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Full text of "The writings of Benjamin Franklin;"

THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

VOLUME V 



5* 

Ftt 



THE WRITINGS 



OF 



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

COLLECTED AND EDITED 
WITH A LIFE AND INTRODUCTION 

BY 

ALBERT HENRY SMYTH 



VOLUME V 
1767-1772 



<33& 



gorfc 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

LONDON : MACMILLAN & CO., LTD. 
1906 

All rights rtservtd 



COPYRIGHT, 1906, 
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1906. 



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



CONTENTS 

VOLUME V 

NO. PAGB 

425. Remarks and Facts concerning American Paper Money. 

March n, 1767 i 

426. The Repeal of the Stamp Act. March 23, 1767 . . 14 

427. To Lord Kames. April n, 1767 16 

428. To John Ross. April n, 1767 23 

429. To Cadwallader Evans. May 5, 1767 .... 24 
450. To Joseph Galloway. June 13, 1767 25 

431. To Miss Mary Stevenson. June 17, 1767 .... 30 

432. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 22, 1767 . . .31 

433. To Peter Collinson. July 13, 1767 34 

434. To Samuel Franklin. July 17, 1767 35 

435. To Richard Price. August i, 1767 36 

436. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. August 5, 1767 37 

437. To George Croghan. August 5, 1767 .... 39 

438. To Joseph Galloway. August 8, 1767 .... 40 

439. To John Canton. August 25, 1767 45 

440. To William Franklin. August 28, 1767 .... 45 

441. To Miss Mary Stevenson. September 14, 1767 ... 48 

442. Of Lightning, and the Method of securing Buildings and 

Persons from its mischievous Effects. September, 1767 55 

443. On Smuggling. November 24, 1767 ..... 60 

444. To William Franklin. November 25, 1767 ... 65 

445. To John Canton. November 27, 1767 . .... 69 

446. To Joseph Galloway. December i, 1767 . . 7 1 

447. To John Ross. December 13, 1767 73 

448. To William Franklin. December 19, 1767 . . -74 

449. Causes of the American Discontents before 1768. January 

7, 17*68 78 

450. To William Franklin. January 9, 1768 .... 89 
<5i. To Joseph Galloway. January 9, 1768 .... 90 
452. To Abbe* Chappe. January 31, 1768 9 2 



vi CONTENTS 

NO. PAGE 

453. To Pere Berthier. January 31, 1768 93 

454. To M. Thomas-Francois Dalibard. January 31, 1768 . 94 

455. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 13, 1768 ... 95 
436. To Joseph Galloway. February 17, 1768 .... 97 

457. To Cadwallader Evans. February 20, 1768 . . . 101 

458. From Thomas Livezey to Benjamin Franklin. November 

1 8, 1767 - 103 

459. To Thomas Livezey. February 20, 1768 .... 104 

460. To Thomas Wharton. February 20, 1768 .... 105 

461. From Lord Kames to Benjamin Franklin. February 18, 

1768 .... .""' 106 

462. To Lord Kames. February 28, 1768 107 

463. To the Printer of the Gazetteer. March 8, 1768 . .no 

464. To Joseph Galloway. March 13, 1768 . . . .in 

465. To William Franklin. March 13, 1768 . . . -113 

466. To the Committee of Correspondence in Pennsylvania. 

March 13, 1768 118 

467. To the Committee of Correspondence in Pennsylvania. 

April 16, 1768 120 

468. To William Franklin. April 16, 1768 . . . .121 

469. On the Labouring Poor. April, 1768 122 

470. Preface to the "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania." 

May 8, 1768 127 

471. To Sir John Pringle. May 10, 1768 129 

472. To John Ross. May 14, 1768 132 

473. To Joseph Galloway. May 14, 1768 134 

474. To John Winthrop. July 2, 1768 136 

475. To William Franklin. July 2, 1768 142 

476. To Joseph Galloway. July 2, 1768 148 

477. To M. Dumas. July 25, 1768 150 

478. To M. Barbeu Dubourg. July 28, 1768 . . . .152 

479. From Du Pont de Nemours to Benjamin Franklin. May 

10, 1768 153 

480. To Du Pont de Nemours. July 28, 1768 . . . . 155 

481. To John Alley ne. August 9, 1768 156 

482. To David Hall. August 9, 1768 159 

483. To the Printer of The London Chronicle. August 18, 1768 160 

484. To the Printer of The London Public Advertiser. August 

25, 1768 . . 162 

485. To Giambatista Beccaria. September 21, 1768 . . .165 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



NO. 

486. To Thomas Crowley. October 21 [1768] . . . . 166 

487. A Scheme for a New Alphabet and Reformed Mode of 

Spelling. September, 1768 169 

488. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. October 5, 1768 . . .178 

489. To Miss Mary Stevenson. October 28, 1768 . . .179 

490. To an Unknown Correspondent. November 28, 1768 . 181 

491. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. December 21, 1768 . . 182 

492. To Michael Collinson. (?) 1768 . . . . .185 

493. To Lord Kames. January i, 1769 187 

494. To John Bartram. January 9, 1769 191 

495. To M. Le Roy. January 31, 1769 192 

496. To Lord Kames. February 21, 1769 194 

497. To Samuel Cooper. February 24, 1769 . . . . 196 

498. To John Winthrop, March u, 1769 198 

499. Positions to be examined, concerning National Wealth. 

April 4, 1769. . 200 

500. To Samuel Cooper. April 27, 1769 . . . . . 203 

501. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. April 27, 1769 .... 206 

502. To the Printer of The London Chronicle. May 9, 1769 . 206 

503. To Miss Mary Stevenson. June 27, 1769 .... 219 

504. To the Committee of Merchants in Philadelphia. July 9, 

1769 220 

505. To John Bartram. July 9, 1769 221 

506. To James Bowdoin. July 13, 1769 222 

507. From Miss Mary Stevenson to Benjamin Franklin. Sep- 

tember i, 1769 223 

508. To Miss Mary Stevenson. September 2, 1769 . . . 224 

509. To Cadwallader Evans. September 7, 1769 . . . 226 

510. To M. Barbeu Dubourg. September 22, 1769 . . . 229 

511. To M. Dalibard. September 22, 1769 .... 230 

512. To Samuel Cooper. September 30, 1769 . . . 231 

513. To Anthony Todd. October 29, 1769 . . * . 232 

514. To Miss Mary Stevenson. (?) 1769 . . . . .234 

515. Queries by Mr. Strahan, respecting American Affairs, and 

Dr. Franklin's Answers. November 22-29, 1769 . . 236 

516. To John Bartram. January n, 1770 245 

517. To Miss Mary Stevenson. January 22, 1770 . . .246 

518. To Nevil Maskelyne. February 12, 1770 . . . .247 

519. To Thomas Viny. February 16, 1770 . . . - 248 

520. To Michael Hillegas. March 17, 1770 . . 250 



viii CONTENTS 

NO. PAGE 

521. To an Unknown Correspondent in America. March 18, 

1770 251 

522. To Samuel Cooper. April 14, 1770 254 

523. To Miss Mary Stevenson. May 31, 1770 . . . .255 

524. To Jonathan Williams. June 6, 1770 .... 257 

525. To Samuel Cooper. June 8, 1770 259 

526. To Samuel Franklin. June 8, 1770 263 

527. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 10, 1770 . . . 264 

528. To Samuel Rhoads. June 26, 1770 265 

529. To Mrs. Mary Hewson. July 24, 1770 .... 268 

530. To Rev. John Ewing. August 27, 1770 .... 270 

531. To Cad wallader Evans. August 27, 1770 .... 271 

532. The Craven-Street Gazette. September 22-26, 1770 . . 272 

533. To M. Barbeu Dubourg. October 2, 1770 .... 280 

534. To M. Du Pont de Nemours. October 2, 1770 . . . 281 

535. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. October 3, 1770 . . . 282 

536. To Thomas Gushing. December 24, 1770 .... 283 

537. To Samuel Cooper. December 30, 1770 .... 285 

538. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. December 30, 1770 . . . 288 

539. To Thomas Gushing. February 5, 1771 . . . . 292 

540. To James Bowdoin. February 5, 1771 .... 297 

541. To Samuel Cooper. February 5, 1771 . . . . 298 

542. To Cad wallader Evans. February 10, 1771 . . . 304 

543. To Samuel Rhoads. February 10, 1771 . . . . 305 

544. To Robert Morris and Thomas Leach. March 5, 1771 . 307 

545. To Jonathan Williams. March 5, 1771 .... 310 

546. To Mrs. Williams. March 5, 1771 311 

547. To the Library Company of Philadelphia. April 16, 1771 . 312 

548. To William Franklin. April 20, 1771 . . . .313 

549. To Humphry Marshall. April 22, 1771 . . . . 315 

550. To the Committee of Correspondence in Massachusetts. 

May 15, 1771 . 317 

551. To Isaac Smith. May 17, 1771 320 

552. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. June 5, 1771 .... 321 

553. To Thomas Gushing. June 10, 1771 321 

554. To Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph. June 24, 

I77 1 -3 2 9 

555. To Noble Wimberly Jones. July 3, 1771 . . . . 330 

556. To Cadwallader Evans. July 4, 1771 .... 331 

557. To Samuel Franklin. July 12, 1771 333 



CONTENTS 



IX 



NO. P AGE 

558. To John Bartram. July 17, 1771 334 

559. To Cadwallader Evans. July 1 8, 1771 . . . .335 

560. To Jonathan Shipley. July 25, 1771 337 

561. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. August 14, 1771 . . . 338 

562. Plan for benefiting Distant Unprovided Countries. August 

29, I77i 340 

563. To William Strahan. October 27, 1771 .... 344 

564. To William Strahan. November 17, 1771 .... 344 

565. To Mrs. Mary Hewson. November 25, 1771 . . . 345 

566. To Sir Alexander Dick. January n, 1772 . . . .347 

567. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. January 13, 1772 . . . .348 

568. To the Committee of Correspondence in Massachusetts. 

January 13, 1772 350 

569. From Samuel Cooper to Benjamin Franklin. July 10, 1771 352 

570. To Samuel Cooper. January 13, 1772 .... 354 

571. To James Bowdoin. January 13, 1772 . . . .358 

572. To Dr. Joshua Babcock. January 13, 1772 . . . 361 

573. To Thomas Gushing. January 13, 1772 .... 363 

574. To Samuel Franklin. January 13, 1772 . . . .370 

575. To Ezra Stiles. January 13, 1772 371 

576. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. January 28, 1772 . . . 372 

577. To Anthony Tissington. January 28, 1772 . . -375 

578. To Mrs. Sarah Bache. January 29, 1772 . . . . 376 

579. To William Franklin. January 30, 1772 . . . . 378 

580. To John Foxcroft. February 4, 1772 . . . . 382 

581. To Dr. Thomas Bond. February 5, 1772 .... 384 

582. To Cadwallader Evans. February 6, 1772 . . . . 388 

583. To Dr. Richard Price. February n, 1772 . . . . 389 

584. To Noble Wimberly Jones. April 2, 1772 . . . . 390 

585. To Thomas Cushing. April 13, 1772 .... 391 

586. To M. Le Roy. April 20, 1772 393 

587. To Joseph Priestley. May 4, 1772 394 

588. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. May 5, 1772 . . . . 396 

589. To Major Dawson. May 29, 1772 397 

590. Toleration in Old England and New England. June 3, 

1772 399 

591. To M. Du Pont de Nemours. June 15, 1772 . . .405 

592. To Francis Maseres. June 17, 1772 406 

593. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. July 14, 1772 .408 

594. To M. Du Pont de Nemours. August 12, 1772 . . . 409 



CONTENTS 



595. To William Franklin. August 17, 1772 . . . . 410 

596. To William Franklin. August 19, 1772 . . . .411 

597. To William Franklin. August 19, 1772 . . . .412 

598. Report on Lightning Conductors for the Powder Magazines 

at Purfleet. August 21, 1772 416 

599. Experiments, Observations, and Facts, tending to support 

the Opinion of the Utility of long, pointed Rods, for 
securing Buildings from Damage by Strokes of Lightning. 

August 27, 1772 420 

600. To Rev. William Smith. August 22, 1772 .... 431 

60 1. To Anthony Benezet. August 22, 1772 . . . .431 

602. To John Bartram. August 22, 1772 432 

603. To Joseph Galloway. August 22, 1772 .... 433 

604. To Thomas Gushing. September 3, 1772 .... 435 

605. To John Huske. September 6, 1772 435 

606. To John Walsh. September 6, 1772 436 

607. To Joseph Priestley. September 19, 1772 . . . . 437 

608. To Miss Georgiana Shipley. September 26, 1772 . . 438 

609. To Richard Price. September 28, 1772 .... 440 

610. To Richard Bache. October 7, 1772 441 

611. To John Bartram. October 17, 1772 443 

612. To Lord Stirling. November 3, 1772 .... 444 

613. To William Franklin. November 3, 1772 .... 444 

614. To Peter Timothy. November 3, 1772 .... 446 

615. To Jonathan Williams. November 3, 1772 . . . 447 

616. To Thomas Gushing. November 4, 1772 .... 448 

617. To Thomas Gushing. December 2, 1772 .... 448 

618. Answer to M. Dubourg's Queries respecting the Armonica. 

Decembers, 1772 451 

619. Preface, of the British Editor, to " The Votes and Proceed- 

ings of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town 

of Boston." November, 1772 452 

620. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. December I, 1772 . . . 457 

621. To Joseph Galloway. December 2, 1772 .... 458 

622. To Abel James. December 2, 1772 ..... 460 

623. To William Franklin. December 2, 1772 .... 461 

624. To M. Barbeu Dubourg. December 26, 1772 . . . 463 

625. Settlement on the Ohio River. 1772 465 



CONTENTS x i 



APPENDIX 

NO. PAGE 

626. To Peter Franklin 529 

627. On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor . . 534 

628. Directions for discovering whether the Power that gives the 

Shock in touching the Torpedo or the Gymnotus of Suri- 
nam is Electrical or Not 539 

629. To Thomas Percival : On Rainfall 540 

630. To M. Barbeu Dubourg: Art of Swimming . . . 542 

631. To Oliver Neave : Art of Swimming ..... 546 

632. Petition of the Letter Z 550 

633. To Joseph Priestley : Effect of Vegetation on Air . -551 

634. To M. Barbeu Dubourg : On Sea Coal . . . .552 

635. Observations on Mayz, or Indian Corn . . . -553 



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. 



425. REMARKS AND FACTS CONCERNING 
AMERICAN PAPER MONEY 1 

REMARKS ON THE REPORT PUBLISHED IN OUR LAST 
CHRONICLE. BY B. F., ESQ. 

IN the Report of the Board of Trade, dated February 9, 
1764, the following Reasons are given for restraining the 
Emission of Paper Bills of Credit in America, as a legal 
Tender. 

1. That it carries the Gold and Silver out of the Province, 
and so ruins the Country, as Experience has shewn in every 
Colony, where it has been practised in any great Degree. 

2. That the Merchants trading to America have suffered 
and lost by it. 

3. That the Restriction has had a beneficial Effect in 
New England. 

4. That every Medium of Trade should have an intrinsic 
Value, which Paper Money has not. Gold and Silver are 
therefore the fittest for this Medium, as they are an Equiva- 
lent, which Paper never can be. 

5. That Debtors, in the Assemblies, make Paper Money 
with fraudulent Views. 

6. That in the Middle Colonies, where the Credit of the 
Paper Money has been best supported, the Bills have never 
kept to the nominal value in circulation, but have constantly 
depreciated to a certain Degree whenever the Quantity has 
been increased. 

1 Printed in Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, June I, 1767. 
VOL. v B I 



2 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

To consider these Reasons in their Order; the first is, 
That Paper Money carries the Gold and Silver out of the 
Province, and so ruins the Country, as Experience has shewn 
in every Colony where it has been practised in any great Degree. 
This seems to be a mere speculative Opinion, not founded on 
Fact in any of the Colonies. The Truth is, that the Balance 
of their Trade with Britain being generally against them, 
the Gold and Silver is drawn out to pay that Balance ; and 
then the Necessity of some Medium of Trade has induced 
the making of Paper Money, which could not be carried away. 
Thus, if carrying out all the Gold and Silver ruins a Country, 
every Colony was ruined before it made Paper Money. But, 
far from being ruined by it, the Colonies, that have made 
Use of Paper Money, have been and are all in a thriving 
Condition. Their Debt indeed to Britain has increased, 
because their Numbers, and of course their Trade, has 
increased; for all Trade having always a Proportion of 
Debt outstanding, which is paid in its Turn, while fresh 
Debt is contracted, that Proportion of Debt naturally increases 
as the Trade increases ; but the Improvement and Increase 
of Estates in the Colonies has been in a greater Proportion 
than their Debt. 

New England, particularly, in 1696, about the Time they 
began the Use of Paper Money, had in all its four Provinces, 
but 130 Churches or Congregations, in 1760 they were 530; 
The Number of Farms and Buildings is increased in Pro- 
portion to the Number of People and the Goods exported 
to them from England in 1750, before the Restraint took 
Place, were near five Times as much as before they had 
Paper Money. Pennsylvania, before they made any Paper 
Money, was totally stript of its Gold and Silver, though 



1767] FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY 3 

they had from Time to Time, like the neighbouring 
Colonies, agreed to take Gold and Silver Coins at higher 
and higher nominal Values, in hopes of drawing Money into, 
and retaining it for the internal Uses of the Province. Dur- 
ing that weak Practice, Silver got up by Degrees to 8s. gd. 
an Ounce, and English Crowns were called 6, 7, and 8s, 
Pieces long before Paper Money was made. But this 
Practice of increasing the Denomination was found not to 
answer the End. The Balance of Trade carried out the 
Gold and Silver as fast as it was brought in, the Merchants 
raising the Price of their Goods in proportion to the increased 
Denomination of the Money. The Difficulties for Want of 
Cash were accordingly very great, the chief Part of the Trade 
being carried on by the extremely inconvenient Method of 
Barter; when, in 1723, Paper Money was first made there, 
which gave new Life to Business, promoted greatly the Settle- 
ment of new Lands, by lending small Sums to Beginners on 
easy Interest, to be repaid by Installments, whereby the 
Province has so greatly increased in Inhabitants, that the 
Export from hence thither is now more than tenFold what it 
then was; and by their Trade with foreign Colonies they 
have been able to obtain great Quantities of Gold and Silver 
to remit hither, in Return for the Manufactures of this Coun- 
try. New York and New Jersey have also increased and 
improved greatly, during the same Period, with the Use of 
Paper Money ; so that it does not appear to be of the ruinous 
Nature ascribed to it. And if the Inhabitants of those 
Countries are glad to have the Use of Paper among themselves, 
that they may thereby be enabled to spare, for Remittances 
hither the Gold and Silver they obtain by their Commerce 
with Foreigners, one would expect no Objection against 



4 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1767 

their parting with it could arise here in the Country that 
receives it. 

The second Reason is, That the Merchants trading to 
America have suffered and lost by the Paper Money. This 
may have been the Case in particular Instances, at particular 
Times and Places, as in South Carolina, about fifty Years 
since, when the Colony was thought in Danger of being 
destroyed by the Indians and Spaniards, and the British 
merchants, in Fear of losing their whole Effects there, called 
precipitately for Remittances; and the Inhabitants, to get 
something lodged in safer Countries, gave any Price in Paper 
Money for Bills of Exchange, whereby the Paper, as compared 
with Bills, or with Produce, or other Effects fit for Exporta- 
tion, was suddenly and greatly depreciated. 

The unsettled State of Government, for a long Time in 
that Province had its Share in discrediting its Bills. But 
since that Danger blew over, and the Colony has been in the 
Hands of the Crown, the Currency became fixed, and has so 
remained to this Day. Also in New England, when much 
greater Quantities were issued than was necessary for a 
Medium of Trade, to defray the Expedition against Louis- 
burgh; and, during the last War, in Virginia and South 
Carolina, where great Sums were like wise issued to pay the Col- 
ony Troops, and the War made Tobacco a poorer Remittance, 
from the higher Price of Freight and Insurance. In these 
Cases, the Merchants trading to those Provinces may some- 
times have suffered by the sudden and unforeseen Rise of 
Exchange. By slow and gradual Rises they seldom suffer, 
the Goods being sold at proportional Prices. But War is a 
common Calamity in all Countries, and the Merchants that 
deal with them cannot expect to avoid a Share of the Losses 



1767] FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY 5 

it sometimes occasions, by affecting public Credit. It is 
hoped, however, that the Profits of their subsequent Com- 
merce with those Colonies may have made them some Repara- 
tion. And the Middle Colonies New-York, New- Jersey, 
and Pennsylvania, have never suffered by any Rise of Ex- 
change, it having ever been a constant Rule there to consider 
British Debts as payable in Britain, and not to be discharged 
but by as much Paper (whatever might be the Rate of Ex- 
change) as would purchase a Bill for the full Sterling Sum. 
On the contrary, the Merchants have been great Gainers by 
the Use of Paper Money in those Colonies ; as it enabled 
them to vend much greater Quantities of Goods, and the 
Purchasers to pay more punctually for them. And the 
People there make no Complaint of any Injury done them by 
Paper Money with a legal Tender; they are sensible of its 
Benefits, and Petition to have it so allowed. 

The third Reason is, That the Restriction has had a bene- 
ficial Effect in New England. Particular Circumstances in 
the New England Colonies made Paper Money less necessary 
and less convenient to them. They have great and valuable 
Fisheries of Whale and Cod, by which large Remittances can 
be made. They are four distinct Governments ; but having 
much mutual Intercourse of Dealings with each other, the 
Money of each used to pass current in all. But the whole 
of this common Currency, not being under one common 
Direction, was not so easily kept within due Bounds, the 
prudent Reserve of one Colony in its Emissions being ren- 
dered useless by Excess in another. The Massachusetts were 
therefore not dissatisfied with the Restraint, as it restrained 
their Neighbours as well as themselves; and perhaps they 
do not desire to have the Act repealed. They have not yet 



6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1767 

felt much Inconvenience from it, as they were enabled to 
abolish their Paper Currency by a large Sum paid them in Sil- 
ver from Britain, to reimburse them their expence in taking 
Louisburg, which, with the Gold brought from Portugal by 
Means of their Fish, kept them supplied with a Currency, 
till the late War furnished them and all America with Bills 
of Exchange, so that little Cash was needed for Remittance. 
Their Fisheries too, furnishing them with Remittance through 
Spain and Portugal to England, which enables them the 
more easily to retain Silver and Gold in their Country. The 
middle Colonies have not this Advantage, nor have they 
Tobacco, which in Virginia and Maryland answers the same 
Purpose. When Colonies are so different in their Circum- 
stances, a Regulation, that is not inconvenient to one or a 
few, may be very much so to the rest. But the Pay is now 
become so indifferent in New England, at least in some of 
its Provinces, through a Scarcity of Currency, that the Trade 
thither is at present under great Discouragement. 

The 4th Reason is, That every Medium o) Trade should 
have an intrinsic Value, which Paper Money has not: Gold 
and Silver are therefore the fittest for this Medium, as they 
are an Equivalent, which Paper never can be. However fit 
a particular Thing may be for a particular Purpose, wherever 
that Thing is not to be had, or not to be had in sufficient 
Plenty, it becomes necessary to use something else, the fittest 
that can be got, in lieu of it. Gold and Silver are not the 
Produce of North- America, which has no Mines; and that 
which is brought thither, cannot be kept there in sufficient 
Quantity for a Currency. Britain, an independent great 
State, when its Inhabitants grow too fond of the expensive 
Luxuries of foreign Countries, that draw away its Money, 



1767] FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY ^ 

can, and frequently does, make Laws to discourage or pro- 
hibit such Importations; and, by that Means, can retain 
its Cash. 

The Colonies are dependent Governments, and their 
People, having naturally great Respect for the sovereign 
Country, and being thence immoderately fond of its Modes, 
Manufactures, and Superfluities, cannot be restrained, in 
purchasing them, by any Province Law ; because such Law, 
if made there, would immediately be repealed here as preju- 
dicial to the Trade and Interest of Britain. It seems hard 
therefore to draw all their real Money from them, and then 
refuse them the poor Privilege of using Paper instead of it. 
Bank Bills and Bankers' Notes are daily used here as a 
Medium of Trade, and in large Dealings perhaps the greater 
Part is transacted by their Means; and yet they have no 
intrinsic Value, but rest on the Credit of those that issue them, 
as Paper Bills in the Colonies do on the Credit of the respec- 
tive Governments there : Their being payable in Cash upon 
Sight by the Drawers, is indeed a Circumstance that cannot 
attend the Colony Bills for the Reason just above mentioned, 
their Cash being drawn from them by the British Trade; 
but the legal Tender being substituted in its Place, is rather 
a greater Advantage to the Possessor, since he need not be at 
the Trouble of going to a particular Bank or Banker to de- 
mand his Money, finding wherever he has Occasion to lay 
out Money in the Province, a Person that is obliged to take 
the Bills. So that even out of the Province, the Knowledge 
that every Man within that Province is obliged to take its 
Money, gives the Bills a Credit among its Neighbours nearly 
equal to what they have at home. And were it not for the 
Laws here, [in England] that restrain or prohibit, as much 



8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

as possible, all losing Trades, the Cash of this Country would 
soon be exported; every Merchant, who had Occasion to 
remit it, would run to the Bank with all its Bills, that came 
into his Hands, and take out his Part of its Treasure for that 
Purpose, so that in a short Time it would be no more able 
to pay Bills in Money upon Sight, than it is now in the Power 
of a Colony Treasury so to do. If Government afterwards 
should have Occasion for the Credit of the Bank, it must of 
Necessity make its Bills a legal Tender, funding them however 
on Taxes by which they may in Time be paid off, as has been 
the general Practice in the Colonies. 

At this very Time even the Silver Money in England is 
obliged to the legal Tender for Part of its Value, that Part 
which is the Difference between its real Weight and its De- 
nomination. Great Part of the Shillings and Sixpences now 
current, are by wearing become 5, 10, 20, and some of the 
Sixpences even 50 per Cent, too light. For this Difference 
between the real and nominal, you have no intrinsic Value, 
you have not so much as Paper, you have nothing. It is the 
legal Tender only, that makes Three-Pennyworth of Silver 
pass for Sixpence. Gold and Silver have undoubtedly 
some Properties, that give them a Fitness above Paper, as a 
Medium of Exchange; particularly their universal Estima- 
tion, especially in Cases where a Country has Occasion to 
carry its Money abroad, either as a Stock to trade with, or to 
purchase Allies and foreign Succours; otherwise that very 
universal Estimation is an Inconvenience which Paper 
Money is free from, since it tends to deprive a Country of 
even the Quantity of Currency that should be retained as a 
necessary Instrument of its internal Commerce ; and obliges 
it to be continually on its Guard, in making and executing 



1767] FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY 9 

at a great Expence, the Laws that are to prevent the Trade 
which exports it. 

Paper Money, well funded, has another great Advantage 
over Gold and Silver, its Lightness of Carriage, and the little 
Room that is occupied by a great Sum, whereby it is capable 
of being more easily, and more safely, because more privately 
conveyed from Place to Place. Gold and Silver are not 
intrinsically of equal Value with Iron, a Metal in itself capable 
of many more beneficial Uses to Mankind. Their Value 
rests chiefly in the Estimation they happen to be in among 
the Generality of Nations, and the Credit given to the Opinion 
that that Estimation will continue : Otherwise a Pound of 
Gold would not be a real Equivalent for even a Bushel of 
Wheat. Any other well-founded Credit is as much an 
Equivalent as Gold and Silver, and in some Cases more so, 
or it would not be preferred by commercial People in different 
Countries. Not to mention again our own Bank Bills, 
Holland, which understands the Value of Cash as well as any 
People in the World, would never part with Gold and Silver 
for Credit, (as they do when they put it into their Bank, 
from whence little of it is ever afterwards drawn out), 
if they did not think and find the Credit a full Equivalent. 

The 5th Reason is, That Debtors, in the Assemblies, make 
Paper Money with fraudulent Views. This is often said by 
the Adversaries of Paper Money, and if it has been the Case 
in any particular Colony, that Colony should, on Proof of 
the Fact, be duly punished. This, however, would be no Rea- 
son for punishing other Colonies who have not so abused their 
legislative Powers. To deprive all the Colonies of the Con- 
venience of Paper Money, because it has been charged on 
some of them that they have made it an Instrument of Fraud, 



10 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1767 

is, as if all the India, Bank, and other Stocks trading Companies 
and public Funds were to be abolished, because there have 
been once in an Age Missisippi and South-Sea Schemes and 
Bubbles. 

The 6th and last Reason is, That in the Middle Colonies, 
where the Paper Money has been best supported, the Bills have 
never kept to their nominal Value in Circulation, but have 
constantly depreciated, to a certain Degree, whenever the 
Quantity has been increased. If the Rising of the Value of 
any particular Commodity, wanted for Exportation, is to be 
considered as a Depreciation of the Values of whatever re- 
mains in the Country, then the rising of Silver above Paper 
to that Height of additional Value which its Capability of 
Exportation only gave it, may be called a Depreciation of the 
Paper. Even here, as Bullion has been wanted or not wanted 
for Exportation, its Price has varied from 55. 2d. to 5$. Sd. 
per Ounce. This is near 10 per Cent. But was it ever said 
or thought on such an Occasion, that all the Bank Bills, 
and all the coined Silver, and all the Gold in the Kingdom, 
were depreciated 10 per Cent ? Coin'd Silver is now wanted 
here for Change, and one per Cent is given for it by some 
Bankers; are Gold and Bank Notes therefore depreciated 
one per Cent ? 

The Fact in the Middle Colonies is really this. On the 
Emission of the first Paper Money, a Difference soon arose 
between that and Silver, the latter having a Property the 
former had not, a Property always in Demand in the Colonies, 
to wit, it being fit for a Remittance. This Property, having 
soon found its Value, by the Merchants bidding on one an- 
other for it, and a Dollar thereby coming to be rated at 8s. 
in Paper Money of New-York, and 7$. 6d. in Paper of Penn- 



1767] FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY n 

sylvania, it has continued uniformly at those Rates in both 
Provinces now near forty Years, without any Variation upon 
new Emissions, tho' in Pennsylvania the Paper Currency has 
at times increased from 15,000 the first Sum, to 600,000, 
and in New-York from 40,000 to 600,000 or near it. Nor 
has any Alteration been occasioned by the Paper Money in 
the Prices of the Necessaries of Life. When compared with 
Silver, they have been for the greatest Part of the Time no 
higher than before it was emitted, varying only by Plenty 
and Scarcity according to the Seasons, or by a less or greater 
foreign Demand. It has, indeed, been usual, with the Ad- 
versaries of a Paper Currency, to call every Rise of Exchange 
with London, a Depreciation of the Paper : But that Notion 
appears to be by no Means just : For if the Paper purchases 
every Thing but Bills of Exchange at the former Rates, and 
those Bills are not above one-tenth of what it is employed to 
purchase, then it may be more properly and truly said, that 
the Exchange has risen, than that the Paper has depreci- 
ated. And as a Proof of this, it is a certain Fact, that 
whenever in those Colonies Bills of Exchange have been 
dearer, the Purchaser has constantly been obliged to give 
more in Silver, as well as in Paper, for them, the Silver having 
gone Hand in Hand with the Paper, at the Rate above 
mentioned; and therefore it might as well have been said, 
that the Silver was depreciated. 

There have been several different Schemes for furnishing 
the Colonies with Paper Money, that should not be a legal 
Tender, viz. 

i. To form a Bank, in Imitation of the Bank of England, 
with a sufficient Stock of Cash to pay the Bills on Sight. 

This has been often proposed, but appears impracticable 



12 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

under the present Circumstances of the Colony Trade, 
which, as is said above, draws all their Cash to Britain, and 
would soon strip the Bank. 

2. To raise a Fund by some yearly Tax, securely lodged 
in the Bank of England as it arises, which should, during 
the Term of Years for which the Paper Bills are to be current, 
accumulate to a Sum sufficient to discharge them all at their 
original Value. 

This has been tried in Maryland, and the Bills so funded, 
were issued without being made a general legal Tender; 
the Event was, that as Notes payable in Time are naturally 
subject to a Discount proportioned to the Time, so these 
Bills fell at the Beginning of the Term so low, as that Twenty 
Pounds of them became worth no more than Twelve Pounds 
in the Bills of Pennsylvania, the next neighbouring Province ; 
though both had been struck near the same Time, at the 
same nominal Value, but the latter was supported by the 
general legal Tender. The Maryland Bills, however, began 
to rise as the Term shortened, and towards the End recover'd 
their full Value. But, as a depreciating Currency injures 
Creditors, this injured Debtors; and by its continually 
changing Value appears a Currency unfit for the Purpose of 
Money, which should be as fixed as possible in its own 
Value, because it is to be the Measure of the Value of other 
Things. 

3. To make the Bills carry an Interest sufficient to support 
their Value. 

This too has been tried in some of the New-England 
Colonies; but Inconveniencies were found to attend it. 
The Bills, to fit them for a Currency, are obliged to be of 
various Denominations, and some very low, for the Sake of 



1767] FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY 13 

Change ; there are of them from Ten Pounds down to Three 
pence. When they first come abroad they pass easily, and 
answer the Purpose well for a few Months; but as soon as 
the Interest becomes worth computing, the Calculation of it 
on every little Bill that makes up a Sum between the Dealer 
and his Customers in Shops, Warehouses and Markets, 
takes up much Time to the great hindrance of Business. 
This Evil, however, soon gives Place to a worse, for the Bills 
are in a short Time gathered up, and hoarded, it being a 
very tempting Advantage, to have Money bearing Interest, 
and the Principal all the while in a Man's Power, ready for 
Bargains that may offer, which Money out on Mortgage is 
not. By this Means Numbers of People become Usurers 
with small Sums, who could not have found Persons to take 
such Sums of them upon Interest, giving good Security ; and 
would therefore not have thought of it, but would have em- 
ployed the Money, if it had been of the common Kind in 
some Business. Thus Trade, instead of being increased by 
such Bills, is diminished, and by their being shut up in 
Chests the very End of making them, viz. to furnish a Medium 
of Commerce, is in a great Measure defeated. 1 

On the whole, no Method has hitherto been found to 
establish a Medium of Trade in lieu of Money, equal in all 
its Advantages to Bills of Credit, funded on sufficient Taxes 
for discharging it, or on Land Security, of double the Value 
for repaying it, at the End of the Term ; and in the mean Time 
made a GENERAL LEGAL TENDER. The Experience of now 

1 1 understand that Dr. Franklin is the friend who assisted Governor 
Pownall in drawing up a plan for a general paper currency for America, to be 
established by the British government. See Pownall's "Administration of 
the Colonies," 5th edition, pp. 199, 208. V. 



14 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

near Half a Century in the Middle Colonies, has convinced 
them of it among themselves ; by the great Increase of their 
Settlements, Numbers, Buildings, Improvements, Agriculture, 
Shipping and Commerce. And the same Experience has 
satisfied the British Merchants who trade thither, that it 
has been greatly useful to them, and not in a single Instance 
prejudicial. 

It is therefore hoped, that securing the full Discharge of 
British Debts, which are payable here, and in all Justice 
and Reason ought to be fully discharged here in Sterling 
Money, the Restraint on the legal Tender within the Colonies 
will be taken off, at least for those Colonies that desire it, 
and where the Merchants trading to them make no objection 

to it. 

