it, and readily attempt to explain it; 
but their explanations have been different, and to me not 
very intelligible. Others more deeply skilled in those prin- 
ciples, seem to wonder at it, and promise to consider it. 
And I think it is worth considering : For a new appearance, 
if it cannot be explain'd by our old principles, may afford 



1762] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 179 

us new ones, of use perhaps in explaining some other obscure 

parts of natural knowledge. I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



331. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Philadelphia, December 2, 1762 

DEAR STRANEY: As good Dr. Hawkesworth calls you, 
to whom my best respects. I got home well the ist of 
November, and had the happiness to find my little family 
perfectly well, and that Dr. Smith's reports of the diminu- 
tions of my friends were all false. My house has been full 
of a succession of them from morning to night, ever since 
my arrival, congratulating me on my return with the utmost 
cordiality and affection. My fellow citizens, while I was on 
the sea, had, at the annual election, chosen me unanimously, 
as they had done every year while I was in England, to 
be their representative in Assembly and would, they say, if 
I had not disappointed them by coming privately to town 
before they heard of my landing, have met me with 500 
horse. Excuse my vanity in writing this to you who know 
what has provoked me to it. My love to good Mrs. Stra- 
han, and your children, particularly my little wife. I shall 
write more fully per next opportunity, having now only time 
to add that I am, with unchangeable affection, my dear 

friend, Yours sincerely, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

Mrs. Franklin and Sally desire their compliments and 
thanks to you all for your kindness to me while in England. 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. Ill, p. 214. ED. 



i8o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

332. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 (P. c.) 

Philad a Dec. 7, 1762. 

DEAR FRIEND 

I wrote to you some time since to acquaint you with my 
Arrival and the kind Reception I met with from my old and 
many new Friends, notwithstanding Dr. Smith's false Re- 
ports in London of my Interest as declining here. I could not 
wish for a more hearty Welcome, and I never experienced 
greater Cordiality. We had a long Passage near ten Weeks 
from Portsmouth to this Place, but it was a pleasant one; 
for we had ten sail in Company and a Man of War 2 to pro- 
tect us ; we had pleasant Weather and fair Winds, and fre- 
quently visited and dined from ship to ship ; we call'd too at 
the delightful Island of Madeira, by way of half-way House, 
where we replenished our Stores and took in many Refresh- 
ments. It was the time of their Vintage, and we hung the 
Cieling of the Cabin with Bunches of fine Grapes, which 
serv'd as a Dissert at Dinner for some Weeks afterwards. 
The Reason of our being so long at Sea, was, that sailing with 
a Convoy, we could none of us go faster than the slowest, 
being obliged every day to shorten Sail or lay by till they 
came up; this was the only Inconvenience of our having 
Company, which was abundantly made up to us by the Sense 
of greater Safety, the mutual good Offices daily exchanged 
and the other Pleasures of Society. I have no Line from 
you yet but I hope there is a Letter on its way to me. 

1 From the original in the possession of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. ED. 

2 It was the Scarborough, Capt. Stott, who took the greatest Care of his 
little Convoy that can be imagined, and brought us all safely to our several 
Ports. I wish you would mention this to his Honour in your Paper. F. 



1762] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 181 

My Son is not yet arrived, and I begin to think he will 
spend the Winter with you. Mr. Hall I suppose writes by 
this Ship. I mention'd what you desir'd in your Letter to 
me at Portsmouth; he informs me he has made some Re- 
mittances since I left England, and shall as fast as possible 
clear the Ace 1 . He blames himself for ordering so large a 
Cargo at once, and will keep more within Bounds hereafter. 

Mr. Hall sends you I believe, for Sale, some Poetic Pieces 
of our young Geniuses ; it would encourage them greatly if 
their Performances could obtain any favourable Reception 
in England; I wish therefore you would take the proper 
Steps to get them recommended to the Notice of the Publick 
as far at least as you may find they deserve. I know that no 
one can do this better than yourself. 

You have doubtless long since done Rejoicing on the 
Conquest of the Havana. It is indeed a Conquest of great 
Importance; but it has cost us dear, extreamly dear, when 
we consider the Havock made in our little brave Army by 
Sickness. I hope it will, in the Making of Peace, procure us 
some Advantages in Commerce or Possession that may in 
time countervail the heavy Loss we have sustained in that 
Enterprize. 

I must joyn with David in petitioning that you would 
write us all the Politicks ; you have an Opportunity of hear- 
ing them all, and no one that is not quite in the Secret of 
Affairs can judge better of them. I hope the crazy Heads 
that have been so long raving about Scotchmen and Scotland 
are by this time either broke or mended. 

My dear Love to Mrs. Strahan and bid her be well for all 
our sakes. Remember me affectionately to Rachey and 
my little Wife and to your promising Sons my young Friends 



182 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

Billy, George, and Andrew. God bless you, and let me 
find you well and happy when I come again to England; 
happy England ! My Respects to Mr. Johnson ; I hope he 
has got the Armonica in order before this time, and that 
Rachey plays daily with more and more Boldness and 
Grace, to the absolute charming of all her Acquaintance. 

In two Years at farthest I hope to settle all my Affairs in 
such a Manner, as that I may then conveniently remove to 
England, provided we can persuade the good Woman 
to cross the Seas. That will be the great Difficulty : but you 
can help me a little in removing it. 

Present my Compliments to all enquiring Friends, and 

believe me Ever 

My dear Friend 

Yours most affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN. 



333. TO PETER COLLINSON l (P. c.) 

Philad a Dec. 7, 1762 
DEAR FRIEND 

I arrived here the first of last Month and had the great 
Happiness, after so long Absence, to find my little Family 
well, and my Friends as cordial and more numerous than 
ever. 

Mr. Bartram I suppose writes to you concerning the great 
Bones at the Ohio. I have delivered to him and to the 
Library Company what you sent by me. 

There is great Complaint here of the last Summer's 
Drought. It has occasion' d a great Scarcity of Hay, and if 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. ED. 



1762] TO CALEB WHITEFOORD 183 

the Winter proves hard the Creatures must greatly suffer. 
Apples too have generally fail'd this Year. Accept my 
sincerest Thanks for all your Kindness to me and my Son 
while in England and my best Wishes of Long Life, Health, 
and Happiness to you and yours. 

With the greatest Esteem and Attachment 
I am, dear friend, 

Yours most affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 



334. TO CALEB WHITEFOORD (A. p. s.) 

Philad a , Dec. 7, 1762. 

DEAR SIR, 

I thank you for your kind Congratulations on my Son's 
Promotion and Marriage. 2 If he makes a good Governor, 
and a good Husband, (as I hope he will, for I know he has 
good Principles and good Disposition,) those Events will 
both of them give me continual Pleasure. 

The Taking of the Havania, on which I congratulate you, 
is a Conquest of the greatest Importance, and will doubtless 
contribute a due Share of Weight in procuring us reasonable 
Terms of Peace; if John Bull does not get drunk with 
Victory, double his Fists, and bid all the World kiss his 
Arse ; till he provokes them to drub him again into his senses. 

1 Caleb Whitefoord (1734-1810) lived at 8 Craven Street, next door to 
Franklin. See " The Whitefoord Papers," ed. W. A. S. Hewins, M.A., Oxford, 
1898, p. 141. I have printed the letter from the rough draft in A. P.S. The 
words in brackets are found only in the original letter, as published by Mr. 
Hewins. ED. 

2 William Franklin was appointed governor of New Jersey, August, 1762. 
He married Miss Downes, September 5, 1762. ED. 



184 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

It has been however the dearest Conquest by far that we 
have made [purchased] this War, when we consider the 
terrible Havock made by Sickness in that brave Army of 
Veterans, now almost totally ruined. I thank you for the 
humourous and sensible Print you sent me, which afforded 
me and several of my Friends great Pleasure. The Piece from 
your own Pencil is acknowledg'd to bear a strong and strik- 
ing Likeness, but it is otherwise such a picture of your Friend, 1 
as Dr. Smith would have drawn, black, and all black. 2 I 
think you will hardly understand this Remark, but your 
Neighbour [good] Mrs. Stevenson can explain it. Painting 
has yet scarce made her Appearance among us; but her 
Sister Art, Poetry, has some Votaries. I send you a few 
Blossoms of American Verse, the Lispings of our young 
Muses; which I hope your Motherly Critics will treat with 
some indulgence. 

I shall never touch the sweet Strings of the British Lyre, 
[Harp] without remembring my British Friends, and par- 
ticularly the kind Giver of the Instrument, who has my 
best Wishes of Happiness for himself and for his Wife and 
his Children, when [against] it pleases God to send him 
any. I am, Dear Sir, with the sincerest Esteem, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 That is, Benjamin Franklin. ED. 

2 "That famous horse Othello, alias Black and all Black." 

"New Foundling Hospital for Wit," 1784, v. 269. ED. 



1 762] TO JARED INGERSOLL 185 

335. TO JARED INGERSOLL 1 

Philadelphia, December n, 1762. 

DEAR SIR: I thank you for your kind congratulations. 
It gives me pleasure to hear from an old friend; it will 
give me much more pleasure to see him. I hope, therefore, 
nothing will prevent the journey you propose for next 
summer and the favour you intend me of a visit. I believe 
I must make a journey early in the spring to Virginia, but 
purpose being back again before the hot weather. You will 
be kind enough to let me know beforehand what time you 
expect to be here, that I may not be out of the way, for 
that would mortify me exceedingly. 

I should be glad to know what it is that distinguishes 
Connecticut religion from common religion. Communicate, 
if you please, some of these particulars that you think will 
amuse me as a virtuoso. When I travelled in Flanders, I 
thought of your excessively strict observation of Sunday; 
and that a man could hardly travel on that day among you 
upon his lawful occasions without hazard of punishment; 
while, where I was, every one travelled, if he pleased, or 
diverted himself in any other way ; and in the afternoon both 
high and low went to the play or the opera, where there was 
plenty of singing, fiddling and dancing. I looked around 
for God's judgments, but saw no signs of them. The cities 
were well built and full of inhabitants, the markets filled 
with plenty, the people well favoured and well clothed, 
the fields well tilled, the cattle fat and strong, the fences, 

1 In the possession of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Jared 
Ingersoll (1722-1781) was stamp agent for Connecticut. ED. 



1 86 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1762 

houses, and windows all in repair, and no Old Tenor any- 
where in the country ; which would almost make one sus- 
pect that the Deity is not so angry at that offence as a New 
England Justice. 

I left our friend Mr. Jackson well, and I had the great 
pleasure of finding my little family well when I came home, 
and my friends as cordial and more numerous than ever. 
May every prosperity attend you and yours. I am, dear 
friend, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 



336. TO MR. P[ETER] F[RANKLIN,] AT NEWPORT 1 

. . . You may acquaint the gentleman that desired you 
to enquire my opinion of the best method of securing a 
powder magazine from lightning, that I think they cannot do 
better than to erect a mast not far from it, which may reach 
15 or 20 feet above the top of it, with a thick iron rod in one 
piece fastened to it, pointed at the highest end, and reaching 
down through the earth till it comes to water. Iron is a 
cheap metal ; but if it were dearer, as this is a publick thing, 
the expence is insignificant ; therefore I would have the rod at 
least an inch thick, to allow for its gradually wasting by rust ; 
it will last as long as the mast, and may be renewed with it. 
The sharp point for five or six inches should be gilt. 

But there is another circumstance of importance to the 
strength, goodness and usefulness of the powder, which 
does not seem to have been enough attended to : I mean the 
keeping it perfectly dry. For want of a method of doing 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 441. ED. 



1762] TO MR. P[ETEK\ F\RANKUN] 187 

this, much is spoilt in damp magazines, and much so dam- 
aged as to become of little value. If, instead of barrels, it 
were kept in cases of bottles well cork'd; or in large tin 
canisters, with small covers shutting close by means of oiPd 
paper between, or covering the joining on the canister; or 
if in barrels, then the barrels lined with thin sheet lead ; no 
moisture in either of these methods could possibly enter 
the powder, since glass and metals are both impervious to 
water. 

By the latter of these means you see tea is brought dry 
and crisp from China to Europe, and thence to America, 
tho' it comes all the way by sea in the damp hold of a ship. 
And by this method, grain, meal, &c., if well dry'd before 
'tis put up, may be kept for ages sound and good. 

There is another thing very proper to line small barrels 
with ; it is what they call tin-foil, or leaf-tin, being tin mill'd 
between rollers till it becomes as thin as paper, and more 
pliant, at the same time that its texture is extreamly close. 
It may be apply'd to the wood with common paste, made 
with boiling water thicken'd with flour; and, so laid on, 
will lie very close and stick well : But I should prefer a hard, 
sticky varnish for that purpose, made of linseed oil much 
boil'd. The heads might be lined separately, the tin wrap- 
ping a little round their edges. The barrel, while the lining 
is laid on, should have the end hoops slack, so that the staves 
standing at a little distance from each other, may admit 
the head into its groove. The tin-fold should be plyed into 
the groove. Then one head being put in, and that end 
hoop'd tight, the barrel would be fit to receive the powder, 
and when the other head is put in and the hoops drove up, 
the powder would be safe from moisture even if the barrel 



188 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

were kept under water. This tin-foil is but about 18 pence 
sterling a pound, and is so extreamly thin, that I imagine a 
pound of it would line three or four powder barrels. 

I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



337. TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 1 (p. c.) 

Phila4 a Jany. 23, 1763. 

I RECEIVED with great Pleasure my dear Friend's Favour 
of Decem r 20, as it informed me that you and yours are all 
well. Mrs. Franklin admits of your Apology for dropping 
the Correspondence with her, and allows your Reasons to 
be good ; but hopes when you have more Leisure it may be 
renew' d. She joins with me in congratulating you on your 
present happy Situation. She bids me say, she supposes 
you proceeded regularly in your Arithmetic, and that, be- 
fore you got into Multiplication, you learnt Addition, in 
which you must often have had Occasion to say: One that 
1 cany, and two, makes Three. And now I have writ this, 
she bids me scratch it out again. I am loth to deface my 
Letter so e'en let it be I thank you for your kind Invita- 
tion. I purpose a Journey into New England in the Spring 
or Summer coming. I shall not fail to pay my Respects to 
you & Mr. Greene when I come your Way. Please to make 
my Compliments acceptable to him 

I have had a most agreeable time of it in Europe ; have in 
company with my Son, been in most Parts of England, 
Scotland, Flanders and Holland; and generally have enjoyed 
1 From the Rhode Island Mercury, April 10, 1896. ED. 



1763] TO ISAAC NORRIS 189 

a good share of Health. If you had ask'd the rest of your 
Questions, I could more easily have made this Letter longer. 
Let me have them in your next. I think I am not much 
alter'd; at least my Esteem & Regard for my Katy (if I 
may still be permitted to call her so) is the same, and I 
believe will be unalterable whilst 

I am 

B. FRANKLIN. 

My best Respects to your 

good Brother & Sister Ward. 

My Daughter presents her Compliments. 

My Son is not yet arriv'd. 



338. TO ISAAC NORRIS (p. H. s.) 

Philad a Feb. 15. 1763 

SIR, 

It is now six Years, since, in obedience to the Order of 
the House, I undertook a Voyage to England, to transact 
their Affairs there. 

Fifteen Hundred Pounds of the Public Money was at differ- 
ent Times put into my Hands, for which I ought to account. 

The following Articles are vouched by the Receipts in- 
clos'd, viz 

1758 Tan. 26. Paid Robert Charles Esqr for , 

J 27 // 6 // o 

the Province 20 Guineas 

April 20. Paid Richard Partridge Esq 

, _. 40 // o . o 

for Ditto 

May 2. Paid D for D .... 30/7 o//o 

Sept. 27. Paid T. Osborne for 3 Vols 1 10 // 10 / o 
Journals House of Commons / 

And for Indexes to the whole I // I / o 



190 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

1759 Dec. 31. Paid Accounts for Printing ^ 

sundry Pieces in Defence of \ 213/7 13. o 
the Province j 

1760 Dec. 2. Paid the Solicitor's Bill 470 // 8 . 8 

; 792/7 18 //8 

Deduct Y^ of the Solicitor's Bill ] 
it being charg'd in the Trustees [ 78 // 8 . I 

Acct j 

,714:10: 7 

I made many other Disbursements for which I have no 
Receipts; such as for Postage of Letters and Pacquets, 
which were often very heavy, containing Bills and Dupli- 
cates &c. under the Great Seal, brought by Post to London 
from the Out-Ports, which to compute moderately could not, 
I think, fall short of 15 per Annum. Also for customary 
New Year's Gifts, and Christmas Presents to Door-keepers 

& Clerks of the Public Offices, Tavern Dinners for the 
Lawyers and our other Friends at Hearings, Coach Hire, 

&c. for which I know not what to reckon, having kept no 
Account of such things. 

I therefore can make no Claim of Allowance for 
them. 

The House will therefore please to consider the remainder 
of the 1 500 put into my Hands, so unaccounted for, as now 
in their Disposition ; for as to any Compensation for my Time 
& Pains in their Service, tho' I am conscious of having done 
faithfully every thing in my Power for the Public Good, ac- 
cording to the best of my Abilities, yet as the House, when 
they appointed me their Agent at first, and afterwards from 
Year to Year, did not vote any particular Sum as my Salary, 
I am therefore not warranted to charge any thing, but do now, 
with the same Confidence I have ever had in the Justice 



1763] CONGELATION OF QUICKSILVER 191 

& Goodness of the House, chearfully submit the same to their 
present Discretion. 

With the greatest Respect & Esteem I am, 
Sir, Your most obedient 

& most humble Servant 

B FRANKLIN 

339. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN ' (P. c.) 

Philad a , Feb. 23. 1763. 

DEAR STRANEY : I have only time to write one line by 
this Conveyance, just to congratulate you on the glorious 
Peace you have made, the most advantageous for the British 
Nation, in my Opinion, of any your Annals have recorded. 
The Places you have left or restor'd to the French, I look 
upon to be so much in our Power in Case of a future War, 
as to be so many Hostages or Pledges of their good Behaviour. 

Love to Mrs. Strahan and your Children. Billy joins in 
every affectionate Sentiment, with, dear Friend, 

Yours affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN. 

340. CONGELATION OF QUICKSILVER. COLD 
PRODUCED BY EVAPORATION 2 (A. p. s.) 

Perth Amboy, Feb. 26, 1763. 

THE most remarkable Discovery that has been made within 
these Three Years is, that Quicksilver is in reality a melted 

1 From the original in the possession of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. ED. 

2 This is a fragmentary rough draft of a letter in the handwriting of Frank- 
lin (A. P. S.). It is not known to whom it was written. ED. 



192 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

Metal, with this Character only, that of all others it requires 
the least Heat to melt it. The Academy of Sciences at Peters- 
burg have found, that by dipping a mercurial Thermometer 
into repeated cooling mixtures, and so taking from the Mer- 
cury the Heat that was in it, they have brought it down some 
hundred degrees (the exact Number I cannot remember) below 
the freezing Point, when the Mercury became solid and would 
sink no longer; and then the Glass being broke it came out 
in the Form of a silver Bullet adhering to a Wire, which was 
the slender part that had been in the Tube. Upon tryal it 
was found malleable and was hammer' d out to the Bigness 
of a Half- Crown, but soon after on receiving a small Degree 
of Warmth it return'd gradually to its Fluid State again. 
This Experiment was repeated by several Members of that 
Academy two Winters successively, and an authentic Account 
of it transmitted to our Royal Society. 

I suppose you have seen, in the 2d Vol. of the new Philo- 
sophical Essays of ye Edinburg Society, an Account of some 
Experiments to produce Cold by Evaporation, made by Dr. 
Cullen, who mentions the like having been before made at 
Petersburgh. I think it is but lately that our European 
Philosophers have known or acknowledged any thing of such 
a Power in Nature. But I find it has been long known in the 
East. Bernier, in the Account of his Travels into India, 
written above 100 years since, mentions the Custom of Travel- 
lers carrying their Water in Flasks covered with wet wrappers, 
and hung to the Pomels of their saddles, so as that the Wind 
might act upon them, and so cool the Water. I have also 
seen a kind of Jar for cooling Water, made of Potter's Earth 
glaz'd, and so porous that the Water gradually oused thro' to 
the Surface, supplying Water just sufficient for a Constant 



1763] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON" 193 

Evaporation. I try'd it and found the Water within much 

cooler in a few Hours. This Jar was brought from 
Egypt. 



341. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (p. c.) 

Philad 3 March 25, 1763. 
MY DEAR POLLEY, 

Your pleasing Favour of Nov. n is now before me. It 
found me as you suppos'd it would, happy with my American 
Friends and Family about me ; and it made me more happy 
in showing me that I am not yet forgotten by the dear Friends 
I left in England. And indeed, why should I fear they will 
ever forget me, when I feel so strongly that I shall ever 
remember them ! 

I sympathise with you sincerely in your Grief at the Sepa- 
ration from your old Friend, Miss Pitt. The Reflection that 
she is going to be more happy, when she leaves you, might 
comfort you, if the Case was likely to be so circumstanced; 
but when the Country and Company she has been educated 
in, and those she is removing to, are compared, one cannot 
possibly expect it. I sympathize no less with you in your 
Joys. But it is not merely on your Account, that I rejoice at 
the Recovery of your dear Dolly's 2 Health. I love that dear 
good Girl myself, and I love her other Friends. I am, there- 
fore, made happy by what must contribute so much to the 
Happiness of them all. Remember me to her, and to every 
one of that worthy and amiable Family, most affectionately. 

Remember me in the same manner to your and my good 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 

2 Miss Dorothea Blount. ED. 

VOL. iv o 



194 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

Doctor and Mrs. Hawkesworth. You have lately, you tell 
me, had the Pleasure of spending three Days with them at 
Mr. Stanley's. 1 It was a sweet Society ! I too, once partook 
of that same Pleasure, and can therefore feel what you must 
have felt. Remember me also to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, and 
to Miss Arlond. 

Of all the enviable Things England has, I envy it most its 
People. Why should that petty Island, which compared to 
America, is but like a stepping-Stone in a Brook, scarce 
enough of it above Water to keep one's Shoes dry; why, I 
say, should that little Island enjoy in almost every Neighbour- 
hood, more sensible, virtuous, and elegant Minds, than we 
can collect in ranging 100 Leagues of our vast Forests? But 
'tis said the Arts delight to travel Westward. You have 
effectually defended us in this glorious War, and in time you 
will improve us. After the first Cares for the Necessaries of 
Life are over, we shall come to think of the Embellishments, 
Already some of our young Geniuses begin to lisp Attempts 
at Painting, Poetry, and Musick. We have a young Painter 
now studying at Rome. 2 Some Specimens of our Poetry I 
send you, which if Dr. Hawkesworth's fine Taste cannot ap- 
prove, his good Heart will at least excuse. The Manuscript 
Piece is by a young Friend of mine, and was occasioned by 
the Loss of one of his Friends, who lately made a Voyage to 
Antigua to settle some Affairs, previous to an intended Mar- 
riage with an amiable young Lady here, but unfortunately 
died there. I send it to you, because the Author is a great 



1 John Stanley (1714-1786), a blind musician, organist to the Society of 
the Inner Temple. He composed the music for Dr. Hawkesworth's oratorios,. 
" Zimri " and " The Fall of Egypt." ED. 

2 Benjamin West, atat. 25. ED. 



1763] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 195 

Admirer of Mr. Stanley's musical Compositions, and has 
adapted this Piece to an Air in the 6th Concerto of that Gen- 
tleman, the sweetly solemn Movement of which he is quite in 
Raptures with. He has attempted to compose a Recitative 
for it, but not being able to satisfy himself in the Bass, wishes 
I could get it supply'd. If Mr. Stanley would condescend to 
do that for him, thro* your Intercession, he would esteem it 
as one of the highest Honours, and it would make him exces- 
sively happy. You will say that a Recitativo can be but a 
poor Specimen of our Music. 'Tis the best and all I have at 
present, but you may see better hereafter. 

I hope Mr. Ralph's Affairs are mended since you wrote. I 
know he had some Expectations, when I came away, from a 
Hand that would help him. He has Merit, and one would 
think ought not to be so unfortunate. 

I do not wonder at the behaviour you mention of Dr. 
Smith towards me, for I have long since known him thor- 
oughly. I made that Man my Enemy by doing him too much 
Kindness. } Tis the honestest Way of acquiring an Enemy. 
And, since 'tis convenient to have at least one Enemy, who 
by his Readiness to revile one on all Occasions, may make one 
careful of one's Conduct, I shall keep him an Enemy for that 
purpose; and shall observe your good Mother's Advice, 
never again to receive him as a Friend. She once admir'd 
the benevolent Spirit breath'd in his Sermons. She will now 
see the Justness of the Lines your Laureat Whitehead ad- 
dresses to his Poets, and which I now address to her. 

" Full many a peevish, envious, slanderous Elf 
Is, in his Works, Benevolence itself. 
For all Mankind, unknown, his Bosom heaves ; 
He only injures those, with whom he lives. 
Read then the Man ; does Truth his Actions guide, 



196 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

Exempt from Petulance, exempt from Pride f 
To social Duties does his Heart attend, 
As Son, as Father, Husband, Brother, Friend? 
Do those, who know him, love him ? If they do, 
You 've my Permission : you may love him too." 

Nothing can please me more than to see your philosophical 
Improvements when you have Leisure to communicate them 
to me. I still owe you a long Letter on that Subject, which I 
shall pay. I am vex'd with Mr. James, that he has been so 
dilatory in Mr. Maddison's Armonica. I was unlucky in 
both the Workmen, that I permitted to undertake making 
those Instruments. The first was fanciful, and never could 
work to the purpose, because he was ever conceiving some 
new Improvement, that answered no End. The other I doubt 
is absolutely idle. I have recommended a Number to him 
from hence, but must stop my hand. 

Adieu, my dear Polly, and believe me as ever, with the 
sincerest Esteem and Regard, your truly affectionate Friend 
.and humble Servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. My love to Mrs. Tickell and Mrs. Rooke, and to 
Pitty, when you write to her. Mrs. Franklin and Sally desire 
to be affectionately remembered to you. I find the printed 
Poetry I intended to enclose will be too bulky to send per the 
Packet. I shall send it by a Ship, that goes shortly from hence. 



342. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

March 28, 1763. 

I HAVE received your favours of October 20th and Novem- 
ber ist by my son, who is safely arrived with my new daughter. 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. 
X, p. 291. ED. . 



1763] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN" 197 

I thank you for your friendly congratulations on his promo- 
tion. I am just returned from a journey I made through his 
government, and had the pleasure of seeing him received 
everywhere with the utmost respect and even affection of all 
ranks of people. As to myself, I mentioned to you in a former 
letter that I found my friends here more numerous and as 
hearty as ever. It had been industriously reported that I 
had lived very extravagantly in England, and wasted a con- 
siderable sum of the public money, which I had received out 
of your treasury for the Province; but the Assembly, when 
they came to examine my accounts and allow me for my ser- 
vices, found themselves 2,214 IQ s. d. sterling in my debt, 
to the utter confusion of the propagators of that falsehood, 
and the surprise of all they had made to believe it. The 
House accordingly ordered that sum to be paid me, and that 
the Speaker should, moreover, present me with their thanks 
for my fidelity, etc., in transacting their affairs. [ I congratu- 
late you on the glorious peace your ministry have made, the 
most advantageous to Britain, in my opinion of any your 
annals have recorded. As to the places left or restored to 
France, I conceive our strength will soon increase to so great 
a degree in North America that in any future war we may 
with ease redeem them all ; and therefore I look upon them 
as so many hostages or pledges of good behaviour from that 
perfidious nation. Your pamphlets and papers, therefore, 
that are wrote against the peace with some plausibility, give 
me pleasure, as I hope the French will read them and be per- 
suaded they have made an excellent bargain. . . . 



198 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

343. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 

Philadelphia, April 13, 1763. 

LOVING KINSMAN, 

You may remember, that about ten years since, when I was 
at Boston, you and my brother sent directions here to attach 
on Grant's right to some land here, by virtue of a mortgage 
given him by one Pitt. Nothing effectual could be done in 
it at that time, there being a prior mortgage undischarged. 
That prior mortgage is now near expiring, and Grant's will 
take place. Pitt's widow is desirous of being enabled to sell 
the place, which cannot be done, without paying off Grant's 
mortgage. Therefore, if your old demand against Grant still 
subsists, you may empower me in any manner you think 
proper to recover it. 

Is Grant living ? Or, if dead, are there any of his represen- 
tatives among you? Inquire. Because here is a person 
desirous of purchasing, who perhaps may inquire them out, 
and get a discharge from them, before your claim is brought 
forward, unless the attachment formerly made in your behalf 
is still good, which I am inclined to think may be. 

I am going in a few days to Virginia, but expect to be back 
in three or four weeks. However, send what you have to say 
on this subject to my son, at Burlington, who was formerly 
empowered by you, and he will take the steps necessary, if I 
should not be returned. I am your loving uncle, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Jonathan Williams, a merchant residing at Boston, and engaged in the 
West Indian trade. He was moderator, in 1773, of the meetings at Faneuil 
Hall to forbid the landing of the tea. He married Grace Harris, a niece of 
Benjamin Franklin. This letter is printed from " Familiar Letters and Mis- 
cellaneous Papers of Benjamin Franklin " (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 80. ED. 



1763] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 199 

344. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 (p. c.) 

Philad a June 2, 1763. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I have just received your Favour of Feb. 28. being but lately 
returned home from Virginia. D r Kelly in his Letter, ap- 
pears the fame senfible, worthy, friendly Man I ever found 
him ; and Smith, as uf ual, just his Reverf e. 2 I have done 
with him: For I believe no body here will prevail with me 
to give him another Meeting. I communicated your 
Postscript to B Mecom, and received the enclosed from him. 
I begin to fear things are going wrong with him ; I shall be at 
New York in a few Days, and will endeavour to secure you as 
far as it may be in his Power, and will write you from Thence. 
My Love to good M rs Strahan & to your Children. I hope 
to live to fee George a Bishop. Sally is now with her 
Brother in the Jerfeys. M" Franklin joins with me in best 
wishes, etc. I am, Dear Sir, 

I fear my Letters to you Your most obedient 

c / Capt. Snead never came to & most humble Servant 
hand, as I hear he is taken. B. FRANKLIN. 

It was the Ship I came over in, the Carolina. 
I wrote pretty fully to you & M rs Stephenfon, 
but kept no Copies. 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. William F. Havemeyer. ED. 

2 Dr. Kelly, F.R.S., had written to Mr. Strahan, December 17, 1762, regard- 
ing William Smith's retraction of his calumnies concerning Franklin. ED. 



200 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

345. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Woodbridge, New Jersey, June 10, 1763. 

DEAR STRANEY: I am here in my way to New Eng- 
land, where I expect to be till towards the end of summer. 
I have writ to you lately, and have nothing to add. 'Tis 
against my conscience to put you to the charge of a shilling 
for a letter that has nothing in it to any purpose ; but as 
I have wrote to some of your acquaintance by this op- 
portunity, I was afraid you would not forgive me if I did 
not write also to you. This is what people get by not being 
always as good-natured as they should be. I am glad, 
however that you have this fault ; for a man without faults 
is a hateful creature. He puts all his friends out of 
countenance ; but I love you exceedingly. I am glad to hear 
that Friend was dismissed and got safe with his ship to Eng- 
land, for I think I wrote you a long letter by him, and fear'd 
it was lost ; tho' I have forgot what was in it, and perhaps it 
was not very material; but now you have it. Tell me 
whether George is to be a Church or Presbyterian parson. 2 
I know you are a Presbyterian yourself ; but then I think you 
have more sense than to stick him into a priesthood that 
admits of no promotion. If he was a dull lad it might not be 
amiss, but George has parts, and ought to aim at a mitre. 
God bless you, and farewell. If I write much more I must 

1 From John Bigelow, " Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. Ill, 
p. 239. ED. 

2 George Strahan (1744-1824) was Vicar of St. Mary's, Islington, 1773 ; 
a Prebendary of Rochester, 1805 ; and Rector of Kingsdown, Kent, 1820- 
1824. ED. 



1763] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 201 

use a cover, which will double the postage. So I prudently 
cut short (thank me for it) with, Dear Straney, 

Your affectionate friend and hum. servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



346. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (p. c.) 

Woodbridge, New Jersey, June 10, 1763. 

1 WROTE to my dear Friend's good Mama to-day, and said I 
should hardly have time to write to you ; but, finding a spare 
half Hour, I will indulge myself in the Pleasure of spending it 
with you. I have just receiv'd your most agreable Epistle of 
March u. The Ease, the Smoothness, the Purity of Diction, 
and Delicacy of Sentiment, that always appear in your Let- 
ters, never fail to delight me ; but the tender filial Regard you 
constantly express for your old Friend is particularly engag- 
ing. Continue, then, to make him happy from time to time 
with that sweet Intercourse ; and take in return all he can give 
you, his sincerest Wishes for you of every kind of Felicity. 

I hope, that, by the Time this reaches you, an Account will 
arrive of your dear Pittey's safe landing in America among 
her Friends. Your Dolly, too, I hope, has perfectly recovered 
her Health, and then nothing will remain to give you Uneasi- 
ness or Anxiety. Heaven bless you, and believe me ever, my 
dear Child, your affectionate Friend and humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



202 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 



347. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

New York, June 16. 1763 
MY DEAR CHILD, 

We left Woodbridge on Tuesday Morning and went to 
Eliz. Town, where I found our Children return'd from the 
Falls, & very well : The Corporation were to have a Dinner 
that day at the Point for their Entertainment, and prevail'd 
on us to stay. There was all the principal People & a great 
many Ladies: after Dinner we set out, & got here before 
dark. We waited on the Governor & on Gen 1 Amherst 
yesterday ; din'd with Lord Sterling ; went in the Evening to 
my old Friend Mr. Kennedy's Funeral ; and are to dine with 
the General to-day. Mr. Hughes and Daughter are well, & 
Betsey Holt. I have not yet seen B. Mecom, but shall to-day. 
I am very well. 

I purpose to take Sally at all Events, & write for her to-day 
to be ready to go in the Packet that sails next Friday Week. 
If there is no other suitable Company, Mr. Parker will go 
with her & take care of her. I am glad you sent some Wax 
Candles with the Things to Boston. I am now so us'd to it, 
I cannot well do without it. You spent your Sunday very 
well, but I think you should go oftner to Church. I approve 
of your opening all my English Letters, as it must give you 
Pleasure to see that People who knew me there so long and 
so intimately, retain so sincere a Regard for me. 

My Love to Mr. Rhoads when you see him, and desire he 
would send me an Invoice of such Locks, Hinges, and the 
like as cannot be had at Philadelphia, and will be necessary 



1763] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 203 

for my House, that I may send for them. Let me know from 
time to time how it goes on. Mr. Foxcroft and Mr. Parker 

join in Compliments to you and Cousin Lizzey. Mr. F 

prays his Mamma to forgive him, and he will be a better Boy. 
I am, my dear Debby, your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN* 



348. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

New York, June 28. 1763. 

DEAR FRIEND : You will hear before this reaches you 
that the Indians have renewed their hostilities. They have 
not as usual made any previous complaint, and various con- 
jectures are therefore made of the cause. Some think it is 
merely to secure their hunting countries, which they appre- 
hend we mean to take from them by force and turn them 
into plantations, though the apprehension is without ground ; 
others, that too little notice of them has been taken since 
the reduction of Canada, no presents made them as before; 
others, that they are offended at the prohibition of selling 
them rum or powder, but I do not find this prohibition has 
been general, and as to powder, that enough has been al- 
lowed them all for their hunting ; others, that they acquired 
a relish for plunder in the late war, and would again enjoy 
the sweets of it; others, that it is the effect of a large belt 
sent among them by the French commander in the Illinois 
country before he heard of the peace, to excite them to re- 
new the war and assure them of supplies and assistance; 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. X, p. 293. ED. 



204 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

others, think all these causes may have operated together. 
The nations chiefly concerned are said to be the Ottawas 
and Chippewas, who live west of and north of the Lakes, 
and the Delawares on the Ohio, but some other nations who 
have not yet appeared are suspected privily to encourage 
them. It is, however, a war that I think cannot last long, 
though for the present very mischievous to the poor settlers 
on the frontiers. 

I expected when I left England to have learnt in your 
letters the true state of things from time to time among you ; 
but you are silent and I am in the dark. I hear that faction 
and sedition are becoming universal among you, which I 
can scarcely believe, though I see in your public papers a 
licentiousness that amazes me. I hear of ins and outs and 
ups and downs, and know neither why nor wherefore. 
Think, my dear friend, how much satisfaction it is in your 
power to give me, with a loss only of half an hour in a month 
that you would otherwise spend at cribbage. I left our 
friend David and his family well. I hope this will find 
you so. I am here on my journey to New England, whence 
I hope to return in about two months. Sally goes with me. 
Billy and his wife came over here last night from the Jerseys 
to spend a few days with their friends at New York, so that 
we are all together at present, except my wife, and all join 
in best wishes for you and good Mrs. Strahan and your 
children. I wrote to you by the last packet, and can now 
only add that I am, with sincerest esteem and affection, 
dear sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



1763] TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 205 

349. TO WILLIAM GREENE 1 
DEAR SIR, Providence, July 19, 1763. 

From the very hospitable and kind treatment we met 
with at your house, I must think it will be agreeable to you 
to hear, that your guests got well in before the rain. We 
hope that you and Mrs. Greene were likewise safe at home 
before night, and found all well. We all join in the most 
cordial thanks and best wishes, and shall be glad on every 
occasion to hear of the welfare of you and yours. I beg you 
will present our compliments to your good neighbour, Cap- 
tain Fry, and tell him we shall always retain a grateful 
remembrance of his civilities. 

The soreness in my breast seems to diminish hourly. To 
rest and temperance I ascribe it chiefly, though the bleeding 
had doubtless some share in the effect. We purpose setting 
out to go to Wrentham this afternoon, in order to make an 
easy day's journey into Boston to-morrow. Present our 
respects to Mrs. Ray, and believe me, with much esteem, 
dear Sir, your obliged and most obedient, humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

350. TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 2 
DEAR FRIEND Boston, Aug. i, 1763. 

I ought to acquaint you that I feel myself growing daily 
firmer & freer from the effects of my Fall; and hope a few 

1 At Warwick, Rhode Island. This letter was first printed by Sparks, in 
Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Franklin," Boston, 
1833, p. 84. ED. 

a From the Rhode Island Mercury, April 10, 1896. 



206 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

Days more will make me quite forget it. I shall however 
never forget the kindness I met with at your House on that 
Occasion. Make my Compliments acceptable to your Mr. 
Greene; and let him know that I acknowledge the Receipt 
of his obliging Letter and thank him for it. It gave me 
great Pleasure to hear you got home before the Rain. 

My Compliments too to Mr. Merchant and Miss Ward 
if they are still with you ; and kiss the Babies for me. Sally 
says, & for me too: She adds her best Respects to Mr. 
Greene, & you and that she could have spent a Week with 
you with great Pleasure, if I had not hurried her away. My 
Brother is returned to Rhode island. Sister Mecom thanks 
you for your kind remembrance of her & presents her 
Respects. 

With perfect Esteem & Regard, I am, Dear Katy (I can't 
yet alter my Stile to Madam) 

Your affectionate Friend 

B. FRANKLIN 



351. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Boston, August 8, 1763. 

DEAR FRIEND: I have received here your favour of May 
3d, and postscript of May loth, and thank you cordially for the 
sketch you give me of the present state of your political affairs. 
If the stupid, brutal opposition your good king and his meas- 
ures have lately met with, should as you fear, become general,, 
surely you would not wish me to come and live among such 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin,'" 
Vol. X, p. 294. ED. 



1763] TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 207 

people; you would rather remove hither, where we have 
no savages but those we expect to be such. /j But I think 
your madmen will ere long come to their senses; and 
when I come I shall find you generally wise and happy. 
That I have not the propensity to sitting still that you appre- 
hend, let my present journey witness for me; in which I 
have already travelled eleven hundred and forty miles on 
this continent since April, and shall make six hundred 
and forty more before I see home. No friend can wish 
me more in England than I do myself. But before I go 
every thing I am concerned in must be so settled here as to 
make another return to America unnecessary. My love 
to every one of your dear family, of whose welfare I always 
rejoice to hear; being with the greatest esteem and affection, 
dear sir, yours sincerely, B. FRANKLIN. 



352. TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 1 

Boston, September 5, 1763. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

On my returning hither from Portsmouth, I find your 
obliging favour of the i8th past, for which I thank you. I 
am almost ashamed to tell you, that I have had another fall, 
and put my shoulder out. It is well reduced again, but is 
still affected with constant, though not very acute pain. I 
am not yet able to travel rough roads, and must lie by awhile, 
as I can neither hold reins nor whip with my right hand till 
it grows stronger. 

1 From " The Familiar Letters of Benjamin Franklin," Boston, 1833, p. 86. 
ED. 



208 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

Do you think, after this, that even your kindest invitations 
and Mr. Greene's can prevail with me to venture myself 
again on such roads? And yet it would be a great pleasure 
to me to see you and yours once more. Sally and my sister 
Mecom thank you for your remembrance of them, and pre- 
sent their affectionate regards. My best respects to good 
Mr. Greene, Mrs. Ray, and love to your little ones. .1 am 
glad to hear they are well, and that your Celia goes alone. 

I am, dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



353. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN l (p. c.) 

Boston, Sept. 22, 1763 

DEAR FRIEND: I write in pain with an Arm lately dis- 
located, so can only acknowledge the Receipt of your Favours 
of May 3 and 10, & thank you for the Intelligence they con- 
tain concerning your publick Affairs. I am now 400 miles 
from home, but hope to be there again in about 3 weeks. 
The Indian War upon our Western Settlements was un- 
doubtedly stirr'd up by the French on the Missisipi, before 
they had heard of the Peace between the two Nations ; and 
will probably cease when we are in Possession of what is 
there ceded to us. My Respects to Mrs. Strahan and Love 
to your Children. I am, dear Friend, very affectionately 
yours, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. E. B. Holden. ED. 



1763] TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK 209 

354. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 (p. c.) 

Philad* Nov. 28, 1763 

LOVING KINSMAN, 

I received yours acquainting me that the Chair is shipt. 
It is not yet come to hand, but the Armonica is arrived safe, 
not a glafs hurt. I am much obliged by your Care of my 
little Affairs. The Houfe, when repaired, I would have you 
let to as good a Tenant and for as good a Rent as you can 
well get and let me have the Account of Repairs, that it 
may be adjusted as foon as pofsible. 

My Wife & Daughter join in Love to you & yours, 

with 

Your affectionate uncle 

B FRANKLIN 
M r Foxcroft's Compliments 

I am defired by him to add. 



It is farther my Defire & Direction, that the Rent of the 
Houfe be applied to afsist my Sister Mecom in the Main- 
tenance of her unhappy Son, and I request you to pay it to 

her for that purpose as it arifes. 

B. FRANKLIN 



355. TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK (L. L.) 

Philad a Dec. 11, 1763. 

DEAR SIR 

I take the Opportunity of a Ship from this Place to Leith, 
once more to pay my Respects to my good Friend from this 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. E. B. Holden. ED. 
VOL. iv P 



210 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

side the Water, and to assure him that neither Time nor 
Distance have in the least weakened the Impression on my 
Mind, stampt there by his Kindness to me and my Son, 
while we were in Scotland. When I saw him last, we talk'd 
over the pleasant Hours we spent at Prestonfield, and he 
desired me, whenever I should write, to join with mine his 
best Respects to you and to Lady Dick, your amiable 
Daughter & the rest of your domestic Circle. He is very 
happy in his Government as well as in his Marriage. 

My Daughter has been endeavouring to collect some of 
the Music of this Country Production, to send Miss. Dick, 
in Return for her most acceptable present of Scotch Songs. 
But Music is a new Art with us. She has only obtained a 
few Airs adapted by a young Gentleman of our Acquaintance 
to some old Songs, which she now desires me to enclose, 
and to repeat her Thanks for the Scotch Music with which 
we are all much delighted. She sings the Songs to her 
Harpsichord, and I play some of the softest Tunes on my 
Armonica, with which Entertainment our People here are 
quite charmed, and conceive the Scottish Tunes to be the 
finest in the World. And indeed, there is so much simple 
Beauty in many of them, that it is my Opinion they will 
never die, but in all Ages find a Number of Admirers among 
those whose Taste is not debauch' d by Art. 

I expected before this Time some of yours and D r Hope's 
botanical Orders to execute, which I shall do with great 
Pleasure whenever they come to hand. 

Be pleased to present my Respects to our Friends the 
Russels, when you see them; to the two Doctors Monro, 
D r Cullen, D r Clark, M M'Gawen, and any others who 
may do me the Honour to enquire after me, not forgetting 



1763] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 211 

Pythagoras, who, from his Temperance I conclude is still 
living and well. I send him the Picture of a Brother Philos- 
opher in this Country. And withal I send you a Piece of 
our American Husbandry, which will show you something 
of the State of Agriculture among us; and a Book of 
our Poetry too, which from so remote a Country may prob- 
ably be esteem' d some Curiosity if it has no other Merit. 
With the sincerest Esteem & Affection, I am, 
Dear Sir 

Your most obedient 

humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN 



356. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN ' (p. c.) 

DEAR STRANEY philada Dec " '* '? 6 3- 

I have before me your Favours of July 16 and Aug* 18 
which is the latest. It vexes me excessively to see that 
Parker and Mecom are so much in Arrear with you. What 
is due from Parker is safe, and will be paid I think with 
Interest; for he is a Man as honest as he is industrious, 
and frugal, and has withal some Estate; his Backwardness 
has been owing to his bad Partners only, of whom he is now 
nearly quit. But as to Mecom, he seems so dejected and 
spiritless that I fear little will be got of him. He has dropt 
his Paper on which he built his last Hopes. I doubt I shall 
lose 200 by him myself but am taking Steps to save what 
I can for you ; of which more fully in my next. 

Now I am return'd from my long Journeys which have 
consumed the whole Summer, I shall apply Myself to such 

1 From the original in the possession of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. ED. 



212 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1763 

a Settlement of all my Affairs, as will enable me to do what 
your Friendship so warmly urges. I have a great Opinion 
of your Wisdom (Madeira apart) and am apt enough to 
think that what you seem so clear in, and are so earnest 
about, must be right. Tho' I own that I sometimes suspect 
my Love to England and my Friends there, seduces me a 
little, and makes my own middling Reasons for going over, 
appear very good ones. We shall see in a little Time how 
Things will turn out. Blessings on your Heart for the 
Feast of Politicks you gave me in your last. I could by no 
other means have obtained so clear a View of the present 
State of your public Affairs as by your Letter. Most of 
your Observations appear to me extreamly judicious, strik- 
ingly clear and true. I only differ from you in some of the 
melancholy Apprehensions you express concerning Conse- 
quences; and to comfort you (at the same time flattering 
my own Vanity) let me remind you that I have sometimes 
been in the right in such Cases, when you happen' d to be 
in the wrong; as I can prove upon you out of this very 
Letter of yours. Call to mind your former Fears for the 
King of Prussia, and remember my telling you that the 
Man's Abilities were more than equal to all the Force of 
his Enemies, and that he would finally extricate himself and 
triumph. This by the Account you give me from Major 
Beckwith, is fully verified. You now fear for our virtuous 
young King, that the Faction forming will overpower him 
and render his Reign uncomfortable. On the contrary, I 
am of Opinion that his Virtue and the Consciousness of his 
sincere Intentions to make his People happy will give him 
Firmness and Steadiness in his Measures and in the Support 
of the honest Friends he has chosen to serve him ; and when 



1763] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 213 

that Firmness is fully perceiv'd, Faction will dissolve and be 
dissipated like a Morning Fog before the rising Sun, leaving 
the rest of the Day clear with a Sky serene and cloudless. 
Such after a few of the first Years will be the future course of 
his Majesty's Reign, which I predict will be happy and truly 
glorious. Your Fears for the Nation, too, appear to me as 
little founded. A new War I cannot yet see Reason to appre- 
hend. The Peace I think will long continue, and your 
Nation be as happy as they deserve to be, that is, as happy 
as their moderate Share of Virtue will allow them to be: 
Happier than that no outward Circumstances can make a 
Nation any more than a private Man. And as to their 
Quantity of Virtue I think it bids fair for Increasing; if 
the old Saying be true, as it certainly is, 
Ad exemplar Regis, etc. 

My Love to Mrs. Strahan and your Children in which 
my Wife and Daughter join, with 

Your ever affectionate Friend 

B. FRANKLIN 

P. S. The Western Indians about Fort Detroit now sue 
for Peace, having lost a great Number of their best 
Warriors in their vain Attempt to reduce that Fortress; 
and being at length assur'd by a Belt from the French Com- 
mander in the Ilinois Country, that a Peace is concluded 
between England and France, that he must evacuate the 
Country and deliver up his Forts, and can no longer supply 
or support them. It is thought this will draw on a general 
Peace. I am only afraid it will be concluded before these 
Barbarians have sufficiently smarted for their perfidious 
breaking the last. 



214 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

The Governor of Detroit, Major Gladwin, has granted 
them a Cessation of Arms till the General's Pleasure is 
known. 

357. TO SIR FRANCIS BERNARD 1 (B. M.) 

Philadelphia, January n, 1764. 

SIR : Having heard nothing from Virginia concerning 
your Son, I have at length thought the best & surest Way 
of bringing him safely here, will be to send from hence a 
sober, trusty Person to conduct him up, who will attend him 
on the Road, etc. I have accordingly this Day agreed with 
Mr Ennis, a very discreet Man, to make the Journey, who 
sets out to-morrow Morning. I shall send with him my 
own Horse for Mr Bernard, and Money to bear his expences, 
with a Letter to Mr. Johnson, engaging to pay any Acc't he 
may have against your Son, or any reasonable Debts he may 
have contracted there. I hope this will be agreable to you, 
& answer the End. I am, with sincere respect, your Ex- 
cellency's most obedient and most humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 
[Endorsed Jan. 21. 1764.] 

358. TO ANTHONY TODD 2 

Philadelphia, January 16. 1764. 

SIR: In my last I wrote you that Mr. Foxcroft, my 
colleague, was gone to Virginia, where, and in Maryland, 

1 B. M. Add., MSS., 12,099. Sir Francis Bernard (1711-1779), governor 
of New Jersey in 1758 ; transferred to Massachusetts Bay in 1760. ED. 

2 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. X, p. 297. A. Todd was secretary of the general post office. ED. 



1764] TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 215 

some offices are yet unsettled. We are to meet again in 
April at Annapolis, and then shall send you a full account 
of our doings. I will now only just mention that we hope 
in the spring to expedite the communication between Boston 
and New York, as we have already that between New York 
and Philadelphia, by making the mails travel by night as 
well as by day, which has never heretofore been done in 
America. It passes now between Philadelphia and New 
York so quick that a letter can be sent from one place to 
another, and an answer received the day following, which 
before took a week, and when our plan is executed between 
Boston and New York, letters may be sent and answers 
received in four days, which before took a fortnight; and 
between Philadelphia and Boston in six days, which before 
required three weeks. We think this expeditious communi- 
cation will greatly increase the number of letters from Phila- 
delphia and Boston by the packets to Britain. 



359. TO MRS. CATHERINE GREENE 1 

Philadelphia, February 15, 1764. 
DEAR FRIEND, 

I have before me your most acceptable favour of Decem- 
ber 24th. Publick business and our publick confusions have 
so taken up my attention, that I suspect I did not answer it 
when I received it, but am really not certain; so, to make 
sure, I write this line to acknowledge the receiving of it, and 
to thank you for it. I condole with you on the death of the 

1 From "The Familiar Letters of Benjamin Franklin," Boston, 1833, p. 88. 
ED. 



216 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

good old lady, your mother. Separations of this kind from 
those we love are grievous; but it is the will of God, that 
such should be the nature of things in this world. All that 
ever were born are either dead, or must die. It becomes us 
to submit, and to comfort ourselves with the hope of a better 
life and more happy meeting hereafter. 

Sally kept to her horse the greatest part of the journey, 
and was much pleased with the tour. She often remembers, 
with pleasure and gratitude, the kindnesses she met with, 
and received from our friends everywhere, and particularly 
at your house. She talks of writing by this post; and my 
dame sends her love to you, and thanks for the care you 
took of her old man, but, having bad spectacles, cannot 
write at present. 

Mr. Kent's compliment is a very extraordinary one, as 
he was obliged to kill himself and two others in order to 
make it ; but, being killed in imagination only, they and he 
are all yet alive and well, thanks to God, and I hope will 
continue so as long as, dear Katy, your affectionate friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. My best respects to Mr. Greene, and love to "the 
little dear creatures." I believe the instructions relating 
to the post-office have been sent to Mr. Rufus Greene. 



360. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (P.O.) 

DEAR POLLY, Phiiad- March 14, 1764. 

I have received your kind Letters of Aug^ 30 and Nov. 16. 
Please to return my Thanks, with those of my Friend, to* 

1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



1764] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 217 

Mr. Stanley for his Favour in the Musick, which gives great 
Satisfaction. I am glad to hear of the Welfare of the Blunt 
Family, and the Addition it has lately received ; and particu- 
larly that your Dolly's Health is mended. Present my best 
Respects to them, and to the good Dr. and Mrs. Hawkes- 
worth, when you see them. 

I believe you were right in dissuading your good Mother 
from coming hither. The Proposal was a hasty Thought 
of mine, in which I considered only some Profit she might 
make by the Adventure, and the Pleasure to me and my 
Family from the Visit ; but forgot poor Polly, and what her 
Feelings must be on the Occasion, and perhaps did not suf- 
ficiently reflect, that the Inconveniencies of such a Voyage, 
to a Person of her Years and Sex, must be more than the 
Advantages could compensate. 

I am sincerely concerned to hear of Mrs. Rooke's long- 
continued Affliction with that cruel Gout. My best Wishes 
attend her and good Mrs. Tickell. Let me hear from you 
as often as you can afford it. You can scarce conceive the 
Pleasure your Letters give me. Blessings on his Soul, that 
first invented Writing, without which, I should, at this 
Distance, be as effectually cut off from my Friends in Eng- 
land, as the Dead are from the Living. But I write so little,, 
that I can have no Claim to much from you. Business, 
publick and private, devours all my Time. I must return 
to England for Repose. With such Thoughts I flatter my- 
self, and need some kind Friend to put me often in mind, 
that old Trees cannot safely be transplanted. 

Adieu, my amiable Friend, and believe me ever yours 
most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 



218 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

361. TO JOHN CANTON 1 (R. s.) 

Philad a Mar. 14, 1764. 

DEAR SIR, 

When I left London, I promis'd myself the Pleasure of a 
regular Correspondence with you and some others of the 
ingenious Gentlemen that compos'd our Club. But after 
so long an Absence from my Family and Affairs, I found, as 
you will easily conceive, so much Occupation, that philosoph- 
ical Matters could not be attended to, and my last Summer 
was almost wholly taken up in long Journeys. I am now a 
little better settled, and take the Liberty of Beginning that 
Commerce of Letters with you, in which I am sure to be the 
Gainer. 

I have little that is new at present to offer you. I have 
made no Experiments myself. Mr. Kinnersley has shewn 
me one, that I think is mention'd in a Letter of his to me, 
which I left in London, and it is a beautiful one to see. By 
a stroke from his Case of Bottles pass'd thro' a fine Iron 
Wire, the Wire appears first red hot, and then falls in Drops, 
which burn themselves into the Surface of the Table or 
Floor. The Drops cool round like very small Shot. I 
enclose some of them. This proves that the Fusion of Iron 
by a Stroke of Lightning may be a hot and not a cold Fusion 
as we formerly supposed, and is agreable to the Ace* pub- 
lished some Years since in the Transactions, of the Effects 
of Lightning on a Bell Wire in Southwark. 

1 From the original in the Library of the Royal Society (" Canton Papers "). 
John Canton (1718-1772), electrician, was elected F.R.S. March 22, 1749. 
He was the first successfully to repeat in England the experiments of Frank- 
lin. ED. 



1764] TO JOHN CANTON 219 

Mr. Kinnersley told me of a much stranger Experiment, 
to wit, that when he had sometimes electrify'd the Air in his 
Room, he open'd the Windows and Doors, and suffer' d the 
Wind to blow through, which made no Alteration in the 
electric state of the Room tho' the whole Air must have 
been changed; That he had even try'd the same abroad 
in the open Air on a windy Day, and found the Electricity 
remained long after the Operation, tho' the Air first electri- 
fy'd must have been all driven away. This surpris'd me, as 
it seem'd to indicate that some fix'd Medium subsisted be- 
tween the Particles of Air, thro' which Medium they might 
pass as Sand can thro' Water; and that such fix'd Medium 
was capable of Electrisation. I went to see it, but had 
however my Doubts that there might be some Deception 
in the Experiment; and tho' at first it seem'd to succeed 
astonishingly, I afterwards found what I thought might 
occasion the Deception. As your little Balls, which were 
us'd to discover the Electricity by their Separation, would be 
too much disturb'd by the Wind when it blow'd fresh, Mr. 
Kinnersley had put them into a Phial, suspended from the 
bottom of the Cork. They were as easily affected there, 
by any Electricity in the outward Air as if they had not been 
enclos'd; but I suspect that the Glass receives some Degree 
of Electricity from the electris'd Air, and so kept the Balls 
separated after the electris'd Air was blown away. I think 
Mr. Kinnersley was not quite satisfy'd with that Solution 
of the Phenomenon. I wish you would try it when you have 
Leisure, and let me know the Result. 

An ingenious Gentleman in Boston, 1 who is a friend of 
mine, desired me when there last Summer, to recommend a 

1 James Bowdoin. ED. 



220 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

good Instrumentmaker to him, to make a Pedestal of a 
new Construction for his Reflecting Telescope. I accord- 
ingly recommended our Friend Nairne ; but as it was a new 
Thing to Mr. Nairne, it might be well for preventing Mis- 
takes, to get some Gentleman accustomed to the Use of 
Telescopes in Astronomical Observations, to inspect the 
Execution; and I took the Liberty to mention you, as one 
who would be good enough to take that Trouble if he re- 
quested it. I find he has accordingly wrote to you and sent 
his Telescope. If it may not be too much Trouble, I hope 
you will oblige him in it, and I shall take it as a Favour 
to me. I send you enclosed a second Letter of his. The 
Charge of Postage that you pay should be put into his 
Account. I have no Improvement to propose. The Whole 
is submitted to you. 

Please to present my respectful Compliments to Lord 
Charles Cavendish & Mr. Cavendish when you see them, to 
whom I am much obliged for their Civilities to me when 
I was in England. Also to Mr. Price, Mr. Burgh, Mr. 
Rose, and the rest of that happy company with whom I 
pass'd so many agreable Evenings that I shall always think 
of with Pleasure. My best Respects to Mrs. Canton, and 
believe me, with sincere Regard, 

Dear Sir, your most obedient 

& most humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN; 



1764] TO JOHN FOTHERGILL, M.D. 221 

362. TO JOHN FOTHERGILL, M.D. 1 

March 14, 1764. 

DEAR DOCTOR, I received your favour of the loth of 
December. It was a great deal for one to write whose time 
was so little his own. By the way, when do you intend 
to live? i.e., to enjoy life. When will you retire to your 
villa, give yourself repose, delight in viewing the operations 
of nature in the vegetable creation, assist her in her works, 
get your ingenious friends at times about you, make them 
happy with your conversation, and enjoy theirs : or, if alone, 
amuse yourself with your books and elegant collections ? 

To be hurried about perpetually from one sick chamber to 
another is not living. Do you please yourself with the 
fancy that you are doing good? You are mistaken. Half 
the lives you save are not worth saving, as being useless, 
and almost all the other half ought not to be saved, as being 
mischievous. Does your conscience never hint to you the 
impiety of being in constant warfare against the plans 
of Providence? Disease was intended as the punishment 
of intemperence, sloth, and other vices, and the example of 
that punishment was intended to promote and strengthen 
the opposite virtues. But here you step in officiously with 
your Art, disappoint those wise intentions of nature, and 
make men safe in their excesses, whereby you seem to me 
to be of just the same service to society as some favourite 
first minister who out of the great benevolence of his heart 

1 From "The Life of Benjamin Franklin," Bigelow, 5th ed., 1905, Vol. I, p. 
452*. The original is in the possession of Mr. John Henry Gurney, of Keswick 
Hall, Norwich. ED. 



222 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1764 

should procure pardons of all criminals that applied to him; 
only think of the consequences. 

You tell me the Quakers are charged on your side of the 
water with being, by their aggressions, the cause of the war. 
Would you believe it that they are charged here, not with 
offending the Indians and thereby provoking the war, but 
with gaining their friendship by presents, supplying them 
privately with arms and ammunition, and engaging them to 
fall upon and murder the poor white people on the frontiers ? 
Would you think it possible that thousands even here should 
be made to believe this, and many hundreds of them be 
raised in arms, not only to kill some converted Indians, 
supposed to be under the Quakers' protection, but to punish 
the Quakers who were supposed to give that protection? 
Would you think these people audacious enough to avow 
such designs in a public declaration, sent to the Governor? 
Would you imagine that innocent Quakers, men of fortune 
and character, should think it necessary to fly for safety out 
of Philadelphia into the Jersies, fearing the violence of such 
armed mobs, and confiding little in the power or inclination 
of the government to protect them? And would you imagine 
that strong suspicions now prevail that those mobs, after 
committing so barbarous murders hitherto unpunished, are 
privately tampered with to be made instruments of govern- 
ment to awe the Assembly into proprietary measures ? And 
yet all this has happened within a few weeks past. 

More wonders. You know that I don't love the pro- 
prietary and that he does not love me. Our totally different 
tempers forbid it. You might therefore expect that the late 
new appointments of one of his family would find me ready 
for opposition. And yet when his nephew arrived, our 



1764] TO JOHN FOTHERGILL, M.D. 223 

Governor, I considered government as government, and 
paid him all respect, gave him on all occasions my best 
advice, promoted in the Assembly a ready compliance with 
every thing he proposed or recommended, and when those 
daring rioters, encouraged by general approbation of the 
populace, treated his proclamation with contempt, I drew 
my pen in the cause ; wrote a pamphlet (that I have sent you) 
to render the rioters unpopular; promoted an association 
to support the authority of the Government and defend the 
Governor by taking arms, signed it first myself and was 
followed by several hundreds, who took arms accordingly. 
The Governor offered me the command of them, but I chose 
to carry a musket and strengthen his authority by setting 
an example of obedience to his order. And would you 
think it, this proprietary Governor did me the honour, in 
an alarm, to run to my house at midnight, with his coun- 
sellors at his heels, for advice, and made it his head-quarters 
for some time. And within four and twenty hours, your 
old friend was a common soldier, a counsellor, a kind of 
dictator, an ambassador to the country mob, and on his 
returning home, nobody again. All this has happened in a 
few weeks. 

More wonders! The Assembly received a Governor of 
the Proprietary family with open arms, addressed him with 
sincere expressions of kindness and respect, opened their 
purses to them, and presented him with six hundred pounds j 
made a Riot Act and prepared a Militia Bill immediately, 
at his instance, granted supplies, and did everything that he 
requested, and promised themselves great happiness under 
his administration, j But suddenly his dropping all inquiries 
after the murderers, and his answering the disputes of the 



224 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

rioters privately and refusing the presence of the Assembly 
who were equally concerned in the matters contained in 
their remonstrance, brings him under suspicion; his insult- 
ing the Assembly without the least provocation by charging 
them with disloyalty and with making an infringement on 
the King's prerogatives, only because they had presumed to 
name in a bill offered for his assent a trifling officer (some- 
what like one of your toll-gatherers at a turnpike) without 
consulting him, and his refusing several of their bills or 
proposing amendments needless disgusting. \ \ 

These things bring him and his government into sudden 
contempt. All regard for him in the Assembly is lost. All 
hopes of happiness under a Proprietary Government are at 
an end. It has now scarce authority enough to keep the 
common peace, and was another to come, I question, though 
a dozen men were sufficient, whether one could find so many 
in Philadelphia willing to rescue him or his Attorney General, 
I won't say from hanging, but from any common insult. 
All this too happened in a few weeks. 

In fine, everything seems in this country, once the land of 
peace and order, to be running fast into anarchy and confusion. 
But we hope there is virtue enough in your great nation to 
support a good Prince in the execution of a good government 
and the exercise of his just prerogatives against all the at- 
tempts of unreasonable faction. I have been already too 
long. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever, yours 
affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 



1764] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN* 225 

363. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Philadelphia, March 30, 1764. 

DEAR FRIEND : I begin to think it long since I had the 
pleasure of hearing from you. 

Enclosed is one of our last Gazettes, in which you will 
see that our dissensions are broke out again, more violently 
than ever. Such a necklace of Resolves ! and all nemine 
contradicentej I believe you have seldom seen, (if you can 
find room for them and our messages in the Chronicle (but 
perhaps 'tis too much to ask), I should be glad to have them 
there ; as it may prepare the minds of those in power for an 
application that I believe will shortly be made from this 
Province to the crown, to take the government into its own 
hands. They talk of sending me over with it, but it will be 
too soon for me. At least I think so at present. Adieu, 
my dear Friend, and believe me ever 

Yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. My love to my young Wife, and to Mrs. Strahan, 
Rachey, Billy, &c., &c. In your next tell me how you all do, 
and don't oblige me to come and see before I am quite ready. 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. Ill, p. 246. ED. 



VOL. IV Q 



226 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 
364. COOL THOUGHTS 

ON THE 

PRESENT SITUATION 

OF OUR 
PUBLIC AFFAIRS. 

IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND IN THE COUNTRY. 

Philadelphia: Printed by W. Dunlap 

MDCCLXIV. 



Dr. Franklin returned from his first mission to England in 1762, 
having accomplished the object for which he was sent out. It was 
decided, that the proprietary estates in Pennsylvania should be taxed 
in due proportion for the defence of the colony. Thus was taken away 
a source of contention, which had embroiled the assembly and gov- 
ernors for many years. Other difficulties, however, soon after arose, in 
consequence of the opposition of the governor to the wishes of the 
assembly. The disputes grew every day more warm, and the discon- 
tents became general throughout the province. In this state of things, 
it was proposed to petition the King to take the government of the 
colony into his own hands, after making a proper remuneration to the 
proprietaries ; or, in other words, to convert the Proprietary Govern- 
ment into a Royal Government. The following piece was written in 
defence of this measure. S. 



Philadelphia, April 12, 1764. 

SIR, 

Your Apology was unnecessary. It will be no Trouble, 
but a Pleasure, if I can give you the Satisfaction you desire. 
I shall therefore immediately communicate to you my Mo- 
tives for approving the Proposal of endeavouring to obtain a 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 227 

Royal Government, in Exchange for this of the Proprietaries ; 
with such Answers to the Objections you mention, as, in 
my Opinion, fully obviate them. 

I do not purpose entering into the Merits of the Disputes 
between the Proprietaries and the People. I only observe 
it as a Fact known to us all, that such Disputes there are, 
and that they have long subsisted, greatly to the Prejudice of 
the Province, clogging and embarrassing all the Wheels of 
Government, and exceedingly obstructing the publick De- 
fence, and the Measures wisely concerted by our Gracious 
Sovereign, for the common Security of the Colonies. I may 
add it as another Fact, that we are all heartily tired of these 
Disputes. j( 

It is very remarkable, that Disputes of the same Kind have 
arisen in All Proprietary Governments, and subsisted till 
their Dissolution; All were made unhappy by them, and 
found no Relief but in recurring finally to the immediate 
Government of the Crown. Pennsylvania and Maryland, are 
the only Two of the Kind remaining, and both at this In- 
stant agitated by the same Contentions between Proprietary 
Interest and Power, and Popular Liberty. Thro' these 
Contentions the good People of that Province are rendered 
equally unhappy with ourselves, and their Proprietary, per- 
haps, more so than our's ; for he has no Quakers in his As- 
sembly to saddle with the Blame of those Contentions, nor 
can he justify himself with the Pretence, that turning to the 
Church has made his People his Enemies. 

Pennsylvania had scarce been settled Twenty Years, 
when these Disputes began between the first Proprietor and 
the original Settlers ; they continued, with some Intermissions, 
during his whole Life; his Widow took them up, and con- 



228 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

tinued them after his Death. Her Sons resumed them very 
early, 1 and they still subsist. Mischievous and distressing 
as they have been found to both Proprietors and People, 
it does not appear that there is any Prospect of their being 
extinguished, till either the Proprietary Purse is unable to 
support them, or the Spirit of the People so broken, that they 
shall be willing to submit to any Thing, rather than continue 
them. The first is not very likely to happen, as that im- 
mense Estate goes on increasing. 

| Considering all Circumstances, I am at length inclined to 
tnink, that the Cause of these miserable Contentions is not 
to be sought for merely in the Depravity and Selfishness of 
human Minds. For tho' it is not unlikely that in these, as 
well as in other Disputes, there are Faults on both Sides, 
every glowing Coal being apt to inflame its Opposite; yet 
I see no Reason to suppose that all Proprietary Rulers are 
worse Men than other Rulers, nor that all People in Pro- 
prietary Governments are worse People than those in other 
Governments. I suspect therefore, that the Cause is radi- 
cal, interwoven in the Constitution, and so become of the very 
Nature, of Proprietary Governments; and will therefore 
produce its Effects, as long as such Governments continue. 
And, as some Physicians say, every Animal Body brings into 
the World among its original Stamina the Seeds of that Dis- 
ease that shall finally produce its Dissolution ; so the Polit- 
ical Body of a Proprietary Government, contains those 
convulsive Principles that will at length destroy it. 

I may not be Philosopher enough to develop those Prin- 
ciples, nor would this Letter afford me Room, if I had Abili- 

1 See their Message to the Assembly, in which the Right of sitting on their 
own Adjournments is denied. F. 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 229 

ties, for such a Discussion. The Fact seems sufficient for our 
Purpose, and the Fact is notorious, that such Contentions 
have been in all Proprietary Governments, and have brought, 
or are now bringing, them all to a Conclusion. I will only 
mention one Particular common to them all. Proprietaries 
must have a Multitude of private Accounts and Dealings 
with almost all the People of their Provinces, either for 
Purchase money or Quit-rents. Dealings often occasion 
Differences, and Differences produce mutual Opinions of 
Injustice. If Proprietaries do not insist on small Rights, 
they must on the Whole lose large Sums; and if they do 
insist on small Rights, they seem to descend, their Dignity 
suffers in the Opinion of the People, and with it the Respect 
necessary to keep up the Authority of Government. The 
People, who think themselves injured in Point of Property, 
are discontented with the Government, and grow turbulent; 
and the Proprietaries using their Powers of Government to 
procure for themselves what they think Justice in their 
Points of Property, renders those Powers odious. I suspect 
this has had no small Share in producing the Confusions 
incident to those Governments. They appear, however, to 
be, o) all others, the most unhappy. 

At present we are in a wretched Situation. The Govern- 
ment that ought to keep all in Order, is itself weak, and has 
scarce Authority enough to keep the common Peace. Mobs 
assemble and kill (we scarce dare say murder) Numbers of 
innocent People in cold Blood, who were under the Protec- 
tion of the Government. Proclamations are issued to bring 
the Rioters to Justice. Those Proclamations are treated 
with the utmost Indignity and Contempt. Not a Magistrate 
dares wag a Finger towards discovering or apprehending the 



230 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

Delinquents, (we must not call them Murderers.) They as- 
semble again, and with Arms in their Hands approach the 
Capital. The Government truckles, condescends to cajole 
them, and drops all Prosecution of their Crimes; whilst 
honest Citizens, threatened in their Lives and Fortunes, flie 
the Province, as having no Confidence in the Publick Pro- 
tection. We are daily threatened with more of these Tu- 
mults; and the Government, which in its Distress call'd 
aloud on the sober Inhabitants to come with Arms to its 
Assistance, now sees those who afforded that Assistance 
daily libelPd, abus'd, and menaced by its Partizans for so 
doing ; whence it has little Reason to expect such Assistance 
on another Occasion : 

In this Situation, what is to be done ? By what Means is 
that Harmony between the two Branches of Government to 
be obtained, without which the internal Peace of the Province 
cannot be well secured ? One Project is, to turn all Quakers 
out of the Assembly; or, by obtaining more Members for 
the Back Counties, to get a Majority in, who are not Quak- 
ers. This, perhaps, is not very difficult to do; and more 
Members for those Counties may, on other Accounts, be 
proper; but I much question if it would answer this End, 
as I see among the Members, that those who are not Quakers, 
and even those from the Back Counties, are as hearty and 
unanimous in opposing what they think Proprietary In- 
justice, as the Quakers themselves, if not more so. Religion 
has happily nothing to do with our present Differences, tho' 
great Pains is taken to lug it into the Squabble. And even 
were the Quakers extirpated, I doubt whether the Proprie- 
taries, while they pursue the same Measures, would be a 
Whit more at their Ease. 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 231 

Another Project is, to chuse none for Assembly-men but 
such as are Friends to the Proprietaries. The Number of 
Members is not so great, but that I believe this Scheme 
may be practicable, if you look for Representatives 
among Proprietary Officers and Dependants. Undoubtedly 
it would produce great Harmony between Governor and 
Assembly: But how would both of them agree with the 
People ? Their Principles and Conduct must greatly change, 
if they would be elected a second Year. But that might be 
needless. Six Parts in Seven agreeing with the Governor, 
could make the House perpetual. This, however, would 
not probably establish Peace in the Province. The Quarrel 
the People now have with the Proprietaries, would then be 
with both the Proprietaries and Assembly. There seems to 
remain, then, but one Remedy for our Evils, a Remedy 
approved by Experience, and which has been tried with 
Success by other Provinces; I mean that of an immediate 
Royal Government, without the Intervention of Proprietary 
Powers, which, like unnecessary Springs and Movements in 
a Machine are so apt to produce Disorder. 

It is not to be expected that the Proposal of a Change like 
this, should meet with no Objections. Those you have 
mentioned to me concerning Liberty of Conscience and the 
Privileges of Dissenters, are, however, not difficult to answer; 
as they seem to arise merely from want of Information, or 
Acquaintance with the State of other Colonies, before and 
after such Changes had been made in their Government. 
Carolina and the Jerseys, were formerly Proprietary Govern- 
ments, but now immediately under the Crown; and their 
Cases had many Circumstances similar to ours. Of the 
First we are told, 



232 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

"There was a natural Infirmity in the Policy of their Char- 
ter, which was the Source of many of the Misfortunes of the 
Colony, without any Imputation on the noble Families con- 
cern'd. For the Grantees [the Proprietors] being eight in 
Number, and not incorporated, and no Provision being made 
to conclude the whole Number by the Voices of the Majority, 
there could not be timely Measures always agreed on, which 
were proper or necessary for the good Government of the Plan- 
tation. In the mean Time the Inhabitants grew unruly and 
quarrelled about Religion and Politicks ; and while there was 
a mere Anarchy among them, they were expos' d to the Attacks 
and Insults of their Spanish and Indian Neighbours, whom 
they had imprudently provok'd and injur'd; and as if they 
had conspir'd against the Growth of the Colony, they repealed 
their Laws for Liberty of Conscience, though the Majority of 
the People were Dissenters, and had resorted thither under 
the publick Faith for a compleat Indulgence, which they con- 
sidered as Part of their Magna Charta. Within these four 
Years an End was put to their Sorrows ; for about that Time, 
the Lords Proprietors and the Planters, (who had long been 
heartily tir'd of each other) were, by the Interposition of the 
Legislature, fairly divorced for ever, and the Property of the 
Whole vested in the Crown." 1 And the above-mention' d 
injudicious and unjust Act, against the Privileges of Dissenters, 
was repeal' d by the King in Council. 

Another Historian tells us, "Their intestine Distrac- 
tions, and their foreign Wars, kept the Colony so low, 
that an Act of Parliament, if possible to prevent the 
last ruinous Consequences of these Divisions, put the 

1 " New and Accurate Account of Carolina," p. 14 ; printed at London, 
1733- F. 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 233 

Province under the immediate Care and Inspection of the 
Crown." 1 

And Governor Johnson, at his first meeting the Assembly 
there, after the Change, tells them, 

"His Majesty, out of his great Goodness and Fatherly Care 
of you, and at the earnest Request and Solicitation of your- 
selves, has been graciously pleased, at a great Expence, to 
purchase seven Eighths of the late Lords Proprietaries Char- 
ter, whereby you are become under his immediate Govern- 
ment ; a Blessing and Security we have been long praying for, 
and solicitous of ; the good Effects of which we daily experience 
by the Safety we enjoy, as well in our Trade, by the Protection 
of his Ships of War, as by Land, by an Independent Company 
maintain' d purely for our Safety and Encouragement. The 
taking off the Enumeration of Rice is a peculiar Favour," 
&c. 2 

By these Accounts we learn, that the People of that Prov- 
ince, far from losing by the Change, obtain'd internal Security 
and external Protection, both by Sea and Land ; the Dissen- 
ters a Restoration and Establishment of their Privileges, which 
the Proprietary Government attempted to deprive them of; 
and the whole Province, Favours in point of Trade with 
respect to their grand Staple Commodity, which from that 
Time they were allowed to carry directly to foreign Ports, 
without being oblig'd, as before, to enter in England. 

With regard to the neighbouring Province of New-Jersey, 
we find, in a Representation from the Board of Trade to the 
Crown, dated "Whitehall, October 2, 1701," the following 

1 " Account of the British Settlements in America," p. 233, concerning 
Carolina. F. 

2 Historical Register, No. 63, for 1731. F. 



234 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1764 

Account of it, viz. "That the Inhabitants, in a Petition to his 
Majesty the last Year, complained of several Grievances they 
lay under by the Neglect or Mismanagement of the Pro- 
prietors of that Province, or their Agents; unto which they 
also added, that during the whole Time the said Proprietors 
have govern'd, or pretended to govern, that Province, they 
have never taken care to preserve or defend the same from 
the Indians, or other Enemies, by sending or providing any 
Arms, Ammunition or Stores, as they ought to have done; 
and the said Inhabitants thereupon humbly prayed, his 
Majesty would be pleased to commissionate some fit Person, 
to be Governor over them. That it has been represented to 
us by several Letters, Memorials, and other Papers, as well 
from the Inhabitants as Proprietors, that they are at present 
in Confusion and Anarchy, and that it is much to be appre- 
hended, lest by the Heats of the Parties that are amongst 
them, they should fall into such Violences, as may endanger 
the Lives of many Persons, and destroy the Colony." 1 

In Consequence of these Disorders, and Petitions from the 
People, the Proprietors were oblig'd to surrender that Gov- 
ernment to the Crown; Queen Anne then reigning; who of 
all our Crowned Heads since the Revolution, was by far the 
least favourable to Dissenters ; yet her Instructions to Lord 
Cornbury, her first Governor, were express and full in their 
Favour, viz. 

"Instr. 51. You are to permit a Liberty of Conscience to 
all Persons (except Papists) so that they may be contented 
with a quiet and peaceable Enjoyment of the same, not giving 
Offence or Scandal to the Government." 

1 " Grants and Concessions, and Original Constitutions of New Jersey," 
printed at Philadelphia by W. Bradford, p. 606. F. 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 235 

"Instr. 52. And whereas we have been informed that 
divers of our good Subjects inhabiting those Parts, do make a 
religious Scruple of Swearing, and by reason of their refusing 
to take an Oath in any Court of Justice and other Places, are 
or may be liable to many Inconveniencies, our Will and Pleas- 
ure is, that in Order to their Ease in what they conceive to 
be Matter of Conscience, so far as may be consistent with 
good Order and Government, you take Care that an Act be 
passed in the General Assembly of our said Province, to the 
like Effect as that passed here in the Seventh and Eighth 
Years of his late Majesty's Reign, entitled, 'An Act that the 
solemn Affirmation and Declaration of the People called 
Quakers, shall be accepted instead of an Oath in the usual 
Form;' and that the same be transmitted to us, and to our 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, as before directed. 

"Instr. 53. And whereas we have been farther informed, 
that in the Settlement of the Government of our said Province, 
it may so happen, that the Number of Inhabitants fitly quali- 
fied to serve in our Council, in the General Assembly, and in 
other Places of Trust and Profit there, will be but small ; it is 
therefore our Will and Pleasure, that such of the said People 
called Quakers, as shall be found capable of any of those 
Places and Employments, and accordingly be elected or ap- 
pointed to serve therein, may, upon their taking and signing 
the Declaration of Allegiance to us, in the Form used by the 
same People here in England, together with a solemn Declara- 
tion for the true Discharge of their respective Trusts, be 
admitted by you into any of the said Places or Employ- 
ments," &C. 1 

And the same Privileges have been, and still are, fully 

1 " Grants and Concessions," &c., p. 633. F. 



236 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

enjoy'd in that Province by Dissenters of all kinds ; the Coun- 
cil, Assembly, and Magistracy being filPd with Episcopalians, 
Presbyterians, and Quakers, promiscuously, without the least 
Distinction or Exclusion of any. We may farther remark, 
on the above Report of the Board of Trade, That the Defence 
of a Proprietary Province was originally look'd upon as the 
Duty of the Proprietaries, who received the Quit-rents, and 
had the Emoluments of Government ; whence it was, that in 
former Wars, when Arms, Ammunition, Cannon, and Military 
Stores of all Kinds, have been sent by the Crown to all the 
Colonies under its immediate Government, whose Situation 
and Circumstances requir'd it, nothing of the Kind has been 
sent to Proprietary Governments. And to this Day, neither 
Pennsylvania nor Maryland have receiv'd any such Assistance 
from the Crown; nor did Carolina, till it became a King's 
Government. 

Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England, lost its Charter in 
the latter End of King Charles's Reign, when the Charters 
of London, and all the Corporations in England, were seized. 
At the Revolution the Crown gave them a better Constitution, 
which they enjoy to this Day: No Advantages were taken 
against the Privileges of the People, tho' then universally 
Dissenters. The same Privileges are enjoy'd by the Dissen- 
ters in New Hampshire, which has been a Royal Government 
ever since 1679, when the Freeholders and Inhabitants peti- 
tion'd to be taken under the immediate Protection of the 
Crown. Nor is there existing in any of the American Colo- 
nies, any Test imposed by Great Britain, to exclude Dis- 
senters from Offices. In some Colonies, indeed, where the 
Episcopalians and in others the Dissenters, have been pre- 
dominant, they have made partial Laws in favour of their 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 237 

respective Sects, and laid some Difficulties on the others ; but 
those Laws have been, generally, on Complaint, repealed at 
home. 

It is farther objected, you tell me, that "if we have a Royal 
Government, we must have with it a Bishop, and a Spiritual 
Court, and must pay Tythes to support an Episcopal Clergy." 
A Bishop for America has been long talk'd of in England,, and 
probably from the apparent Necessity of the Thing, will 
sooner or later be appointed ; because a Voyage to England 
for Ordination is extreamly inconvenient and expensive to 
the young Clergy educated in America; and the Episcopal 
Churches and Clergy in these Colonies cannot so conveniently 
be governed and regulated by a Bishop residing in England, 
as by one residing among these committed to his Care. But 
this Event will happen neither sooner nor later for our being, 
or not being, under a Royal Government. And the Spiritual 
Court, if the Bishop should hold one, can have Authority only 
with his own People, if with them, since it is not likely that 
any Law of this Province will ever be made to submit the 
Inhabitants to it, or oblige them to pay Tithes ; and without 
such Law, Tithes can no more be demanded here than they 
are in any other Colony ; and there is not a single Instance of 
Tithes demanded or paid in any part of America. A Main- 
tenance has, indeed, been established in some Colonies, for 
the Episcopal Clergy ; as in Virginia, a Royal Government ; 
and in Maryland, a Proprietary Government : But this was 
done by Acts of their own, which they were not oblig'd to 
make, if they did not chuse it. 

That we shall have a standing Army to maintain, is another 
Bugbear rais'd to terrify us from endeavouring to obtain a 
King's Government. It is very possible, that the Crown may 



238 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

think it necessary to keep Troops in America henceforward, 
to maintain its Conquests, and defend the Colonies ; and that 
the Parliament may establish some Revenue arising out of the 
American Trade, to be apply 'd towards supporting those 
Troops. It is possible, too, that we may, after a few Years 
Experience, be generally very well satisfy'd with that Meas- 
ure, from the steady Protection it will afford us against Foreign 
Enemies, and the Security of internal Peace among ourselves, 
without the Expence or Trouble of a Militia. But assure your- 
self, my Friend, that whether we like it or not, our continuing 
under a Proprietary Government will not prevent it, nor our 
coming under a Royal Government promote and forward it, 
anymore than they would prevent or procure Rain or Sunshine. 
The other Objections you have communicated to me, are, 
that, "in case of a Change of Proprietary for Royal Govern- 
ment, our Judges and other Officers will be appointed and 
sent us from England ; we must have a Legislative Council ; 
our Assembly will lose the Right of Sitting on their own Ad- 
journments ; we shall lose the Right of chusing Sheriffs, and 
annual Assemblies, and of voting by Ballot." I shall not 
enter into the Question, whether Judges from England would 
probably be of Advantage or Disadvantage to our Law Pro- 
ceedings. It is needless, as the Power of appointing them is 
given to the Governor here, by a Law that has received the 
Royal Assent, the Act for establishing Courts. The King's 
Governor only comes in Place of a Proprietary Governor; 
he must (if the Change is made) take the Government as he 
finds it. He can alter nothing. The same Answer serves for 
all the subsequent Objections. A Legislative Council under 
proper Regulations might perhaps be an Amendment of our 
Constitution, but it cannot take Place without our Consent, 



1764] COOL THOUGHTS 239 

as our Constitution is otherwise established; nor can our 
Assembly lose the Right 0} Sitting on their own Adjournments; 
nor the People that of chusing Sheriffs, and annual Assem- 
blies, or of Voting by Ballot; these Rights being all confirmed 
by Acts of Assembly assented to by the Crown. I mean the 
Acts entitled, "An Act to ascertain the Number of Members 
of Assembly and to regulate the Elections;" and "An Act for 
Regulating the Elections of Sheriffs and Coroners;" both 
passed in the 4th of Queen Anne. 

I know it has been asserted, to intimidate us, that those 
Acts, so far from being approved by the Crown, were never 
presented. But I can assure you, from good Authority, that 
they, with forty-eight others, (all pass'd at the same time by 
Governor Evans,) were duly laid before the Queen in Council ; 
who on the 28th of April, 1709 referred the same to the Board 
of Trade. The Board, on the 8th of September, 1709, re- 
ported upon the said Fifty Acts, that they had considered the 
same, and had taken the Opinion of the Attorney- General 
upon several of them in point of Law ; and they represented 
against Six of them, as unfit to be continued in force ; but as 
to the other forty-four, the Titles of which are given at large, 
and among them the two material Acts above mentioned, they 
had no Objection to the same. Whereupon there issued two 
Orders of the Queen in Council both dated at the Court at 
Windsor, the 24th of October, 1 709, one repealing the Six Laws 
objected to; and the other, approving the remaining Forty-four. 

This is a Fact that you may depend upon. There is there- 
fore nothing now that can deprive us of those Privileges but 
an Act of Parliament ; and we may rely on the united Justice 
of King, Lords, and Commons, that no such Act will ever 
pass, while we continue loyal and dutiful Subjects. An Act 



240 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1764 

of Assembly, indeed may give them up ; but I trust, urgent as 
they are for Admission, we shall never see Proprietary Friends 
enow in the House to make that detestable Sacrifice. 

In fine, it does not appear to me, that this Change of Gov- 
ernment can possibly hurt us; and I see many Advantages 
that may flow from it. The Expression, Change of Govern- 
ment, seems, indeed, to be too extensive; and is apt to give 
the Idea of a general and total Change of our Laws and Con- 
stitution. It is rather and only a Change o) Governor, that is, 
instead of self-interested Proprietaries, a gracious King! 
His Majesty who has no Views but for the Good of the People, 
will thenceforth appoint the Governor, who, unshackled by 
Proprietary Instructions, will be at Liberty to join with the 
Assembly in enacting wholesome Laws. At present, when 
the King requires Supplies of his faithful Subjects, and they 
are willing and desirous to grant them, the Proprietaries inter- 
vene and say, unless our private Interests in certain Particulars 
are served, NOTHING SHALL BE DONE. This insolent Tri- 
bunitial VETO has long encumbered all our Publick Affairs, 
and been productive of many Mischiefs. By the Measure 
proposed, not even the Proprietaries can justly complain of 
any Injury. The being obliged to fulfill a fair Contract is no 
Injury. The Crown will be under no Difficulty in compleat- 
ing the old Contract made with their Father, as there needs no 
Application to Parliament for the necessary Sum, since half 
the Quit-Rents of the Lower Counties belongs to the King, 
and the many Years Arrears in the Proprietaries' Hands, who 
are the Collectors, must vastly exceed what they have a Right 
to demand, or any Reason to expect. 1 

1 In 1722, the Arrears then in their Hands were computed at ,18,000 
Sterling. F. 



1764] TO PETER COLLINSON 241 

On the whole, I cannot but think, the more the Proposal 
is considered, of an humble Petition to the KING to take this 
Province under his Majesty's immediate Protection and Gov- 
ernment, the more unanimously we shall go into it. We are 
chiefly People of three Countries: British Spirits can no 
longer bear the Treatment they have received, nor will they 
put on the Chains prepared for them by a Fellow Subject. 
And the Irish and Germans have felt too severely the Oppres- 
sions of hard-hearted Landlords and arbitrary Princes, to wish 
to see, in the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, both the one and 
the other united. 

I am, with much Respect, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble Servant, 

A. B. 



365. TO PETER COLLINSON (p. c.) 

Philad* April 12, 1764. 

DEAR SIR 

We have just received the following Advice from Northamp- 
ton County, viz. one David Owens, a Soldier belonging to the 
Regulars, but deserted some time since to the Indians, came 
in last Week to Capt. Carns's Post and deliver'd himself up. 
He brought with him a white Boy that had been taken Pris- 
oner by the Indians last Fall, when they kilPd the People in 
the Flat upon Delaware; and also five fresh Indian Scalps. 
The Account given by him and the Boy is, that they were 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Frank T. Sabin. The follow- 
ing note is written upon the letter, in the handwriting of Peter Collinson : 

" The above bloody scheme of D. Owen to atone for his Desertion is very 
shocking. What must the Five Indian Nations think of the White Men who 
vie with them in Cruelties?" ED. 

VOL. IV R 



242 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

with a Party of nine Indians, to wit, 5 men, 2 Women, and 
2 Children, coming down Susquehanah to fetch Corn from 
their last Year's Planting Place ; that they went ashore and 
encamp'd at Night and made a Fire by which they slept : 
that in the Night Owens made the White Boy get up from 
among the Indians, and go to the other side of the Fire ; and 
then taking up the Indians' Guns, he shot two of the Men 
immediately, and with his Hatchet dispatched another Man 
together with the Women and Children. Two Men only 
made their Escape. Owens scalp'd the 5 grown Persons, 
and bid the White Boy scalp the Children ; but he declined it, 
so they were left. He reports that the Indians were assembling 
in great Numbers when he left them. 
I am Sir 

Your most obedient Servant 

B. FRANKLIN 



366. TO PETER COLLINSON * (B. M.) 

Philad a , April 30, 1764. 

DEAR FRIEND 

I have before me your kind Notices of Feb. 3. and Feb. 10. 
Those you enclosed for our Friend Bartram were carefully 
delivered. I have not yet seen the Squib you mention against 
your People, in the Supplement to the Magazine ; but I think 
it impossible they should be worse us'd there than they have 
lately been here ; where sundry inflammatory Pamphlets are 
printed and spread about to excite a mad armed Mob to 
massacre them. And it is my Opinion they are still in some 
Danger, more than they themselves seem to apprehend, as 

1 Purchased for the British Museum, at Sotheby's, May 5, 1904. ED. 



1764] TO PETER COLLINS ON 243 

our Government has neither Goodwill nor Authority enough 
to protect them. 

By the enclos'd Papers you will see that we are all to pieces 
again; and the general Wish seems to be a King's Govern- 
ment. If that is not to be obtained, many talk of quitting the 
Province, and among them your old Friend, who is tired of 
these Contentions, & longs for philosophic Ease and Leisure. 

I suppose by this Time the Wisdom of your Parliament has 
determin'd in the Points you mention, of Trade, Duties, 
Troops and Fortifications in America. 

Our Opinions or Inclinations, if they had been known, 
would perhaps have weigh'd but little among you. We are 
in your Hands as Clay in the Hands of the Potter ; and so in 
one more Particular than is generally consider'd: for as the 
Potter cannot waste or spoil his Clay without injuring him- 
self, so I think there is scarce anything you can do that may 
be hurtful to us, but what will be as much or more so to you. 
This must be our chief Security ; for Interest with you we 
have but little. The West Indians vastly outweigh us of the 
Northern Colonies. What we get above a Subsistence we 
lay out with you for your Manufactures. 

Therefore what you get from us in Taxes you must lose in 
Trade. The Cat can yield but her skin. And as you must 
have the whole Hide, if you first cut Thongs out of it, 'tis at 
your own Expence. The same in regard to our Trade with 
the foreign West India Islands. If you restrain it in any 
Degree, you restrain in the same Proportion our Power of 
making Remittances to you & of course our Demand for 
your Goods; for you will not clothe us out of Charity, tho' 
to receive 100 per cent for it in Heaven. In time perhaps 
Mankind may be wise enough to let Trade take its own Course, 



244 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

find its own Channels, and regulate its own Proportions, etc. 
At present, most of the Edicts of Princes, Placaerts, Laws & 
Ordinances of Kingdoms & States for that purpose, prove 
political Blunders. The Advantages they produce not being 
general for the Commonwealth; but particular, to private 
Persons or Bodies in the State who procur'd them, and at the 
Expence of the rest of the People. Does no body see, that if 
you confine us in America to your own Sugar Islands for that 
Commodity, it must raise the Price of it upon you in Eng- 
land ? Just so much as the Price advances, so much is every 
Englishman tax'd to the West Indians. 

Apropos, Now we are on the Subject of Trade and Manu- 
factures, let me tell you a Piece of News, that though it might 
displease a very respectable Body among you, the Button- 
makers, will be agreable to yourself as a Virtuoso : It is, that 
we have discover'd a Beach in a Bay several Miles round, the 
Pebbles of which are all in the Form of Buttons, whence it is 
called Button-mold Bay; where thousands of Tons may be had 
for fetching ; and as the Sea washes down the slaty Cliff, more 
are continually manufacturing out of the Fragments by the 
Surge. I send you a Specimen of Coat, Wastecoat & Sleeve 
Buttons; just as Nature has turn'd them. But I think I 
must not mention the Place, lest some Englishman get a 
Patent for this Button-mine, as one did for the Coalmine 
at Louisburgh, and by neither suffering others to work it, 
nor working it himself, deprive us of the Advantage God & 
Nature seem to have intended us. As we have now got 
Buttons, 'tis something towards our Cloathing; and who 
knows but in time we may find out where to get Cloth ? 
for as to our being always supply'd by you, 'tis folly to ex- 
pect it. Only consider the rate of our Increase, and tell me 



1764] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 245 

if you can increase your Wooll in that Proportion, and 
where, in your little Island you can feed the Sheep. Nature 
has put Bounds to your Abilities, tho' none to your Desires. 
Britain would, if she could, manufacture & trade for all the 
World; England for all Britain; London for all England; 
and every Londoner for all London. So selfish is the 
human Mind ! But 'tis well there is One above that rules 
these Matters with a more equal Hand. He that is pleas'd 
to feed the Ravens, will undoubtedly take care to prevent 
a Monopoly of the Carrion. Adieu, my dear Friend, & 

believe me ever 

Yours most affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN l 



367. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 2 

Philadelphia, May I, 1764. 

DEAR STRANEY : I received your favour of December 
2O th . You cannot conceive the satisfaction and pleasure 
you give your friends here by your political letters. Your 
accounts are so clear, circumstantial, and complete, that 

1 Endorsed upon this letter is the following note in the handwriting of 
Peter Collinson: "Extract from Dr. Gale of Conecticut May 10: 1764 If 
the report of what your T - r ^ment has done for us be complyed with, wee 
must then drink Wine of our own Making or none at all. 

" The more duties Wee pay the less British Manufactures wee shall be able 
to Import and the more wee must be obliged to Manufacture both Woolen 
& Linnen You may easily foresee the Consequences if you by Severe Laws 
force us to it for so fond is the Generallity of our People of Noveltys, they 
had rather have goods manufactured from you, than do it themselves but 
necessity will force them." ED. 

2 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. Ill, p. 248. ED. 



246 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1764 

tho' there is nothing too much, nothing is wanting to give 
us, as I imagine, a more perfect knowledge of your publick 
affairs than most people have that live among you. The 
characters of your speakers and actors are so admirably 
sketch'd, and their views so plainly opened, that we see and 
know everybody; they all become of our acquaintance. 
So excellent a manner of writing seems to me a superfluous 
gift to a mere printer. If you do not commence author for 
the benefit of mankind, you will certainly be found guilty 
hereafter of burying your talent. It is true that it will 
puzzle the Devil himself to find anything else to accuse you 
of, but remember he may make a great deal of that. If I 
were king (which may God in mercy to us all prevent) I 
should certainly make you the historiographer of my reign. 
There could be but one objection I suspect you might 
be a little partial in my favour. But your other qualifica- 
tions for an historian being duly considered, I believe we 
might get over that. 

Our petty publick affairs here are in the greatest confusion, 
and will never, in my opinion, be composed, while the Pro- 
prietary Government subsists. I have wrote a little piece 
(which I send enclos'd) to persuade a change. People talk 
of sending me to England to negotiate it, but I grow very 
indolent. Bustling is for younger men. 

Mrs Franklin, Sally, and my son and daughter of the 
Jerseys, with whom I lately spent a week, all join in best 
wishes of prosperity to you and all yours with, dear sir, 
Your affectionate humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN 

P. S. I will do everything in my power to recommend 



1764] TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 247 

the work Mr. Griffith l mentions, having the same senti- 
ments of it that you express. But I conceive many more of 
them come to America than he imagines. Our booksellers, 
perhaps, write for but few, but the reason is that a multi- 
tude of our people trade more or less to London; and all 
that are bookishly dispos'd receive the reviews singly from 
their correspondents as they come out. 



368. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 3 

Philadelphia, May 24, 1764. 
DEAR KINSMAN, 

The bearer is the Reverend Mr. Rothenbuler, minister 
of a new Calvinist German Church lately erected in this 
city. The congregation is but poor at present, being many 
of them new comers, and (like other builders) deceived in 
their previous calculations, they have distressed themselves 
by the expense of their building ; but, as they are an indus- 
trious, sober people, they will be able in time to afford that 
assistance to others, which they now humbly crave for 
themselves. 

His business in Boston is, to petition the generous and 
charitable among his Presbyterian brethren for their kind 
benefactions. As he will be a stranger in New England, 
and I know you are ready to do every good work, I take the 
freedom to recommend him and his business to you for your 

1 Ralph Griffiths (1720-1803) was at this time making vigorous efforts to 
increase the circulation of the Monthly Review, the success of which was be- 
ing injured by the rivalry of Smollett's Critical Review. ED. 

2 From " Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Frank- 
lin," Boston, 1833, p. 93. ED. 



248 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

friendly advice and countenance. The civilities you show 
him shall be acknowledged as done to your affectionate 

uncle > B. FRANKLIN. 



369. TO GEORGE WHITEFIELD (A. p. s.) 



DEAR FRIEND, philada > June I9 ' 

I received your Favours of the 2ist past, and of the 3d 
Instant, and immediately sent the inclos'd as directed. 

Your frequently repeated Wishes and Prayers for my 
Eternal, as well as temporal Happiness are very obliging. 
I can only thank you for them and offer you mine in re- 
turn. I have myself no Doubts that I shall enjoy as much 
of both as is proper for me. That Being who gave me 
Existence, and thro' almost threescore Years has been con- 
tinually showering his Favours upon me, whose very Chas- 
tisements have been Blessings to me; can I doubt that he 
loves me? And, if he loves me, can I doubt that he will 
go on to take care of me, not only here but hereafter ? This 
to some may seem Presumption; to me it appears the best 
grounded Hope; Hope of the Future, built on Experience 
of the Past. 

By the Acc te I have of your late Labours, I conclude 
your Health is mended by your Journey, which gives me 
Pleasure. Mrs. Franklin presents her cordial Respects, 
with those of, dear Sir, your affect, humble Serv 4 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. We hope you will not be deterr'd from visiting 
your Friends here by the bugbear Boston Ace 1 of the Un- 
healthiness of Philad*. 



1764] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 249 

370. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 (P. c.) 

Philad a , June 25. 1764. 

DEAR SIR : I wrote a few lines to you via Liverpool ; 
but they were too late for the Ship, and now accompany 
this. 

I gave Mr Parker a Power of Attorney to act for you and 
myself with respect to Mecom's Affairs, who has, under 
Oath, surrendred all he possess 'd into his Hands, to be 
divided proportionably between us and his other Creditors, 
which are chiefly Rivington and Fletcher, and Hamilton 
and Balfour. The Effects consist of a Printing Press, some 
tolerably good Letters, and some Books and Stationary. 
He has rendered particular and exact Accounts, but his 
All will fall vastly short of Payment. I suppose it will 
scarce amount to 4/ in the Pound. Parker thinks him honest, 
and has let him have a small Printing House at Newhaven, 
in Connecticut where he is now at work ; but having a Wife 
and a Number of small Children, I doubt it will be long 
ere he gets anything beforehand so as to lessen much of his 
old Debt. I think it would be well for each of his Creditors 
to take again what remains unsold of their respective Goods, 
of which there are separate Accounts, and join in impower- 
ing Mr. Parker to sell the Remainder, to be divided among 
us. Tho' on second Thoughts, perhaps the fairest Way 
is to sell and divide the whole. You can obtain their Senti- 
ments, and send me your own. As to what Parker owes 
you, it is very safe, and you must have Interest. 

1 From the original in the possession of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. ED. 



250 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

I hope the Bath will fully re-establish good Mrs. Strahan's 
Health. I enjoy the Pleasure with which you speak of your 
Children. God has been very good to you, from whence 
I think you may be assured, that he loves you, and that he 
will take at least as good Care of your future Happiness as 
he has done of your present. What Assurance of the Future 
can be better founded than that which is built on Experi- 
ence of the Past? Thank me for giving you this Hint, by 
the Help of which you may die as chearfully as you live. 
If you had Christian Faith, quantum suff., this might not be 
necessary ; but as matters are it may be of Use. 

Your Political Letters are Oracles here. I beseech you 
to continue them. With unfeigned Esteem, I am, as ever, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN. 



371. TO JOHN WINTHROP 1 (H.) 

Philad a July 10, 1764. 

I RECEIVED your Favour of the i2 l . h past, and congratulate 
you on the Recovery of M" Winthrop & your Children 
from the Small Pox. 

Mr. Stiles returned Apinus to me sometime since. I 
must confess I am pleas 'd with his Theory of Magnetism. 
Perhaps I receive it the more readily on Ace 1 of the Relation 
he has given it to mine of Electricity. But there is one 
Difficulty I cannot solve by it quite to my satisfaction, which 
is, that if a Steel Ring be made Magnetical by passing Mag- 

1 John Winthrop (1714-1779), Professor of Mathematics and Natural 
Philosophy at Harvard College (1738- 17 79). ED. 



1764] TO JOHN IVINTHROP 251 

nets properly round it, and afterwards broken into two semi- 
circles each of them will have strong N. & S. Poles, in what- 
ever part the Ring is broken. I have not try'd this, but 
have been assur'd 'tis so & I know that a magnetic Bar 
broken has after Breaking 4 Poles, i.e. it becomes two com- 
pleat Bars. 

I think with him that Impermeability to the El. Fluid, 
is the Property of all El. per Se; or that, if they permit it 
to pass at all, it is with Difficulty, greater or less in different 
El. per Se. Glass hot permits it to pass freely, and in the 
different degrees between hot and cold may permit it to pass 
more or less freely. 

I shall think of the affair of your unfortunate College, 
and try if I can be of any Service in procuring some Assist- 
ance towards restoring your Library. Please to present 
my respectful Compliments to Dr. Chauncy, M r Elliot & 
Mr. Cooper & believe me with sincere esteem 
Sir 

Your most obedient 
humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

My respects to the President & to M r Danforth. 1 

1 The President was the Rev. Edward Holyoke, who held office 1737-1769. 
Samuel Danforth (1696-1777) was President of the Council of the Massachu- 
setts Colony, and a student of natural philosophy and chemistry. ED. 



252 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

372. TO COLONEL HENRY BOUQUET 1 (B. M.) 

Philadelphia, August 16, 1764. 

DEAR SIR: Returning just now from the Board of 
Commissioners, I found your agreable favour of the loth 
instant. We had a Meeting on Tuesday, when your Letter 
to the Governor was laid before us, his Honour not present 
and the Board thin. I think none but myself spoke then 
for the measure recommended; so to prevent its being too 
hastily refus'd, I moved to refer it to this Day, when we 
might have a fuller Board. The principal objection was, 
that the Act did not empower us to go farther. To-day 
we got over that Objection and all others, and came to a 
Resolution which will be communicated to you by the Gov- 
ernor, I suppose, and the Money sent by Captain Young. 
We have fully, as we understand it, comply'd with your 
Requisition. And 'tis a Pleasure to me to have done every 
thing you wish'd me to do in the Affair before the Receipt 
of your Letter. 

I recollect that I once in Conversation promised you some 
Papers I had by me, containing Hints for Conducting an 
Indian War. I have since found them, and on looking them 
over, am of Opinion you will meet with nothing new in 
them that is of any Importance; however, to keep my 
Promise, I now send them enclosed. 

1 B. M. Add. MSS., 21,650. 

Colonel Bouquet was born at Rolle, in the canton of Berne, in 1719. He 
entered the British service in 1754, and was with Washington in the expedi- 
tion against Fort Duquesne, under General Forbes, in 1758. He died at 
Pensacola, Florida, in 1765. ED. 



1764] TO COLONEL HENRY BOUQUET 253 

The June Packet is arrived from England, as is also our 
friend Mr. Allen, but we have no News by them that is 
material. France and England are both diligently repair- 
ing their Marine; but I suppose 't is a Matter of course, 
and not with Intention of any new Rupture. The Minis- 
terial Party is said to be continually gaining Strength and 
the Opposition diminishing. Abroad the Poles are cutting 
one another's Throats a little, about their Election. But 
't is their Constitution, and I suppose reckon'd among their 
Privileges to sacrifice a few Thousands of the Subjects 
every interregnum either to the Manes of the deceas'd King, 
or to the Honour of his Successor. And if they are fond of 
this Privilege, I don't know how their Neighbours have any 
right to disturb them in the enjoyment of it. And yet the 
Russians have entered their Country with an Army to pre- 
serve Peace! and secure the FREEDOM of the Election! 