London, March n, 1767. 



426. THE REPEAL OF THE STAMP ACT l 

To THE PRINTER, 

It is reported, I know not with what Foundation, that there 
is an Intention of obliging the Americans to pay for all the 
Stamps they ought to have used, between the Commencement 
of the Act, and the Day on which the Repeal takes Place, 
viz. from the first of November 1765 to the first of May 1766 ; 
and this is to make part of an Act, which is to give Validity 
to the Writings and Law Proceedings, that contrary to Law 
have been executed without Stamps, and is to be the Condi- 
tion on which they are to receive that Validity. Shall we 

1 Printed from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, March 23, 1767, where 
it was copied from the Gazetteer. ED. 



1767] THE REPEAL OF THE STAMP ACT 15 

then keep up for a Trifle the Heats and Animosities that have 
been occasioned by the Stamp Act? and lose all the Benefit 
of Harmony and good Understanding between the different 
Parts of the Empire, which were expected from a generous 
total Repeal? Is this Pittance likely to be a Whit more 
easily collected than the whole Duty? Where are Officers 
to be found who will undertake to collect it? Who is to 
protect them while they are about it? In my Opinion, it 
will meet with the same Opposition, and be attended with the 
same Mischiefs that would have attended an Enforcement 
of the Act entire. 

But I hear, that this is thought necessary, to raise a Fund 
for defraying the Expence that has been incurred by stamp- 
ing so much Paper and Parchment for the Use of America, 
which they have refused to take and turn'd upon our Hands ; 
and that since they are highly favoured by the Repeal, they 
cannot with any Face of Decency refuse to make good the 
Charges we have been at on their Account. The whole 
Proceeding would put one in Mind of the Frenchman that 
used to accost English and other Strangers on the Pont- 
Neuf, 1 with many Compliments, and a red hot Iron in his 
Hand; Pray Monsieur Anglois, says he, Do me the Favour 
to let me have the Honour of thrusting this hot Iron into your 
Backside? Zoons, what does the Fellow mean! Begone 
with your Iron or I'll break your Head ! Nay Monsieur, 
replies he, if you do not chuse it, I do not insist upon it. But 
at least, you will in Justice have the Goodness to pay me some- 
thing for the heating of my Iron. 

F. B. 

1 A bridge over the River Seine, leading to Paris. F. 



16 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

N. B. The Project of the Act was really as mentioned 
above, but altered afterwards in the House, so as to be a 
total Indemnification, without the Payment of any Money 
at all. [Ed. of the Chronicle.] 




427. TO LORD KAMES 1 

London, April II, 1767. 

MY DEAR LORD, 

I received your obliging favour of January the ipth. You 
have kindly relieved me from the pain I had long been under. 
You are goodness itself. I ought to have answered yours 
of December 25. 1765. I never received a letter that 
contained sentiments more suitable to my own. It found 
me under much agitation of mind on the very important 
subject it treated. It fortified me greatly in the judgment I 
was inclined to form (though contrary to the general vogue) 
on the then delicate and critical situation of affairs between 
Great Britain and her Colonies, and on that weighty point, 
their Union. You guessed aright in supposing that I would 
not be a mute in that play. I was extremely busy, attending 
Members of both Houses, informing, explaining, consulting, 
disputing, in a continual hurry from morning to night, till 
the affair was happily ended. During the course of it, being 
called before the House of Commons, I spoke my mind pretty 
freely. Inclosed I send you the imperfect account that was 
taken of that examination. " You will there see how entirely 
we agree, except in a point of fact, of which you could not but 
be misinformed ; the papers at that time being full of mistaken 
assertions, that the colonies had been the cause of the war, 

1 From " Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry Home 
of Kames." Vol. II, p. 75. ED. 



1767] TO LORD KAMES l? 

and had ungratefully refused to bear any part of the expence 
of it. 

I send it you now, because I apprehend some late incidents 
are likely to revive the contest between the two countries. I 
fear it will be a mischievous one. It becomes a matter of 
great importance that clear ideas should be formed on solid 
principles, both in Britain and America, of the true political 
relation between them, and the mutual duties belonging to 
that relation. Till this is done, they will be often jarring. 
I know none whose knowledge, sagacity and impartiality 
qualify him so thoroughly for such a service, as yours do you. 
I wish therefore you would consider it. You may thereby 
be the happy instrument of great good to the nation, and of 
preventing much mischief and bloodshed. I am fully per- 
suaded with you, that a Consolidating Union, by a fair and 
equal representation of all the parts of this empire in Parlia- 
ment, is the only firm basis on which its political grandeur 
and prosperity can be founded. Ireland once wished it, 
but now rejects it. The time has been, when the colonies 
might have been pleased with it: they are now indifferent 
about it; and if it is much longer delayed, they too will re- 
fuse it. But the pride of this people cannot bear the thought 
of it, and therefore it will be delayed. Every man in Eng- 
land seems to consider himself as a piece of a sovereign over 
America; seems to jostle himself into the throne with the 
King, and talks of our subjects in the Colonies. The Parlia- 
ment cannot well and wisely make laws suited to the Colonies, 
without being properly and truly informed of their circum- 
stances, abilities, temper, &c. This it cannot be, without 
representatives from thence : and yet it is fond of this power, 
and averse to the only means of acquiring the necessary 

VOL. V C 



18 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

knowledge for exercising it ; which is desiring to be omnipo- 
tent, without being omniscient. 

I have mentioned that the contest is likely to be revived. 
It is on this occasion. In the same session with the stamp 
act, an act was passed to regulate the quartering of soldiers 
in America; when the bill was first brought in, it contained 
a clause, empowering the officers to quarter their soldiers in 
private houses : this we warmly opposed, and got it omitted. 
The bill passed, however, with a clause, that empty houses, 
barns, &c., should be hired for them, and that the respective 
provinces where they were should pay the expence and furnish 
firing, bedding, drink, and some other articles to the soldiers 
gratis. There is no way for any province to do this, but 
by the Assembly's making a law to raise the money. The 
Pennsylvanian Assembly has made such a law: the New 
York Assembly has refused to do it: and now all the talk 
here is of sending a force to compel them. 

The reasons given by the Assembly to the Governor, for 
the refusal, are, that they understand the act to mean the 
furnishing such things to soldiers, only while on their march 
through the country, and not to great bodies of soldiers, to 
be fixt as at present, in the province; the burthen in the 
latter case being greater than the inhabitants can bear: 
That it would put it in the power of the Captain- General 
to oppress the province at pleasure, &c. But there is sup- 
posed to be another reason at bottom, which they intimate, 
though they do not plainly express it ; to wit, that it is of the 
nature of an internal tax laid on them by Parliament, which 
has no right so to do. Their refusal is here called Rebellion, 
and punishment is thought of. 

Now waving that point of right, and supposing the Legis- 



1767] TO LORD KAMES , 9 

latures in America subordinate to the Legislature of Great 
Britain, one might conceive, I think, a power in the superior 
Legislature to forbid the inferior Legislatures making par- 
ticular laws ; but to enjoin it to make a particular law con- 
trary to its own judgment, seems improper; an Assembly 
or Parliament not being an executive officer of Government, 
whose duty it is, in law-making, to obey orders, but a de- 
liberative body, who are to consider what comes before them, 
its propriety, practicability, or possibility, and to determine 
accordingly : The very nature of a Parliament seems to be 
destroyed, by supposing it may be bound, and compelled 
by a law of a superior Parliament, to make a law contrary to 
its own judgment. 

Indeed, the act of Parliament in question has not, as in 
other acts, when a duty is enjoined, directed a penalty on 
neglect or refusal, and a mode of recovering that penalty. 
It seems, therefore, to the people in America as a mere 
requisition, which they are at liberty to comply with or not, 
as it may suit or not suit the different circumstances of differ- 
ent provinces. Pennsylvania has therefore voluntarily com- 
plied. New York, as I said before, has refused. The 
Ministry that made the act, and all their adherents, call for 
vengeance. The present Ministry are perplext, and the 
measures they will finally take on the occasion, are yet un- 
known. But sure I am, that, if Force is used, great mischief 
will ensue; the affections of the people of America to this 
country will be alienated ; your commerce will be diminished ; 
and a total separation of interests be the final consequence. 

It is a common, but mistaken notion here, that the Colonies 
were planted at the expence of Parliament, and that therefore 
the Parliament has a right to tax them, &c. The truth is, 



20 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

they were planted at the expence of private adventurers, who 
went over there to settle, with leave of the King, given by 
charter. On receiving this leave, and those charters, the ad- 
venturers voluntarily engaged to remain the King's subjects, 
though in a foreign country ; a country which had not been 
conquered by either King or Parliament, but was possessed 
by a free people. 

When our planters arrived, they purchased the lands of 
the natives, without putting King or Parliament to any ex- 
pence. Parliament had no hand in their settlement, was 
never so much as consulted about their constitution, and took 
no kind of notice of them, till many years after they were 
established. I except only the two modern Colonies, or 
rather attempts to make Colonies, (for they succeed but 
poorly, and as yet hardly deserve the name of Colonies), I 
mean Georgia and Nova Scotia, which have hitherto been 
little better than Parliamentary jobs. Thus all the colonies 
acknowledge the King as their sovereign; his Governors 
there represent his person : Laws are made by their Assem- 
blies or little Parliaments, with the Governor's assent, sub- 
ject still to the King's pleasure to confirm or annul them: 
Suits arising in the Colonies, and differences between Colony 
and Colony, are determined by the King in Council. In 
this view, they seem so many separate little states, subject 
to the same Prince. The sovereignty of the King is therefore 
easily understood. But nothing is more common here than 
to talk of the sovereignty of PARLIAMENT, and the sovereignty 
of THIS NATION over the Colonies; a kind of sovereignty, 
the idea of which is not so clear, nor does it clearly appear 
on what foundation it is established. On the other hand, it 
seems necessary for the common good of the empire, that a 



1767] TO LORD KAMES 



21 



power be lodged somewhere, to regulate its general commerce : 
this can be placed nowhere so properly as in the Parliament 
of Great Britain; and therefore, though that power has in 
some instances been executed with great partiality to Britain, 
and prejudice to the Colonies, they have nevertheless always 
submitted to it. Custom-houses are established in all of 
them, by virtue of laws made here, and the duties constantly 
paid, except by a few smugglers, such as are here and in all 
countries; but internal taxes laid on them by Parliament, 
are still and ever will be objected to, for the reasons that you 
will see in the mentioned Examination. 

Upon the whole, I have lived so great a part of my life in 
Britain, and have formed so many friendships in it, that I 
love it, and sincerely wish it prosperity ; and therefore wish 
to see that Union, on which alone I think it can be secured 
and established. As to America, the advantages of such a 
union to her are not so apparent. She may suffer at present 
under the arbitrary power of this country; she may suffer 
for a while in a separation from it ; but these are temporary 
evils that she will outgrow. Scotland and Ireland are differ- 
ently circumstanced. Confined by the sea, they can scarcely 
increase in numbers, wealth and strength, so as to over- 
balance England. But America, an immense territory, 
favoured by Nature with all advantages of climate, soil, 
great navigable rivers, and lakes, &c. must become a great 
country, populous and mighty ; and will, in a less time than 
is generally conceived, be able to shake off any shackles that 
may be imposed on her, and perhaps place them on the im- 
posers. In the mean time, every act of oppression will sour 
their tempers, lessen greatly, if not annihilate the profits of 
your commerce with them, and hasten their final revolt; 



22 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

for the seeds of liberty are universally found there, and noth- 
ing can eradicate them. And yet, there remains among 
that people, so much respect, veneration and affection for 
Britain, that, if cultivated prudently, with kind usage, and 
tenderness for their privileges, they might be easily governed 
still for ages, without force, or any considerable expence. 
But I do not see here a sufficient quantity of the wisdom, 
that is necessary to produce such a conduct, and I lament 
the want of it. 

I borrowed at Millar's the new edition of your Principles 
o) Equity, and have read with great pleasure the preliminary 
discourse on the Principles of Morality. I have never before 
met with any thing so satisfactory on the subject. While 
reading it, I made a few remarks as I went along. They are 
not of much importance, but I send you the paper. 

I know the lady you mention ; * having, when in England 
before, met her once or twice at Lord Bath's. I remember I 
then entertained the same opinion of her that you express. 
On the strength of your kind recommendation, I purpose 
soon to wait on her. 

This is unexpectedly grown a long letter. The visit to 
Scotland, and the Art of Virtue, we will talk of hereafter. It 
is now time to say, that I am, with increasing esteem and 
affection, my dear friend, yours ever, 2 B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Mrs. Montagu. ED. 

2 " This excellent letter, as appears by a subsequent one, from the same hand, 
was in all probability intercepted, as it was not received by Lord Kames in 
the regular course of communication. Dr. Franklin, however, having pre- 
served a copy, transmitted it two years afterwards to his correspondent. The 
opinions it conveyed were thus probably well known to the persons at the 
head of administration. It had been happy, if they had paid them that at- 
tention, which the wisdom of the counsels they contained deserved." 
Tytler's "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry 
Home of Kames," Vol. II, pp. 99, 112. ED. 



1767] TO JOHK ROSS 23 

428. TO JOHN ROSS 1 

London, April II, 1767. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your favour of December 8th and February 
22d, and thank you for the particular accounts you send me 
of affairs on your side the water, which are very agreeable 
to me to read. 

Here public affairs are in great disorder; a strong oppo- 
sition against the ministry, which, at the same time, is thought 
not to be well united; and daily apprehensions of new 
changes make it extremely difficult to get forward with busi- 
ness. We must use patience. This satisfaction we have, 
that there is scarce a man of weight, in or out of the ministry, 
that has not now a favourable opinion of the proposed change 
of government in the Proprietary colonies; but during the 
present violent heats, occasioned by some conduct of the 
Assemblies of New York and Boston, and which the oppo- 
sition aggravate highly in order to distress the friends of 
America in the present ministry, nothing so little interesting 
to them as our application can get forward. 

Your messages on the Circuit-Bill are not yet arrived. 
I much want to see them. 

I send you a little essay of an inscription to the memory 
of my departed, amiable young friend, whose loss I deplore 
with you most sincerely. If it has been long coming to your 
hand, I hope that has occasioned your being furnished with 
another and a better. The style is simple and plain, and 
more proper for such things than affected ornamental ex- 
pression. 

1 From " Life and Correspondence of George Read, by William Thompson 
Read," Phila., 1870, p. 47. ED. 



24 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

I am looking out for a chariot for you, which I shall send 
you soon as possible. 

With great esteem, I am, dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



429. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, May 5, 1767. 

DEAR DOCTOR, 

I received your obliging favour of May i6th. I am always 
glad to hear from you, when you have leisure to write, and I 
expect no apologies for your not writing. I wish all cor- 
respondence was on the foot of writing and answering when 
one can, or when one is disposed to it, without the compul- 
sions of ceremony. I am pleased with your scheme of a Medi- 
cal Library at the Hospital; and I fancy I can procure you 
some donations among my medical friends here, if you will 
send me a catalogue of what books you already have. En- 
closed I send you the only book of the kind in my possession 
here, having just received it as a present from the author. It 
is not yet published to be sold, and will not be for some time, 
till the second part is ready to accompany it. 

I thank you for your remarks on the gout. They may be 
useful to me, who have already had some touches of that dis- 
temper. As to Lord Chatham, it is said that his constitution 
is totally destroyed and gone, partly through the violence of 
the disease, and partly by his own continual quacking with 
it. There is at present no access to him. He is said to be 
not capable of receiving, any more than of giving, advice. 

1 First printed by Sparks. 



'767] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 25 

But still there is such a deference paid to him, that much 
business is delayed on his account, that so when entered on 
it may have the strength of his concurrence, or not be liable 
to his reprehension, if he should recover his ability and 
activity. The ministry, we at present have, has not been 
looked upon, either by itself or others, as settled, which is 
another cause of postponing every thing not immediately 
necessary to be considered. New men, and perhaps new 
measures, are often expected and apprehended, whence 
arise continual cabals, factions, and intrigues among the outs 
and ins, that keep every thing in confusion. And when 
affairs will mend is very uncertain. With great esteem I am, 
dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

430. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, June 13, 1767. 

DEAR SIR, 

In my last of May 2Oth, I mentioned my hopes that we 
should at length get over all obstructions to the repeal of the 
act restraining the legal tender of paper money; but those 
hopes are now greatly lessened. 

The ministry had agreed to the repeal, and the notion that 
had possessed them, that they might make a revenue from 
paper money in appropriating the interest by Parliament, was 
pretty well removed by my assuring them, that it was my 
opinion no colony would make money on those terms, and that 
the benefits arising to the commerce of this country in America 
from a plentiful currency would therefore be lost, and the 

1 Printed from "The Works of Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila. 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 245. Galloway was Speaker of the Assembly. ED. 



26 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN* FRANKLIN [1767 

repeal answer no end, if the Assemblies were not allowed to 
appropriate the interest themselves; that the crown might 
get a great share upon occasional requisitions, I made no 
doubt, by voluntary appropriations of the Assemblies; but 
they would never establish such funds as to make themselves 
unnecessary to government. Those and other reasons, that 
were urged, seemed to satisfy them, so that we began to think 
all would go on smoothly, and the merchants prepared their 
petition, on which the repeal was to be founded. But in 
the House, when the chancellor of the Exchequer had gone 
through his proposed American revenue, viz. by duties on 
glass, china ware, paper, pasteboard, colours, tea, &c., 
Grenville stood up and undervalued them all as trifles ; and, 
says he, "I will tell the honourable gentleman of a revenue, 
that will produce something valuable in America; make 
paper money for the colonies, issue it upon loan there, take 
the interest, and apply it as you think proper." Mr. Town- 
shend, finding the House listened to this and seemed to like 
it, stood up again and said, "that was a proposition of his 
own, which he had intended to make with the rest, but it had 
slipt his memory, and the gentleman, who must have heard of 
it, now unfairly would take advantage of that slip and make 
a merit to himself of a proposition that was another's, and as 
a proof of it, assured the House a bill was prepared for the 
purpose, and would be laid before them." 

This startled all our friends ; and the merchants concluded 
to keep back their petition for a while, till things appeared a 
little clearer, lest their friends in America should blame them, 
as having furnished foundation for an act, that must have 
been disagreeable to the colonies. I found the rest of the 
ministry did not like this proceeding of the chancellor's, but 



1767] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 27 

there was no going on with our scheme against his declara- 
tion, and, as he daily talked of resigning, there being no good 
agreement between him and the rest, and as we found the 
general prejudice against the colonies so strong in the House, 
that any thing in the shape of a favour to them all was like 
to meet with opposition, whether he was out or in, I proposed 
to Mr. Jackson the putting our colony foremost, as we stood 
in a pretty good light, and asking the favour for us alone. 
This he agreed might be proper, in case the chancellor should 
go out, and undertook to bring in a bill for that purpose, pro- 
vided the Philadelphia merchants would petition for it, and 
he wished to have such a petition ready to present, if an open- 
ing for it should offer. Accordingly I applied to them, and 
prepared a draft of a petition for them to sign, a copy of which 
I send you inclosed. They seemed generally for the measure ; 
but apprehending the merchants of the other colonies, who 
had hitherto gone hand in hand with us in all American 
affairs, might take umbrage if we now separated from them, 
it was thought right to call a meeting of the whole to consult 
upon this proposal. 

At this meeting I represented to them, as the ground of this 
measure, that, the colonies being generally out of favour at 
present, any hard clause relating to paper money in the re- 
pealing bill will be more easily received in Parliament, if the 
bill related to all the colonies : that Pennsylvania, being in 
some degree of favour, might possibly alone obtain a better 
act than the whole could do, as it might by government be 
thought as good policy to show favour where there had been 
the reverse ; that a good act obtained by Pennsylvania might 
another year, when the resentment against the colonies should 
be abated, be made use of as a precedent, &c. &c. But after 



28 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

a good deal of debate it was finally concluded not to precipi- 
tate matters, it being very dangerous by any kind of petition 
to furnish the chancellor with a horse on which he could put 
what saddle he thought fit: The other merchants seemed 
rather averse to the Pennsylvania merchants proceeding alone, 
but said they were certainly at liberty to do as they thought 
proper. The conclusion of the Pennsylvania merchants was 
to wait a while, holding the separate petition ready to sign 
and present, if a proper opening should appear this session, 
but otherwise to reserve it to the next, when the complexion 
of ministers and measures may probably be changed. And 
as this session now draws to a conclusion, I begin to think 
nothing will be farther done in it this year. 

Mentioning the merchants, puts me in mind of some dis- 
course I heard among them, that was by no means agreeable. 
It was said that in the opposition they gave the Stamp Act, 
and their endeavours to obtain the repeal, they had spent at 
their meetings, and in expresses to all parts of this country, 
and for a vessel to carry the joyful news to North America, 
and in the entertainments given our friends of both Houses, 
&c., near fifteen hundred pounds; that for all this, except 
from the little colony of Rhode Island, they had not received 
as much as a thank ye. That on the contrary the circular 
letters they had written with the best intentions to the mer- 
chants of the several colonies, containing their best and most 
friendly advice, were either answered with unkind reflections, 
or contemptuously left without answer. And that the captain 
of the vessel, they sent express with the news, having met with 
misfortunes, that obliged him to travel by land through all 
the colonies from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, was 
everywhere treated with neglect and contempt, instead of 



1767] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 29 

civility and hospitality; and nowhere more than at Phila- 
delphia, where, though he delivered letters to the merchants, 
that must make him and his errand known to them, no one 
took the least notice of him. I own I was ashamed to hear 
all this, but hope there is some mistake in it. I should not 
have troubled you with this account, but that I think we stand 
in truth greatly obliged to the merchants, who are a very 
respectable body, and whose friendship is worth preserving, 
as it may greatly help us on future occasions ; and therefore 
I wish some decent acknowledgments or thanks were sent 
from the Assemblies of the colonies, since their correspondents 
have omitted it. 

I have said the less of late in my letters concerning the 
petitions, because I hoped this summer to have an oppor- 
tunity of communicating every thing vivd, voce, and there are 
particulars that cannot safely be trusted to paper. Perhaps 
I may be more determined as to returning or staying another 
winter, when I receive my next letters from you and my other 
friends in Philadelphia. 

We got the chancellor to drop his salt duty. And the mer- 
chants trading to Portugal and Spain, he says, have made 
such a clamour about the intention of suffering ships to go 
directly with wine, fruit, and oil, from those countries to 
America, that he has dropped that scheme, and we are it 
seems to labour a little longer under the inconveniences of 
the restraint. 

It is said the bill to suspend the legislatures of New York 
and Georgia, till they comply with the act of Parliament for 
quartering soldiers, will pass this session. ] 1 fear that im- 
prudencies on both sides may, step by step, bring on the most 
mischievous consequences. It is imagined here, that this 



30 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

act will enforce immediate compliance; and if the people 
should be quiet, content themselves with the laws they have, 
and let the matter rest, till in some future war the King want- 
ing aids from them, and finding himself restrained in his legis- 
lation by the act as much as the people, shall think fit by his 
ministers to propose the repeal, the Parliament will be greatly 
disappointed; and perhaps it may take this turn. I wish 
nothing worse may happen. 

The present ministry will probably continue through this 
session. But their disagreement, with the total inability of 
Lord Chatham, through sickness, to do any business, must 
bring on some change before next winter. I wish it may be 
for the better, but fear the contrary. 

Please to present my dutiful respects to the Assembly, and 
believe me ever, dear Sir, your and the Committee's most 

obedient and faithful humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



431. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON l (P. c.) 

Craven Street, June 17, 1767. 

WE were greatly disappointed yesterday, that we had not 
the Pleasure, promised us, of our dear Polly's Company. 
Your good Mother would have me write a Line in Answer to 
your Letter. A Muse, you must know, visited me this Morn- 
ing! I see you are surpriz'd, as I was. I never saw one 
before. And shall never see another. So I took the Oppor- 
tunity of her Help to put the Answer into Verse, because I 
was some Verse in your Debt ever since you sent me the last 
Pair of Garters. 

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



1767] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 3, 

This Muse appeared to be no Housewife. I suppose few 
of them are. She was drest (if the Expression is allowable) 
in an Undress, a kind of slatternly Negligee, neither neat nor 
clean, norwell made ; and she has given the same sort of Dress 
to my Piece. On reviewing it, I would have reform'd the 
Lines, and made them all of a Length, as I am told Lines 
ought to be ; but I find I can't lengthen the short ones without 
stretching them on the Rack, and I think it would be equally 
cruel to cut off any Part of the long ones. Besides the Super- 
fluity of these makes up for the Deficiency of those; and so, 
from a Principle of Justice, I leave them at full Length, that 
I may give you, at least in one Sense of the Word, good 
Measure. Adieu, my dear good Girl, and believe me ever 
your affectionate, faithful Friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

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

London, June 22. 1767 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

Capt. Falkener is arrived, and came yesterday to see me, 
and bring my Letters. I was extreamly glad of yours, because 
I had none by the Packet. It seems now as if I should stay 
here another Winter, and therefore I must leave it to your 
Judgment to act in the Affair of your Daughter's Match, as 
shall seem best. If you think it a suitable one, I suppose the 
sooner it is compleated the better. In that case, I would 
only advise that you do not make an expensive feasting 
Wedding, but conduct every thing with Frugality and (Econ- 
omy, which our Circumstances really now require to be ob- 
served in all our Expences : For since my Partnership with 
Mr. Hall is expired, a great Source of our Income is cut off; 



32 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN* FRANKLIN [1767 

and if I should lose the PostOffice, which among the many 
Changes here is far from being unlikely, we should be reduc'd 
to our Rents and Interest of Money for a Subsistence, which 
will by no means afford the chargeable Housekeeping and 
Entertainments we have been used to ; for my own Part I 
live here as frugally as possible not to be destitute of the Com- 
forts of Life, making no Dinners for anybody, and contenting 
myself with a single Dish when I dine at home ; and yet such 
is the Dearness of Living here in every Article, that my 
Expences amaze me. I see too by the Sums you have re- 
ceived in my Absence, that yours are very great, and I am 
very sensible that your Situation naturally brings you a great 
many Visitors, which occasion an Expence not easily to be 
avoided especially when one has been long in the Practice and 
Habit of it : But when People's Incomes are lessened, if 
they cannot proportionably lessen their Outgoings, they must 
come to Poverty. If we were young enough to begin Business 
again, it might be another Matter ; but I doubt we are past 
it ; and Business not well managed ruins one faster than no 
Business. In short, with Frugality and prudent Care we 
may subsist decently on what we have, and leave it entire to 
our Children : but without such Care, we shall not be able 
to keep it together ; it will melt away like Butter in the Sun- 
shine; and we may live long enough to feel the miserable 
Consequences of our Indiscretion. 

I know very little of the Gentleman l or his Character, nor 
can I at this Distance. I hope his Expectations are not great 
of any Fortune to be had with our Daughter before our Death. 
I can only say, that if he proves a good Husband to her, and a 
good Son to me, he shall find me as good a Father as I can 
be: but at present I suppose you would agree with me, 

1 Richard Bache. ED. 



1767] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 33 

that we cannot do more than fit her out handsomely in Cloaths 
and Furniture, not exceeding in the whole Five Hundred 
Pounds, of Value. For the rest, they must depend as you 
and I did, on their own Industry and Care : as what remains 
in our Hands will be barely sufficient for our Support, and 
not enough for them when it comes to be divided at our 
Decease. 

Having lately bought a Piece of fine Pocket Handkerchiefs, 
I send you 4 of them, being Half the Piece ; and shall look 
out for the Quilts you mention, that is, Mrs. Stevenson will, 
and for the Muff & Snail for Sally. None of the things are 
yet come on shore. 

I send you the little Shade that was copied from the great 
one. If it will be acceptable to my good Friend Mr. Roberts, 
pray give it to him. Our Polly's Match is quite broke off. 
The Difference was about Money-Matters. I am not dis- 
pleas'd at it, as I did not much like the Man, thinking him a 
mean-spirited mercenary Fellow, and not worthy so valuable 
a Girl as she is in every Respect, Person, Fortune, Temper 
and excellent Understanding. 

Sally Franklin is well; her Father who had not seen her 
for a twelvemonth, came lately & took her home with him 
for a few Weeks to see her Friends ; he is very desirous I 
should take her with me to America. 

I suppose the blue Room is too blue, the wood being of the 
same Colour with the Paper, and so looks too dark. I would 
have you finish it as soon as you can, thus. Paint the Wain- 
scot a dead white; Paper the Walls blue, & tack the gilt 
Border round just above the Surbase and under the Cornish. 
If the Paper is not equal Coloured when pasted on, let it be 
brush'd over again with the same Colour: and let the 

VOL. V D 



34 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN- [1767 

Papitr machie musical Figures be tack'd to the middle of the 
Cieling; when this is done, I think it will look very well. 

Who is the Mrs. Morris you mention, as Mother to Dr. 
Rush ? I am glad my Recommendations were of any Service 
to him. 

I am glad to hear that Sally keeps up and increases the 
Number of her Friends. The best Wishes of a fond Father 
for her Happiness always attend her. I am, my dear Debby, 

your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

433. TO PETER COLLINSON 1 

London, July 13. 1767. 

DEAR FRIEND : I have heard of an account you lately re- 
ceived from Russia of some discovery of an ancient sepulchre 
in the frontiers of that country. I wish I could see that ac- 
count. In the meantime I send you a passage I have met 
with in Herodotus, that most ancient historian, concerning 
the sepulchres of the Scythian kings, which may possibly 
throw some light on this discovery. The Boristhenes, you 
know, is a river that takes its rise in the north, and empties 
itself into the Euxine Sea. I am, as ever yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

The Sepulchres of the Scythian kings are in the country of 
the Gerrhians, where the Borysthenes is first known to be 
navigable. When their king dies, they dig a great hole in the 
ground, of a quadrangular form, and having received the 
body covered with wax, they open and cleanse the belly, 

1 From John Bigelow, " The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. 
X, p. 308. ED. 



1767] TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN 35 

filling the space with bruised cypress, incense, seeds of parsley, 
and aries. And after they have sewed up the belly again, 
they carry the body in a chariot to another province ; where, 
those who receive it imitate the royal Scythians in the fol- 
lowing custom: They cut off part of one ear: shave their 
heads: wound themselves on the arms, forehead, and nose; 
and pierce the left hand with an arrow. Having done thus, 
they accompany the chariot to another district; and this 
manner is observed in every province ; till having carried the 
dead body of the king through all his dominions, they bury 
him in the country of the Gerrhians, who inhabit the remotest 
parts of the kingdom. Here they lay him in the sepulchre, 
upon a bed encompassed on all sides with spears, which they 
cover with timber, and spread a canopy over the whole monu- 
ment. In the spaces that remain vacant, they place one of 
the king's concubines strangled; with a cup-bearer, a cook, 
a groom, a waiter, a messenger, certain horses, and some of 
all things necessary. To these they add cups of gold, because 
silver and brass are not used amongst them. This done, 
they throw up the earth with great diligence, and endeavor 
to raise the mount as high as possibly they can. Herodo- 
tus, Book IV. 

434. TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN 1 

London, July 17, 1767. 

DEAR COUSIN, 

I should sooner have answered your kind letter of last year, 
but postponed it from time to time, having mislaid the print 

1 Samuel Franklin lived in Boston. He was the grandson of Benjamin 
Franklin, who was Dr. Franklin's uncle, and after whom he was named. This 
letter was first published by Sparks. ED. 



36 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1767 

I intended to send you, which I have now found and send 
herewith. I am glad to hear of the welfare of yourself and 
your family, which I hope will long continue. My love 
to them all. 

It gives me pleasure whenever I find that my endeavours 
to serve America are acceptable to my friends there. Your 
kind notices of them are very obliging. 

I find here but two of our relations remaining, that bear 
the name of Franklin, viz. Thomas Franklin of Lutterworth in 
Leicestershire, a dyer, and his daughter Sally Franklin, about 
fourteen years of age, who has been with me in London about 
a year, and sends her duty to you. Thomas Franklin is the 
grandson of John Franklin, your grandfather's brother. 
There are besides still living, Eleanor Morris, an old maiden 
lady, daughter of your grandfather's sister Hannah ; and also 
Hannah Walker, granddaughter of his brother John. Mrs. 
Walker has three sons. She lives at Westbury, in Bucking- 
hamshire, and Mrs. Morris with her. And these are the 
whole. It is thought best by my friends that I should con- 
tinue here another winter. My best wishes attend you, being 
jour affectionate kinsman, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



435. TO RICHARD PRICE 1 (p. c.) 

Craven Street, Saturday, Aug i. 1767. 

REV D AND DEAR SIR, Last night I received a letter 
from D r Robertson, acquainting me that the University of 

1 The original is in the possession of Walter Ashburner, Esq., of London, 
a descendant of Dr. Price's sister. A copy of this letter, together with eighty 
others addressed to Price, was presented to the M. H. S. by Mr. 
Norton. ED. 



1767] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 37 

Edinburgh have on my recommendation conferred the degree 
of D r in Divinity upon the Rev d M r Cooper of Boston ; an 
event, that when I last had the pleasure of seeing you, you 
may remember I was desirous of waiting for, before I should 
be concerned in any new application of the same kind. And 
indeed as I have made three already, I begin to feel a little 
unwilling to apply again immediately to the same University in 
favour of another, lest they should think me troublesome, tho' 
they have hitherto been very obliging. And recollecting that 
you mentioned your having a correspondence with the Prin- 
cipal of the College at Glasgow, I now purpose applying to 
that University for Mr Elliot's l degree, if you approve of it, 
and will with Mr Radcliffe address your recommendation 
to the same place, to accompany mine. Please to present 
my respectful compliments to Mrs Price and Mrs Barker; 
and believe me, with sincere esteem, dear Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 
B. FRANKLIN. 



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

London, Aug* 5, 1767 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I have now before me all your late Letters, and shall answer 
them Article by Article. 

Captain Ourry din'd here a few Days since, and thanks you 
for remembring him, desiring his Respects to you and Sally, 
Mr. Strahan & Family, the same. I received the Bill sent 
by Mr. Potts, and suppose it will be duly paid. You will 

1 Andrew Eliot (1718-1778), pastor of the New North Church in Boston. 
The University of Edinburgh gave him the degree of D.D. in 1767. ED. 



38 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

return him the Overplus. I wish I could take my Passage 
this time with Capt. Falkener. I was on board the other day 
with Mr. and Mrs. West, Mrs. Stevenson and Mr. Hopkinson, 
to drink Tea. 'Tis a fine Ship, and I think it not unlikely 
that I may go with him next time, as he is a very kind, good 
Friend whom I much respect. 

The Nocake proves very good, and I thank you for it. 

I am glad you go sometimes to Burlington. The Harmony 
you mention in our Family and among our Children gives me 
great Pleasure. I am sorry to hear of the Death of our old 
Friend Debbey Norris. She was a worthy good Woman, and 
will be miss'd. If I can in any shape be of Service to Mr. 
Francis, you may depend I shall do it, being much concern'd 
for his Misfortune. I am told the Affair is like to turn out 
better for him than was expected. I will have the Shades done 
as you desire. Sally Franklin is now in the Country with her 
Father. She is an only Child, and a very good Girl. 

I think you would like her, and her Father wishes I would 
take her over with me ; but I object to it, as the Care of edu- 
cating other People's Children is a Trust too weighty for us 
as we grow old. He is still a Widower, & is between 40 & 
50. His Name is Thomas Franklin; how came you to call 
him Billy Franklin ? 