It comes into my mind that you may easily do me a Kind- 
ness, and I ought not, by omitting to acquaint you with the 
Occasion, deprive you of the Pleasure you take in serving 
your Friends. By this Ship I hear that my Enemies (for 
God has blessed me with two or three, to keep me in order) 
are now representing me at home as an Opposer and Ob- 
structor of his Majesty's Service here. If I know anything 
of my own Heart, or can remember any thing of my own 
Actions, I think they might have as justly have accus'd me 
of being a blackamoore. You cannot but have heard of 
the Zeal and Industry with which I have promoted the Ser- 
vice in the time of General Braddock, and the Douceurs I 
procured for the Officers that served under him. I spent a 
Summer in that Service without a Shilling Advantage to 
myself, in the Shape of Profit, Commission, or any other 



254 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

way whatsoever. I projected a Method of supplying Gen- 
eral Shirley with 10,000 worth of Provisions, to be given 
at his Request by this Province, and carried the same thro' 
the House, so as to render it effectual; together with a Gift 
of some Hundreds of warm Wastecoats, Stockings, Mittens, 
etc., for the Troops, in their first Winter Service at Albany. 
And at Lord Loudon's Request I so managed between the 
Governor and Assembly as to procure the Passage of the 
60,000 Act then greatly wanted, and which met with great 
difficulty. On your Arrival here you know the Readiness 
with which I endeavour'd to serve the Officers in the Affair 
of their Quarters. And you have been a Witness of my 
Behaviour as a Commissioner, in the Execution of the pres- 
ent Act, and of my Forwardness to carry at the Board every 
Measure you proposed to promote the Service. What I 
would request is, that you would take Occasion in some 
Letter to me to express your Sentiments of my Conduct in 
these Respects so far as has come to your Knowledge or 
fallen under your Observation. My having such a Letter 
to produce on Occasion may possibly be of considerable 
Service to me. With the most perfect Esteem, I am, dear 

sir, your most obedient humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

Mrs. Franklin and Sally join me in Prayers for your 
Success and happy Return. 

I send you enclos'd our last political Pamphlet, to amuse 
you on some rainy day. 



1764] TO ANTHONY TODD 255 

373. TO ANTHONY TODD 1 (P.R.O.) 

Philada., Sept. 2, 1764. 

SIR : We have just received some important News from 
Presquisle, on Lake Erie, which it is my Duty to take this 
first Opportunity of communicating thro' you to his Majesty's 
Postmaster General. 

The Public Papers, before this can come to hand, will 
have informed you that Sir William Johnson had held a 
Treaty at Niagara, & concluded a Peace with all the Indian 
Nations or Tribes that were at War with us, the Delawares, 
Shawanese, and other Ohio Indians excepted, who had 
haughtily refused to send Deputies to the Congress. We 
were much concerned to hear of their standing out, as by 
their Situation they were most capable of injuring this and 
the neighbouring Provinces, and had actually committed all 
the late Ravages on the Frontiers of Pensilvania and Vir- 
ginia. But these People being inform'd that Col. Bouquet, 
from this Province, with 1000 of our Provincials, besides 
Regulars, was on his March towards their Country; and 
that Col. Bradstreet, with a considerable Force of Regulars, 
and New York and New Jersey Provincials, was advancing 
along the Back of their Territories by Lake Erie, they suddenly 
chang'd their Resolution of continuing the War, and sent 
ten of their principal Men as Deputies, who met Col. Brad- 
street at Presquisle, and in the most submissive Manner 
acknowledg'd their Fault in commencing this War on the 
English without the least Cause or Provocation, and humbly 
1 P. R. O. A. W. 1. 197. ED. 



256 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

begg'd for Mercy and Forgiveness, and that a Peace might 
be granted them. The Colonel, after severely reproving 
them, granted them Peace on the following Terms : 

1. That all the Prisoners now in their Country should be 
immediately collected and delivered up to him at Sandusky 
within 25 days, none to remain among them under any pre- 
tence of Marriage, Adoption, or otherwise, and the unwill- 
ing to be forc'd away. 

2. That they should cede to the English, and renounce 
forever all Claim to the Posts or Forts now or late in our 
Possession in their Country. And that we should be at 
Liberty to erect as many new Forts or Trading Houses 
as we pleased, wherever we thought them necessary for 
Security of our Trade. And that round each Fort now or 
hereafter to be built, they should cede to us forever as much 
Land as a Cannon could throw a Shot over, to be cultivated 
by our People for the more convenient furnishing Provisions 
to the Garrison. 

3. That in Case any one of the Tribes should hereafter 
renew the War against the English, the others should join 
us in reducing them and bringing them to Reason. And 
that particular Murderers hereafter given up to preserve 
Peace, should be tried by the English Law, the Jury to be 
half Indians of the same Nation with the Criminal. 

4. That six of the Deputies should remain with him as 
Hostages, till the Prisoners were restored and these Articles 
confirmed. 

These Terms were thankfully accepted and signed by the 
Deputies with their Marks as usual ; they declaring themselves 
fully authorized for that purpose by the Shawanese, Dela- 
wares, Hurons of Sandusky, and the other Tribes inhabiting 



1764] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 257 

the Plains of Scioto, and all the Countries between Lake 
Erie and the Ohio. 

The other four Deputies, with an English Officer and an 
Indian, were immediately dispatched to acquaint the Nations 
with what had passed, and inform them that the Colonel 
would not discontinue his March, but proceed to Sandusky, 
where he expected their Chiefs would meet him and ratify 
the Treaty; otherwise they should find two Armies of War- 
riors in their Country, and no future Proposals of Peace 
would be hearkned to, but they should be cut off from the 
Face of the Earth. 

If this Peace holds, it will be very happy for these Col- 
onies. We only Apprehend, that the Savages, obtaining a 
Peace so easily, without having suffered the Chastisement 
they deserve for their late Perfidy, and without being oblig'd 
to make any Restitution or Satisfaction for the Goods they 
robb'd our Merchants of, and the Barbarities they com- 
mitted (except the Cession of those small Tracts round Forts), 
will more readily incline to renew the War, on every little 
Occasion. 

Be pleased to present my Dutiful Respects to the Post- 
master-General; and believe me, with much Esteem, sir, 
your most obedient humble Servant, fi p 



374. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Philadelphia, September 24, 1764. 

DEAR MR. STRAHAN : I wrote to you of the first instant, 
and sent you a bill for 13, and a little list of books to be 

1 From John Bigelow, "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. Ill, p. 253. -Eo. 

VOL. IV S 



258 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

bought with it. But as Mr. Becket has since sent them to 
me, I hope this will come time enough to countermand that 
order. The money, if you have received it, may be paid 
to Mr. Stephenson, to whom we have wrote for sundry things. 

I thank you for inserting the messages and resolutions 
entire. I believe it has had a good effect ; for a friend writes 
me that it is astonishing with what success it was propagated 
in London by the Proprietaries; that the resolutions were 
the most indecent and undutiful to the Crown, &c., so that 
when he saw them, having before heard those reports, he 
could not believe they were the same. 

I was always unwilling to give a copy of the chapter * 
for fear it would be printed, and by that means I should be 
deprived of the pleasure I often had in amusing people 
with it. I could not, however, refuse it to the two best men 
in the world, Lord Kames and Mr. Small, and should not 
to the third if he had not been a printer. But you have 
overpaid me for the loss of that pleasure by the kind things 
you have so handsomely said of your friend in the intro- 
duction. 

You tell me that the value I set on your political letters 
is a strong proof that my judgment is on the decline. People 
seldom have friends kind enough to tell them that disagree- 
able truth, however useful it might be to know it; and 
indeed I learn more from what you say than you intended 
I should; for it convinces me that you had observed the 
decline for some time past in other instances, as 't is very 
unlikely you should see it first in my good opinion of your 
writings; but you have kept the observation to yourself 
till you had an opportunity of hinting it to me kindly under 

1 See " Parable upon Persecution." ED. 



1764] TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 259 

the guise of modesty in regard to your own performances. 
I will confess to you another circumstance that must con- 
firm your judgment of me, which is that I have of late 
fancy'd myself to write better than ever I did ; and, farther, 
that when any thing of mine is abridged in the papers or 
magazines, I conceit that the abridger has left out the very 
best and brightest parts. These, my friend, are much 
stronger proofs, and put me in mind of Gil Bias's patron, 
the homily-maker. 

I rejoice to hear that Mrs Strahan is recovering; that 
your family in general is well, and that my little woman in 
particular is so, and has not forgot our tender connection. 
The enlarging of your house and the coach-house and stables 
you mention make me think of living with you when I come ; 
for I love ease more than ever, and by daily using your 
horses I can be of service to you and them by preventing 
their growing too fat and becoming restif . 

Mrs Franklin and Sally join in best wishes for you and 
all yours, with your affectionate 

B. FRANKLIN. 

DEAR SIR : I wrote a few lines to you by this opportunity, 
but omitted desiring you to call on Mr. Jackson of the Temple 
and pay him for the copying a manuscript he sent me which 
he paid the stationer for doing on my account. Yours 
affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



260 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

375. TO PETER COLLINSON l (P. c.) 

Philad* Sept. 24. 1764 

DEAR FRIEND 

I received your kind Letter of June 29. We hear nothing 
here of the Proprietary's relenting. If any have it in charge 
from him to offer Concessions for Peace sake (as we are 
told from your side the Water they have) they keep them 
back in hopes the next Election may put the Proprietaries in 
a Condition not to need the proposing them. A few Days 
will settle this Point. 

I receiv'd the Medal and have sent it forward to Mr. 
Elliot. 

I shall endeavour to procure you some more of the Natural 
Buttons as soon as possible. I am glad my Remarks that 
accompany'd them gave you any Satisfaction. 2 

Our Friend John Bartram has sent a very curious Collec- 
tion of Specimens of all the uncommonly valuable Plants 
and Trees of North America to the King. He was strongly 
persuaded by some to send them thro' the Hands of the Pro- 
prietary as the only proper Channel : but I advis'd him not 
to pass by his old Friend, to whom it must seem Neglect. 
He readily concur'd with my Opinion, and has sent the Box 
to you. I am assur'd you have Means enough of introducing 
his Present properly : but as John seem'd willing to have as 
many Strings as possible to his Bow, for fear of Accidents 
I mention'd Dr. Pringle to him as a good Friend of the Arts, 
and one who would lend any Assistance in the Matter if nec- 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. ED. 

2 See letter to Collinson, dated April 30, 1764. ED. 



1764] REMARKS ON A MILITIA BILL 261 

essary. He is Physician to the Queen ; and I have, in my 
Letter to him, hinted the Matter to him ; to prepare him if 
you should think fit to advise with him about it. 

I wish some Notice may be taken of John's Merit. It 
seems odd that a German Lad of his Neighborhood, who has 
only got some Smatterings of Botany from him, should be 
so distinguish'd on that Account, as to be sent for by the 
Queen, and our old Friend, who has done so much, quite 
forgotten. He might be made happy, as well as more use- 
ful, by a moderate Pension that would enable him to travel 
thro' all the New Acquisitions, with Orders to the Governors 
and Commanding Officers at the several Outposts, to forward 
and protect him in his Journeys. 

Please to acquaint Mr. Canton that I acknowledge the 
Receipt of his Letter, and shall write to him shortly. 
I am, my dear Friend, 

Yours affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN. 



376. REMARKS 

ON A PARTICULAR MILITIA BILL REJECTED BY THE 
PROPRIETOR'S DEPUTY, OR GOVERNOR. 

TO THE FREEMEN OF PENNSYLVANIA 

Philadelphia, September 28, 1764. 
GENTLEMEN, 

Your desire of knowing how the militia bill came to fail, 
in the last assembly, shall immediately be complied with. 

As the governor pressed hard for a militia law, to secure 
the internal peace of the province, and the people of this 



262 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

country had not been accustomed to militia service, the 
House, to make it more generally agreeable to the freeholders, 
formed the bill so that they might have some share in the 
election of the officers ; to secure them from having absolute 
strangers set over them, or persons generally disagreeable. 

This was no more, than that every company should choose, 
and recommend to the governor, three persons for each 
office of captain, lieutenant, and ensign; out of which three 
the governor was to commission one that he thought most 
proper, or which he pleased, to be the officer. And that the 
captains, lieutenants, and ensigns, so commissioned by the 
governor, should, in their respective regiments, choose and 
recommend three persons for each office of colonel, lieutenant- 
colonel, and major; out of which three the governor was to 
commission one, whichever he pleased, to each of the said 
offices. 

The governor's amendment to the bill in this particular 
was, to strike out wholly this privilege of the people, and 
take to himself the sole appointment of all the officers. 

The next amendment was, to aggravate and enhance all 
the fines. A fine that the assembly had made one hundred 
pounds, and thought heavy enough, the governor required 
to be three hundred pounds. What they had made fifty 
Pounds, he required to be one hundred and fifty. These 
were fines on the commissioned officers for disobedience to 
his commands; but the non-commissioned officers, or com- 
mon soldiers, whom, for the same offence, the assembly 
proposed to fine at ten pounds, the governor insisted should 
be fined fifty pounds. 

These fines, and some others to be mentioned hereafter, 
the assembly thought ruinously high. But when, in a subse- 



1764] REMARKS ON A MILITIA BILL 263 

quent amendment, the governor would, for offences among 
the militia, take away the trial by jury in the common courts ; 
and required, that the trial should be by a court-martial, 
composed of officers of his own sole appointing, who should 
have power of sentencing even to death ; the House could by 
no means consent thus to give up their constituents' liberty, 
estate, and life itself, into the absolute power of a proprietary 
governor; and so the bill failed. 

That you may be assured I do not misrepresent this matter, 
I shall give you the last-mentioned amendment (so called) 
at full length ; and for the truth and exactness of my copy, I 
dare appeal to Mr. Secretary Shippen. 

The words of the bill, page 43, were, "Every such person 
so offending, being legally convicted thereof," &c. By the 
words legally convicted was intended a conviction after 
legal trial, in the common course of the laws of the land. 
But the governor required this addition immediately to 
follow the words "convicted thereof," namely, "by a court- 
martial, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as such 
court, by their sentence or decree, shall think proper to 
inflict and pronounce. And be it farther enacted by the 
authority aforesaid, that when and so often as it may be 
necessary, the governor and commander-in-chief for the 
time being shall appoint and commissionate, under the great 
seal of this province, sixteen commissioned officers in each 
regiment ; with authority and power to them, or any thirteen 
of them, to hold courts-martial, of whom a field officer shall 
always be one, and president of the said court; and such 
courts-martial shall and are hereby empowered to adminis- 
ter an oath to any witness, in order to the examination or 
trial of any of the offences, which by this act are made cog- 



264 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

nizable in such courts, and shall come before them. Pro- 
vided always, that, in all trials by a court-martial by virtue 
of this act, every officer present at such trial, before any 
proceedings be had therein, shall take an oath upon the 
holy Evangelists, before one justice of the peace in the county 
where such court is held ; who are hereby authorized to ad- 
minister the same, in the following words, that is to say; 
'I, A B, do swear, that I will duly administer justice accord- 
ing to evidence, and to the directions of an act entitled, An 
Act for forming and regulating the militia of the province of 
Pennsylvania, without partiality, favour, or affection; and 
that I will not divulge the sentence of the court, until it shall 
be approved of by the governor or commander-in-chief of 
this province for the time being; neither will I, upon any 
account, at any time whatsoever, disclose or discover the 
vote or opinion of any particular member of the court-mar- 
tial. So help me God.' And no sentence of death, or 
other sentence, shall be given against any offender, but by 
the concurrence of nine of the officers so sworn. And no 
sentence passed against any offender by such court-martial 
shall be put in execution, until report be made of the whole 
proceedings to the governor or commander-in-chief of this 
province for the time being, and his directions signified 
thereupon." 

It is observable here, that, by the common course of justice, 
a man is to be tried by a jury of his neighbours and fellows, 
empanelled by a sheriff, in whose appointment the people 
have a choice. The prisoner too has a right to challenge 
twenty of the panel, without giving a reason, and as many 
more as he can give reasons for challenging; and before he 
can be convicted, the jury are to be unanimous ; they are all 



1764] REMARKS OJV A MILITIA BILL 265 

to agree that he is guilty, and are therefore all accountable 
for their verdict. But, by this amendment, the jury (if they 
may be so called) are all officers of the governor's sole ap- 
pointing; and not one of them can be challenged; and, 
though a common militia-man is to be tried, no common 
militia-man shall be of that jury ; and, so far from requiring 
all to agree, a bare majority shall be sufficient to condemn 
you. And, lest that majority should be under any check or 
restraint, from an apprehension of what the world might 
think or say of the severity or injustice of their sentence, an 
oath is to be taken, never to discover the vote or opinion of 
any particular member. 

These are some of the chains attempted to be forged for 
you by the proprietary faction ! Who advised the governor 
is not difficult to know. They are the very men, who now 
clamour at the assembly for a proposal of bringing the trial 
of a particular murder to this county from another, where 
it was not thought safe for any man to be either juryman or 
witness, and call it disfranchising the people, who are now 
bawling about the constitution, and pretending vast con- 
cern for your liberties. In refusing you the least means of 
recommending, or expressing your regard for, persons to be 
placed over you as officers, and who were thus to be made 
your judges in life and estate, they have not regarded the 
example of the King, our wise as well as kind master; who, 
in all his requisitions made to the colonies, of raising troops 
for their defence, directed, that, "the better to facilitate the 
important service, the commissions should be given to such 
as, from their weight and credit with the people, may be best 
enabled to effectuate the levies." l In establishing a militia 

1 See Secretary of State's Letters in the printed Votes. F. 



266 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

for the defence of the province, how could the "weight and 
credit" of men with the people be better discovered, than by 
the mode that bill directed, namely, by a majority of those 
that were to be commanded, nominating three for each 
office to the governor, of which three he might take the one 
he liked best? 

However, the courts-martial being established, and all 
of us thus put into his Honour's absolute power, the governor 
goes on to enhance the fines and penalties. Thus, in page 
49 of the bill, where the assembly had proposed the fine to 
be ten shillings, the governor required it to be ten pounds. 
In page 50, where a fine of five pounds was mentioned, the 
governor's amendment required it to be made fifty pounds. 
And, in page 44, where the assembly had said, "shall forfeit 
and pay any sum, not exceeding five pounds," the governor's 
amendment says, "shall suffer death, or such other punish- 
ment as shall, according to the nature of the offence, be in- 
flicted by the sentence of a court-martial." 

The assembly's refusing to admit of these amendments 
in that bill, is one of their offences against the lord proprie- 
tary, for which that faction are now abusing them in both 
the languages * of the province, with all the virulence that 
reverend malice can dictate; enforced by numberless bare- 
faced falsehoods, that only the most dishonest and base 
would dare to invent, and none but the most weak and credu- 
lous can possibly believe. 

VERITAS. 

1 That is, the English and German languages, both of which were used in 
Pennsylvania. ED. 



1764] TO COLONEL HENRY BOUQUET 267 



377. TO COLONEL HENRY BOUQUET (B. M.) 

Philad a , Sept. 30, 1764. 
DEAR SIR: 

I have been so totally occupied with the Sitting of the 
Assembly and other urgent Affairs, that I could not till now 
do myself the Pleasure of writing to you, since the Receipt 
of your obliging Favours of August 10 and 22, and a sub- 
sequent one relating to Bradstreet's Peace, of which I think 
as you do. I thank you cordially for so readily complying 
with my Request. Your Letter was quite full and sufficient, 
and leaves me nothing to desire by way of Addition, except 
that if any Letter of yours relating to the present Expedition 
is like to be seen by the Secretary of State, you would take 
occasion just to mention me as one ready on that and every 
other Occasion to promote the Service of the Crown. The 
Malice and Industry of my Adversaries have, I find, made 
these Precautions a little necessary. 

Your Sentiments of our Constitution are solid and just. 
I am not sure that the Change now attempted will immedi- 
ately take place, nor am I very anxious about it. But 
sooner or later it will be effected. And till it is effected, we 
shall have little internal Quiet in the Administration of our 
Public Affairs. 

I have lately received a Number of new Pamphlets from 
England and France, among which is a piece of Voltaire's 
on the Subject of Religious Toleration. I will give you a 
Passage of it, which being read here at a Time when we are 
torn to Pieces by Faction, religious and civil, shows us that 



268 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

while we sit for our Picture to that able Painter, 'tis no small 
Advantage to us that he views us at a favourable Distance : 
"Mais que dirons-nous, dit il, de ces pacifiques Primitijs 
que Ton a nommes Quakres par decision, et qui, avec des 
usages peut-etre ridicules, ont e*te* si vertueux, et ont enseigne* 
inutilement la paix aux reste des hommes? Ils sont en 
Pensylvanie au nombre de cent mille; la Discorde, la Con- 
tro verse, sont ignore*es dans 1'heureuse patrie qu'ils se sont 
faite, et le nom seul de leur ville de Philadelphie, qui leur 
rapelle a tout moment que les hommes sont freres, est Pex- 
emple et la honte des peuples qui ne connaissent pas encore 
la tolerance." 1 The Occasion of his Writing this Traite 
sur la Toltrance was what he calls "le Meurtre de Jean 
Galas, commis dans Toulouse avec le glaive de la Justice, 
le gme Mars 1762." There is in it abundance of good 
Sense and sound Reasoning mixed with some of those 
Pleasantries that mark the Author as strongly as if he had 
affixed his Name. Take one of them as a Sample: " J'ai 
aprens que le Parlement de Toulouse et quelques autres 
tribunaux, ont une jurisprudence singuliere: ils admettent 
des quarts, des tiers sixiemes de preuve. Ainsi, avec six 

1 " I do not find this passage precisely in any of Voltaire's writings. It 
certainly is not in the most accepted edition of his 'Traite sur la Tolerance.' 
Franklin probably quoted at second-hand, for Voltaire knew how to spell. 
What he actually wrote, and the foundation for Franklin's quotation, proba- 
bly will be found in his * Commentaire sur le livre des Delits et des Peines' 
(' GEuvres de Voltaire,' par Benchot, Vol. XLIII, p. 476), and runs as follows : 
Le Parlement de Toulouse a un usage bien singulier. On admet ailleurs des 
demi-preuves, qui au fond ne sont que des doutes ; car on sait qu'il n'y a 
point de demi-verite's, mais a Toulouse on admets des quarts et des huitiemes 
de preuves. On y peut regarder, par exemple, un oui-dire comme un quart, 
un autre oui-dire plus vague comme un huitieme ; de sorte que huit rumeurs 
qui ne sont qu'un echo d'un bruit mal fonde peuvent devenir une preuve 
complete.' " - B. 



1764] PREFACE TO POOR RICHARD, IMPROVED 269 

oui-dires (Tun cdte, trois de Pautre, & quatre quarts de 
presomtion ils forment trois preuves completes; et sur cette 
belle demonstration ils vous vouent un homme sans mise'ri- 
corde. Une le*ge*re connoissance de Tart de raisonner 
sufirait pour leur faire prendre une autre me'thode. Ce 
qu'on apelle une demi-preuve ne peut-tre qu'un soupcon: 
II n'y a point a la rigueur, de demi-preuve ou une chose est 
prouvde, ou elle ne Pest pas ; il n'y a point, de milieu. Cent 
mille soupcons re*unis ne peuvent pas plus etablir une preuve, 
que cent mille zeros ne peuvent composer un nombre. II y 
a des quarts de tous dans la musique ; mais il n'y a ni quart 
de ve'rite', ni quart de raisonnement." 

I send you one of the Pamphlets, Jugement dans I'affaire 
du Canady, supposing it may be the more agreeable to you to 
see it, as during your War with that Colony you must have 
been made acquainted with some of the Characters concerned. 

With the truest Esteem and Affection, I am, etc., 

B. FRANKLIN. 



378. PREFACE TO POOR RICHARD, IMPROVED 

1765 (p. H. s.) 

COURTEOUS READER, 

The Patriarch Noah, Founder of the New World after 
the Flood, is called a Preacher of Righteousness. Right- 
eousness, or Justice, is, undoubtedly, of all the Virtues, the 
surest Foundation on which to erect and establish a new State. 
But there are two humbler Virtues, Industry and Frugality, 
which tend more to increase the Wealth, Power and Grandeur 

of the Community, than all the others without them. 

Of these Virtues Poor Richard has been a Preacher now more 



270 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

than thirty Years, and, he hopes, not without some Success. - - 
He finds, however, that his Audience increases, and is thence 
encouraged to continue his Admonitions, assuring all that 
practice them, that they will reap great Advantages to them- 
selves, at the same time that they contribute to the Pros- 
perity of their Country. 

Taxes are of late Years greatly encreased among us, and 
now it is said we are to be burthened with the Payment of 
new Duties, while our Trade is at the same time to be 
curtailed and restricted. I do not mention these Things 

by Way of Complaint, or to excite Discontent in others. 

I know the late Wars have increased Public Debt, which can 
only be discharged by Taxes and Duties; and that 'tis just 
and necessary, public as well as private Debts should be 

honestly and punctually paid. I have heard too, that 

some of our Trade has been illegal, hurtful to the Nation, 

and therefore ought to be restricted : And yet, though in 

most Cases, my political Faith is, that what our Superiors 
think best for us, is really best ; nevertheless, in what relates 
to our Commerce with the foreign Islands, I give some Credit 
to the Opinion of a very intelligent Merchant, my Neighbour ; 
who assures me, that the West India Planters, by superior 
Interest at home, have procured the Restraints to be laid on 
that Commerce, in order to acquire to themselves the Advan- 
tage of solely supplying with their Commodities, both Britain 
and her Northern Colonies, and of Course of raising their 

Prices on both at Pleasure. If so, and we cannot help it 

if it is so ; what are we to do, but, like honest and prudent 
Men, endeavour to do without the Things we shall, perhaps, 
never be able to pay for ; or if we cannot do without them or 
something like them, to supply ourselves from our own 



1764] TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 271 

Produce at home. To this End, I have collected and written 
a few plain Instructions, which you will find in the Right 
Hand Pages of each Month ; First, for making good Wine of 
our own wild Grapes. Secondly, for raising Madeira Wine 
in these Provinces. Thirdly, for the Improvement of our 

Corn Spirits, so as they may be preferable to Rum. 

And this seems very material; for as we raise more Corn 
than the English West-India Islands can take off, and since 
we cannot now well sell it to the foreign Islands, what can 
we do with the Overplus better, than to turn it into Spirit, 
and thereby lessen the Demand for West- India Rum, which 

our Grain will not pay for? Fourthly, for supplying 

ourselves with a Syrup, every Way superior to Melasses; 
and Fifthly, for obtaining Sugar from our own Vegetables, 

in reasonable Plenty. These Things, if attended to, 

and practised with Success, may greatly relieve us. I 

show my Good- will, however, by offering them to your Con- 
sideration ; which is all that is in the Power of 
Your faithful Servant, 

RICHARD SAUNDERS. 



379. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 

Philadelphia, November 3, 1764. 

LOVING KINSMAN, 

The case of the Armonica came home to-night, and the 
spindle, with all the rest of the work, seems well done. But 
on further consideration, I think it is not worth while to take 
one of them to London, to be filled with glasses as we intended. 

1 From " Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Frank- 
lin," Boston, 1833, p. 94. ED. 



272 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

It will be better to send you one complete from thence, 
made under my direction; which I will take care shall be 
good. The glasses here will serve for these cases when I 
come back, if it please God that I live to return, and some 
friends will be glad of them. 

Enclosed I send you that imposter's letter. Perhaps he 
may be found by his handwriting. 

We sail on Wednesday. The merchants here in two 
hours subscribed eleven hundred pounds to be lent the 
publick for the charges of my voyage, &c. I shall take with 
me but a part of it, five hundred pounds sterling. Any 
sum is to be had, that I may want. My love to all. Adieu. 
Yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 1 

1 Dr. Franklin was appointed to this second mission to England by the 
Assembly of Pennsylvania, October 26, 1764, and he was instructed to depart 
with all convenient despatch. As the Assembly had not then in the treasury 
any money, that could be appropriated for this purpose, they passed a resolve, 
" that the expense attending his voyage, and the execution of the trust reposed 
in him, should be provided for in the next bill prepared by the House for rais- 
ing money to defray the public debts." On the strength of this pledge, the 
money was loaned by the merchants, although a party had made a consider- 
able opposition to the appointment of an agent, who was known to be hostile 
to the Proprietaries, and had been active in promoting petitions for a change 
of the Pennsylvania government. S. 



1764] REMARKS ON A PROTEST 273 



380. REMARKS 
ON A LATE PROTEST 

AGAINST THE 

APPOINTMENT OF MR. FRANKLIN AN AGENT 

FOR THIS 

PROVINCE. 1 

I HAVE generally passed over, with a silent Disregard, the 
nameless abusive Pieces that have been written against me; 
and tho' this Paper, called "A Protest," is signed by some 
respectable Names, I was, nevertheless, inclined to treat it 
with the same Indifference; but as the Assembly is therein 
reflected on upon my Account, it is thought more my Duty 
to make some Remarks upon it. 

I would first observe then, that this Mode of protesting 
by the Minority, with a String of Reasons against the Pro- 
ceedings of the Majority of the House of Assembly, is quite 
new among us; the present is the second we have had of 
the kind, and both within a few Months. It is unknown 
to the Practice of the House of Commons, or of any House 
of Representatives in America, that I have heard of; and 
seems an affected Imitation of the Lords in Parliament, 
which can by no Means become Assembly- men of America. 
Hence appears the Absurdity of the Complaint, that the 
House refused the Protest an Entry on their Minutes. The 
Protesters know that they are not, by any Custom or Usage, 
intitled to such an Entry, and that the Practice here is not 

1 Printed from a copy in P. H. S. An incomplete rough draft exists among 
the Franklin papers in A. P. S. For the history of the " Remarks," see the 
Life of Franklin. ED. 

VOL. IV T 



274 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

only useless in itself, but would be highly inconvenient to 
the House, since it would probably be thought necessary for 
the Majority also to enter their Reasons, to justify themselves 
to their Constituents, whereby the Minutes would be in- 
cumbered, and the Public Business obstructed. More 
especially will it be found inconvenient, if such Protests are 
made use of as a new Form of Libelling, as the Vehicles of 
personal Malice, and as Means of giving to private Abuse 
the Appearance of a Sanction, as public Acts. Your Protest, 
Gentlemen, was therefore properly refused; and, since it is 
no Part of the Proceedings of Assembly, one may with the 
more Freedom examine it. 

Your first Reason against my Appointment is, that you 
"believe me to be the chief Author of the Measures pursued 
by the last Assembly, which have occasioned such Uneasiness 
and Distraction among the good People of this Province." 
I shall not dispute my Share in those Measures ; I hope they 
are such as will in time do Honour to all that were concerned 
in them. But you seem mistaken in the Order of Time : It 
was the Uneasiness and Distraction among the good People 
of the Province that occasioned the Measures ; the Province 
was in Confusion before they were taken, and they were pur- 
sued in order to prevent such Uneasiness and Distraction for 
the future. Make one Step farther back, and you will find 
Proprietary Injustice, supported by Proprietary Minions and 
Creatures, the original Cause of all our Uneasiness and Dis- 
tractions. 

Another of your Reasons is, "that I am, as you are in- 
formed, very unfavourably thought of by several of his 
Majesty's Ministers." I apprehend, Gentlemen, that your 
Informer is mistaken. He indeed has taken great Pains to 



1764] REMARKS ON A PROTEST 275 

give unfavourable Impressions of me, and perhaps may flatter 
himself, that it is impossible so much true Industry should 
be totally without Effect. His long Success in maiming or 
murdering all the Reputations that stand in his Way, which 
has been the dear Delight and constant Employment of his 
Life, may likewise have given him some just Ground for 
Confidence, that he has, as they call it, done for me, among 
the rest. But as I said before, I believe he is mistaken. 
For what have I done that they should think unfavourably 
of me ? It cannot be my constantly and uniformly promoting 
the Measures of the Crown, ever since I had any Influence 
in the Province. It cannot, surely, be my promoting the 
Change from a Proprietary to a Royal Government. 

If indeed I had, by Speeches and Writings, endeavoured 
to make his Majesty's Government universally odious in the 
Province. If I had harangued by the Week, to all Comers and 
Goers, on the pretended Injustice and Oppressions of Royal 
Government, and the Slavery of the People under it ; if I had 
written traiterous Papers to this Purpose, and got them trans- 
lated into other Languages, to give his Majesty's foreign 
Subjects here those horrible Ideas of it. If I had declared, 
written and printed, that "the King's little Finger we should 
find heavier than the Proprietor's whole Loins," with regard 
to our Liberties; then indeed, might the Ministers be sup- 
posed to think unfavourably of me. But these are not Ex- 
ploits for a Man who holds a profitable Office under the Crown, 
and can expect to hold it no longer than he behaves with the 
Fidelity and Duty that becomes every good Subject. They 
are only for Officers of Proprietary Appointment, who hold 
their Commissions during his, and not the King's, Pleasure ; 
and who, by dividing among themselves, and their Relations, 



276 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

Offices of many Thousands a Year, enjoyed by Proprietary 
Favour, feel where to place their Loyalty. I wish they were 
as good Subjects to his Majesty ; and perhaps they may be so, 
when the Proprietary interferes no longer. 

Another of your Reasons is, "that the Proposal of me for 
an Agent is extremely disagreeable to a very great Number of 
the most serious and reputable Inhabitants of the Province; 
and the Proof is, my having been rejected at the last Election, 
tho' I had represented the City in Assembly for 14 Years." 

And do those of you, Gentlemen, reproach me with this, 
who among near Four Thousand Voters, had scarcely a 
Score more than I had ? It seems then, that your Elections 
were very near being Rejections, and thereby furnishing the 
same Proof in your Case that you produce in mine, of your 
being likewise extremely disagreeable to a very great Number 
of the most serious and reputable People. Do you, honour- 
able Sir, reproach me with this, who for almost twice 14 Years 
have been rejected (if not being chosen is to be rejected) by the 
same People; and unable, with all your Wealth and Con- 
nections, and the Influence they give you, to obtain an Elec- 
tion in the County where you reside, and the City where you 
were born, and are best known, have been obliged to accept 
a Seat from one of the out Counties, the remotest of the Prov- 
ince ! It is known, Sir, to the Persons who proposed me, 
that I was first chosen against my Inclination, and against my 
Entreaties that I might be suffered to remain a private Man. 
In none of the 14 Elections you mention did I ever appear as 
a Candidate. I never did, directly or indirectly, solicit any 
Man's Vote. For six of the Years in which I was annually 
chosen, I was absent, residing in England ; during all which 
Time, your secret and open Attacks upon my Character and 



1764] REMARKS ON A PROTEST 277 

Reputation were incessant ; and yet you gained no Ground. 
And can you really, Gentlemen, find Matter of Triumph in 
this Rejection as you call it ? A Moment's Reflection on the 
Means by which it was obtained, must make you ashamed 
of it. 

Not only my Duty to the Crown, in carrying the Post- 
Office Act more duly into Execution, was made use of to 
exasperate the Ignorant, as if I was encreasing my own Profits, 
by picking their Pockets; but my very Zeal in opposing the 
Murderers, and supporting the Authority of Government, 
and even my Humanity, with regard to the innocent Indians 
under our Protection, were mustered among my Offences, 
to stir up against me those religious Bigots, who are of all 
Savages the most brutish. Add to this the numberless 
Falshoods propagated as Truths, and the many Perjuries 
procured among the wretched Rabble brought to swear 
themselves intitled to a Vote; and yet so poor a Superiority I 
obtained at all this Expence of Honour and Conscience! 
Can this, Gentlemen, be Matter of Triumph! Enjoy it 
then. Your Exultation, however, was short. 

Your Artifices did not prevail everywhere ; nor your double 
Tickets, and whole Boxes of forged Votes. A great Majority 
of the new-chosen Assembly were of the old Members, and 
remain uncorrupted. They still stand firm for the People, 
and will obtain Justice from the Proprietaries. But what 
does that avail to you who are in the Proprietary Interest? 
And what Comfort can it afford you, when by the Assembly's 
Choice of an Agent, it appears that the same, to you obnoxious, 
Man (notwithstanding all your venomous Invectives against 
him) still retains so great a Share of the public Confidence ? 

But "this step," you say, "gives you the more lively Afflic- 



278 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

tion, as it is taken at the very Moment when you were informed 
by a Member of the House, that the Governor had assured 
him of his having received Instructions from the Proprietaries, 
to give his Assent to the Taxation of their Estates, in the same 
Manner that the Estates of other Persons are to be taxed; 
and also to confirm, for the public Use, the several Squares 
formerly claimed by the City." O the Force of Friendship ! 
the Power of Interest ! What Politeness they infuse into a 
Writer, and what delicate Expressions they produce ! 

The Dispute between the Proprietaries and us was about 
the Quantum, the Rate of their Taxation; and not about 
the Manner; but now, when all the World condemns them 
for requiring a partial Exemption of their Estates, and they 
are forced to submit to an honest Equality, 'tis called "as- 
senting to be taxed in the same Manner with the People." 
Their Restitution of five public Squares in the Plan of the City, 
which they had near forty Years unjustly and dishonourably 
seized and detained from us, directing their Surveyor to map 
Streets over them, (in order to turn them into Lots) and their 
Officers to sell a part of them ; this their Disgorging is softly 
called confirming them for the public Use ; and instead of the 
plain Words, formerly given to the City by the first Proprie- 
tary, their Father, we have the cautious pretty Expression of 
"formerly claimed by the City." Yes; not only formerly, 
but always claimed, ever since they were promised and given 
to encourage the Settlers; and ever will be claimed, till we 
are put in actual Possession of them. 'Tis pleasant, however, 
to see how lightly and tenderly you trip over these Matters, 
as if you trod upon Eggs. 

But that "very Moment" that precious Moment! Why 
was it so long delayed ? Why were those healing Instructions 



1764] REMARKS ON A PROTEST 279 

so long withheld and concealed from the People? They 
were, it seems, brought over by Mr. Allen}- Intelligence was 
received by various Hands from London, that Orders were sent 
by the Proprietaries, from which great Hopes were enter- 
tained of an Accommodation. Why was the Bringing and 
the Delivery of such Orders so long denied ? The Reason is 
-easily understood. Messieurs Barclays, Friends to both 
Proprietaries and People, wished for that Gentleman's happy 
Arrival, hoping his Influence, added to the Power and Com- 
missions the Proprietaries had vested him with, might prove 
effectual in restoring Harmony and Tranquility among us. 
But he, it seems, hoped his Influence might do the Business 
without those Additions. 

There appeared on his Arrival some Prospect, from sundry 
Circumstances, of a Change to be made in the House by the 
approaching Election. The Proprietary Friends and Crea- 
tures knew the Heart of their Master, and how extreamly 
disagreeable to him that equal Taxation, that Restitution, and 
the other Concessions to be made for the Sake of a Reconcilia- 
tion, must necessarily be. They hoped therefore to spare 
him all those Mortifications, and thereby secure a greater 
Portion of his Favour. Hence the Instructions were not pro- 
duced to the last Assembly; though they arrived before the 
September Sitting, when the Governor was in Town, and actu- 

1 Extract from a letter, dated London, August 6, 1764, from David Bar- 
clay and Sons to Messieurs James and Drinker. 

"We very much wish for William Allen's happy Arrival on your Side; 
when we hope his Influence, added to the Power and Commissions the Pro- 
prietaries have invested him with, may prove effectual, in restoring Harmony 
and Tranquility among you, so much to be desired by every Well-wisher to 
your Province. Pray be assured of our sincerest and best Wishes for the 
Success of this salutary Work, and that nothing in our Power to contribute 
thereto, will ever be wanting." F. 



280 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

ally did Business with the House. Nor to the new Assembly 
were they mentioned, till the "very Moment" the fatal 
Moment, when the House were on the Point of chusing that 
wicked Adversary of the Proprietary, to be an Agent for the 
Province in England. 

But I have, you say, a " fixed Enmity to the Proprietaries," 
and "you believe it will preclude all Accommodation of our 
Disputes with them, even on just and reasonable Terms." 
And why do you think I have a fixed Enmity to the Proprie- 
taries ? I have never had any personal Difference with them. 
I am no Land-jobber; and therefore have never had any 
Thing to do with their Land Office or Officers; if I had, 
probably, like others, I might have been obliged to truckle to 
their Measures, or have had like Causes of Complaint. But 
our private Interests never clashed ; and all their Resentment 
against me, and mine to them, has been on the public Account. 
Let them do Justice to the People of Pennsylvania, act hon- 
ourably by the Citizens of Philadelphia, and become honest 
Men ; my Enmity, if that's of any Consequence, ceases from 
the "very Moment" and, as soon as I possibly can, I promise 
to love, honour and respect them. 

In the mean Time, why do you "believe it will preclude all 
Accommodation with them on just and reasonable Terms?" 
Do you not boast that their gracious Condescensions are in 
the Hands of the Governor; and that "if this had been the 
usual Time for Business, his Honour would have sent them 
down in a Message to the House." How then can my going 
to England prevent this Accommodation? The Governor 
can call the House when he pleases; and, one would think, 
that, at least in your Opinion, my being out of the Way would 
be a favourable Circumstance. For then, by "cultivating 



1764] REMARKS ON A PROTEST 281 

the Disposition shown by the Proprietaries, every reasonable 
Demand that can be made on the Part of the People might 
be obtained; in vigorously insisting on which, you promise 
to unite more earnestly with the rest of the House." It seems 
then we have "reasonable Demands" to make, and as you call 
them a little higher, equitable Demands. This is much for 
Proprietary Minions to own ; but you are all growing better, 
in Imitation of your Master, which is indeed very commend- 
able. And if the Accommodation here should fail, I hope 
that, though you dislike the Person a Majority of two to one 
in the House have thought fit to appoint an Agent, you will 
nevertheless, in Duty to your Country, continue the noble 
Resolution of uniting with the rest of the House in vigorously 
insisting on that Equity and Justice, which such an Union will 
undoubtedly obtain for us. 

I pass over the trivial Charge against the Assembly, that 
they "acted with unnecessary Haste in proceeding to this 
Appointment, without making a small Adjournment," &c., 
and your affected Apprehensions of Danger from that Haste. 
The Necessity of Expedition on this Occasion is as obvious 
to every one out of Doors as it was to those within ; and the 
Fears you mention are not, I fancy, considerable enough to 
break your Rest. 

I come then to your high Charge against me, "that I here- 
tofore ventured, contrary to an Act of Assembly, to place the 
Public Money in the Stocks, whereby this Province suffered 
a Loss of 6000^, and that Sum, added to the $ooo granted 
for my Expences, makes the whole Cost of my former Voyage 
to England amount to ELEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS !" How 
wisely was that Form in our Laws contrived, which, when a 
man is arraigned for his Life, requires the Evidence to speak 



1282 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

the Truth, the -whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth! The 
Reason is manifest. A Falshood may destroy the Innocent ; 
so may Part of a Truth without the Whole; and a Mixture of 
Truth and Falshood may be full as pernicious. You, Mr. 
Chief Justice, and the other Justices among the Protesters, 
.and you, Sir, who are a Counsellor at Law, must all of you 
be well acquainted with this excellent Form; and when you 
arraign' d my Reputation (dearer to me than Life) before the 
Assembly, and now at the respectable Tribunal of the Public, 
would it not have well become your Honours to have had some 
small regard at least to the Spirit of that Form ? 

You might have mentioned, that the Direction of the Act 
to lodge the Money in the Bank, subject to the Drafts of the 
Trustees of the Loan-Office here, was impracticable; that 
the Bank refused to receive it on those Terms, it being con- 
trary to their settled Rules to take Charge of Money subject 
to the Orders of unknown people living in distant Countries. 
You might have mentioned, that the House, being informed 
of this, and having no immediate Call for the Money, did them- 
selves adopt the Measure of placing it in the Stocks, which 
then were low; where it might on a Peace produce a con- 
siderable Profit, and in the mean time accumulate an Interest : 
That they even passed a Bill, directing the subsequent Sums 
granted by Parliament to be placed with the former: That 
the Measure was prudent and safe ; and that the Loss arose, 
not from placing the Money in the Stocks, but from the im- 
prudent and unnecessary drawing it out at the very time when 
they were lowest, on some slight uncertain Rumours of a 
Peace concluded: That if the Assembly had let it remain 
another Year, instead of losing, they would have gained Six 
Thousand Pounds; and that, after all, since the Exchange at 



1764] REMARKS ON A PROTEST 283 

which they sold their Bills was near Twenty per Cent higher 
when they drew than when the Stocks were purchased, the 
Loss was far from being so great as you represent it. 

All these Things you might have said, for they are, and 
you know them to be, Part of the whole Truth; but they 
would have spoiled your Accusation. The late Speaker of 
your honourable House, Mr. Norris, who has, I suppose, all 
my Letters to him, and Copies of his own to me, relating to 
that Transaction, can testify with how much Integrity and 
Clearness I managed the whole Affair. All the House were 
sensible of it, being from time to time fully acquainted with 
the Facts. If I had gone to Gaming in the Stocks with the 
Public Money, and through my Fault a Sum was lost, as your 
Protest would insinuate, why was I not censured and punished 
for it when I returned? You, honourable Sir, (my Enemy 
of seven Years Standing) was then in the House. You were 
appointed on the Committee for examining my Accounts; 
you reported, that you found them just, and signed that 
Report. 1 

1 Report of the Committee on Benjamin Franklin's Accounts. 
"February 19, 1763. In Obedience to the Order of the House, we have 
examined the Account of Benjamin Franklin, Esq ; with the Vouchers to us 
produced in Support thereof, and do find the same Account to be just, and 
that he has expended, in the immediate Service of this Province, the Sum of 
Seven Hundred and Fourteen Pounds, Ten Shillings, and Seven Pence, out 
of the Sum of Fifteen Hundred Pounds Sterling, to him remitted and paid, 
exclusive of any Allowance or Charge for his Support and Services for the 
Province. 

"JOHN MORTON, JOHN HUGHES, 

WILLIAM ALLEN, SAMUEL RHOADS, 
JOHN Ross, JOHN WILKINSON, 

JOHN MOOR, ISAAC PEARSON. 

JOSEPH Fox, 

"The House, taking the foregoing Report of the Committee of Accounts 
into Consideration, and having spent some Time therein, 



284 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

I never solicited the Employ of Agent : I made no Bargain 
for my future Service, when I was ordered to England by the 
Assembly; nor did they vote me any Salary. I lived there 
near six Years at my own Expence, and I made no Charge or 
Demand when I came home. You, Sir, of all others, was 
the very Member that proposed (for the Honour and Justice 
of the House) a Compensation to be made me of the Five 
Thousand Pounds you mention. Was it with an Intent to 
reproach me thus publicly for accepting it? I thanked the 
House for it then, and I thank you now for proposing it : Tho' 
you, who have lived in England, can easily conceive, that, 
besides the Prejudice to my private Affairs by my Absence, a 
Thousand Pounds more would not have reimbursed me. 

The Money voted was immediately paid me. But, if I 
had occasioned the Loss of Six Thousand Pounds to the Prov- 
ince, here was a fair Opportunity of securing easily the great- 
est Part of it. Why was not the Five Thousand Pounds 

"Resolved, 

" That the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds Sterling, per Annum, be allowed 
and given to Benjamin Franklin, Esq ; late Agent for the Province of Penn- 
sylvania at the Court of Great Britain, during his Absence of six Years from 
his Business and Connections, in the Service of the Public j and that the 
Thanks of this House be also given to the said Gentleman by Mr. Speaker, 
from the Chair, as well for the faithful Discharge of his Duty to this Province 
in particular, as for the many and important Services done America in general, 
during his Residence in Great Britain." 

"Thursday, March 31, 1763. Pursuant to a Resolve of the nineteenth of 
last Month, that the Thanks of this House be given to Benjamin Franklin, 
Esq ; for his many Services, not only to the Province of Pennsylvania, but to 
America in general, during his late Agency at the Court of Great Britain, 
the same were this Day accordingly given in Form from the Chair. To which 
Mr. Franklin, respectfully addressing himself to the Speaker, made Answer, 
' That he was thankful to the House, for the very handsome and generous 
Allowance they had been pleased to make him for his Services ; but that the 
Approbation of this House was, in his Estimation, far above every other kind 
of Recompense.'" Votes, 1763. F. 



1764] TO ANTHONY TODD 285 

deducted, and the Remainder called for ? The Reason is, This 
Accusation was not then invented. Permit me to add, that 
supposing the whole Eleven Thousand Pounds an Expence 
occasioned by my Voyage to England, yet the Taxation of the 
Proprietary Estate now established, will, when valued by 
Years Purchase, be found in time an Advantage to the Public 
far exceeding that Expence. And, if the Expence is at pres- 
ent a Burthen, the Odium of it ought to lie on those, who, by 
their Injustice, made the Voyage necessary, and not on me, 
who only submitted to the Orders of the House in under- 
taking it. 

I am now to take Leave (perhaps a last Leave) of the Coun- 
try I love, and in which I have spent the greatest part of my 
Life. Esto perpetua. I wish every kind of Prosperity to my 
Friends ; and I forgive my Enemies. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

Philadelphia, Nov. 5, 1764. 



381. TO ANTHONY TODD 1 (P. R. o.) 

Philadelphia, Nov* 6, 1764 

SIR : Col Bouquet marched from Pittsburgh the 4th of 
October, with 1,500 men, down the Ohio, to attack the 
Shawana Towns; the Peace made by Col. Bradstreet at 
Presquisle not being confirmed. We have not since heard 
from either of those armies. I am, etc., 

B. FRANKLIN. 

*P. R.O.A. W. I. 197. ED. 



286 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 



382. TO SARAH FRANKLIN 

Reedy Island, 7 at night, November 8, 1764. 

MY DEAR SALLY, 

We got down here at sunset, having taken in more live stock 
at Newcastle, with some other things we wanted. Our good 
friends, Mr. Galloway, Mr. Wharton, and Mr. James, came 
with me in the ship from Chester to Newcastle and went 
ashore there. It was kind to favour me with their good com- 
pany as far as they could. The affectionate leave taken of 
me by so many friends at Chester was very endearing. God 
bless them and all Pennsylvania. 

My dear child, the natural prudence and goodness of heart 
God has blest you with make it less necessary for me to be 
particular in giving you advice. I shall therefore only say, 
that the more attentively dutiful and tender you are towards 
your good mamma, the more you will recommend yourself to 
me. But why should I mention me, when you have so much 
higher a promise in the commandments, that such conduct 
will recommend you to the favour of God. You know I have 
many enemies, all indeed on the public account, (for I cannot 
recollect that I have in a private capacity given just cause of 
offence to any one whatever,) yet they are enemies, and very 
bitter ones ; and you must expect their enmity will extend in 
some degree to you, so that your slightest indiscretions will be 
magnified into crimes, in order the more sensibly to wound and 
afflict me. It is therefore the more necessary for you to be 
extremely circumspect in all your behaviour, that no advan- 
tage may be given to their malevolence. 



1764] TO SARAH FRANKLIN 287 

Go constantly to church, whoever preaches. The act of 
devotion in the Common Prayer Book is your principal busi- 
ness there, and if properly attended to, will do more towards 
amending the heart than sermons generally can do. For they 
were composed by men of much greater piety and wisdom, 
than our common composers of sermons can pretend to be; 
and therefore I wish you would never miss the prayer days; 
yet I do not mean you should despise sermons, even of the 
preachers you dislike, for the discourse is often much better 
than the man, as sweet and clear waters come through very 
dirty earth. I am the more particular on this head, as you 
seemed to express a little before I came away some inclination 
to leave our church, which I would not have you do. 

For the rest, I would only recommend to you in my ab- 
sence, to acquire those useful accomplishments, arithmetic 
and book-keeping. This you might do with ease, if you would 
resolve not to see company on the hours you set apart for 
those studies. 

We expect to be at sea to-morrow, if this wind holds ; after 
which I shall have no opportunity of writing to you, till I 
arrive (if it please God I do arrive) in England. I pray that 
his blessing may attend you, which is worth more than a thou- 
sand of mine, though they are never wanting. Give my love 
to your brother and sister, 1 as I cannot write to them, and 
remember me affectionately to the young ladies your friends, 
and to our good neighbours. I am, my dear child, your 

affectionate father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 William Franklin, governor of New Jersey, and his wife. ED. 



288 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 



383. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

Saint Helen's Road, Isle of Wight, 

Dec. 9. 17645 P.M. 
MY DEAR DEBBY, 

This Line is just to let you know that we have this moment 
come to an Anchor here, and that I am going ashore at 
Portsmouth, and hope to be in London on Tuesday Morning. 
No Father could have been tenderer to a Child, than Capt. 
Robinson has been to me, for which I am greatly oblig'd to 
Messrs. James and Drinker; but we have had terrible 
Weather, and I have often been thankful that our dear 
Sally was not with me. Tell our Friends that din'd with 
us on the Turtle that the kind Prayer they then put up for 
thirty Days fair Wind for me was favourably heard and 
answered, we being just 30 Days from Land to Land. 

I am, Thanks to God, very well and hearty. John has 
behav'd well to me, and so has everybody on board. Thank 
all my Friends for their Favours, which contributed so much 
to the Comfort of my Voyage. I have not time to name 
Names: You know whom I love and honour. Say all the 
proper Things for me to everybody. Love to our Children, 
and to my dear Brother and Sister. I am, dear Debby, 
your ever loving Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 



384. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

MY DEAR CHILD London Dec ' 27 ' I764 

I have just heard that a Ship which left London before I 
arriv'd is still at Portsmouth and that a Letter may reach 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 289 

her. I can only write a Line or two, just to let you know 
that I am now almost well, tho' for 10 or 12 Days I have been 
severely handled by a most violent Cold, that has worried 
me extreamly. Those of my old Friends who were in 
town, have given me a most cordial Welcome, but many are 
yet in the Country, the Parliament not meeting till the lo'. 1 * 
of next Month ; so nothing has occur'd to be worth a Letter 
to my other Friends, but I shall however write them per 
Packet. My Love to our Children, and all that kindly 

enquire after 

Your affectionate Husband 

B. FRANKLIN 
Mrs. Stevenson desires 
her Compliments. 

385. A 

NARRATIVE 

OF THE LATE MASSACRES, 
IN LANCASTER COUNTY, 

OF A 
NUMBER OF INDIANS, FRIENDS OF THIS PROVINCE, 

BY PERSONS UNKNOWN. 
WITH SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE SAME. 

Printed in the Year 
MDCCLXIV. 