I receiv'd the Watch-Chain, which you say you send to be 
put to rights. I do not see what it wants. Mrs. Stevenson 
says it is too old-fashion 'd for Sally, and advises sending the 
Watch also, to be chang'd away for a new Watch & Chain. 

In your last Letters you say nothing concerning Mr. Bache. 
The Misfortune that has lately happened to his Affairs, tho' 
it may not lessen his Character as an honest or a Prudent 
man, will probably induce him to forbear entering hastily into 



1767] TO GEORGE CROGHAN 



39 



a State that must require a great Addition to his Expence, 
when he will be less able to supply it. If you think that in 
the mean time it will be some Amusement to Sally to visit her 
Friends here and return with me, I should have no Objection 
to her coming over with Capt. Falkener, provided Mrs. 
Falkener comes at the same time as is talk'd of. I think too 
it might be some Improvement to her. 1 I am at present 
meditating a Journey somewhere, perhaps to Bath & Bristol ; 
as I begin to find a little Giddiness in my head, a token that 
I want the Exercise I have yearly been accustomed to. I 
long to see you & be with you, being as ever, my dear Debby, 
your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



437. TO GEORGE CROGHAN 2 

London, August 5, 1767. 

SIR, 

I return you many thanks for the box of elephants' tusks 
and grinders. They are extremely curious on many accounts ; 
no living elephants having been seen in any part of America 
by any of the Europeans settled there, or remembered in any 
tradition of the Indians. It is also puzzling to conceive what 
should have brought so many of them to die on the same spot ; 
and that no such remains should be found in any other part 
of the continent, except in that very distant country, Peru, 

1 She did not go to England, as is here proposed, but was married to Mr. 
Richard Bache on the 29th of October following. She was then twenty-three 
years old, having been born September nth, 1744. ED. 

2 George Croghan (died 1782), British crown agent with the Indians. He 
had been for twenty years a trader among the Indians at the time this 
letter was written. See Introduction, Vol. I, pp. 85-86. See also letter to 
Abbe Chappe, January 31, 1768. ED. 



40 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

from whence some grinders of the same kind formerly brought, 
are now in the museum of the Royal Society. The tusks 
agree with those of the African and Asiatic elephant in being 
nearly of the same form and texture, and some of them, not- 
withstanding the length of time they must have lain, being 
still good ivory. But the grinders differ, being full of knobs, 
like the grinders of a carnivorous animal ; when those of the 
elephant, who eats only vegetables, are almost smooth. But 
then we know of no other animal with tusks like an elephant, 
to whom such grinders might belong. 

It is remarkable, that elephants now inhabit naturally 
only hot countries where there is no winter, and yet these 
remains are found in a winter country ; and it is no uncom- 
mon thing to find elephants' tusks in Siberia, in great quan- 
tities, when their rivers overflow, and wash away the earth, 
though Siberia is still more a wintry country than that on the 
Ohio; which looks as if the earth had anciently been in 
another position, and the climates differently placed from 
what they are at present. 

With great regard, I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

438. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, August 8, 1767. 

DEAR SIR, 

I have before me your favours of April 23, May 21 and 26. 
The confusion among our great men still continues as much 
as ever, and a melancholy thing it is to consider, that, instead 

1 From "The Works of Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, Vol. 
VI, p. 249. ED. 



1767] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 4l 

of employing the present leisure of peace in such measures 
as might extend our commerce, pay off our debts, secure allies, 
and increase the strength and ability of the nation to support 
a future war, the whole seems to be wasted in party conten- 
tions about places of power and profit, in court intrigues 
and cabals, and in abusing one another. 

There has lately been an attempt to make a kind of coalition 
of parties in a new ministry, but it fell through, and the pres- 
ent set is like to continue for some time longer, which I am 
rather pleased with, as some of those who were proposed to 
be introduced are professed adversaries to America, which 
is now made one of the distinctions of party here ; those who 
have in the two last sessions shown a disposition to favour 
us, being called by way of reproach, Americans; while the 
others, adherents to Grenville and Bedford, value them- 
selves on being true to the interests of Britain, and zealous for 
maintaining its dignity and sovereignty over the colonies. 

This distinction will, it is apprehended, be carried much 
higher in the next session, for the political purpose of influ- 
encing the ensuing election. It is already given out that the 
compliance of New York, in providing for the quarters, with- 
out taking notice of its being done in obedience to the act 
of Parliament, is evasive and unsatisfactory. That it is high 
time to put the right and power of this country to tax the col- 
onies out of dispute, by an act of taxation, effectually carried 
into execution, and that all the colonies should be obliged 
explicitly to acknowledge that right. Every step is taking to 
render the taxing America a popular measure here, by con- 
tinually insisting on the topics of our wealth and flourishing 
circumstances, while this country is loaded with debt, great 
part of it incurred on our account, the distress of the poor here 



42 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

by the multitude and weight of taxes, &c. &c. ; and though 
the traders and manufacturers may possibly be kept in our 
interest, the idea of an American tax is very pleasing to the 
landed men, who therefore readily receive and propagate 
these sentiments wherever they have influence. 

If such a bill should be brought in, it is hard to say what 
would be the event of it, or what would be the effects. Those 
who oppose it, though they should be strong enough to throw 
it out, would be stigmatized as Americans, betrayers of Old 
England, &c., and perhaps, our friends by this means being 
excluded, a majority of our adversaries may get in, and then 
the act infallibly passes the following session. To avoid the 
danger of such exclusion, perhaps little opposition will be 
given, and then it passes immediately. I know not what to 
advise on this occasion, but that we should all do our en- 
deavours on both sides the water to lessen the present un- 
popularity of the American cause, conciliate the affections of 
people here towards us, increase by all possible means the 
number of our friends, and be careful not to weaken their 
hands and strengthen those of our enemies, by rash proceed- 
ings on our side, the mischiefs of which are inconceivable. 
Some of our friends have thought that a publication of my 
Examination here, might answer some of the above purposes, 
by removing prejudices, refuting falsehoods, and demonstrat- 
ing our merits with regard to this country. It is accordingly 
printed, and has a great run. I have another piece in hand, 
which I intend to put out about the time of the meeting of 
Parliament, if those I consult with shall judge that it may be 
of service. 1 

The next session of Parliament will probably be a short 

1 Probably "Causes of the American Discontents before 1768." ED. 



1767] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 



43 



one, on account of the following election. And I am now 
advised by some of our great friends here to see that out, not 
returning to America till the spring. My presence indeed 
is necessary there to settle some private affairs. Unforeseen 
and unavoidable difficulties have hitherto obstructed our 
proceedings in the main intent of my coming over, and per- 
haps (though I think my being here has not been altogether 
unserviceable) our friends in the Assembly may begin to be 
discouraged and tired of the expense. If that should be the 
case, I would not have you propose to continue me as agent at 
the meeting of the new Assembly: my endeavours to serve 
the province, in what I may while I remain here, shall not be 
lessened by that omission. 

I am glad you have made a trial of paper money, not a legal 
tender. The quantity being small, may perhaps be kept in 
full credit notwithstanding ; and if that can be avoided, I am 
not for applying here again very soon for a repeal of the re- 
straining act. I am afraid an ill use will be made of it. The 
plan of our adversaries is to render Assemblies in America 
useless ; and to have a revenue independent of their grants, 
for all the purposes of their defence, and supporting govern- 
ments among them. It is our interest to prevent this. And, 
that they may not lay hold of our necessities for paper money, 
to draw a revenue from that article, whenever they grant us 
the liberty we want, of making it a legal tender, I wish some 
other method may be fallen upon of supporting its credit. 
What think you of getting all the merchants, traders, and 
principal people of all sorts, to join in petitions to the Assem- 
bly for a moderate emission, the petition being accompanied 
with a mutual engagement to take it in all dealings at the rates 
fixed by law? Such an engagement had a great effect in 



44 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

fixing the value and rates of our gold and silver. Or, perhaps, 
a bank might be established that would answer all purposes. 
Indeed I think with you, that those merchants here, who have 
made difficulties on the subject of the legal tender, have not 
understood their own interest. For there can be no doubt, 
that should a scarcity of money continue among us, we shall 
take off less of their merchandise, and attend more to manu- 
facturing, and raising the necessaries and superfluities of life 
among ourselves, which we now receive from them. And 
perhaps this consequence would attend our making no paper 
money at all of any sort, that being thus by want of cash 
driven to industry and frugality, we should gradually become 
more rich without their trade, than we can possibly be with 
it, and, by keeping in the country the real cash that comes 
into it, have in time a quantity sufficient for all our occasions. 
But I suppose our people will scarce have patience to wait for 
this. 

I have received the printed votes, but not the laws. I hear 
nothing yet of any objection made by the Proprietaries to any 
of them at the Board of Trade. 

Please to present my duty to the Assembly, with thanks for 
their care of me, and assure them of my most faithful services. 
With sincerest esteem and respect, I am, my dear friend, 
yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



1767] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 45 

439- TO JOHN CANTON 1 

Craven Street, Aug. 25, 1767. 

DEAR SIR 

When I was at Paris about 10 Days since, I was told that a 
Comet was then visible with a Tail of considerable Length. 
If it has not been yet observed or heard of here, perhaps this 
little Notice may be agreable to you. I returned but last 
Night. I hope you & yours are well, being very sincerely 

Your affectionate Friend 
& Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

I think it was said to be in some Part of the Bull, & in its 
Progress towards the Sun. M. Monnier discovered & 
observed it. 

440. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN, GOVERNOR 
OF NEW JERSEY 2 

London, August 28, 1767. 

DEAR SON, 

I have no letter of yours since my last, in which I answered 
all preceding ones. 

Last week I dined at Lord Shelburne's, and had a long 
conversation with him and Mr. Conway (there being no other 
company) on the subject of reducing American expense. 
They have it in contemplation to return the management of 

1 There are nine letters and notes from Franklin to Canton in the " Canton 
Papers," collected by John Canton, M.A., F. R.S., and his son, William 
Canton, and given by Edwin Canton to the Royal Society, in 1870. ED. 

2 From "The Works of Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817 
Vol. VI, p. 253. ED. 



46 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

Indian affairs into the hands of the several provinces on which 
the nations border, that the colonies may bear the charge of 
treaties, &c., which they think will then be managed more 
frugally, the treasury being tired with the immense drafts of 
the superintendants, &c. I took the opportunity of urging 
it as one means of saving expense in supporting the out-posts, 
that a settlement should be made in the Illinois country; 
expatiated on the various advantages, viz. furnishing pro- 
visions cheaper to the garrisons, securing the country, re- 
taining the trade, raising a strength there which on occasion 
of a future war, might easily be poured down the Mississippi 
upon the lower country, and into the Bay of Mexico, to be 
used against Cuba or Mexico itself. I mentioned your plan, 
its being approved by Sir William Johnson, the readiness and 
ability of the gentlemen concerned to carry the settlement 
into execution, with very little expense to the crown, &c. 
The secretaries appeared finally to be fully convinced, and 
there remained no obstacle but the Board of Trade, which 
was to be brought over privately, before the matter should be 
referred to them officially. In case of laying aside the super- 
intendants, a provision was thought of for Sir William 
Johnson. 

We had a good deal of farther discourse on American 
affairs, particularly on paper money: Lord Shelburne de- 
clared himself fully convinced of the utility of taking off the 
restraint, by my answer to the Report of the Board of Trade. 
General Conway had not seen it, and desired me to send it to 
him, which I did next morning. They gave me expectation 
of a repeal next session, Lord Clare being come over: but 
they said there was some difficulty with others at the Board, 
who had signed that Report; for there was a good deal in 



1767] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 47 

what Soame Jenyns had laughingly said, when asked to con- 
cur in some measure, / have no kind of objection to it, pro- 
vided we have heretofore signed nothing to the contrary. 

In this conversation I did not forget our main Pennsyl- 
vania business, and I think made some farther progress, 
though but little. The two secretaries seemed intent upon 
preparing business for next Parliament, which makes me 
think, that the late projects of changes are now quite over, 
and that they expect to continue in place. But whether they 
will do much or little, I cannot say. 

Du Guerchy, 1 the French ambassador, is gone home, and 
Monsieur Durand is left minister plenipotentiary. He is 
extremely curious to inform himself in the affairs of America ; 
pretends to have a great esteem for me, on account of the 
abilities shown in my examination; has desired to have all 
my political writings, invited me to dine with him, was very 
inquisitive, treated me with great civility, makes me visits, 
&c. I fancy that intriguing nation would like very well to 
meddle on occasion, and blow up the coals between Britain 
and her colonies; but I hope we shall give them no oppor- 
tunity. 

I write this in a great hurry, being setting out in an hour 
on another journey with my steady, good friend, Sir John 
Pringle. We propose to visit Paris. Durand has given me 
letters of recommendation to the Lord knows who. I am 
told I shall meet with great respect there ; but winds change, 
and perhaps it will be full as well if I do not. We shall be 
gone six weeks. I have a little private commission to trans- 
act, of which more another time. 

1 Claude-Fran?ois-Louis Regnier, Comte de Guerchy (1715-1767), am- 
bassador to London 1763-1767. ED. 



48 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

Communicate nothing of this letter but privately to our 
friend Galloway. I am your affectionate father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

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

Paris, Sept. 14, 1767. 
DEAR POLLY, 

I am always pleas'd with a Letter from you, and I flatter 
myself you may be sometimes pleas'd in receiving one from 
me, tho' it should be of little Importance, such as this, which 
is to consist of a few occasional Remarks made here, and in 
my Journey hither. 

Soon after I left you in that agreable Society at Bromley, 
I took the Resolution of making a Trip with Sir John Pringle 
into France. We set out the 28th past. All the way to 
Dover we were furnished with PostChaises, hung so as to 
lean forward, the Top coming down over one's Eyes, like a 
Hood, as if to prevent one's seeing the Country ; which being 
one of my great Pleasures, I was engaged in perpetual Dis- 
putes with the Innkeepers, Hostlers, and Postilions, about 
getting the Straps taken up a Hole or two before, and let 
down as much behind, they insisting that the Chaise leaning 
forward was an Ease to the Horses, and that the contrary 
would kill them. I suppose the chaise leaning forward looks 
to them like a Willingness to go forward, and that its hanging 
back shows a Reluctance. They added other Reasons, that 
were no Reasons at all, and made me, as upon a 100 other 
Occasions, almost wish that Mankind had never been endowed 
with a reasoning Faculty, since they know so little how to 
make use of it, and so often mislead themselves by it, and that 

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



1767] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 49 

they had been furnish'd with a good sensible Instinct instead 
of it. 

At Dover, the next Morning, we embark'd for Calais with 
a Number of Passengers, who had never been before at sea. 
They would previously make a hearty Breakfast, because, 
if the Wind should fail, we might not get over till Supper 
time. Doubtless they thought that when they had paid for 
their Breakfast, they had a Right to it, and that, when they 
had swallowed it they were sure of it. But they had scarce 
been out half an Hour, before the Sea laid Claim to it, and 
they were obliged to deliver it up. So it seems there are 
Uncertainties, even beyond those between the Cup and the 
Lip. If ever you go to Sea, take my Advice, and live spar- 
ingly a Day or two beforehand. The Sickness, if any, will 
be lighter and sooner over. We got to Calais that Evening. 

Various Impositions we suffered from Boatmen, Porters, &c. 
on both Sides the Water. I know not which are most rapa- 
cious, the English or French, but the latter have, with their 
Knavery, the most Politeness. 

The Roads we found equally good with ours in England, 
in some Places pav'd with smooth Stone, like our new Streets, 
for many Miles together, and Rows of Trees on each Side, 
and yet there are no Turnpikes. But then the poor Peasants 
complained to us grievously, that they were obliged to work 
upon the Roads full two Months in the Year, without being 
paid for their Labour. Whether this is Truth, or whether, 
like Englishmen, they grumble Cause or no Cause, I have 
not yet been able fully to inform myself. 

The Women we saw at Calais, on the Road, at Bouloigne, 
and in the Inns and Villages, were generally of dark Com- 
plexions; but arriving at Abbeville we found a sudden 

VOL. V E 



50 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

Change, a Multitude of both Women and Men in that Place 
appearing remarkably fair. Whether this is owing to a small 
Colony of Spinners, Wool-combers, and Weavers, brought 
hither from Holland with the Woollen Manufacture about 
60 Years ago ; or to their being less expos'd to the Sun, than 
in other Places, their Business keeping them much within 
Doors, I know not. Perhaps as in some other Cases, differ- 
ent Causes may club in producing the Effect, but the Effect 
itself is certain. Never was I in a Place of greater Industry, 
Wheels and Looms going in every House. 

As soon as we left Abbeville, the Swarthiness returned. 
I speak generally, for here are some fair Women at Paris, 
who I think are not whiten'd by Art. As to Rouge, they 
don't pretend to imitate Nature in laying it on. There is 
no gradual Diminution of the Colour, from the full Bloom 
in the Middle of the Cheek to the faint Tint near the Sides, 
nor does it show itself differently in different Faces. I have 
not had the Honour of being at any Lady's Toylette to see 
how it is laid on, but I fancy I can tell you how it is or may be 
done. Cut a Hole of 3 Inches Diameter in a Piece of Paper ; 
place it on the Side of your Face in such a Manner as that 
the Top of the Hole may be just under your Eye ; then with 
a Brush dipt in the Colour, paint Face and Paper together; 
so when the Paper is taken off there will remain a round 
Patch of Red exactly the Form of the Hole. This is the Mode, 
from the Actresses on the Stage upwards thro' all Ranks of 
Ladies to the Princesses of the Blood, but it stops there, the 
Queen not using it, having in the Serenity, Complacence, and 
Benignity that shine so eminently in, or rather through her 
Countenance, sufficient Beauty, tho' now an old Woman, 
to do extreamly well without it. 



TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 



You see I speak of the Queen as if I had seen her, and so I 
have; for you must know I have been at Court. We went 
to Versailles last Sunday, and had the Honour of being pre- 
sented to the King; he spoke to both of us very graciously 
and chearfully, is a handsome Man, has a very lively Look, 
and appears younger than he is. In the Evening we were 
at the Grand Convert, where the Family sup in Publick. 
The Form of their Sitting at the Table was this: The table 
was as you see half a Hollow Square, the Service Gold. 
When either made a Sign for Drink, the Word was given by 



WAITERS 



Oq 



THE QUEEN THE KING 

one of the Waiters ; A boire pour le Roy, or, A boire pour la 
Reine. Then two persons within the Square approached, one 
with Wine the other with Water in Caraftes; each drank a 
little Glass of what he brought, and then put both the Carajfes 
with a Glass on a Salver, and presented it. Their Distance 
from each other was such, as that other Chairs might have 
been plac'd between any two of them. An Officer of the 
Court brought us up thro 7 the Crowd of Spectators, and 
plac'd Sir John so as to stand between the King and Madame 
Adelaide, and me between the Queen and Madame Victoire. 



52 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

The King talk'd a good deal to Sir John, asking many Ques- 
tions about our Royal Family; and did me too the Honour 
of taking some Notice of me; that's saying enough, for I 
would not have you think me so much pleas'd with this King 
and Queen, as to have a Whit less regard than I us'd to have 
for ours. No Frenchman shall go beyond me in thinking 
my own King and Queen the very best in the World, and the 
most amiable. 

Versailles has had infinite Sums laid out in building it 
and supplying it with Water. Some say the Expences 
exceeded 80 Millions Sterling. The Range of Building is 
immense ; the Garden-Front most magnificent, all of hewn 
Stone ; the Number of Statues, Figures, Urns, &c., in Marble 
and Bronze of exquisite Workmanship, is beyond Concep- 
tion. But the Waterworks are out of Repair, and so is great 
Part of the Front next the Town, looking with its shabby 
half-Brick Walls, and broken Windows, not much better 
than the Houses in Durham Yard. There is, in short, 
both at Versailles and Paris, a prodigious Mixture of 
Magnificence and Negligence, with every kind of Elegance 
except that of Cleanliness, and what we call Tidyness. Tho' 
I must do Paris the Justice to say, that in two Points of 
Cleanliness they exceed us. The Water they drink, tho' 
from the River, they render as pure as that of the best Spring, 
by filtring it thro' Cisterns filPd with Sand ; and the Streets 
by constant Sweeping are fit to walk in, tho' there is no 
pav'd footPath. Accordingly, many well-dress'd People are 
constantly seen walking in them. The Crowds of Coaches 
and Chairs for this Reason is not so great. Men, as well as 
Women, carry Umbrellas in their Hands, which they extend 
in case of Rain or two (sic) much sun ; and a Man with an 



1767] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 53 

Umbrella not taking up more than 3 foot square, or 9 square 
feet of the Street, when, if in a Coach, he would take up 
240 square feet, you can easily conceive that tho' the Streets 
here are narrower they may be much less encumbered. They 
are extreamly well pav'd, and the Stones, being generally 
Cubes, when worn on one Side, may be turn'd and become new. 

The Civilities we everywhere receive give us the strongest 
Impressions of the French Politeness. It seems to be a 
Point settled here universally, that Strangers are to be treated 
with Respect; and one has just the same Deference shewn 
one here by being a Stranger, as in England by being a Lady. 
The Customhouse Officers at Port St. Denis, as we enter'd 
Paris, were about to seize 2 doz of excellent Bordeaux Wine 
given us at Boulogne, and which we brought with us; but, 
as soon as they found we were Strangers, it was immediately 
remitted on that Account. At the Church of Notre Dame, 
where we went to see a magnificent Illumination, with 
Figures, &c., for the deceased Dauphiness, we found an im- 
mense Crowd, who were kept out by Guards ; but, the Officer 
being told that we were Strangers from England, he im- 
mediately admitted us, accompanied and show'd us every 
thing. Why don't we practise this Urbanity to Frenchmen ? 
Why should they be allowed to outdo us in any thing? 

Here is an Exhibition of Paintings like ours in London,, 
to which Multitudes flock daily. I am not Connoisseur 
enough to judge which has most Merit. Every Night, 
Sundays not excepted here are Plays or Operas; and tho' 
the Weather has been hot, and the Houses full, one is not 
incommoded by the Heat so much as with us in Winter. 
They must have some Way of changing the Air, that we are 
not acquainted with. I shall enquire into it. 



54 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

Travelling is one Way of lengthening Life, at least in Ap- 
pearance. It is but about a Fortnight since we left London, 
but the Variety of Scenes we have gone through makes it 
seem equal to Six Months living in one Place. Perhaps I 
have suffered a greater Change, too, in my own Person, than 
I could have done in Six Years at home. I had not been 
here Six Days, before my Taylor and Perruquier had trans- 
form'd me into a Frenchman. Only think what a Figure I 
make in a little Bag- Wig and naked Ears ! They told me 
I was become 20 Years younger, and look'd very galante; 

So being in Paris where the Mode is to be sacredly 
follow'd I was once very near making Love to my Friend's 
Wife. 

This Letter shall cost you a Shilling, and you may con- 
sider it cheap, when you reflect, that it has cost me at least 
50 Guineas to get into the Situation, that enables me to 
write it. Besides, I might, if I had staied at home, have 
won perhaps two Shillings of you at Cribbidge. By the Way, 
now I mention Cards, let me tell you that Quadrille is quite 
out of Fashion here, and English Whisk all the Mode at 
Paris and the Court. 

And pray look upon it as no small Matter, that surrounded 
as I am by the Glories of this World, and Amusements of all 
Sorts, I remember you and Dolly and all the dear good 
Folks at Bromley. 'Tis true, I can't help it, but must and 
ever shall remember you all with Pleasure. 

Need I add, that I am particularly, my dear good Friend, 
yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



1767] CONCERNING LIGHTNING 55 

442. O) Lightning, and the Method (now used in America) 
of securing Buildings and Persons from its mischievous 

Effects. 1 

Paris, Sept., 1767. 

EXPERIMENTS made in electricity first gave philosophers 
a suspicion that the matter of lightning was the same with the 
electric matter. Experiments afterwards made on lightning 
obtained from the clouds by pointed rods, received into 
bottles, and subjected to every trial, have since proved this 
suspicion to be perfectly well founded; and that whatever 
properties we find in electricity, are also the properties of 
lightning. 

This matter of lightning, or of electricity, is an extream 
subtile fluid, penetrating other bodies, and subsisting in them, 
equally diffused. 

When by any operation of art or nature, there happens to 
be a greater proportion of this fluid in one body than in an- 
other, the body which has most will communicate to that 
which has least, till the proportion becomes equal ; provided 
the distance between them be not too great ; or, if it is too 
great, till there be proper conductors to convey it from one 
to the other. 

If the communication be through the air without any 
conductor, a bright light is seen between the bodies, and a 
sound is heard. In our small experiments we call this light 
and sound the electric spark and snap; but in the great 
operations of nature, the light is what we call lightning, and 
the sound (produced at the same time, tho' generally arriving 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 579. ED. 



56 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

later at our ears than the light does to our eyes) is, with its 
echoes, called thunder. 

If the communication of this fluid is by a conductor, it 
may be without either light or sound, the subtle fluid passing 
in the substance of the conductor. 

If the conductor be good and of sufficient bigness, the fluid 
passes through it without hurting it. If otherwise, it is dam- 
aged or destroyed. 

All metals, and water, are good conductors. Other 
bodies may become conductors by having some quantity of 
water in them, as wood, and other materials used in building, 
but not having much water in them, they are not good con- 
ductors, and therefore are often damaged in the operation. 

Glass, wax, silk, wool, hair, feathers, and even wood, 
perfectly dry are non-conductors : that is, they resist instead 
of facilitating the passage of this suble (sic) fluid. 

When this fluid has an opportunity of passing through two 
conductors, one good, and sufficient, as of metal, the other 
not so good, it passes in the best, and will follow it in any 
direction. 

The distance at which a body charged with this fluid will 
discharge itself suddenly, striking through the air into an- 
other body that is not charged, or not so highly charg'd, is 
different according to the quantity of the fluid, the dimen- 
sions and form of the bodies themselves, and the state of the 
air between them. This distance, whatever it happens to be 
between any two bodies, is called their striking distance, as 
till they come within that distance of each other, no stroke 
will be made. 

The clouds have often more of this fluid in proportion than 
the earth; in which case as soon as they come near enough 



1767] CONCERNING LIGHTNING 57 

(that is, within the striking distance) or meet with a conduc- 
tor, the fluid quits them and strikes into the earth. A cloud 
fully charged with this fluid, if so high as to be beyond the 
striking distance from the earth, passes quietly without 
making noise or giving light; unless it meets with other 
clouds that have less. 

Tall trees, and lofty buildings, as the towers and spires of 
churches, become sometimes conductors between the clouds 
and the earth ; but not being good ones, that is, not conveying 
the fluid freely, they are often damaged. 

Buildings that have their roofs covered with lead, or other 
metal, and spouts of metal continued from the roof into the 
ground to carry off the water, are never hurt by lightning, as, 
whenever it falls on such a building, it passes in the metals 
and not in the walls. 

When other buildings happen to be within the striking dis- 
tance from such clouds, the fluid passes in the walls whether 
of wood, brick or stone, quitting the walls only when it can 
find better conductors near them, as metal rods, bolts, and 
hinges of windows or doors, gilding on wainscot, or frames of 
pictures; the silvering on the backs of looking-glasses; the 
wires for bells; and the bodies of animals, as containing 
watry fluids. And in passing thro* the house it follows the 
direction of these conductors, taking as many in it's way as 
can assist it in its passage, whether in a strait or crooked line, 
leaping from one to the other, if not far distant from each 
other, only rending the wall in the spaces where these partial 
good conductors are too distant from each other. 

An iron rod being placed on the outside of a building, 
from the highest part continued down into the moist earth, 
in any direction, strait or crooked, following the form of 



58 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

the roof or other parts of the building, will receive the light- 
ning at its upper end, attracting it so as to prevent its 
striking any other part; and, affording it a good convey- 
ance into the earth, will prevent its damaging any part of the 
building. 

A small quantity of metal is found able to conduct a great 
quantity of this fluid. A wire no bigger than a goose quill, 
has been known to conduct (with safety to the building as 
far as the wire was continued) a quantity of lightning that did 
prodigious damage both above and below it; and probably 
larger rods are not necessary, tho' it is common in America, 
to make them of half an inch, some of three quarters, or an 
inch diameter. 

The rod may be fastened to the wall, chimney, &c., with 
staples of iron. The lightning will not leave the rod (a 
good conductor), to pass into the wall (a bad conductor), 
through those staples. It would rather, if any were in the 
wall, pass out of it into the rod to get more readily by that 
conductor into the earth. 

If the building be very large and extensive, two or more 
rods may be placed at different parts, for greater security. 

Small ragged parts of clouds suspended in the air between 
the great body of clouds and the earth (like leaf gold in elec- 
trical experiments), often serve as partial conductors for the 
lightning, which proceeds from one of them to another, and 
by their help comes within the striking distance to the earth 
or a building. It therefore strikes through those conductors 
a building that would otherwise be out of the striking dis- 
tance. 

Long sharp points communicating with the earth, and pre- 
sented to such parts of clouds, drawing silently from them the 



1767] CONCERNING LIGHTNING S9 

fluid they are charged with, they are then attracted to the 
cloud, and may leave the distance so great as to be beyond 
the reach of striking. 

It is therefore that we elevate the upper end of the rod six 
or eight feet above the highest part of the building, tapering 
it gradually to a fine sharp point, which is gilt to prevent its 
rusting. 

Thus the pointed rod either prevents a stroke from the 
cloud, or, if a stroke is made, conducts it to the earth with 
safety to the building. 

The lower end of the rod should enter the earth so deep as 
to come at the moist part, perhaps two or three feet ; and, if 
bent when under the surface so as to go in a horizontal line 
six or eight feet from the wall, and then bent again down- 
wards three or four feet, it will prevent damage to any of 
the stones of the foundation. 

A person apprehensive of danger from lightning, happen- 
ing during the time of thunder to be in a house not so secured, 
will do well to avoid sitting near the chimney, near a looking- 
glass, or any gilt pictures or wainscot ; the safest place is in 
the middle of the room, (so it be not under a metal lustre 
suspended by a chain) sitting in one chair and laying the feet 
up in another. It is still safer to bring two or three mat- 
trasses or beds into the middle of the room, and folding them 
up double, place the chair upon them; for they not being 
so good conductors as the walls, the lightning will not chuse 
an interrupted course through the air of the room and the 
bedding, when it can go thro' a continued better conductor 
the wall. But, where it can be had, a hamock or swinging 
bed, suspended by silk cords equally distant from the walls 
on every side, and from the cieling and floor above and 



60 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

below, affords the safest situation a person can have in any 
room whatever ; and what indeed may be deemed quite free 
from danger of any stroke by lightning. 

B. F[RANKLIN.] 



443. ON SMUGGLING 1 (A. p. s.) 

SIR, 

There are many people that would be thought, and even 
think themselves, honest Men, who fail nevertheless in par- 
ticular points of honesty, deviating from that Character some- 
times by the prevalence of mode or custom, and sometimes 
thro' mere inattention ; so that their honesty is partial only, 
and not general or universal. Thus one who would scorn to 
overreach you in a bargain, shall make no scruple of tricking 
you a little now and then at Cards. Another that plays with 
the utmost fairness, shall with great freedom cheat you in 
the sale of a horse. But there is no kind of dishonesty into 
which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall, 
than that of defrauding Government of its revenues, by 
Smuggling when they have an opportunity, or encouraging 
Smugglers by buying their goods. 

I fell into these reflections the other day on hearing two 
gentlemen of reputation discoursing about a small estate 
which one of them was inclined to sell and the other to buy ; 
when the Seller, in recommending the Place, remarked, that 
the Situation was very advantageous on this Account, that 
being on the Sea-Coast, in a Smuggling Country, one had 

1 This letter was addressed to the printer of The London Chronicle, and 
was published in that paper, November 24, 1767. A fragmentary draft of it 
in Franklin's handwriting, and a complete copy in another hand are in A. P. S. 
The passages enclosed in brackets are found only in the printed version. ED. 



1767] ON" SMUGGLING 61 

frequent Opportunities of buying many of the expensive 
Articles used in a Family (such as Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, 
Brandy, Wines, Cambrics, Brussels Laces, French Silks, 
and all kinds of India Goods,) 20, 30, and in some articles 
50 per cent cheaper than they could be had in the more in- 
terior Parts, where they must be bo't of Traders that paid 
Duty. The other honest Gentleman allowed this to be an 
Advantage, but insisted, that the Seller, in the advanced 
Price he demanded on that Account, rated the Advantage 
much above its Value. And neither of them seem'd to think 
Dealing with Smugglers a Practice, that an honest Man 
(provided he got his Goods cheaper) had the least Reason to 
be asham'd of. 

At a Time when the Load of our Publick Debt, and the 
heavy Expence of maintaining our Fleets and Armies to be 
ready for our Defence on Occasion, make it necessary, not 
only to continue old Taxes, but often to look out for new 
Ones, perhaps it may not be unuseful to state this Matter in 
a Light, that few seem to have considered it in. 

The People of Great Britain, under the happy Constitu- 
tion of this Country, have a Privilege few other Countries 
enjoy, that of chusing the third Branch of the Legislature, 
which Branch has alone the Power of regulating their Taxes. 
Then when the Government finds it necessary for the common 
Benefit, Advantage, and Safety of the Nation, for the Security 
of our Liberties, Property, Religion, and every thing that is 
dear to us, that certain Sums shall be yearly raised by Taxes, 
Duties, &c., and paid into the publick Treasury, thence to be 
dispensed by Government for those purposes; ought not 
every honest Man freely and willingly to pay his just Pro- 
portion of this necessary Expence ? Can he possibly preserve 



62 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

a Right to that Character, if, by any Fraud, Stratagem, or 
Contrivance, he avoids that Payment in whole or in Part? 

What should we think of a Companion, who, having sup'd 
with his Friends at a Tavern, and partaken equally of the 
Joys of the Evening with the rest of us, would nevertheless 
contrive by some Artifice to shift his share of the reckoning 
upon others, in order to go off scot free? If a man who 
practised this would when detected, be [deemed and] called a 
scoundrel, what ought he to be call'd, who can enjoy all the 
inestimable Benefits of Publick Society, and yet by Smug- 
gling or dealing with Smugglers contrive to evade paying 
his just share of the Expence, as settled by his own Repre- 
sentatives in Parliament, and wrongfully throw it upon his 
honester, and perhaps, much poorer Neighbours? He will, 
perhaps, be ready to tell me, that he does not wrong his 
Neighbours, he scorns the imputation: He only cheats the 
King a little, who is very able to bear it. This, however, is 
a mistake ; the Publick Treasure is the Treasure of the Na- 
tion, to be applied for national purposes. And when a 
Duty is laid for a particular Publick and necessary Purpose, 
if, through Smuggling, that Duty falls short of raising the 
sum required, and other Duties must therefore be laid to 
make up the Deficiency; all the additional Sum laid by the 
new Duties and paid by other people, tho' it should amount 
to no more than a Half-penny or a Farthing per Head, is so 
much actually picked out of the Pockets of those other People 
by the Smugglers and their Abettors and Encouragers ; Are 
they then any better or other than Pickpockets ? And what 
mean, low, rascally Pickpockets must those be, that can pick 
Pockets for Half-pence and for Farthings ? 