THESE Indians were the Remains of a Tribe of the Six 
Nations, settled at Conestogoe, and thence called Conestogoe 
Indians. On the first Arrival of the English in Pennsyl- 

VOL. IV U 



290 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

vania, Messengers from this Tribe came to welcome them, 
with Presents of Venison, Corn, and Skins; and the whole 
Tribe entered into a Treaty of Friendship with the first 
Proprietor, William Penn, which was to last "as long as the 
Sun should shine, or the Waters run in the Rivers." 

This Treaty has been since frequently renewed, and the 
Chain brightened, as they express it, from time to time. It 
has never been violated, on their Part or ours, till now. 
As their Lands by Degrees were mostly purchased, and the 
Settlements of the White People began to surround them, 
the Proprietor assigned them lands on the Manor of Cones- 
togoe, which they might not part with ; there they have lived 
many years in Friendship with their White Neighbours, who 
loved them for their peaceable inoffensive Behaviour. 

It has always been observed, that Indians, settled in the 
Neighbourhood of White People, do not increase, but diminish 
continually. This Tribe accordingly went on diminishing, 
till there remained in their Town on the Manor, but 20 
persons, viz. 7 Men, 5 Women, and 8 Children, Boys and 
Girls. 

Of these, Shehaes was a very old Man, having assisted at 
the second Treaty held with them, by Mr. Penn, in 1701, 
and ever since continued a faithful and affectionate Friend 
to the English; He is said to have been an exceeding good 
Man, considering his Education, being naturally of a most 
kind, benevolent Temper. 

Peggy was Shehaes' 's Daughter; she worked for her aged 
Father, continuing to live with him, though married, and 
attended him with filial Duty and Tenderness. 

John was another good old Man ; his Son Harry helped 
to support him. 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 291 

George and Will Soc were two Brothers, both young Men. 

John Smith, a valuable young Man of the Cayuga Nation, 
who became acquainted with Peggy, Shehaes's Daughter, 
some few Years since, married her, and settled in that 
Family. They had one Child, about three Years old. 

Betty, a harmless old Woman; and her son Peter, a likely 
young Lad. 

Sally, whose Indian name was Wyanjoy, a Woman much 
esteemed by all that knew her, for her prudent and good 
Behaviour in some very trying situations of Life. She was 
a truly good and an amiable Woman, had no Children of 
her own, but, a distant Relation dying, she had taken a 
Child of that Relation's, to bring up as her own, and per- 
formed towards it all the Duties of an affectionate Parent. 

The Reader will observe, that many of their Names are 
English. It is common with the Indians that have an 
affection for the English, to give themselves, and their Chil- 
dren, the Names of such English Persons as they particularly 
esteem. 

This little Society continued the Custom they had begun, 
when more numerous, of addressing every new Governor, 
and every Descendant of the first Proprietor, welcoming 
him to the Province, assuring him of their Fidelity, and pray- 
ing a Continuance of that Favour and Protection they had 
hitherto experienced. They had accordingly sent up an 
Address of this Kind to our present Governor, on his Arrival ; 
but the same was scarce delivered, when the unfortunate 
Catastrophe happened, which we are about to relate. 

On Wednesday, the i4th of December, 1763, Fifty-seven 
Men, from some of our Frontier Townships, who had pro- 
jected the Destruction of this little Commonwealth, came, 



292 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

all well mounted, and armed with Firelocks, Hangers and 
Hatchets, having travelled through the Country in the 
Night, to Conestogoe Manor. There they surrounded the 
small Village of Indian Huts, and just at Break of Day 
broke into them all at once. Only three Men, two Women, 
and a young Boy, were found at home, the rest being out 
among the neighbouring White People, some to sell the 
Baskets, Brooms and Bowls they manufactured, and others 
on other Occasions. These poor defenceless Creatures 
were immediately fired upon, stabbed, and hatcheted to 
Death! The good Shehaes, among the rest, cut to Pieces 
in his Bed. All of them were scalped and otherwise horribly 
mangled. Then their Huts were set on Fire, and most of 
them burnt down. When the Troop, pleased with their 
own Conduct and Bravery, but enraged that any of the poor 
Indians had escaped the Massacre, rode off, and in small 
Parties, by different Roads, went home. 

The universal Concern of the neighbouring White People 
on hearing of this Event, and the Lamentations of the younger 
Indians, when they returned and saw the Desolation, and 
the butchered half-burnt Bodies of their murdered Parents 
and other Relations, cannot well be expressed. 

The Magistrates of Lancaster sent out to collect the re- 
maining Indians, brought them into the Town for their 
better Security against any farther Attempt; and it is said 
condoled with them on the Misfortune that had happened, 
took them by the Hand, comforted and promised them Pro- 
tection. They were all put into the Workhouse, a strong 
Building, as the Place of greatest Safety. 

When the shocking News arrived in Town, a Proclamation 
was issued by the Governor, in the following Terms, viz. 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 293 

"WHEREAS I have received Information, that on Wednes- 
day, the Fourteenth Day of this Month, a Number of People, 
armed, and mounted on Horseback, unlawfully assembled 
together, and went to the Indian Town in the Conestogoe 
Manor, in Lancaster County, and without the least Reason 
or Provocation, in cool Blood, barbarously killed six of the 
Indians settled there, and burnt and destroyed all their 
Houses and Effects : And whereas so cruel and inhuman an 
Act, committed in the Heart of this Province on the said 
Indians, who have lived peaceably and inoffensively among 
us, during all our late Troubles, and for many Years before, 
and were justly considered as under the Protection of this 
Government and its Laws, calls loudly for the vigorous 
Exertion of the civil Authority, to detect the Offenders, and 
bring them to condign Punishment; I have therefore, by 
and with the Advice and Consent of the Council, thought 
fit to issue this Proclamation, and do hereby strictly charge 
and enjoin all Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, Constables, Officers 
Civil and Military, and all other His Majesty's liege Sub- 
jects within this Province, to make diligent Search and En- 
quiry after the Authors and Perpetrators of the said Crime, 
their Abettors and Accomplices, and to use all possible 
Means to apprehend and secure them in some of the publick 
Goals of this Province, that they may be brought to their 
Trials, and be proceeded against according to Law. 

"And whereas a Number of other Indians, who lately 
lived on or near the Frontiers of this Province, being willing 
and desirous to preserve and continue the ancient Friendship, 
which heretofore subsisted between them and the good 
People of this Province, have, at their own earnest Request, 
been removed from their Habitations, and brought into the 



294 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

County of Philadelphia and seated for the present, for their 
better Security, on the Province Island, and in other places 
in the Neighbourhood of the City of Philadelphia, where 
Provision is made for them at the public Expence; I do 
therefore hereby strictly forbid all Persons whatsoever, to 
molest or injure any of the said Indians, as they will answer 
the contrary at their Peril. 

"Given under my Hand, and the Great Seal of the said 
Province, at Philadelphia, the Twenty-second Day of December, 
Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty- 
three, and in the Fourth Year of His Majesty 1 s Reign. 

"By his Honour's Command, " J OHN PENN * 

"JOSEPH SHIPPEN, Jun., Secretary. 
"God save the King." 

Notwithstanding this Proclamation, those cruel Men 
again assembled themselves, and hearing that the remaining 
fourteen Indians were in the Workhouse at Lancaster, they 
suddenly appeared in that Town, on the 27th of December. 
Fifty of them, armed as before, dismounting, went directly 
to the Workhouse, and by Violence broke open the Door, 
and entered with the utmost Fury in their Countenances. 
When the poor Wretches saw they had no Protection nigh, 
nor could possibly escape, and being without the least 
Weapon for Defence, they divided into their little Families, 
the Children clinging to the Parents ; they fell on their Knees, 
protested their Innocence, declared their Love to the English, 
and that, in their whole Lives, they had never done them 
Injury; and in this Posture they all received the Hatchet! 
Men, Women and little Children were every one inhumanly 
murdered ! in cold Blood ! 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 295 

The barbarous Men who committed the atrocious Fact, in 
defiance of Government, of all Laws human and divine, 
and to the eternal Disgrace of their Country and Colour, then 
mounted their Horses, huzza'd in Triumph, as if they had 
gained a Victory, and rode off unmolested i 

The Bodies of the Murdered were then brought out and 
exposed in the Street, till a Hole could be made in the Earth 
to receive and cover them. 

But the Wickedness cannot be covered, the Guilt will 
lie on the whole Land, till Justice is done on the Murderers. 

THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT WILL CRY TO HEAVEN FOR 
VENGEANCE. 

It is said that, Shehaes being before told, that it was to 
be feared some English might come from the Frontier into 
the Country, and murder him and his People; he replied, 
"It is impossible: there are Indians, indeed, in the Woods, 
who would kill me and mine, if they could get at us, for my 
Friendship to the English; but the English will wrap me 
in their Matchcoat, and secure me from all Danger." How 
unfortunately was he mistaken ! 

Another Proclamation has been issued, offering a great 
Reward for apprehending the Murderers, in the following 
Terms, viz. 

"WHEREAS on the Twenty-second Day of December last, 
I issued a Proclamation for the apprehending and bringing 
to Justice, a Number of Persons, who, in Violation of the 
Public Faith, and in Defiance of all Law, had inhumanly 
killed six of the Indians, who had lived in Conestogoe Manor, 
for the Course of many Years, peaceably and inoffensively, 
under the Protection of this Government, on Lands assigned 



296 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

to them for their Habitation; notwithstanding which, I 
have received Information, that on the Twenty-seventh of 
the same Month, a large Party of armed Men again as- 
sembled and met together in a riotous and tumultuous 
Manner, in the County of Lancaster, and proceeded to the 
Town of Lancaster, where they violently broke open the 
Workhouse, and butchered and put to Death fourteen of 
the said Conestogoe Indians, Men, Women and Children, 
who had been taken under the immediate Care and Protec- 
tion of the Magistrates of the said County, and lodged for 
their better Security in the said Workhouse, till they should 
be more effectually provided for by Order of the Govern- 
ment; and whereas common Justice loudly demands, and 
the Laws of the Land (upon the Preservation of which not 
only the Liberty and Security of every Individual, but the 
Being of the Government itself depend) require, that the 
above Offenders should be brought to condign Punishment; 
I have therefore, by and with the Advice of the Council, 
published this Proclamation, and do hereby strictly charge 
and command all Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, Constables, 
Officers Civil and Military, and all other His Majesty's 
faithful and liege Subjects within this Province, to make 
diligent Search and Enquiry after the Authors and Per- 
petrators of the said last- mentioned Offence, their Abettors 
and Accomplices, and that they use all possible Means to 
apprehend and secure them in some of the public Goals of 
this province, to be dealt with according to Law. 

"And I do hereby further promise and engage, that any 
Person or Persons, who shall apprehend and secure, or 
cause to be apprehended and secured, any Three of the 
Ringleaders of the said Party, and prosecute them to Con- 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 297 

viction, shall have and receive for each, the public Reward 
of Two Hundred, Pounds; and any Accomplice, not con- 
cerned in the immediate shedding the Blood of the said 
Indians, who shall make Discovery of any or either of the 
said Ringleaders, and apprehend and prosecute them to Con- 
viction, shall, over and above the said Reward, have all the 
Weight and Influence of the Government, for obtaining His 
Majesty's Pardon for his Offence. 

"Given under my Hand, and the Great Seal of the said 
Province, at Philadelphia, the Second Day 0} January, in 
the Fourth Year of His Majesty's Reign, and in the Year 
of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-four. 

"JOHN PENN. 
"By his Honour's command, 

"JOSEPH SHIPPEN, Jun., Secretary. 
"God save the King." 

These Proclamations have as yet produced no Dis- 
covery; the Murderers having given out such Threatenings 
against those that disapprove their Proceedings, that the 
whole Country seems to be in Terror, and no one durst 
speak what he knows; even the Letters from thence are 
unsigned, in which any Dislike is expressed of the 
Rioters. 

There are some, (I am ashamed to hear it,) who would 
extenuate the enormous Wickedness of these Actions, by 
saying, "The Inhabitants of the Frontiers are exasperated 
with the Murder of their Relations, by the Enemy Indians, 
in the present War." It is possible; but though this might 
justify their going out into the Woods, to seek for those 
Enemies, and avenge upon them those Murders, it can 



298 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

never justify their turning into the Heart of the Country, 
to murder their Friends. 

If an Indian injures me, does it follow that I may revenge 
that Injury on all Indians ? It is well known, that Indians 
are of different Tribes, Nations and Languages, as well as 
the White People. In Europe, if the French, who are White 
People, should injure the Dutch, are they to revenge it on 
the English, because they too are White People ? The only 
Crime of these poor Wretches seems to have been, that they 
had a reddish-brown Skin, and black Hair ; and some People 
of that Sort, it seems, had murdered some of our Relations. 
If it be right to kill Men for such a Reason, then, should any 
Man, with a freckled Face and red Hair, kill a Wife or Child 
of mine, it would be right for me to revenge it, by killing all 
the freckled red-haired Men, Women and Children, I could 
afterwards anywhere meet with. 

But it seems these People think they have a better Justifica- 
tion; nothing less than the Word of God. With the Scrip- 
tures in their Hands and Mouths, they can set at nought 
that express Command, Thou shall do no Murder; and 
justify their Wickedness by the Command given Joshua to 
destroy the Heathen. Horrid Perversion of Scripture and of 
Religion! To father the worst of Crimes on the God of 
Peace and Love ! Even the Jews, to whom that particular 
Commission was directed, spared the Gibeonites, on Account 
of their Faith once given. The Faith of this Government 
has been frequently given to those Indians; but that did not 
avail them with People who despise Government. 

We pretend to be Christians, and, from the superior Light 
we enjoy, ought to exceed Heathens, Turks, Saracens, Moors, 
Negroes and Indians, in the Knowledge and Practice of 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 299 

what is right. I will endeavour to show, by a few Examples 
from Books and History, the Sense those People have had of 
such Actions. 

Homer wrote his Poem, called the Odyssey, some Hundred 
Years before the Birth of Christ. He frequently speaks of 
what he calls not only the Duties, but the Sacred Rites of 
Hospitality, (exercised towards Strangers, while in our 
House or Territory) as including, besides all the common 
Circumstances of Entertainment, full Safety and Protection 
of Person, from all Danger of Life, from all Injuries, and 
even Insults. The Rites of Hospitality were called sacred, 
because the Stranger, the Poor, and the Weak, when they 
applied for Protection and Relief, were, from the Religion of 
those Times, supposed to be sent by the Deity to try the 
Goodness of Men, and that he would avenge the Injuries 
they might receive, where they ought to have been protected. 
These Sentiments therefore influenced the Manners of all 
Ranks of People, even the meanest; for we find that when 
Ulysses came, as a poor Stranger, to the Hut of Eumasus, 
the Swineherd, and his great Dogs ran out to tear the ragged 
Man, Eum&us drave them away with Stones; and 

"'Unhappy Stranger!' (thus the faithful Swain 
Began, with Accent gracious and humane,) 
' What Sorrow had been mine, if at my Gate 
Thy rev'rend Age had met a shameful Fate! 
But enter this my homely Roof, and see 
Our Woods not void of Hospitality. 1 
He said, and seconding the kind Request, 
With friendly Step precedes the unknown Guest, 
A shaggy Goat's soft Hide beneath him spread, 
And with fresh Rushes heap'd an ample Bed. 
Joy touch'd the Hero's tender Soul, to find 
So just Reception from a Heart so kind : 



300 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

And Oh, ye Gods ! with all your Blessings grace ' 
(He thus broke forth) 'this Friend of human Race! 

The Swain reply'd. It never was our guise 
To slight the Poor, or aught humane despise. 
For Jove unfolds the hospitable Door, 
'T is Jove that sends the Stranger and the Poor." 

These Heathen People thought, that after a Breach of the 
Rites of Hospitality, a Curse from Heaven would attend them 
in every thing they did, and even their honest Industry in 
their Callings would fail of Success. Thus when Ulysses 
tells Eum&us, who doubted the Truth of what he related, "If 
I deceive you in this, I should deserve Death, and I consent 
that you should put me to Death;" Eum&us rejects the 
Proposal, as what would be attended with both Infamy and 
Misfortune, saying ironically, 

" Doubtless, O Guest ! great Laud and Praise were mine ; 
If, after social Rites and Gifts bestow'd, 
I stain'd my Hospitable Hearth with Blood. 
How would the Gods my righteous Toils succeed, 
And bless the Hand that made a Stranger bleed? 
No more." 

Even an open Enemy, in the Heat of Battle, throwing 
down his Arms, submitting to his Foe, and asking Life and 
Protection, was supposed to acquire an immediate Right to 
that Protection. Thus one describes his being saved, when 
his Party was defeated; 

" We turn'd to Flight ; the gath'ring Vengeance spread 
On all Parts round, and Heaps on Heaps lie dead. 
The radiant Helmet from my Brows unlac'd, 
And lo, on Earth my Shield and Javelin cast, 
I meet the Monarch with a Suppliant's Face, 
Approach his Chariot, and his Knees embrace. 
He heard, he sav'd, he plac'd me at his Side ; 
My State he pity'd, and my Tears he dry'd ; 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 301 

Restrained the Rage the vengeful Foe express'd, 
And turn'd the deadly Weapons from my Breast. 
Pious to guard the Hospitable Rite, 
And fearing Jove, whom Mercy's Works delight.' 1 

The Suitors of Penelope are by the same ancient Poet 
described as a sett of lawless Men, who were regardless oj 
the sacred Rites of Hospitality. And therefore when the 
Queen was informed they were slain, and that by Ulysses, 
she, not believing that Ulysses was returned, says, 

" Ah no ! some God the Suitors Deaths decreed, 
Some God descends, and by his Hand they bleed : 
Blind, to contemn the Stranger's righteous Cause, 
And violate all hospitable Laws ! 

The Powers they defy'd ; 

But Heav'n is just, and by a God they dy'd." 

Thus much for the Sentiments of the ancient Heathens. 
As for the Turks, it is recorded in the Life of Mahomet, the 
Founder of their Religion, That Khaled, one of his Captains, 
having divided a Number of Prisoners between himself and 
those that were with him, he commanded the Hands of his 
own Prisoners to be tied behind them, and then, in a most 
cruel and brutal Manner, put them to the Sword; but he 
could not prevail on his Men to massacre their Captives, 
because in Fight they had laid down their Arms, submitted, 
and demanded Protection. Mahomet, when the Account 
was brought to him, applauded the Men for their Humanity ; 
but said to Khaled, with great Indignation, "Oh Khaled, 
thou Butcher, cease to molest me with thy Wickedness. If 
thou possessedst a Heap of Gold as large as Mount Obod, 
and shouldst expend it all in God's Cause, thy Merit would 
not efface the Guilt incurred by the Murder of the meanest 
of those poor Captives." 



302 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

Among the Arabs or Saracens, though it was lawful to put 
to Death a Prisoner taken in Battle, if he had made himself 
obnoxious by his former Wickedness, yet this could not be 
done after he had once eaten Bread, or drank Water, while 
in their Hands. Hence we read in the History of the Wars 
of the Holy Land, that when the Franks had suffered a great 
Defeat from Saladin, and among the Prisoners were the King 
of Jerusalem, and Arnold, a famous Christian Captain, who 
had been very cruel to the Saracens; these two being brought 
before the Soltan, he placed the King on his right Hand, and 
Arnold on his left; and then presented the King with a Cup 
of Water, who immediately drank to Arnold; but when 
Arnold was about to receive the Cup, the Soltan interrupted, 
saying, "I will not suffer this wicked Man to drink, as that, 
according to the laudable and generous Custom of the Arabs, 
would secure him his Life." 

That the same laudable and generous Custom still pre- 
vails among the Mahometans, appears from the Account 
but last Year published of his Travels by Mr. Bell, of Anter- 
mony, who accompanied the Czar, Peter the Great, in his 
Journey to Derbent through Daggestan. "The Religion of 
the Daggestans," says he, "is generally Mahometan, some 
following the Sect of Osman, others that of Haly. Their 
Language for the most Part is Turkish, or rather a Dialect 
of the Arabic, though many of them speak also the Persian 
Language. One Article I cannot omit concerning their 
Laws of Hospitality, which is, if their greatest Enemy comes 
under their Roof for Protection, the Landlord, of what Con- 
dition soever, is obliged to keep him safe, from all Manner of 
Harm or Violence, during his Abode with him, and even to 
conduct him safely through his Territories to a Place of 
Security." 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 303 

From the Saracens this same Custom obtained among the 
Moors of Africa; was by them brought into Spain, and there 
long sacredly observed. The Spanish Historians record with 
Applause one famous Instance of it. While the Moors 
governed there, and the Spaniards were mixed with them, a 
Spanish Cavalier, in a sudden Quarrel, slew a young Moorish 
Gentleman, and fled. His Pursuers soon lost Sight of him, 
for he had, unperceived, thrown himself over a Garden Wall. 
The Owner, a Moor, happening to be in his Garden, was 
addressed by the Spaniard on his Knees, who acquainted 
him with his Case, and implored Concealment. "Eat this," 
said the Moor, giving him Half a Peach; "you now know 
that you may confide in my Protection." He then locked 
him up in his Garden Apartment, telling him, that as soon 
as it was Night he would provide for his Escape to a Place 
of more Safety. The Moor then went into his House, where 
he had scarce seated himself, when a great Croud, with loud 
Lamentations, came to his Gate, bringing the Corps of his 
Son, that had just been killed by a Spaniard. When the 
first Shock of Surprize was a little over, he learnt, from the 
Description given, that the fatal Deed was done by the Per- 
son then in his Power. He mentioned this to no One; but 
as soon as it was dark, retired to his Garden Apartment, as 
if to grieve alone, giving Orders that none should follow him. 
There accosting the Spaniard, he said, "Christian, the Per- 
son you have killed is my Son : his Body is now in my House. 
You ought to suffer; but you have eaten with me, and I 
have given you my Faith, which must not be broken. Fol- 
low me." He then led the astonished Spaniard to his Stables, 
mounted him on one of his fleetest Horses, and said, "Fly 
far while the Night can cover you. You will be safe in the 



304 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

Morning. You are indeed guilty of my Son's Blood; but 
God is just and good, and I thank him that I am innocent of 
yours, and that my Faith given is preserved." 

The Spaniards caught from the Moors this Punto of 
Honour, the Effects of which remain, in a great Degree, to this 
Day. So that when there is Fear of a War about to break 
out between England and Spain, an English Merchant there, 
who apprehends the Confiscation of his Goods as the Goods 
of an Enemy, thinks them safe, if he can get a Spaniard to 
take Charge of them; for the Spaniard secures them as his 
own, and faithfully redelivers them, or pays the Value, when- 
ever the Englishman can safely demand it. 

Justice to that Nation, though lately our Enemies, and 
hardly yet our cordial Friends, obliges me, on this Occasion, 
not to omit mentioning an Instance of Spanish Honour, 
which cannot but be still fresh in the Memory of many yet 
living. In 1746, when we were in hot War with Spain, the 
Elizabeth, of London, Captain William Edwards, coming 
through the Gulph from Jamaica, richly laden, met with a 
most violent Storm, in which the Ship sprung a Leak, that 
obliged them, for the Saving of their Lives, to run her into 
the Havannah. The Captain went on Shore, directly 
waited on the Governor, told the Occasion of his putting in, 
and that he surrendered his Ship as a Prize, and himself and 
his Men as Prisoners of War, only requesting good Quarter. 
"No, Sir," replied the Spanish Governor; "if we had taken 
you in fair War at Sea, or approaching our Coast with hostile 
Intentions, your Ship would then have been a Prize, and your 
People Prisoners. But when distressed by a Tempest, you 
come into our Ports for the Safety of your Lives, we, though 
Enemies, being Men, are bound as such, by the Laws of 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 305 

Humanity to afford Relief to distressed Men, who ask it of 
us. We cannot, even against our Enemies, take Advantage 
of an Act of God. You have Leave therefore to unload 
your ship, if that be necessary, to stop the Leak; you may 
refit here, and trafnck so far as shall be necessary to pay the 
Charges; you may then depart, and I will give you a Pass, 
to be in Force till you are beyond Bermuda. If after that you 
are taken, you will then be a Prize ; but now you are only a 
Stranger, and have a Stranger's Right to Safety and Protec- 
tion." The Ship accordingly departed and arrived safe in 
London. 

Will it be permitted me to adduce, on this Occasion, an 
Instance of the like Honour in a poor unenlightened African 
Negroe. I find it in Capt. Seagrave's Account of his Voyage 
to Guinea. He relates that a New England Sloop, trading 
there in 1752, left their second Mate, William Murray, sick 
on Shore, and sailed without him. Murray was at the House 
of a Black, name Cudjoe, with whom he had contracted 
an Acquaintance during their Trade. He recovered, and 
the Sloop being gone, he continued with his black Friend, 
till some other Opportunity should offer of his getting home. 
In the mean while, a Dutch Ship came into the Road, and some 
of the Blacks going on board her were treacherously seized 
and carried off as Slaves. Their Relations and Friends, 
transported with sudden Rage, ran to the House of Cudjoe 
to take Revenge, by killing Murray. Cudjoe stopped them 
at the Door, and demanded what they wanted? "The 
White Men," said they, "have carried away our Brothers 
and Sons, and we will kill all White Men ; give us the White 
Man that you keep in your House, for we will kill him." 
"Nay," said Cudjoe, "the White Men that carried away 

VOL. IV X 



306 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

your Brothers are bad Men, kill them when you can catch 
them; but this White Man is a good Man, and you must not 
kill him." "But he is a White Man," they cried; "the 
White Men are all bad, and we will kill them all." "Nay," 
says he, "you must not kill a Man, that has done no Harm, 
only for being white. This Man is my Friend, my House is 
his Fort, and I am his Soldier. I must fight for him. You 
must kill me, before you can kill him. What good Man will 
ever come again under my Roof, if I let my Floor be stained 
with a good Man's Blood !" The Negroes, seeing his Reso- 
lution, and being convinced by his Discourse that they were 
wrong, went away ashamed. In a few Days Murray 
ventured abroad again with Cudjoe, when several of them 
took him by the Hand, and told him they were glad they 
had not killed him; for, as he was a good (meaning an in- 
nocent) Man, their God would have been angry, and would 
have spoiled their Fishing. "I relate this," says Captain 
Seagrave, "to show, that some among these dark People have 
a strong Sense of Justice and Honour, and that even the most 
brutal among them are capable of feeling the Force of Rea- 
son, and of being influenced by a Fear of God (if the Know- 
ledge of the true God could be introduced among them,) 
since even the Fear of a false God, when their Rage subsided, 
was not without its good Effect." 

Now I am about to mention something of Indians, I beg 
that I may not be understood as framing Apologies for all 
Indians. I am far from desiring to lessen the laudable 
Spirit of Resentment in my Countrymen against those now 
at War with us, so far as it is justified by their Perfidy and 
Inhumanity. I would only observe, that the Six Nations, 
as a Body, have kept Faith with the English ever since we 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 307 

knew them, now near an Hundred Years; and that the 
governing Part of those People have had Notions of Honour, 
whatever may be the Case with the Rum-debauched, Trader- 
corrupted Vagabonds and Thieves on the Sasquehannah and 
Ohio, Sit present in Arms against us. As a Proof of that 
Honour, I shall only mention one well-known recent Fact. 
When six Catawba Deputies, under the Care of Colonel 
Bull, of Charlestown, went by Permission into the Mohawks 
Country, to sue for and treat of Peace for their Nation, they 
soon found the Six Nations highly exasperated, and the 
Peace at that Time impracticable: They were therefore 
in Fear for their own Persons, and apprehended that they 
should be killed in their Way back to New York; which 
being made known to the Mohawk Chiefs by Colonel Bull, 
one of them, by Order of the Council, made this Speech to 
the Catawbas; 

"Strangers and Enemies, 

"While you are in this Country, blow away all Fear out 
of your Breasts; change the black Streak of Paint on your 
Cheek for a red One, and let your Faces shine with Bear's 
Grease: You are safer here than if you were at home. 
The Six Nations will not defile their own Land with the 
Blood of Men that come unarmed to ask for Peace. We shall 
send a Guard with you, to see you safe out of our Territories. 
So far you shall have Peace, but no farther. Get home to 
your own Country, and there take Care of yourselves, for there 
we intend to come and kill you." 

The Catawbas came away unhurt accordingly. 
It is also well known, that just before the late War broke 
out, when our Traders first went among the Piankeshaw 



308 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

Indians, a Tribe of the Twightwees, they found the Prin- 
ciple of giving Protection to Strangers in full Force; for, 
the French coming with their Indians to the Piankeshaw 
Town, and demanding that those Traders and their Goods 
should be delivered up ; the Piankeshaws replied, the English 
were come there upon their Invitation, and they could not 
do so base a Thing. But the French insisting on it, the 
Piankeshaws took Arms in Defence of their Guests, and a 
Number of them, with their old Chief, lost their Lives in 
the Cause; the French at last prevailing by superior Force 
only. 

I will not dissemble that numberless Stories have been 
raised and spread abroad, against not only the poor Wretches 
that are murdered, but also against the Hundred and Forty 
christianized Indians, still threatned to be murdered; all 
which Stories are well known, by those who know the Indians 
best, to be pure Inventions, contrived by bad People, either 
to excite each other to join in the Murder, or since it was 
committed, to justify it ; and believed only by the Weak and 
Credulous. I call thus publickly on the Makers and Ven- 
ders of these Accusations to produce their Evidence. Let 
them satisfy the Public that even Will Soc, the most ob- 
noxious of all that Tribe, was really guilty of those Offences 
against us which they lay to his Charge. But if he was, 
ought he not to have been fairly tried ? He lived under our 
Laws, and was subject to them; he was in our Hands, and 
might easily have been prosecuted; was it English Justice 
to condemn and execute him unheard? Conscious of his 
own Innocence, he did not endeavour to hide himself when 
the Door of the Workhouse, his Sanctuary, was breaking 
open. "I will meet them," says he, "for they are my 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 309 

Brothers." These Brothers of his shot him down at the 
Door, while the Word Brothers was between his Teeth. 

But if Will Soc was a bad Man, what had poor old Shehaes 
done? What could he or the other poor old Men and 
Women do? What had little Boys and Girls done? What 
could Children of a Year old, Babes at the Breast, what 
could they do, that they too must be shot and hatcheted? 
Horrid to relate ! And in their Parents Arms ! This is 
done by no civilized Nation in Europe. Do we come to 
America to learn and practise the Manners of Barbarians? 
But this, Barbarians as they are, they practise against their 
Enemies only, not against their Friends. 

These poor People have been always our Friends. Their 
Fathers received ours, when Strangers here, with Kindness 
and Hospitality. Behold the Return we have made them! 
When we grew more numerous and powerful, they put 
themselves under our Protection. See, in the mangled 
Corpses of the last Remains of the Tribe, how effectually 
we have afforded it to them ! 

Unhappy People ! to have lived in such Times, and by 
such Neighbours ! We have seen, that they would have been 
safer among the ancient Heathens, with whom the Rites of 
Hospitality were sacred. They would have been considered 
as Guests of the Publick, and the Religion of the Country 
would have operated in their Favour. But our Frontier 
People call themselves Christians! They would have been 
safer, if they had submitted to the Turks; for ever since 
Mahomet's Reproof to Khaled, even the cruel Turks never 
kill Prisoners in cold Blood. These were not even Prisoners. 
But what is the Example of Turks to Scripture Christians? 
They would have been safer, though they had been taken 



310 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

in actual War against the Saracens, if they had once 
drank Water with them. These were not taken in War 
against us, and have drank with us, and we with them, 
for Fourscore Years. But shall we compare Saracens to 
Christians ? 

They would have been safer among the Moors in Spain, 
though they had been Murderers of Sons ; if Faith had once 
been pledged to them, and a Promise of Protection given. 
But these have had the Faith of the English given to them 
many Times by the Government, and, in Reliance on that 
Faith, they lived among us, and gave us the Opportunity 
of murdering them. However, what was honourable in 
Moors, may not be a Rule to us; for we are Christians! 
They would have been safer it seems among Popish Span- 
iards, even if Enemies, and delivered into their Hands by a 
Tempest. These were not Enemies ; they were born among 
us, and yet we have killed them all. But shall we imitate 
idolatrous Papists, we that are enlightened Protestants? 
They would have even been safer among the Negroes of 
Africa, where at least one manly Soul would have been 
found, with Sense, Spirit and Humanity enough, to stand 
in their Defence. But shall Whitemen and Christians act 
like a Pagan Negroe ? In short it appears, that they would 
have been safe in any Part of the known World, except in 
the Neighbourhood of the CHRISTIAN WHITE SAVAGES of 
Peckstang and Donegall! 

O, ye unhappy Perpetrators of this horrid Wickedness! 
reflect a Moment on the Mischief ye have done, the Dis- 
grace ye have brought on your Country, on your Religion, 
and your Bible, on your Families and Children! Think 
on the Destruction of your captivated Country-folks (now 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 311 

among the wild Indians) which probably may follow, in 
Resentment of your Barbarity ! Think on the Wrath of 
the United Five Nations, hitherto our Friends, but now 
provoked by your murdering one of their Tribes, in Danger 
of becoming our bitter Enemies. Think of the mild and 
good Government you have so audaciously insulted; the 
Laws of your King, your Country, and your God, that you 
have broken; the infamous Death that hangs over your 
Heads; for Justice, though slow, will come at last. All 
good People everywhere detest your Actions. You have 
imbrued your Hands in innocent Blood; how will you 
make them clean? The dying Shrieks and Groans of the 
Murdered, will often sound in your Ears : Their Spectres will 
sometimes attend you, and affright even your innocent 
Children! Fly where you will, your Consciences will go 
with you. Talking in your Sleep shall betray you, in the 
Delirium of a Fever you yourselves shall make your own 
Wickedness known. 

One Hundred and Forty peaceable Indians yet remain 
in this Government. They have, by Christian Missionaries, 
been brought over to a Liking, at least, of our Religion; 
some of them lately left their Nation which is now at War 
with us, because they did not chuse to join with them in their 
Depredations; and to shew their Confidence in us, and to 
give us an equal Confidence in them, they have brought and 
put into our Hands their Wives and Children. Others have 
lived long among us in Northampton County, and most of 
their Children have been born there. These are all now 
trembling for their Lives. They have been hurried from 
Place to Place for Safety, now concealed in Corners, then 
sent out of the Province, refused a Passage through a neigh- 



312 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

bouring Colony, and returned, not unkindly perhaps, but 
disgracefully, on our Hands. O Pennsylvania! Once re- 
nowned for Kindness to Strangers, shall the Clamours of a 
few mean Niggards about the Expence of this Publick Hos- 
pitality, an Expence that will not cost the noisy Wretches 
Sixpence a Piece, (and what is the Expence of the poor 
Maintenance we afford them, compared to the Expence 
they might occasion if in Arms against us) shall so sense- 
less a Clamour, I say, force you to turn out of your Doors 
these unhappy Guests, who have offended their own Country- 
folks by their Affection for you, who, confiding in your 
Goodness, have put themselves under your Protection? 
Those whom you have disarmed to satisfy groundless Sus- 
picions, will you leave them exposed to the armed Madmen 
of your Country? Unmanly Men! who are not ashamed 
to come with Weapons against the Unarmed, to use the 
Sword against Women, and the Bayonet against young 
Children; and who have already given such bloody Proofs 
of their Inhumanity and Cruelty. 

Let us rouze ourselves, for Shame, and redeem the Honour 
of our Province from the Contempt of its Neighbours; let 
all good Men join heartily and unanimously in Support of 
the Laws, and in strengthening the Hands of Government; 
that JUSTICE may be done, the Wicked punished, and the 
Innocent protected; otherwise we can, as a People, expect 
no Blessing from Heaven; there will be no Security for our 
Persons or Properties; Anarchy and Confusion will prevail 
over all; and Violence without Judgment, dispose of every 
Thing. 

When I mention the Baseness of the Murderers, in the 
Use they made of Arms, I cannot, I ought not to forget, the 



1764] NARRATIVE OF THE LATE MASSACRES 313 

very different Behaviour of brave Men and true Soldiers, of 
which this melancholy Occasion has afforded us fresh In- 
stances. The Royal Highlanders have, in the Course of 
this War, suffered as much as any other Corps, and have 
frequently had their Ranks thinn'd by an Indian Enemy; 
yet they did not for this retain a brutal undistinguishing 
Resentment against all Indians, Friends as well as Foes. 
But a Company of them happening to be here, when the 
140 poor Indians above mentioned were thought in too 
much Danger to stay longer in the Province, chearfully 
undertook to protect and escort them to New York, which 
they executed (as far as that Government would permit 
the Indians to come) with Fidelity and Honour; and their 
captain Robinson, is justly applauded and honoured by all 
sensible and good People, for the Care, Tenderness and 
Humanity, with which he treated those unhappy Fugitives, 
during their March in this severe Season. 

General Gage, too, has approved of his Officer's Conduct, 
and, as I hear, ordered him to remain with the Indians at 
Amboy, and continue his Protection to them, till another 
Body of the King's Forces could be sent to relieve his Com- 
pany, and escort their Charge back in Safety to Philadelphia, 
where his Excellency has had the Goodness to direct those 
Forces to remain for some Time, under the Orders of our 
Governor, for the Security of the Indians; the Troops of 
this Province being at present necessarily posted on the 
Frontier. Such just and generous Actions endear the 
Military to the Civil Power, and impress the Minds of all 
the Discerning with a still greater Respect for our national 
Government. I shall conclude with observing, that Cowards 
can handle Arms, can strike where they are sure to meet 



314 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

with no Return, can wound, mangle and murder; but it 
belongs to brave Men to spare and to protect; for, as the 

Poet says, 

" Mercy still sways the Brave." 



386. PETITION TO THE KING, (L. c.) 

FOR CHANGING THE PROPRIETARY GOVERNMENT OF 
PENNSYLVANIA INTO A ROYAL GOVERNMENT. 1 

To THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, IN COUNCIL, 

The Petition of the Representatives of the Freemen of 
the Province of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, 

Most humbly sheweth; 

That the Government of this Province by Proprietaries 
has by long Experience been found inconvenient, attended 
with many Difficulties and Obstructions to your Majesty's 
Service, arising from the Intervention of Proprietary private 
Interests in publick Affairs and Disputes concerning those 
Interests. 

That the said Proprietary Government is weak, unable 
to support its own Authority, and maintain the common 
internal Peace of the Province; great Riots have lately 
arisen therein, armed Mobs marching from Place to Place, 
and committing violent Outrages and Insults on the Govern- 
ment with Impunity, to the great Terror of your Majesty's 
Subjects. And these Evils are not likely to receive any 

1 Drafted by Dr. Franklin, and adopted by the Assembly of Pennsylvania, 
in 1764. ED. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 315 

Remedy here, the continual Disputes between the Pro- 
prietaries and People, and their mutual Jealousies and Dis- 
likes preventing. 

We do, therefore, most humbly pray, that your Majesty 
would be graciously pleased to resume the Government of 
this Province, making such Compensation to the Proprieta- 
ries for the same as to your Majesty's Wisdom and Good- 
ness shall appear just and equitable, and permitting your 
dutiful Subjects therein to enjoy under your Majesty's 
more immediate Care and Protection, the Privileges that 
have been granted to them by and under your Royal 

Predecessors. 

Signed By order of the House. 



387. PREFACE TO 
THE SPEECH OF JOSEPH GALLOWAY, ESQ; 

ONE OF THE MEMBERS FOR PHILADELPHIA COUNTY: 

In Answer 

TO THE SPEECH OF JOHN DICKINSON, ESQ; DELIVERED IN THE 
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, OF THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA, MAY 
24, 1764. ON OCCASION OF A PETITION DRAWN UP BY ORDER, AND 
THEN UNDER THE CONSIDERATION OF THE HOUSE; PRAYING HIS 
MAJESTY FOR A ROYAL, IN LIEU OF A PROPRIETARY GOVERNMENT. 

Audi et alter am Partem, 

Philadelphia : 

Printed and sold by W. Dunlap, in Market-Street. 
MDCCLXIV. 



316 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

While the petition to the King for a royal government in Pennsyl- 
vania was under discussion in the Assembly, Mr. John Dickinson made 
a speech against it, which was printed in a pamphlet, with a long preface 
by another hand. Mr. Galloway published a reply, entitled, "The Speech 
of Joseph Galloway, One of the Members for Philadelphia County, in 
Answer to the Speech of John Dickinson, delivered in the House of 
Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, May 24th, 1764." To this 
reply was prefixed the following Preface, written by Dr. Franklin. ED. 

IT is not merely because Mr. Dickinson's Speech was 
usher'd into the World by a Preface, that one is made to this 
of Mr. Galloway. But as in that Preface a Number of 
Aspersions were thrown on our Assemblies, and their Pro- 
ceedings grossly misrepresented, it was thought necessary 
to wipe those Aspersions off, by some proper Animadversions ; 
and by a true State of Facts, to rectify those Misrepresen- 
tations. 

The Preface begins with saying, that "Governor Denny 
whose Administration will never be mentioned but with 
Disgrace, in the Annals of this Province, was induced by 
Considerations to which the World is now no Stranger, to 
pass sundry Acts," &c., thus insinuating, that by some 
unusual base Bargain secretly made but afterwards dis- 
cover'd, he was induc'd to pass them. 

It is fit, therefore, without undertaking to justify all that 
Governor's Administration, to shew what those Considera- 
tions were. Ever since the Revenue of the Quitrents first, 
and after that the Revenue of Tavern-Licenses, were settled 
irrevocably on our Proprietaries and Governors, they have 
look'd on those Incomes as their proper Estate, for which 
they were under no Obligations to the People: And when 
they afterwards concurr'd in passing any useful Laws, they 
considered them as so many Jobbs, for which they ought 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 317 

to be particularly paid. Hence arose the Custom of Presents 
twice a Year to the Governors, at the close of each Session 
in which Laws were past, given at the Time of Passing. They 
usually amounted to a Thousand Pounds per Annum. But 
when the Governors and Assemblies disagreed, so that 
Laws were not pass'd, the Presents were withheld. When 
a Disposition to agree ensu'd, there sometimes still remain' d 
some Diffidence. The Governors would not pass the Laws 
that were wanted, without being sure of the Money, even all 
that they call'd their Arrears; nor the Assemblies give the 
Money without being sure of the Laws. Thence the Neces- 
sity of some private Conference, in which, mutual Assurances 
of good Faith might be receiv'd and given, that the Trans- 
actions should go hand in hand. What Name the impartial 
Reader will give to this Kind of Commerce, I cannot say : 
To me it appears, an Extortion of more Money from the 
People, for that to which they had before an undoubted 
Right, both by the Constitution and by Purchase : But there 
was no other Shop they could go to for the Commodity they 
wanted, and they were oblig'd to comply. Time establish'd 
the Custom, and made it seem honest ; so that our Governors, 
even those of the most undoubted Honor, have practis'd it. 
Governor Thomas, after a long Misunderstanding with 
the Assembly, went more openly to work with them in man- 
aging this Commerce and they with him. The Fact is curi- 
ous, as it stands recorded in the Votes of 1742-3. Sundry 
Bills sent up to the Governor for his Assent had lain long in 
his Hands without any Answer. Jan. 4. The House "Or- 
dered, That Thomas Leech, and Edward Warner, wait upon 
the Governor, and acquaint him, that the House had long 
waited for his Result on the Bills that lie before him, and 



3i8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

desire to know when they may expect it." The Gentlemen 
return and report, "That they waited upon the Governor, 
and delivered the Message of the House according to Order, 
and that the Governor was pleased to say, 'He had had the 
Bills long under Consideration, and waited the Result of the 
House.' " The House well understood this Hint; and im- 
mediately resolv'd into a Committee of the whole House, 
to take what was called the Governor's support into Con- 
sideration, in which they made, the Minutes say, some Prog- 
ress; and the next Morning it appears, that that Progress, 
whatever it was, had been communicated to him; for 
he sent them down this Message by his Secretary; "Mr. 
Speaker, The Governor commands me to acquaint you, 
that as he has received Assurances of a good Disposition 
in the House, he thinks it incumbent on him to shew the like 
on his Part; and therefore sends down the Bills, which lay 
before him, without any Amendment." 

As this Message only shew'd a good Disposition, but con- 
tain'd no Promise to pass the Bills ; the House seem to have 
had their Doubts; and, therefore, February 2, when they 
came to resolve, on the Report of the Grand Committee, to 
give the Money, they guarded their Resolves very cautiously, 
viz, "Resolved, That on the Passage of such Bills as now 
lie before the Governor, the Naturalization Bill, and such 
other Bills as may be presented to him, during this Sitting, 
there be PAID him the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds. Re- 
solved also, That on the Passage of such Bills as now lie before 
the Governor, the Naturalization Bill, and such other Bills 
as may be presented to him this Sitting, there be PAID to 
the Governor the further Sum of One Thousand Pounds, 
for the current Year's Support; and that Orders be drawn 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 319 

on the Treasurer and Trustees of the Loan-Office, pursuant 
to these Resolves." The Orders were accordingly drawn, 
with which being acquainted, he appointed a Time to pass 
the Bills which was done with one Hand, while he received 
the Orders in the other; and then with the utmost polite- 
ness, thank' d the House for the Fifteen Hundred Pounds, 
as if it had been a pure Free Gift, and a mere mark of their 
Respect and Affection. "/ thank you, Gentlemen," (says 
he) "for this Instance of your Regard; which I am the more 
pleased with, as it gives an agreeable Prospect of future 
Harmony between me and the Representatives of the People." 

This, Reader, is an exact Counterpart of the Transaction 
with Governor Denny; except that Denny sent Word to 
the House, that he would pass the Bills before they voted the 
Support. And yet here was no Proprietary Clamour about 
Bribery, &c. And why so? Why, at that Time, the Pro- 
prietary Family, by Virtue of a secret Bond they had ob- 
tained of the Governor at his Appointment, were to share 
with him the Sums so obtained of the People ! 

This Reservation of the Proprietaries they were at that 
Time a little asham'd of, and therefore such Bonds were 
then to be Secrets. But as in every kind of Sinning, frequent 
Repetition lessens Shame, and increases Boldness, we find 
the Proprietaries ten Years afterwards, openly insisting on 
these Advantages to themselves, over and above what was 
paid to their Deputy: "Wherefore," (say they,) 1 "on this 
Occasion, it is necessary that we should inform the People, 
through yourselves, their Representatives, that as, by the Con- 
stitution, our Consent is necessary to their Laws, at the same 
Time that they have an undoubted Right to such as are neces- 

1 That is, to the assembly. V. 



320 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

sary for the Defence and real Service of the Country; so it 
will tend the better to facilitate the several Matters which 
must be transacted with us, for their Representatives to 
shew a Regard to us and our Interest" 

This was in their Answer to the Representation of the 
Assembly, (Votes, December, 1754, p. 48,) on the Justice 
of their contributing to Indian Expences, which they had 
refused. And on this Clause the Committee make the 
following Remark; "They tell us, their Consent is necessary 
to our Laws, and that it will tend the better to facilitate the 
Matters which must be transacted with them, for the Repre- 
sentatives to shew a Regard to their INTEREST: That is, 
as we understand it, though the Proprietaries have a Deputy 
here, supported by the Province, who is, or ought to be, 
fully impower'd to pass all Laws necessary for the Service 
oj the Country, yet, before we can obtain such Laws, we 
must facilitate their Passage, by paying Money for the Pro- 
prietaries, which they ought to pay, or in some Shape make 
it their particular INTEREST to pass them. We hope, how- 
ever, that, if this Practice has ever been begun, it will never 
be continued in this Province; and that, since, as this very 
Paragraph allows, we have an undoubted Right to such Laws, 
we shall always be able to obtain them from the Goodness 
of our Sovereign, without going to Market for them to a 
Subject." Time has shewn that those Hopes were vain; 
they have been oblig'd to go to that Market ever since, 
directly, or indirectly, or go without their Laws. The Prac- 
tice has continued, and will continue, as long as the Pro- 
prietary Government subsists, intervening between the 
Crown and the People. 

Do not, my courteous Reader, take Pet at our Proprietary 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 321 

Constitution, for these our Bargain and Sale Proceedings in 
Legislation. 'Tis a happy Country where Justice, and what 
was your own before, can be had for Ready Money. 'Tis 
another Addition to the Value of Money, and of Course 
another Spur to Industry. Every Land is not so bless'd. 
There are Countries where the princely Proprietor claims 
to be Lord of all Property; where what is your own shall 
not only be wrested from you, but the Money you give to 
have it restor'd, shall be kept with it, and your offering so 
much, being a Sign of your being too rich, you shall be 
plunder' d of every Thing that remained. These Times are 
not come here yet: Your present Proprietors have never 
been more unreasonable hitherto, than barely to insist on 
your Fighting in Defence of their Property, and paying the 
Expence yourselves; or if their estates must, (ah! must) be 
tax'd towards it, that the best of their Lands shall be tax'd 
no higher than the worst of yours. 

Pardon this Digression, and I return to Governor Denny; 
but first let me do Governor Hamilton the Justice to observe, 
that whether from the Uprightness of his own Disposition, 
or from the odious Light the Practice had been set in on 
Denny's Account, or from both, he did not attempt these 
Bargains, but pass'd such Laws as he thought fit to pass, 
without any previous Stipulation of Pay for them. But 
then, when he saw the Assembly tardy in the Payment he 
expected, and yet calling upon him still to pass more Laws, 
he openly put them in Mind of the Money, as a Debt due 
to him from Custom. "In the Course of the present Year," 
(says he, in his Message of July 8, 1763) "a great Deal of 
public Business hath been transacted by me ; and I believe, 
as many useful Laws enacted, as by any of my Predecessors 

VOL. IV Y 



322 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

in the same Space of Time; yet I have not understood, that 
any Allowance hath hitherto been made to me for my Sup- 
port, as hath been customary in this Province." 

The House having then some Bills in hand, took the 
Matter into immediate Consideration, and voted him Five 
Hundred Pounds; for which an Order or Certificate was 
accordingly drawn ; and on the same Day the Speaker, after 
the House had been with the Governor, reported, "That his 
Honor had been pleased to give his Assent to the Bills, by 
enacting the same into Laws. And Mr. Speaker farther re- 
ported, that he had then, in behalf of the House, presented 
their Certificate of Five Hundred Pounds to the Governor, 
who was pleased to say, he was obliged to the House for the 
same." Thus we see the Practice of purchasing and paying 
for Laws, is interwoven with our Proprietary Constitution, 
us'd in the best Times, and under the best Governors. And 
yet, alas, poor Assembly ! How will you steer your brittle 
Bark between these Rocks? If you pay ready Money for 
your Laws, and those Laws are not lik'd by the Proprietaries, 
you are charg'd with Bribery and Corruption : If you wait 
a While before you pay, you are accus'd of detaining the 
Governor's customary Right, and dun'd as a negligent or 
dishonest Debtor, that refuses to discharge a just Debt ! 

But Governor Denny's Case, I shall be told, differs from 
all these, for the Acts he was induced to pass, were, as the 
Prefacer tells us, " contrary to his Duty, and to every Tie of 
Honor and Justice." Such is the Imperfection of our Lan- 
guage, and perhaps of all other Languages, that notwith- 
standing we are furnished with Dictionaries innumerable, 
we cannot precisely know the import of Words, unless we 
know of what Party the Man is that uses them. In the 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 323 

Mouth of an Assemblyman, or true Pennsylvanian, "Con- 
trary to his Duty and to every Tie of Honor and Justice," 
would mean, the Governor's long Refusal to pass Laws, how- 
ever just and necessary, for taxing the Proprietary Estate; 
a Refusal contrary to the Trust reposed in the Lieutenant- 
Governor, by the Royal Charter, to the Rights of the People, 
whose Welfare it was his Duty to promote, and to the 
Nature of the Contract, made between the Governor and the 
Governed, when the Quitrents and License Fees were estab- 
lish'd, which confirm'd what the Proprietaries call our un- 
doubted Right to necessary Laws. But in the Mouth of the 
Proprietaries, or their Creatures, "contrary to his Duty, and to 
every Tie of Justice and Honor," means, his Passing Laws, 
contrary to Proprietary Instructions; and contrary to the 
Bonds he had previously given to observe those Instructions : 
Instructions however, that were unjust and unconstitutional, 
and Bonds that were illegal and void from the beginning. 

Much has been said of the Wickedness of Governor Denny 
in Passing, and of the Assembly in prevailing with him to 
pass those Acts. By the Prefacer's Account of them, you 
would think the Laws so obtain'd were all bad, for he speaks 
of but seven, of which six, he says, were repeaPd, and the 
seventh reported to be "fundamentally WRONG and UNJUST," 
and "ought to be repeaPd, unless six certain Amendments 
were made therein." 1 Whereas in fact there were nineteen 
of them ; and several of those must have been good Laws, for 
even the Proprietaries did not object to them. Of the eleven 
that they opposed, only six were repeaFd; so that it seems 

1 The act is intitled, " An Act for granting to his Majesty the Sum of One 
Hundred Thousand Pounds ; striking the same in Bills of Credit, and sinking 
the Bills by a Tax on all Estates real and personal." 



324 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

these good Gentlemen may themselves be sometimes as 'wrong 
in opposing, as the Assembly in enacting Laws. But the 
Words fundamentally WRONG and UNJUST are the great Fund 
of Triumph to the Proprietaries and their Partizans. These 
their subsequent Governors have unmercifully dinn'd in the 
Ears of the Assembly on all occasions ever since, for they 
make a Part of near a Dozen of their Messages. They have 
rung the Changes on those Words, till they have work'd them 
up to say that the Law was fundamentally wrong and unjust 
in Six several Articles; (Governor's Message, May iyth, 
1764,) instead of "ought to be repealed, unless six Altera- 
tions or Amendments could be made therein." A Law unjust 
in six several Articles, must be an unjust Law indeed ; Let us 
therefore once for all, examine this unjust Law, Article by 
Article, in order to see whether our Assemblies have been such 
Villains as they are represented. 

The first Particular in which their Lordships proposed the 
Act should be amended, was, "That the real Estates to be 
tax'd, be defined with Precision, so as not to include the un- 
surveyed waste Land belonging to the Proprietaries." This 
was at most, but an Obscurity to be cleared. up. And tho* 
the Law might well appear to their Lordships incertain in 
that Particular ; with us, who better know our own Customs, 
and that the Proprietaries waste unsurveyed Land, was never 
here considered among Estates real, subject to Taxation, 
there was not the least Doubt or Supposition, that such Lands 
were included in the Words, "all Estates real and personal." 
The Agents therefore, knowing that the Assembly had no 
intention to tax those Lands, might well suppose they would 
readily agree to remove the Obscurity. 

Before we go farther, let it be observed, That the main 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 325 

Design of the Proprietaries, in opposing this Act, was, to pre- 
vent their estates being tax'd at all. But as they knew that 
the Doctrine of Proprietary Exemption, which they had en- 
deavoured to enforce here, could not be supported there, they 
bent their whole Strength against the Act on other Principles 
to procure its Repeal, pretending great willingness to submit 
to an equitable Tax; but that the Assembly, out of mere 
Malice, because they had conscientiously quitted Quakerism 
for the Church ! were wickedly determin'd to ruin them, to 
tax all their unsurvey'd Wilderness Lands, and at the highest 
Rates, and by that Means exempt themselves and the People, 
and throw the whole Burden of the War on the Proprietary 
Family. 

How foreign these Charges were from the Truth, need not 
be told to any Man in Pennsylvania. And as the Proprietors 
knew, that the Hundred Thousand Pounds of paper money, 
struck for the defence of their enormous Estates, with others, 
was actually issued, spread thro' the Country, and in the 
Hands of Thousands of poor People, who had given their 
Labor for it, how base, cruel,and inhuman it was, to endeavour, 
by a Repeal of the Act, to strike the Money dead in those 
Hands at one Blow, and reduce it all to Waste Paper, to the 
utter Confusion of all Trade and Dealings, and the Ruin of 
Multitudes, merely to avoid paying their own just Tax ! 
Words may be wanting to express, but Minds will easily 
conceive, and never without Abhorrence ! 

The second Amendment proposed by their Lordships was, 
"That the located uncultivated Lands belonging to the Pro- 
prietaries shall not be assessed higher than the lowest Rate, 
at which any located uncultivated Lands belonging to the 
Inhabitants shall be assessed." Had there been any Pro- 



326 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

vision in the Act, that the Proprietaries Lands and those of 
the People, of the same Value, should be taxed differently, the 
one high, and the other low, the Act might well have been 
call'd in this Particular fundamentally wrong and unjust. 
But as there is no such Clause, this cannot be one of the Par- 
ticulars on which the Charge is founded; but, like the first, 
is merely a Requisition to make the Act deary by express 
Directions therein, that the Proprietaries Estate should not 
be, as they pretended to believe it would be, tax'd higher in 
proportion to its Value, than the Estates of others. As to their 
present Claim, founded on that Article, "that the best and 
most valuable of their Lands, should be tax'd no higher than 
the worst and least valuable of the People's," it was not then 
thought of; they made no such Demand; nor did any one 
dream, that so iniquitous a Claim would ever be made by 
Men who had the least Pretence to the Characters of Honor- 
able or Honest. 

The third Particular was, "That all Lands not granted by 
the Proprietaries within Boroughs and Towns, be deemed 
located uncultivated Lands, and rated accordingly, and not 
as Lots." The Clause in the Act that this relates to, is, "And 
whereas many valuable Lots of Ground within the City of 
Philadelphia, and the several Boroughs and Towns within 
this Province, remain unimproved ; Be it enacted, &c., That 
all such unimproved Lots of Ground within the City and 
Boroughs aforesaid, shall be rated and assessed, according to 
their Situation and Value, for and towards raising the Money 
hereby granted." The Reader will observe, that the word 
is all unimproved Lots, and that all comprehends the Lots 
belonging to the People, as well as those of the Proprietary. 
There were many of the former, and a Number belonging even 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 327 

to Members of the then Assembly; and considering the 
Value, the Tax must be proportionably as grievous to them, 
as the Proprietary's to him. 

Is there among us a single Man, even a Proprietary Rela- 
tion, Officer, or Dependant, so insensible of the Differences 
of Right and Wrong, and so confus'd in his notions of just 
and unjust, as to think and say, that the Act in this Particular, 
was fundamentally 'wrong and unjust? I believe not one. 
What then, could their Lordships mean by the propos'd 
Amendment? Their Meaning is easily explain'd. The 
Proprietaries have considerable Tracts of Land within the 
Bounds of Boroughs and Towns, that have not yet been 
divided into Lots : They pretended to believe, that by Virtue 
of this Clause, an imaginary Division would be made of those 
Lands into Lots, and an extravagant Value set on such 
imaginary Lots, greatly to their Prejudice : It was answered, 
that no such Thing was intended by the Act; and that by 
Lots, was meant only such Ground as had been surveyed and 
divided into Lots, and not the open undivided Lands. If 
this only is intended, say their Lordships, then let the Act be 
amended, so as clearly to express what is intended. This is 
the full Amount of the third Particular. How the Act was 
understood here, is well known by the Execution of it, before 
the Dispute came on in England; and therefore before their 
Lordships' Opinion on the Point could be given; of which 
full Proof shall presently be made. In the mean Time it 
appears, that the Act was not on this Account fundamentally 
wrong and unjust. 

The fourth Particular is, "That the Governor's Consent 
and Approbation be made necessary to every Issue and Ap- 
plication of the Money to be raised by Virtue of such Act." 



328 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

The Assembly intended this, and tho't they had done it in the 
Act. The Words of the Clause being, "That [the Commis- 
sioners named] or the major Part of them, or of the Survivors 
of them, "with the Consent and Approbation of the Governor 
or Commander-in- Chief of this Province, for the Time being, 
shall order and appoint the Disposition of the Monies arising 
by Virtue of this Act, for and towards paying and cloathing 
two Thousand seven Hundred effective Men," &c. It was 
understood here, that as the Power of disposing was expressly 
to be with the Consent and Approbation of the Governor, the 
Commissioners had no Power to dispose of the Money 'without 
that Approbation. But their Lordships, jealous (as their 
Station requires) of this Prerogative of the Crown, and being 
better acquainted with the Force and Weakness of Law Ex- 
pression, did not think the Clause explicit enough, unless the 
words "and not otherwise" were added, or some other Words 
equivalent. This Particular, therefore, was no more than 
another Requisition of greater Clearness and Precision, and 
by no Means a Foundation for the Charge of fundamentally 
wrong and unjust. 

The fifth Particular was, "That Provincial Commissioners 
be named to hear and determine Appeals, brought on the 
Part of the Inhabitants, as well as the Proprietaries." There 
was already subsisting a Provision for the Appointment of 
County Commissioners of Appeal, by whom the Act might 
be, and actually has been, as we shall presently shew, justly 
and impartially executed, with Regard to the Proprietaries ; 
but Provincial Commissioners, appointed in the Act, it was 
thought might be of Use in regulating and equalizing the 
Modes of Assessment of different Counties, where they were 
unequal ; and, by affording a second Appeal, tend more to the 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 329 

Satisfaction both of the Proprietaries and the People. This 
Particular was therefore a mere proposed Improvement of 
the Act, which could not be, and was not, in that respect, 
denominated fundamentally wrong and unjust. 

We have now gone thro' five of the six proposed Amend- 
ments, without discovering any Thing on which that Censure 
could be founded; but the sixth remains, which points at a 
Part of the Act, wherein we must candidly acknowledge there 
is something, that, in their Lordships' View of it, must justify 
their Judgment: The Words of the 6th Article are, "That 
the Payments by the Tenants to the Proprietaries of their 
Rents, shall be according to the Terms of their respective 
Grants; as if such Act, had never been passed.*' This re- 
lates to that Clause of the Act, by which the Paper Money was 
made a legal Tender in " Discharge of all Manner of Debts, 
Rents, Sum and of Sums of Money whatsoever, &c., at the 
Rates ascertained in the Act of Parliament made in the sixth 
of Queen Anne." 

From the great Injustice frequently done to Creditors, and 
complain 'd of from the Colonies, by the vast Depreciation of 
Paper Bills, it was become a general fixed Principle with the 
Ministry, that such Bills, whose Value, tho' fixed in the Act, 
could not be kept fixed by the Act, ought not to be made a 
legal Tender in any Colony, at those Rates. The Parliament 
had before passed an Act to take that Tender away in the four 
New England Colonies, and have since made the Act general. 
This was what their Lordships would therefore have proposed 
for the Amendment. But it being represented, That the 
chief Support of the Credit of the Bills, was the legal Tender, 
and that without it they would become of no Value; it was 
allowed generally to remain, with an Exception to the Pro- 



330 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

prietaries' Rents, where there was a special Contract for Pay- 
ment in another Coin. It cannot be denied, but that this was 
doing Justice to the Proprietaries, and that had the Requisi- 
tion been in favour of all other Creditors also, the Justice had 
been equal, as being general. We do not therefore presume 
to impeach their Lordships Judgment, that the Act, as it en- 
forced the Acceptance of Bills for Money at a Value which 
they had only nominally, and not really, was in that respect 
fundamentally wrong and unjust. 

And yet we believe the Reader will not think the Assembly 
so much to blame, when he considers, That the making Paper 
Bills a legal Tender had been the universal Mode in America 
for more than threescore Years. That there was scarce a 
Colony, that had not practised that Mode, more or less. That 
it had always been thought absolutely necessary, in order to 
give the Bills a Credit, and thereby obtain from them the Uses 
of Money. That the Inconveniencies were therefore sub- 
mitted to, for the Sake of the greater Conveniencies. That 
Acts innumerable of the like Kind had been approved by the 
Crown. And, that if the Assembly made the Bills a legal 
Tender at those Rates to the Proprietaries, they made them 
also a legal Tender to themselves, and all their Constituents, 
many of whom might suffer in their Rents, &c., as much, in 
proportion to their Estates, as the Proprietaries. 

But if he cannot on these Considerations, quite excuse the 
Assembly, what will he think of those Honourable Proprie- 
taries, who when Paper Money was issued in their Colony for 
the common Defence of their vast Estates, with those of the 
People, and who must therefore reap, at least, equal Advan- 
tages from those Bills with the People, could nevertheless 
wish to be exempted from their Share of the unavoidable Dis- 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 331 

advantages. Is there upon Earth a Man besides, with any 
Conception of what is honest, with any Notion of Honor, with 
the least Tincture in his Veins of the Gentleman, but would 
have blush'd at the Thought; but would have rejected with 
Disdain such undue Preference, if it had been offered him? 
Much less would he have struggled for it, mov'd Heaven and 
Earth to obtain it, resolv'd to ruin Thousands of his Tenants 
by a Repeal of the Act, rather than miss of it, 1 and enforce it 
afterwards by an audaciously wicked Instruction, forbidding 
Aids to his King, and exposing the Province to Destruction, 
unless it was complied with. And yet, These are Honour- 
able Men. 2 

Here, then, we have had a full View of the Assembly's 
Injustice; about which there has been so much insolent 
Triumph! But let the Proprietaries and their discreet 
Deputies hereafter recollect and remember; that the same 
august Tribunal, which censured some of the Modes and 
Circumstances of that Act, did at the same Time establish 
and confirm the Grand Principle of the Act, viz., "That the 
Proprietary Estate ought, with other Estates, to be taxed:" 
And thereby did in Effect determine and pronounce, that 

1 This would have been done, and the Money all sunk in the Hands of the 
People, if the Agents, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Charles, had not inter- 
posed, and voluntarily, without Authority from the Assembly so to do, but at 
their own Risque, undertaken that those Amendments should be made, or 
that they themselves would indemnify the Proprietaries from any Damages 
they might sustain for want thereof. An Action which, as the Prefacer says 
in another Case, " Posterity perhaps may find a Name for." F. 

2 It is not easy to guess from what Source our Proprietaries have drawn 
their Principles. Those who study Law and Justice, as a Science, have estab- 
lished it a Maxim in Equity, " Qui sentit commodum, sentire debet et onus." 
And so consistent is this with the common Sense of Mankind, that even our 
lowest untaught Coblers and Porters feel the Force of it in their own Maxim, 
(which they are honest enough never to dispute) " Touch Pot, touch Penny." 



332 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

the Opposition so long made in various Shapes to that just 
Principle, by the Proprietaries, was fundamentally WRONG 
and UNJUST. An Injustice, they were not, like the Assembly, 
under any Necessity of committing for the public Good; or 
any other Necessity but what was impos'd on them by those 
base Passions that act the Tyrant in bad Minds, their Self- 
ishness, their Pride, and their Avarice. 

I have frequently mentioned the equitable Intentions of the 
House in those Parts of the Act that were supposed obscure, 
and how they were understood here. A clear Proof thereof 
is found, as I have already said, in the actual Execution of the 
Act ; in the Execution of it before the Contest about it in Eng- 
land, and therefore before their Lordships' Objections to it 
had a Being. When the Report came over, and was laid 
before the House, one Year's Tax had been levied ; and the 
Assembly, conscious that no Injustice had been intended to 
the Proprietaries, and willing to rectify it if any should appear, 
appointed a Committee of Members from the several Coun- 
ties, to examine into the State of the Proprietaries' Taxes thro' 
the Province, and nominated on that Committee a Gentleman 
of known Attachment to the Proprietaries, and their Chief 
Justice, Mr. Allen, to the end that the strictest Enquiry might 
be made. Their Report was as follows; 

"We, the Committee appointed to enquire into, and con- 
sider the State of the Proprietary Taxation thro' the several 
Counties, and report the same to the House, have, in pursu- 
ance of the said Appointment, carefully examined the Returns 
of Property, and compared them with the respective Assess- 
ments thereon made through the whole Province : and find, 

"First, That no Part of the unsurveyed waste Lands be- 
longing to the Proprietaries have, in any instance, been 
included in the Estates taxed. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 333 

"Secondly, That some of the located uncultivated Lands, 
belonging to the Proprietaries in several Counties, remains 
unassessed, and are not, in any County, assessed higher than 
the Lands under like Circumstances belonging to the In- 
habitants. 

"Thirdly, That all Lands not granted by the Proprietaries, 
within Boroughs and Towns, remain untaxed, excepting in a 
few Instances, and in those they are rated as low as the Lands 
which are granted in the said Boroughs and Towns. 

"The whole of the Proprietary Tax of eighteen Pence in the 
Pound, amounts to 566 45. lod. And the Sum of the Tax 
on the Inhabitants for the same Year, amounts, thro' the 
several Counties, to 27,103 12$. Sd. And it is the Opinion of 
your Committee, that there has not been any Injustice done 
to the Proprietaries, or Attempts made to rate or assess any 
Part of their Estates higher than the Estates of the like Kind 
belonging to the Inhabitants, are rated and assessed ; but on 
the contrary, we find, that their Estates are rated, in many 
Instances, below others. 

"Thomas Leech, George Ashbridge, 

"Joseph Fox, Emanuel Carpenter, 

"Samuel Rhoads, John Blackburn, 

"Abraham Chapman, William Allen." 

The House communicated this Report to Governor Ham- 
ilton, when he afterwards pressed them to make the stipulated 
Act of Amendment ; acquainting him at the same Time, that 
as in the Execution of the Act, no Injustice had hitherto been 
done to the Proprietary, so, by a Yearly Inspection of the 
Assessments, they would take Care that none should be done 
him ; for that, if any should appear, or the Governor could at 



334 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

any Time point out to them any that had been done, they 
would immediately rectify it ; and, therefore, as the Act was 
shortly to expire, they did not think the Amendments neces- 
sary. Thus that Matter ended during that Administration. 

And had his Successor, Governor Penn, permitted it still 
to sleep, we are of Opinion it had been more to the Honor of 
the Family, and of his own Discretion. But he was pleas 'd 
to found upon it a Claim manifestly unjust, and which he was 
totally destitute of Reason to support. A Claim, that the 
Proprietaries' best and most valuable located uncultivated 
Lands should be taxed no higher than the worst and least 
valuable of those belonging to the Inhabitants: To enforce 
which, as he thought the Words of one of the Stipulations 
seem'd to give some Countenance to it, he insisted on using 
those very Words as sacred, from which he could " neither 
in Decency or in Duty," deviate, tho' he had agreed to deviate 
from Words of the same Report, and therefore equally sacred 
in every other Instance. A Conduct which will, as the 
Prefacer says in Governor Denny's case, for ever disgrace the 
Annals of his Administration. 1 

Never did any Administration open with a more promising 
Prospect. He assur'd the people, in his first Speeches, of the 
Proprietaries' paternal Regard for them, and their sincere 
Dispositions to do every Thing that might promote their 
Happiness. As the Proprietaries had been pleased to appoint 
a Son of the Family to the Government, it was thought not 
unlikely that there might be something in these Professions ; 
for that they would probably chuse to have his Administration 
made easy and agreeable, and to that End might think it pru- 

1 For a fuller account of this Dispute, the Reader is referred to the News- 
papers, and Votes of Assembly. F. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 335 

dent to withdraw those harsh, disagreeable, and unjust In- 
structions, with which most of his Predecessors had been 
hamper'd. 

The Assembly therefore believ'd fully, and rejoic'd sin- 
cerely. They show'd the new Governor every Mark of Re- 
spect and Regard that was in their Power. They readily and 
cheerfully went into every Thing he recommended to them. 
And when he and his Authority were insulted and indanger'd 
by a lawless murdering Mob, they and their Friends, took 
Arms at his Call, and form'd themselves round him for his 
Defence, and the Support of his Government. 

But when it was found, that those mischievous Instruc- 
tions still subsisted, and were even farther extended; when 
the Governor began, unprovok'd, to send the House affronting 
Messages, seizing every imaginary Occasion of reflecting on 
their Conduct ; when every other Symptom appeared of fixt 
deep-rooted Family Malice, which could but a little while 
bear the unnatural Covering that had been thrown over it, 
what Wonder is it, if all the old Wounds broke out and bled 
afresh, if all the old Grievances, still unredressed, were 
recollected ; if Despair succeeded of any Peace with a Family, 
that could make such Returns to all their Overtures of Kind- 
ness? And when, in the very Proprietary Council, compos'd 
of stanch Friends of the Family, and chosen for their Attach- 
ment to it, 'twas observed, that the old Men (i Kings, Chap. 
12.) withdrew themselves, finding their Opinion slighted, and 
that all Measures were taken by the Advice of two or three 
young Men (one of whom too denies his Share in them) 
is it any Wonder, since like Causes produce like Effects, if the 
Assembly, notwithstanding all their Veneration for the first 
Proprietor, should say, with the Children of Israel under the 



336 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

same Circumstances, "What Portion have we in David, or 
Inheritance in the Son of Jesse? To your Tents, O Israel" ! 

Under these Circumstances, and a Conviction that while 
so many natural Sources of Difference subsisted between 
Proprietaries and People, no Harmony in Government 
could long subsist; without which, neither the Commands 
of the Crown could be executed, nor the public Good pro- 
moted; the House resum'd the Consideration of a Measure 
that had often been propos'd in former Assemblies; a 
Measure that every Proprietary Province in America had, 
from the same Causes, found themselves oblig'd to take, 
and had actually taken or were about to take; and a 
Measure that had happily succeeded wherever it was taken ; 
I mean the Recourse to an immediate Royal government. 

They therefore, after a thorough Debate, and making 
no less than twenty-five unanimous Resolves, expressing 
the many Grievances this Province had long laboured under, 
thro' the Proprietary Government; came to the following 
Resolution, viz. "Resolved, nemine contradicente, That 
this House will adjourn, in order to consult their Constitu- 
ents, whether an humble Address should be drawn up and 
transmitted to his Majesty, praying, that he would be gra- 
ciously pleased to take the People of this Province under his 
immediate Protection and Government, by compleating the 
Agreement heretofore made with the first Proprietary for 
the Sale of the Government to the Crown, or otherwise as 
to his Wisdom and Goodness shall seem meet." * 

1 These words, "by completing the Agreement," &c., are omitted by the 
honest Prefacer, in his Account of the Resolve, that they might not interfere 
with his Insinuation of the Measure's being impracticable ; " Have the Pro- 
prietors, by any Act of theirs, forfeited the least tittle of what was granted 
them by his Majesty's Royal Ancestors? Or can they be deprived of their 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 337 

This they ordered to be made public, and it was pub- 
lished accordingly in all the NewsPapers; the House then 
adjourn' d for no less than seven Weeks, to give their Con- 
stituents Time to consider the Matter, and themselves an 
Opportunity of taking their Opinion and Advice. Could 
any thing be more deliberate, more fair and open, or more 
respectful to the People that chose them? During this 
Recess, the People in many Places, held little Meetings with 
each other; the Result of which was, that they would mani- 
fest their Sentiments to their Representatives, by petition- 
ing the Crown directly of themselves, and requesting the 
Assembly to transmit and support those Petitions. At the 
next Meeting many of these Petitions were delivered to the 
House with that Request; they were signed by a very great 
Number 1 of the most substantial Inhabitants, and not the 
least Intimation was receiv'd by the Assembly from any 
other of their Constituents, that the Measure was disapproved, 

Charter Rights without their Consent ? " &c. Sensible that these Questions 
are impertinent, if those Rights are already sold. F. 

1 The Prefacer, with great Art, endeavours to represent this Number as 
insignificant. He says the Petitioners were but 3500, and that the Province 
contains near Three Hundred Thousand Souls ! His Reader is to imagine 
that Two Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Five Hundred of them were 
apply'd to, and refus'd to sign it. The Truth is, that his Number of Souls is 
vastly exaggerated. The Dwelling- Houses in the Province, in 1752, did not 
exceed 20,000. Political Arithmeticians reckon generally but 5 Souls to a 
House, one House with another ; and therefore, allowing for Houses since 
built, there are not probably more than a Hundred and ten Thousand Souls 
in the Province ; That of these scarce 22,000 could with any Propriety be 
Petitioners. And considering the scattered Settlement of the Province ; the 
general Inattention of Mankind, especially in new Countries, to public Affairs; 
and the indefatigable Pains taken by the Proprietaries' new Allies, the Pres- 
byterian Clergy of Philadelphia, (who wrote circular Letters to every Congre- 
gation in the County, to deter them from petitioning, by dutiful Intimations, 
that if we were reduced to a Royal Government, it would be the " Ruin of the 
Province,") 'tis a Wonder the Number (near a sixth Part) was so great as 
VOL. iv z 



338 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

except in a Petition from an obscure Township in Lancaster 
County, to which there were about forty Names indeed, 
but all evidently signed by three Hands only. 

What could the Assembly infer from this expressed Will- 
ingness of a Part, and Silence of the Rest ; but that the Meas- 
ure was universally agreeable? They accordingly resum'd 
the Consideration of it, and tho' a small, very small Opposi- 
tion then appear 'd to it in the House, yet as even that was 
founded, not on the Impropriety of the Thing, but on the 
suppos'd unsuitableness of the Time, or the Manner ; and a 
Majority of nine tenths being still for it, a Petition was drawn 
agreeable to the former Resolve, and order'd to be trans- 
mitted to his Majesty. 

But the Prefacer tells us, that these Petitioners for a 
Change were a " Number of rash, ignorant, and incon- 
siderate People," and generally of a low Rank. To be sure 
they were not of the Proprietary Officers, Dependants, or 
Expectants, and those are chiefly the People of high Rank 
among us; but they were otherwise generally Men of the 
best Estates in the Province, and Men of Reputation. The 
Assembly who come from all Parts of the Country, and 
therefore may be supposed to know them at least as well 
as the Prefacer, have given that Testimony of them. But 
what is the Testimony of the Assembly, who in his Opinion 
are equally rash, ignorant, and inconsiderate with the Peti- 
tioners? And if his Judgment is right, how imprudently and 
contrary to their Charter have his THREE HUNDRED THOU- 



it was. But if there had been no such Petitions, it would not have been 
material to the Point. The Assembly went upon another Foundation. They 
had adjourned to consult their Constituents ; they return'd satisfy'd that the 
Measure was agreeable to them, and nothing appear'd to the contrary. F. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 339 

SAND SOULS acted in their Elections of Assembly men, these 
twenty Years past; for the Charter requires them to chuse 
Men of most Note for Virtue, Wisdom, and Ability! 

But these are Qualities engross'd it seems, by the Pro- 
prietary Party. For they say, "The WISER and BETTER 
Part of the Province had far different Notions of this Measure ; 
they considered, that the Moment they put their Hands 
to these Petitions they might be surrendering up their Birth- 
right." I felicitate them on the Honor they have thus be- 
stow'd upon themselves, on the sincere Compliments thus 
given and accepted, and on their having with such noble 
Freedom discarded the snivelling Pretence to Modesty, 
couch'd in that threadbare Form of Words, Though ive say 
it, that should not say it. But is it not surprising, that during 
the seven Weeks' Recess of the Assembly, expressly to con- 
sult their Constituents on the Expediency of this Measure; 
and during the fourteen Days the House sat deliberating 
on it after they met again; these their Wisdoms and Better- 
nesses should never be so kind as to communicate the least 
Scrap of their Prudence, their Knowledge, or their Considera- 
tion to their rash, ignorant, and inconsiderate Representa- 
tives? Wisdom in the Mind is not, like Money in the Purse, 
diminish' d by Communication to others. They might have 
lighted up our farthing Candles for us, without lessening 
the Blaze of their own Flambeaux. But they suffer'd our 
Representatives to go on in the Dark, till the fatal Deed was 
done, and the Petition sent to the King, praying him to take 
the Government of this Province into his immediate Care, 
whereby, if it succeeds, "our glorious Plan of public Liberty, 
and Charter Privileges is to be barter'd away," and we are 
to be made Slaves for ever! Cruel Parsimony! to refuse 



340 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

the Charity of a little Understanding, when God had given 
you so much, and the Assembly begg'd it as an Alms. O, 
that you had but for once remember'd and observed the 
Counsel of that wise Poet, Pope, where he says, 

" Be Niggards of Advice on no Pretence ; 
For the worst Avarice is that of Sense." 

In the Constitution of our Government, and in that of 
one more, there still remains a Particular Thing that none 
of the other American Governments have, to wit, the Appoint- 
ment of a Governor by the Proprietors, instead of an Appoint- 
ment by the Crown. This Particular in Government has 
been found inconvenient, attended with Contentions and 
Confusions wherever it existed, and has therefore been 
gradually taken away from Colony after Colony, and every- 
where greatly to the Satisfaction and Happiness of the People. 

Our wise first Proprietor and Founder, was fully sensible 
of this, and being desirous of leaving his People happy, 
and preventing the Mischiefs that he foresaw must in time 
arise from that Circumstance, if it was continued, he deter- 
mined to take it away, if possible, during his own Lifetime. 
They accordingly entred into a Contract, for the Sale of the 
Proprietary Right of Government to the Crown, and actu- 
ally received a Sum in Part of the Consideration. As he 
found himself likely to die, before that Contract (and with 
it his Plan for the Happiness of his People) could be corn- 
pleated ; he carefully made it Part of his last Will and Testa- 
ment, devising the Right of the Government to two Noble 
Lords, in Trust that they should release it to the Crown. 
Unfortunately for us, this has never yet been done. And 
this is merely what the Assembly now desire to have done. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 341 

Surely he that form'd our Constitution, must have under- 
stood it. If he had imagin'd, that all our Privileges de- 
pended on the Proprietary Government, will any one suppose 
that he would himself have meditated the Change, that he 
would have taken such effectual Measures, as he thought 
them, to bring it about speedily, whether he should live or 
die? Will any of those who now extol him so highly, 
charge him at the same time with the Baseness of endeavour- 
ing thus to defraud his People of all the Liberties and Privi- 
leges he had promised them, and by the most solemn 
Charters and Grants assur'd to them, when he engag'd them 
to assist him in the Settlement of his Province ? Surely none 
can be so inconsistent ! And yet this Proprietary Right of 
Governing or appointing a Governor, has, all of a sudden, 
chang'd its Nature; and the Preservation of it, become of 
so much Importance to the Welfare of the Province, that 
the Assembly's only Petitioning to have their venerable 
Founder's Will executed, and the Contract he entered into 
for the Good of his People completed, is stil'd, an " Attempt 
to violate the Constitution for which our Fathers planted a 
Wilderness; to barter away our glorious Plan of public 
Liberty and Charter Privileges; a risquing of the whole 
Constitution; an offering up our whole Charter Rights; 
a wanton sporting with Things sacred," &c. 

Pleasant, surely it is, to hear the Proprietary Partizans, 
of all Men, bawling for the Constitution, and affecting a 
terrible concern for our Liberties and Privileges. They 
who have been, these twenty Years, cursing our Constitution, 
declaring that it was no Constitution, or worse than none; 
and that Things could never be well with us, 'till it was new 
modell'd, and made exactly conformable to the British Con- 



342 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

stitution. They who have treated our distinguishing 
Privileges as so many Illegalities and Absurdities ; who have 
solemnly declared in Print, that though such Privileges 
might be proper in the Infancy of a Colony, to encourage 
its Settlement, they became unfit for it in its grown State, 
and ought to be taken away : They, who by numberless Fals- 
hoods, propagated with infinite Industry, in the Mother 
Country, attempted to procure an Act of Parliament for the 
actual depriving a very great Part of the People of their 
Privileges. They too, who have already deprived the whole 
People, of some of their most important Rights, and are 
daily endeavouring to deprive them of the rest! Are these 
become Patriots, and Advocates for our Constitution ? Won- 
derful Change ! Astonishing Conversion ! Will the Wolves 
then protect the Sheep, if they can but persuade 'em to give 
up their Dogs? Yes; the Assembly would destroy all their 
own Rights, and those of the People; and the Proprietary 
Partizans are become the Champions for Liberty! Let 
those who have Faith, now make Use of it : For 'tis rightly 
defin'd the evidence oj Things not seen y certainly never was 
there more Occasion for such Evidence, the Case being 
totally destitute of all other. 

It has been long observ'd, that Men are, with that Party, 
Angels or Demons, just as they happen to concur with or 
oppose their Measures. And I mention it for the Comfort 
of old Sinners, that in Politics, as well as in Religion, Re- 
pentance and Amendment, tho' late, shall obtain Forgive- 
ness, and procure Favour. Witness the late Speaker, Mr. 
Norris, a steady and constant Opposer of all the Proprietary 
Encroachments, and who, for thirty Years past, they have 
been therefore continually abusing, allowing him no one 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 343 

Virtue or good Quality whatsoever; but now, as he show'd 
some Unwillingness to engage in this present Application to 
the Crown, he is become all at once the faithful Servant 
but let me look at the Text, to avoid Mistakes and, indeed, 
I was mistaken. I thought it had been faithful Servant of 
the Public, but I find 'tis only of the House. Well chosen, 
that Expression, and prudently guarded. The former, 
from a Proprietary Pen, would have been Praise too much, 
only for disapproving the Time of the Application. Could 
you, much respected Sir, go but a little farther; and dis- 
approve the Application itself; could you but say, the 
Proprietary Government is a good one, and ought to be con- 
tinued ; then might all your political Offences be done away, 
and your scarlet Sins become as Snow and Wool ; then might 

you end your Course with (Proprietary) Honor. P 

should preach your funeral Sermon, and S , the Poisoner 

of other Characters, embalm your Memory. But those 
Honors you will never receive; for, with returning Health 
and Strength, you will be found in your old Post, firm for 
your Country. 

There is Encouragement too for young Sinners. Mr. 
Dickenson, whose Speech our Prefacer has introduced to 
the World, tho' long hated by some, and disregarded by the 
rest, of the Proprietary Faction, is at once, for the same 
Reason as in Mr. Harris's Case, become a Sage in the Law, 
and an Oracle in Matters relating to our Constitution. I 
shall not endeavour to pluck so much as a Leaf from these 
the young Gentleman's Laurels. I would only advise him 
carefully to preserve the Panegyrics with which they have 
adorn'd him: In time they may serve to console him, by 
balancing the Calumny they shall load him with, when he 



344 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

does not go through with them in all their Measures: He 
will not probably do the one, and they will then assuredly 
do the other. There are Mouths that can blow hot as well 
as cold, and blast on your Brows the Bays their Hands have 
plac'd there. Ex per to crede Roberto. Let but the Moon 
of Proprietary Favour, withdraw its Shine for a Moment, 
and that "great Number of the principal Gentlemen of Phila- 
delphia" who apply'd to you for the Copy of your Speech, 
shall immediately despise and desert you. 

"Those principal Gentlemen! " what a Pity it is that their 
Names were not given us in the Preface, together with their 
admirable Letter! We should then have known where to 
run for Advice, on all Occasions. We should have known 
who to chuse for our future Representatives. For undoubt- 
edly these were they that are elsewhere called "the WISER 
and BETTER Part of the Province." None but their Wis- 
doms could have known beforehand, that a Speech which 
they never heard, and a Copy of which they had never seen, 
but were then requesting to see, was "a spirited Defence," 
and "of our Charter Privileges;" and that "the Publication 
of it would be of great Utility, and give general Satisfaction." 
No inferior Sagacity could discover, that the Appointment 
of a Governor by the Proprietor, was one of our "Charter 
Privileges;" and that those, who oppos'd the Application 
for a Royal Government, were therefore Patriot Members, 
appearing on the Side of our Privileges and our Charter! 

Utterly to confound the Assembly, and shew the Excellence, 
of Proprietary Government, the Prefacer has extracted from 
their own Votes, the Praises they have from time to time 
bestowed on the first Proprietor, in their Addresses to his 
Sons. And tho' Addresses are not generally the best Reposi- 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 345 

tories of Historical Truth, we must not in this Instance deny 
their Authority. 1 

1 In the Preface to Dickinson's Speech, the following character of William 
Penn was inserted, every phrase in which was taken, as the writer said, from 
the minutes of the assembly. ED. 

"WILLIAM PENN, 
A man of principles truly humane, 

An advocate for 

Religion and Liberty, 

Possessing a noble spirit, 

That exerted itself 
For the good of mankind, 

Was 
The great and worthy founder 

Of 

Pennsylvania. 
To its inhabitants, by Charter, 

He granted and confirmed 
Many singular Privileges and Immunities, 

Civil and religious ; 

Which he continually studied 

To preserve and defend for them, 

Nobly declaring, 

That they had not followed him so far 

To lose a single tittle 

Of the Great Charter 

To which all Englishmen were born ! 

For these services, 

Great have been the acknowledgments 
Deservedly paid to his merit ; 

And his memory 

Is dear to his people, 

Who have repeatedly confessed, 

That, 

Next to Divine Providence, 
Their happiness, prosperity, and increase 

Are owing 

To his wise conduct and singular goodness, 
Which deserve ever to be remembered, 

With 

Gratitude and Affection, 
By Pennsylvanians." 



346 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

That these Encomiums on the Father, tho* sincere, have 
occur'd so frequently, was owing, however, to two Causes; 
first, a vain Hope the Assemblies entertain' d, that the 
Father's Example, and the Honors done his Character, 
might influence the Conduct of the Sons; secondly, for that 
in attempting to compliment the Sons on their own Merits, 
there was always found an extreme Scarcity of Matter. 
Hence, ike Father ', ike honored and honorable Father, was so 
often repeated, that the Sons themselves grew sick of it; 
and have been heard to say to each other with Disgust, 
when told that A. B. and C. were come to wait upon them 
with Addresses on some public Occasion, "Then I suppose 
we shall hear more about our Father" So that, let me tell 
the Prefacer, who perhaps was unacquainted with this An- 
ecdote, that if he hop'd to curry more Favor with the Family, 
by the Inscription he has fram'd for that great Man's Monu- 
ment, he may find himself mistaken; for, there is too 
much in it of our Father. 

If therefore, he would erect a Monument to the Sons, 
the Votes of Assembly, which are of such Credit with him, 
will furnish him with ample Materials for his Inscription. 

To save him Trouble, I will essay a Sketch for him, in the 
Lapidary Style, tho' mostly in the Expressions, and every- 
where in the Sense and Spirit of the Assembly's Resolves 

and Messages. 

Be this a Memorial 

Of T and R P , 

P of P ,! 

Who, with Estates immense, 
Almost beyond Computation, 

When their own Province, 
And the whole British Empire, 

1 That is, Thomas and Richard Penn, Proprietors of Pennsylvania. ED. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 347 

Were engag'd in a bloody and most expensive War, 
Begun for the Defence of those Estates, 

Could yet meanly desire 
To have those very Estates 

Totally or Partially 

Exempted from Taxation, 

While their Fellow-Subjects all around them, 

Groan'd 
Under the universal Burthen. 

To gain this Point, 

They refus'd the necessary Laws 

For the Defence of their People, 

And suifer'd their Colony to welter in its Blood, 

Rather than abate in the least 

Of these their dishonest Pretensions. 

The Privileges granted by their Father, 

Wisely and benevolently 
To encourage the first Settlers of the Province, 

They, 

Foolishly and cruelly, 

Taking Advantage of public Distress, 

Have extorted from the Posterity of those Settlers ; 

And are daily endeavouring to reduce them 

To the most abject Slavery : 
Tho' to the Virtue and Industry of those People 

In improving their Country, 
They owe all that they possess and enjoy. 

A striking Instance 
Of human Depravity and Ingratitude ; 

And an irrefragable Proof, 

That Wisdom and Goodness 

Do not descend with an Inheritance; 

But that ineffable Meanness 
May be connected with unbounded Fortune. 1 

What then avails it to the Honor of the present Proprie- 
tors, that our Founder, and their Father, gave us Privileges, 
if they, the Sons, will not permit us the Use of them, or 

1 Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives, 1754, passim; 
*755 *75 6 !757 passim; 1758, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762, 1763, 1764, /*/. 
F. 



348 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

forcibly rend them from us? David may have been a Man 
after God's own Heart, and Solomon the wisest of Proprietors 

and Governors ; but if Rehoboam will be a tyrant and a , 

who can secure him the Affections of the People! The 
Virtue and Merit of his Ancestors may be very great; but 
his Presumption in depending on these alone y may be much 
greater. 

I lamented a few Pages ago, that we were not acquainted 
with the Names of those "principal Gentlemen the wiser 
and better Part of the Province." I now rejoice that we are 
likely some time or other to know them; for a Copy of a 
Petition to the King is now before me; which, from its 
similarity with their Letter, must be of their inditing, and will 
probably be recommended to the People, by their leading 
up the Signing. 

On this Petition I shall take the Liberty of making a few 
Remarks, as they will save me the Necessity of following 
farther the Preface, the Sentiments of this and that being 
nearly the same. 

It begins with a formal Quotation from the Petition, 1 
which they own they have not seen, and of Words that are 
not in it, and after relating very imperfectly and unfairly, 
the Fact relating to their Application for a Copy of it, which 

is of no Importance; proceeds to set forth, "That As 

we and all your American Subjects must be governed by 
Persons authorized and approved by your Majesty, on the 
best Recommendation that can be obtained of them, we can- 
not perceive our Condition in this Respect to be different 
from our Fellow- Subjects around us, or that we are thereby 
less under your Majesty's particular Care and Protection, 

1 The petition of the assembly to the King for a Royal Government. ED. 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 349 

than they are, since there can be no Governors of this Prov- 
ince without your Majesty's immediate Approbation and 
Authority:' 

Such a Declaration from the wiser Part of the Province, 
is really a little surprizing. What ! when Disputes concern- 
ing Matters of Property are daily arising between you and 
your Proprietaries, cannot your Wisdoms perceive the least 
Difference, between having the Judges of those Disputes 
appointed by a Royal Governor, who has no Interest in 
the Cause; and having them appointed by the Proprietaries 
themselves, the principal Parties against you, and during 
their Pleasure too? When Supplies are necessary to be 
rais'd for your Defence, can you perceive no Difference 
between having a Royal Governor, free to promote his 
Majesty's Service, by a ready Assent to your Laws, and a 
Proprietary Governor, shackled by Instructions, forbidding 
him to give that Assent, unless some private Advantage is 
obtain'd, some Profit got, or unequal Exemption gain'd 
for their Estate, or some Privilege wrested from you ? When 
Prerogative, that in other Governments is only used for the 
Good of the People, is here strained to the extreme, and 
used to their Prejudice, and the Proprietaries' Benefit, can 
you perceive no Difference ? When the direct and immediate 
Rays of Majesty benignly and mildly shine on all around 
us, but are transmitted and thrown upon us thro' the Burn- 
ing-Glass of Proprietary Government, can your Sensibili- 
ties feel no Difference? Shelter'd perhaps, in Proprietary 
Offices, or benumb'd with Expectations, it may be you 
cannot. But surely you might have known better than to 
tell his Majesty, " that there can be no Governors of this 
Province, without his immediate Approbation." Don't you 



350 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

know, who know so much, that by our blessed Constitu- 
tion the Proprietors themselves, whenever they please, may 
govern us in Person, without such Approbation? 

The petition proceeds to tell his Majesty, "That the par- 
ticular Mode of Government, which we enjoy, under your 
Majesty, is held in the highest Estimation by Good Men 
of all Denominations among us; and hath brought Multi- 
tudes of industrious People from various Parts of the World," 
&c. Really! can this be from Proprietary Partizans? 
That Constitution, which they were for ever censuring, as 
defective in a Legislative Council, defective in Government 
Powers, too popular in many of its Modes ; is it now become 
so excellent? Perhaps as they have been tinkering it these 
twenty Years, till they have stript it of some of its most valu- 
able Privileges, and almost spoilt it, they now begin to like 
it. But then it is not surely, this present Constitution, that 
brought hither those Multitudes. They came before. At 
least it was not that Particular in our Constitution, the Pro- 
prietary Power of appointing a Governor, which attracted 
them ; that singular Particular which alone is now in ques- 
tion; which our venerable Founder first, and now the 
Assembly, are endeavouring to change. 

As to the remaining valuable Part of our Constitution, 
the Assembly have been equally full and strong in express- 
ing their Regard for it, and perhaps stronger and fuller; 
for their Petition in that respect, is in the Nature of a Peti- 
tion of Right, it lays Claim, tho' modestly and humbly, to 
those Privileges on the Foundation of Royal Grants, on 
Laws confirmed by the Crown, and on Justice and Equity; 
as the Grants were the Considerations offered to induce them 
to settle, and which they have in a Manner purchas'd and 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 351 

paid for, by executing that Settlement without putting the 
Crown to any Expence. 

Whoever would know what our Constitution was, when 
it was so much admir'd, let him peruse that elegant farewell 
Speech of Mr. Hamilton, Father of our late Governor, when 
as Speaker he took his Leave of the House, and of public 
Business, in 1739, and then let him compare that Con- 
stitution with the present. The Power of appointing public 
Officers by the Representatives of the People, which he so 
much extols: Where is it now? Even the bare naming 
to the Governor in a Bill, a trivial Officer to receive a Light- 
house Duty, which could be considered as no more than a 
mere Recommendation, is, in a late Message, stil'd "an 
Encroachment on the Prerogative of the Crown ! " The 
sole Power of raising and disposing of the Public Money, 
which he says was then lodged in the Assembly, that inesti- 
mable Privilege, What is become of it ? Inch by Inch they 
have been wrested from us in Times of public Distress, 
and the rest are going the same Way. I remember to have 
seen, when Governor Hamilton was engag'd in a Dispute 
with the Assembly on some of those Points, a Copy of that 
Speech, which then was intended to be reprinted, with a 
Dedication to that honorable Gentleman, and this Motto 
from John Rogers's Verses in the Primer. 

" We send you here a little Book, 

For you to look upon ; 
That you may see your Father's Face, 
Now he is dead and gone." 

Many a such little Book has been sent by our Assemblies 
to the present Proprietaries. But they don't like to see 
their Father's Face; it puts their own out of Countenance. 



352 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

The Petition proceeds to say, "That such Disagreements 
as have arisen in this Province, we have beheld with Sorrow, 
but as others around us are not exempted from the like Mis- 
fortunes, we can by no means conceive them incident to the 
Nature 0} our Government, which hath often been adminis- 
tred with remarkable Harmony: And your Majesty, before 
whom our late Disputes have been laid, can be at no Loss, 
in your great Wisdom, to discover whether they proceed 
from the above Cause, or should be ascribed to some others." 
The Disagreements in question, are Proprietary Disagree- 
ments in Government, relating to Proprietary private In- 
terests. And are not the Royal Governments around us 
exempt from these Misfortunes? Can you, really, Gentle- 
men, by no Means conceive, that Proprietary Government 
Disagreements are incident to the Nature of Proprietary 
Governments? Can they in Nature be incident to any 
other Governments? If your Wisdoms are so hard to con- 
ceive, I am afraid they will never bring forth. 

But then our Government "hath often been administred 
with remarkable Harmony." Very true; as often as the 
Assembly have been able and willing to purchase that Har- 
mony, and pay for it, the Mode of which has already been 
shewn. And yet that word often seems a little unluckily 
chosen; the Flame that is often put out, must be as often 
lit. If our Government "hath often been administred with 
remarkable Harmony," it hath as often been administred 
with remarkable Discord. One often is as numerous as the 
other. And his "Majesty," if he should take the Trouble 
of looking over our Disputes to which the Petitioners, to 
save themselves a little Pains, modestly and decently refer 
him, where will he, for twenty Years past, find any but 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 353 

Proprietary Disputes concerning Proprietary Interests; or 
Disputes that have been connected with and arose from 
them? 

The Petition proceeds to assure his Majesty, "that this 
Province (except from the Indian Ravages) enjoys the most 
perfect internal Tranquility! " Amazing! What! the most 
perfect Tranquility ! when there have been three atrocious 
Riots within a few Months ! When, in two of them horrid 
Murthers were committed on twenty innocent Persons, and 
in the third, no less than one Hundred and forty like Mur- 
thers were meditated, and declar'd to be intended, with as 
many more as should be occasion'd by any Opposition! 
When we know that these Rioters and Murderers have 
none of them been punish 'd, have never been prosecuted, 
have not even been apprehended ! when we are frequently 
told, that they intend still to execute their Purposes, as soon 
as the Protection of the King's Forces is withdrawn. Is 
our Tranquility more perfect now, than it was between the 
first Riot and the second, or between the second and the 
third? And why "except the Indian Ravages" if a little 
Intermission is to be denominated "the most perfect Tran- 
quility"? for the Indians too have been quiet lately. Almost 
as well might Ships in an Engagement talk of the "most 
perfect Tranquility" between two Broadsides. But "a 
Spirit of Riot and Violence is foreign to the general Temper 
of the Inhabitants." I hope and believe it is; the Assembly 
have said nothing to the contrary. And yet, is there not too 
much of it ? Are there not Pamphlets continually written, 
and daily sold in our Streets, to justify and encourage it? 
Are not the mad armed Mob in those Writings instigated 
to imbrue their Hands in the Blood of their Fellow Citi- 

VOL. IV 2 A 



354 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1764 

zens ; by first applauding their Murder of the Indians, 
and then representing the Assembly and their Friends as 
worse than Indians, as having privately stirr'd up the In- 
dians to murder the White People, and arm'd and rewarded 
them for that purpose? Lies, Gentlemen, villainous as ever 
the Malice of Hell invented ; and which, to do you Justice, 
not one of you believes, tho' you would have the Mob believe 
them. 

But your Petition proceeds to say, "that where such Dis- 
turbances have happened, they have been speedily quieted." 
By whom were they quieted? The two first, if they can be 
said to be quieted, were quieted only by the Rioters them- 
selves going home quietly, (that is without any Interruption) 
and remaining there till their next Insurrection, without any 
Pursuit, or Attempt to apprehend any of them. And the 
third, was it quieted, or was the Mischief they intended pre- 
vented, or could it have been prevented, without the Aid 
of the King's Troops march'd into the Province for that 
Purpose? "The civil Powers have been supported." In 
some sort. We all know how they were supported. But 
have they been fully supported? Has the Government 
sufficient Strength, even with all its Supports, to venture on 
the apprehending and Punishment of those notorious Offen- 
ders ? If it has not, why are you angry at those who would 
strengthen its Hands by a more immediate Royal Authority? 
If it has, why is not the Thing done ? Why will the Govern- 
ment, by its Conduct, strengthen the Suspicions (groundless 
no doubt) that it has come to a private Understanding with 
those Murderers, and that Impunity for their past Crimes is 
to be the Reward of their future political Services ? O, but, 
says the Petition, "There are perhaps Cases in all Govern- 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 355 

ments, where it may not be possible speedily to discover 
Offenders." Probably; is there any Case in any Govern- 
ment where it is not possible to endeavour such a Discovery ? 
There may be Cases where it is not safe to do it: And per- 
haps the best thing our Government can say for itself, is, 
that that is our Case. The only Objection to such an 
Apology must be, that it would justify that Part of the As- 
sembly's Petition to the Crown which relates to the Weakness 
of our present Government. 1 

Still, if there is any Fault, it must be in the Assembly; 
for, says the Petition, "if the Executive Part of our 
Government should seem in any Case too weak, we conceive 
it is the Duty of the Assembly, and in their Power, to strengthen 
it." This weakness, however, you have just deny'd. "Dis- 
turbances," you say, "have been speedily quieted, and the 
civil Power supported;" and thereby you have deprived 
your insinuated Charge against the Assembly of its only 
Support. But is it not a Fact known to you all, that the 
Assembly did endeavour to strengthen the Hands of the 
Government? That, at his Honor's Instance, they pre- 
par'd and pass'd in a few Hours, a Bill for extending hither 
the Act of Parliament for dispersing Rioters? That they 
also pass'd and presented to him a Militia Bill, which he 
refus'd, unless Powers were thereby given him over the Lives 
and Properties of the Inhabitants, which the public Good 
did not require, and which their Duty to their Constituents 

1 The assembly, being called upon by the governor for their advice on that 
occasion, did, in a message, advise his sending for and examining the magis- 
trates of Lancaster county and borough, where the murders were committed, 
in order to discover the actors ; but neither that, nor any of the other meas- 
ures recommended, were ever taken. Proclamations indeed were published, 
but soon discontinued. F. 



356 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN* FRANKLIN [1764 

would not permit them to trust in the Hands of any Pro- 
prietary Governor? You know the Points, Gentlemen; 
they have been made public. Would you have had your 
Representatives give up those Points? Do you intend to 
give them up when at the next Election you are made As- 
sembly-men? If so, tell it us honestly beforehand, that 
we may know what we are to expect, when we are about to 
chuse you? 

I come now to the last Clause of your Petition, where, 
with the same wonderful Sagacity with which you in another 
Case discovered the Excellency of a Speech you never heard, 
you undertake to characterize a Petition you own you never 
saw; and venture to assure his Majesty that it is "exceeding 
grievous in its Nature ; that it by no Means contains a proper 
Representation of the State of this Province; and is repug- 
nant to the general Sense of his numerous and loyal Sub- 
jects in it." Are then his Majesty's "numerous and loyal 
Subjects" in this Province all as great Wizards as yourselves, 
and capable of knowing without seeing it, that a Petition is 
repugnant to their general Sense? 

But the Inconsistence of your Petition, Gentlemen, is not 
so much to be wonder'd at; the Prayer of it is still more 
extraordinary; "We therefore most humbly pray, that your 
Majesty would be graciously pleased wholly to disregard the 
said Petition of the Assembly." What ! without Enquiry ! 
without Examination! without a Hearing of what the As- 
sembly might say in Support of it! "wholly disregard" the 
Petition of your Representatives in Assembly, accompany'd 
by other Petitions signed by Thousands of your Fellow Sub- 
jects, as loyal, if not as wise and as good as yourselves ! 
Would you wish to see your great and amiable Prince act a 



1764] PREFACE TO SPEECH OF J. GALLOWAY 357 

Part that could not become a Dey of Algiers? Do you, who 
are Americans ; pray for a Precedent of such Contempt in 
the treatment of an American Assembly! Such "total Dis- 
regard " of their humble Applications to the Throne ? Surely 
your Wisdoms here have overshot yourselves. But as Wis- 
dom shews itself, not only in doing what is right, but in con- 
fessing and amending what is wrong, I recommend the latter 
particularly to your present Attention; being persuaded of 
this Consequence, That tho' you have been mad enough to 
sign such a Petition, you never will be Fools enough to pre- 
sent it. 

There is one Thing mentioned in the Preface, which I 
find I omitted to take Notice of as I came along, the Refusal 
of the House to enter Mr. Dickenson's Protest on their 
Minutes : This is mentioned in such a Manner there, and in 
the News Papers, as to insinuate a Charge of some Partiality 
and Injustice in the Assembly. But the Reasons were 
merely these, That tho' Protesting may be a Practice with 
the Lords of Parliament, there is no Instance of it in the 
House of Commons, whose Proceedings are the Model fol- 
low'd by the Assemblies of America; that there is no Prece- 
dent of it in our Votes, from the beginning of our present 
Constitution ; and that the introducing such a Practice, would 
be attended with Inconveniences, as the Representatives in 
Assembly, are not, like the Lords in Parliament, unaccount- 
able to any Constituents; and would therefore find it neces- 
sary for their own Justification, if the Reasons of the Minor- 
ity for being against a Measure were admitted in the Votes, 
to put there likewise the Reasons that induc'd the Majority 
to be for it. Whereby the Votes, which were intended only 
as a Register of Propositions and Determinations, would be 



358 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

fill'd with the Disputes of Members with Members ; and the 
public Business be thereby greatly retarded, if ever brought 
to a period. 

As that Protest was a mere Abstract of Mr. Dickenson's 
Speech, every Particular of it will be found answered in the 
following Speech of Mr. Galloway, from which it is fit that 
I should no longer detain the Reader. 



388. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, Feb. 9. 1765 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I have been so hurried of late, that I could not write much 
by this Packet. One Letter to the Speaker, and one to you, 
are all I shall be able to make out. Thanks to God, I am 
got perfectly well, my Cough quite gone. My Arms, too, con- 
tinue mending, so that I can now put on and off my Cloaths, 
but do not practice it yet, as it still hurts me a little. John 
continues with me, behaves very well, and talks of returning 
with me. Mrs. Stevenson has bought the Things you 
wrote for, and they will go in Capt. Robinson. She presents 
her Compliments, & wishes you would come over & bring 
Sally. I purpose sending in the Chest some Books for 
Cousin Colbert, if the Bookseller sends them in time enough. 

I hope to be able to return about the End of Summer. I 
will look out for a Watch for Sally, as you desire, to bring with 
me. The Reason I did not think of it before, was your 
suffering her to wear yours, which you seldom use yourself. 
Major Small arrived here about 3 Weeks since, very well, 
and gave me the Pleasure of hearing that he left you and 



1765] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN* 359 

Sally and our other Children well also. The News of Col. 
Bouquet's Success gave great Satisfaction here, but to none 
more than myself, upon his Account as well as the Country's. 
I don't know whether I mention'd in any former Letter that 
I could wish you to send me what Letters come to your 
hands directed for me in my Absence. I particularly want 
those that went from the Post- Office here. 

I am oblig'd to our Landlord for his Civility, and shall 
always remember it. I hope by this Time your Trouble of 
Moving is over, & that you are compleatly settled. I 
went to see Mrs. West. She was then unwell, and I did not 
see her ; and have since been too busy ; but shall wait on them 
again very soon. My Love to all. I am, my dear Debby, 
your affectionate Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 



389. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, Feb. 14. 1765. 
MY DEAR CHILD, 

By Capt. Robinson you will receive a Case. M rs Steven- 
son has sent you, with the Blankets, Bedticks, &c. you wrote 
for. No new China was to be had that would match the 
Cup and Saucer; but a Friend who had a Set at the same 
time with me, spar'd me the Remains of his, which are now 
sent. In the Case I return M r Thomas Wharton's Woollen 
Gown, which he was so kind to lend me, and which was so 
comfortable a Companion in my Winter Passage. Please 
to deliver it to him with my grateful Acknowledgements. 
The blue Mohair Stuff is for the Curtains of the Blue Cham- 
ber. The Fashion is to make one Curtain only for each 



360 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

Window. Hooks are sent to fix the Rails by at Top, so that 
they might be taken down on Occasion. I almost wish I had 
left Directions not to paint the House till my Return. But 
I suppose tis done before this time. 

I am glad their Pamphlets give you so little Concern. I 
make no other Answer to them at present than what appears 
in the Seal of this Letter. In yours of Decf 12. which was 
Wednesday, you say, "7 set you down jor being in London on 
Sunday last." You were very near right. I landed that 
Day at Portsmouth. So that if you had said England in- 
stead of London it would have been exact. A few Hours, 
however brought me here. 

I have seen M rs West. She is very well, and desires to be 
remembred to you and Sally. M rs Empson is gone to Ire- 
land. Major Small sends his Compliments, M rs Stevenson 
who is but poorly, and Polly send their's, as do M r & M re 
Strahan. Miss Betsy Graeme lodges not far from me, and 
is pretty well. 

Remember me affectionately to all our good Friends who 
contributed by their Kindness to make my Voyage comfort- 
able. To M r Roberts, M rs Thompson, M rs Smith, M rs 
Potts, M rs Shewell; Mess" Whartons, Capt. Falkner, Brothers 
& Sisters Reads & Franklins, Cousin Davenport, and every 
body. 

Let no one make you uneasy with their idle or malicious 
Stories or Scribblings, but enjoy yourself and Friends, and 
the Comforts of Life that God has bestow'd on you, with a 
chearful Heart. Let Sally divert you with her Music. Put 
her on Practising on the Armonica. M r Brenmer with his 
Violin may assist and improve her there as well as on the 
Harpsichord. A few Months, I hope, will finish Affairs 



1765] TO JOHN ROSS 361 

here to my Wish, and bring me to that Retirement and Re- 
pose with my little Family, so suitable to my Years, and 
which I have so long set my Heart upon. I am, my dear 

Debby, your ever affectionate Husband 

B. FRANKLIN. 

Love to Sally and our other 
Children. I have seen 
Amelia Evans, She complains 
that Sally does not write to her . 

I have wrote to Messrs. Thomas & Samuel Wharton per 
Capt. M c Pharson, under Care of M r Meredith. 



390. TO JOHN ROSS 1 

London, February 14, 1765. 
DEAR SIR : 

I received your obliging favour of December 2oth, and am 
glad to find that, though so distant from them, I still live in 
the remembrance of my friends. 

We have been of late so much engaged in our general 
American affairs that it was necessary to let what particu- 
larly related to our Province to sleep awhile for the present ; 
but it is nevertheless working gradually to its point, and will, 
I believe, end as we wish it. For the Quakers, who, to show 
their moderation as regards the proprietors, have (of them- 
selves) undertaken to persuade them to reasonable measures, 
will, on finding them obstinate, give their whole force and 
weight to procure a happy event to the petition, especially 
as they dread nothing more than what they see otherwise 

1 From " Life and Correspondence of George Read. By his Grandson, 
William Thompson Read, Philadelphia, 1870," p. 46. John Ross (1714-1 776), 
a lawyer of Philadelphia. ED. 



362 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

inevitable, their friends in Pennsylvania falling totally under 
the domination of Presbyterians. 

The changes you mention in the magistracy indicate the 
measures intended, and manifest the means by which they 
are to be brought about. The hasty setting aside such un- 
exceptionable magistrates merely for their political opinions 
was not, however, a step the most prudent, for I think it 
will have different effects from those proposed by it. 

The stamp-act, notwithstanding all the opposition we 
have been able to give it, will pass. Every step in the law, 
every newspaper, advertisement, and almanac is severely 
i taxed. If this should, as I imagine it will, occasion less law 
and less printing, it will fall particularly hard on us lawyers 
and printers. 

The Parliament will, however, ease us in some partic- 
ulars relating to our commerce, and a scheme is under con- 
sideration to furnish us with a currency, without which we 
can neither pay debts nor duties. 

It is said here among the merchants that North America 
owes them no less than four millions sterling. Think what 
a sum the interest of this debt amounts to ! pay them 
honestly. 

Be pleased to present my hearty respects to our friends 
Potts, Pawlin and Morton. They do not I dare say, sleep a 
jot the worse for their dismission. There are times in which 
'The post of honour is a private station/ But those times 
will not, I think, long continue. At least nothing in my 
power shall be wanting to change them. 

My respects to Mrs. Ross, and my young friends of your 
family; and believe me, with sincere regard, dear Sir, your 
most obedient, humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 



1765] TO DAVID HALL 363 

P. S. I send you a pamphlet, wrote, I have reason to 
believe, under the direction of the ministry, with a view to 
make us Americans easy, which shows some tenderness for 
us. 



391. TO DAVID HALL 1 (p. c.) 

London, Feb. 14, 1765 

DEAR M R . HALL, 

I received your obliging Letter of Decem r 20, with the 
Newspapers. I am glad to hear of Col. Bouquet's Success, 
hope the deserting Hostages will be recover'd, and the Peace 
firmly established. The French being now totally remov'd 
from North America, we may, I think, expect the Indians 
will be more manageable for the future. 

The Stamp Act, notwithstanding all the Opposition that 
could be given it by the American Interest, will pass. I think 
it will affect the Printers more than anybody, as a Sterling 
Halfpenny Stamp on every Half Sheet of a Newspaper, and 
Two Shillings Sterling on every Advertisement, will go near 
to knock up one Half of both. There is also Fourpence 
Sterling on every Almanack. I have just sent to M r Strahan 
to forward 100 Reams of the large Half Sheets to you, such 
as the Chronicle is done on, for present use, and shall, as 
soon as possible, send you a Pair of Paper Molds for that 
size, otherwise the Stamp on the Gazette will cost a Penny 
Sterling, even when you do not print a Half Sheet. 

Robert Hampden Esq., one of the Post Masters General, 
is now, by the Death of his Brother, become Lord Trevor, 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Simon Gratz. ED. 



364 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

and should have his Papers directed, To the Right Honourable 
Earl Trevor, General Post Office, London. 

The Opposition is come to nothing. The little Squibs 
you see in the Papers are regarded by nobody. But for 
Politicks I refer you to Mf Strahan. 
My Love to Cousin Molly and your children. 
I am 
Yours affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 



392. FROM JOSEPH GALLOWAY TO B. FRANKLIN 

(A. P. s.) 
Philadelphia, FebT 27. 1765. 

DEAR SIR, 

I wrote to you by the Packet, inclosing a Copy of the 
Extract of a Letter from Thomas Penn Esq. to his Nephew, 
the Governor, which is inclosed in this Letter. 

This Account of the Petitions for a Change of this Govern- 
ment from Proprietary to Royal, has struck our Friends with 
the utmost Consternation. And indeed, I am not a little 
alarmed at the Consequences. For, you well know, the 
Assembly Party are the only Loyal Part of the People here, 
and are those very persons, who have preserved the Peace 
and good Order of the Province, not only against the Paxton 
Rioters and Murderers, but also in these Times of general 
Tumult and Distraction, when all the Powers of this Govern- 
ment were asleep, and its Officers were active in the Op- 
position; and they conceive, that this good Demeanor and 
remarkable Services to the Crown justifies their Claim of 
some Share of Merit, and at least entitles them to a Hearing 
of their Complaints. 




BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 

The Politician. 
Painted by S. Elmer, and engraved by T. Ryder. 



1765] FROM JOSEPH GALLOWAY TO B. FRANKLIN 365 

But they say if this Extract be true, that his Majesty's 
Privy Council has rejected the Humble Petitions of their 
Representatives without even a Hearing; that they have 
not been permitted, when they have approached the Throne 
with the utmost Duty and Loyalty, to breathe forth their 
Complaints against Proprietary Oppression and Injustice, 
which has often wounded their own Welfare, and obstructed 
their essential Duties to the Crown; and that they have 
nothing now left, but to groan, if they dare to groan at all, 
under the Tyranny of a private Subject, without the least 
Hopes of Redress, the Royal Ear being shut against a Part 
of his Liege Subjects, the most Dutiful and Loyal. 

They further say, what you well know, that the Laws are 
not, nor have been, for many years Duly Executed: That 
no Justice is to be obtained against the Proprietors, or their 
adherents; that the most Flagitious Offenders, even Mur- 
derers and Rebels, are travelling about the Country with 
Impunity; and that they have no Protection of Life, nor 
Safety of Person or Property. These, with many other 
Complaints, are constantly issuing from the Hearts of the 
People; the Proprietary Dependents excepted, who greatly 
rejoice and even insult the Petitioners and their Friends. 
Since the receipt of this incredible Letter, extracts whereof 
have been industriously sent all over the Province, in order 
to Spirit up the Temper and violent Disposition of their 
Party, I have left nothing in my Power unessayed among our 
Friends to oppose the Torrent, and to prevail on them to 
discredit this account, and to believe that his Majesty will 
yet hear their Petitions and redress their aggrievances. And 
I have been obliged, to give many Extracts of your Letter 
to me, respecting the State of those Petitions, to convince 



366 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

them of my Assurances, which has in some Degree pre- 
vented their Dispair, as they have been from thence induced 
to discredit the Extract. 

Our Assembly, anxious to know the result of the Petitions, 
have adjourned to the 6th of May next; who are inviolably 
attached to his Majesty, and firmly determined to become 
his immediate Subjects, if there are any Human Means left 
to effect it. And since the Assurances that have been re- 
ceived, that our Liberties will be preserved on the Change,, 
all their Constituents (the Proprietary Dependents and Pres- 
byterians excepted) are determined to support them in the 
Attempt. Should this Account from the Proprietor prove 
true, (which God forbid,) that their Petitions are rejected 
without a Hearing, I fear their Consternation and Distress 
will be wrought still higher. For, while the present members 
are continued, I am convinced they will never cease entreat- 
ing his Majesty to rescue them from the Oppression of his 
private Subjects; and that there is a great Probability to 
presume their Continuance, will appear from the Accounts 
of the last Election I transmitted you by Capt n Friend. 

Wherefore, I hope the Petitions, as you have written and I 
have confidently declared, are not rejected, or laid aside, but 
will be resumed when the more important American Affairs 
are settled. Nothing less than a Change, I think, will 
satisfy the people ; certain I am, a Dismission without a Hear- 
ing never can : But I fear will throw this already too unhappy 
Province into equal Disorder and Confusion with its neigh- 
bouring Colonies. 

You will therefore be pleased to inform me in what State 
the Petitions are before his Majesty's Council, by the earliest 
Opportunity, that I may be enabled to satisfy the People,, who 



1765] TO THE EDITOR OF A NEWSPAPER 367 

rely upon us with Certainty. In the mean Time, be assured,, 
that nothing in my Power shall be wanting to preserve ye 
Peace, and render them Easy. Believe me, dear Friend, ever 
yours most affectionately, 

Jos. GALLOWAY. 



393. TO THE EDITOR OF A NEWSPAPER 1 

(A. P. s.) 

Monday, May 20, [1765.] 

SIR, 

In your Paper of Wednesday last, an ingenious Correspon- 
dent that calls himself THE SPECTATOR, and dates from 
PimlicOj under the Guise of Good Will to the News-writers, 
whom he calls an "useful Body of Men in this great City," 
has, in my Opinion, artfully attempted to turn them & 
their Works into Ridicule, wherein if he could succeed, great 
Injury might be done to the Public as well as to those good 
People. 

Supposing, Sir, that the "We hears" they give us of this 
& t'other intended Voyage or Tour of this & t'other great 
Personage, were mere Inventions, yet they at least offer us an 
innocent Amusement while we read, and useful Matter of 
Conversation when we are disposed to converse. 

Englishmen, Sir, are too apt to be silent when they have 
nothing to say ; too apt to be sullen when they are silent ; and, 
when they are sullen, to hang themselves. But, by these 
We hears, we are supplied with abundant funds of Discourse, 
we discuss the Motives for such Voyages, the Probability of 

1 Printed from the original draft in A. P. S. The name of the newspaper 
for which it was intended is not mentioned. Its object plainly was to dis- 
credit the false reports continually circulated respecting the colonies. ED. 



368 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

their being undertaken, and the Practicability of their Exe- 
cution. Here we display our Judgment in Politics, our 
Knowledge of the Interests of Princes, and our Skill in Geog- 
raphy, and (if we have it) show our Dexterity moreover in 
Argumentation. In the mean time, the tedious Hour is 
kill'd, we go home pleas'd with the Applauses we have 
received from others, or at least with those we secretly give to 
ourselves : We sleep soundly, & live on, to the Comfort of 
our Families. But, Sir, I beg leave to say, that all the Arti- 
cles of News that seem improbable are not mere Inventions. 
Some of them, I can assure you on the Faith of a Travel- 
ler, are serious Truths. And here, quitting Mr. Spectator of 
Pimlico, give me leave to instance the various numberless 
Accounts the Newswriters have given us, with so much 
honest Zeal for the welfare of Poor Old England, of the 
establishing Manufactures in the Colonies to the Prejudice 
of those of this Kingdom. It is objected by superficial 
Readers, who yet pretend to some Knowledge of those 
Countries, that such Establishments are not only improb- 
able, but impossible, for that their Sheep have but little 
Wooll, not in the whole sufficient for a Pair of Stockings a 
Year to each Inhabitant; and that, from the Universal 
Dearness of Labour among them, the Working of Iron and 
other Materials, except in some few coarse Instances, is 
impracticable to any Advantage. 

Dear Sir, do not let us suffer ourselves to be amus'd with 
such groundless Objections. The very Tails of the American 
Sheep are so laden with Wooll, that each has a little Car or 
Waggon on four little Wheels, to support & keep it from 
trailing on the Ground. Would they caulk their Ships, would 
they fill their Beds, would they even litter their Horses with 



1765] TO THE EDITOR OF A NEWSPAPER 369 

Wooll, if it were not both plenty and cheap ? And what sig- 
nifies Dearness of Labour, when an English Shilling passes 
for five and Twenty? Their engaging 300 Silk Throwsters 
here in one Week, for New York, was treated as a Fable, be- 
cause, forsooth, they have "no Silk there to throw." Those, 
who made this Objection, perhaps did not know, that at the 
same time the Agents from the King of Spain were at Quebec 
to contract for 1000 Pieces of Cannon to be made there for 
the Fortification of Mexico, and at N York engaging the 
annual Supply of woven Floor-Carpets for their West India 
Houses, other Agents from the Emperor of China were at 
Boston treating about an Exchange of raw Silk for Wooll, to 
be carried in Chinese Junks through the Straits of Magellan. 
And yet all this is as certainly true, as the Account said to 
be from Quebec, in all the Papers of last Week, that the In- 
habitants of Canada are making Preparations for a Cod and 
Whale Fishery this " Summer in the upper Lakes." Ignorant 
People may object that the upper Lakes are fresh, and that 
Cod and Whale are Salt Water Fish : But let them know, Sir, 
that Cod, like other Fish when attack'd by their Enemies, fly 
into any Water where they can be safest ; that Whales, when 
they have a mind to eat Cod, pursue them wherever they fly ; 
and that the grand Leap of the Whale in that Chase up the 
Fall of Niagara is esteemed, by all who have seen it, as one of 
the finest Spectacles in Nature. Really, Sir, the World is 
grown too incredulous. It is like the Pendulum ever swinging 
from one Extream to another. Formerly every thing printed 
was believed, because it was in print. Now Things seem to 
be disbelieved for just the very same Reason. Wise Men 
wonder at the present Growth of Infidelity. They should 
have considered, when they taught People to doubt the 

VOL. IV 2 B 



370 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

Authority of Newspapers and the Truth of Predictions in 
Almanacks, that the next Step might be a Disbelief in the 
well vouched Accts of Ghosts Witches, and Doubts even of 
the Truths of the Creed ! 

Thus much I thought it necessary to say in favour of an 
honest Set of Writers, whose comfortable Living depends on 
collecting & supplying the Printers with News at the small 
Price of Sixpence an Article, and who always show their 
Regard to Truth, by contradicting in a subsequent Article 
such as are wrong, for another Sixpence, to the great 
Satisfaction & Improvement of us Coffee-house Students in 
History & Politics, and the infinite Advantage of all future 
Livies, Rapins, Robertsons, Humes, and M c Aulays, who may 
be sincerely inclin'd to furnish the World with that rara Avis, 
a true History. I am, Sir, your humble Servant, 

A TRAVELLER. 



394. TO JOHN CANTON 1 

Craven Street, May 29, 1765- 

DEAR SIR 

As you seem'd desirous of seeing the magic Circle I men- 
tion'd to you, I have revised the one I made many Years 
since, and with some Improvements, send it you. 

I have made it as distinct as I could, by using Inks of dif- 
ferent Colours for the several Sets of interwoven Circles \ 
and yet the whole makes so perplext an Appearance, that I 
doubted whether the Eye could in all Cases easily trace the 

1 The original of this letter is in the Museum of the Guild Hall, London, 
deposited by R. Canton, a great-grandson of John Canton, F.R.S. A fac- 
simile of it is among the " Canton Papers " (Royal Society). ED. 



1765] TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK 371 

Circle of Numbers one would examine, thro' all the Maze 
of Circles intersected by it. I have therefore, in the middle 
Circle, mark'd the Centers of the Green, Yellow, and Blue 
Sets ; so that when you would cast up the Numbers in any 
Circle of either of those Colours, if you fix one Foot of the 
Compasses in the Center of the same Colour, and extend the 
other to any Number in that Circle, it will pass round over 
all the rest successively. 

This magic Circle has more Properties than are mentioned 
in the Description of it, some of them curious & even sur- 
prizing ; but I could not mark them all without occasioning 
more Confusion in the Figure, nor easily describe them with- 
out too much Writing. When I have next the Pleasure of 
seeing you, I will point them out. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Your most obedient 

humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN 
Mr. Canton 

P. S. You have my union Square of 8, and the great 
perfect one of 16 ; I enclose one of 6, & one of 4, which I 
assure you, I found more difficult to make (particularly 
that of 6) tho' nothing near so good. 



395. TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK (L. L.) 

Cravenstreet, London, June 2, 1765. 

DEAR SIR 

I received your kind Congratulations on my Return to 
Britain, by M r Alexander, which was very obliging. The 
Slip to D r Morgan I sent after him to America, where I hope 



372 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

he is safely arrived before this time. He always express' d 
himself greatly obliged to you for the Notice you took of him 
and the Countenance you afforded him; and I shall always 
thank you cordially for the Regard you were so good as to pay 
my Recommendation. I think he will prove of great Use 
to his Country as well as an Honour to the Medical School of 
Edinburgh. 

I have perused the Memorandum you sent me from your 
Friend M r Swinton, and wish I was able to give him the In- 
formation he desires. I should have wrote to you sooner on 
this Head, but that I hoped to obtain some Lights from a 
Person daily expected in Town, but who came not till lately, 
and I now find is as unacquainted as myself. I can only say, 
that I remember Peter Sonmans, who sold considerable Tracts 
of Land in the Jerseys ; and that since his Death, one Nevil, 
whose Sister Sonmans married, has continued to sell Lands 
of the same Property in her Right. But what remains, or 
in what Situation, I am ignorant ; nor can I answer the other 
Questions with any degree of Precision. But I will send the 
Memorandum, with your Letter to my Son, if you think 
proper. He continues Governor of that Province, and I am 
sure will take pains to be satisfy'd in every Particular, and 
send you a full Answer. I can however inform you that 
there is a Right to 5000 Acres in Pensilvania ; belonging to the 
Representatives of that same Arent Sonmans as I believe, he 
being describ'd in a Memorandum I have of old Rights, 
Arent Sonmans of Wallyford. Mid Lothian in the Kingdom 
of Scotland. Those Representatives may, if they think fit 
to dispose of that Right, hear of a Purchaser by applying to 
me. 

There is now at Edinburgh a young Gentleman of America, 



1765] TO LORD KAMES 373 

M r Samuel Bard, 1 Son of a Friend of mine. He is studying 
Physic there. I have known him from a Child, and always 
had an Affection for him, as he appeared to have the most 
amiable Dispositions. I beg your Countenance towards him, 
and that you would occasionally favour him with your 
Advice in his Studies. 

Be pleased to present my best Respect to Lady Dick & 
your Children, and allow me to assure you that no one re- 
joices more in your and their Felicity than, Dear Sir, 
Your affectionate & most 
obedient Humble Servant 

B FRANKLIN 

My Son who is very happy in his Government hitherto, 
desires to be very respectfully remembered to you 



396. TO LORD KAMES 2 

Craven Street, London, June 2, 1765. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

I received with great pleasure your friendly letter by Mr. 
Alexander, which I should have answered sooner by some 
other conveyance, if I had understood that his stay here was 
like to be so long. I value myself extremely on the con- 
tinuance of your regard, which I hope hereafter better to 
deserve, by more punctual returns in the correspondence you 
honour me with. 

You require my history from the time I set sail for America. 

1 Samuel Bard (1742-1821), son of Dr. John Bard, of New York, was first 
president of the New York College of physicians and surgeons. ED. 

2 From " Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry 
Home of Kames," Vol. II, p. 16. ED. 



374 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

I left England about the end of August, 1762, in company 
with ten sail of merchant ships, under a convoy of a man-of- 
war. We had a pleasant passage to Madeira, where we were 
kindly received and entertained; our nation being then in 
high honour with the Portuguese, on account of the protection 
we were then affording them against the united invasions of 
France and Spain. 'Tis a fertile island, and the different 
heights and situations among its mountains afford such tem- 
peraments of air, that all the fruits of northern and southern 
countries are produced there ; corn, grapes, apples, peaches, 
oranges, lemons, plantains, bananas, &c. Here we furnished 
ourselves with fresh provisions, and refreshments of all kinds ; 
and, after a few days, proceeded on our voyage, running 
southward until we got into the trade winds, and then with 
them westward, till we drew near the coast of America. The 
weather was so favourable, that there were few days in which 
we could not visit from ship to ship, dining with each other, 
and on board of the man-of-war; which made the time pass 
agreeably, much more so than when one goes in a single ship ; 
for this was like travelling in a moving village, with all one's 
neighbours about one. 

On the ist of November, I arrived safe and well at my own 
liome, after an absence of near six years, found my wife and 
daughter well; the latter grown quite a woman, with many 
amiable accomplishments acquired in my absence; and my 
friends as hearty and affectionate as ever, with whom my 
house was filled for many days, to congratulate me on my re- 
turn. I had been chosen yearly during my absence to repre- 
sent the city of Philadelphia in our provincial Assembly ; 
and, on my appearance in the House, they voted me 3000 
Sterling for my services in England, and their thanks deliv- 



1765] TO LORD KAMES 375 

ered by the Speaker. In February following my son arrived 
with my new daughter; for, with my consent and approba- 
tion, he married soon after I left England a very agreeable 
West India lady, with whom he is very happy. I accom- 
panied him into his government, where he met with the kind- 
est reception from the people of all ranks, and has lived with 
them ever since in the greatest harmony. A river only parts 
that province and ours, and his residence is within seventeen 
miles of me, so that we frequently see each other. 

In the spring of 1763, I set out on a tour through all the 
northern Colonies to inspect and regulate the Postoffices in 
the several provinces. In this journey I spent the summer, 
travelled about 1600 miles, and did not get home till the be- 
ginning of November. The Assembly sitting through the 
following winter, and warm disputes arising between them 
and the Governor, I became wholly engaged in public affairs ; 
for, besides my duty as an Assemblyman, I had another trust 
to execute, that of being one of the Commissioners appointed 
by law to dispose of the public money appropriated to the 
raising and paying an army to act against the Indians, and 
defend the frontiers. And then in December, we had two 
insurrections of the back inhabitants of our province, by 
whom twenty poor Indians were murdered, that had, from 
the first settlement of the province, lived among us, under the 
protection of our government. This gave me a good deal of 
employment ; for, as the rioters threatened farther mischief, 
and their actions seemed to be approved by an increasing 
party, I wrote a pamphlet entitled "A Narrative, &*c." 
(which I think I sent you) to strengthen the hands of our 
weak Government, by rendering the proceedings of the 
rioters unpopular and odious. This had a good effect ; and 



376 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

afterwards, when a great body of them with arms marched 
towards the capital, in defiance of the Government, with an 
avowed resolution to put to death 140 Indian converts then 
under its protection, I formed an Association at the Governor's 
request, for his and their defence, we having no militia. Near 
i coo of the citizens accordingly took arms ; Governor Penn 
made my house for some time his head-quarters, and did every 
thing by my advice; so that, for about forty-eight hours, I 
was a very great man ; as I had been once some years before, 
in a time of public danger : But the fighting face we put on, 
and the reasonings we used with the insurgents, (for I went 
at the request of the Governor and Council, with three others, 
to meet and discourse them,) having turned them back and 
restored quiet to the city, I became a less man than ever; 
for I had, by these transactions, made myself many enemies 
among the populace; and the Governor, (with whose family 
our public disputes had long placed me in an unfriendly light, 
and the services I had lately rendered him not being of the 
kind that make a man acceptable,) thinking it a favourable 
opportunity, joined the whole weight of the proprietary inter- 
est to get me out of the Assembly; which was accordingly 
effected at the last election, by a majority of about 25 in 4000 
voters. The House, however, when they met in October, 
approved of the resolutions taken while I was Speaker, 1 of 
petitioning the crown for a change of Government, and re- 
quested me to return to England, to prosecute that petition; 
which service I accordingly undertook, and embarked at the 

1 Mr. Isaac Norris, who had long acted as Speaker of the Assembly of Penn- 
sylvania, resigned that office on account of ill health, May 26th, 1764, and 
Dr. Franklin was appointed as his successor. He continued Speaker till the 
Assembly was dissolved in September following. S. 



1765] TO LORD KAMES 377 

beginning of November last, being accompanied to the ship, 
sixteen miles, by a cavalcade of three hundred of my friends, 
who filled our sails with their good wishes, and I arrived in 
thirty days at London. 

Here I have been ever since, engaged in that and other 
public affairs relating to America, which are like to continue 
some time longer upon my hands; but I promise you, that 
when I am quit of these, I will engage in no other ; and that, 
as soon as I have recovered the ease and leisure I hope for, 
the task you require of me, of finishing my Art o) Virtue, shall 
be performed. In the mean time, I must request you would 
excuse me on this consideration, that the powers of the mind 
are possessed by different men in different degrees, and that 
every one cannot, like Lord Kames, intermix literary pursuits 
and important business without prejudice to either. 

I send you herewith two or three other pamphlets of my 
writing on our political affairs, during my short residence in 
America ; * but I do not insist on your reading them ; for I 
know you employ all your time to some useful purpose. 

In my passage to America I read your excellent work, the 
Elements o] Criticism, in which I found great entertainment : 
much to admire and nothing to reprove. I only wished you 
had examined more fully the subject of Music, and demon- 
strated, that the pleasure which artists feel in hearing much 
of that composed in the modern taste, is not the natural pleas- 
ure arising from melody or harmony of sounds, but of the 
same kind with the pleasure we feel on seeing the surprising 
feats of tumblers and rope-dancers, who execute difficult 
things. For my part I take this to be really the case, and 

1 These were " A Narrative of the Late Massacres," " Cool Thoughts," 
and the "Preface to Galloway's Speech." ED. 



378 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

suppose it the reason why those, who being unpractised in 
music, and therefore unacquainted with those difficulties, 
have little or no pleasure in hearing this music. Many pieces 
of it are mere compositions of tricks. I have sometimes, at a 
concert, attended by a common audience, placed myself so as 
to see all their faces, and observed no signs of pleasure in them 
during the performance of a great part that was admired by 
the performers themselves; while a plain old Scottish tune, 
which they disdained, and could scarcely be prevailed on to 
play, gave manifest and general delight. 

Give me leave on this occasion to extend a little the sense of 
your position, that "Melody and Harmony are separately 
agreeable, and in union delightful," and to give it as my 
opinion, that the reason why the Scotch tunes have lived so 
long, and will probably live for ever (if they escape being 
stifled in modern affected ornament), is merely this, that they 
are really compositions of melody and harmony united, or 
rather that their melody is harmony. I mean the simple 
tunes sung by a single voice. As this will appear paradoxi- 
cal, I must explain my meaning. In common acceptation, 
indeed, only an agreeable succession of sounds is called 
Melody, and only the co-existence of agreeing sounds, Har- 
mony. But, since the memory is capable of retaining for some 
moments a perfect idea of the pitch of a past sound, so as to 
compare with it the pitch of a succeeding sound, and judge 
truly of their agreement or disagreement, there may and does 
arise from thence a sense of harmony between the present and 
past sounds, equally pleasing with that between two present 
sounds. 

Now the construction of the old Scotch tunes is this, that 
.almost every succeeding emphatical note is a third, a fifth, an 



1765] TO LORD KAMES 379 

octave, or in short some note that is in concord with the pre- 
ceding note. Thirds are chiefly used, which are very pleasing 
concords. I use the word emphatical to distinguish those 
notes which have a stress laid on them in singing the tune, 
from the lighter connecting notes, that serve merely, like 
grammar articles, to tack the others together. 

That we have a most perfect idea of a sound just past, I 
might appeal to all acquainted with music, who know how 
easy it is to repeat a sound in the same pitch with one just 
heard. In tuning an instrument, a good ear can as easily 
determine that two strings are in unison by sounding them 
separately, as by sounding them together ; their disagreement 
is also as easily, I believe I may say more easily and better 
distinguished, when sounded separately; for when sounded 
together, though you know by the beating that one is higher 
than the other, you cannot tell which it is. 1 [I have ascribed to 
memory the ability of comparing the pitch of a present tone 
with that of one past. But, if there should be, as possibly 
there may be, something in the ear, similar to what we find 
in the eye, that ability would not be entirely owing to memory. 
Possibly the vibrations given to the auditory nerves by a par- 
ticular sound may actually continue some time after the cause 
of those vibrations is past, and the agreement or disagreement 
of a subsequent sound become by comparison with them more 
discernible. For the impression made on the visual nerves 
by a luminous object will continue for twenty or thirty seconds. 
Sitting in a room, look earnestly at the middle of a window 
a little while when the day is bright, and then shut your eyes ; 
the figure of the window will still remain in the eye, and so 
distinct that you may count the panes. 

1 The passage enclosed in brackets is omitted by Tytler, and published by 
Sparks. ED. 



380 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

A remarkable circumstance attending this experiment, is, 
that the impression of forms is better retained than that of 
colors ; for after the eyes are shut, when you first discern the 
image of the window, the panes appear dark, and the cross 
bars of the sashes, with the window frames and walls, appear 
white or bright; but, if you still add to the darkness in the 
eyes by covering them with your hand, the reverse instantly 
takes place, the panes appear luminous and the cross bars 
dark. And by removing the hand they are again reversed. 
This I know not how to account for. Nor for the following ; 
that, after looking long through green spectacles, the white 
paper of a book will on first taking them off appear to have 
a blush of red; and, after long looking through red glasses, 
a greenish cast; this seems to intimate a relation between 
green and red not yet explained.] 

1 Farther, when we consider by whom these ancient tunes 
were composed, and how they were first performed, we shall 
see that such harmonical succession of sounds was natural 
and even necessary in their construction. They were com- 
posed by the minstrels of those days to be played on the 
harp accompanied by the voice. The harp was strung with 
wire, [which gives a sound of long continuance,] and had no 
contrivance, like that in the modern harpsichord, by which 
the sound of the preceding could be stoppt, the moment a 
succeeding note began. To avoid actual discord, it was 
therefore necessary that the succeeding emphatic note should 
be a chord with the preceding, as their sounds must exist at 
the same time. Hence arose that beauty in those tunes 
that has so long pleased, and will please for ever, though 
men scarce know why. That they were originally composed 

1 Here Tytler resumes. ED. 



1765] TO LORD KAMES 381 

for the harp, and of the most simple kind, I mean a harp 
without any half notes but those in the natural scale, and 
with no more than two octaves of strings, from C to C, I 
conjecture from another circumstance, which is, that not one 
of those tunes, really ancient, has a single artificial half note 
in it, and that in tunes where it was most convenient for the 
voice to use the middle notes of the harp, and place the key 
in F, there the B, which if used should be a B flat, is always 
omitted by passing over it with a third. The connoisseurs in 
modern music will say, I have no taste; but I cannot help 
adding, that I believe our ancestors, in hearing a good song, 
distinctly articulated, sung to one of those tunes, and accom- 
panied by the harp, felt more real pleasure than is commu- 
nicated by the generality of modern operas, exclusive of that 
arising from the scenery and dancing. Most tunes of late 
composition, not having this natural harmony united with 
their melody, have recourse to the artificial harmony of a 
bass, and other accompanying parts. This support, in my 
opinion, the old tunes do not need, and are rather confused 
than aided by it. Whoever has heard James Oswald play 
them on his violoncello, will be less inclined to dispute this 
with me. I have more than once seen tears of pleasure in 
the eyes of his auditors; and yet, I think, even his playing 
those tunes would please more, if he gave them less modern 
ornament. My son, when we parted, desired me to present 
his Affectionate respects to you, Lady Kames, and your 
amiable children: be so good with those, to accept mine, 
and believe me, with sincerest esteem, my dear Lord, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I do promise myself the pleasure of seeing you and 
my other friends in Scotland, before I return to America. 



3 82 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

397. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, June 4. 1765 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I have now before me your Favours of April 13. 15. 17. 
23, May 14, 18, 20; not so many Letters as Dates, some 
of them having two or three. As to the Cause con- 
cerning the Lot, I have never been in the least uneasy 
about it, desiring only that Justice might be done, which 
I do not doubt. I hope Robinson was not long missing 
after your Letters, as I really have a great Esteem for him. 
I could have wished to have been present at the Finishing 
of the Kitchen, as it is a mere Machine, and, being new to 
you, I think you will scarce know how to work it ; the several 
Contrivances to carry off Steam & Smell and Smoke not 
being fully explained to you. The Oven I suppose was put 
up by the written Directions in my former Letter. You 
mention nothing of the Furnace. If that Iron One is not set, 
let it alone till my Return, when I shall bring a more con- 
venient copper one. 

You wonder how I did to travel 72 Miles in a short winter 
Day, on my Landing in England, and think I must have 
practis'd Flying. But the Roads here are so good, with 
PostChaises & fresh Horses every ten or twelve Miles, that 
it is no difficult Matter. A Lady that I know has come 
from Edinburgh to London, being 400 Miles, in three Days 
& half. You mention the Payment of the 500 Pounds, 
but do not say that you have got the Deeds executed. I 
suppose however that it was done. I received the two 
Post Office Letters you sent me. It was not Letters of that 
Sort alone that I wanted ; but all such as were sent to me 
from any one whomsoever. 



1765] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 383 

I cannot but complain in my Mind of Mr. Smith, that 
the House is so long unfit for you to get into, the Fences 
not put up, nor the other necessary Articles got ready. The 
Well I expected would have been dug in the Winter, or early 
in the Spring; but I hear nothing of it. You should have 
garden'd long before the Date of your last, but it seems the 
Rubbish was not removed. I am much obliged to my good 
old Friends that did me the Honour to remember me in the 
unfinished Kitchin. I hope soon to drink with them in the 
Parlour. 

I am very thankful to the good Ladies you mention for 
their friendly Wishes. Present my best Respects to Mrs. 
Grace, and Dear Precious Mrs. Shewell, Mrs. Masters, 
Mrs. Galloway & Miss, Mrs. Redman, Mrs. Graeme, Mrs* 
Thomson, Mrs. Story, Mrs. Bartram, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. 
Hilborne, and all the others you have nam'd to me. My 
Love also to our Brothers and Sisters and Cousins as if 
particularly mentioned. I have delivered yours to Mrs. 
& Miss Stevenson, Mr. & Mrs. Strahan and their Family, 
Mrs. Empson, Mrs. West, & our Country Cousins. Miss 
Graham is not come to Town as I have heard. 

It rejoices me to learn that you are freer than you us'd to 
be from the HeadAch, and that Pain in your Side. I am 
likewise in perfect Health. God is very good to us both in 
many Respects. Let us enjoy his Favours with a thankful 
& chearf ul Heart ; and, as we can make no direct Return 
to him, show our Sense of his Goodness to us, by continuing 
to do Good to our Fellow Creatures, without Regarding the 
Returns they make us, whether Good or Bad. For they are 
all his Children, tho' they may sometimes be our Enemies. 
The Friendships of this World are changeable, uncertain, 



384 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

transitory Things; but his Favour, if we can secure it, is 
an Inheritance for ever. I am, my dear Debby, your ever 
loving Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Our Neighbour Swan's Son came to me in a poor 
naked Condition, telling me he had been cast away. I gave 
him my Surtout Coat, and lent him Twenty-Six Shillings, 
which he said his Father would repay if he did not. En- 
clos'd I send his Note for a Guinea. I would have you 
ask for it. If paid 'tis well. If not, 'tis no great matter. 



398. TO JOHN ROSS 1 

London, June 8, 1765. 

DEAR SIR; 

If, according to the custom here, I congratulate you on 
your having a severe fit of the gout, I cannot avoid mixing 
some condolence with my congratulation, for I too have lately 
had a visit or rather visitation from the same friend (or 
enemy) that confined me near a fortnight. And notwith- 
standing the salutary effects people talk of to comfort us under 
our pain, I fancy we should both of us willingly hazard being 
without them, rather than have these means of procuring 
them too frequently repeated. I may possibly be, as they 
tell me, greatly obliged to the gout; but the "condition of 
this obligation is such," that I cannot heartily say / thank ye. 
I hope, however, your slow recovery proved at length a per- 
fect one. And I pray that your established health may long 
continue. 

1 From " Life and Correspondence of George Read. By his grandson, 
William Thompson Read, Philadelphia, 1870," p. 47. ED. 



1765] TO HUGH ROBERTS 385 

The outrages committed by the frontier people are really 
amazing! But impunity for former riots has emboldened 
them. Rising in arms to destroy property, public and pri- 
vate, and insulting the King's troops and fort, is going great 
lengths indeed. If, in Mr. Chief's opinion, our Resolves 
might be called rebellion, what does the gentleman call this? 
I can truly say, it gives me great concern. Such practices 
throw a disgrace over our whole country that can only be 
wiped off by exemplary punishment of the actors, which 
our weak government cannot or will not inflict. And the 
people I pity for their want of sense. Those who have 
inflamed and misled them have a deal to answer for. 

Our petition, which has been becalmed for some time, 
is now getting under way again, and all appearances are for 
us. I hope before Captain Friend sails to give you some 
account of our progress. 

My respectful compliments to Mrs. Ross, and my friends, 
the young ladies, to whom I wish every felicity. 

I am, dear sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



399. TO HUGH ROBERTS 1 

London, July 7, 1765. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

Your kind Favour of May 2oth, by the Hand of our good 
Friend Mr. Neave, gave me great Pleasure. I find on these 
Occasions, that Expressions of steady, continued Friendship, 
such as are contain' d in your Letter, tho' but from one or a 

1 From the original in the Museum of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, 
where it was deposited by Mr. C. Morton Smith. ED. 

VOL. IV 2C 



3 86 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

few honest and sensible Men, who have long known us, 
afford a Satisfaction that far outweighs the clamorous 
Abuse of 1000 Knaves and Fools. While I enjoy the Share 
I have so long had in the Esteem of my old Friends, the 
Bird-and-Beast People you mention may peck, and snarl, 
and bark at me as much as they think proper. There is 
only some Danger, that I should grow too Vain on their 
Disapprobation. 

I am pleas'd with your Punning, not merely because I 
like Punning in general, but because I learn from your 
using it, that you are in good Health and Spirits, which I 
pray may long continue. Our Affairs are at a total Stop 
here, by the Present unsettled State of the Ministry, but 
will go forward again as soon as that is fix'd. Nothing yet 
appears that is Discouraging. 

I have not yet found an Engraver that will do our Seal 
well and reasonably. Kirk asked me Twenty Guineas, and 
some others a Little less. I think we had better Content 
ourselves with the old one; but shall enquire farther. 1 Re- 
member me respectfully and affectionately to your good 
Dame and Children, and accept my Thanks for your kind 
Visits to my little Family in my Absence. 

I wish you would continue to meet the Junto, notwithstand- 
ing that some Effects of our publick political Misunderstand- 
ings may sometimes appear there. 'Tis now perhaps one of 
the oldest Clubs, as I think it was formerly one of the best, 
in the King's Dominions. It wants but about two years of 

1 On the 20th of August he wrote : " I informed you lately, that twenty 
guineas were demanded by Kirk for engraving the Hospital seal. I have 
since found a man that will do it for ten, but I suppose will hardly do it so 
well Let me know your sentiments of this expense." ED. 



1765] TO SAMUEL RHOADS 387 

Forty since it was established. We loved and still love one 
another ; we are grown Grey together, and yet it is too early 
to Part. Let us sit till the Evening of Life is spent. The 
Last Hours are always the most joyous. When we can stay 
no longer, 'tis time enough then to bid each other good 
Night, separate, and go quietly to bed. Adieu, my dear 
Friend, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 



400. TO SAMUEL RHOADS (P. H. s.) 

London July 8. 1765 

DEAR FRIEND 

I have before me your Favour of May 2o l . h wherein you 
mention that you had not heard from me, which I, a little 
wonder at, as I wrote to you the i4th of February, and find 
that Letters to some other Friends of the same date were got 
to hand. 

I congratulate you on Your Retirement, and you being 
able to divert yourself with farming; 'tis an inexhaustible 
source of perpetual Amusement. Your Country Seat is of a 
more secure kind than that in the Assembly : and I hope not 
so much in the Power of the Mob to jostle you out of. 
I say hope for after what we have lately heard of your Mobs, 
one cannot say that any Property or Possession is Safe 
certainly. 

I am much oblig'd to you for Spurring our Friends in their 
Correspondance. They have not been Wanting. 

The Malice of our Adversaries I am well acquainted with, 
but hitherto it has been Harmless; all their Arrows shot 
against us, have been like those that Rabelais speaks of which 



388 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1765 

were headed with Butter hardened in the Sun. As long as 
I have known the World I have observ'd that Wrong is 
always growing more Wrong till there is no bearing it, and 
that right however opposed, comes right at last. 

The Change so much wish'd for & now become so neces- 
sary must sooner or later take Place, and I think it, Nearer 
at hand, whatever may be given out to the Contrary. 

I have prophesied to them here, that they will by these 
Acts, Lose more in Trade than they Can get in Taxes. , 

There was a Bill Brought in with a Clause to impower the 
Military Officers to quarter Soldiers on Private Houses. 
This If it had passed we apprehended might be used to awe 
us & as an Instrument of Oppression upon Occasion, & 
therefore we opposed it vigorously. I think I may Value 
myself on having a considerable Place in getting this Clause 
struck out, and another put in that may Occasionally save 
our Province a great Deal of Money. 

As to the House, I am sencible I give you a great Deal of 
Trouble, and I doubt not your care to get it finished, but it 
seems to me that the Workmen have been unkind to keep 
M re Franklin so long unsettled. 

My best Respects to good M re Rhoads, your Son & 
Daughter, with Thanks for their Remembrance of me I am, 
Dear Friend 

Yours affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 



1765] TO CHARLES THOMSON 389 

401. TO CHARLES THOMSON 1 

London, July n, 1765. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I am extremely obliged by your kind Letters of April i2th 
and 1 4th, and thank you for the intelligence they contain. 
The Outrages continually committed by those misguided 
people, will doubtless tend to convince all the considerate 
on your side of the water, of the weakness of our present 
Government, and the necessity of a Change. I am sure it 
will contribute toward hastening that Change here so that 
upon the whole, Good will be brought out of Evil; but yet 
I grieve to hear of such horrid disorders. The Letters and 
accounts boasted of from the Proprietor, of his being sure of 
retaining the Government, as well as those of the sums 
offered for it, which the people will be obliged to pay, &c., 
are all idle Tales, fit only for knaves to propagate, and 
Fools to believe. A little Time will dissipate all the smoke 
they can raise to conceal the real state of things. 

The unsettled state of the ministry, ever since the Parlia- 
ment rose, has stopped all proceeding in publick affairs, 
and ours amongst the rest; but, Change being now made, 
we shall immediately proceed, and with the greater Chear- 
fulness, as some we had reason to doubt of are removed, 
and some particular friends are put in place. What you 
mention of the Lower Counties is undoubtedly right. Had 
they ever sent their laws home, as they ought to have done, 
that of priority of Payment of Residents would undoubtedly 

1 From the original in the Library of the New York Historical Society. 
Charles Thomson (1729-1824), Secretary of the first Continental Con- 
gress. ED. 






390 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

have been repealed. But the end of all these things is nigh ; 
at least it seems to be so. 

The spiking of the Guns was an audacious Piece of vil- 
lainy, by whomsoever done. It shows the necessity of a 
regular enclosed Place of Defence, with a constant Guard to 
take care of what belongs to it, which, when the Country 
can afford it, will, I hope, be provided. 

Depend upon it, my good neighbour, I took every step in 
my power to prevent the passing of the Stamp Act. Nobody 
could be more concerned in interest than myself to oppose it 
sincerely and heartily. But the Tide was too strong against 
us. The nation was provoked by American Claims of In- 
dependence, and all Parties joined in resolving by this act 
to settle the point. We might as well have hindered the 
sun's setting. That we could not do. But since 'tis down, 
my Friend, and it may be long before it rises again, let us 
make as good a night of it as we can. We may still light 
candles. Frugality and Industry will go a great way toward 
indemnifying us. Idleness and Pride tax with a heavier 
hand than Kings and Parliaments; if we can get rid of the 
former, we may easily bear the latter. 

My best respects to Mrs. Thomson. Adieu, my Dear 
Friend, and believe me ever yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

Excuse my man John's miserable clerkship. 



1765] TO JOHN HUGHES 391 

402. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, July 13, 1765. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I had the great Pleasure of hearing from you and Sally 
last Night by the Packet. I cannot now answer every 
particular of your Letters, having many to write that are to 
go by this Day's Mail, but will by the next Opportunity. 
Mrs. Stevenson bids me tell Sally, that the striped Gown I 
have sent her will wash, but it must be with a light hand in 
a cold lather. I am glad to hear of Capt. Robinson's Arrival, 
it gives me Pleasure, that so many of my Friends honour'd 
our new Dining-Room with their Company. You tell me 
only of a Fault they found with the House, that it was too 
little, and not a Word of any thing they lik'd in it : Nor how 
the Kitchen Chimneys perform; so I suppose you spare me 
some Mortification, which is kind. I wonder you put up 
the Oven without Mr. Roberts's Advice, as I think you told 
me he had my old Letter of Directions; but I can add no 
more, only that I am very well and in good Spirits. I wrote 
you largely by Capt Friend, and sent a Case mark'd B. F. 
with a number of Particulars. My love to all. Your affec- 
tionate Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 



403. TO JOHN HUGHES 1 

London, Aug. 9. 1765. 

DEAR FRIEND. 

Since my last I have received your Fav r of June 20. The 
Account you give me of the Indiscretion of some People 

1 From " Swedish Holsteins in America," Norristown, Pa., 1892, p. 253. 



392 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1765 

with you, concerning the Government here, I do not wonder 
at. 'Tis of a Piece with the rest of their Conduct. But the 
Rashness of the Assembly in Virginia is amazing! I hope 
however that ours will keep within the Bounds of Prudence 
and Moderation ; for that is the only way to lighten or get 
clear of our Burthens. 

As to the Stamp Act, tho' we purpose doing our Endeavour 
to get it repeal'd, in which I am sure you would concur with 
us, yet the Success is uncertain : If it continues, your un- 
dertaking to execute it may make you unpopular for a Time, 
but your acting with Coolness and Steadiness, and with 
every Circumstance in your Power of Favour to the People, 
will by degrees reconcile them. In the mean time, a firm 
Loyalty to the Crown & faithful Adherence to the Gov- 
ernment of this Nation, which it is the Safety as well as 
Honour of the Colonies to be connected with, will always 
be the wisest Course for you and I to take, whatever may 
be the Madness of the Populace or their blind Leaders, 
who can only bring themselves and Country into Trouble 
and draw on greater Burthens by Acts of rebellious Ten- 
dency. 

In mine of June 29, I send you the Bill of Fees I have 
paid, amounting to 5, 10.0. Since which I have paid another 
Demand of 2. 4.6 Treasury Fees for a second Warrant, &c, 
the first not having included the Lower Counties. I now 
send with this, your Commission, with a Letter from the 
Secretary of the Stamp Office with whom you are to cor- 
respond. 

As to our Petition, the new Secretary of State, General 
Conway, has appointed next Wednesday to give us an 
Audience upon it, when I suppose it will be presented. And 



1766] LETTERS CONCERNING THE STAMP ACT 393 

I have very little doubt of a favourable Progress and 
Advantageous Issue. 

I am, my dear Friend, 

Yours affectionately 

B FRANKLIN. 



404. LETTERS CONCERNING THE STAMP ACT 

TO THE PRINTER OF 

The Public Advertiser? JANUARY 2, 1766. 
SIR, 

Pacificus in your Paper of Friday last, tells us, that the 
inhabitants of New England "are descended from the Stiff- 
Rumps in Oliver's Time;" and he accounts for their being 
"so tenacious of what they call their Rights and Liberties;" 
from the independent Principles handed down to them by 
their Forefathers, and that Spirit of Contradiction, which 
he says, is " the distinguishing Characteristic of Fanaticism." 
But it seems the Inhabitants of Virginia and Maryland, 
who are descended from the Royalists of the Church of 
England, driven hence by those very Oliverian Stiff-Rumps, 
and never tinctured with Fanaticism, are, in the present 
Case, as stiff-rump'd as the others, and even led the Way in 
asserting what "they call their Rights." So that this Hy- 
pothesis of Fanaticism appears insufficient to account for 
the Opposition universally given to the Stamp Act in America ; 
and I fancy the Gentleman thought so himself, as he mends 
it a little after, by lumping all the Americans under the gen- 
eral Character of "Housebreakers and Felons." 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, February 23, 1767. 
ED. 



394 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Supposing them such, his Proposal of "vacating all their 
Charters, taking away the Power of their Assemblies, and 
sending an armed Force among them, to reduce them all to 
a military Government, in which the Order of the command- 
ing Officer is to be their Law," will certainly be a very justifi- 
able Measure. I have only some Doubts as to the Expe- 
diency of it, and the Facility of carrying it into Execution. 
For I apprehend 'tis not unlikely they may set their Rumps 
more stiffly against this Method of Government, than ever 
they did against that by Act of Parliament. But, on second 
Thoughts, I conceive it may possibly do very well; For 
though there should be, as 'tis said there are, at least 250000 
fighting Men among them, many of whom have lately seen 
Service; yet, as one Englishman is to be sure as good as 
five Americans, I suppose it will not require Armies above 
50,000 Men in the whole, sent over to the different Parts of 
that extensive Continent, for reducing them; and that a 
three or four Year's Civil War, at perhaps less Expence than 
ten or twelve Millions a Year, Transports, and Carriages 
included, will be sufficient to compleat Pacificus's Pacifica- 
tion, notwithstanding any disturbance our restless Enemies 
in Europe might think fit to give us while engaged in this 
necessary Work. I mention three or four Years only; for 
I can never believe the Americans will be able to spin it out 
to seventy, as the Hollanders did the War for their Liberties 
against Spain, how much soever it may be found the Interest 
of our own numerous Commissaries, Contractors, and Offi- 
cers afraid of Half Pay, to continue and protract it. 

It may be objected, that by ruining the Colonies, killing 
one half the People, and driving the rest over the Mountains, 
we may deprive ourselves of their Custom for our Manu- 



1766] LETTERS CONCERNING THE STAMP ACT 395 

factures : But a Moment's Consideration will satisfy us, that 
since we have lost so much of our European Trade, it can 
only be the Demand in America that keeps up, and has of 
late so greatly enhanced the Price of those Manufactures, 
and therefore a stop put to that Demand will be an Advan- 
tage to us all, as we may thereafter buy our own Goods cheaper 
for our own Use at Home. I can think of but one Objec- 
tion more, which is, that Multitudes of our Poor may starve 
for want of Employment. But our wise Laws have provided 
a Remedy for that. The Rich are to maintain them. 
I am, Sir, 

Your humble Servant, 

PACIFICUS SECUNDUS. 