[I would not, however, be supposed to allow, in what I 



1 767] ON SMUGGLING 63 

have just said, that cheating the King is a less offence against 
honesty, than cheating the public. The King and the public, 
in this case, are different names for the same thing; but, if 
we consider the King distinctly, it will not lessen the crime ; 
it is no justification of a robbery, that the person robbed was 
rich and able to bear it. The King has as much right to 
justice as the meanest of his subjects; and, as he is truly 
the common father of his people, those that rob him fall 
under the Scripture woe, pronounced against the son that 
robbeth his father , and saith it is no sin.] * 

Mean as this Practice is, do we not daily see people of 
Character and Fortune engaged in it for trifling Advantages 
to themselves ? Is any Lady ashanVd to request of a Gentle- 
man of her Acquaintance, that when he returns from abroad, 
he would Smuggle her home a piece of Silk, or Lace, from 
France or Flanders? Is any Gentleman asham'd to under- 
take, and execute the commission? No. [Not in the least.] 
They will talk of it freely even before their Friends [others] 
whose pockets they are thus contriving to pick by this piece 
of Knavery. 

Among other Branches of the Revenue, that of the Post- 
Omce is by a late Law appropriated to the Discharge of our 
Publick Debt, and defray the Expences of the State. None 
but Members of Parliament, and a few Publick Officers 
have now a right to avoid, by a Frank, the payment of Post- 
age. Whenever any Letter not written by them or on their 
Business, is frank'd by any of them, tis a Fraud upon the 
Revenue ; a Fraud which they must now take the Pains to 
conceal by writing the whole Superscription themselves. 

1 The paragraph enclosed in brackets appears to have been inserted after 
the article was written. It is not found in the Ms. copy in A. P. S. ED. 



64 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN* [1767 

And yet such is our Insensibility to justice in this Particular, 
that nothing is more common than to see, even in reputable 
Company, a very honest Gentleman or Lady declare his or 
her Intention to cheat the Nation of Three pence by a Frank, 
and without Blushing apply to one of the very Legislators 
themselves, with a modest Request, that he would please to 
become an Accomplice in the Crime, and assist in the Perpe- 
tration of it. 

There are those who by these Practices take a great deal 
in a Year out of the Publick Purse, and put the Money into 
their own private Pockets. If, passing thro* a Room where 
Publick Treasure is deposited, a Man takes the Opportunity 
of clandestinely pocketing and carrying off a Guinea, is he 
not truly and properly a Thief? And if another evades 
paying into the Treasury a Guinea that he ought to pay in, 
and Applys it to his own use, when he knows it belongs to 
the Publick as much as that which has been paid in, what 
Difference is there in the Nature of the Crime, or the Base- 
ness of committing it ? 

Some Laws make the Receiving of stolen Goods equally 
penal with Stealing, and upon this Principle, that if there 
were no Receivers, there would be few Thieves. Our 
Proverb says truly, that the Receiver is as bad as the Thief. 

By the same Reasoning, as there would be few Smugglers, 
if there were none who knowingly encourage them by buying 
their Goods, we may say, that the Encouragers of Smuggling 
are as bad as the Smugglers; and that, as Smugglers are 
Thieves, both equally deserve the Punishment of Thievery. 

In this view of wronging the Revenue, what must we 
think of great Officers in the N y, who eat their Country's 
Bread, if such should run Goods by Boatfulls vi et armis, 






1767] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 65 

in open Day, with Threats of immediate Death to an Officer 
of the Customs who desired Leave to do his Duty in search- 
ing the Boat if he did not instantly withdraw. What must 
we think of Sen rs who can evade paying for their Wheels 1 
or their Plate, in Defiance of Law and Justice, and yet de- 
claim against Corruption, as if their own Hearts and Hands 
were pure and unsullied? The Americans offend us griev- 
ously, when, contrary to our Laws, they smuggle Goods into 
their own Country; and yet they had no hand in making 
those Laws. I do not however pretend from thence to justify 
them. But I think the Offence much greater in those, who 
either directly or indirectly have been concerned in making 
the very Laws they break. And when I hear them exclaim'g 
against the Americans, and for [every little infringement on 
the acts of trade, or obstruction given by a petty mob to an 
officer of our customs in that country, calling for vengeance 
against the whole people as REBELS and TRAITORS, I cannot 
help thinking there are still those in the world who can see 
a mote in their brother's eye, while they do not discern a beam 
in their own; and that the old saying is as true now as ever 
it was, One man may better steal a horse, than another look over 
the hedge.} B. F. 

444. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 2 

London, November 25, 1767. 

DEAR SON, 

I think the New Yorkers have been very discreet in for- 
bearing to write and publish against the late act of Parlia- 

1 Alluding to the British taxes on carriage-wheels and on plate. DUANE. 

2 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 255. ED. 

VOL. V F 



66 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

ment. I wish the Boston people had been as quiet, since 
Governor Bernard has sent over all their violent papers to 
the ministry, and wrote them word that he daily expected a 
rebellion. He did indeed afterwards correct this extrava- 
gance, by writing again, that he now understood those papers 
were approved but by few, and disliked by all the sober, 
sensible people of the province. A certain noble Lord ex- 
pressed himself to me with some disgust and contempt of 
Bernard on this occasion, saying he ought to have known his 
people better, than to impute to the whole country senti- 
ments, that perhaps are only scribbled by some madman in 
a garret ; that he appeared to be too fond of contention, and 
mistook the matter greatly, in supposing such letters as he 
wrote were acceptable to the ministry. I have heard nothing 
of the appointment of General Clark to New York; but I 
know he is a friend of Lord Shelburne's, and the same that 
recommended Mr. M'Lean to be his secretary. Perhaps it 
might be talked of in my absence. 

The commissioners for the American Board, went hence 
while I was in France ; you know before this time who they 
are and how they are received, which I want to hear. 1 Mr. 
Williams, who is gone in some office with them, is brother to 
our cousin Williams of Boston ; but I assure you I had not the 
least share in his appointment ; having, as I told you before, 
carefully kept out of the way of that whole affair. 2 

1 This was the new Board of Commissioners of Customs established by a 
late act of Parliament for the colonies. The board was fixed at Boston, and 
was particularly odious to the colonists, as it seemed to be a part of the system 
of parliamentary taxation. The commissioners were Charles Paxton, Henry 
Hutton, William Burch, John Temple, and John Robinson. The three first 
arrived at Boston in the beginning of November ; the two last were already 
there. S. 

2 John Williams was inspector-general of the customs. ED. 



1767] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 67 

As soon as I received Mr. Galloway's, Mr. T. Wharton's, 
and Mr. Croghan's letters on the subject of the boundary, 
I communicated them immediately to Lord Shelburne. He 
invited me the next day to dine with him. Lord Clare was 
to have been there, but did not come. There was nobody 
but Mr. M'Lean. My Lord knew nothing of the boundary's 
having ever been agreed on by Sir William, had sent the letters 
to the Board of Trade, desiring search to be made there for 
Sir William's letters, and ordered Mr. M'Lean to search the 
secretary's office, who found nothing. We had much dis- 
course about it, and I pressed the importance of despatching 
orders immediately to Sir William to complete the affair. 
His Lordship asked who was to make the purchase, that is, 
be at the expense ? I said that if the line included any lands 
within the grants of the charter colonies, they should pay 
the purchase money of such proportion. If any within the 
proprietary grants, they should pay their proportion; but 
that what was within royal governments, where the King 
granted the lands, the crown should pay for that proportion. 
His Lordship was pleased to say he thought this reasonable. 
He finally desired me to go to Lord Clare, as from him, and 
urge the business there, which I undertook to do. 

Among other things at this conversation, we talked of the 
new settlement ; his Lordship told me he had himself drawn 
up a paper of reasons for those settlements, which he laid 
before the King in Council, acquainting them that he did not 
offer them merely as his own sentiments; they were what 
he had collected from General Amherst, Dr. Franklin, and 
Mr. Jackson, three gentlemen that were allowed to be the 
best authorities for any thing that related to America. I 
think he added that the Council seemed to approve of the 



68 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1767 

design. I know it was referred to the Board of Trade, who 
I believe have not yet reported on it, and I doubt will report 
against it. My Lord told me one pleasant circumstance, viz. 
that he had shown his paper to the Dean of Gloucester 
(Tucker), to hear his opinion of the matter; who very 
sagaciously remarked, that he was sure that paper was drawn 
up by Dr. Franklin ; he saw him in every paragraph ; adding 
that Dr. Franklin wanted to remove the seat of government to 
America ; that, says he, is his constant plan. 

I waited next morning upon Lord Clare, and pressed the 
matter of the boundary closely upon him. He said they 
could not find they had ever received any letters from Sir 
William concerning this boundary, but were searching farther : 
agreed to the necessity of settling it ; but thought there would 
be some difficulty about who should pay the purchase money ; 
for that this country was already so loaded, it could bear no 
more. We then talked of the new colonies. I found he was 
inclined to think one near the mouth of the Ohio might be of 
use in securing the country, but did not much approve that 
at Detroit. And as to the trade, he imagined it would be of 
little consequence, if we had all the peltry to be purchased 
there, but supposed our traders would sell it chiefly to the 
French and Spaniards, at New Orleans, as he heard they 
had hitherto done. 

At the same time that we Americans wish not to be judged 
of, in the gross, by particular papers written by anonymous 
scribblers and published in the colonies, it would be well if 
we could avoid falling into the same mistake in America, in 
judging of ministers here by the libels printed against them. 
The inclosed is a very abusive one, in which if there is any 
foundation of truth, it can only be in the insinuation contained 



1767] TO JOHN CANTON 69 

in the words "after eleven adjournments" that they are too 
apt to postpone business ; but if they have given any occasion 
for this reflection, there are reasons and circumstances that 
may be urged in their excuse. 

It gives me pleasure to hear that the people of the other 
colonies are not insensible of the zeal with which I occasion- 
ally espouse their respective interests, as well as the interests 
of the whole. I shall continue to do so as long as I reside 
here and am able. 

The present ministry seem now likely to continue through 
this session of Parliament; and perhaps if the new Parlia- 
ment should not differ greatly in complexion from this, they 
may be fixed for a number of years, which I earnestly wish, 
as we have no chance for a better. B. FRANKLIN. 



445- TO JOHN CANTON * (R. s.) 

Friday, November 27. [1767] 2 

DEAR SIR 

After the Society was gone, my Lord Moreton said (when 
I offered him the Paper) that it ought to have been deliver'd 
before and read to the Society: he however desir'd me to 
produce it to the Council. There the Reading of it was 
oppos'd, as not being referred to them by the Society. But 
this was at last got over, by Dr. Moreton's proposing that the 

1 Published in Weld's " History of the Royal Society," Vol. II, p. 67, but 
printed here from the original in the Library of the Royal Society. ED. 

2 The year is not named in the original letter. Weld ascertained the date 
by reference to various documents. The Council and Society met on the 
previous day, and at both meetings Lord Morton and Dr. Franklin were pres- 
ent. See Weld, " History of the Royal Society," Vol. II, p. 67. The medal 
was not awarded to Priestley until 1773. ED. 



70 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

giving a Medal to Dr. Priestley should be taken into Con- 
sideration, and that in order to judge the better of the Pro- 
priety of that Proposal, the Paper should be read. It was 
accordingly read. I was then desired as the best Judge pres- 
ent to give my Opinion of the Merit of the Experiments as to 
the Medal ; Which I did in plain Terms, declaring it as my 
judgment that the great Pains and Expence the Doctor had 
been at in making them and the Importance of the Experi- 
ments themselves, well deserved that Encouragement from the 
Society ; and that it was a Mark of Distinction justly due to 
so much philosophical Industry and Sagacity. 

One that sat near me, told me he was surpriz'd at the Ace* 
I had given, as he had been assured the Medal was intended 
to be bestow'd on the Doctor only for writing a History which 
was thought wrong, but it now appeared he had made many 
valuable new Experiments, etc. Then a Question arose, how 
far it was proper to give a Medal for Experiments that had 
not been sent to the Society, till they were published; and 
this occasioned a search for Sir Godfrey Copley's Will, which 
could not be found ; but an Agreement was found, recorded 
between the Society and his Executors, that the 5 should 
be given for the best Experiment within the Year, proposed 
and directed to be made by the Society; and made in their 
Presence. This not having been the Practice of late Years, 
it began to be whisper'd that most of the Medals had been 
irregularly given. A subsequent Resolution was, however, 
found to print the Clause of Sir Godfrey Copley's Will in 
every Number of the Transactions, for the Encouragement of 
Foreigners, to endeavour obtaining the Reward, as there was 
reason to fear a Failure of Experiments upon the former Plan. 

By this Time it grew late, and it was concluded that the 



1767] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 71 

Books should be searched, to find all the Steps that had been 
taken in disposing of this Prize, whether in Money or in 
Medals, from the first instance in 1717 to the last; with the 
Reasons and Grounds on which the Council had proceeded, 
and that a Copy of that Part of Sir Godfrey's Will should be 
obtained from the Commons ; when at the next Council, the 
Matter might be reconsidered, and the Medal then given to 
Dr. Priestley, if the Council thought fit, and it should be 
found not contrary to the Will so to do. Thus the Business 
ended for that time; and how it will conclude at last seems 
an Uncertainty, for I think some Persons are busy in an 
Opposition to the Measure. But I hope it will end in favour 
of Merit, in which case I think our Friend cannot miss it. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Your most obed* Servant 

B. FRANKLIN 

446. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, Dec. i, 1767. 

DEAR SIR, 

I duly received your favours of August 22, September 20, 
and October 8, and within these few days one of February 14, 
recommending Mr. Morgan Edwards 2 and his affair of the 
Rhode Island College, which I shall endeavour to promote, 
deeming the institution one of the most catholic and generous 
of the kind. 

I am inclined to think with you that the small sum you have 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 258. ED. 

2 Morgan Edwards (i 722-1 795), the prime mover in the founding of" Rhode 
Island College," now Brown University. ED. 



72 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

issued to discharge the public debts only will not be materially 
affected in its credit for want of the legal tender, considering 
especially the present extreme want of money in the province. 
You appear to me to point out the true cause of the general 
distress, viz. the late luxurious mode of living introduced by 
a too great plenty of cash. It is indeed amazing to consider, 
that we had a quantity sufficient before the war began, and 
that the war added immensely to that quantity, by the sums 
spent among us by the crown, and the paper struck and issued 
in the province ; and now in so few years all the money spent 
by the crown is gone away, and has carried with it all the gold 
and silver we had before, leaving us bare and empty, and at 
the same time more in debt to England than ever we were ! 
But I am inclined to think, that the mere making more money 
will not mend our circumstances, if we do not return to that 
industry and frugality, which were the fundamental causes of 
our former prosperity. I shall nevertheless do my utmost 
this winter to obtain the repeal of the act restraining the legal 
tender, if our friends the merchants think it practicable, and 
will heartily espouse the cause ; and, in truth, they have full 
as much interest in the event as we have. 

The present ministry, it is now thought, are likely to con- 
tinue at least till a new Parliament ; so that our apprehensions 
of a change, and that Mr. Grenville would come in again, seem 
over for the present. He behaves as if a little out of his head 
on the article of America, which he brings into every debate 
without rhyme or reason, when the matter has not the least 
connection with it; thus at the beginning of this session on 
the debate upon the King's speech, he tired everybody, even 
his friends, with a long harangue about and against America, 
of which there was not a word in the speech. Last Friday he 



1767] TO JOHN ROSS 73 

produced in the House a late Boston Gazette, which he said 
denied the legislative authority of Parliament, was treason- 
able, rebellious, &c., and moved it might be read, and that 
the House would take cognizance of it, but it being moved on 
the other hand that Mr. G's motion should be postponed to 
that day six months, it was carried without a division: and 
as it is known that this Parliament will expire before that 
time, it was equivalent to a total rejection of the motion. 
The Duke of B. 1 too, it seems, moved in vain for a considera- 
tion of this paper in the House of Lords. These are favour- 
able symptoms of the present disposition of Parliament 
towards America, which I hope no conduct of the Americans 
will give just cause of altering. 

Be so good as to present my best respects to the House, and 
believe me with sincere esteem and regard, dear Sir, your 
affectionate friend and most obedient servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



447. TO JOHN ROSS 2 

London, Dec. 13, 1767. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your kind letter of October 18. I had before 
seen with great pleasure your name in the papers as chosen 
for the city of Philadelphia. 

The instruction you mention, as proposed by a certain great 
man, was really a wild one. The reasons you made use of 
against it were clear and strong, and could not but prevail. 
It will be time enough to show a dislike to the coalition when 

1 Bedford. 

2 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 259. ED. 



74 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

it is proposed to us. Meanwhile we have all the advantage 
in the argument of taxation, which our not being represented 
will continue to give us. I think, indeed, that such an event 
is very remote. This nation is indeed too proud to propose 
admitting American representatives into their Parliament; 
and America is not so humble, or so fond of the honour, as to 
petition for it. In matrimonial matches 'tis said, when one 
party is willing the match is half made, but where neither 
party is willing there is no great danger of their coming 
together. And to be sure such an important business would 
never be treated of by agents unimpowered and uninstructed ; 
nor would government here act upon the private opinion of 
agents, which might be disowned by their constituents. 

The present ministry seem now likely to continue through 
this session; and this, as a new election approaches, gives 
them the advantage of getting so many of their friends chosen 
as may give a stability to their administration. I heartily 
wish it, because they are all well disposed towards America. 

With sincere esteem, I am, dear Sir, your affectionate friend 
and most obedient servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

448. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 

London, Dec. 19, 1767. 

DEAR SON, 

The resolutions of the Boston people concerning trade 
make a great noise here. 2 Parliament has not yet taken 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 260. ED. 

2 These resolutions were passed on the 28th of October, and recommended 
that all prudent and legal measures should be taken to encourage the produce 
and manufactures of the province, to lessen the use of superfluities, and refrain 
from purchasing a great number of imported articles. S. 



^ 

/P 




1767] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN" 75 

notice of them, but the newspapers are in full cry against 
America. Colonel Onslow told me at court last Sunday, 
that I could not conceive how much the friends of America 
were run upon and hurt by them, and how much the Gren- 
villians triumphed. I have just written a paper for next 
Tuesday's Chronicle to extenuate matters a little. 1 

Mentioning Colonel Onslow, reminds me of something 
that passed at the beginning of this session in the House 
between him and Mr. Grenville. The latter had been raving 
against America, as traitorous, rebellious, &c., when the 
former, who has always been its firm friend, stood up and 
gravely said, that in reading the Roman history he found it 
was a custom among that wise and magnanimous people, 
whenever the senate was informed of any discontent in the 
provinces, to send two or three of their body into the discon- 
tented provinces, to inquire into the grievances complained 
of, and report to the senate, that mild measures might be used 
to remedy what was amiss, before any severe steps were 
taken to enforce obedience. That this example he thought 
worthy of our imitation in the present state of our colonies, 
for he did so far agree with the honourable gentleman, that 
spoke just before him, as to allow there were great discontents 
among them. He should therefore beg leave to move, that 
two or three members of Parliament be appointed to go over 
to New England on this service. And that it might not be 
supposed he was for imposing burthens on others, which he 
would not be willing to bear himself, he did at the same time 
declare his own willingness, if the House should think fit to 
appoint them, to go over thither with that honourable gentle- 

1 "Causes of the American Discontents before 1768," which was published 
January 7, 1768. ED. 



76 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1767 

man. Upon this there was a great laugh, which continued 
some time, and was rather increased by Mr. Grenville's 
asking, " Will the gentleman engage, that I shall be safe there ? 
Can I be assured that I shall be allowed to come back again 
to make the report ?" As soon as the laugh was so far sub- 
sided as that Mr. Onslow could be heard again, he added, 
"I cannot absolutely engage for the honourable gentleman's 
safe return, but if he goes thither upon this service, I am 
strongly of opinion the event will contribute greatly to the 
future quiet of both countries." On which the laugh was 
renewed and redoubled. 

If our people should follow the Boston example in entering 
into resolutions of frugality and industry, full as necessary 
for us as for them, I hope they will among other things give 
this reason, that 'tis to enable them more speedily and effec- 
tually to discharge their debts to Great Britain. This will 
soften a little, and at the same time appear honourable and 
like ourselves. 

We have had an ugly affair at the Royal Society lately. 
One Dacosta, a Jew, who, as our clerk, was intrusted with 
collecting our moneys, has been so unfaithful as to embezzle 
near thirteen hundred pounds in four years. Being one of 
the Council this year, as well as the last, I have been employed 
all the last week in attending the inquiry into, and unravelling, 
his accounts, in order to come at a full knowledge of his 
frauds. His securities are bound in one thousand pounds to 
the Society, which they will pay, but we shall probably lose 
the rest. He had this year received twenty-six admission 
payments of twenty-five guineas each, which he did not 
bring to account. 

While attending to this affair, I had an opportunity of 



1767] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN- 77 

looking over the old council-books and journals of the society, 
and, having a curiosity to see how I came in, of which I had 
never been informed, I looked back for the minutes relating 
to it. You must know, it is not usual to admit persons that 
have not requested to be admitted; and a recommendatory 
certificate in favour of the candidate, signed by at least three 
of the members, is by our rule to be presented to the Society, 
expressing that he is desirous of that honour, and is so and so 
qualified. As I never had asked or expected the honour, I was, 
as I said before, curious to see how the business was managed. 
I found that the certificate, worded very advantageously for 
me, was signed by Lord Macclesfield, then President, Lord 
Parker, and Lord Willoughby; that the election was by a 
unanimous vote ; and, the honour being voluntarily conferred 
by the Society, unsolicited by me, it was thought wrong to 
demand or receive the usual fees or composition ; so that my 
name was entered on the list with a vote of council, that I was 
not to pay any thing. And accordingly nothing has ever been 
demanded of me. Those, who are admitted in the common 
way, pay five guineas admission fees, and two guineas and a 
half yearly contribution, or twenty-five guineas down, in lieu 
of it. In my case a substantial favour accompanied the 
honour. 

Yours etc. 

B. FRANKLIN 



78 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

449. CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN DISCON- 
TENTS BEFORE I768 1 

The Waves never rise but when the Winds blow. Prav. 

SIR, 

As the cause of the present ill-humour in America, and of 
the resolutions taken there to purchase less of our manu- 
factures, does not seem to be generally understood, it may 
afford some satisfaction to your Readers, if you give them 
the following short historical state of facts. 

From the time that the Colonies were first considered as 
capable of granting aids to the Crown, down to the end of 
the last war, it is said, that the constant mode of obtaining 
those aids was by Requisition made from the Crown through 
its Governors to the several Assemblies, in circular letters from 
the Secretary of State in his Majesty's name, setting forth the 
occasion, requiring them to take the matter into considera- 
tion ; and expressing a reliance on their prudence, duty and 
affection to his Majesty's Government, that they would grant 
such sums, or raise such numbers of men, as were suitable 
to their respective circumstances. 

1 Contributed to The London Chronicle, and published there January 7, 
1768. For references to this article see F. to W. F., December 19, 1767, and 
January 9, 1768; and F. to T. Wharton, February 20, 1768. It is here 
printed from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, April 25, 1768. It was 
reprinted the same year, as a postscript to a pamphlet entitled " The True Sen- 
timents of America." ..." Goddard said he would publish your paper on 
1 Smuggling ' in the Chronicle, but he has not. The One relative to the Dis- 
putes in America he has printed. They are both much admired, and the 
latter is thought by many to be more to the Purpose than all the ' Farmer's 
Letters ' put together. They, indeed, are in many Parts extremely absurd and 
contradictory, but being wrote in a smooth, easy flowing stile they pass off 
very well with great Numbers of the common people in America, and with 
some others." W. Franklin to B. F., May 10, 1768. ED. 



1 768] CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN DISCONTENTS 79 

The Colonies, being accustomed to this method, have from 
time to time granted money to the Crown, or raised troops for 
its service, in proportion to their abilities; and during all 
the last war beyond their abilities, so that considerable sums 
were returned them yearly by Parliament, as they had ex- 
ceeded their proportion. 

Had this happy method of Requisition been continued, (a 
method that left the King's subjects in those remote coun- 
tries the pleasure of showing their zeal and loyalty, and of 
imagining that they recommended themselves to their Sov- 
ereign by the liberality of their voluntary grants) there is no 
doubt but all the money that could reasonably be expected 
to be raised from them in any manner, might have been ob- 
tained, without the least heart-burning, offence, or breach 
of the harmony, of affections and interests, that so long sub- 
sisted between the two countries. 

It has been thought wisdom in a Government exercising 
sovereignty over different kinds of people, to have some regard 
to prevailing and established opinions among the people to 
be governed, wherever such opinions might, in their effects 
obstruct or promote public measures. If they tend to ob- 
struct public service, they are to be changed, if possible, before 
we attempt to act against them ; and they can only be changed 
by reason and persuasion. But if public business can be 
carried on without thwarting those opinions, if they can be, 
on the contrary, made subservient to it, they are not unneces- 
sarily to be thwarted, how absurd so ever such popular 
opinions may be in their nature. 

This had been the wisdom of our Government with respect 
to raising money in the Colonies. It was well known, that 
the Colonists universally were of opinion, that no money 



8o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1768 

could be levied from English subjects, but by their own con- 
sent given by themselves or their chosen Representatives : 
That therefore, whatever money was to be raised from the 
people in the Colonies, must first be granted by their Assem- 
blies, as the money raised in Britain is first to be granted by 
the House of Commons: That this right of granting their 
own money, was essential to English liberty : And that if any 
man, or body of men, in which they had no Representative 
of their choosing, could tax them at pleasure, they could not 
be said to have any property, any thing they could call their 
own. But as these opinions did not hinder their granting 
money voluntarily and amply whenever the Crown by its ser- 
vants came into their Assemblies (as it does into its Parlia- 
ments of Britain or Ireland) and demanded aids; therefore 
that method was chosen rather than the hateful one of arbi- 
trary taxes. 

I do not undertake here to support these opinions of the 
Americans; they have been refuted by a late Act of Par- 
liament, declaring its own power; which very Parliament, 
however, shewed wisely so much tender regard to those 
inveterate prejudices, as to repeal a tax that had militated 
against them. And those prejudices are still so fixed and 
rooted in the Americans, that, it has been supposed, not a 
single man among them has been convinced of his error, even 
by that Act of Parliament. 

The person then who first projected to lay aside the accus- 
tomed method of Requisitions and to raise money on America 
by Stamps, seems not to have acted wisely in deviating from 
that method (which the Colonists looked upon as constitu- 
tional) and thwarting unnecessarily the fixed prejudices of 
so great a number of the King's subjects. It was not, how- 



1768] CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN DISCONTENTS 81 

ever, for want of knowledge that what he was about to do 
would give them great offence ; he appears to have been very 
sensible of this, and apprehensive that it might occasion some 
disorders, to prevent or suppress which, he projected another 
Bill that was brought in the same Session with the Stamp Act, 
whereby it was to be made lawful for military Officers in the 
Colonies to quarter their soldiers in private houses. 

This seemed intended to awe the people into a compliance 
with the other Act. Great opposition however being raised 
here against the Bill by the Agents from the Colonies, and 
the Merchants trading thither, the Colonists declaring, that 
under such a power in the Army, no one could look on his 
house as his own, or think he had a home, when soldiers 
might be thrust into it and mixed with his family at the pleas- 
ure of an officer, that part of the bill was dropt ; but there still 
remained a clause, when it passed into a Law, to oblige the 
several Assemblies to provide quarters for the soldiers, fur- 
nishing them with firing, bedding, candles, small beer or 
rum, and sundry other articles, at the expence of the several 
Provinces. And this Act continued in force when the Stamp 
Act was repealed, though if obligatory on the Assemblies, it 
equally militated against the American principle above men- 
tioned, that money is not to be raised on English subjects 
without their consent. 

The Colonies nevertheless being put into high good- 
humour by the repeal of the Stamp Act, chose to avoid a 
fresh dispute upon the other, it being temporary and soon 
to expire, never, as they hoped, to revive again; and in the 
mean time they, by various ways in different Colonies, pro- 
vided for the quartering of the troops, either by acts of their 
own Assemblies, without taking notice of the A[ct] of P[ar- 

VOL. V G 



82 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

Hamenjt, or by some variety or small diminution, as of salt 
and vinegar, in the supplies required by the Act, that what 
they did, might appear a voluntary act of their own and not 
done in obedience to an A[ct] of P[arliamen]t, which, accord- 
ing to their ideas of their rights, they thought hard to obey. 

It might have been well if the matter had then passed with- 
out notice ; but a G[overno]r having written home an angry 
and aggravating letter upon this conduct in the Assembly of 
his Province, the outed P[ropose]r l of the Stamp Act and his 
adherents then in the opposition, raised such a clamour 
against America, as being in rebellion, and against those who 
had been for the repeal of the Stamp Act, as having thereby 
been encouragers of this supposed rebellion, that it was 
thought necessary to enforce the Quartering Act by another 
Act of Parliament, taking away from the Province of New 
York, which had been the most explicit in its refusal, all the 
powers of legislation, till it should have complied with that 
act. The news of which greatly alarmed the people every- 
where in America, as (it has been said) the language of such 
an act seemed to them to be, Obey implicitly laws made by 
the Parliament of Great Britain to raise money on you without 
your consent, or you shall enjoy no rights or privileges at all. 

At the same time a Person lately in high office, 2 projected 
the levying more money from America, by new duties on vari- 
ous articles of our own manufacture, as glass, paper, painters' 
colours, &c., appointing a new Board of Customs, and send- 
ing over a set of Commissioners, with large salaries to be 
established at Boston, who were to have the care of collecting 
those duties, which were by the act expressly mentioned to be 
intended for the payment of the salaries of Governors, Judges, 

1 Mr. George Grenville. 2 Mr. Charles Townshend. 



1768] CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN DISCONTENTS 83 

and other Officers of the Crown in America ; it being a pretty 
general opinion here, that those Officers ought not to depend 
on the people there for any part of their support. 

It is not my intention to combat this opinion. But per- 
haps it may be some satisfaction to your Readers to know 
what ideas the Americans have on the subject. They say 
then as to Governors, that they are not like Princes whose 
posterity have an inheritance in the government of a nation, 
and therefore an interest in its prosperity ; they are generally 
strangers to the Provinces they are sent to govern, have no 
estate, natural connexion, or relation there, to give them an 
affection for the country ; that they come only to make money 
as fast as they can ; are sometimes men of vicious characters 
and broken fortunes, sent by a Minister merely to get them 
out of the way ; that as they intend staying in the country no 
longer than their government continues, and purpose to leave 
no family behind them, they are apt to be regardless of the 
good will of the people, and care not what is said or thought 
of them after they are gone. 

Their situation at the same time gives them many oppor- 
tunities of being vexatious, and they are often so, notwith- 
standing their dependance on the Assemblies for all that part 
of their support that does not arise from fees established by 
law ; but would probably be much more so, if they were to 
be supported by money drawn from the people without their 
consent or good will, which is the professed design of this 
new act. That if by means of these forced duties Govern- 
ment is to be supported in America, without the intervention 
of the Assemblies, their Assemblies will soon be looked upon 
as useless, and a Governor will not call them, as having 
nothing to hope from their meeting, and perhaps something 



84 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

to fear from their inquiries into and remonstrances against 
this Mai-administration. That thus the people will be de- 
prived of their most essential rights. fThat it being, as at 
present, a Governor's interest to cultivate the good will by 
promoting the welfare of the people he governs, can be at- 
tended with no prejudice to the Mother Country, since all 
the laws he may be prevailed on to give his assent to are 
subject to revision here, and, if reported against by the Board 
of Trade, are immediately repealed by the Crown ; nor dare 
he pass any law contrary to his instructions, as he holds his 
office during the pleasure of the Crown, and his Securities 
are liable for the penalties of their bonds if he contravenes 
those instructions. This is what they say as to Governors. 

As to Judges, they alledge, that being appointed from hence, 
and holding their commissions not during good behaviour, as 
in Britain, but during pleasure, all the weight of interest or 
influence would be thrown into one of the scales, (which ought 
to be held even) if the salaries are also to be paid out of duties 
raised upon the people without their consent, and independent 
of their Assemblies' approbation or disapprobation of the 
Judge's behaviour. That it is true, Judges should be free 
from all influence ; and therefore whenever Government here 
will grant commissions to able and honest Judges during 
good behaviour, the Assemblies will settle permanent and 
ample salaries on them during their commissions: But at 
present they have no other means of getting rid of an ignorant 
or an unjust Judge (and some of scandalous characters have, 
they say, been sometimes sent them) but by starving him out. 

I do not suppose these reasonings of theirs will appear 
here to have much weight. I do not produce them with an 
expectation of convincing your readers. I relate them merely 



1768] CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN DISCONTENTS 85 

in pursuance of the task I have imposed on myself, to be an 
impartial historian of American facts and opinions. 

The colonists being thus greatly alarmed, as I said before, 
by the news of the Act for abolishing the Legislature of New- 
York, and the imposition of these new duties professedly for 
such disagreeable purposes; (accompanied by a new set of 
revenue officers with large appointments, which gave strong 
suspicions that more business of the same kind was soon to be 
provided for them, that they might earn these salaries;) 
began seriously to consider their situation, and to revolve 
afresh in their minds grievances which from their respect and 
love for this country, they had long borne and seemed almost 
willing to forget. 

They reflected how lightly the interest of all America had 
been estimated here, when the interests of a few of the inhab- 
itants of Great-Britain happened to have the smallest com- 
petition with it. That thus the whole American people was 
forbidden the advantage of a direct importation of wine, oil, 
and fruit, from Portugal, but must take them loaded with all 
the expences of a voyage 1000 leagues round about, being to 
be landed first in England, to be re-shipped for America; 
expences amounting, in war time, at least to 30 per cent, 
more than otherwise they would have been charged with, and 
all this merely that a few Portugal merchants in London may 
gain a commission on those goods passing through their 
hands, Portugal merchants, by the by, that can complain 
loudly of the smallest hardships laid on their trade by for- 
eigners, and yet even in the last year could oppose with all 
their influence the giving ease to their fellow subjects labour- 
ing under so heavy an oppression ! That on a slight com- 
plaint of a few Virginia merchants, nine colonies had been 



86 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

restrained from making paper money, become absolutely 
necessary to their internal commerce from the constant re- 
mittance of their gold and silver to Britain. 

But not only the interest of a particular body of merchants, 
the interest of any small body of British tradesmen or arti- 
ficers, has been found, they say, to outweigh that of all the 
King's subjects in the colonies. /There cannot be a stronger 
natural right than that of a man's making the best profit he 
can of the natural produce of his lands, provided he does not 
thereby hurt the state in general. Iron is to be found every- 
where in America, and beaver furs are the natural produce 
of that country : hats, and nails, and steel are wanted there 
as well as here. It is of no importance to the common wel- 
fare of the empire, whether a subject of the King's gets his 
living by making hats on this or that side of the water. Yet 
the Hatters of England have prevailed to obtain an Act in 
their own favour, restraining that manufacture in America, 
in order to oblige the Americans to send their beaver to Eng- 
land to be manufactured, and purchase back the hats, loaded 
itfith the charges of a double transportation. In the same 
manner have a few Nail-makers, and a still smaller body of 
Steel-makers (perhaps there are not half a dozen of these in 
England) prevailed totally to forbid by an Act of Parliament 
the erecting of slitting-mills or steel-furnaces in America; 
that the Americans may be obliged to take all the nails for 
their buildings, and steel for their tools, from these artificers, 
under the same disadvantages. \ 

Added to these, the Americans remembered the Act author- 
izing the most cruel insult that perhaps was ever offered by 
one people to another, that of emptying our goals into their 
settlements: Scotland too having within these two years 



1768] CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN DISCONTENTS 87 

obtained the privilege it had not before, of sending its rogues 
and villains also to the plantations. I say, reflecting on these 
things, they said one to another (their newspapers are full of 
such discourses) these people are not content with making a 
monopoly of us, forbidding us to trade with any other country 
of Europe, and compelling us to buy every thing of them, 
though in many articles we could furnish ourselves 10, 20, 
and even to 50 per cent cheaper elsewhere; but now they 
have as good as declared they have a right to tax us ad libitum 
internally and externally, and that our constitutions and liber- 
ties shall all be taken away, if we do not submit to that claim. 