TO THE PRINTER OF THE 
Gazetteer, JANUARY 2, 1766. 

VINDEX PATRIAE, a writer in your paper, comforts himself, 
and the India Company, with the fancy, that the Americans, 
should they resolve to drink no more tea, can by no means 
keep that Resolution, their Indian corn not affording "an 
agreeable, or easy digestible breakfast." Pray let me, an 
American, inform the gentleman, who seems ignorant of 
the matter, that Indian corn, take it for all in all, is one of 
the most agreeable and wholesome grains in the world; 
that its green leaves roasted are a delicacy beyond expression ; 
that samp, hominy, succatash, and nokehock, made of it, 
are so many pleasing varieties; and that johny or hoecake, 
hot from the fire, is better than a Yorkshire muffin But 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, February 23, 1767. 
ED. 



396 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

if Indian corn were as disagreeable and indigestible as the 
Stamp Act, does he imagine we can get nothing else for 
breakfast? Did he never hear that we have oatmeal in 
plenty, for water gruel or burgoo; as good wheat, rye and 
barley as the world affords, to make frumenty; or toast 
and ale ; that there is every where plenty of milk, butter and 
cheese; that rice is one of our staple commodities; that for 
tea, we have sage and bawm in our gardens, the young leaves 
of the sweet white hickery or walnut, and, above all, the 
buds of our pine, infinitely preferable to any tea from the 
Indies; while the islands yield us plenty of coffee and 
chocolate? Let the gentleman do us the honour of a 
visit in America, and I will engage to breakfast him every 
day in the month with a fresh variety, without offering him 
either tea or Indian corn. As to the Americans using no 
more of the former, I am not sure they will take such a 
resolution ; but if they do, I fancy they will not lightly break 
it. I question whether the army proposed to be sent among 
them, would oblige them to swallow a drop more of tea than 
they chuse to swallow; for, as the proverb says, though 
one man may lead a horse to the water, ten can't make him 
drink. Their resolutions have hitherto been pretty steadily 
kept. They resolved to wear no more mourning ; and it 
is now totally out of fashion with near two millions of people ; 
and yet nobody sighs for Norwich crapes, or any other of 
the expensive, flimsey, rotten, black stuffs and cloths you 
used to send us for that purpose, with the frippery gauses, 
loves, ribands, gloves, &c. thereunto belonging. They re- 
solved last spring to eat no more lamb; and not a joint of 
lamb has since been seen on any of their tables, throughout 
a country of 1500 miles extent, but the sweet little creatures 



1766] LETTERS CONCERNING THE STAMP ACT 397 

are all alive to this day, with the prettiest fleeces on their 
backs imaginable. Mr. Vindex's very civil letter will, I 
dare say, be printed in all our provincial news-papers, from 
Nova-Scotia to Georgia; and together with the other kind, 
polite and humane epistles of your correspondents Pacificus, 
Tom Hint, &c. &c. contribute not a little to strengthen us 
in every resolution that may be of advantage, to our country 

at least, if not to yours. 

HOMESPUN. 



TO THE PRINTER OF THE 

Gazetteer* JANUARY 14, 1766. 

TOM HINT'S virulence against the people of New- York 
has been in some sort accounted for by himself, in one of 
his former letters. It seems, tho' he lived several years in 
that country, they never extended to him any of that civility 
they generally shew to strangers. He now tells us, in your 
paper of Saturday, by way of fresh abuse on that whole 
people, that "he admires their wonderful sagacity in dis- 
tinguishing the gentleman from the scoundrel ; for in serious 
truth, it would be a difficult matter for an old country-man 
to make that distinction among them, after living with them 
for many years." This will excuse my remarking, that this 
old country man has little of that sagacity himself, and from 
the difficulty he supposed in making such distinction, might 
naturally conceive an opinion when he arrived there, that 
he should be able easily to pass upon those ignorant new- 
country men, as a gentleman. The event, it seems, did not 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle^ March 9, 1767. 
ED. 



398 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

answer his expectations ; and hence he had reason to admire 
their sagacity, but still continues to be angry at its conse- 
quences It puts me in mind of a short story, which, in 
return for his scraps of plays, I will take the liberty of telling 
him. Two journeymen Snips during the season of little 
business, agreed to make a trip to Paris, with each a fine 
lac'd waistcoat, in which they promised themselves the great 
pleasure of being received and treated as gentlemen. On 
the road from Calais at every inn, when they called for any 
thing hastily, they were answered, Tout a 1'heure, Tout a 
1'heure; which not a little surprized them. At length, 

D these French scoundrels, says one, how shrewd 

they are ! I find it won't do ; e'en let us go back again 
to London Aye, says t'other, they must certainly deal 
with the devil, or dress'd as we are dress'd, they could not 
possibly all at first sight have known us to be two taylors. 

F. B. 

TO THE PRINTER OF THE 

Gazetteer, 1 JANUARY 15, 1766. 

o 

GIVE me leave, Master John Bull, to remind you, that 
you are related to all mankind ; and therefore it less becomes 
you than anybody, to affront and abuse other nations. But 
you have mixed with your many virtues a pride, a haughti- 
ness, and an insolent contempt for all but yourself, that, 
I am afraid, will, if not abated, procure you one day or other 
a handsome drubbing. Besides your rudeness to foreigners, 
you are far from being civil even to your own family. The 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, March 23, 1767- 
ED. 



1766] LETTERS CONCERNING THE STAMP ACT 399 

Welch you have always despised for submitting to your 
government : but why despise your own English, who con- 
quered and settled Ireland for you; who conquered and 
settled America for you? Yet these you now think you 
may treat as you please, because forsooth, they are a con- 
quered people. Why despise the Scotch, who fight and die 
for you all over the world ? Remember you courted Scotland 
for one hundred years, and would fain have had your wicked 
will of her. She virtuously resisted all your importunities ; 
but at length kindly consented to become your lawful wife. 
You then solemnly promised to love, cherish, and honour 
her, as long as you both should live; and yet you have ever 
since treated her with the utmost contumely, which you now 
begin to extend to your common children. But, pray, when 
your enemies are uniting in a Family Compact against you, 
can it be discreet in you to kick up in your own house a 
Family Quarrel? And at the very time you are inviting 
foreigners to settle on your lands, and when you have more 
to settle than ever you had before, is it prudent to suffer 
your lawyer, Vindex, to abuse those who have settled there 
already, because they cannot yet speak " plain English?" 
It is my opinion Master Bull, that the Scotch and Irish, as 
well as the Colonists are capable of speaking much plainer 
English than they ever yet spoke, but which I hope they will 
never be provoked to speak. 

. . * 

HOMESPUN. 



400 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 
405. LETTER 

CONCERNING THE 

GRATITUDE OF AMERICA, 

AND THE PROBABILITY AND EFFECTS OF A UNION WITH 
GREAT BRITAIN; AND CONCERNING THE REPEAL OR SUS- 
PENSION OF THE STAMP ACT. 

[London,] January 6, 1766. 

SIR, 

f I have attentively perused the paper you sent me, and am 
of opinion, that the measure it proposes, of an union with 
the colonies, is a wise one; but I doubt it will hardly be 
thought so here, till it is too late to attempt it. The time 
has been, when the colonies would have esteemed it a great 
advantage, as well as honour to be permitted to send mem- 
bers to Parliament; and would have asked for that privi- 
lege, if they could have had the least hopes of obtaining it. 
The time is now come when they are indifferent about it, 
and will probably not ask it, though they might accept it if 
offered them; and the time will come, when they will cer- 
tainly refuse it. But if such an union were now established 
(which methinks it highly imports this country to establish) 
it would probably subsist as long as Britain shall continue 
a nation.' j This people, however, is too proud, and too 
much despises the Americans, to bear the thought of admit- 
ting them to such an equitable participation in the govern- 
ment of the whole. \ 

Then the next best thing seems to be, leaving them in the 
quiet enjoyment of their respective constitutions ; and when 
money is wanted for any public service, in which they ought 



1766] CONCERNING THE GRATITUDE OF AMERICA 401 

to bear a part, calling upon them by requisitorial letters 
from the crown (according to the long-established custom) 
to grant such aids as their loyalty shall dictate, and their 
abilities permit. The very sensible and benevolent author 
of that paper seems not to have known, that such a constitu- 
tional custom subsists, and has always hitherto been prac- 
tised in America; or he would not have expressed himself 
in this manner; "It is evident, beyond a doubt, to the in- 
telligent and impartial, that after the very extraordinary 
efforts, which were effectually made by Great Britain in 
the late war to save the colonists from destruction, and at- 
tended of necessity with an enormous load of debts in con- 
sequence, that the same colonists, now firmly secured from 
foreign enemies, should be somehow induced to contribute 
some proportion towards the exigencies of state in future." 
This looks as if he conceived the war had been carried on 
at the sole expense of Great Britain, and the colonies only 
reaped the benefit, without hitherto sharing the burden, 
and were therefore now indebted to Britain on that account. 
And this is the same kind of argument that is used by those, 
who would fix on the colonies the heavy charge of unreason- 
ableness and ingratitude, which I think your friend did not 
intend. 

Please to acquaint him, then, that the fact is not so ; that, 
every year during the war, requisitions were made by the 
crown on the colonies for raising money and men; that 
accordingly they made more extraordinary efforts, in pro- 
portion to their abilities, than Britain did; that they raised, 
paid, and clothed, for five or six years, near twenty- five thou- 
sand men, besides providing for other services, as building 
forts, equipping guard-ships, paying transports, &c. And 

VOL. IV 2D * 



402 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

that this was more than their fair proportion is not merely 
an opinion of mine, but was the judgment of government 
here, in full knowledge of all the facts; for the then minis- 
try, to make the burthen more equal, recommended the case 
to Parliament, and obtained a reimbursement to the Ameri- 
cans of about two hundred thousand pounds sterling every 
year; which amounted only to about two fifths of their 
expense; and great part of the rest lies still a load of debt 
upon them; heavy taxes on all their estates, real and per- 
sonal, being laid by acts of their assemblies to discharge it, 
and yet will not discharge it in many years. 

While, then, these burdens continue; while Britain re- 
strains the colonies in every branch of commerce and manu- 
factures that she thinks interferes with her own; while she 
drains the colonies, by her trade with them, of all the cash 
they can procure by every art and industry in any part of 
the world, and thus keeps them always in her debt; (for 
they can make no law to discourage the importation of your 
to them ruinous superfluities, as you do the superfluities of 
France; since such a law would immediately be reported 
against by your Board of Trade, and repealed by the crown ;) 
I say, while these circumstances continue, and while there 
subsists the established method of royal requisitions for 
raising money on them by their own assemblies on every 
proper occasion; can it be necessary or prudent to distress 
and vex them by taxes laid here, in a Parliament wherein 
they have no representative, and in a manner which they 
look upon to be unconstitutional and subversive of their 
most valuable rights ? And are they to be thought unreason- 
able and ungrateful if they oppose such taxes? 

Wherewith, they say, shall we show our loyalty to our 



1 766] CONCERNING THE GRATITUDE OF AMERICA 403 

gracious King, if our money is to be given by others, with- 
out asking our consent? And, if the Parliament has a right 
thus to take from us a penny in the pound, where is the line 
drawn that bounds that right, and what shall hinder their 
calling, whenever they please, for the other nineteen shillings 
and eleven pence? Have we then any thing that we can 
call our own? It is more than probable, that bringing 
representatives from the colonies to sit and act here as mem- 
bers of Parliament, thus uniting and consolidating your 
dominions, would in a little time remove these objections 
and difficulties, and make the future government of the 
colonies easy; but, till some such thing is done, I appre- 
hend no taxes, laid there by Parliament here, will ever be 
collected, but such as must be stained with blood; and I 
am sure the profit of such taxes will never answer the expense 
of collecting them, and that the respect and affection of the 
Americans to this country will in the struggle be totally lost, 
perhaps never to be recovered; and therewith all the com- 
mercial and political advantages, that might have attended 
the continuance of this respect and this affection. 

In my own private judgment, I think an immediate repeal 
of the Stamp Act would be the best measure for this coun- 
try ; but a suspension of it for three years, the best for that. 
The repeal would fill them with joy and gratitude, reestab- 
lish their respect and veneration for Parliament, restore at 
once their ancient and natural love for this country, and 
their regard for every thing that comes from it; hence the 
trade would be renewed in all its branches; they would 
again indulge in all the expensive superfluities you supply 
them with, and their own new-assumed home industry would 
languish. But the suspension, though it might continue 



404 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

their fears and anxieties, would at the same time keep up 
their resolutions of industry and frugality; which in two 
or three years would grow into habits, to their lasting advan- 
tage. However, as the repeal will probably not be now 
agreed to, 1 from what I think a mistaken opinion, that the 
honour and dignity of government is better supported by 
persisting in a wrong measure once entered into, than by 
rectifying an error as soon as it is discovered ; we must allow 
the next best thing for the advantage of both countries, is 
the suspension; for, as to executing the act by force, it is 
madness, and will be ruin to the whole. 

The rest of your friend's reasonings and propositions 
appear to me truly just and judicious. I will therefore 
only add, that I am as desirous of his acquaintance and 
intimacy, as he was of my opinion. 
I am, with much esteem, 

Your obliged friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 2 

1 It was, however, agreed to in the same year, viz. in 1766. V. 

2 The name of the person, to whom this letter is addressed, is not known. 
The letter, to which it is a reply, appears to have contained the letter of some 
third person equally unknown. V. 



1766] FRANKLINS REPORT OF PITTS SPEECH 405 

406. Ms. REPORT BY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 
OF WILLIAM PITT'S SPEECH AGAINST THE 
STAMP ACT. 

Addressed to "Mr. Strahan, Printer, New Street, Shoe Lane." No 

date. 1 



MR. PITT spoke some time before one could divine on 
which side of the Question relating to America he would 
be; but beginning first to mention the Stamp Act by the 
soft Term of that unhappy Act, he went on, and every 
Time he had Occasion to mention it, it was by a Term 
still stronger, as unconstitutional ', unjust, oppressive etc. 
till he finally declar'd in express Terms that the British 
Parliament had in his Opinion no Right to raise internal 
Taxes in America, tho' it had to regulate their Commerce, 
and even restrain their Manufactures. He said many 
Things in favour of America, particularly that they had 
always readily granted Aids to the Crown in all our Wars, 
on Requisitions made to their several Assemblies, and par- 
ticularly in the last War far beyond their Abilities, which 
the Parl* here considering had made them some Compensa- 
tion; that the Act was therefore unnecessary; that no Minis- 

1 Pitt's speech on the Stamp Act was delivered January 14, 1766. It was 
printed in Hansard, Vol. XVI, 97-101. The debate was taken by Sir Robert 
Dean, assisted by the Earl of Charlemont. The whole debate was published 
in "Political Debates: a Paris, chez J. W. Imprimeur, rue du Colombier 
Fauxbourg St. Germain, a THotel de Saxe, MDCCLXVI. [Prix 30 sous]." 
A false place of impression was put upon the book in order to evade the 
resentment of the House. Franklin must have written this report in January, 
1766, and sent it to Mr. Strahan. The manuscript is in the possession of 
Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. ED. 



406 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

ter before the last (naming all the Ministers in order from 
the Revolution and giving their Characters, some of whom 
were remarkable for their Firmness and Resolution, as well 
as their Understanding,) had ever thought fit or ventur'd 
to tax the Colonies; that he himself was sometimes repre- 
sented as rash enough for anything; and there had not 
been wanting some during his Adm n that urg'd him to it 
as a thing that would have been acceptable to Gentlemen 
here, but they could not get him to burn his Fingers, with 
so unnecessary, so unjust, and therefore so odious a Meas- 
ure: The Arguments of virtual Representation, of the Case 
of the Colonies being the same with that of Corporations 
in England, or of the Non-Electors here, he treated with 
great Contempt as trifling, insignificant, and ridiculous; 
asserted that Representation in Parl? was originally and 
properly of Landed Property; that every 40* a Year of landed 
Property in England still is represented by the Owners 
having a Right to vote in County Elections; but that tho' 
a Man in America had 1000 a Year in Land, it gave him 
no right to vote for a single Member of Parliam* That 
the Representation of the Commons was not an original 
Part of the Constitution; the Owners of Lands only were 
call'd to Parliam*, and all the Lands in England were di- 
vided between the King, the Church, and the Barons. The 
Church, God bless it, had one Third at least. The Com- 
mons were mere Tenants or Copy holders. But now the 
Case was greatly alter'd. The Church was stript of most 
of its Lands, and the Nobles had sold so much of theirs, 
that what remained in their Hands was but like a Drop of 
the Bucket compared to what was now in the Hands of the 
Commons. It was therefore on Ace* of their Lands pro- 



1766] FRANKLINS REPORT OF PITTS SPEECH 407 

perly that the Commons were represented in Parliament. 
As to the Representatives of Boroughs, it was wrong to suffer 
their sitting in Parliamf It was the rotten Part of our 
Constitution, and could not stand another Century. How 
could we with any Face maintain, that a Burrough of half 
a dozen Houses ought to have a Representative in Parl? 
to take care of its Interests ; and yet three Millions of People 
in America with many Millions of Landed Property should 
not have a single Vote in the Election of any one Member. 
Mr. Grenville saying in Defense of the Act that he had 
before the Measure was entred into, call'd upon the House, 
and ask'd if there was any one Member that doubted the 
Right of Parliament to lay an internal Tax on America; 
and there was not one. Mr. Pitt answered, that that by no 
means prov'd the Rectitude of the Measure: for that there 
had long been in the House a Tenderness of opposing Minis- 
terial Measures, a kind of what shall I call it Modesty, 
that made the Members rather doubt their own Judgments. 
He wish'd therefore that the young Members would apply 
themselves more to the Study of Publick Affairs, and quali- 
fie themselves better to judge of them. That their Silence 
should be no Proof of the goodness of a ministerial Measure, 
he reminded the House, that from Year to Year he had in 
the same Manner call'd upon the House, to know if any 
one dislik'd our then Continental Connections, and but one 
ever took the Freedom to speak his Mind on that Head, 
and he should like him the better for it as long as he hVd; 
"for he indeed said frankly, that he did not like what he 
was pleas'd to call my German War." l But with the rest 
it went down glibly. That Oppositions were generally in- 

1 Lord le Despencer, formerly Sir Francis Dashwood. ED. 



408 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

terested, but his Sentiments of this Act had always been 
the same, and he had ever dislik'd it as destructive to Liberty; 
a Word often made use of by ambitious Men, only as a 
Horse on which they might mount and ride into Preferment; 
but he had no such Views. 

Mr. Conway remarked on this that the Preferment he was 
in was not of his own seeking; and that whenever the hon ble 
Gentleman for whose Abilities and Integrity he had the high- 
est Veneration should be, as he sincerely hop'd he would soon 
be, appointed to supersede him, he should with great Pleasure 
mount his Horse and ride out again. 

These are the Particulars you chiefly desir'd an Ace 1 of- 
'Tis the best I can give you. But I am sensible the Expres- 
sion is far short of that us'd by the Speakers. 



407. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN * (P. c.) 

London, February 22, 1766. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I am excessively hurried, being, every hour that I am awake, 
either abroad to speak with members of Parliament, or taken 
up with people coming to me at home concerning our Ameri- 
can affairs, so that I am much behindhand in answering my 
friends' letters. But though I cannot by this opportunity 
write to others, I must not omit a line to you, who kindly write 
me so many. I am well. It is all I can say at present, ex- 
cept that I am just made very happy by a vote of the Commons 
for the repeal of the Stamp Act. Your ever loving husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 The original letter is in the Fonthill collection, the property of Mrs. 
Alfred Morrison. ED. 



1 766] TO HUGH ROBERTS 409 

408. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, Feb. 27, 1766. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I wrote you a few days ago by Mr. Penrose, via Maryland,, 
when I wrote also to the Speaker, to Mr. Galloway, Mr. 
Hughes, and Mr. Hall. I have now as little time as then to 
enlarge, having wrote besides to-day so much, that I am 
almost blind. But, by the March Packet, I shall freely 
answer your late Letters. Let the Vaults alone till my Re- 
turn. As you have a WoodYard, perhaps they may not be 
necessary. I send you some curious Beans for your Garden. 
Love to Sally & all Relations ; and to all the Ladies that do 
me the Honour to enquire after me. I congratulate you on 
the soon expected Repeal of the Stamp Act ; and on the great 
Share of Health we both enjoy, tho* now going in Fourscore, 
(that is, in the fourth score.) Mr. Whitfield calPd to-day, & 
tells me a surprizing Piece of News. Mr. Dunlap is come 
here from Barbadoes, was ordain'd Deacon on Saturday last, 
and Priest on Sunday. Inclos'd are a few of my Political 
Cards. In haste, but very well. I am, my dear Girl, your 
ever loving Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



409. TO HUGH ROBERTS 1 

London, Feb. 27, 1766. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I receiv'd your kind Letter of Nov. 27. You cannot con- 
ceive how much Good the cordial Salutations of an old Friend 

1 From the original in the Museum of Independence Hall, Philadelphia \. 
presented by Mr. C. Morton Smith. ED. 



4 io THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

do the Heart of a Man so far from home, and hearing fre- 
quently of the Abuses thrown on him in his Absence by the 
Enemies, that Party has rais'd against him. In the mean 
time, I hope I have done even those Enemies some Service in 
our late Struggle for America. It has been a hard one, and 
we have been often between Hope and Despair ; but now the 
Day begins to clear. The Ministry are fix'd for us, and we 
have obtain'd a Majority in the House of Commons for Re- 
pealing the Stamp Act, and giving us Ease in every Commer- 
cial Grievance. God grant that no bad News of farther 
Excesses in America may arrive to strengthen our Adversaries, 
and weaken the hands of our Friends, before this good Work 
is quite compleated. 

The Partisans of the late Ministry have been strongly crying 
out Rebellion, and calling for Force to be sent against America. 
The Consequence might have been terrible ; but milder Meas- 
ures have prevailed. I hope, nay, I am confident, America 
will show itself grateful to Britain on this Occasion, and 
behave prudently and decently. 

I have got a Seal done for four Guineas, which I shall send 
per Friend. My Respects to good Mrs. Roberts, and to your 
valuable Son. Remember me affectionately to the Junto, 
and to all enquiring Friends. Adieu, my dear Friend. Your 
Integrity will always make you happy. Believe me ever yours 

affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



1766] TO CHARLES THOMSON 411 

410. TO CHARLES THOMSON 1 

London, Feb? 27, 1766. 

MY GOOD FRIEND AND NEIGHBOUR, 

I forgot whether I before acknowledged the Receipt of 
your kind Letter of Sept. 24. I gave an Extract of it to a 
Friend, with an extract from mine to which it was an answer, 
and he printed both in the London Chronicle, with an Intro- 
duction of his own; and I have reprinted every thing from 
America, that I thought might help our Common Cause. 

We at length, after a long and hard struggle, have gained 
so much ground, that there is now little Doubt the Stamp Act 
will be repealed, and reasonable relief given us besides in our 
Commercial grievances and those relating to our Currency. 
I trust the Behaviour of the Americans on the occasion will 
be so prudent, decent, and grateful, as that their Friends here 
will have no reason to be ashamed, and that our enemies, who 
predict that the Indulgence of Parliament will only make us 
more insolent and ungovernable, may find themselves, and be 
found, false Prophets. 

My Respects to Mrs. Thomson. I have not had the Pleas- 
ure of hearing from you by any of the late opportunities, but 
am so bad a correspondent myself that I have no right to take 
Exceptions, and am, nevertheless, your affectionate Friend 
and very humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the New York Historical Society. ED. 



412 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

411. THE EXAMINATION OF DOCTOR 
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN &c., 

IN THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS, 

RELATIVE TO THE REPEAL OF THE AMERICAN STAMP 
ACT, IN 1766. 

No previous event in the life of Dr. Franklin gave him so much: 
celebrity, as his examination before the House of Commons, while the 
repeal of the Stamp Act was under discussion in Parliament. The 
promptness and pertinency with which he replied to every question,, 
the perfect knowledge of the subject manifested in his answers, his 
enlarged and sound views of political and commercial affairs, and the 
boldness and candor with which he expressed his sentiments, excited 
the surprise of his auditors, and were received with admiration by the 
public, when the results of the examination appeared in print. The 
dates are fixed by the following extracts from the journal of the House 
of Commons, as given by Mr. Vaughan. 

"February $d, 1766. Benjamin Franklin and a number of other 
persons ordered to attend the committee of the whole House, to whom 
it was referred to consider farther the several papers, which were pre- 
sented to the House by Mr. Secretary Conway. 

"February \$th. Benjamin Franklin, having passed through his 
examination, was excepted from farther attendance. 

"February 24^. The resolutions of the committee were reported 
by the chairman, Mr. Fuller ; their seventh and last resolution setting 
forth, that it was their opinion that the House be moved, that leave be 
given to bring in a bill to repeal the Stamp Act." 

The account of the examination was first published in 1767, without 
the name of printer or publisher. It was translated into French, and 
widely circulated in Europe. It has been frequently reprinted in both 
the English and French languages. S. 

The first edition was published in 1766, without any clue "either ta 
when the examination was held, or when or by whom it was printed." 
Almon evidently feared prosecution, and the printers of most of the 
subsequent editions used much the same precautions. As no prosecu- 
tion was instituted Almon became bolder, and issued an edition with a 
title [The Examination of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Relative to the 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 413 

Repeal of the American Stamp Act, in MDCCLXVI [London: J. 
Almon] MDCCLXVII] Ford. I have reprinted from the first edition, 
and have indicated in the foot-notes every instance in which the second 
-edition varies from the first. ED. 



Q. WHAT is your name, and place of abode ? 

A. Franklin, of Philadelphia. 

Q. Do the Americans pay any considerable taxes among 
themselves ? 

A. Certainly many, and very heavy taxes. 

Q. What are the present taxes in Pennsylvania, laid by the 
laws of the colony ? 

A. There are taxes on all estates real and personal, a poll 
tax, a tax on all offices, professions, trades and businesses, 
according to their profits; an excise on all wine, rum, and 
other spirits; and a duty of Ten Pounds per head on all 
Negroes imported, with some other duties. 

Q. For what purposes are those taxes laid ? 

A . For the support of the civil and military establishments 
of the country, and to discharge the heavy debt contracted 
in the last war. 

Q. How long are those taxes to continue? 

A. Those for discharging the debt are to continue till 1772, 
and longer, if the debt should not be then all discharged. 
The others must always continue. 

Q. Was it not expected that the debt would have been 
sooner discharged? 

A. It was, when the peace was made with France and 
Spain But, a fresh war breaking out with the Indians, a 
fresh load of debt was incurred; and the taxes, of course, 
continued longer by a new law. 



414 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. Are not all the people very able to pay those taxes? 

A. No. The frontier counties, all along the continent, 
having been frequently ravaged by the enemy and greatly 
impoverished, are able to pay very little tax. And therefore, 
in consideration of their distresses, our late tax laws do ex- 
pressly favour those counties, excusing the sufferers; and I 
suppose the same is done in other governments. 

Q. Are not you concerned in the management of the Post- 
Office in America? 

A. Yes. I am Deputy Post-Master General of North- 
America. 

Q. Don't you think the distribution of stamps by post to 
all the inhabitants very practicable, if there was no oppo- 
sition? 

A. The posts only go along the seacoasts; they do not, 
except in a few instances, go back into the country; and if 
they did, sending for stamps by post would occasion an ex- 
pence of postage amounting, in many cases, to much more 
than that of the stamps themselves. 

Q. Are you acquainted with Newfoundland? 

A. I never was there. 

Q. Do you know whether there are any post-roads on that 
island ? 

A. I have heard that there are no roads at all; but that the 
communication between one settlement and another is by 
sea only. 

Q. Can you disperse the stamps by post in Canada? 

A. There is only a post between Montreal and Quebec. 
The inhabitants live so scattered and remote from each other, 
in that vast country, that posts cannot be supported among 
them, and therefore they cannot get stamps per post. The 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 415 

English Colonies too, along the frontiers, are very thinly 
settled. 

Q. From the thinness of the back settlements, would not 
the stamp act be extremely inconvenient to the inhabitants, 
if executed? 

A. To be sure it would; as many of the inhabitants could 
not get stamps when they had occasion for them without 
taking long journeys, and spending perhaps Three or Four 
Pounds, that the Crown might get Six pence. 

Q. Are not the Colonies, from their circumstances, very 
able to pay the stamp duty? 

A. In my opinion there is not gold and silver enough in the 
Colonies to pay the stamp duty for one year. 

Q. Don't you know that the money arising from the stamps 
was all to be laid out in America? 

A. I know it is appropriated by the act to the American 
service ; but it will be spent in the conquered Colonies, where 
the soldiers are, not in the Colonies that pay it. 

Q. Is there not a balance of trade due from the Colonies 
where the troops are posted, that will bring back the money 
to the old colonies ? 

A. I think not. I believe very little would come back. I 
know of no trade likely to bring it back. I think it would 
come from the Colonies where it was spent directly to Eng- 
land; for I have always observed, that in every Colony the 
more plenty the means of remittance to England, the more 
goods are sent for, and the more trade with England carried 
on. 

Q. What number of white inhabitants do you think there 
are in Pennsylvania? 

A. I suppose there may be about 160,000. 



416 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. What number of them are Quakers ? 

A. Perhaps a third. 

Q. What number of Germans? 

A. Perhaps another third; but I cannot speak with 
certainty. 

Q. Have any number of the Germans seen service, as 
soldiers, in Europe? 

A. Yes, many of them, both in Europe and America. 

Q. Are they as much dissatisfied with the stamp duty as 
the English? 

A. Yes, and more; and with reason, as their stamps are, 
in many cases, to be double. 1 

Q. How many white men do you suppose there are in 
North America? 

A. About 300,000, from sixteen to sixty years of age. 

Q. What may be the amount of one year's imports into 
Pennsylvania from Britain? 

A. I have been informed that our merchants compute the 
imports from Britain to be above 500,000 Pounds. 

Q. What may be the amount of the produce of your 
province exported to Britain? 

A. It must be small, as we produce little that is wanted in 
Britain. I suppose it cannot exceed 40,000 Pounds. 

Q. How then do you pay the balance ? 

A. The balance is paid by our produce carried to the 
West-Indies, and sold in our own islands, or to the 
French, Spaniards, Danes, and Dutch; by the same carried 
to other colonies in North-America, as to New-England, 
Nova-Scotia, Newfoundland, Carolina, and Georgia; by 
the same, carried to different parts of Europe, as Spain, Por- 
1 doubled, 2d ed. ED. 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 417 

tugal, and Italy. In all which places we receive either money, 
bills of Exchange, or commodities that suit for remittance to 
Britain; which, together with all the profits on the industry 
of our merchants and mariners, arising in those circuitous 
voyages, and the freights made by their ships, center finally 
in Britain to discharge the balance, and pay for British manu- 
factures continually used in the province, or sold to foreigners 
by our traders. 

Q. Have you heard of any difficulties lately laid on the 
Spanish trade? 

A. Yes, I have heard, that it has been greatly obstructed 
by some new regulations, and by the English men-of-war and 
cutters stationed all along the coast of America. 

Q. Do you think it right that America should be protected 
by this country and pay no part of the expence ? 

A. That is not the case. The Colonies raised, cloathed 
and payed, during the last war, near 25000 men, and spent 
many millions. 

Q. Were you not reimbursed by parliament? 

A. We were only reimbursed what, in your opinion, we 
had advanced beyond our proportion, or beyond what might 
reasonably be expected from us ; and it was a very small part 
of what we spent. Pennsylvania, in particular, disbursed 
about 500,000 Pounds, and the reimbursements, in the whole, 
did not exceed 60,000 Pounds. 

Q. You have said that you pay heavy taxes in Pennsyl- 
vania ; what do they amount to in the Pound ? 

A. The tax on all estates, real and personal, is Eighteen 
Pence in the Pound, fully rated; and the tax on the profits 
of trades and professions, with other taxes, do, I suppose, 
make full Half a Crown in the Pound. 

VOL. IV 2 E 



418 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. Do you know any thing of the rate of exchange in Penn- 
sylvania, and whether it has fallen lately? 

A. It is commonly from 170 to 175. I have heard, that it 
has fallen lately from 175 to 162 and a half ; owing, I suppose, 
to their lessening their orders for goods ; and when their debts 
to this country are paid, I think the exchange will probably be 
at par. 

Q. Do not you think the people of America would submit 
to pay the stamp duty, if it was moderated ? 

A. No, never, unless compelled by force of arms. 

Q. Are not the taxes in Pennsylvania laid on unequally, in 
order to burthen the English trade; particularly the tax on 
professions and business? 

A. It is not more burthensome in proportion than the tax 
on lands. It is intended and supposed to take an equal pro- 
portion of profits. 

Q. How is the assembly composed? Of what kinds of 
people are the members, landholders or traders? 

A. It is composed of landholders, merchants, and artificers. 

Q. Are not the majority landholders? 

A. I believe they are. 

Q. Do not they, as much as possible, shift the tax off from 
the land, to ease that, and lay the burthen heavier on trade ? 

A. I have never understood it so. I never heard such a 
thing suggested. And indeed an attempt of that kind could 
answer no purpose. The merchant or trader is always skilled 
in figures, and ready with his pen and ink. If unequal 
burthens are laid on his trade, he puts an additional price on 
his goods; and the consumers, who are chiefly landholders, 
finally pay the greatest part, if not the whole. 

Q. What was the temper of America towards Great Britain 
before the year 1763? 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 419 

A. The best in the world. They submitted willingly to the 
government of the Crown, and paid, in all their courts, obedi- 
ence to acts of parliament. Numerous as the people are in 
the several provinces, they cost you nothing in forts, citadels, 
garrisons, or armies, to keep them in subjection. They were 
governed by this country at the expence only of a little pen, 
ink and paper. They were led by a thread. They had not 
only a respect, but an affection for Great-Britain; for its 
laws, its customs and manners, and even a fondness for its 
fashions, that greatly increased the commerce. Natives of 
Britain were always treated with particular regard ; to be art 
Old- England man was, of itself, a character of some respect, 
and gave a kind of rank among us. 

Q. And what is their temper now? 

A. O, very much altered. 

Q. Did you ever hear the authority of parliament to make 
laws for America questioned till lately ? 

A. The authority of parliament was allowed to be valid 
in all laws, except such as should lay internal taxes. 
It was never disputed in laying duties to regulate com- 
merce. 

Q. In what proportion hath population increased in 
America ? 

A. I think the inhabitants of all the provinces together, 
taken at a medium, double in about 25 years. But their 
demand for British manufactures increases much faster, as 
the consumption is not merely in proportion to their numbers, 
but grows with the growing abilities of the same numbers to 
pay for them. In 1723, the whole importation from Britain 
to Pennsylvania, was but about 15,000 Pounds Sterling; it 
is now near Half a Million. 



420 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. In what light did the people of America use to consider 
the parliament of Great-Britain? 

A. They considered the parliament as the great bulwark 
and security of their liberties and privileges, and always spoke 
of it with the utmost respect and veneration. Arbitrary 
ministers, they thought, might possibly, at times, attempt to 
oppress them; but they relied on it, that the parliament, on 
application, would always give redress. They remembered, 
with gratitude, a strong instance of this, when a bill was 
brought into parliament, with a clause, to make royal in- 
structions laws in the colonies, which the House of Commons 
would not pass, and it was thrown out. 

Q. And have they not still the same respect for parliament ? 

A. No, it is greatly lessened. 

Q. To what causes 1 is that owing? 

A. To a concurrence of causes; the restraints lately laid 
on their trade, by which the bringing of foreign gold and silver 
into the Colonies was prevented; the prohibition of making 
paper money among themselves ; and then demanding a new 
and heavy tax by stamps ; taking away, at the same time, trials 
by juries, and refusing to receive and hear their humble 
petitions. 

Q. Don't you think they would submit to the stamp-act, 
if it was modified, the obnoxious parts taken out, and the duty 
reduced to some particulars, of small moment? 

A. No; they will never submit to it. 

Q. What do you think is the reason that the people of 2 
America increase faster than in England? 

A. Because they marry younger, and more generally. 

Q. Why so? 

1 cause, 2d ed. ED. 2 in, 2d ed. ED. 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 421 

A. Because any young couple, that are industrious, may 
easily obtain land of their own, on which they can raise a 
family. 

Q. Are not the lower rank * of people more at their ease in 
America than in England? 

A. They may be so, if they are sober and diligent, as they 
are better paid for their labour. 

Q. What is your opinion of a future tax, imposed on the 
same principle with that of the stamp-act? How would the 
Americans receive it? 

A. Just as they do this. They would not pay it. 

Q. Have not you heard of the resolutions of this House, and 
of the House of Lords, asserting the right of parliament relat- 
ing to America, including a power to tax the people there? 

A. Yes, I have heard of such resolutions. 

Q. What will be the opinion of the Americans on those 
resolutions ? 

A. They will think them unconstitutional and unjust. 

Q. Was it an opinion in America before 1763, that the 
parliament had no right to lay taxes and duties there ? 

A. I never heard any objection to the right of laying duties 
to regulate commerce; but a right to lay internal taxes was 
never supposed to be in parliament, as we are not represented 
there. 

Q. On what do you found your opinion, that the people in 
America made any such distinction? 

A. I know that whenever the subject has occurred in con- 
versation where I have been present, it has appeared to be 
the opinion of every one, that we could not be taxed by a par- 
liament where 2 we were not represented. But the payment 

1 ranks, 2d ed. ED. 2 wherein, 2d ed. ED. 



422 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

of duties laid by an act of parliament, as regulations of com- 
merce, was never disputed. 

Q. But can you name any act of assembly, or public act 
of any of your governments, that made such distinction ? 

A. I do not know that there was any; I think there was 
never an occasion to make any such act, till now that you 
have attempted to tax us; that has occasioned resolutions 
of assembly, declaring the distinction, in which I think every 
assembly on the continent, and every member in every 
assembly, have been unanimous. 

Q. What, then, could occasion conversations on that sub- 
ject before that time? 

A. There was in 1754 a proposition made, (I think it 
came from hence) that in case of a war, which was then ap- 
prehended, the governors of the Colonies should meet, and 
order the levying of troops, building of forts, and taking 
every other necessary measure for the general defence; and 
should draw on the treasury here for the sums expended, 
which were afterwards to be raised in the colonies by a 
general tax, to be laid on them by act of parliament. This 
occasioned a good deal of conversation on the subject; 
and the general opinion was, that the parliament neither 
would nor could lay any tax on us, till we were duly repre- 
sented in parliament ; because it was not just, nor agreeable 
to the nature of an English constitution. 

Q. Don't you know there was a time in New- York, when 
it was under consideration to make an application to parlia- 
ment to lay taxes on that Colony, upon a deficiency arising 
from the assembly's refusing or neglecting to raise the neces- 
sary supplies for the support of the civil government ? 

A. I never heard of it. 



1766] EXAMINATION" OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 423 

Q. There was such an application under consideration in 
New- York; and do you apprehend they could suppose the 
right of parliament to lay a tax in America was only local, 
and confined to the case of a deficiency in a particular Colony, 
by a refusal of its assembly to raise the necessary supplies ? 

A. They could not suppose such a case, as that the as- 
sembly would not raise the necessary supplies to support 
its own government. An assembly that would refuse it must 
want common sense; which cannot be supposed. I think 
there was never any such case at New- York, and that it 
must be a misrepresentation, or the fact must be misunder- 
stood. I know there have been some attempts, by minis- 
terial instructions from hence, to oblige the assemblies to 
settle permanent salaries on governors, which they wisely 
refused to do; but I believe no assembly of New York, or 
any other Colony, ever refused duly to support government 
by proper allowances, from time to time, to public officers. 

Q. But in case a governor, acting by instruction, should 
call on an assembly to raise the necessary supplies, and the 
assembly should refuse to do it, do you not think it would 
then be for the good of the people of the colony, as well as 
necessary to government, that the parliament should tax 
them? 

A. I do not think it would be necessary. If an assembly 
could possibly be so absurd, as to refuse raising the sup- 
plies requisite for the maintenance of government among 
them, they could not long remain in such a situation; the 
disorders and confusion occasioned by it must soon bring 
them to reason. 

Q. If it should not, ought not the right to be in Great 
Britain of applying a remedy? 



424 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

A. A right, only to be used in such a case, I should have 
no objection to ; supposing it to be used merely for the good 
of the people of the Colony. 

Q. But who is to judge of that, Britain or the Colony? 

A. Those that feel can best judge. 

Q. You say the Colonies have always submitted to ex- 
ternal taxes, and object to the right of parliament only in 
laying internal taxes; now can you shew, that there is any 
kind of difference between the two taxes to the Colony on 
which they may be laid? 

A. I think the difference is very great. An external tax 
is a duty laid on commodities imported; that duty is added 
to the first cost and other charges on the commodity, and, 
when it is offered to sale, makes a part of the price. If the 
people do not like it at that price, they refuse it ; they are not 
obliged to pay it. But an internal tax is forced from the 
people without their consent, if not laid by their own repre- 
sentatives. The stamp act says, we shall have no commerce, 
make no exchange of property with each other, neither 
purchase, nor grant, nor recover debts ; we shall neither marry 
nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums ; and 
thus it is intended to extort our money from us, or ruin us 
by the consequences of refusing to pay it. 

Q. But supposing the internal 1 tax or duty to be laid on the 
necessaries of life, imported into your colony, will not that be 
the same thing in its effects as an internal tax ? 

A. I do not know a single article imported into the North- 
ern Colonies, but what they can either do without, or make 
themselves. 

Q. Don't you think cloth from England absolutely neces- 
sary to them? 

1 external, 2d ed. ED. 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 425 

A. No, by no means absolutely necessary; with industry 
and good management, they may very well supply them- 
selves with all they want. 

Q. Will it not take a long time to establish that manu- 
facture among them; and must they not in the mean while 
suffer greatly? 

A. I think not. They have made a surprising progress 
already. And I am of opinion, that before their old clothes 
are worn out, they will have new ones of their own making. 

Q. Can they possibly find wool enough in North America ? 

A. They have taken steps to increase the wool. They 
entered into general combinations to eat no more lamb, 
and very few lambs were killed last year. This course 
persisted in, will soon make a prodigious difference in the 
quantity of wool. And the establishing of great manufac- 
tories, like those in the clothing towns here, is not necessary, 
as it is where the business is to be carried on for the purposes 
of trade. The people will all spin, and work for themselves, 
in their own houses. 

Q. Can there be wool and manufacture enough in one or 
two years? 

A. In three years, I think there may. 

Q. Does not the severity of the winter, in the Northern 
Colonies, occasion the wool to be of bad quality? 

A. No; the wool is very fine and good. 

Q. In the more Southern Colonies, as in Virginia, don't 
you know, that the wool is coarse, and only a kind of hair? 

A. I don't know it. I never heard it. Yet I have been 
sometimes in Virginia. I cannot say I ever took particular 
notice of the wool there, but I believe it is good, though I 
cannot speak positively of it ; but Virginia and the Colonies 



426 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1766 

south of it have less occasion for wool; their winters are 
short, and not very severe; and they can very well clothe 
themselves with linen and cotton of their own raising for the 
rest of the year. 

Q. Are not the people in the more Northern Colonies 
obliged to fodder their sheep all the winter? 

A. In some of the most Northern Colonies they may be 
obliged to do it, some part of the winter. 

Q. Considering the resolutions of parliament, as to the 
right, do you think, if the stamp act is repealed, that the 
North Americans will be satisfied? 

A. I believe they will. 

Q. Why do you think so? 

A. I think the resolutions of right will give them very 
little concern, if they are never attempted to be carried into 
practice. The Colonies will probably consider themselves in 
the same situation, in that respect, with Ireland ; they know 
you claim the same right with regard to Ireland, but you 
never exercise it. And they may believe you never will 
exercise it in the Colonies, any more than in Ireland, unless 
on some very extraordinary occasion. 

Q. But who are to be the judges of that extraordinary 
occasion? Is not the parliament? 

A. Though the parliament may judge of the occasion, the 
people will think it can never exercise such right, till repre- 
sentatives from the Colonies are admitted into parliament; 
and that, when ever the occasion arises, representatives will 
be ordered. 

Q. Did you never hear that Maryland, during the last 
war, had refused to furnish a quota towards the common 
defence? 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 427 

A. Maryland has been much misrepresented in that 
matter. Maryland, to my knowledge, never refused to con- 
tribute or grant aids to the crown. The assemblies, every 
year, during the war, voted considerable sums, and formed 
bills to raise them. The bills were, according to the con- 
stitution of that province, sent up to the council, or upper 
house, for concurrence, that they might be presented to the 
governor, in order to be enacted into laws. Unhappy dis- 
putes between the two houses, arising from the defects of that 
constitution principally, rendered all the bills but one or two, 
abortive. The proprietary's council rejected them. It is 
true, Maryland did not 1 contribute its proportion ; but it was, 
in my opinion, the fault of the government, not of the people. 

Q. Was it not talked of in the other provinces, as a proper 
measure, to apply to parliament to compel them? 

A. I have heard such discourse; but, as it was well 
known that the people were not to blame, no such applica- 
tion was ever made, nor any step taken towards it. 

Q. Was it not proposed at a public meeting? 

A. Not that I know of? 

Q. Do you remember the abolishing of the paper currency 
in New England, by act of assembly? 

A. I do remember its being abolished in the Massachu- 
setts Bay. 

Q. Was not Lieutenant- Governor Hutchinson principally 
concerned in that transaction? 

A. I have heard so. 

Q. Was it not at that time a very unpopular law? 

A. I believe it might, though I can say little about it, as 
I lived at a distance from that province. 

1 did not then contribute, 2d ed. ED. 



428 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. Was not the scarcity of gold and silver an argument 
used against abolishing the paper? 

A. I suppose it was. 

Q. What is the present opinion there of that 1 law? Is 
it as unpopular as it was at first? 

A. I think it is not. 

Q. Have not instructions from hence been sometimes sent 
over to governors, highly oppressive and unpolitical? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Have not some governors dispensed with them for 
that reason? 

A. Yes, I have heard so. 

Q. Did the Americans ever dispute the controuling power 
of parliament to regulate the commerce? 

A. No. 

Q. Can any thing less than a military force carry the stamp 
act into execution? 

A. I do not see how a military force can be applied to 
that purpose. 

Q. Why may it not? 

A. Suppose a military force sent into America, they will 
find nobody in arms ; what are they then to do ? They can- 
not force a man to take stamps who chuses to do without 
them. They will not find a rebellion; they may indeed 
make one. 

Q. If the act is not repealed, what do you think will be 
the consequences? 

A. A total loss of the respect and affection the people of 
America bear to this country, and of all the commerce that 
depends on that respect and affection. 
1 the law, 2d ed. ED. 



i;66] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 429 

Q. How can the commerce be affected? 

A. You will find, that if the act is not repealed, they will 
take very little of your manufactures in a short time. 

Q. Is it in their power to do without them? 

A. I think they may very well do without them. 

Q. Is it their interest not to take them? 

A. The goods they take from Britain are either neces- 
saries, mere conveniences, or superfluities. The first, as 
cloth, &c. with a little industry they can make at home; 
the second they can do without, till they are able to provide 
them among themselves; and the last, which are much the 
greatest part, they will strike off immediately. They are 
mere articles of fashion, purchased and consumed because 
the fashion in a respected country ; but will now be detested 
and rejected. The people have already struck off, by general 
agreement, the use of all goods fashionable in mournings, 
and many thousand pounds worth are sent back as un- 
saleable. 

Q. Is it their interest to make cloth at home? 

A. I think they may at present get it cheaper from Britain, 
I mean of the same fineness and workmanship; but, when 
one considers other circumstances, the restraints on their 
trade, and the difficulty of making remittances, it is their 
interest to make every thing. 

Q. Suppose an act of internal regulations connected with 
a tax; how would they receive it? 

A. I think it would be objected to. 

Q. Then no regulation with a tax would be submitted 
to? 

A. Their opinion is, that, when aids to the Crown are 
wanted, they are to be asked of the several assemblies, 



430 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

according to the old established usage; who will, as they al- 
ways have done, grant them freely. And that their money 
ought not to be given away, without their consent, by persons 
at a distance, unacquainted with their circumstances and 
abilities. The granting aids to the Crown is the only means 
they have of recommending themselves to their sovereign; 
and they think it extremely hard and unjust, that a body of 
men, in which they have no representatives, should make a 
merit to itself of giving and granting what is not its own, but 
theirs ; and deprive them of a right they esteem of the utmost 
value and importance, as it is the security of all their other 
rights. 

Q. But is not the post-office, which they have long re- 
ceived, a tax as well as a regulation? 

A. No; the money paid for the postage of a letter is not 
of the nature of a tax; it is merely a quantum meruit for a 
service done ; no person is compellable to pay the money if 
he does not chuse to receive the service. A man may stilly 
as before the act, send his letter by a servant, a special mes- 
senger, or a friend, if he thinks it cheaper and safer. 

Q. But do they not consider the regulations of the post- 
office, by the act of last year, as a tax ? 

A. By the regulations of last year the rate of postage was- 
generally abated near thirty per cent through all America; 
they certainly cannot consider such abatement as a tax. 

Q. If an excise was laid by parliament, which they might 
likewise avoid paying, by not consuming the articles excised, 
would they then not object to it ? 

A. They would certainly object to it, as an excise is un- 
connected with any service done, and is merely an aid, 
which they think ought to be asked of them, and granted 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 431 

by them, if they are to pay it ; and can be granted for them 
by no others whatsoever, whom they have not impowered 
for that purpose. 

Q. You say they do not object to the right of parliament, 
in laying duties on goods to be paid on their importation; 
now, is there any kind of difference between a duty on the 
importation of goods, and an excise on their consumption ? 

A. Yes, a very material one; an excise, for the reasons I 
have just mentioned, they think you can have no right to 
lay within their country. But the sea is yours; you main- 
tain, by your fleets, the safety of navigation in it, and keep 
it clear of pirates; you may have therefore a natural and 
equitable right to some toll or duty on merchandizes carried 
through that part of your dominions, towards defraying the 
expence you are at in ships to maintain the safety of that 
carriage. 

Q. Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid on 
the produce of their lands exported? And would they not 
then object to such a duty? 

A. If it tended to make the produce so much dearer 
abroad, as to lessen the demand for it, to be sure they 
would object to such a duty; not to your right of laying it, 
but they would complain of it as a burthen, and petition you 
to lighten it. 

Q. Is not the duty paid on the tobacco exported, a duty 
of that kind? 

A. That, I think, is only on tobacco carried coastwise, 
from one Colony to another, and appropriated as a fund 
for supporting the college at Williamsburgh, in Virginia. 

Q. Have not the assemblies in the West-Indies the same 
natural rights with those in North- America ? 



432 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

A. Undoubtedly. 

Q. And is there not a tax laid there on their sugars 
exported? 

A. I am not much acquainted with the West-Indies; 
but the duty of four and a half per cent on sugars exported 
was, I believe, granted by their own assemblies. 

Q. How much is the poll-tax in your province laid on 
unmarried men? 

A. It is, I think, Fifteen Shillings, to be paid by every 
single freeman, upwards of twenty-one years old. 

Q. What is the annual amount of all the taxes in Penn- 
sylvania? 

A. I suppose about 20,000 Pounds sterling. 

Q. Supposing the stamp act continued, and enforced, 
do you imagine that ill humour will induce the Americans 
to give as much for worse manufactures of their own, and 
use them, preferably to better of ours? 

A. Yes, I think so. People will pay as freely to gratify 
one passion as another, their resentment as their pride. 

Q. Would the people at Boston discontinue their trade? 

A. The merchants are a very small number compared 
with the body of the people, and must discontinue their 
trade, if nobody will buy their goods. 

Q. What are the body of the people in the Colonies? 

A. They are farmers, husbandmen or planters. 

Q. Would they suffer the produce of their lands to rot? 

A. No; but they would not raise so much. They would 
manufacture more, and plough less. 

Q. Would they live without the administration of justice 
in civil matters, and suffer all the inconveniencies of such a 
situation for any considerable time, rather than take the 



1 766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 433 

stamps, supposing the stamps were protected by a sufficient 
force, where every one might have them? 

A. I think the supposition impracticable, that the stamps 
should be so protected as that every one might have them. 
The act requires sub-distributors to be appointed in every 
county town, district, and village, and they would be neces- 
sary. But the principal distributors, who were to have had 
a considerable profit on the whole, have not thought it worth 
while to continue in the office; and I think it impossible to 
find sub-distributors fit to be trusted, who, for the trifling 
profit that must come to their share, would incur the odium, 
and run the hazard, that would attend it ; and, if they could 
be found, I think it impracticable to protect the stamps in 
so many distant and remote places. 

Q. But in places where they could be protected, would 
not the people use them, rather than remain in such a situa- 
tion, unable to obtain any right, or recover by law any 
debt? 

A. It is hard to say what they would do. I can only 
judge what other people will think, and how they will act, 
by what I feel within myself. I have a great many debts 
due to me in America, and I had rather they should remain 
unrecoverable by any law, than submit to the stamp act. 
They will be debts of honour. It is my opinion the people 
will either continue in that situation, or find some way to 
extricate themselves; perhaps by generally agreeing to pro- 
ceed in the courts without stamps. 

Q. What do you think a sufficient military force to pro- 
tect the distribution of the stamps in every part of America ? 

A. A very great force; I can't say what, if the disposition 
of America is for a general resistance. 

VOL. IV 2F 



434 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. What is the number of men in America able to bear 
arms, or of disciplined militia? 

A. There are, I suppose, at least 

[Question objected to. He withdrew. Called in again.] 