They are not content with the high prices at which they 
sell us their goods, but have now begun to enhance those 
prices by new duties ; and, by the expensive apparatus of a 
new set of officers, appear to intend an augmentation and 
multiplication of those burthens that shall still be more 
grievous to us. Our people have been foolishly fond of their 
superfluous modes and manufactures, to the impoverishing 
our country, carrying off all our cash, and loading us with 
debt : they will not suffer us to restrain the luxury of our in- 
habitants, as they do that of their own, by laws ; they can 
make laws to discourage or prohibit the importation of 
French superfluities; but though those of England are as 
ruinous to us as the French ones are to them, if we make a 
law of that kind, they immediately repeal it. 

Thus they get all our money from us by trade, and every 
profit we can anywhere make by our fisheries, our produce, or 
our commerce, centres finally with them; but this does not 
signify. It is time then to take care of ourselves by the best 
means in our power. Let us unite in solemn resolutions and 
engagements with and to each other, that we will give these 



88 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

new officers as little trouble as possible, by not consuming 
the British manufactures on which they are to levy the duties. 
Let us agree to consume no more of their expensive gewgaws. 
Let us live frugally, and let us industriously manufacture 
what we can for ourselves : Thus we shall be able honoura- 
bly to discharge the debts we already owe them, and after 
that we may be able to keep some money in our country, 
not only for the uses of our internal commerce, but for the 
service of our gracious Sovereign, whenever he shall have 
occasion for it, and think proper to require it of us in the old 
constitutional manner. For, notwithstanding the reproaches 
thrown out against us in their public papers and pamphlets, 
notwithstanding we have been reviled in their senate as 
Rebels and Traitors, we are truly a loyal people. Scotland 
has had its rebellions, and England its plots against the pres- 
ent Royal Family; but America is untainted with those 
crimes ; there is in it scarce a man, there is not a single native 
of our country, who is not firmly attached to his King by 
principle and by affection. 

But a new kind of loyalty seems to be required of us, a 
loyalty to P[arliamen]t ; a loyalty that is to extend, it is said, 
to a surrender of all our properties, whenever a H[ouse] of 
C[ommons,] (in which there is not a single member of 
our choosing) shall think fit to grant them away without our 
consent ; and to a patient suffering the loss of our privileges 
as Englishmen, if we cannot submit to make such surrender. 
We were separated too far from Britain by the Ocean, but 
we were united to it by respect and love, so that we could at 
any time freely have spent our lives and little fortunes in its 
cause: But this unhappy new system of politics tends to 
dissolve those bands of union, and to sever us for ever. 



1768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 89 

These are the wild ravings of the at present half distracted 
Americans. To be sure, no reasonable man in England can 
approve of such sentiments, and, as I said before, I do not 
pretend to support or justify them: But I sincerely wish, 
for the sake of the manufactures and commerce of Great- 
Britain, and for the sake of the strength which a firm union 
with our growing colonies would give us, that these people 
had never been thus needlessly driven out of their senses. I 
am, yours, &c. F 4- S. 



450. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 

London, Jan. 9, 1768. 

DEAR SON, 

We have had so many alarms of changes, which did not 
take place, that just when I wrote it was thought the ministry 
would stand their ground. However, immediately after, the 
talk was renewed, and it soon appeared that the Sunday 
changes were actually settled. Mr. Con way resigns and Lord 
Weymouth takes his place. Lord Gower is made President 
of the Council in the room of Lord Northington. Lord 
Shelburne is stript of the American business, which is given 
to Lord Hillsborough as secretary of state for America, a 
new distinct department. Lord Sandwich, 'tis said, comes 
into the postoffice in his place. Several of the Bedford 
party are now to come in. 

How these changes may effect us a little time will show. 
Little at present is thought of but elections, which gives me 
hopes that nothing will be done against America this session, 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 263. ED. 



90 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

though the Boston Gazette had occasioned some heats, and the 
Boston Resolutions a prodigious clamour. I have endeav- 
oured to palliate matters for them as well as I can : I send 
you my manuscript of one paper, though I think you take the 
Chronicle. The editor of that paper, one Jones, 1 seems a 
Grenvillian, or is very cautious, as you will see by his correc- 
tions and omissions. He has drawn the teeth and pared the 
nails of my paper, so that it can neither scratch nor bite. It 
seems only to paw and mumble. I send you also two other 
late pieces of mine. There is another which I cannot find. 
I am told there has been a talk of getting me appointed 
under-secretary to Lord Hillsborough ; but with little likeli- 
hood, as it is a settled point here, that I am too much of an 
American. I am in very good health, thanks to God : Your 

affectionate father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



451. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, Jan. 9, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

I wrote to you via Boston, and have little to add, except to 
acquaint you that some changes have taken place since my 
last, which have not the most promising aspect for America, 
several of the Bedford party being come into employment 
again; a party that has distinguished itself by exclaiming 
against us on all late occasions. Mr. Conway, one of our 

1 Griffith Jones (1722-1786) was associated with Dr. Johnson in The Liter- 
ary Magazine, and edited the Chronicle, Daily Advertiser, and Public 
Ledger. ED. 

2 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 264. ED. 



1768] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY gi 

friends, has resigned, and Lord Weymouth takes his place. 
Lord Shelburne, another friend, is stripped of the American 
part of the business of his office, which now makes a distinct 
department, in which Lord Hillsborough is placed. I do not 
think this nobleman in general an enemy to America; but 
in the affair of paper money he was last winter strongly 
against us. 

I did hope I had removed some of his prejudices on that 
head, but am not certain. We have however increased the 
cry for it here, and believe shall attempt to obtain the repeal 
of the act, though the Boston Gazette and their resolutions 
about manufactures have hurt us much, having occasioned an 
immense clamour here. I have endeavoured to palliate 
matters for them as well as I can, and hope with some success. 
For having, in a large company in which were some members 
of Parliament, given satisfaction to all, by what I alleged in 
explanation of the conduct of the Americans, and to show 
that they were not quite so unreasonable as they appeared to 
be, I was advised by several present to make my sentiments 
public, not only for the sake of America, but as it would be 
some ease to our friends here, who are triumphed over a 
good deal by our adversaries on the occasion. I have ac- 
cordingly done it in the inclosed paper. 

I shall write you fully on other subjects very soon. At 
present, I can only add my respects to the Committee, and 
that I am, dear Sir, your faithful humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



92 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

452. TO ABBE CHAPPE * (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 31. 1768 
SIR 

I sent you sometime since, directed to the Care of M. 
Molini, a Bookseller near the Quay des Augustins a Tooth 
that I mentioned to you when I had the Pleasure of meeting 
with you at the Marquis de Courtanvaux's. 2 It was found 
near the River Ohio in America, about 200 Leagues below 
Fort du Quesne, at what is called the Great Licking Place, 
where the Earth has a Saltish Taste that is agreable to the 
Buffaloes & Deer, who come there at certain Seasons in 
great Numbers to lick the same. At this Place have been 
found the Skeletons of near 30 large Animals supposed to be 
Elephants, several Tusks like those of Elephants, being 
found with these Grinder Teeth Four of these Grinders 
were sent me by the Gentleman 8 who brought them from the 
Ohio to New York, together with 4 Tusks, one of which is 6 
Feet long & in the thickest Part near 6 Inches Diameter, 
and also one of the Vertebrae My Lord Shelbourn receiv'd 
at the same time 3 or four of them with a Jaw Bone & one 
or two Grinders remaining in it. Some of Our Naturalists 
here, however, contend, that these are not the Grinders of 
Elephants but of some carnivorous Animal unknown, be- 
cause such Knobs or Prominences on the Face of the Tooth 

1 Abbe Chappe D'Auteroche (1722-1769), astronomer and author of 
"Voyage en Siberie " (1768). He was sent to Tobolsk to observe the transit 
of Venus (1761). ED. 

2 Francois-Cesar Le Tellier, Marquis de Courtanvaux, Due de Doudeauville 
(1718-1781), member of the Academy of Sciences (1764), soldier and 
scientist. ED. 

9 George Croghan. See F.'s letter to him, August 5, 1767. ED. 



1768] 7*0 PERE BERTHIER 



93 



are not to be found on those of Elephants, and only, as they 
say, on those of carnivorous Animals. But it appears to 
me that Animals capable of carrying such large & heavy 
Tusks, must themselves be large Creatures, too bulky to 
have the Activity necessary for pursuing and taking Prey; 
and therefore I am inclin'd to think those Knobs are only a 
small Variety, Animals of the same kind and Name often 
differing more materially, and that those Knobs might be as 
useful to grind the small branches of Trees, as to chaw 
Flesh However I should be glad to have your Opinion, 
and to know from you whether any of the kind have been 
found in Siberia. 

With great Esteem & Respect, I am 
Sir 

Your most obed* hum 1 

Servant 

B. F. 

453. TO PfcRE BERTHIER 1 (A.P.S.) 

London, Jan. 31, 1768. 

REV. SIR, 

With cordial Thanks for your many Civilities to me when 
in Paris, I take this Opportunity of acquainting you, that 

1 Joseph-Etienne Berthier (1702-1783), scientist, author of " Histoire des 
premiers temps du Monde, d'accord avec la physique et Phistoire de Molse " 
(1777). He was elected F.R.S., June 2, 1768. He replied to Franklin with 
the following letter (A. P. S.), dated "a Paris ce 27 Fev. 1769." ED. 

MONSIEUR, 

Vous m'avez fait grand plaisir de m'adresser M. le Capitaine Houry. 
Vous m'avez donne 1'occasion de vous marquer ma reconnaissance, mon at- 
tachement et mon estime, et de rendre les services dont je suis capable a un 
homme de merite et bien aimable. Pour couroner 1'oeuvre, il faudroit faire 
encore un voyage en France. Cest votre pays autant que 1'angleterre, vous y 



94 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

your Certificate has been received by the Royal Society, 
and ordered to be hung up the usual Time which is ten 
Meetings; but it was observed to be deficient in not men- 
tioning your Christian Name, without which it is not 
reckon'd regular. I therefore pray you would send me that 
Name, to be inserted in the Certificate; in order to remove 
the Objection. With great Esteem & Respect, I am 
Sir John Pringle desires Rev d Sir 
to be remembered to you Your most obliged 
with Respect & obed* hum 1 Serv* 
B. F. 

454. TO THOMAS-FRANCOIS DALIBARD 

(A. P. s.) 
London, Jan. 31. 1768 

DEAR SIR, 

I sent you some time since, Priestly's History of Electricity, 
under the Care of Mr. Molini, Bookseller on the Quay des 
Augustins. I hope it got safe to Paris, and that you have 
receiv'd it. I wish the Reading of it may renew your Taste 
for that Branch of Philosophy, which is already so greatly 
indebted to you, as being the first of Mankind, that had the 
Courage to attempt drawing Lightning from the Clouds to 
be subjected to your Experiments. 1 

seriez au milieu des Franklinistes. Un pere est dans son pays quand le pays 
est habite par ses enfants. Continuez, je vous en prie, de m'adresser des gens 
de merite et de m'honorer de vos commissions. 

J' etois frankliniste sans le savoir, maintenant que je le sais je ne manquerai 
pas de citer 1'auteur de ma secte. 

Je suis avec respect, Monsieur, 

Votre tres humble et obeissant serviteur 
A Paris ce 27 Fev. 1769. (signed) BERTIER FRANKLINISTE 

1 See Introduction, Vol. I, p. 98. ED. 



1768] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 



95 



In our Return home, 1 We were detained a Week at Calais, 
by contrary Winds, and stormy Weather, which was the more 
mortifying to me, when I reflected that I might have enjoy'd 
Paris and my Friends there all that Time, and yet have been 
as soon at London. 

As I became in Arrear with my Business by so long an 
Absence, I have been necessarily much occupied since my 
Return, and have therefore postponed from time to time 
(and so long that I am now ashamed of it) the Purpose I had 
of writing soon to you, to express the Sense I have of your 
Kindness to me when a Stranger at Paris, and of the many 
Civilities I received from you there and from Mrs. Dalibard, 
which I assure you have made a lasting Impression on my 
Memory. I beg you will both of you accept my sincerest 
Thanks and Acknowledgments. The Time I spent in Paris, 
and in the improving Conversation and agreable Society of 
so many learned and ingenious Men, seems now to me like 
a pleasing Dream, from which I was sorry to be awaked by 
finding myself again at London. 

With the greatest Esteem and best Wishes for your 
Health and Happiness, I have the Honour to be, 
Dear Sir, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

455. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 2 

London, February 13, 1768. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received your kind letter by Captain Story, of November 
iQth, and a subsequent one by Captain Falconer without date. 

* From France to England. ED. a First printed by Sparks. 



96 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

I have received also the Indian and buckwheat meal, that 
they brought from you, with the apples, cranberries, and nuts, 
for all which I thank you. They all prove good, and the 
apples were particularly welcome to me and my friends, as 
there happens to be scarce any of any kind in England this 
year. We are much obliged to the captains, who are so good 
as to bring these things for us, without charging any thing 
for their trouble. 

I am much concerned for my dear sister's loss of her daugh- 
ter. It was kind in you to write a letter of condolence. I 
have also written to her on the occasion. I am not deter- 
mined about bringing Sally over with me, but am obliged to 
you for the kind manner in which you speak of it, and pos- 
sibly I may conclude to do it. 1 I am sorry you had so much 
trouble with that Nelson. By what is now said of her here, 
she did not deserve the notice you took of her, or that any 
credit should be given to her stories. I am afraid she has 
made mischief in my family by her falsehoods. I think 
your advice good, not to help any one to servants. I shall 
never be concerned in such business again; I never was 
lucky in it. 

My love to all our relations and friends, and to Mr. and 
Mrs. Duffield, and to Mrs. Redman. I am much pleased 
with her daughter's writing, particularly for its correctness. 
I am now, and have been all this winter, in very good health, 
thanks to God. I only once felt a little admonition, as if a 
fit of the gout would attack me, but it did not. Whether 
sick or well, I am ever, my dear Debby, your affectionate 
husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Sally Franklin, the daughter of Thomas Franklin. ED. 



1768] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 



97 



P. S. I forgot to tell you that a certain very great lady, 
the best woman in England, was graciously pleased to accept 
some of your nuts, and to say they were excellent. This is 
to yourself only. 1 

456. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 2 

London, Feb. 17, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

In mine of January 9, I wrote to you that I believed, 
notwithstanding the clamour against America had been 
greatly increased by the Boston proceedings, we should 
attempt this session to obtain the repeal of the restraining 
act relating to paper money. The change of the adminis- 
tration with regard to American affairs, which was agreed 
on some time before the new secretary kissed hands and 
entered upon business, made it impossible to go forward 
with that affair, as the minister quitting that department 
would not, and his successor could not engage in it ; but now 
our friends the merchants have been moving in it, and some 
of them have conceived hopes, from the manner in which 
Lord Hillsborough attended to their representations. It 
had been previously concluded among us, that if the repeal 
was to be obtained at all, it must be proposed in the light of 
a favour to the merchants of this country, and asked for by 
them, not by the agents as a favour to America. But as my 
Lord had, at sundry times before he came into his present 
station, discoursed with me on the subject, and got from me 
a copy of my answer to his report, when at the head of the 

1 Lady Bathurst, to whom Franklin offered these American products " as a 
tribute from that country, small indeed, but voluntary." ED. 

2 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 265. ED. 

VOL. V H 



98 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

Board of Trade, which some time since he thanked me for, 
and said he would read again and consider carefully, I waited 
upon him this morning, partly with intent to learn if he had 
changed his sentiments. 

We entered into the subject, and had a long conversation 
upon it, in which all the arguments he used, against the legal 
tender of paper money, were intended to demonstrate, that 
it was for the benefit of the people themselves to have no such 
money current among them ; and it was strongly his opinion, 
that after the experience of being without it a few years we 
should all be convinced of this truth, as he said, the New 
England colonies now were ; they having lately, on the rumor 
of an intended application for taking off the restraint, peti- 
tioned here that it might be continued as to them. How- 
ever, his Lordship was pleased to say, that if such application 
was made for the three colonies of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, 
and New York, as I proposed, it should have fair play, he 
would himself give it no sort of opposition, but he was sure 
it would meet with a great deal, and he thought it could not 
succeed. He was pleased to make me compliments upon 
my paper, assuring me he had read it with a great deal of 
attention, that I had said much more in favour of such a cur- 
rency than he thought could be said, and all he believed that 
the subject would admit of ; but that it had not on the whole 
changed his opinion, any further than to induce him to leave 
the matter now to the judgment of others, and let it take its 
course, without opposing it as last year he had determined 
to have done. 

I go into the city to-morrow, to confer with the merchants 
again upon it; that if they see any hopes, we may at least 
try the event : but I own my expectations are now very slender, 



1768] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 99 

knowing as I do, that nothing is to be done in Parliament 
that is not a measure adopted by ministry and supported by 
their strength, much less any thing they are averse to or 
indifferent about. 

I took the opportunity of discoursing with his Lordship 
concerning our particular affair of the change of government, 
gave him a detail of all proceedings hitherto, the delays it 
had met with, and its present situation. He was pleased to 
say he would inquire into the matter, and would talk with 
me farther upon it. He expressed great satisfaction in the 
good disposition that he said appeared now to be general in 
America, with regard to government here, according to the 
latest advices : and informed me that he had by his Majesty's 
order wrote the most healing letters to the several governors, 
which if shown to the Assemblies, as he supposed they would 
be, could not but confirm that good disposition. As to the 
permission we want to bring wine, fruit, and oil directly 
from Spain and Portugal, and to carry iron direct to foreign 
markets, 'tis agreed on all hands that this is an unfavourable 
time to move in those matters ; G[eorge] Grenville and those 
in the opposition, on every hint of the kind, making a great 
noise about the Act of Navigation, that palladium of Eng- 
land as they call it, to be given up to rebellious America, &c. 
&c., so that the ministry would not venture to propose it, if 
they approved. I am to wait on the secretary again next Wed- 
nesday, and shall write you farther what passes, that is 
material. 

The Parliament have of late been acting an egregious farce r 
calling before them the mayor and aldermen of Oxford, 
for proposing a sum to be paid by their old members on be- 
ing rechosen at the next election; and sundry printers and 



ioo THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

brokers, for advertising and dealing in boroughs, &c. The 
Oxford people were sent to Newgate, and discharged, after 
some days, on humble petition, and receiving the Speaker's 
reprimand upon their knees. The House could scarcely 
keep countenances, knowing as they all do, that the practice 
is general. People say, they mean nothing more than to 
beat down the price by a little discouragement of borough 
jobbing, now that their own elections are all coming on. The 
price indeed is grown exorbitant, no less than jour thousand 
pounds for a member. 

Mr. Beckford has brought in a bill for preventing bribery 
and corruption in elections, wherein was a clause to oblige 
every member to swear, on their admission into the House, 
that he had not directly or indirectly given any bribe to any 
elector, &c. ; but this was so universally exclaimed against, 
as answering no end but perjuring the members, that he has 
been obliged to withdraw that clause. It was indeed a cruel 
contrivance of his, worse than the gunpowder plot ; for that 
was only to blow the Parliament up to heaven, this to sink 

them all down to . Mr. Thurlow opposed his bill by a 

long speech. Beckford, in reply, gave a dry hit to the House, 
that is repeated everywhere. "The honourable gentleman," 
says he, "in his learned discourse, gave us first one definition 
of corruption, then he gave us another definition of corruption, 
and I think he was about to give us a third. Pray does that 
gentleman imagine there is any member of this House that 
does not KNOW what corruption is?" which occasioned only 
a roar of laughter, for they are so hardened in the practice, 
that they are very little ashamed of it. This between our- 
selves. I am with sincerest esteem, dear Sir, your most 
obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 



1768] TO CADWALLADER EVANS IQI 

457- TO CADWALLADER EVANS 

London, February 20, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

I wrote you a few lines by Captain Falconer, and sent you 
Dr. Watson's new piece of Experiments in Inoculation, 
which I hope will be agreeable to you. 

In yours of November 20th, 1 you mention the lead in the 
worms of stills as a probable cause of the dry belly-ache 
among punch-drinkers in our West Indies. I had before 
acquainted Dr. Baker with a fact of that kind, the general 
mischief done by the use of leaden worms, when rum-dis- 
tilling was first practised in New England, which occasioned 
a severe law there against them ; and he has mentioned it in 
the second part of his piece not yet published. I have long 
been of opinion, that that distemper proceeds always from 
a metallic cause only; observing that it affects, among 
tradesmen, those that use lead, however different their trades, 
as glaziers, letter-founders, plumbers, potters, white-lead 
makers, and painters; (from the latter, it has been conjec- 
tured, it took its name colica Pictonum, by the mistake of a 
letter, and not from its being the disease of Poictou;) and, 
although the worms of stills ought to be of pure tin, they are 
often made of pewter, which has a great mixture in it of lead. 

The Boston people, pretending to interfere with the manu- 
factures of this country, make a great clamour here against 
America in general. I have therefore endeavoured to palliate 
matters a little in several public papers. It would, as you 
justly observe, give less umbrage if we meddled only with 
such manufactures as England does not attend to. That 
of linen might be carried on more or less in every family, and 

i In the A.P.S. ED. 



102 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

silk, I think, in most of the colonies. But there are many 
manufactures that we cannot carry on to advantage, though 
we were at entire liberty. And, after all, this country is 
fond of manufactures beyond their real value, for the true 
source of riches is husbandry. Agriculture is truly pro- 
ductive of new wealth; manufacturers only change forms, 
and, whatever value they give to the materials they work 
upon, they in the mean time consume an equal value in 
provisions, &c. So that riches are not increased by manu- 
facturing ; the only advantage is, that provisions in the shape 
of manufactures are more easily carried for sale to foreign 
markets. And where the provisions cannot be easily carried 
to market, it is well to transform them for our own use as well 
as foreign sale. In families also, where the children and 
servants of families have some spare time, it is well to employ 
it in making something, and in spinning or knitting, &c., 
to gather up the fragments (of time) that nothing may be lost, 
for those fragments, though small in themselves, amount to 
something great in the year, and the family must eat, whether 
they work or are idle. 

But this nation seems to have increased the number of 
its manufactures beyond reasonable bounds (for there are 
bounds to every thing), whereby provisions are now risen 
to an exorbitant price by the demand for supplying home 
mouths; so that there may be an importation from foreign 
countries ; but the expense of bringing provisions from abroad 
to feed manufacturers here will so enhance the price of the 
manufactures, that they may be made cheaper where the 
provisions grow, and the mouths will go to the meat. 

I am, with thanks for your good wishes, dear Sir, yours, 
&c., B. FRANKLIN. 



1768] FROM THOMAS LIVEZEY 103 

458. FROM THOMAS LIVEZEY TO BENJAMIN 
FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

Roxbury Township, Philad* County, 

Nov. 1 8, 1767 
RESPECTED FRIEND 

Tho' I have not the happiness of an intimate Acquaintance with thee, yet 
time I hope will alter that Circumstance, and bring us better acquainted ; 
I only Know thee from Some of thy Writings, the author of which I greatly 
Esteem. 

As thou art one of the Agents for this Province in Great Britan, I sent a 
Dozen of American wine by Caapt n . Falconer, the Last time he went from here 
to London, which I am pleas' d to hear, was Safely Delivered, it was Made by 
mySelf, from our Small wild Grape, which Grows in Great plenty in our Wood- 
lands. And as I have Some of the Same Sort Now on tap, which I think 
Rather better, I have Sent a Dozen more ; with the Assistance of our Mutual 
friend Thomas Wharton ; by the Same Honest Captain Six bottles of which, 
are Something paler than the others I heartily wish it may arrive Safe, and 
warm the harts of Every one who tasts it, with a Love for America And 
would it Contribute towards bringing about a change of Govern*, but one 
month Sooner, I would Gladly Send all I have. 

However I do not Dispair of the Change yet, for Some of their wisdoms 
and Betternesses allow it will take place, at the Death of Thomas Penn, but at 
the Same time say, it will not be Sooner if this be Really the Case, I Donot 
Know whether Some people in this province, wilnot be in the Same Condition, 
that a German's Wife in my Neighbourhood Lately was Who Said, nobody 
Could Say, She wished her Husband Dead, but Said, She wished, She Could 
See, how he would Look when he was Dead. I honestly Confess, I do not 
wish him to Die against his will, but if he Could be prevailed on, to Die for 
the Good of the people, it might perhaps make his Name as Immortal, as 
Samsons Death Did his, and Gain him more applause here, then all the acts 
which he has Ever done in his Life. 

I hope thee will Excuse me for taking up Somuch of thy time, and permit 
me to add, that, I am with Great truth, and Regard, thy Sincere Friend. 

THO. LIVEZEY. 



104 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

459. TO THOMAS LIVEZEY l (P. c.) 

London, Feb. 20, 1768. 

SIR: 

I received of Captain Falconer your kind letter of Nov. 
1 8, with a very welcome present of another Dozen of your 
wine. The former has been found excellent by many good 
judges, my Wine Merchant in particular was very desirous 
of knowing what quantity of it might be had and at what 
price, in which I could give him no satisfaction. I only 
said that as the grapes being uncultivated, were not very 
juicy, I apprehended so many of them must be required, and 
so much labour in gathering, and pressing them to produce 
a little wine, that the price could not be very low. I shall 
apply this parcel as I did the last towards winning the hearts 
of the Friends of our Country, and wellwishers to the Change 
of its Government The Partizans of the present, may as 
you say flatter themselves that such Change will not take 
place, till the Proprietor's death, but I imagine he hardly 
thinks so himself. Anxiety and uneasiness are painted on his 
brow and the woman who would like to see how he would 
look when dead, need only look at him while living In 
that respect at least he appears to be a good Christian as one 
that dieth daily With great regard, and many thanks for 
your kindness to me, I am, Sir, 

Your much obliged Friend and humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Thomas Livezey, of Rox- 
borough, Philadelphia. ED. 



1768] TO THOMAS WHARTON 105 

460. TO THOMAS WHARTON 1 

London, February 20, 1768. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I received your favours of November 17 and 18, with 
another dozen of excellent wine, the manufacture of our 
friend Livezey. I thank you for the care you have taken in 
forwarding them, and for your kind good wishes that ac- 
company them. 

The story you mention of secretary Conway's wondering 
what I could be doing in England, and that he had not seen 
me for a considerable time, savours strongly of the channel 
through which it came, and deserves no notice. But, since 
his name is mentioned, it gives me occasion to relate what 
passed between us the last time I had the honour of convers- 
ing with him. It was at court, when the late changes were 
first rumoured, and it was reported he was to resign the sec- 
retary's office. Talking of America, I said I was sorry to 
find, that our friends were one after another quitting the 
administration, that I was apprehensive of the consequences, 
and hoped what I heard of his going out was not true. He 
said it was really true, the employment had not been of his 
choice, he had never any taste for it, but had submitted to 
engage in it for a time, at the instance of his friends, and he 
believed his removal could not be attended with any ill con- 
sequences to America: that he was a sincere well-wisher to 
the prosperity of that country as well as this, and hoped the 
imprudencies of either side would never be carried to such a 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 268. Thomas Wharton (1731-1782) was a partner of Galloway 
and Goddard in the establishment of the Chronicle. ED. 



106 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

height as to create a breach of the union, so essentially neces- 
sary to the welfare of both : that as long as his Majesty con- 
tinued to honour him with a share in his counsels, America 
should always find in him a friend, &c. This I write, as 
it was agreeable to me to hear, and I suppose will be so to 
you to read. For his character has more in it of the frank 
honesty of the soldier, than of the plausible insincerity of the 
courtier ; and therefore what he says is more to be depended on. 

The Proprietor's dislike to my continuing in England, to 
be sure, is very natural; as well as to the repeated choice 
of Assembly men, not his friends; and probably he would, 
as they so little answer his purposes, wish to see elections as 
well as agencies abolished. They make him very unhappy, 
but it cannot be helped. 

The proceedings in Boston, as the news came just upon the 
meeting of Parliament, and occasioned great clamour here, 
gave me much concern. And as every offensive thing done 
in America is charged upon all, and every province though 
unconcerned in it, suffers in its interests through the general 
disgust given and the little distinction here made, it became 
necessary, I thought, to palliate the matter a little for our 
own sakes ; and therefore I wrote the paper, which probably 
you have seen printed in the Chronicle of January 7, and 
signed F + S. Yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

461. FROM LORD KAMES (A. P. s.) 

Edinburgh, 18 th Feb. 1768 

I BEGIN to perceive in my decline of life that happiness, comfort at least, 
depends more upon what a Philosopher would call slight conveniences 
than a young man in the ardour of his studies is apt to imagine. I have 



1768] TO LORD KAMES 



107 



bought a house in this Town which luckily is absolutely free of smoke except 
what is commonly called neighbour smoke ; that is the smoke issuing from 
one Vent sometimes goes down a neighbouring vent and issues into the room 
when there is no fire in it. I apply to you for a remedy as to an universal 
smoke Doctor ; and if I had a remedy, mine would be the most complete 
house in Edin. 

I have been thinking lately of adopting your Philadelphia Grate, as it 
promises to save Coal, and to diffuse an equal heat through the Room. But I 
first wish to learn from you whether it will perfectly answer its purpose, and 
whether you have made any improvement. 

Will nothing again ever draw you to Scotland ? I have got one of the 
finest places with an inchanting Winter Garden ; and it would give me great 
joy to entertain you there. 

Your faithful friend 

HENRY HOME 



462. TO LORD KAMES 

London, February 28, 1768. 

IT gave me great pleasure to see my dear good friend's 
name at the foot of a letter I received the other day, having 
been often uneasy at his long silence, blaming myself as the 
cause by my own previous backwardness and want of punctu- 
ality as a correspondent. I now suppose, (as in this he men- 
tions nothing of it,) that a long letter I wrote him about this 
time twelvemonth, on the subject of the disputes with 
America, did miscarry, or that his answer to that letter mis- 
carried, as I have never heard from him since I wrote that 
letter. 

I have long been of an opinion similar to that you express, 
and think happiness consists more in small conveniences or 
pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good 
fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his 
life. Thus I reckon it among my felicities, that I can set my 
own razor, and shave myself perfectly well ; in which I have 



io8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

a daily pleasure, and avoid the uneasiness one is sometimes 
obliged to suffer from the dirty fingers or bad breath of a 
slovenly barber. 

I congratulate you on the purchase of a new house so much 
to your mind, and wish that you may long inhabit it with com- 
fort. The inconvenience you mention of neighbouring smoke 
coming down the vents, is not owing to any bad construction 
of the vent down which it comes, and therefore not to be 
remedied by any change of form. It is merely the effect of 
a law of nature, whereby, whenever the outward air is warmer 
than the walls of the vent, the air included, being by those 
walls made colder, and of course denser and heavier than an 
equal column of the outward air, descends into the room, and 
in descending draws other air into the vent above to supply 
its place ; which, being in its turn cooled and condensed by 
the cooler walls of the vent, descends also, and so a current 
downwards is continued during the continuance of such dif- 
ference in temperament between the outward air and the walls 
of the vent. 

When this difference is destroyed, by the outward air grow- 
ing cooler, and the walls growing warmer, the current down- 
wards ceases ; and, when the outward air becomes still colder 
than the walls, the current changes and moves from below 
upwards, the warmer walls rarefying the air they include, and 
thereby making it so much lighter than a column of the out- 
ward air of equal height, that it is obliged to give way to the 
other's superior weight and rise, is succeeded by colder air, 
which being warmed and rarefied in its turn, rises also, and 
so the upward current is continued. In summer, when fires 
are not made in the chimneys, the current generally sets 
downward from nine or ten in the morning during all the heat 



1768] TO LORD KAMES 109 

of the day, till five or six in the afternoon, then begins to hesi- 
tate, and afterwards to set upwards during the night, con- 
tinuing till about nine in the morning, then hesitating for 
some time before it again sets downwards for the day. This 
is the general course, with some occasional variation of hours, 
according to the length of days or changes of weather. 

Now when the air of any vent is in this descending state, if 
the smoke issuing from a neighbouring vent happens to be 
carried over it by the wind, part will be drawn in and brought 
down into the room. The proper remedy then is, to close the 
opening of the chimney in the room by a board so fitted that 
little or no air can pass, whereby the currents abovementioned 
will be prevented. This board to remain during the summer, 
and when fires are not made in the chimney. Chimneys that 
have fires in them daily are not subject to this inconvenience, 
the walls of their vents being kept too warm to occasion any 
downward current during the hours between the going out 
of one fire and the kindling of another. And indeed, in sum- 
mer, those vents that happen to go up close joined with the 
kitchen vent, are generally kept so warm by that as to be free 
from the downward current, and therefore free from what you 
call neighbour smoke. 

The Philadelphia grate which you mention is a very good 
thing, if you could get one that is rightly made, and a work- 
man skilful in putting them up. Those generally made and 
used here are much hurt by fancied improvements in their 
construction, and I cannot recommend them. As fuel with 
you is cheap and plenty, a saving in it is scarce an object. 
The sliding plates (of which I sent a model to Sir Alexander 
Dick) are, in my opinion, the most convenient for your pur- 
pose, as they keep a room sufficiently warm, are simple 



I io THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

machines, easily fixed, and their management easily con- 
ceived and understood by servants. 

I shall leave Europe with much greater regret, if I cannot 
first visit you and my other friends in Scotland. I promise 
myself this happiness, but am not yet clear that I shall have 
time for it. Your kind invitation is extremely obliging. 
With sincere esteem I am, my dear friend, 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



463. TO THE PRINTER OF THE GAZETTEER, 1 

MARCH 8, 1768 


Boston man as I am, Sir, and inimical, as my country is 
represented to be, I hate neither England or Englishmen, 
driven (though my ancestors were) by mistaken oppression 
of former times, out of this happy country, to suffer all the 
hardships of an American wilderness. I retain no resentment 
on that account. I wish prosperity to the nation ; I honour, 
esteem, and love its people. I only hate calumniators and 
boutefeus on either side the water, who would for the little 
dirty purposes of faction, set brother against brother, turn 
friends into mortal enemies, and ruin an empire by dividing 
it. The very injurious treatment America has lately re- 
ceived, in so many London prints, may have some tendency 
to alienate still more the affections of that country from this ; 
but as your papers extend thither, I wish our people may by 
their means be informed, that those abuses do not flow from 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, December 12, 
1768. ED. 



1768] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY in 

the general sense of the people here; that they are the pro- 
ductions of a few unknown angry writers, heated by an elec- 
tion contest, who rave against America, because a candidate 
they would decry once lived there, and happens to be other- 
wise unexceptionable: writers who (as I have shewn) abuse 
their own country as virulently as they do ours ; and whose 
invectives are disapproved by all people of understanding 
and moderation. Let it be known that there is much good 
will towards America in the generality of this nation; and 
that however government may sometimes happen to be mis- 
taken or misled, with relation to American interests, there 
is no general intention to oppress us; and that therefore, 
we may rely upon having every real grievance removed on 
proper representations. By spreading these truths in your 
paper through America, Sir, you may come to deserve a share 
in that blessing which is promised to the peace-makers, when 
only its reverse can be expected by these unhappy writers. 
East-Greenwich, March 8, 1768 

NEW- ENGLAND. 



464. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, March 13, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

I wrote to you very fully by Falconer, of February 17, and 
have since received yours of January 21, together with one 
from the Committee, and the messages which, as you will 
see by my answer to the Committee, I communicated to Lord 
Hillsborough. His Lordship read them deliberately, and 
took notice that the message of the Assembly seemed to in- 
sinuate, that the governor had been tardy in bringing the 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 275. ED. 



ii2 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

former murderers to justice, which gave me an opportunity 
of explaining that matter to him; whereby he might also 
understand why the Proprietor had not shown him the mes- 
sages when he communicated the governor's letter concerning 
the Indian uneasinesses, the law under his consideration for 
removing them, the late murder, and his proclamation. I 
shall wait on his Lordship again next Wednesday, on our 
affairs, and show him moreover your letter with some other 
papers. 

The old Parliament is gone, and its enemies now find them- 
selves at liberty to abuse it. I inclose you a pamphlet, pub- 
lished the very hour of its prorogation. All the members are 
now in their counties and boroughs among their drunken 
electors; much confusion and disorder in many places, and 
such profusion of money as never was known before on any 
similar occasion. The first instance of bribery to be chosen 
a member, taken notice of on the journals, is no longer ago 
than Queen Elizabeth's time, when the being sent to Parlia- 
ment was looked upon as a troublesome service, and there- 
fore not sought after. It is said that such a one, "being a 
simple man, and conceiving it might be of some advantage to 
him, had given jour pounds to the mayor and corporation, 
that they might choose him to serve them in Parliament." 

The price is monstrously risen since that time, for it is now 
no less than four thousand pounds! It is thought, that near 
two millions will be spent this election ; but those, who under- 
stand figures and act by computation, say the crown has two 
millions a year in places and pensions to dispose of, and it is 
well worth while to engage in such a seven years' lottery, 
though all that have tickets should not get prizes. I am, my 
dear friend, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 



1768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 113 

465. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 

London, March 13, 1768. 

DEAR SON, 

I have received all together your letters of January 6, 21, 
and 22 : It had been a great while that I had not heard from 
you. The purpose of settling the new colonies seems at 
present to be dropped, the change of American administra- 
tion not appearing favourable to it. There seems rather to 
be an inclination to abandon the posts in the back country 
as more expensive than useful; but counsels are so con- 
tinually fluctuating here that nothing can be depended on. 
The new secretary, my Lord Hillsborough, is I find, of 
opinion, that the troops should be placed, the chief part of 
them, in Canada and Florida, only three battalions to be 
quartered in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania ; and 
that Forts Pitt, Oswego, Niagara, &c., should be left to the 
colonies to garrison and keep up, if they think it necessary, 
for the protection of their trade, &c. Probably his opinion 
may be followed, if the new changes do not produce other 
ideas. 

As to my own sentiments, I am weary of suggesting them 
to so many different inattentive heads, though I must con- 
tinue to do it while I stay among them. The letters from 
Sir William Johnson, relating to the boundary, were at last 
found, and orders were sent over about Christmas for com- 
pleting the purchase and settlement of it. My Lord H. [ills- 
borough] has promised me to send duplicates by this packet, 
and urge the speedy execution, as we represented to him the 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 270. ED. 

VOL. V I 



114 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

danger, that these dissatisfactions of the Indians might pro- 
duce a war. But I can tell you there are many here to whom 
the news of such a war would give pleasure ; who speak of it 
as a thing to be wished ; partly as a chastisement to the colo- 
nies, and partly to make them feel the want of protection 
from this country, and pray for it. For it is imagined that 
we could not possibly defend ourselves against the Indians 
without such assistance, so little is the state of America 
understood here. 

My Lord H. mentioned the "Farmer's Letters" to me, 
said he had read them, that they were well written, and he 
believed he could guess who was the author, looking in my 
face at the same time, as if he thought it was me. He cen- 
sured the doctrines as extremely wild, &c. I have read them 
as far as No. 8. I know not if any more have been published. 
I should have thought they had been written by Mr. Delancey, 
not having heard any mention of the others you point out as 
joint authors. 1 I am not yet master of the idea these and the 
New England writers have of the relation between Britain 
and her colonies. I know not what the Boston people mean 
by the "subordination" they acknowledge in their Assembly 
to Parliament, while they deny its power to make laws for 
them, nor what bounds the Farmer sets to the power he 
acknowledges in Parliament to "regulate the trade of the 
colonies," it being difficult to draw lines between duties for 
regulation and those for revenue ; and, if the Parliament is 
to be the judge, it seems to me that establishing such princi- 
ples of distinction will amount to little. 

1 The "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania" was written by John 
Dickinson, and published the next year in England with a Preface by Dr. 
Franklin. ED. 



1768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 115 

The more I have thought and read on the subject, the more 
I find myself confirmed in opinion, that no middle doctrine 
can be well maintained, I mean not clearly with intelligible 
arguments. Something might be made of either of the ex- 
tremes ; that Parliament has a power to make all laws for us, 
or that it has a power to make no laws for us ; and I think 
the arguments for the latter more numerous and weighty, 
than those for the former. Supposing that doctrine estab- 
lished, the colonies would then be so many separate states, 
only subject to the same king, as England and Scotland were 
before the union. And then the question would be, whether 
a union like that with Scotland would or would not be ad- 
vantageous to the whole. I should have no doubt of the 
affirmative, being fully persuaded that it would be best for 
the whole, and that though particular parts might find par- 
ticular disadvantages in it, they would find greater advantages 
in the security arising to every part from the increased strength 
of the whole. But such union is not likely to take place, 
while the nature of our present relation is so little understood 
on both sides of the water, and sentiments concerning it 
remain so widely different. 

As to the Farmers 7 combating, as you say they intend to 
do, my opinion, that the Parliament might lay duties though 
not impose internal taxes, I shall not give myself the trouble 
to defend it. Only to you, I may say, that not only the Par- 
liament of Britain, but every state in Europe, claims and 
exercises a right of laying duties on the exportation of its own 
commodities to foreign countries A duty is paid here on 
coals exported to Holland, and yet England has no right to 
lay an internal tax on Holland. All goods brought out of 
France to England, or any other country, are charged with 



ii6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

a small duty in France, which the consumers pay, and yet 
France has no right to tax other countries. And in my 
opinion the grievance is not that Britain puts duties upon 
her own manufactures exported to us, but that she forbids 
us to buy the like manufactures from any other country. 
This she does, however, in virtue of her allowed right to regu- 
late the commerce of the whole empire, allowed I mean by the 
Farmer, though I think whoever would dispute that right 
might stand upon firmer ground, and make much more of the 
argument : but my reasons are too many and too long for a 
letter. 

I Mr. Grenville complained in the House, that the governors 
of New Jersey, New Hampshire, East and West Florida, had 
none of them obeyed the orders sent them, to give an account 
of the manufactures carried on in their respective provinces. 
Upon hearing this, I went after the House was up, and got a 
sight of the reports made by the other governors. They are 
all much in the same strain, that there are no manufactures 
of any consequence ; in Massachusetts a little coarse woollen 
only, made in families for their own wear: glass and linen 
have been tried and failed. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and 
New York much the same. Pennsylvania has tried a linen 
manufactory, but it is dropped, it being imported cheaper; 
there is a glasshouse in Lancaster county, but it makes only 
a little coarse ware for the country neighbours. Maryland 
is clothed all with English manufactures. Virginia the same, 
except that in their families they spin a little cotton of their 
own growing. South Carolina and Georgia none./ / All speak 
of the dearness of labour that makes manufactures imprac- 
ticable. Only the governor of North Carolina parades with 
a large manufacture in his country, that may be useful to 



I 7 68] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 117 

Britain, of pine boards; they having fifty sawmills on one 
river. | ( 

These accounts are very satisfactory here, and induce the 
Parliament to despise and take no notice of the Boston reso- 
lutions. I wish you would send your account before the 
meeting of next Parliament. You have only to report a 
glasshouse for coarse window glass and bottles, and some 
domestic manufactures of linen and woollen for family use, 
that do not half clothe the inhabitants, all the finer goods 
coming from England and the like. I believe you will be 
puzzled to find any other, though I see great puffs in the 
papers. 

The Parliament is up, and the nation in a ferment with the 
new elections. Great complaints are made that the natural 
interests of country gentlemen in their neighbouring boroughs 
is overborne by the moneyed interests of the new people, who 
have got sudden fortunes in the Indies, or as contractors. 
Four thousand pounds is now the market price for a borough. 
In short, this whole venal nation is now at market, will be 
sold for about two millions, and might be bought out of the 
hands of the present bidders (if he would offer half a million 
more) by the very Devil himself. 

I shall wait on Lord H. again next Wednesday, on behalf 
of the sufferers by Indian and French depredations, to have 
an allowance of lands out of any new grant made by the 
Indians, so long solicited, and perhaps still to be solicited, 

in vain. I am your affectionate father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I dined yesterday with General Monckton, Major 
Gates, Colonel Lee, 1 and other officers, who have served in 

1 Afterwards General Gates, and General Charles Lee, of the American 
Continental Army. S. 



Ii8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

and are friends of America. Monckton inquired kindly after 
your welfare. 



466. TO THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPOND- 
ENCE IN PENNSYLVANIA 1 

London, March 13, 1768. 

GENTLEMEN, 

On receipt of your letter of January 20, Mr. Jackson and 
myself waited on Lord Hillsborough, the new secretary of 
state for American affairs, and communicated to him the 
contents, pressing the necessity of enforcing the orders already 
sent to Sir William Johnson, for immediately settling the 
affair of the boundary line with the Indians. His Lordship 
was pleased to assure us, that he would cause duplicates of 
the orders to be forwarded by this packet, and urge the com- 
pletion of them. 

We communicated also the copy of General Gage's letter, 
and the messages that had passed between the governor and 
the House thereupon. His Lordship acquainted us that a 
letter from Governor Penn had been shown him by the Pro- 
prietor, importing that a horrid murder had lately been com- 
mitted on the Indians, upon which the governor had issued 
a proclamation for apprehending the murderer; and that a 
bill was under his and the Council's consideration to pre- 
vent future settlements on Indian lands. But his Lordship 
remarked, that these messages had not been communicated 
to him by the Proprietor. 

iFrom "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 274. ED. 



1768] TO THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE 119 

Government here begins to grow tired of the enormous 
expense of Indian affairs, and of maintaining posts in the 
Indian country ; and it is now talked of, as a proper measure, 
to abandon these posts, demolishing all but such as the colo- 
nies may think fit to keep up at their own expense ; and also 
to return the management of their own Indian affairs into the 
hands of the respective provinces as formerly. What the 
result will be, is uncertain, counsels here being so continually 
fluctuating. But I have urged often, that after taking those 
affairs out of our hands, it seems highly incumbent on the 
ministry not to neglect them, but to see that they are well 
managed and the Indians kept in peace. I think however 
that we should not too much depend on their doing this, but 
look to the matter a little ourselves, taking every opportunity 
of conciliating the affections of the Indians, by seeing that 
they always have justice done them, and sometimes kindness. 
For I can assure you, that here are not wanting people, who 
though not now in the ministry, no one knows how soon they 
may be; and if they were ministers, would take no step to 
prevent an Indian war in the colonies ; being of opinion, 
which they express openly, that it would be a very good thing, 
in the first place, to chastise the colonists for their undutiful- 
ness, and then to make them sensible of the necessity of pro- 
tection by the troops of this country. 

Mr. Jackson, being now taken up with his election business, 
will hardly have time to write by this opportunity. But 
he joins with me in respects to you and the Assembly, and 
assurances of our most faithful services. I am, Gentlemen, 
your most obedient and most humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



120 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

467. TO THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPOND- 
ENCE IN PENNSYLVANIA 1 

London, Saturday, April 16, 1768. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I have just received your favour of February 20, directed 
to Mr. Jackson and myself, containing instructions for our 
conduct relating to the application for a repeal of the duty 
act, to the change of government, and to the legal tender of 
paper money ; which instructions we shall observe to the best 
of our abilities. Mr. Jackson has read your letter, and is 
now reading the messages and other papers transmitted to 
us, which we shall lay before the secretaries of state on Mon- 
day, and thereupon press the necessity of a change in the 
administration of our province. 

The Parliament will have a short session, it is said, in May, 
when, if any application is made for the repeal of that act, 
by the agents of the other colonies, we shall join them heartily, 
and do what we can likewise in the affair of paper money. 
In the mean time, should an Indian war make it necessary to 
emit paper money with a legal tender, it may be considered 
how far the fourth clause in the act of the 24 Geo. II. might 
give countenance to your providing in that way for the 
emergency; that act not being altered or repealed by any 
later, it seems as if the Parliament thought that clause not 
improper, though they have not expressly made the same 
provision for the other colonies. The mail being to go this 
evening, I can only add, that I am with the utmost respect 
for you and the Assembly, Gentlemen, your most obedient 
and most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 



The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 276. ED. 



1768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 121 

468. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 

London, April 16, 1768. 

DEAR SON, 

Since my last, a long one, of March i3th, nothing has been 
talked or thought of here but elections. There have been 
amazing contests all over the kingdom, twenty or thirty thou- 
sand pounds of a side spent in several places, and inconceiv- 
able mischief done by debauching the people and making 
them idle, besides the immediate actual mischief done by 
drunken mad mobs to houses, windows, &c. The scenes 
have been horrible. London was illuminated two nights 
running at the command of the mob for the success of Wilkes, 
in the Middlesex election. The second night exceeded any 
thing of the kind ever seen here on the greatest occasions of 
rejoicing, as even the small cross-streets, lanes, courts, and 
other out-of-the-way places were all in a blaze with lights, 
and the principal streets all night long, as the mobs went 
round again after two o'clock, and obliged people who had 
extinguished their candles to light them again. Those who 
refused had all their windows destroyed. The damage done, 
and expense of candles, has been computed at fifty thousand 
pounds. It must have been great, though probably not so 
much. 

The ferment is not yet over, for he has promised to sur- 
render himself to the court next Wednesday, and another 
tumult is then expected ; and what the upshot will be no one 
can yet foresee. It is really an extraordinary event to see an 
outlaw and an exile, of bad personal character, not worth a 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 277. ED. 



122 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

farthing, come over from France, set himself up as candi- 
date for the capital of the kingdom, miss his election only by 
being too late in his application, and immediately carrying it 
for the principal county; the mob (spirited up by numbers 
of different ballads sung or roared in every street) requiring 
gentlemen and ladies of all ranks, as they passed in their 
carriages, to shout for Wilkes and liberty, marking the same 
words on all their coaches with chalk, and No. 45 l on every 
door; which extends a vast way along the roads into the 
country. I went last week to Winchester, and observed, 
that for fifteen miles out of town there was scarce a door or 
window shutter next the road unmarked ; and this continued, 
here and there, quite to Winchester, which is sixty-four 
miles. B. FRANKLIN. 



469. ON THE LABOURING POOR 2 

SIR, 

I have met with much invective in the papers, for these 
two years past, against the hard-heartedness of the rich, and 
much complaint of the great oppressions suffered in this 
country by the labouring poor. Will you admit a word or 
two on the other side of the question? I do not propose to 
be an advocate for oppression or oppressors. But when I 
see that the poor are, by such writings, exasperated against 
the rich, and excited to insurrections, by which much mis- 
chief is done, and some forfeit their lives, I could wish the 

1 Wilkes was prosecuted for publishing a libel against the government in 
a paper called the "North Briton." Parliament ordered "No. 45" of that 
paper, in which the libel was contained, to be burnt by the hands of the 
common hangman. S. 

2 From The Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1768, p. 156. ED. 



1768] ON THE LABOURING POOR 123 

true state of things were better understood, the poor not made 
by these busy writers more uneasy and unhappy than their 
situation subjects them to be, and the nation not brought 
into disrepute among foreigners, by public groundless ac- 
cusations of ourselves, as if the rich in England had no 
compassion for the poor, and Englishmen wanted common 
humanity. 

In justice, then to this country, give me leave to remark, 
that the condition of the poor here is, by far, the best in 
Europe, for that, except in England and her American 
colonies, there is not in any country of the known world, not 
even in Scotland or Ireland, a provision by law to enforce 
a support of the poor. Everywhere else necessity reduces 
to beggary. This law was not made by the poor. The 
legislators were men of fortune. By that act they volun- 
tarily subjected their own estates, and the estates of all 
others, to the payment of a tax for the maintenance of the 
poor, incumbering those estates with a kind of rent-charge 
for that purpose, whereby the poor are vested with an in- 
heritance, as it were, in all the estates of the rich. I wish 
they were benefited by this generous provision in any degree 
equal to the good intention, with which it was made, and is 
continued: But I fear the giving mankind a dependance 
on any thing for support, in age or sickness, besides industry 
and frugality during youth and health, tends to flatter our 
natural indolence, to encourage idleness and prodigality, and 
thereby to promote and increase poverty, the very evil it 
was intended to cure; thus multiplying beggars instead of 
diminishing them. 

Besides this tax, which the rich in England have subjected 
themselves to, in behalf of the poor, amounting in some 



124 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

places to five or six shillings in the pound, of the annual 
income, they have, by donations and subscriptions, erected 
numerous schools in various parts of the kingdom, for edu- 
cating gratis the children of the poor in reading and writing, 
and in many of those schools the children are also fed and 
cloathed. They have erected hospitals at an immense ex- 
pence for the reception and cure of the sick, the lame, the 
wounded, and the insane poor, for lying-in women, and 
deserted children. They are also continually contributing 
towards making up losses occasioned by fire, by storms, or 
by floods, and to relieve the poor in severe seasons of frost, 
in times of scarcity, &c., in which benevolent and charitable 
contributions no nation exceeds us. Surely, there is some 
gratitude due for so many instances of goodness. 

Add to this all the laws made to discourage foreign manu- 
factures, by laying heavy duties on them, or totally prohibit- 
ing them, whereby the rich are obliged to pay much higher 
prices for what they wear and consume, than if the trade 
was open : These are so many laws for the support of our 
labouring poor, made by the rich, and continued at their 
expence; all the difference of price, between our own and 
foreign commodities, being so much given by our rich to our 
poor; who would indeed be enabled by it to get by degrees 
above poverty, if they did not, as too generally they do, 
consider every encrease of wages, only as something that 
enables them to drink more and work less ; so that their dis- 
tress in sickness, age, or times of scarcity, continues to be the 
same as if such laws had never been made in their favour. 

Much malignant censure have some writers bestowed upon 
the rich for their luxury and expensive living, while the poor 
are starving, &c. ; not considering that what the rich expend, 



1 768] ON THE LABOURING POOR I25 

the labouring poor receive in payment for their labour. It 
may seem a paradox if I should assert, that our labouring 
poor do in every year receive the whole revenue of the nation; 
I mean not only the public revenue, but also the revenue or 
clear income of all private estates, or a sum equivalent to 
the whole. 

In support of this position I reason thus. The rich do 
not work for one another. Their habitations, furniture, 
cloathing, carriages, food, ornaments, and every thing in 
short, that they or their families use and consume, is the work 
or produce of the labouring poor, who are, and must be con- 
tinually, paid for their labour in producing the same. In 
these payments the revenues of private estates are expended, 
for most people live up to their incomes. In cloathing or 
provision for troops, in arms, ammunition, ships, tents, 
carriages, &c. &c., (every particular the produce of labour,) 
much of the public revenue is expended. The pay of officers, 
civil and military, and of the private soldiers and sailors, 
requires the rest ; and they spend that also in paying for what 
is produced by the labouring poor. 

I allow that some estates may increase by the owners spend- 
ing less than their income; but then I conceive that other 
estates do at the same time diminish by the owners spending 
more than their income, so that when the enriched want to buy 
more land, they easily find lands in the hands of the im- 
poverished, whose necessities oblige them to sell; and thus 
this difference is equalled. I allow also, that part of the 
expence of the rich is in foreign produce or manufactures, 
for producing which the labouring poor of other nations 
must be paid; but then I say, we must first pay our own 
labouring poor for an equal quantity of our manufactures 



126 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

or produce, to exchange for those foreign productions, or we 
must pay for them in money, which money, not being the 
natural produce of our country, must first be purchased 
from abroad, by sending out its value in the produce or manu- 
factures of this country, for which manufactures our labour- 
ing poor are to be paid. And indeed, if we did not export 
more than we import, we could have no money at all. I 
allow farther, that there are middle men, who make a profit, 
and even get estates, by purchasing the labour of the poor, 
and selling it at advanced prices to the rich; but then they 
cannot enjoy that profit, or the incomes of estates, but by 
spending them in employing and paying our labouring poor, 
in some shape or other, for the products of industry. Even 
beggars, pensioners, hospitals, and all that are supported by 
charity, spend their incomes in the same manner. So that 
finally, as I said at first, our labouring poor receive annually 
the whole o) the clear revenues o) ike nation, and from us they 
can have no more. 

If it be said that their wages are too low, and that they 
ought to be better paid for their labour, I heartily wish any 
means could be fallen upon to do it, consistent with their 
interest and happiness ; but, as the cheapness of other things 
is owing to the plenty of those things, so the cheapness of 
labour is in most cases owing to the multitude of labourers, 
and to their under-working one another in order to obtain 
employment. How is this to be remedied ? A law might be 
made to raise their wages ; but, if our manufactures are too 
dear, they will not vend abroad, and all that part of employ- 
ment will fail, unless by fighting and conquering we compel 
other nations to buy our goods, whether they will or no, 
which some have been mad enough at times to propose. 



1768] PREFACE TO "LETTERS FROM A FARMER" 127 

Among ourselves, unless we give our working people less 
employment, how can we, for what they do, pay them higher 
than we do? Out of what fund is the additional price of 
labour to be paid, when all our present incomes are, as it 
were, mortgaged to them? Should they get higher wages, 
would that make them less poor, if, in consequence, they 
worked fewer days of the week proportionably ? I have said, 
a law might be made to raise their wages ; but I doubt much 
whether it could be executed to any purpose, unless another 
law, now indeed almost obsolete, could at the same time be 
revived and enforced ; a law, I mean, that many have often 
heard and repeated, but few have ever duly considered. 
Six days shall thou labour. This is as positive a part of the 
commandment, as that which says, The SEVENTH day Ihou 
shall rest. But we remember well to observe the indulgent 
part, and never think of the other. Saint Monday is gener- 
ally as duly kept by our working people as Sunday; the only 
difference is, that, instead of employing their time cheaply 
at church, they are wasting it expensively at the alehouse. 
I am, Sir, &c. MEDIUS. 



470. PREFACE 

TO THE 
"LETTERS FROM A FARMER 

IN PENNSYLVANIA." i (A. P. S.) 

THE ENGLISH EDITOR TO THE READER 

[When I consider our fellow subjects in America as rational 
creatures, I cannot but wonder, that, during the present wide 

1 Passages enclosed in brackets are not found in the Ms. in A. P. S. ED. 



128 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1768 

difference of sentiments in the two countries, concerning the 
power of Parliament in laying taxes and duties on America, 
no application has been made to their understandings, no 
able and learned pen among us has been employed in con- 
vincing them that they are in the wrong; proving clearly, 
that, by the established law of nations, or by the terms of 
their original constitution, they are taxable by our Parlia- 
ment though they have no representative in it. 

On the contrary, whenever there is any news of discontent 
in America, the cry is, "Send over an army or a fleet, and 
reduce the dogs to reason. 19 ] 

It is said of choleric People, that with them there is but a 
Word and a Blow. 

I hope Britain is not so choleric, and will never be so angry 
with her Colonies as to strike them. But that if she should 
ever think it may be necessary, she will at least let the Word 
go before the Blovj t and reason with them. 

To do this clearly, and with the most probability of Success, 
by removing their Prejudices and rectifying their Misappre- 
hensions (if they are such), it will be necessary to learn what 
those Prejudices and Misapprehensions are; and before we 
can either refute or admit to answer their Reasons, we should 
certainly know them. 

It is to that End I have handed the following Letters (lately 
published in America) to the Press here. [They were occa- 
sioned by the act made (since the repeal of the Stamp Act) for 
raising a revenue in America by duties on glass, paper, &c.] 

The Author is a Gentleman of Repute in that Country 
for his Knowledge of its Affairs, and, it is said, speaks the 
general Sentiments of the Inhabitants. How far those Senti- 
ments are right or wrong, I do not pretend at present to judge. 



1768] TO SIR JOHN" PRINGLE 129 

I wish to see first what can be said on the other Side of the 
Question. I hope this Publication will produce a full 
Answer, if we can make one. If it does, this Publication 
will have had its Use. No Offence to Government is in- 
tended by it ; and it is hoped none will be taken. 

London, May 8, 1768. N. N. 



471. TO SIR JOHN PRINGLE 1 

Craven Street, May 10, 1768. 
You may remember, that when we were travelling together 
in Holland^ you remarked, that the trackschuyt in one of 
the stages went slower than usual, and inquired of the boat- 
man, what might be the reason ; who answered, that it had 
been a dry season, and the water in the canal was low. On 
being again asked if it was so low as that the boat touched 
the muddy bottom; he said, no, not so low as that, but so 
low as to make it harder for the horse to draw the boat. We 
neither of us at first could conceive that if there was water 
enough for the boat to swim clear of the bottom, its being 
deeper would make any difference ; but as the man affirmed 
it seriously as a thing well known among them; and as the 
punctuality required in their stages, was likely to make 
such difference, if any there were, more readily observed by 
them, than by other watermen who did not pass so regularly 
and constantly backwards and forwards in the same track; 
I began to apprehend there might be something in it, and at- 
tempted to account for it from this consideration, that the 
boat in proceeding along the canal, must in every boat's 
length of her course, move out of her way a body of water, 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 492. ED. 

VOL. V K 



130 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

equal in bulk to the room her bottom took up in the water ; 
that the water so moved, must pass on each side of her and 
under her bottom to get behind her; that if the passage 
under her bottom was straitened by the shallows, more of 
that water must pass by her sides, and with a swifter motion, 
which would retard her, as moving the contrary way; or 
that the water becoming lower behind the boat than before, 
she was pressed back by the weight of its difference in height, 
and her motion retarded by having that weight constantly 
to overcome. But as it is often lost time to attempt account- 
ing for uncertain facts, I determined to make an experiment 
of this, when I should have convenient time and opportunity. 

After our return to England, as often as I happened to be 
on the Thames, I inquired of our watermen whether they 
were sensible of any difference in rowing over shallow or 
deep water. I found them all agreeing in the fact, that there 
was a very great difference, but they differed widely in ex- 
pressing the quantity of the difference; some supposing it 
was equal to a mile in six, others to a mile in three, &c. 
As I did not recollect to have met with any mention of this 
matter in our philosophical books, and conceiving that if 
the difference should really be great, it might be an object 
of consideration in the many projects now on foot for digging 
new navigable canals in this island, I lately put my design of 
making the experiment in execution, in the following manner. 

I provided a trough of plained boards fourteen feet long, 
six inches wide and six inches deep, in the clear, filled with 
water within half an inch of the edge, to represent a canal. 
I had a loose board of nearly the same length and breadth,, 
that being put into the water might be sunk to any depth, 
and fixed by little wedges where I would chuse to have it 



1768] TO SIR JOHN PRINGLE 131 

stay, in order to make different depths of water, leaving the 
surface at the same height with regard to the sides of the 
trough. I had a little boat in form of a lighter or boat of 
burthen, six inches long, two inches and a quarter wide, 
and one inch and a quarter deep. When swimming, it drew 
one inch water. To give motion to the boat, I fixed one end 
of a long silk thread to its bow, just even with the water's 
edge, the other end passed over a well made brass pully, of 
about an inch diameter, turning freely on a small axis; and 
a shilling was the weight. Then placing the boat at one end 
of the trough, the weight would draw it through the water 
to the other. 

Not having a watch that shows seconds, in order to measure 
the time taken up by the boat in passing from end to end, I 
counted as fast as I could count to ten repeatedly, keeping 
an account of the number of tens on my fingers. And as 
much as possible to correct any little inequalities in my count- 
ing, I repeated the experiment a number of times at each 
depth of water, that I might take the medium. And the 
following are the results. 



Water i 


inches deep. 


2 inches. 


4j inches. 


ist exp. 


IOO 


94 -. 


v 79 


2 ... 


104 


93 -v 


*,-. 7 


3 


IO4 


91 


*.,, , ..i 77 


4 ... 


106 


. . 87 . 


. . . 79 


5 


IOO 


. . 88 . 


. . . 79 


6 ... 


99 


. . 86 . 


. . . 80 


7 ... 


IOO 


. . 90 . 


. . . 79 


8 ... 


IOO . . 


. . 88 . 


. . . 81 




813 


717 


642 


Medium 


101 


Medium 89 


Medium 79 



132 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

I made many other experiments, but the above are those 
in which I was most exact; and they serve sufficiently to 
show that the difference is considerable. Between the 
deepest and shallowest it appears to be somewhat more than 
one fifth. So that supposing large canals and boats and 
depths of water to bear the same proportions, and that four 
men or horses would draw a boat in deep water four leagues 
in four hours, it would require five to draw the same boat 
in the same time as far in shallow water; or four would 
require five hours. 

Whether this difference is of consequence enough to justify 
a greater expence in deepening canals, is a matter of calcula- 
tion, which our ingenious engineers in that way will readily 

determine. 

I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

472. TO JOHN ROSS 1 

London, May 14, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your favour of March i3th, and am extremely 
concerned at the disorders on our frontiers, and at the debility 
or wicked connivance of our government and magistrates, 
which must make property and even life more and more 
insecure among us, if some effectual remedy is not speedily 
applied. I have laid all the accounts before the ministry 
here. I wish I could procure more attention to them. I 
have urged over and over the necessity of the change we 
desire ; but this country itself being at present in a situation 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 278. ED. 



1768] TO JOHN ROSS 133 

very little better, weakens our argument that a royal govern- 
ment would be better managed, and safer to live under, 
than that of a proprietary. Even this capitol, the residence 
of the King, is now a daily scene of lawless riot and confusion. 
Mobs patrolling the streets at noonday, some knocking all 
down that will not roar for Wilkes and liberty; courts of 
justice afraid to give judgment against him; coal-heavers 
and porters pulling down the houses of coal merchants, that 
refuse to give them more wages; sawyers destroying saw- 
mills; sailors unrigging all the outward bound ships, and 
suffering none to sail till merchants agree to raise their pay ; 
watermen destroying private boats and threatening bridges; 
soldiers firing among the mobs and killing men, women, and 
children, which seems only to have produced a universal 
sullenness, that looks like a great black cloud coming on, 
ready to burst in a general tempest. 

What the event will be God only knows. But some 
punishment seems preparing for a people, who are ungrate- 
fully abusing the best constitution, and the best King, any 
nation was ever blessed with, intent on nothing but luxury, 
licentiousness, power, places, pensions, and plunder ; while 
the ministry, divided in their counsels, with little regard for 
each other, worried by perpetual oppositions, in continual 
apprehension of changes, intent on securing popularity in 
case they should lose favour, have for some years past had 
little time or inclination to attend to our small affairs, whose 
remoteness makes them appear still smaller. 

The bishops here are very desirous of securing the Church 
of England in America, and promoting its interest and en- 
largement by sending one of their order thither ; but though 
they have long solicited this point with government here, 



134 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

they have not as yet been able to obtain it ; so apprehensive 
are ministers of engaging in any novel measure. 

I hope soon to have an opportunity of conferring with 
you, and therefore say no more at present on this subject. 
I am, my dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



473. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, May 14, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your favour of March 31. It is now with the 
messages &c. in the hands of the minister, so that I cannot 
be more particular at present in answering it than to say, I 
should have a melancholy prospect in going home to such 
public confusion, if I did not leave greater confusion behind 
me. The newspapers, and my letter of this day to Mr. 
Ross, will inform you of the miserable situation this country 
is in. While I am writing, a great mob of coal porters fills 
the street, carrying a wretch of their business upon poles 
to be ducked, and otherwise punished at their pleasure for 
working at the old wages. All respect to law and govern- 
ment seems to be lost among the common people, who are 
moreover continually inflamed by seditious scribblers, to 
trample on authority and every thing that used to keep them 
in order. 

The Parliament is now sitting, but will not continue long 
together, nor undertake any material business. The court 
of King's Bench postponed giving sentence against Wilkes 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 280. ED. 



1768] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 135 

on his outlawry till the next term, intimidated as some say by 
his popularity, and willing to get rid of the affair for a time, 
till it should be seen what the Parliament would conclude 
as to his membership. The Commons at least some of them, 
resent that conduct, which has thrown a burthen on them it 
might have eased them of, by pillorying or punishing him in 
some infamous manner, that would have given better ground 
for expelling him the House. His friends complain of it as a 
delay of justice, say the court knew the outlawry to be defec- 
tive, and that they must finally pronounce it void, but would 
punish him by long confinement. Great mobs of his ad- 
herents have assembled before the prison, the guards have 
fired on them; it is said five or six are killed, and sixteen 
or seventeen wounded; and some circumstances have at- 
tended this military execution, such as its being done by the 
Scotch regiment, the pursuing a lad, and killing him at his 
father's house, &c. &c., that exasperate people exceedingly, 
and more mischief seems brewing. Several of the soldiers 
are imprisoned. If they are not hanged, it is feared there 
will be more and greater mobs ; and, if they are, that no soldier 
will assist in suppressing any mob hereafter. The prospect 
either way is gloomy. It is said the English soldiers cannot 
be confided in, to act against these mobs, being suspected as 
rather inclined to favour and join them. 

I am preparing for my return, and hope for the pleasure 
of finding you well, when I shall have an opportunity of com- 
municating to you more particularly the state of things here 
relating to our American affairs, which I cannot so well do 
by letter. I enclose for you a report of Sir M L , l 

1 Sir Matthew Lamb (1705-1768), member of Lincoln's Inn, grandfather of 
William Lamb, second Viscount Melbourne. He died November 5, 1 768. ED. 



136 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

counsel to the Board of Trade, on one of your late acts. I 
suppose it has had its effect, so that the repeal will be of 
little consequence. In the mean time, I am with sincere 
esteem and affection, Sir, your most obedient and most 
humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 



474. TO JOHN WINTHROP 1 

London, July 2, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

You must needs think the time long that your instruments 
have been in hand. Sundry circumstances have occasioned 
the delay. Mr. Short, who undertook to make the telescope, 
was long in a bad state of health, and much in the country 
for the benefit of the air. He however at length finished the 
material parts that required his own hand, and waited only 
for something about the mounting, that was to have been 
done by another workman ; when he was removed by death. 
I have put in my claim to the instrument, and shall obtain 
it from the executors as soon as his affairs can be settled. It 
is now become much more valuable than it would have been 
if he had lived, as he excelled all others in that branch. The 
price agreed for was one hundred pounds. 