Q. Is the American stamp act an equal tax on the coun- 
try? 

A. I think not. 

Q. Why so? 

A. The greatest part of the money must arise from law- 
suits for the recovery of debts, and be paid by the lower 
sort of people, who were too poor easily to pay their debts. 
It is, therefore, a heavy tax on the poor, and a tax upon 
them for being poor. 

Q. But will not this increase of expence be a means of 
lessening the number of law-suits? 

A. I think not; for as the costs all fall upon the debtor, 
and are to be paid by him, they would be no discourage- 
ment to the creditor to bring his action. 

Q. Would it not have the effect of excessive usury? 

A. Yes; as an oppression of the debtor. 

Q. How many ships are there laden annually in North- 
America with flax-seed for Ireland? 

A. I cannot speak to the number of ships; but I know, 
that, in 1752, 10,000 hogsheads of flax-seed, each contain- 
ing 7 bushels, were exported from Philadelphia to Ireland. 
I suppose the quantity is greatly increased since that time ; 
and it is understood that the exportation from New- York 
is equal to that from Philadelphia. 

Q. What becomes of the flax that grows with that flax-seed ? 

A. They manufacture some into coarse, and some into 
a middling kind of linen. 

Q. Are there any slitting- mills in America? 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 435 

A. I think there are three, but I believe only one at 
present employed. I suppose they will all be set to work, 
if the interruption of the trade continues. 

Q. Are there any fulling mills there? 

A. A great many. 

Q. Did you never hear that a great quantity of stockings 
were contracted for, for the army, during the war, and manu- 
factured in Philadelphia? 

A. I have heard so. 

Q. If the stamp act should be repealed, would not the 
Americans think they could oblige the parliament to repeal 
every external tax-law now in force? 

A. It is hard to answer questions of what people at such 
a distance will think. 

Q. But what do you imagine they will think were the 
motives of repealing the act? 

A. I suppose they will think that it was repealed from a 
conviction of its inexpediency; and they will rely upon it, 
that while the same inexpediency subsists, you will never 
attempt to make such another. 

Q. What do you mean by its inexpediency? 

A. I mean its inexpediency on several accounts; the 
poverty and inability of those who were to pay the tax ; the 
general discontent it has occasioned; and the impractica- 
bility of enforcing it. 

Q. If the act should be repealed, and the legislature 
should shew its resentment to the opposers of the stamp 
act, would the Colonies acquiesce in the authority of the 
legislature? What is your opinion they would do? 

A. I don't doubt at all, that if the legislature repeal the 
stamp act, the Colonies will acquiesce in the authority. 



436 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. But if the legislature should think fit to ascertain its 
right to lay taxes, by any act laying a small tax, contrary 
to their opinion, would they submit to pay the tax ? 

A. The proceedings of the people in America have been 
considered too much together. The proceedings of the 
assemblies have been very different from those of the mobs, 
and should be distinguished, as having no connection with 
each other. The assemblies have only peaceably resolved 
what they take to be their rights ; they have taken no meas- 
ures for opposition by force; they have not built a fort, 
raised a man, or provided a grain of ammunition, in order 
to such opposition. The ringleaders of riots, they think 
ought to be punished; they would punish them themselves, 
if they could. Every sober, sensible man, would wish to see 
rioters punished, as, otherwise, peaceable people have no 
security of person or estate. But as to an internal tax, how 
small soever, laid by the legislature here on the people there, 
while they have no representatives in this legislature, I 
think it will never be submitted to. They will oppose it to 
the last. They do not consider it as at all necessary for you 
to raise money on them by your taxes; because they are, 
and always have been, ready to raise money by taxes among 
themselves, and to grant large sums, equal to their abilities, 
upon requisition from the Crown. They have not only 
granted equal to their abilities, but, during all the last war, 
they granted far beyond their abilities, and beyond their pro- 
portion with this country (you yourselves being judges), to 
the amount of many hundred thousand pounds; and this 
they did freely and readily, only on a sort of promise, from 
the secretary of state, that it should be recommended to par- 
liament to make them compensation. It was accordingly 



I ;66] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 437 

recommended to parliament, in the most honourable man- 
ner for them. America has been greatly misrepresented and 
abused here, in papers, and pamphlets, and speeches, as un- 
grateful, and unreasonable, and unjust; in having put this 
nation to 1 immense expence for their defence, and refusing 
to bear any part of that expense. The colonies raised, paid, 
and clothed near 25,000 men during the last war; a number 
equal to those sent from Britain, and far beyond their pro- 
portion; they went deeply into debt in doing this, and all 
their taxes and estates are mortgaged for many years to 
come, for discharging that debt. Government here was at 
that time very sensible of this. The colonies were recom- 
mended to parliament. Every year the king sent down to 
the house a written message to this purpose; That his 
Majesty, being highly sensible of the zeal and vigour with 
which his faithful subjects in North- America had exerted 
themselves, in defence of his Majesty's just rights and pos- 
sessions, recommended it to the house to take the same into 
consideration, and enable him to give them a proper com- 
pensation. You will find those messages on your own jour- 
nals every year of the war to the very last; and you did 
accordingly give 200,000 Pounds annually to the Crown, 
to be distributed in such compensation to the Colonies. 

This is the strongest of all proofs, that the Colonies, far 
from being unwilling to bear a share of the burthen, did 
exceed their proportion; for if they had done less, or had 
only equalled their proportion, there would have been no 
room or reason for compensation. Indeed, the sums, re- 
imbursed them, were by no means adequate to the expence 
they incurred beyond their proportion ; but they never mur- 

1 an immense expence, 2d ed. ED. 



438 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

mured at that; they esteemed their Sovereign's approba- 
tion of their zeal and fidelity, and the approbation of this 
house, far beyond any other kind of compensation; there- 
fore there was no occasion for this act, to force money from 
a willing people ; they had not refused giving money for the 
purposes of the act; no requisition had been made; they 
were always willing and ready to do what could reasonably be 
expected from them, and in this light they wish to be considered. 

Q. But suppose Great-Britain should be engaged in a 
war in Europe, would North-America contribute to the sup- 
port of it? 

A. I do think they would as far as their circumstances 
would permit. They consider themselves as a part of the 
British empire, and as having one common interest with it; 
they may be looked on here as foreigners, but they do not 
consider themselves as such. They are zealous for the 
honour and prosperity of this nation; and, while they are 
well used, will always be ready to support it, as far as their 
little power goes. In 1739 they were called upon to assist 
in the expedition against Carthagena, and they sent 3,000 
men to join your army. It is true, Carthagena is in America, 
but as remote from the Northern Colonies, as if it had been 
in Europe. They make no distinction of wars, as to their 
duty of assisting in them. I know the last war is commonly 
spoke of here, as entered into for the defence, or for the sake, 
of the people in America. I think it is quite misunderstood. 
It began about the limits between Canada and Nova- 
Scotia; about territories to which the Crown indeed laid 
claim, but 1 were not claimed by any British Colony ; none 
of the lands had been granted to any Colonist; we had 

1 -which were not, 2d ed. ED. 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 439 

therefore no particular concern or interest in that dispute. 
As to the Ohio, the contest there began about your right of 
trading in the Indian country, a right you had by the treaty 
of Utrecht, which the French infringed; they seized the 
traders and their goods, which were your manufactures; 
they took a fort which a company of your merchants, and 
their factors, and correspondents, had erected there to 
secure that trade. Braddock was sent with an army to 
retake that fort, (which was looked on here as another 
encroachment on the King's territory) and to protect your 
trade. It was not till after his defeat, that the Colonies 
were attacked. They were before in perfect peace with 
both French and Indians; the troops were not, therefore, 
sent for their defence. 

The trade with the Indians, though carried on in America, 
is not an American interest. The people of America are 
chiefly farmers and planters; scarce any thing that they 
raise or produce is an article of commerce with the Indians. 
The Indian trade is a British interest; it is carried on with 
British manufactures, for the profit of British merchants 
and manufacturers; therefore the war, as it commenced 
for the defence of territories of the Crown the property of 
no American, and for the defence of a trade purely British, 
was really a British war, and yet the people of America made 
no scruple of contributing their utmost towards carrying 
it on, and bringing it to a happy conclusion. 

Q. Do you think, then, that the taking possession of the 
King's territorial rights, and strengthening the frontiers, 
is not an American interest? 

A. Not particularly, but conjointly a British and an 
American interest. 



440 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Q. You will not deny, that the preceding war, the war 
with Spain, was entered into for the sake of America; was 
it not occasioned by captures made in the American seas ? 

A. Yes; captures of ships carrying on the British trade 
there with British manufactures. 

Q. Was not the late war with the Indians, since the peace 
with France, a war for America only? 

A. Yes; it was more particularly for America than the 
former; but was rather a consequence or remains of the 
former war, the Indians not having been thoroughly paci- 
fied; and the Americans bore by much the greatest share 
of the expence. It was put an end to by the army under 
General Bouquet; there were not above 300 regulars in 
that army, and above 1000 Pennsylvanians. 

Q. Is it not necessary to send troops to America, to defend 
the Americans against the Indians? 

A. No, by no means; it never was necessary. They 
defended themselves when they were but a handful, and the 
Indians much more numerous. They continually gained 
ground, and have driven the Indians over the mountains, 
without any troops sent to their assistance from this coun- 
try. And can it be thought necessary now to send troops 
for their defence from those diminished Indian tribes, when 
the Colonies are become so populous and so strong ? There 
is not the least occasion for it ; they are very able to defend 
themselves. 

Q. Do you say there were not more than 300 regular 
troops employed in the late Indian war? 

A. Not on the Ohio, or the frontiers of Pennsylvania, 
which was the chief part of the war that affected the Colonies. 
There were garrisons at Niagara, Fort Detroit, and those 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 441 

remote posts kept for the sake of your trade; I did not 
reckon them; but I believe, that on the whole the number 
of Americans or provincial troops, employed in the war, 
was greater than that of the regulars. I am not certain, 
but I think so. 

Q. Do you think the assemblies have a right to levy 
money on the subject there, to grant to the Crown? 

A. I certainly think so; they have always done it. 

Q. Are they acquainted with the declaration of rights? 
And do they know, that, by that statute, money is not to be 
raised on the subject but by consent of parliament? 

A. They are very well acquainted with it. 

Q. How then can they think they have a right to levy 
money for the Crown, or for any other than local pur- 
poses ? 

A. They understand that clause to relate to subjects 
only within the realm; that no money can be levied on 
them for the Crown, but by consent of parliament. The 
Colonies are not supposed to be within the realm; they 
have assemblies of their own, which are their parliaments, 
and they are, in that respect, in the same situation with 
Ireland. When money is to be raised for the Crown upon 
the subject in Ireland, or in the Colonies, the consent is 
given in the Parliament of Ireland, or in the assemblies of 
the Colonies. They think the parliament of Great-Britain 
cannot properly give that consent, till it has representatives 
from America; for the petition of right expressly says, it 
is to be by common consent in parliament; and the people 
of America have no representatives in parliament, to make 
a part of that common consent. 

Q. If the stamp act should be repealed, and an act 



442 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

should pass, ordering the assemblies of the Colonies to 
indemnify the sufferers by the riots, would they obey it? 

A. That is a question I cannot answer. 

Q. Suppose the King should require the Colonies to 
grant a revenue, and the parliament should be against their 
doing it, do they think they can grant a revenue to the 
King, without the consent of the parliament of Great- 
Britain ? 

A. That is a deep question. As to my own opinion, 
I should think myself at liberty to do it, and should do it, 
if I liked the occasion. 

Q. When money has been raised in the Colonies, upon 
requisitions, has it not been granted to the King? 

A. Yes, always; but the requisitions have generally been 
for some service expressed, as to raise, clothe, and pay 
troops, and not for money only. 

Q. If the act should pass requiring the American assem- 
blies to make compensation to the sufferers, and they should 
disobey it, and then the parliament should, by another act, 
lay an internal tax, would they then obey it? 

A. The people will pay no internal tax; and I think 
an act to oblige the assemblies to make compensation is 
unnecessary; for I am of opinion, that, as soon as the 
present heats are abated, they will take the matter into con- 
sideration, and if it is right to be done, they will do it of 
themselves. 

Q. Do not letters often come into the post-offices in 
America, directed to some inland town where no post goes? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Can any private person take up those letters, and 
carry them as directed? 



1766] EXAMINATION- OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 443 

A. Yes; any friend of the person may do it, paying the 
postage that has accrued. 

Q. But must not he pay an additional postage for the 
distance to such inland town? 

A. No. 

Q. Can the post-master answer delivering the letter, 
without being paid such additional postage? 

A. Certainly he can demand nothing, where he does no 
service. 

Q. Suppose a person, being far from home, finds a letter 
in a post-office directed to him, and he lives in a place to 
which the post generally goes, and the letter is directed to 
that place; will the post-master deliver him the letter, with- 
out his paying the postage receivable at the place to which 
the letter is directed? 

A. Yes; the office cannot demand postage for a letter 
that it does not carry, or farther than it does carry it. 

Q. Are not ferry men in America obliged, by act of 
parliament, to carry over the posts without pay? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Is not this a tax on the ferry-men? 

A. They do not consider it as such, as they have an 
advantage from persons travelling with the post. 

Q. If the stamp act should be repealed, and the Crown 
should make a requisition to the Colonies for a sum of 
money, would they grant it? 

A. I believe they would. 

Q. Why do you think so? 

A. I can speak for the Colony I live in ; I had it in instruc- 
tion from the assembly to assure the ministry, that, as they 
always had done, so they should always think it their duty, to 



444 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

grant such aids to the Crown as were suitable to their circum- 
stances and abilities, whenever called upon for that purpose, 
in the usual constitutional manner; and I had the honour 
of communicating this instruction to that honourable gentle- 
man then minister. 

Q. Would they do this for a British concern, as suppose a 
war in some part of Europe, that did not affect them ? 

A. Yes, for any thing that concerned the general interest. 
They consider themselves a part of the whole. 

Q. What is the usual constitutional manner of calling on 
the Colonies for aids ? 

A. A letter from the secretary of state. 

Q. Is this all you mean; a letter from the secretary of 
state? 

A. I mean the usual way of requisition, in a circular letter 
from the secretary of state, by his Majesty's command, re- 
citing the occasion, and recommending it to the Colonies ta 
grant such aids as became their loyalty, and were suitable to 
their abilities. 

Q. Did the secretary of state ever write for money for the 
Crown ? 

A. The requisitions have been to raise, clothe, and pay 
men, which cannot be done without money. 

Q. Would they grant money alone, if called on? 

A. In my opinion they would, money as well as men, when 
they have money, or can make it. 

Q. If the parliament should repeal the stamp act, will the 
assembly of Pennsylvania rescind their resolutions? 

A. I think not. 

Q. Before there was any thought of the stamp act, did- 
they wish for a representation in parliament? 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 445 

A. No. 

Q. Don't you know, that there is, in the Pennsylvania 
charter, an express reservation of the right of parliament to 
lay taxes there? 

A. I know there is a clause in the charter, by which the 
King grants, that he will levy no taxes on the inhabitants, 
unless it be with the consent of the assembly, or by act of 
parliament. 

Q. How, then, could the assembly of Pennsylvania assert, 
that laying a tax on them by the stamp act was an infringe- 
ment of their rights ? 

A. They understand it thus; by the same charter, and 
otherwise, they are entitled to all the privileges and liberties 
of Englishmen; they find in the great charters, and the peti- 
tion and declaration of rights, that one of the privileges of 
English subjects is, that they are not to be taxed but by their 
common consent; they have therefore relied upon it, from 
the first settlement of the province, that the parliament never 
would, nor could, by colour of that clause in the charter, as- 
sume a right of taxing them, till it had qualified itself to exer- 
cise such right, by admitting representatives from the people 
to be taxed, who ought to make a part of that common consent. 

Q. Are there any words in the charter that justify that 
construction ? 

A. "The common rights of Englishmen," as declared by 
Magna Charta, and the petition of right, all justify it. 

Q. Does the distinction between internal and external 
taxes exist in the words of the charter ? 

A. No, I believe not. 

Q. Then, may they not, by the same interpretation, object 
to the parliament's right of external taxation? 



446 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

A. They never have hitherto. Many arguments have 
been lately used here to shew them, that there is no difference, 
and that, if you have no right to tax them internally, you 
have none to tax them externally, or make any other law to 
bind them. At present they do not reason so ; but in time 
they may possibly be convinced by these arguments. 

Q. Do not the resolutions of the Pennsylvania assembly 
say, all taxes? 

A. If they do, they mean only internal taxes; the same 
words have not always the same meaning here and in the 
Colonies. By taxes, they mean internal taxes; by duties, 
they mean customs ; these are their ideas of the language. 

Q. Have you not seen the resolutions of the Massachusetts 
Bay assembly? 

A. I have. 

Q. Do they not say, that neither external nor internal taxes 
can be laid on them by parliament ? 

A. I don't know that they do; I believe not. 

Q. If the same Colony should say neither tax nor imposi- 
tion could be kid, does not that province hold the power of 
parliament can lay neither? 

A. I suppose, that, by the word imposition, they do not 
intend to express duties to be laid on goods imported, as 
regulations of commerce. 

Q. What can the Colonies mean then by imposition, as 
distinct from taxes? 

A. They may mean many things, as impressing of men or 
of carriages, quartering troops on private houses, and the like ; 
there may be great impositions that are not properly taxes. 

Q. Is not the post-office rate an internal tax laid by act of 
parliament ? 



1766] EXAMINATION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 447 

A. I have answered that. 

Q. Are all parts of the Colonies equally able to pay 
taxes ? 

A. No, certainly; the frontier parts, which have been 
ravaged by the enemy, are greatly disabled by that means; 
and therefore, in such cases, are usually favoured in our tax 
laws. 

Q. Can we, at this distance, be competent judges of what 
favours are necessary? 

A. The parliament have supposed it, by claiming a right 
to make tax- laws for America ; I think it impossible. 

Q. Would the repeal of the stamp act be any discourage- 
ment of your manufactures? Will the people that have 
begun to manufacture decline it? 

A. Yes, I think they will; especially if, at the same time, 
the trade is opened again, so that remittances can be easily 
made. I have known several instances that make it probable. 
In the war before last, tobacco being low, and making little 
remittance, the people of Virginia went generally into family 
manufactures. Afterwards, when tobacco bore a better price, 
they returned to the use of British manufactures. So fulling- 
mills were very much disused in the last war in Pennsylvania, 
because bills were then plenty, and remittances could easily 
be made to Britain for English cloth and other goods. 

Q. If the stamp act should be repealed, would it induce 
the assemblies of America to acknowledge the rights of 
parliament to tax them, and would they erase their reso- 
lutions ? 

A. No, never. 

Q. Are there no means of obliging them to erase those 
resolutions ? 



448 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

A. None that I know of; they will never do it, unless com- 
pelled by force of arms. 

Q. Is there a power on earth that can force them to erase 
them? 

A. No power, how great soever, can force men to change 
their opinions. 

Q. Do they consider the post-office as a tax, or as a regu- 
lation ? 

A. Not as a tax, but as a regulation and conveniency; 
every assembly encouraged it, and supported it in its infancy, 
by grants of money, which they would not otherwise have 
done ; and the people have always paid the postage. 

Q. When did you receive the instructions you mentioned ? 

A. I brought them with me, when I came to England, 
about 15 months since. 

Q. When did you communicate that instruction to the 
minister ? 

A. Soon after my arrival, while the stamping of America 
was under consideration, and before the bill was brought in. 

Q. Would it be most for the interest of Great Britain, to 
employ the hands of Virginia in tobacco, or in manufactures ? 

A. In tobacco, to be sure. 

Q. What used to be the pride of the Americans ? 

A. To indulge in the fashions and manufactures of Great 
Britain. 

Q. What is now their pride ? 

A. To wear their old cloaths over again, till they can make 
new ones. 

withdrew. 



1766] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 449 

412. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, April 6, 1766. 
MY DEAR CHILD, 

As the Stamp Act is at length repeal'd, I am willing you 
should have a new Gown, which you may suppose I did not 
send sooner, as I knew you would not like to be finer than your 
Neighbours, unless in a Gown of your own Spinning. Had 
the Trade between the two Countries totally ceas'd, it was a 
Comfort to me to recollect, that I had once been cloth'd from 
Head to Foot in Woollen and Linnen of my Wife's Manufac- 
ture, that I never was prouder of any Dress in my Life, and 
that she and her Daughter might do it again if it was neces- 
sary. I told the Parliament, that it was my Opinion, before 
the old Cloaths of the Americans were worn out, they might 
have new ones of their own making. And indeed if they had 
all as many old Cloathes as your old Man has, that would not 
be very unlikely, for I think you and George reckon'd when I 
was last at home at least 20 pair of old Breeches. Joking 
apart, I have sent you a fine Piece of Pompadour Sattin, 14 
Yards, cost n shillings a Yard; a silk Negligee and Petticoat 
of brocaded Lutestring for my dear Sally, with two dozen 
Gloves, 4 Bottles of Lavender Water, and two little Reels. 
The Reels are to screw on the Edge of a Table, when she 
would wind Silk or Thread. The Skein is to be put over 
them, and winds better than if held in two Hands. There 
is also an Ivory Knob to each, to which she may with 
a Bit of Silk Cord hang a Pinhook to fasten her plain 
work to, like the Hooks on her weight. I send you also 
Lace for two Lappet Caps, 3 Ells of Cambrick (the Cam- 
brick by Mr. Yates) 3 Damask Table Cloths, a Piece of 

VOL. IV 2G 



450 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Crimson Morir for Curtains with Tassels, Line and Binding. 
A large true Turkey Carpet cost 10 Guineas, for the Dining 
Parlour. Some oil'd Silk; and a Gimcrack Corkscrew, 
which you must get some Brother Gimcrack to show you the 
Use of. In the Chest is a Parcel of Books for my Friend Mr. 
Coleman, and another for Cousin Colbert. Pray did he 
receive those I sent him before? I send you also a Box 
with three fine Cheeses. Perhaps a Bit of them may be left 
when I come home. Mrs. Stevenson has been very dili- 
gent and serviceable in getting these things together for you, 
and presents her best Respects, as does her Daughter, to 
both you and Sally. There are too boxes included in your 
Bill of Lading for Billy. 

I received your kind Letter of Feb. 20. It gives me great 
Pleasure to hear, that our good old friend Mrs. Smith is on 
the Recovery. I hope she has yet many happy years to live. 
My Love to her. I fear, from the Account you give of 
brother Peter, that he cannot hold it long. If it should 
please God, that he leaves us before my Return, I would 
have the PostOffice remain under the Management of their 
Son, till Mr. Foxcroft and I agree how to settle it. 1 

There are some Droll Prints in the Box, which were given 
me by the Painter, and, being sent when I was not at home, 
were pack'd up without my Knowledge. I think he was 
wrong to put in Lord Bute, who had nothing to do with the 
Stamp Act. But it is the Fashion here to abuse that Noble- 
man, as the Author of all Mischief. ... I am, my dear 
Debby, your affectionate husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Peter Franklin, the last surviving brother of Dr. Franklin, died July ist, 
1766, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He had formerly resided at New- 
port, Rhode Island ; but, at the time of his death, he was deputy postmaster 
in Philadelphia. S. 



i ;66] TO THOMAS RONAYNE 451 

413. TO THOMAS RONAYNE 1 

London, April 20, 1766. 

SIR, 

I have received your very obliging and very ingenious 
letter by Captain Kearney. Your observations upon the 
electricity of fogs and the air in Ireland, and upon different 
circumstances of storms, appear to me very curious, and I 
thank you for them. There is not, in my opinion, any part 
of the earth whatever which is, or can be, naturally in a 
state of negative electricity; and, though different circum- 
stances may occasion an inequality in the distribution of 
the fluid, the equilibrium is immediately restored by means of 
its extreme subtilty, and of the excellent conductors with 
which the humid earth is amply provided. I am of opinion, 
however, that when a cloud, well charged positively, passes 
near the earth, it repels and forces down into the earth that 
natural portion of electricity, which exists near its surface, 
and in buildings, trees, &c., so as actually to reduce them 
to a negative state before it strikes them. I am of opinion, 
too, that the negative state in which you have frequently 
found the balls, which are suspended from your apparatus, 
is not always occasioned by clouds in a negative state; but 
more commonly by clouds positively electrified, which have 
passed over them, and which in their passage have repelled 
and driven off a part of the electrical matter, which naturally 
existed in the apparatus; so that, what remained after the 
passing of the clouds diffusing itself uniformly through the 
apparatus, the whole became reduced to a negative state. 

If you have read my experiments made in continuation 

1 From M. Dubourg's edition of Franklin's works; Tome I, p. 265. Ronayne 
was one of a family of glass manufacturers at Cork. ED. 



452 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

of those of Mr. Canton, you will readily understand this; 
but you may easily make a few experiments, which will 
clearly demonstrate it. Let a common glass be warmed be- 
fore the fire, that it may continue very dry for some time ; 
set it upon a table, and place upon it the small box made use 
of by Mr. Canton, so that the balls may hang a little beyond 
the edge of the table. Rub another glass, which has pre- 
viously been warmed in a similar manner, with a piece of 
black silk, or a silk handkerchief, in order to electrify it. 
Hold then the glass above the little box, at about the distance 
of three or four inches from that part, which is most distant 
from the balls ; and you will see the balls separate from each 
other; being positively electrified by the natural portion of 
electricity, which was in the box, and which is driven to the 
further part of it by the repulsive power of the atmosphere 
in the excited glass. Touch the box near the little balls 
(the excited glass continuing in the same state) and the balls 
will again unite ; the quantity of electricity which had been 
driven to this part being drawn off by your finger. With- 
draw then both your finger and the glass, at the same instant, 
and the quantity of electricity which remained in the box, 
uniformly diffusing itself, the balls will again be separated, 
being now in a negative state. While things are in this 
situation, begin once more to excite your glass, and hold it 
above the box, but not too near, and you will find, that, 
when it is brought within a certain distance, the balls will 
at first approach each other, being then in a natural state. 
In proportion as the glass is brought nearer, they will again 
separate, being positive. When the glass is moved beyond 
them, and at some little farther distance, they will unite 
again, being in a natural state. When it is entirely removed, 



1766] TO THOMAS RONAYNE 453 

they will separate again, being then made negative. The 
excited glass in this experiment may represent a cloud posi- 
tively charged, which you see is capable of producing in 
this manner all the different changes in the apparatus, without 
the least necessity for supposing any negative cloud. 

I am nevertheless fully convinced, that there are negative 
clouds; because they sometimes absorb, through the me- 
dium of the apparatus, the positive electricity of a large jar, 
the hundredth part of which the apparatus itself would 
have not been able to receive or contain at once. In fact, 
it is not difficult to conceive that a large cloud, highly charged 
positively, may reduce smaller clouds to a negative state, 
when it passes above or near them, by forcing a part of their 
natural portion of the fluid either to their inferior surfaces, 
whence it may strike into the earth, or to the opposite side, 
whence it may strike into the adjacent clouds ; so that, when 
the large cloud has passed off to a distance, the small clouds 
shall remain in a negative state, exactly like the apparatus ; 
the former (like the latter) being frequently insulated bodies, 
having communication neither with the earth nor with other 
clouds. Upon the same principle it may easily be conceived 
in what manner a large negative cloud may render others 
positive. 

The experiment, which you mention, of filing your glass 
is analogous to one which I made in 1751, or 1752. I had 
supposed in my preceding letters, that the pores of glass 
were smaller in the interior parts than near the surface, and 
that on this account they prevented the passage of the elec- 
trical fluid. To prove whether this was actually the case or 
not, I ground one of my phials in a part where it was ex- 
tremely thin, grinding it considerably beyond the middle, 



454 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

and very near to the opposite superficies, as I found, upon 
breaking it after the experiment. It was charged neverthe- 
less after being ground, equally well as before, which con- 
vinced me, that my hypothesis on this subject was erroneous. 
It is difficult to conceive where the immense superfluous 
quantity of electricity on the charged side of a glass is de- 
posited. 

I send you my paper concerning Meteors, which was 
lately published here in the Philosophical Transactions, 
immediately after a paper by Mr. Hamilton on the same 

subject. I am, Sir, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



414. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 (P. c.) 

London, April 28, 1766 
DEAR COUSIN 

I have received several of your kind Favours since my 
Arrival in England, the last by your good Brother, the sub- 
ject not in the least disagreable as you apprehend, but in 
Truth it has not been at all in my Power to do what you 
desired: if for no other reason, yet for this that there has 
been no Vacancy. 

I congratulate you on the Repeal of that Mother of Mis- 
chief the Stamp Act, and on the Ease we are like to obtain 
in our Commerce. My time has been extreamly taken up, 
as you may imagine in these general Affairs of America, as 
well as in the particular one of our Province, yet I did not 
forget the Armonica, for Cousin Josiah: but with all my 

1 From the original in the possession of the Misses Bradford, of Philadel- 
phia. ED. 



1 766] TO CADWALLADER EVAN'S 455 

Endeavours I have not yet been able to procure one. There 
is only one Man that makes them well, his Price no less than 
34 Guineas, asks 40. I bid him 100 Guineas for three, he 
refus'd it. I then agreed to give him the 34 Guineas for 
one. He promised to make it now a 12 month since, I have 
call'd on him often 'till I am tir'd, and do not find he has 
yet done a Glass of it. If I could have got this, Josiah should 
have had it or mine. But I fear it will not be got at all. 
And I hope his waiting till my Return, tho' it may seem long 
will be no disadvantage, as all his Improvement on the Organ 
in the mean time will go towards his better playing on the 
Armonica when he gets it. 

I rejoice to hear of the Welfare and Increase of your 
Family. I pray God to bless them all and you, being Your 

affectionate Uncle, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Sister Mecom speaks very affectionately of you, 
and gratefully of your Kindness to her in her late Troubles. 
The Bearer, Mr. Sears, is entering into Business as a Mer- 
chant here. He is a Friend of mine, and I recommend him 
to your Acquaintance and Civilities. 



415. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, May 9, 1766. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your kind letter of March 3d, and thank you for 
the intelligence and hints it contained. I wonder at the 
complaint you mention. I always considered writing to the 

1 Printed from Sparks. 



456 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Speaker as writing to the Committee. But if it is more to 
their satisfaction, that I should write to them jointly, it shall 
be done for the future. 

My private opinion concerning a union in Parliament 
between the two countries is, that it would be best for the 
whole. But I think it will never be done. For though I 
believe, that, if we had no more representatives than Scotland 
has, we should be sufficiently strong in the House to prevent, 
as they do for Scotland, any thing ever passing to our disad- 
vantage ; yet we are not able at present to furnish and main- 
tain such a number, and, when we are more able, we shall be 
less willing than we are now. The Parliament here do at 
present think too highly of themselves to admit representa- 
tives from us, if we should ask it; and, when they will be 
desirous of granting it, we shall think too highly of ourselves 
to accept of it. It would certainly contribute to the strength 
of the whole, if Ireland and all the dominions were united and 
consolidated under one common council for general purposes, 
each retaining its particular council or parliament for its 
domestic concerns. But this should have been more early 
provided for. In the infancy of our foreign establishments 
it was neglected, or was not thought of. And now the affair 
is nearly in the situation of Friar Bacon's project of making a 
brazen wall round England for its eternal security. His ser- 
vant, Friar Bungey, slept while the brazen head, which was 
to dictate how it might be done, said Time is, and Time was. 
He only waked to hear it say, Time is past. An explosion 
followed, that tumbled their house about the conjuror's ears. 

I hope, with you, that my being here at this juncture has 
been of some service to the colonies. I am sure I have spared 
no pains. And as to our particular affair, I am not in the 



1766] TO G1AMBATISTA BECCARIA 457 

least doubtful of obtaining what we so justly desire, if we con- 
tinue to desire it ; though the late confused state of affairs on 
both sides of the water has delayed our proceeding. With 
great esteem, I am, dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

416. TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 1 

London, May 29, 1766. 

REVEREND SIR. 

I have the pleasure to transmit to you herewith the thanks 
of our society for your most ingenious work on electricity 2 
and permit me to add my own to them. It was communicated 
to me, according to your desire, before it was presented to 
the society, and I have heartily commended it as well mer- 
iting their attention. Before it is printed in the Transac- 
tions I desire to know if there are not some errors in that 
part of the table where you say : 

Pili leporis accipiunt a tibiali albo pauculum, e dopo; 

Tibiale album dat pilis leporis plurimunij ed in seguito; 

1 From " Memorie Istoriche intorno gli studi del Padre Giambatista Bec- 
caria." Turin, 1783, p. 146. ED. 

2 The work to which Franklin refers was entitled " Novorum quorumdam in 
re electrica experimentorum specimen, quod regiae Londinensi societati mitte- 
bat die n Januarii, anni 1766, Joannes Baptista Beccaria ex scholis piis," 
printed in folio by Fontana in Turin, and reprinted with some additions and 
illustrations in Volume LVI of the " Philosophical Transactions." 

The " thanks " of the Royal Society, communicated by Franklin to Father 
Beccaria were framed as follows, " Viro ornatissimo, et 0iXo<ro0txorarw, Joanni 
Baptistae Beccariae ex scholis piis, et regiae societatis Londinensis socio C. 
Morton soc. reg. Londin. secret, et synedrus et academiar. imperial. Leopold- 
inae S. C. et Petropolitanae socius S.P.D. 

" Elegans, et doctissimum opus tuum de aliquibus circa rem electricam 
experimentis Societati regiae Londinensi in comitiis suis ordinariis hodie 
recitatum fuit, quo nomine gratiae societatis tibi publicae statutae sunt. 
Datum ex aedibus societatis maii I. 1766." ED. 



458 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

Tibiale album accipit a tibiali nigro pauculum, quindi 

Tibiale nigrum dat tibiali albo plurimum. 1 

If these are not errors in the writing, but agree with the 
facts, I should like to know from what circumstances of 
the experiments you believe it happens that in the alternate 
friction of those substances one of them does not give the 
same quantity, that the other receives. 

I should have thanked you before this for the favour that 
you did me sometime ago in sending me your books on 
electricity and for the honourable mention in them that 
you have made of me. I assure you that no work that I 
have read on this subject has given me so much pleasure 
as these books. There is in press a new edition of my writ- 
ings, with many additions; when it shall be finished I shall 
beg you to accept a copy of it. Included in it is a little ar- 
ticle on meteorology, read sometime ago before the Society 
but not as yet printed in the Transactions. Since I 
returned here from America in 1765 I have discovered a 
new thing in electricity: if a strong spark is made to pass 
in the dark near bodies that live by light (so I may express 
myself) these bodies shine brightly for some moments 
after. It is not necessary that the electric fire should tra- 
verse the body a spark is sufficient which passes at a 
distance of 2 or 3 inches. I suppose that Bologna's Stone 
could be used for this experiment. We used an artificial 
composition of calcined oyster shells, burned with sulphur 

1 In the Turin edition and in The Philosophical Transactions these lines 
read : 

*' Pili leporis accipiunt a tibiali albo pauculum. 
" Tibiali album dat pilis leporis. 
" Tibiali album accipit a tibiali nigro. 
"Tibiali nigrum dat tibiali albo." ED. 



1766] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 1 459 

in a crucible. A spark of your "lightning table" would give 
a light of long duration. I send you a small piece of wood 
covered with a little of this composition made and given to 
me by Mr. Canton a member of our society. The discov- 
erer of this electrical effect is Mr. Lane who has also in- 
vented a fine method by the means of a screw to give shocks 
exactly equal, with a certain determined force, for medical 
purposes. The bottle always discharging itself, when it has 
received the quantity of fire which will strike at the distance 
determined by the screw. I am pleased to hear that you read 
English although you do not write it. This is my case with 
the Italian. We can therefore correspond with greater 
facility, if it pleases you, each of us writing in his own lan- 
guage. In this way I will more frequently take occasion 
to express to you the great esteem and respect with which 
I am Reverend Sir 

Your Most Ob. and Humble Servant 
BENJ. FRANKLIN 



417. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, June 13, 1766. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

Mrs. Stevenson has made up a Parcel of Haberdashery for 
you, which will go in Capt. Robinson. She will also send you 
another Cloak in the Room of that we suppose lost in Capt. 
Kerr. I wrote to you in Capt. Sparks that I had been very ill 
lately. I am now nearly well again, but feeble. To-morrow 
I set out with my Friend Dr. Pringle (now Sir John) on a 
Journey to Pyrmont, where he goes to drink the Waters ; but 
I hope more from the Air and Exercise, having been us'd, as 



460 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

you know, to have a Journey once a Year, the want of which 
last Year, has, I believe, hurt me, so that tho' I was not quite 
to say sick, I was often ailing last Winter, & thro' the 
Spring. We must be back at farthest in Eight Weeks, as my 
Fellow Traveller is the Queen's Physician, and has leave 
for no longer as she will then be near her Time. I pur- 
pose to leave him at Pyrmont, and visit some of the principal 
Cities nearest to it, and call for him again when the Time for 
our Return draws nigh. My Love to Sally &c. I am, 
my dear Debby, your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

418. TO MRS. MARY FRANKLIN * (A. p. s.) 

London, Aug* 26, 1766. 

DEAR SISTER : It has pleased God at length to take 
from us my only remaining Brother, and your affectionate 
Husband, with whom you have lived in uninterrupted Har- 
mony and Love near half a Century. 

Considering the many Dangers & Hardships his Way of 
Life led him into, and the Weakness of his Constitution, it is 
wonderful that he lasted so long. It was God's Goodness 
that spared him to us. Let us, instead of repining at what 
we have lost, be thankful for what we have enjoyed. 

Before this can reach you, everything that can be said to 
you by way of Consolation, will have been said to you by 
your Friends, or will have occurred to your own good Under- 
standing. It is therefore needless for me to enlarge on that 
Head. But as you may be under some Apprehensions for 
your future Subsistence, I am desirous of making you as easy 

1 Relict of Peter Franklin. ED. 



1766] TO SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON- 461 

and comfortable in that respect as I can. Your adopted Son, 
Mr. Brown, has wrote to me, very properly, "that he shall 
always think it his Duty to stand by and assist you to the 
utmost of his Power." He is yet young; but I hope he has 
Solidity enough to conduct a Printing House with Prudence 
and to Advantage. I shall, therefore, put one into his Hands, 
to be carried on in Partnership with you ; and if he manages 
well, I shall hereafter farther encourage him. I have not 
time to write him now, but shall by the Packet. I have, how- 
ever, desired my Wife to deliver to you and him the Press and 
Letters that were B. Mecom's, which Mr. Parker us'd at 
Burlington ; and to let you go into the House where I suppose 
they are, as the Rent of that you are now in is heavy. I can 
now only add that I am, as ever, 

Your affectionate Brother 
B. FRANKLIN. 



419. TO SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON 1 (P. c.) 

London, Sept. 12, 1766. 

SIR 

I am honoured with yours of the io th of July, just come to 
hand, with that for M r Secretary Conway under a flying Seal, 
which I have clos'd and forwarded. He is now in another 
Department, but it will go of course to Lord Shelbourne, who 
I think is rather more favourably dispos'd towards such 
Undertakings. 

I have long been of Opinion that a well-conducted western 
Colony, if it could be settled with the Approbation of the 
Indians, would be of great National Advantage with respect 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Simon Gratz. ED. 



462 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

to the Trade, and particularly useful to the old Colonies as 
a Security to their Frontiers. I am glad to find that you, 
whose Knowledge of Indian affairs and the Temper of those 
People far exceeds mine, entertain the same Sentiments, and 
think such an Establishment in the Illinois Country practi- 
cable. I shall not fail to use my best Endeavours here in 
promoting it, and obtaining for that purpose the necessary 
Grants; and I am happy that this Occasion introduces me 
to the Correspondence of a Gentleman whose Character I 
have long esteemed, and to whom America is so much obliged. 

It grieves me to hear that our Frontier People are yet 
greater Barbarians than the Indians, and continue to murder 
them in time of Peace. I hope your Negociations will pre- 
vent a new War, which those Murders give great Reason to 
apprehend ; and that the several Governments will find some 
Method of preventing such horrid Outrages for the future. 

With Sincere and great Regard I have the Honour to be, 
Sir, 

Your most obedient 

& most humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN 



420. TO CHARLES THOMSON 1 

London, Sept. 27* 1766. 
DEAR FRIEND AND NEIGHBOUR, 

I received your very kind Letter of May 2oth, which came 
here while I was absent in Germany. The favourable senti- 
ments you express of my Conduct, with regard to repeal of the 
Stamp Act, give me real Pleasure ; and I hope in every other 

1 From the original in the New York Historical Society. ED. 



1766] TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT 463 

matter of Publick concern, so to behave myself as to stand 
fair in the opinion of the wise and good, what the rest 
think and say of me will then give me less concern 

That Part of your Letter, which relates to the situation of 
People's minds in America before and after the repeal, was 
so well exprest, and in my Opinion so proper to be generally 
read and understood here, that I had it printed in the London 
Chronicle. I had the Pleasure to find, that it did good in 
several instances within my Knowledge. 

There are Claimers [enough] of Merits in obtaining the 
Repeal. But, if I live to see you, I will let you know what an 
Escape we had in the beginning of the Affair, and how much 
we were obliged to what the Profane would call luck and the 
pious Providence. 

You will give an old man leave to say, My Love to Mrs. 
Thomson. With sincere regard, I am your affectionate 
Friend, B. FRANKLIN. 



421. TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT 

(A. P. s.) 

Cr. Street, London, Oct. 4. 1766. 
REv d SIR, 

Since my Return from abroad I have been inform'd of your 
good Purpose to dispose of the Profits of One Thousand 
Pounds in the Instruction of Negro Children in America; 
and I am desired by the Associates 1 to give you some account 
of the Nature of landed estates in America of the Value of 
One Thousand Pounds & to apply the Rents and Profits 
thereof to the Support of Schools for the Instruction of Negro 

1 Society of the Friends of Dr. Bray. ED. 



464 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN* FRANKLIN [1766 

Children. And I have been desired by the Associates to con- 
sider the Matter, and give my Opinion where & in what 
Manner the Purchase may best be made. I do accordingly 
acquaint you, that I think the best Province to make the Pur- 
chase in is Pennsylvania, where Titles are generally clear; 
and that it would be well to impower three Persons in Phila- 
delphia to purchase Ground Rents within that City and other 
safe & profitable Estate in or near the same, as Bargains may 
offer, in Trust for the Purposes you mention ; drawing for the 
Money here from time to time as the Purchases are made; 
the Money remaining at Interest here till so drawn for. And 
the Rents as received by such Trustees to be applied as you 
direct. Any farther Advice or Assistance that I can give in 
the Choice of Trustees or otherwise, shall not be wanting: 
being respectfully, 

Rev d Sir, 

Your most obed* 

humble Servt 
B. F. 

422. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, Oct. u, 1766. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received your kind little Letter of August 26, by the 
Packet. Scarce any one else wrote to me by that Oppor- 
tunity. I suppose they imagin'd I should not be return'd 
from Germany. . . . Pray did you ever get the Letters 
and Cambrick I sent you by Mr. Yates? You told me he 
had lost them, but hop'd to find them again. You do not 
say in any of your subsequent Letters whether he found 
them, or whether our generous Adversaries have got them, 



1766] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 465 

and keep them for their own Amusement, as you know they 
did some of my former. I wish you would always mention 
the Dates of the Letters you receive from me; for then, as 
I generally keep Copies, I should know what get to hand, 
and what miscarry. 

I grieve for the loss of dear Miss Ross. She was indeed an 
amiable Girl. It must be a great Affliction to her Parents 
and Friends. In my last I desired you to get Mr. Rhoads 
to send me a little Sketch of the Lot and Wall; but I have 
since found one he sent me before; so it is not necessary; 
only tell me whether it takes in Part of the late controverted 
Lot, and how high it comes on both sides, and whereabouts 
the Wall is. By the way, you never have told me what the 
Award was. I wish I could see a Copy of it. 

There are but two Franklins remaining in England, de- 
scended from my Grandfather; to wit, my Uncle John's 
grandson, Thomas Franklin, who is a Dyer at Lutterworth 
in Leicestershire, and has a Daughter about 13 years of age, 
named Sally. He brought her to town to see me in the 
Spring, and Mrs. Stevenson persuaded him to leave the 
Child under her care for a little Schooling and Improvement, 
while I went abroad. When I return' d, I found her indeed 
much improv'd, and grown a fine Girl. She is sensible, and 
of a sweet, obliging Temper, but is now ill of a violent Fever, 
and I doubt we shall lose her, which particularly afflicts 
Mrs. Stevenson, not only as she has contracted a great Affec- 
tion for the Child, but as it was she that persuaded her 
Father to leave her here. Mrs. Stevenson presents her best 
Respects. Polly is gone home to her Aunt's at Kensington. 
My love to our Children and all enquiring Friends. I am 
your ever loving Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

VOL. IV 2 H 



466 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

P. S. I must request you to procure of some Friend of 
ours, a Copy of our Fire Company Articles, and a Copy of 
the Insurance Articles, and send them as soon as you can 
to Irenaeus Moe, Esq e at Barbadoes, Bridgetown. 



423. TO MRS. ANN PENN 1 (P. c.) 

London, Nov. 20, 1766. 

DEAR MADAM, 

I received yours of the eleventh Instant, and condole 
with you most sincerely on the loss of your Son 2 my amiable 
young friend. 

It must have been a heavy loss to you; For he was truly 
a good Child; His last Will is only the last Instance of the 
affectionate dutiful Regard he always paid you, and of a 
peace with the rest. I waive the common Topics of Con- 
solation used on such Occasions. I knew that to a Person 
of your good Understanding they must all have occurred of 
them selves and I know besides by Experience, that the best 
Remedy for Grief is Time. 

I shall as you desire transmit the Account and Copy of 
the Will to Mr. Pennington. The Power of Attorney you 
send him must be acknowledged, or proved before the Lord 
Mayor of Dublin, and should be drawn with an express 
Clause enabling him to Sell Land; in other respects the 
common form is sufficient. The Will should be a Certi- 
fied Copy from the Office where wills are recorded. If in 

1 From the original in the possession of Miss Frances M. F. Donnel, of 
Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Ann Penn (nee Vaux) was widow of William Penn, 3d, 
of Shamagarry, Ireland. ED. 

2 Springett Penn. ED. 



i;66] PLAN FOR REGULATING INDIAN AFFAIRS 467 

anything there or here I can do you acceptable service, it 
will be a Pleasure to Receive your Commands; being with 
great Esteem & Respect 
Dear Madam, 

Your most obedient Humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



424. REMARKS 

ON 

THE PLAN FOR REGULATING THE INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
Written at the Request of Lord Sthelburne]. 1 (L. C.) 



THE Regulations in this Plan seem to me to be in general 
very good; but some few appear to want Explanation, or 
farther Consideration. 

Clause 3. Is it intended by this Clause to prevent the 
Trade that Indians, living near the Frontiers, may chuse to 
carry on with the Inhabitants, by bringing their Skins into 
the Settlements? This Prevention is hardly practicable; as 
such Trade may be carried on in many Places out of the 
Observation of Government, the Frontier being of great 
Extent, and the Inhabitants thinly settled in the Woods, 
and remote from each other. The Indians, too, do not every- 
where live in Towns sufficiently numerous to encourage 
Traders to reside among them; but in scattered Families, 

1 The exact date of the " Remarks " is unknown, but the Plan remarked 
upon was under the consideration of the Ministry before the close of 1766. 
See letter to Sir William Johnson, Sept. 12, 1766. I have printed from an 
auto, draft in L. C. The "Plan" will be found in Penn a Archives, Phila., 
1853, 4, 182 et seq. -ED. 



468 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

here and there, often shifting their Situation for the sake of 
better Hunting ; and if they are near the English Settlements, 
it would seem to them very hard to be obliged to carry their 
Skins for sale to remote Towns or Posts, when they could 
dispose of them to their Neighbours, with less Trouble and to 
greater Advantage; as the goods they want for them, are 
and must be dearer at such remote Posts. 

4. Those Laws [the colony "laws for regulating Indian 
affairs or commerce"] are the result of long Experience, made 
by People on the Spot, interested to make them good ; and 
it seems they should be well considered before they are 
repealed, to make way for new and untried Schemes. 

By whom are they to be repealed? By the Colony As- 
semblies, or by Parliament? Some Difficulty will arise here. 

13. The Districts seem too large for this. The Indians 
under the Care of the Northern Superintendent, border on 
the Colonies of N. Scotia , Quebec, New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensilvania, 
Maryland, Virginia; the superintendent's Residence, re- 
mote from several of these, may occasion great Incon- 
venience, if his Consent is always to be necessary in such 
Cases. 

14. This seems too much to be done, when the Vastness 
of the District is considered. If there were more districts 
and smaller, this might be more practicable. 

15 and 1 6. Are these Agents or Commissaries to try 
Causes where Life is concerned? Would it not be better to 
send the Criminals into some civil Government for Trial, 
where good Juries can be had? 

1 8. " Chief for the whole Tribe who shall constantly 
reside with the Commissary," &c. Provision must then be 



1766] PLAN FOR REGULATING INDIAN AFFAIRS 469 

made for his Maintenance, as particular Indians have no 
Estates, but live by Hunting ; and their Public has no Funds. 
Being us'd to Rambling, it would perhaps not be easy to 
find one, who would be oblig'd to this constant Residence. 

22. If the Agent and his Deputies, and the Commissaries, 
are not to trade, should it not be a Part of their Oath, that 
they will have no Concern in such Trade, directly or in- 
directly? Private Agreements between them and the Trad- 
ers, for Share of Profits, should be guarded against ; and the 
same between them and the Purchasers of Lands from 
Indians. 

31. "or trading at any other Post," &c. This 

should be so express'd, as to make the Master liable for the 
offence of the Servant ; otherwise it will have no Effect. 

33. I doubt the Settling such Tariffs will be a matter of 
Difficulty. There may be Differences of Fineness, Goodness, 
and Value, in the Goods of different Traders, and the like 
in the Peltry of different Indians that cannot be properly 
allowed for by general Tariffs. It seems contrary to the 
Nature of Commerce, for Government to interfere in the 
Prices of Commodities. Trade is a voluntary Thing be- 
tween Buyer and Seller, in every Article of which each 
exercises his own Judgment, and is to please himself. Sup- 
pose either trader or Indian is dissatisfied with the Tariff, 
and refuses barter on those Terms; are the Refusers to be 
compelled? If not, why should an Indian be forbidden to 
take more Goods for his Skins than your Tariff allows, if 
the Trader is willing to give them ; or a Trader more Skins 
for his Goods, if the Indian is willing to give them ? Where 
there are a number of different Traders, the separate desire 
of each to get more Custom will operate in bringing their 



470 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1766 

goods down to a reasonable Price. It therefore seems to 
me, that Trade will best find and make its own Rates ; and 
that Government cannot well interfere, unless it would take 
the whole Trade into its own hands (as in some Colonies it 
does), and manage it by its own Servants, at its own Risque. 

38. I apprehend, that if the Indians cannot get Rum of 
fair Traders, it will be a great Means of defeating all these 
Regulations that direct the Trade to be carried on at certain 
Posts. The Country and Forests are so very large, it is im- 
possible to guard every Part, so as to prevent unlicens'd 
Traders drawing the Indians and the Trade to themselves, 
by Rum and other spirituous Liquors, which all savage 
People are so fond of. I think they will generally trade 
where they can get Rum, preferably to where it is refus'd 
them ; and the propos'd Prohibition will therefore be a great 
Encouragement to unlicens'd Traders, and promote such 
Trade. If the Commissaries, or Officers at the Posts, can 
prevent the Selling of Rum during the Barter for other Goods, 
and until the Indians are about going away, it is perhaps all 
that is practicable or necessary. The missionaries will, 
among other things, endeavour to prevail with them to live 
soberly and avoid Drunkenness. 

39. The Indian Trade, so far as Credit is concerned, 
has hitherto been carried on wholly upon Honour. They 
have among themselves no such Thing as Prisons or Con- 
finement for Debt. This Article seems to imply, that an 
Indian may be compelled by Law to pay a Debt of 50 [shil- 
lings] or under. Our legal Method of Compulsion is by 
Imprisonment. The Indians cannot and will not imprison 
one another; and, if we attempt to imprison them, I 
apprehend it would be generally dislik'd by the Nations, 



1766] PLAN FOR REGULATING INDIAN AFFAIRS 471 

and occasion Breaches. They have such high Ideas of 
Personal Liberty, and such slight ones of the Value of 
Personal Property, that they would think the Disproportion 
monstrous between the Liberty of a Man and a Debt of a 
few Shillings; and that it would be excessively inequitable 
and unjust, to take away the one for a Default in Payment 
of the other. It seems to me, therefore, best to leave that 
Matter on its present Footing ; the Debts under 50 [shillings] 
as irrecoverable by Law, as this Article proposes for the 
Debts above 50 [shillings]. Debts of Honour are generally 
as well paid as other Debts. Where no Compulsion can be 
used, it is more Disgraceful to be dishonest. If the Trader 
thinks his Risque greater in trusting any particular Indian, 
he will either not do it, or proportion his Price to his Risque. 

44. As the Goods for Indian Trade all come from England, 
and the Peltry is chiefly brought to England, perhaps it 
will be best to lay the Duty here, on the Exportation of the 
one, and the Importation of the other; to avoid meddling 
with the Question of the Right to lay Duties in America by 
Parliament here. 

If it be thought proper to carry this Plan into Execution, 
would it not be well to try it first in a few Posts, to which the 
present Colony Laws for regulating Indian Trade do not 
reach; that by Experience its Defects may be discovered 
and amended, before it is made general, and those Laws 
repealed to make way for it? If the Indians find by Ex- 
perience, that they are better us'd in their Trade at the Posts 
under these Regulations, than at other Places, may it not 
make them desirous of having the Regulations extended to 
other Places; and, when extended, better satisfy'd with 
them upon Reflection and Comparison? 



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