The equal altitudes and transit instrument was under- 
taken by Mr. Bird, who doing all his work with his own 
hands for the sake of greater truth and exactness, one must 
have patience that expects any thing from him. He is so 
singularly eminent in his way, that the commissioners of 
longitude have lately given him five hundred pounds merely 

1 In part in " Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 486. ED. 



1768] TO JOHN WINTHROP 137 

to discover and make public his method of dividing instru- 
ments. I send it you herewith. But what has made him 
longer in producing your instrument is, the great and hasty 
demand on him from France and Russia, and our Society 
here, for instruments to go to different parts of the world for 
observing the next transit of Venus; some to be used in 
Siberia, some for the observers that go to the South Seas, 
some for those that go to Hudson's Bay. These are now all 
completed, and mostly gone, it being necessary, on account 
of the distance, that they should go this year to be ready on 
the spot in time. And now, he tells me, he can finish yours, 
and that I shall have it next week. Possibly he may keep 
his word. But we are not to wonder if he does not. 

Mr. Martin, when I called to see his panopticon, had not 
one ready; but was to let me know when he should have 
one to show me. I have not since heard from him, but will 
call again. 

Mr. Maskelyne wishes much that some of the govern- 
ments in North America would send an astronomer to Lake 
Superior, to observe this transit. I know no one of them 
likely to have a spirit for such an undertaking, unless it be 
the Massachusetts, or that have a person and instruments 
suitable. He presents you one of his pamphlets, which I 
now send you, together with two letters from him to me, 
relating to that observation. If your health and strength 
were sufficient for such an expedition, I should be glad to 
hear you had undertaken it. Possibly you may have an 
&kve that is capable. The fitting you out to observe the 
former transit, was a public act for the benefit of science, 
that did your province great honour. 

We expect soon a new volume of the Transactions, in which 



138 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

your piece will be printed. I have not yet got the separate 
ones which I ordered. 

It is perhaps not so extraordinary that unlearned men, 
such as commonly compose our church vestries, should not 
yet be acquainted with, and sensible of the benefits of metal 
conductors in averting the stroke of lightning, and preserv- 
ing our houses from its violent effects, or that they should 
be still prejudiced against the use of such conductors, when 
we see how long even philosophers, men of extensive science 
and great ingenuity, can hold out against the evidence of new 
knowledge, that does not square with their preconceptions; 
and how long men can retain a practice that is conformable 
to their prejudices, and expect a benefit from such practice, 
though constant experience shows its inutility. A late piece 
of the Abbe* Nollet, printed last year in the Memoirs of the 
French Academy of Sciences, affords strong instances of 
this : For though the very relations he gives of the effects of 
lightning in several churches and other buildings show clearly, 
that it was conducted from one part to another by wires, 
gildings, and other pieces of metal that were within, or con- 
nected with the building, yet in the same paper he objects 
to the providing metalline conductors without the building, 
as useless or dangerous. He cautions people not to ring the 
church bells during a thunder-storm, lest the lightning, in its 
way to the earth, should be conducted down to them by the 
bell-ropes, which are but bad conductors ; and yet is against 
fixing metal rods on the outside of the steeple, which are 
known to be much better conductors, and which it would 
certainly chuse to pass in, rather than in dry hemp. And 
though for a thousand years past bells have been solemnly 
consecrated by the Romish Church, in expectation that the 



i ?68J TO JOHN- WIHTHROP 



'39 



sound of such blessed bells would drive away those storms, 
and secure our buildings from the stroke of lightning; and 
during so long a period, it has not been found by experience, 
that places within the reach of such blessed sound, are safer 
than others where it is never heard ; but that on the contrary, 
the lightning seems to strike steeples of choice, and that at 
the very time the bells are ringing; yet still they continue 
to bless the new bells, and jangle the old ones whenever it 
thunders. One would think it was now time to try some 
other trick; and ours is recommended (whatever this able 
philosopher may have been told to the contrary) by more 
than twelve years' experience, wherein, among the great 
number of houses furnished with iron rods in North America, 
not one so guarded has been materially hurt with lightning, 
and several have been evidently preserved by their means; 
while a number of houses, churches, barns, ships, &c. in 
different places, unprovided with rods, have been struck and 
greatly damaged, demolished, or burnt. Probably the ves- 
tries of our English churches are not generally well acquainted 
with these facts; otherwise, since as good Protestants they 
have no faith in the blessing of bells, they would be less ex- 
cusable in not providing this other security for their respective 
churches, and for the good people that may happen to be 
assembled in them during a tempest, especially as those 
buildings, from their greater height, are more exposed to the 
stroke of lightning than our common dwellings. 

I have nothing new in the philosophical way to communi- 
cate to you, except what follows. When I was last year in 
Germany ', I met with a singular kind of glass, being a tube 
about eight inches long, half an inch in diameter, with a 
hollow ball of near an inch diameter at one end, and one of 



140 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

an inch and half at the other, hermetically sealed, and half 
filled with water. If one end is held in hand, and the other 
a little elevated above the level, a constant succession of large 
bubbles proceeds from the end in the hand to the other end, 
making an appearance that puzzled me much, 'till I found 
that the space not filled with water was also free from air, 
and either filled with a subtile, invisible vapour continually 
rising from the water, and extreamly rarifiable by the least 
heat at one end, and condensable again by the least coolness 
at the other ; or it is the very fluid of fire itself, which parting 
from the hand pervades the glass, and by its expansive force 
depresses the water till it can pass between it and the glass, 
and escape to the other end, where it gets thro' the glass 
again into the air. I am rather inclined to the first opinion, 
but doubtful between the two. 

An ingenious artist here, Mr. Nairne, mathematical 
instrument-maker, has made a number of them from mine, 
and improved them, 1 for his are much more sensible than 
those I brought from Germany. I bor'd a very small hole 
through the wainscot in the seat of my window, through which 
a little cold air constantly entered, while the air in the room 
was kept warmer by fires daily made in it, being winter time. 
I plac'd one of his glasses, with the elevated end against 
this hole ; and the bubbles from the other end, which was in 
a warmer situation, were continually passing day and night, 
to the no small surprize of even philosophical spectators. 
Each bubble discharged, is larger than that from which it 
proceeds, and yet that is not diminished ; and by adding itself 
to the bubble at the other end, that bubble is not increased, 
which seems very paradoxical. 

1 See Introduction, Vol. I, p. 52. ED. 



1768] TO JOHN- WINTHROP 141 

When the balls at each end are made larger, and the con- 
necting tube very small and bent at right angles, so that the 
balls, instead of being at the ends, are brought on tlje side 
of the tube, and the tube is held so as that the balls are above 
it, the water will be depressed in that which is held in the 
hand, and rise in the other as a jet or fountain ; when it is 
all in the other, it begins to boil, as it were, by the vapour 
passing up through it; and the instant it begins to boil, a 
sudden coldness is felt in the ball held; a curious experi- 
ment, this, first observed and shewn me by Mr. Nairne. 
There is something in it similar to the old observation, I 
think mentioned by Aristotle, that the bottom of a boiling 
pot is not warm ; and perhaps it may help to explain that 
fact ; if indeed it be a fact. 

When the water stands at an equal height in both these 
balls, and all at rest ; if you wet one of the balls by means 
of a feather dipt in spirit, though that spirit is of the same 
temperament as to heat and cold, with the water in the glasses, 
yet the cold occasioned by the evaporation of the spirit from 
the wetted ball will so condense the vapour over the water 
contained in that ball, as that the water of the other ball 
will be pressed up into it, followed by a succession of bubbles, 
'till the spirit is all dried away. Perhaps the observations 
on these little instruments may suggest and be applied to 
some beneficial uses. It has been thought that water re- 
duced to vapour by heat was rarified only fourteen thousand 
times, and on this principle our engines for raising water by 
fire are said to be constructed : But if the vapour so much 
rarified from water, is capable of being itself still farther 
rarified to a boundless degree by the application of heat to 
the vessels or parts of vessels containing the vapour (as at 



142 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

first it is applied to those containing the water) perhaps a 
much greater power may be obtained, with little additional 
expence. Possibly too, the power of easily moving water 
from one end to the other of a moveable beam (suspended 
in the middle like a scale-beam) by a small degree of heat, 
may be applied advantageously to some other mechanical 
purposes. 

The magic square and circle, I am told, have occasioned 
a good deal of puzzling among the mathematicians here; 
but no one has desired me to show him my method of dis- 
posing the numbers. It seems they wish rather to investigate 
it themselves. When I have the pleasure of seeing you, I 
will communicate it. 

With singular esteem and respect, I am, dear Sir, 
Your most obedient humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



475. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 

London, July 2, 1768. 

DEAR SON, 

Since my last, I have received yours of May 10, dated at 
Amboy, which I shall answer particularly by next week's 
packet. I purpose now to take notice of that part wherein 
you say it was reported at Philadelphia I was to be appointed 
to a certain office here, which my friends all wished, but you 
did not believe it for the reason I had mentioned. Instead 
of my being appointed to a new office, there has been a mo- 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 281 ED. 



1 768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 143 

tion made to deprive me of that I now hold, 1 and, I believe, 
for the same reason, though that was not the reason given 
out, viz. my being too much of an American; but, as it 
came from Lord Sandwich, our new postmaster-general, who 
is of the Bedford party, and a friend of Mr. Grenville, I have 
no doubt that the reason he gave out, viz. my non-residence, 
was only the pretence, and that the other was the true reason ; 
especially as it is the practice in many other instances to 
allow the non-residence of American officers who spend their 
salaries here, provided care is taken that the business be done 
by deputy or otherwise. 

The first notice I had of this was from my fast friend Mr. 
Cooper, secretary of the treasury. He desired me by a little 
note to call upon him there, which I did, when he told me, 
that the Duke of Grafton had mentioned to him some dis- 
course of Lord Sandwich's, as if the office suffered by my 
absence, and that it would be fit to appoint another, as I 
seemed constantly to reside in England: that Mr. Todd, 
secretary of the postoffice, had also been with the Duke, 
talking to the same purpose, &c. ; that the Duke had wished 
him (Mr. Cooper) to mention this to me, and to say to me 
at the same time that though my going to my post might 
remove the objection, yet if I choose rather to reside in Eng- 
land, my merit was such in his opinion, as to entitle me to 
something better here, and it should not be his fault if I was 
not well provided for. I told Mr. Cooper that without hav- 
ing heard any exception had been taken to my residence 
here, I was really preparing to return home, and expected 
to be gone in a few weeks; that however I was extremely 
sensible of the Duke's goodness, in giving me this intimation, 

1 Deputy Postmaster-General in America. ED. 



144 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

and very thankful for his favourable disposition towards 
me; that having lived long in England, and contracted a 
friendship and affection for many persons here, it could not 
but be agreeable to me to remain among them some time 
longer, if not for the rest of my life ; and that there was no 
nobleman, to whom I could, from sincere respect for his 
great abilities and amiable qualities, so cordially attach 
myself, or to whom I should so willingly be obliged for the 
provision he mentioned, as to the Duke of Grafton, if his 
Grace should think I could, in any station where he might 
place me, be serviceable to him and to the public. 

Mr. Cooper said he was very glad to hear I was still willing 
to remain in England, as it agreed so perfectly with his in- 
clinations to keep me here. Wished me to leave my name 
at the Duke of Grafton's as soon as possible, and to be at the 
treasury again the next board day. I accordingly called at 
the Duke's, and left my card ; and when I went next to the 
treasury, his Grace not being there, Mr. Cooper carried me 
to Lord North, chancellor of the exchequer, who said very 
obligingly, after talking of some American affairs, "I am told 
by Mr. Cooper, that you are not unwilling to stay with us. 
I hope we shall find some way of making it worth your while." 
I thanked his Lordship, and said I should stay with pleasure, 
if I could any ways be useful to government. He made me 
a compliment and I took my leave, Mr. Cooper carrying me 
away with him to his country-house at Richmond to dine 
and stay all night. 

He then told me that Mr. Todd had been again at the 
Duke of Grafton's, and that, upon his (Mr. Cooper's) speak- 
ing in my behalf, Mr. Todd had changed his style, and said 
I had to be sure a great deal of merit with the office, having 



1768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 145 

by my good management regulated the posts in America, so 
as greatly to increase the revenue; that he had had great 
satisfaction in corresponding with me while I was there, 
and he believed they never had a better officer, &c. The 
Thursday following, being the birthday, I met with Mr. 
Todd at court. He was very civil, took me with him in his 
coach to the King's Arms in the city, where I had been in- 
vited to dine by Mr. Trevor, with the gentlemen of the post- 
office; we had a good deal of chat after dinner between us 
two, in which he told me, Lord Sandwich (who was very 
sharp) had taken notice of my stay in England, and said, If 
one could do the business, why should there be two? On 
my telling Mr. Todd that I was going home, (which I still 
say to everybody, not knowing but that what is intimated 
above may fail of taking effect,) he looked blank, and seemed 
disconcerted a little, which makes me think some friend of his 
was to have been vested with my place ; but this is surmise 
only* We parted very good friends. 

That day I received another note from Mr. Cooper, direct- 
ing me to be at the Duke of Grafton's next morning, whose 
porter had orders to let me in. I went accordingly, and was 
immediately admitted. But his Grace being then engaged 
in some unexpected business, with much condescension and 
politeness made that apology for his not discoursing with me 
then, but wished me to be at the treasury at twelve the next 
Tuesday. I went accordingly, when Mr. Cooper told me 
something had called the Duke into the country, and the 
board was put off, which was not known till it was too late 
to send me word ; but was glad I was come, as he might then 
fix another day for me to go again with him into the country. 
The day fixed was Thursday. I returned yesterday ; should 

VOL. V L 



146 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

have stayed till Monday, but for writing by these vessels. 
He assures me the Duke has it at heart to do something 
handsome for me. Sir John Pringle, who is anxious for my 
stay, says Mr. Cooper is the honestest man of a courtier 
that he ever knew, and he is persuaded they are in earnest 
to keep me. 

The piece I wrote against smuggling, in the Chronicle of 
November last, and one in April, on the Labouring Poor, 
which you will find in the Gentleman's Magazine for that 
month, have been lately shown by Mr. Cooper to the chan- 
cellor of the exchequer, and to the Duke, who have expressed 
themselves much pleased with them. I am to be again at 
the treasury on Tuesday next, by appointment of Mr. Cooper. 
Thus particular I have been, that you may judge of this 
affair. 

For my own thoughts, I must tell you that though I did 
not think fit to decline any favour so great a man expressed 
an inclination to do me, because at court if one shows an un- 
willingness to be obliged, it is often construed as a mark 
of mental hostility, and one makes an enemy; yet so great 
is my inclination to be at home, and at rest, that I shall not 
be sorry if this business falls through, and I am suffered to 
retire with my old post; nor indeed very sorry if they take 
that from me too on account of my zeal for America, in 
which some of my friends have hinted to me that I have been 
too open. I shall soon be able, I hope, by the next packet, 
to give you farther light. In the mean time, as no one but 
Sir John knows of the treaty, I talk daily of going in the 
August packet at farthest. And when the late Georgia ap- 
pointment of me to be their agent is mentioned, as what may 
detain me, I say, I have yet received no letters from that 



1768] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 147 

Assembly, acquainting me what their business may be ; that 
I shall probably hear from them before that packet sails ; 
that, if it is extraordinary and of such a nature as to make 
my stay another winter necessary, I may possibly stay, be- 
cause there would not be time for them to choose another; 
but, if it is common business, I shall leave it with Mr. Jack- 
son and proceed. 

I do not, by the way, know how that appointment came 
about, having no acquaintance that I can recollect in that 
country. It has been mentioned in the papers some time, 
but I have only just now received a letter from Governor 
Wright, informing me that he had that day given his assent 
to it, and expressing his desire to correspond with me on all 
occasions, saying the Committee, as soon as they could get 
their papers ready, would write to me and acquaint me with 
their business. 

We have lost Lord Clare from the Board of Trade. He 
took me home from court the Sunday before his removal, 
that I might dine with him as he said alone, and talk over 
American affairs. He seemed as attentive to them, as if he 
was to continue ever so long. He gave me a great deal of 
flummery; saying, that though at my Examination I an- 
swered some of his questions a little pertly, yet he liked me, 
from that day, for the spirit I showed in defence of my 
country ; and at parting, after we had drank a bottle and a 
half of claret each, he hugged and kissed me, protesting 
he never in his life met with a man he was so much in love 
with. This I write for your amusement. You see by the 
nature of this whole letter, that it is to yourself only. It 
may serve to prepare your mind for any event that shall 
happen. 



148 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

\ If Mr. Grenville comes into power again, in any depart- 
ment respecting America, I must refuse to accept of any 
thing that may seem to put me in his power, because I 
apprehend a breach between the two countries; and that 
refusal might give offence. So that you see a turn of a die 
may make a great difference in our affairs. We may be 
either promoted, or discarded ; one or the other seems likely 
soon to be the case, but it is hard to divine which. I am 
myself grown so old as to feel much less than formerly the 
spur of ambition, and if it were not for the flattering expec- 
tation, that by being fixed here I might more effectually 
serve my country, I should certainly determine for retirement, 
without a moment's hesitation. I am, as ever, your affec- 
tionate father, B. FRANKLIN. 



476. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 

London, July 2, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

Since my last, nothing material has occurred here relating 
to American affairs, except the removal of Lord Clare from 
the head of the Board of Trade to the treasury of Ireland, 
and the return of Lord Hillsborough to the Board of Trade 
as first commissioner, retaining the title and powers of sec- 
retary of state for the colonies. This change was very 
sudden and unexpected. My Lord Clare took me home 
from court to dine with him but two days before, saying he 
should be without other company, and wanted to talk with 
me on sundry American businesses. We had accordingly a 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 286. ED. 



1 768] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 149 

good deal of conversation on our affairs, in which he seemed 
to interest himself with all the attention, that could be sup- 
posed in a minister, who expected to continue in the manage- 
ment of them. This was on Sunday, and on the Tuesday 
following he was removed. Whether my Lord Hillsborough's 
administration will be more stable, than others have been 
for a long time, is quite uncertain ; but, as his inclinations are 
rather favourable towards us (so far as he thinks consistent 
with what he supposes the unquestionable rights of Britain), 
I cannot but wish it may continue, especially as these per- 
petual mutations prevent the progress of all business. 

But another change is now talked of that gives me great 
uneasiness. Several of the Bedford party being now got in, 
it has been for some time apprehended that they would sooner 
or later draw their friend Mr. Grenville in after them. It 
is now said, he is to be secretary of state, in the room of Lord 
Shelburne. If this should take place, or if in any other 
shape he comes again into power, I fear his sentiments of the 
Americans, and theirs of him, will occasion such clashings 
as may be attended with fatal consequences. The last ac- 
counts from your part of the world, of the combinations 
relating to commerce with this country, and resolutions con- 
cerning the duties here laid upon it, occasion much serious 
reflection, and 'tis thought the points in dispute between the 
two countries will not fail to come under the consideration 
of Parliament early in next session. Our friends wonder 
that I persist in my intention of returning this summer, 
alleging that I might be of much more service to my country 
here, than I can be there, and wishing me by all means to stay 
the ensuing winter, as the presence of persons well acquainted 
with America, and of ability to represent these affairs in a 



150 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1768 

proper light, will then be highly necessary. My private 
concerns, however, so much require my presence at home, 
that I have not yet suffered myself to be persuaded by their 
partial opinion of me. 

The tumults and disorders, that prevailed here lately, 
have now pretty well subsided. Wilkes's outlawry is re- 
versed, but he is sentenced to twenty-two months imprison- 
ment, and one thousand pounds fine, which his friends, who 
feared he would be pilloried, seem rather satisfied with. 
The importation of corn, a pretty good hay harvest, now 
near over, and the prospect of plenty from a fine crop of 
wheat, makes the poor more patient, in hopes of an abate- 
ment in the price of provisions; so that unless want of 
employment by the failure of American orders should distress 
them, they are like to be tolerably quiet. 

I purpose writing to you again by the packet that goes 
next Saturday, and therefore now only add that I am, with 
sincere esteem, dear Sir, your most obedient and most 
humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

477. TO C. W. F. DUMAS 1 (M. H. s.) 
Craven Street, London, July 25, 1768. 

SIR, 

I received your favour of the 20 th of April with the very 
entertaining and informing Books you so obligingly sent me, 
for which I thank you. 

1 C. W. F. Dumas, a resident of Leyden and later of The Hague, was a 
secret agent for the colonies in Holland throughout the Revolution. Two 
hundred and sixty-six letters written by him to Franklin between 1 775 and 
1785 are among the Franklin papers in A. P. S. He was a man of letters and 
edited a new edition of Vattel in the winter of 1774-5, and translated numer- 
ous works from Dutch into French. ED. 



1768] TO C. W. F. DUMAS 151 

As you seem only to have seen Extracts in the Magazines 
from the Account of East Florida, I send you the Book itself, 
which may afford you some farther Lights concerning the 
Country. I am not myself otherwise much acquainted with 
it than from such publick Writings, my Place of Abode, 
Philadelphia, being near 1000 Miles from Florida. I can 
only remark to you that generally those who have at heart 
the Settlement of New Countries, are apt, while they expatiate 
on the Advantages, to pass over and conceal the Disadvan- 
tages, so that a just Idea of the New Country is rarely to be 
obtained by reading their Accounts. And as you profess a 
Reliance on my Opinion in the Affair of your removal to 
America, I must not advise you to go to E. Florida, lest 
my Unacquaintedness with that Country should lead you 

into hazardous Mistakes. Besides, when I consider " " 

the Hardships usually attending the Settlement of New Coun- 
tries, and the Sickness and Mortality to which new Settlers, 
unaccustomed to the Climate, are exposed, I cannot think 
such Undertakings so fit for Persons of your & your Wife's 
Age, that have Children depending on them, as for young 
unmarried Persons, whose Deaths can only affect themselves, 
or will not be attended with such unhappy Consequences. 
Therefore, if you cannot remain contented with your Situa- 
tion in Holland, but are determined on a Country Life in 
America, my Advice to you would be, to purchase a Planta- 
tion ready formed, in one of the old Settled Provinces, New 
York, New Jersey, or Pensilvania, of which there are 
Choice continually to be sold, as you will see by the News- 
papers that I send you herewith. In either of these three 
Provinces the three modern Languages you possess, German, 
Low Dutch & French, may be useful to you, as there are 



152 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

Numbers of Germans, Hollanders and French among the 
Inhabitants ; and your other Accomplishments will be of 
more Value in a well-settled Country, than in a new One 
thin of People, and you will have more of the Pleasures and 
Comforts of Neighbourhood & Society. With the money 
you are like to be possessed of, at the End of your present 
Contract you may certainly buy and Stock a very good 
Plantation in one of those flourishing Provinces, where the 
Climate is healthy, and the Government mild and good, 
and where if anywhere, Competence and Happiness are 
within the Reach of every honest, prudent & industrious 
Man. 

I purpose remaining here another Winter, and returning 
home to Pensilvania in the Spring. I hope your Resolution, 
whatever it is, may be attended with the Success you wish. 
If you determine for either of those Provinces, as I live in 
one of them, my Son in another (N. Jersey) and I have some 
Friends in the third, N. York, I may possibly be of some 
utility to you in your Settling, which would be a Pleasure to, 
Sir, 

Your most obedient humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



478. TO BARBEU DUBOURG 1 

London, July 28, 1768. 

I GREATLY approve the epithet which you give, in your 
letter of the 8th of June, to the new method of treating the 
small-pox, which you call the tonic or bracing method; I 

1 From M. Dubourg's edition of Franklin's Works, Vol. II, p. 310. For a 
sketch of M. Dubourg, see Vol. I, p. 17. ED. 



1768] FROM DU PONT DE NEMOURS TO FRANKLIN 153 

will take occasion from it to mention a practice to which I 
have accustomed myself. You know the cold bath has long 
been in vogue here as a tonic ; but the shock of the cold water 
has always appeared to me, generally speaking, as too 
violent, and I have found it much more agreeable to my 
constitution to bathe in another element, I mean cold air. 
With this view I rise almost every morning, and sit in my 
chamber without any clothes whatever, half an hour or an 
hour, according to the season, either reading or writing. 
This practice is not in the least painful, but, on the contrary, 
agreeable ; and, if I return to bed afterwards, before I dress 
myself, as sometimes happens, I make a supplement to my 
night's rest of one or two hours of the most pleasing sleep 
that can be imagined. I find no ill consequences whatever 
resulting from it, and that at least it does not injure my 
health, if it does not in fact contribute much to its preserva- 
tion. I shall therefore call it for the future a footing or 
tonic bath. B. FRANKLIN. 



479. FROM DU PONT DE NEMOURS TO BENJA- 
MIN FRANKLIN l (P. c.) 

Paris ce 10 May, 1768. 
MONSIEUR, 

JPai etc infiniment sensible a votre bonte en apprenant par Monsieur le 
Docteur Quesnay que vous aviez daigni me chercher et vous informer de moi 
pendant votre dernier sejour a Paris. Malheureusement pour moi vous n'avez 
vu M. Quesnay que dans les deux ou trois jours qui ont precede immediate- 
ment votre depart ; je rien ai e"te instruit que le jour me"me ou vous partiez, 
et j'ai etc prive par la de Pavantage de faire une connaissance directe avec 
vous. 

Avant ce temps, Monsieur, je connaissais bien de vous le Savant, le 

1 From the original in the possession of Col. H. A. Du Pont. Draft in 
A. P. S. See Franklin's reply, July 28, 1768. ED. 



154 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

Geometre, le Physician, 1'homme a qui la nature permet de devoiler ses 
secrets. Depuis ce temps Monsieur le Docteur Barbeu du Bourg mon ami 
a bien voulu me communiquer plusieurs de vos ecrits relatifs aux affaires de 
votre patrie. J'ai pris la liberte d'en traduire quelques-ans. J'y ai reconnu 
a chaque page le philosophe citoyen occup6 avec genie du bonheur de ses 
freres et des interSts les plus chers de 1'humanite. J'ai regrette encore davan- 
tage de ne vous avoir point vu pendant le temps que vous avez passe a Paris. 
Si votre bonheur vous y ramene, Monsieur, je vous prie de me permettre de 
reparer cette perte le plus amplement qu'il me sera possible. 

En attendant recevez les assurances de mon respect et 1'hommage de deux 
ecrits imprimes depuis que vous Stes retourne en Angleterre. Le premier et 
le plus considerable a tous les egards est un recueil des principaux traites 
economiques du Docteur Quesnay, ou, je n'ai mis de moi qu'un discours pre- 
liminaire, plusieurs avis tres simples de l'e"diteur, une table des matieres, et 
quelques notes. Le second est un resum fort court de la doctrine de ce sage 
Philosophe. Le souhaite que 1'un et Pautre vous plaisent. L'importance de 
la matiere les rend du moins dignes de votre attention. Mais je sens assez 
combien il faudrait de talens superieurs aux miens, pour discuter cette matiere 
immense comme elle devrait 1'Stre et comme je desirerais qu'elle le fut. J'y 
invite les gens de lettres dans le Discours preliminaire de la Physiocratie, 
Sauffrez que je vous invite particulierement vous mSme, Monsieur, vous qui 
possedez des talents si rares et qui savez en faire une application si juste et 
si rapide aux circonstances ou vous vous trouvez. C'est dans le developpe- 
ment evident de tous les droits de 1'homme que 1'on peut trouver la base et 
les principes d'un gouvernement a jamais prospere, egalement utile et sur 
pour la nation qui y sera soumise, et avantageux meme pour les autres qui 
emaneront de celle la et qui profiteront de son amour pour la paix, pour la 
liberte, y trouvant de la franchise et de 1'immunite qu'elle donne a son com- 
merce, et de la distribution des richesses multiplices que son agriculture fera 
naitre. 

Un Genie comme le vStre, Monsieur, est manifestement fait pour rendre 
frappantes ces verites si utiles au genre humain et pour trater par la le bonheur 
de 1'univers. 

Cette lettre et les livres que j'y joins, vous seront remis, Monsieur, par 
Mr. Reboul Secretaire perpetuel de la societe economique nouvellement 
formee a Aix par les Etats de Provence. C'est un homme de beaucoup de 
merite qui me rend service en vous portent un paquet que j'etais embarrasse 
pour vous faire remettre, et a qui je rends service en lui procurant votre con- 
naissance dont il sent tout le prix. 

Je suis, Monsieur, avec le plus profond 
respect, votre tres humble et tres ob6issant Serviteur 

Du PONT. 



1768] TO DU PONT DE NEMOURS 155 

480. TO DU PONT DE NEMOURS 1 

London, July 28, 1768. 

I RECEIVED your obliging letter of the loth May, with the 
most acceptable present of your Physiocratie, which I have 
read with great pleasure, and received from it a great deal of 
instruction. There is such a freedom from local and national 
prejudices and partialities, so much benevolence to mankind 
in general, so much goodness mixt with the wisdom, in the 
principles of your new philosophy, that I am perfectly 
charmed with them, and wish I could have stayed in France 
for some time, to have studied in your school, that I might 
by conversing with its founders have made myself quite a 
master of that philosophy. ... I had, before I went into 
your country, seen some letters of yours to Dr. Templeman, 
that gave me a high opinion of the doctrines you are en- 
gaged in cultivating and of your personal talents and abilities, 
which made me greatly desirous of seeing you. Since I had 
not that good fortune, the next best thing is the advantage 
you are so good to offer me of your correspondence, which 
I shall ever highly value, and endeavour to cultivate with all 
the diligence I am capable of. 

I am sorry to find that that wisdom which sees the welfare 
of the parts in the prosperity of the whole, seems yet not to 
be known in this country. . . . We are so far from conceiv- 
ing that what is best for mankind, or even for Europe in 
general, may be best for us, that we are even studying to 
establish and extend a separate interest of Britain, to the 

1 Printed from John Bigelow, "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. IV, p. 194. ED. 



156 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

prejudice of even Ireland and our colonies. ... It is from 
your philosophy only that the maxims of a contrary and more 
happy conduct are to be drawn, which I therefore sincerely 
wish may grow and increase till it becomes the governing 
philosophy of the human species, as it must be that of superior 
beings in better worlds. I will take the liberty of sending 
you a little fragment that has some tincture of it, which, on 
that account, I hope may be acceptable. 

Be so good as to present my sincere respect to that venera- 
ble apostle, Dr. Quesnay, and to the illustrious Ami des 
Hommes 1 (of whose civilities to me at Paris I retain a grateful 
remembrance), and believe me to be, with real and very 
great esteem Sir, 

Your obliged and most obedient humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN 



481. TO JOHN ALLEYNE 2 (A. P. s.) 
Craven Street, [August 9, 1768] 

DEAR SIR 

You made an Apology to me for not acquaint* me sooner 
with your Marriage. I ought now to make an Apology to 
you for delaying so long the Answer to your Letter. It was 
mislaid or hid among my Papers and much Business put 
it out of my Mind, or prevented my looking for it and writing 
when I thought of it. So this Account between us if you 

1 Marquis de Mirabeau (1715-1789), author of "Ami des Hommes, ou 
traite de la Population " ( 1 756) . ED. 

2 The rough draft in A. P. S. is undated. The date in brackets above is 
that given by W. T. F. The introduction to the letter in the draft is very 
different from that printed by W. T. F. ED. 



1768] TO JOHN" ALLEYNE 157 

please may stand balanced. I assure you it gave me great 
Pleasure to hear you were married, and into a Family of 
Reputation. This I learnt from the Public Papers. The 
Character you give me of your Bride (as it includes every 
Qualification that in the married State conduces to mutual 
Happiness) is an Addition to that Pleasure. Had you con- 
sulted me, as a Friend, on the Occasion, Youth on both sides 
I should not have thought any Objection. Indeed, from the 
matches that have fallen under my Observation, I am 
rather inclin'd to think, that early ones stand the best 
Chance for Happiness. The Tempers and habits of young 
People are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying, as 
when more advanced in Life ; they form more easily to each 
other, and hence many Occasions of Disgust are removed. 
And if Youth has less of that Prudence, that is necessary to 
conduct a Family, yet the Parents and elder Friends of young 
married Persons are generally at hand to afford their Advice, 
which amply supplies that Defect; and, by early Marriage, 
Youth is sooner form'd to regular and useful Life; and 
possibly some of those Accidents, Habits or Connections, that 
might have injured either the Constitution, or the Reputation, 
or both, are thereby happily prevented. 

Particular Circumstances of particular Persons may 
possibly sometimes make it prudent to delay entering into 
that State; but in general, when Nature has render'd our 
Bodies fit for it, the Presumption is in Nature's Favour, 
that she has not judg'd amiss in making us desire it. Late 
Marriages are often attended, too, with this further Incon- 
venience, that there is not the same Chance the parents 
shall live to see their offspring educated. "Late Children" 
says the Spanish Proverb, "are early Orphans" A melan- 



158 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

choly Reflection to those, whose Case it may be ! With us 
in America, Marriages are generally in the Morning of 
Life; our Children are therefore educated and settled in 
the World by Noon ; and thus, our Business being done, we 
have an Afternoon and Evening of chearful Leisure to our- 
selves; such as your Friend at present enjoys. By these 
early Marriages we are blest with more Children; and from 
the Mode among us, founded in Nature, of every Mother 
suckling and nursing her own Child, more of them are raised. 
Thence the swift Progress of Population among us, unparal- 
iePd in Europe. 

In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you 
most cordially upon it. You are now more in the way of 
becoming a useful Citizen; and you have escap'd the un- 
natural State of Celibacy for Life, the Fate of many here, 
who never intended it, but who, having too long postponed the 
Change of their Condition, find at length, that 'tis too late 
to think of it, and so live all their Lives in a Situation that 
greatly lessens a Man's Value. An odd Volume of a Set of 
Books you know is not worth its proportion of the Set, and 
what think you of the Usefulness of an odd Half of a Pair 
of Scissors ? It cannot well cut any thing. It may possibly 
serve to scrape a Trencher. 

Pray make my Compliments and best Wishes acceptable 
to your Spouse. I am old and heavy and grow a little in- 
dolent, or I should ere this have presented them in Person. 
I shall make but small Use of the old Man's Privilege, that 
of giving Advice to younger Friends. Treat your Wife 
always with Respect; it will procure Respect to you, not 
from her only but from all that observe it. Never use a 
slighting Expression to her, even in jest, for Slights in Jest, 



1768] TO DAVID HALL 159 

after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest. 
Be studious in your Profession, and you will be learned. 
Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober 
and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general 
virtuous, and you will be happy. At least, you will, by 
such Conduct, stand the best Chance for such Consequences. 
I pray God to bless you both; being ever your affectionate 
Friend, B. FRANKLIN. 

482. TO DAVID HALL (P. H. s.) 

London, Aug| 9. 1768 

DEAR M* HALL. 

I receiv'd yours of June 20. &. 22. I have wrote my Mind 
fully to you in former Letters relating to the Stamp Act; 
so that I have but little to add, except what you desire to know 
about the 2/ on Advertisements. It is undoubtedly to be 
paid every Time the Advertisement is inserted. As to the 
Paper sent over, I did it for the best, having at that time 
Expectations given me that we might have had it stampt 
there; in which case you would have had great Advantage 
of the other Printers, since if they were not provided with 
such Paper, they must have either printed but a half sheet 
common Demi, or paid for two Stamps on each Sheet. The 
Plan was afterward altered notwithstanding all I could do, 
it being alledged that Scotland & every Colony would expect 
the same Indulgence if it was granted to us. The Papers 
must not be sent back again : But I hope you will excuse 
what I did in Good will, tho' it happened wrong The 
Molds I still think you should have, as you see that Paper 
from hence is much dearer than we can make it, with all 
Charge of Carriage, but that I hope to get off. 



160 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1768 

I would not have you by any means drop the Newspaper, 
as I am sure it will soon recover any present Loss, and may 
be carried on to advantage, if you steadily proceed as I pro- 
pos'd in former Letters. I am 

Yours affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 






483. TO THE PRINTER OF The London 
Chronicle l 

August 1 8, 1768. 

QUERIES, recommended to the Consideration of those 
Gentlemen who are for vigorous measures with the Americans. 

1. Have the Colonists refused to answer any reasonable 
requisitions made to their Assemblies by the mother country? 

2. If they have not refused to grant reasonable aids in the 
way, which they think consistent with liberty, why must they 
be stripped of their property without their own consent, and 
in a way, which they think inconsistent with liberty? 

3. What is it for a people to be enslaved and tributary, if 
this be not, viz. to be forced to give up their property at the 
arbitrary pleasure of persons, to whose authority they have 
not submitted themselves, nor chosen for the purpose of im- 
posing taxes upon them? Wherein consisted the impro- 
priety of King Charles's demanding ship money by his sole 
authority, but in its being an exercise of power by the King, 
which the people had not given the King? Have the people 
of America, as the people of Britain, by sending representa- 
tives, consented to a power in the British parliament to tax 
them? 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, October 12, 
1768. ED. 



1 768] TO PRINTER OF "THE LONDON CHRONICLE" 161 

4. Has not the British parliament, by repealing the stamp 
act, acknowledged that they judged it improper? Is there 
any difference between the stamp act, and the act obliging 
the Americans to pay whatever we please, for articles which 
they cannot do without, as glass and paper? Is there any 
difference as to justice between our treatment of the colonists, 
and the tyranny of the Carthaginians over their conquered 
Sardinians, when they obliged them to take all their corn 
from them, and at whatever price they pleased to set upon it? 

5. If that be true, what is commonly said, viz. That the 
mother country gains two millions a year by the colonies, 
would it not have been wiser to have gone on quietly in the 
happy way we were in, till our gains by those rising and 
flourishing countries should amount to three, four or five 
millions a year, than by these new fashioned vigorous meas- 
ures to kill the goose which lays the golden eggs? Would 
it not have been better policy, instead of taxing our colonists, 
to have done whatever we could to enrich them; and en- 
courage them to take off our articles of luxury, on which we 
may put our own price, and thus draw them into paying 
us a voluntary tax; than deluge them in blood, thin their 
countries, impoverish and distress them, interrupt their 
commerce, force them on bankruptcy, by which our mer- 
chants must be ruined, or tempt them to emigrations, or 
alliances with our enemies? 

6. The late war could not have been carried on without 
America, nor without Scotland? Have we treated America 
and Scotland in such a manner as is likely in future wars to 
encourage their zeal for the common cause ? Or is England 
alone to be the Drawcansir of the world, and to bully not 
only their enemies, but her friends ? 

VOL. V M 



162 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

7. Are not the subjects of Britain concerned to check a 
ministry, who, by this rage of heaping taxes on taxes, are only 
drawing into their own hands more and more wealth and 
power, while they are hurting the commercial interest of the 
empire in general, at the same time that, amidst profound 
peace, the national debt and burden on the public continue 

undiminished ? 

N. M. C. N. P. C. H. 



484. TO THE PRINTER OF The London Public 

Advertiser l 

August 25, 1768. 

SIR, 

Threescore years did the oppressed United Provinces 
maintain a war in defence of their liberties against the then 
powerful kingdom of Spain, with all the wealth of the Indies 
at its command; and finally obliged to acknowledge their 
independency in a formal treaty, sitting down with the loss 
of territory, treasure and reputation, and with a broken 
strength that has never since been recovered. 

Contractors, jobbing mercantile members of parliament, 
officers starving on half pay, and gunsmiths who toast, as 
the papers tell us, a speedy and a perpetual war, may wish, 
rather than no war at all, for a civil one in America. These 
in all conversations, to encourage us in undertaking it, 
slight the strength of those distant people, think nothing of 
that enthusiasm for liberty, which in other countries and ages 
has supplied all deficiencies, and enabled a weak people to 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, December 5, 
1768. ED. 



1768] TO PRINTER OF "THE PUBLIC ADVERTISER" 163 

baffle the efforts of a stronger ; but tell us that half a dozen 
regiments are sufficient to reduce in less than a year every 
province on the continent. Half a dozen being once en- 
gaged in this blessed service, it is easy to write and shew the 
necessity for more : The more there are the greater the prof- 
its to those gentry. And whatever becomes of us poor devils 
that live by manufactures or by trade, that are to pay taxes, 
or that have money in the funds, they will amass fortunes, 
buy our estates, bribe our boroughs, and vote in parliament 
the rectitude of the measure. 

I believe our officers and soldiers as brave as any in the 
world; and from that very opinion of their bravery I con- 
jecture they would not generally relish the being ordered on 
this murdering service against their countrymen; to shed 
English blood, to stifle the British spirit of liberty now rising 
in the Colonies ; that LIBERTY which we should rather wish 
to see nourished and preserved there, as on a loss of it here 
(which from our vices is perhaps not far distant) we or our 
posterity may have occasion to resort to and participate of; 
and possibly some of the ablest officers may choose, with 
Sir Jejfery Amherst, rather to resign their commissions. But 
whatever may be the bravery and military powers of our 
troops, and whatever the zeal with which they would proceed 
in such a war, there are reasons that make me suspect that 
it will not be so soon terminated as some folks would have 
us believe. 

My reasons are drawn chiefly from a computation founded 
on facts. It is well known that America is a country full of 
forests, mountains, &c. That in such a country a small 
irregular force can give abundance of trouble to a regular 
one that is much greater: And that, in the last war, one of 



164 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

the fifteen Colonies we now have there (and one far short 
of being the strongest) held out five years against twenty- 
five thousand British regular troops; joined by twenty-five 
thousand Colonists on their own pay, and aided by a strong 
fleet of men of war. What the expence was to this nation, 
our treasury books and augmented debt may shew. The 
expence to America, as their pay was higher, could not be 
much less. The Colony we made war upon was indeed aided 
by France, but during the whole contest not with more than 
five thousand men. Now supposing that the twenty-five 
thousand Colonists, that then joined us, should hereafter 
be against us, and that this makes no difference, and con- 
sidering that instead of one Colony to conquer, we are to have 
fifteen, and that possibly some of our good neighbours may 
think of making a diversion in their favour, I apprehend it 
not out of the way to allow five years still to a Colony ; and 
this by my computation, will amount to just seventy five 
years. I hope Messieurs the company of gunsmiths will for 
the present be so good as to be content with a civil war of 
seventy-five years, and perhaps we may scarce be able to 
afford them a perpetual one. 

And what are we to gain by this war, by which our trade 
and manufactures are to be ruined, our strength divided 
and diminished, our debt increased, and our reputation, as 
a generous nation, and lovers of liberty, given up and lost? 
Why, we are to convert millions of the King's loyal subjects 
into rebels, for the sake of establishing a new claimed power 
in P to tax a distant people, whose abilities and cir- 
cumstances they cannot be acquainted with, who have a 
constitutional power of taxing themselves; who have never 
refused to give us voluntarily more than we can ever expect 



1768] TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 165 

to wrest from them by force; and by our trade with whom 
we gain millions a year ! 

And is there not one wise and good man to be found in 
Britain, who can propose some conciliating measure that 
may prevent this terrible mischief? I fear not one. For 

Quos Deus vult perdere, dementat prius! 

N. N. 

485. TO GIAMBATISTA BECCARIA 1 

London Sept. 21, 1768. 

REVEREND SIR: 

The bearer of my letter is Monsieur L'Epinasse my good 
friend who is an ingenious electrician, one of the most ex- 
cellent that we have. 

He intends to visit Turin and being anxious to know you 
I could not deny him the honour of this note which will 
serve as an introduction to you and which I hope your good- 
ness will excuse. I had already proposed to write you at 
length upon the subject of your last letter, but the various 
affairs in which I am engaged here, take away entirely my 
attention from philosophical matters, though I have con- 
stantly cherished the hope of returning home where I could 
find leisure to resume the studies that I have shamefully 
put off from time to time. Nevertheless I can but acknowl- 
edge my fault and ask your pardon for it, assuring you that 
no one has more perfect esteem and respect for your reverence 
than he who has the honour to be, Reverend Sir, 

Your ob. and humble servant 
BENJ. FRANKLIN. 

1 From " Memorie Istoriche intorno gli studi del Padre Giambatista 
Beccaria" (Eandi), Torino, 1783, p. 148. Beccaria (1716-1781) was Pro- 
fessor of Physics in the University of Turin. ED. 



166 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

486. TO MR. THOMAS CROWLEY 1 

[FROM THE "PUBLIC ADVERTISER"] 
S IR) London, Oct. 21. [1768] 

As you have printed here your letter of yesterday to your 
friend in America, and it may be long before you receive an 
answer from thence, permit me in the mean time to give you a 
few remarks on it, submitting them, as you have done your 
Letter, to the Public. 

The disposition you shew to promote peace and harmony 
between the two countries, is commendable: But if you 
wish to have any influence with us Americans as a mediator, 
methinks you should have avoided giving us ground for sus- 
picion that you are prejudiced against us, and that you have 
imbibed notions of us extremely injurious, and not founded 
in fact. 

You speak of us as a people unreasonable enough to expect 
protection from Britain, without contributing towards the 
expence, which is far from being the case. The King has 
no subjects more willing to grant him aids in proportion to 
their abilities. 

You speak of our "dangerous and vain expectations of 
becoming independent," and say that "certainly there are 
such among us." j Allow me to tell you, that you are certainly 
mistaken, and that there is not a single wish in the colonies 
to be free from subjection to their amiable sovereign the King 
of Great-Britain, and the constitutional dependence thence 
arising; and the charging them with such views is a cruel 
calumny, which you ought not to have countenanced, much 
less to have asserted it as a certain fact, j 

1 Printed here from Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, February 6, 1769. 
ED. 



1768] TO MR. THOMAS CROWLEY 167 

You bring an account against us of Eighty Millions, which 
you say this nation has run in debt by a war commenced for 
our protection ; and this, joined with your groundless insinua- 
tions of our unwillingness to contribute to the exigencies of 
the crown, seems intended to make us odious, as being both 
burthensome and ungrateful. We cannot take this well of 
you, when it is known that that war was commenced, not to 
defend the colonies (who were in profound peace, and had 
given no offence to their neighbours, either Indians or French) 
but to protect the British trade with the Indians which the 
French had interrupted, and to remove their incroachments 
on the King's wilderness lands in Acadia. We have never 
engaged Britain in any war on our account, but have con- 
stantly managed our Indian wars ourselves, without asking 
help from hence, either of men or money. On the other hand, 
by our connexion with Britain we are unavoidably drawn into 
all her wars, and always have, as it was our duty, borne our 
part of them without murmuring. And you might, with more 
propriety, have charged that expence of Eighty Millions to 
the manufactures of Birmingham, Yorkshire, Manchester, 
Norwich, &c. or to the British merchants, since the securing 
a vent for their goods, and the freedom and extention of their 
trade, was more the motive of the war, than our protection, 
who asked for none. But you pass them over as Hanover, 
Portugal, and the East India company, whose protection was 
expressly intended by Britain, and indeed highly expensive 
to her; tho' left intirely out of your account, that the odium 
of the whole may be laid on us. As to the " burning all our 
maritime towns," which you would intimidate us with, I 
shall only say, that I wonder how so barbarian a thought 
came into a peaceable man's head. This brave and generous 



168 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

nation can never proceed to such excesses against us, merely 
for vindicating our rights, and endeavouring to secure them 
by the quiet measures of industry and frugality. However, 
if our property is not in fact our own, but may be taken from 
us, at the pleasure of others without our consent, it is no 
matter how soon it is burnt; it is not worth belonging on 
such terms. 

You further intimate that our using British manufactures 
gives us no merit with this nation, because we must have used 
them if our ancestors had not migrated, and we had of course 
been born here. This is an ingenious argument, which I 
will not dispute, but only observe, that if Britain is not obliged 
by our buying her goods, we hope she will not be disobliged 
by our refusing them; since if we had been both here we 
might have worked for ourselves, and that is only what we are 
now about to do. 

Upon the whole, as we are not presumptuous enough to ask 
an union with Britain, such as England contracted with Scot- 
land, we have no "proposition" to make, but that she would 
leave us the enjoyment of our native and dear-bought privi- 
leges, and not attempt to alter or innovate our constitutions, 
in the exercise of which everything went prosperously for 
both countries, till the idea of taxing us by the power of Par- 
liament unfortunately entered the heads of your ministers, 
which had occasioned a public discussion of questions that 
had better never been started, and thrown all into confusion. 

I am, Sir, with great respect for your good intentions, 
equally a lover of peace with yourself, and also 
Your well wishing friend, 
FRANCIS LYNN, 
of Boston in New-England. 



1768] A SCHEME FOR A NEW ALPHABET 169 



487. A SCHEME 



FOR A 



NEW ALPHABET AND REFORMED MODE OF SPELLING; 



WITH 



REMARKS AND EXAMPLES CONCERNING THE SAME, AND AN 
ENQUIRY INTO ITS USES, IN A CORRESPONDENCE BE- 
TWEEN MISS STEVENSON AND DR. FRANKLIN, WRITTEN 
IN THE CHARACTERS OF THE ALPHABET. 1 



1 For the nature and intention of this alphabet, I must refer to what 
Dr. Franklin has himself said upon the subject, in answer to Miss Stevenson's 
objections ; as the reader may understand the whole in an hour or two. It 
is necessary to add, that the new letters used in the course of printing this 
paper, are exactly copie4 from the manuscript in my possession ; there being 
no provision for a distinction in the character as written or printed. I have 
no other way, therefore, of marking the scored parts of the manuscript 
(answering to italics,} than by placing such passages between inverted 
commas. As to capitals, I should have provided for them by means of larger 
types, but the form of some of them would have made them too large for 
the page. However, were the author's general system ever adopted, nothing 
would be easier than to remedy this particular. V. 

" Copy " from Vaughan's edition for W. T. F.'s edition (5 pp. of print) ex- 
ists in Stevens' Collection (L. c.). The document is dated by Stevens Sept. 
28, "which is obviously too late, as Miss Stevenson used this alphabet in 
writing to F. Sept. 26." (Fitzpatrick : " List of the B. F. Papers.") ED. 



170 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

TABLE OF THE 

Sounded respectively, as in the words in the column below. 

6 



g 
k 

fi 



m 



Old. 

John, folly; awl, ball. 

Man, can. 

Men, lend, name, lane. 

Did, sin, deed, seen. 

Tool, fool, rule. 

um, un ; as in umbrage, unto, &c., and as in er. 

Hunter, happy, high. 

Give, gather. 

Keep, kick. 

(sh) Ship, wish. 

(ng) ing, repeating, among. 

End. 

Art. 

Teeth. 

Deed. 

Ell, tell. 

Essence. 

(ez) Wages. 

(th) Think. 

(dh) Thy. 

Effect. 

Ever. 

Bees. 

Peep. 

Ember. 



A SCHEME FOR A NEW ALPHABET 



171 



REFORMED ALPHABET. 



ki 

ish 

ing 

en 

r 

ti 

di 

el 

es 

ez 



ev 
b 

pi 
em 



Manner of pronouncing the Sounds. 



The first VOWEL naturally, and deepest sound ; requires only to open the mouth, 
and breathe through it. 

The next requiring the mouth opened a little more, or hollower. 
The next, a little more. 

The next requires the tongue to be a little more elevated. 
The next still more. 

The next requires the lips to be gathered up, leaving a small opening. 

The next a very short vowel, the sound of which we should express in our pres- 
ent letters thus, uh ; a short, and not very strong aspiration. 
A stronger or more forcible aspiration. 



The first CONSONANT ; being formed by the root of the tongue; this is the pres- 
ent hard g. 

A kindred sound ; a little more acute ; to be used instead of the hard c . 

A new letter wanted in our language ; our sh t separately taken, not being proper 
elements of the sound. 

A new letter wanted for the same reason : These are formed back in the mouth. 

Formed more forward in the mouth ; the tip of the tongue to the roof of the 
mouth. 

The same ; the tip of the tongue a little loose or separate from the roof of the 
mouth, and vibrating. 

The tip of the tongue more forward ; touching, and then leaving, the roof. 
The same ; touching a little fuller. 

The same ; touching just about ftMgums of the upper teeth. 

This sound is formed by the breath passing between the moist end of the tongue 
and the upper teeth. 

The same, a little denser and duller. 

The tongue under, and a little behind, the upper teeth ; touching them, but so 
as to let the breath pass between. 

The same ; a little fuller. 

Formed by the lower lip against the upper teeth. 

The same ; fuller and duller. 

The lips full together, and opened as the air passes out. 

The same ; but a thinner sound. 

The closing oi the lips, while the e [here annexed] is sounding. 



172 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 





to 
huh 



r n 
t d 

I 
s z 



V 

b 
p 

m 



REMARKS ON THE ALPHABETICAL TABLE. 

It is endeavoured to give the alphabet a more 
natural order; beginning first with the simple 
sounds formed by the breath, with none or very 
little help of tongue, teeth, and lips, and pro- 
duced chiefly in the windpipe. 

Then coming forward to those, formed by the 
roof of the tongue next to the windpipe. 

Then to those, formed more forward, by the 
fore part of the tongue against the roof of the 
mouth. 

Then those, formed still more forward, in the 
mouth, by the tip of the tongue applied first to 
the roots of the upper teeth, 
f Then to those, formed by the tip of the tongue 
1 applied to the ends or edges of the upper teeth, 
f Then to those, formed still more forward, by 
1 the under lip applied to the upper teeth. 

{Then to those, formed yet more forward, by 
the upper and under lip opening to let out the 
sounding breath. 

{And lastly, ending with the shutting up of the 
mouth, or closing the lips, while any vowel is 
sounding. 

In this alphabet c is omitted as unnecessary; k supplying 
its hard sound, and 5 the soft ; k also supplies well the place 
of q, and, with an s added, the place of x; q and x are there- 
fore omitted. The vowel u y being sounded as oo, makes the 
iv unnecessary. The y, where used simply, is supplied by i, 
and, where as a diphthong, by two vowels; that letter is 
therefore omitted as useless. The jod / is also omitted, its 
sound being supplied by the new letter /?, ish, which serves 



1768] A SCHEME FOR A NEW ALPHABET 173 

other purposes, assisting in the formation of other sounds; 
thus the /? with a d before it gives the sound of the jod j and 
soft g, as in "James, January, giant, gentle," "dfieems, 
dfianueri, dfitfiant, dfientel;" with a t before it, it gives the 
sound of ch, as in "cherry, chip," "t fieri, tfiip;" and, with 
2 before it, the French sound of the jod /, as in "jamais," 
"zfiame." 

Thus the g has no longer two different sounds, which oc- 
casioned confusion, but is, as every letter ought to be, con- 
fined to one. The same is to be observed in all the letters, 
vowels, and consonants, that wherever they are met with, or 
in whatever company, their sound is always the same. It is 
also intended, that there be no superfluous letters used in 
spelling; that is, no letter that is not sounded; and this 
alphabet, by six new letters, provides, that there be no dis- 
tinct sounds in the language without letters to express them. 
As to the difference between short and long vowels, it is natu- 
rally expressed by a single vowel where short, a double one 
where long; as for "mend," write "mend," but for "re- 
main'd," write "remeen'd;" for "did," write "did," but 
for "deed," write "diid," &c. 

What in our common alphabet is supposed the third 
vowel, i, as we sound it, is as a diphthong, consisting of two 
of our vowels joined; viz. if as sounded in "unto," and i in 
its true sound. Any one will be sensible of this, who sounds 
those two vowels -y i quick after each other; the sound be- 
gins -^ and ends ii. The true sound of the i is that we now 
give to e in the words "deed, keep ." l 



1 The copy, from which this is printed, ends in the same abrupt way with 
the above, followed by a considerable blank space ; so that more perhaps was 
intended to be added by our author. V. 



174 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

EXAMPLES. 

So kuen sym endfiel, byi dim/in kamand, 
Vtfl npzig. tempests fieeks e gilti land, 
(t&ytfi az av leet or peel Britania past,) 
Kalm and siriin hi dn/ivs ty fiuriys blast ; 
And 9 pliisfd Tf almyitis ardyrs tu piprfarm, 
Ryids in \i huyrluind and dyirekts \i storm, 



So \i piur limpid striim, huen fad tit^ slcens 
av ryfiig. tarents and disendig. reens, 
Uqrks itself Mir; and az it n/ns rifyins ; 
TU bi/i digriis, 7p flotig. mryr fyins 9 
Rifkkts iUfi floor \at an its bardyr groz, 
Jbid e mi hev'n in its feer byzym fioz. 



FROM MISS MARY STEVENSON TO B. FRANKLIN. 

Kensigtipi, 26 September, 1768. 



Diir 

yi hay transkryiVd iur alfabet, -c., huiifi ip 
mtfit bi av sqrvis tu \oz, hu uifi to akuyir an akiuret 
pronynsiefiifn, if \at kuld hi fiks'd; b\jt ifi si meni 
inkanviiniensis, az uel az difikyllis, \al uuld atend 
7$ briglg. iur letyrs and ar^agrafi intu kaimpi ius. 
aal avr etimalodfiiz uuld be last, kansikuentli ui 
kuld nat asyrteen J)i munig. av meni uyrds ; \i dis- 

1 Printed by Noah Webster : " Dissertations on the English Language," 
Boston, 1789, p. 407. ED. 



1768] A SCHEME FOR A NEW ALPHABET 175 

tinkfiyn, tv^ bituiln uqrds av difyrent miinig. and similar 
sound wdd bi iusles^ ynles ui livig. ryiters pyblifi nu 
iuKfupis. In part yi bUiiv ui myst let piipil spel an 
in \eer old ue, and (az ui fyind it iisiiest) du \i 
seem aurselves. With ease and with sincerity I can, 
in the old way, subscribe myself, 

Dear Sir, 
Your faithful and affectionate servant, 

M. S. 



TO MISS MART STEVENSON. 1 



Kir 

7p abdfiekfiiin iu meek to rektifyiig. our alfabet, 
u \at it nil bi atended mil inkanviniensiz and difikijl- 
tiz? iz e natural uyn ; far it aluaz akiprz huen eni 
refarmefinn is propozed ; huetyr in rilidfiyn, gipern- 
ment, last, and wen daun az la az rods and huil kar- 
idfiiz. tyi tru kuestfiyn \en> is nat hueliyr \aer uil 
bi no difikyltiz ar wkanviniensiz> byt huety r ty difik\il- 
tiz m& not bi syrmaunted; and hueliyr tyi kanvi- 
niensiz tit/ nat, an 7$ huol, bi gretyr \on 7p inkanvi- 
niensiz. In \is kes, Jji difikiiltiz er onli in Jji biginiy. 
av '^ praktis ; huen \e er uifns ovqrkym, Ty, advan- 
tedfiez er lastly* To iiityyr iu ar mi, hu spel uel in 
7p prezent mod, yi ivwdfiin Jji difikylti av tfiendfiig. 
\at mod far Tyi nu> iz nat so gr$t> byt \at in myit 
pyrfektli git ovyr it in a uiiks ryitig+Jlz to \oz 

1 Il>i<t.,p. 408. ED. 



176 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

hu du nat spel uel, if T^i tu dififyltiz er kympe'rd, viz. 
\at av titfiig \etii tru spelig in Tqi prezent mod, and 
\at av titfiig \em \i nu alfabet and \i nil spelig 
akardig to it, qi am kanfident \at \i latyr uuld bi 
byi far Jji Hist. \e nati/rali fal into J\i nu metyid 
already az mylfi az Tji imperfekfiyn av \er alfabei 
wl admit av; \er prezent bad spelig. iz onli bad. 
bikaz kantreri to 7p prezent bad ruls ; ifndqr \i nu 
ruls it mdd bi gud. Iji difikylti av lyrnig. to spel uel 
in \i old ue iz so gret, \at fiu a}en it ; ?iauzands 
and liauzands ryitig. an to old edfi, ufyaut ever biig. 
ebil to dkuyir it. 9 T iz 9 bisyidz, e difikiflti kantinuali 
inkriisig, az ty saund graduali veriz mor and mor fram 
ty spelig.; and to farenyrs* it meks Jji fyrnig. to pro- 
nauns aur laguedfi, az riten in aur buks 9 almost im~ 
pasibil. 

Nau az to "T^i inkanviniensiz" iu menfiifn. T^f 
fyrst iz, \at " aal aur etimalodfiiz uuld bi last, kan- 
sikuentli ui kuld nat asyrteen ty miinig av meni 
n^rds" Etimalodfiiz er at prezent veri ipisyrteen; 
bqt sytfi az \$ er, ty old buks uuld stil prizyrv \erny 
and etimolodfiists uuld \er fyind \em. Ihjrds in Ty 
kors av tyim, tfiendfi \er miinigs, az uel az Tier spelig 
and pronynsiefiyn ; and ui du nat luk to etimalodfii 
far \er prezent miinigs. If yi fluid kal e man e neev 
and e mien, hi uuld hardli .bi satisfied uity mw telig 
him, \at uifn, av Jji uyrds oridfinali signifyia onli e 
lad ar servant ; and ty iflmr, an yndyr plauman, ar 
Jp inhabitant av e viledfi. It iz fram prezent iusedfi 
onli, ty miinig av uyrds iz to bi dityrmined. 

lur sekynd ' inkanviniens iz, \at " J)i distirikfiyn 
bituiin uyrds av difyrent miinig and similar saund 




Chinese. 



1768] A SCHEME FOR A NEW ALPHABET 177 

uuld bi dislrayid." \at distinkf^n iz alreadi di- 
strayid in pronaunsig. \em; and ui rilip, an \i sens 
alon av \i sentens to asyrteen, huitfi av \i several . 
uyrds, similar in saund, ui intend. Jf Jfis iz s-yfifient 
in Jji rapiditi av diskors, it ml bi mutfi mor so in riten 
sentenses, huitfi me bi red lezfiurli, and atended to mor 
partikularli in kes av dififailti, \an ui kan atend to e 
past, sentens, huyil e spikifr iz hynpiq. qs alag. ttffy 
nu uipis. 

lur fpird inkanviniens iz, \at " aal 7p bvks alredi 
riten uuld bi iusles." fyis inkanviniens uuld onli kym 
an gradually in e kors av edfies. lu and ifi, and jflii/r 
nau liviy. ridifrs, uuld hardli farget T^t ius av \em. 
Piipil uuld log. lyrn to riid 1$ old r^iti^ \o \e praktist 
7p nu. Jlnd Irp inkanviniens iz nat greter* \an huat 
hes aktuali hapend in a similar kes, in Iteli. Farmerli 
its inhabitants aal spok and rot Latin ; az fyi layuedfi 
tfiendfid, ty spdiq. falo'd it. It iz tru \at, at prezent, 
e miir -ifnlerrfd Italien kanat riid 7$ Latin buks ; \o 
\e er stil red and yndyrstud bqi menL Byt, if 7$ spel- 
ig. had nev-yr bin tfiendfied, hi uuld nau hev faund it 
mytfi mor difikiilt to riid and ryit hiz on laguadfi ; far 
riten uyrds uuld hev had no rilefiyn to saunds, \e uuld 
onli hev stud far fyg-s ; so \at if hi uuld ekspres in 
wiitig. ty tfidia hi hez, huen hi sounds Jfi uyrd Vescovo, 
hi myst iuz T]i letterz Episcopus, In fiart, huatever 
tyi difikyltiz and inkanviniensiz nau er, \e nil bi mor 
iizili syrmaunted nau, \an hiraftyr; and sym tyim 
ar i/tyr, it myst bi dyn ; or aur ryitig. nil bikym tyi 
sem utti ty Tfiiiiniiz,* az to \i dififailti av tyrnit}. and 
iuzing it. Jlnd it uuld alredi hev bin sytfi, if m had 

VOL. v N * Chinese. 



178 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 



kantinud \i Saksyn spclig. and ryilig^ iuzed b^i our 
forfa\er$. 

yi am, imp diirfrind, iurs afekfiiinetli, 

Lyndyn, B. FRANKLIN. 1 

Er even-strut, Sept. 23, 1768. 



488. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 2 

MY DEAR CHILD, London, Oct. 5. 1768 

It feels very strange to me to have Ships and Packets come 
in, and no Letters from you. But I do not complain of it, 
because I know the reason is, my having written to you that I 
was coming home. That you may not have the same dis- 
agreable Sensation, I write this Line, tho I have written 
largely by the late Ships, and therefore have little left to say. 
I have lately been in the Country to spend a few Days at 
Friends' Houses, and to breathe a little fresh Air. I have 
made no very long Journey this Summer as usual, finding 
myself in very good Health, a greater Share of which I believe 
few enjoy at my time of Life, but we are not to expect it will 
be always Sunshine. Cousin Folger, who is just arrived 
from Boston, tells me he saw our Son and Daughter Bache at 
that Place, and that they were going farther, being very well, 
which I was glad to hear. My love to them and all Friends, 
from your ever affectionate Husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 " This indefatigable gentleman (Dr. Franklin), amidst all his other em- 
ployments, public and private, has compiled a Dictionary on his Scheme of a 
Reform, and procured types to be cast for printing it. He thinks himself too 
old to pursue the plan; but has honored me with the offer of the manuscript 
and types, and expressed a strong desire that I should undertake the task. 
Whether this project, so deeply interesting to this country, will ever be effected; 
or whether it will be defeated by insolence and prejudice, remains for my 
countrymen to determine." Noah Webster, " Dissertations on the English 
Language," Boston, 1 789, p. 407. ED. 

2 From the original in the Library of Cornell University. ED. 



1768] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 179 

489. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON (p. c.) 

London, Oct. 28, 1768. 

DEAR POLLEY, 

I did not receive your Letter of the 26th till I came home 
late last night, too late to answer it by the Return of that 
Post. 

I see very clearly the Unhappiness of your Situation, 
and that it does not arise from any Fault in you. I pity you 
most sincerely. I should not, however, have thought of 
giving you Advice on this Occasion, if you had not requested 
it, believing, as I do, that your own good Sense is more than 
sufficient to direct you in every Point of Duty to others and 
yourself. If, then, I should advise you to any thing, that 
may be contrary to your own Opinion, do not imagine, that I 
shall condemn you if you do not follow such Advice. I shall 
only think, that, from a better Acquaintance with Circum- 
stances, you form a better Judgment of what is fit for you 
to do. 

Now, I conceive with you, that your Aunt, both from her 
Affection to you, and from the long Habit of having you with 
her, would really be miserable without you. Her Temper, 
perhaps, was never of the best ; and, when that is the Case, 
Age seldom mends it. Much of her Unhappiness must arise 
from thence; and, since wrong Turns of the Mind, when 
confirm'd by Time, are almost as little in our Power to cure, 
as those of the Body, I think with you, that her Case is a 
compassionable one. 

If she had, though by her own Imprudence, brought on 
herself any grievous Sickness, I know you would think it your 

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



i8o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN- [1768 

Duty to attend and nurse her with filial Tenderness, even 
were your own Health to be endangered by it. Your Appre- 
hension, therefore, is right, that it may be your Duty to live 
with her, tho inconsistent with your Happiness and your 
Interest ; but this can only mean present Interest and present 
Happiness ; for I think your future, greater, and more lasting 
Interest and Happiness will arise from the Reflection, that 
you have done your Duty, and from the high Rank you will 
ever hold in the Esteem of all that know you, for having per- 
severed in doing that Duty under so many and great Dis- 
couragements. 

My Advice, then, must be, that you return to her as soon 
as the Time you proposed for your Visit is expir'd ; and that 
you continue, by every means in your Power, to make the Re- 
mainder of her Days as comfortable to her as possible. Invent 
Amusements for her ; be pleas'd when she accepts of them, 
and patient when she perhaps peevishly rejects them. I 
know this is hard, but I think you are equal to it ; not from 
any Servility in your Temper, but from abundant Goodness. 
In the mean time, all your Friends, sensible of your present 
uncomfortable Situation, should endeavour to ease your 
Burthen, by acting in Concert with you, and to give her as 
many Opportunities as possible of enjoying the Pleasures of 
Society, for your sake. 

Nothing is more apt to sour the Temper of aged People, 
than the Apprehension that they are neglected ; and they are 
extremely apt to entertain such Suspicions. It was therefore 
that I did propose asking her to be of our late Party; but, 
your Mother disliking it, the Motion was dropt, as some 
others have been, by my too great Easiness, contrary to my 
Judgment. Not but that I was sensible her being with us 






1768] TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT 181 

might have lessen'd our Pleasure, but I hop'd it might have 
prevented you some Pain. 

In fine, nothing can contribute to true Happiness, that is 
inconsistent with Duty; nor can a course of Action, con- 
formable to it, be finally without an ample Reward. For 
God governs ; and he is good. I pray him to direct you ; 
and, indeed, you will never be without his Direction, if 
you humbly ask it, and show yourself always ready to obey 
it. Farewell, my dear Friend, and believe me ever sincerely 
and affectionately yours, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

490. TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT 1 

London, November 28, 1768. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your obliging favour of the i2th instant. Your 
sentiments of the importance of the present dispute between 
Great Britain and the colonies appear to me extremely just. 
There is nothing I wish for more, than to see it amicably and 
equitably settled. 

But Providence will bring about its own ends by its own 
means ; and if it intends the downfall of a nation, that nation 
will be so blinded by its pride and other passions, as not to 
see its danger, or how its fall may be prevented. 

Being born and bred in one of the countries, and having 
lived long and made many agreeable connections of friend- 
ship in the other, I wish all prosperity to both; but I have 
talked and written so much and so long on the subject, that 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 288. The name of the person to whom the letter is addressed is 
not known. ED. 



182 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

my acquaintance are weary of hearing, and the public of 
reading any more of it, which begins to make me weary of 
talking and writing; especially as I do not find that I have 
gained any point, in either country, except that of rendering 
myself suspected by my impartiality ; in England, of being 
too much an American, and in America, of being too much an 
Englishman. Your opinion, however, weighs with me, and 
encourages me to try one effort more, in a full, though con- 
cise statement of facts, accompanied with arguments drawn 
from those facts ; to be published about the meeting of Par- 
liament, after the holidays. 1 If any good may be done I shall 
rejoice ; but at present I almost despair. 

Have you ever seen the barometer so low as of late? 
The 22d instant, mine was at 28*41, and yet the weather fine 
and fair. With sincere esteem, I am, dear friend, yours 

affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

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

London, Dec. 21, 1768. 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I have now before me your Favours of Oct. i, 18. 23. 30. 
and Nov. 5, which I shall answer in order. 

I wonder to hear that my Friends were backward in bring- 
ing you my Letters when they arrived, and think it must be a 
mere Imagination of yours, the Effect of some melancholy 
Humour you happened then to be in. I condole with you 

1 It is uncertain to 'which of the author's publications he here alludes, or 
whether he executed the design . proposed. There may possibly be an error 
of a year in the date of the letter, and, in such case, the piece may be the one 
entitled "Causes of the American Discontents before 1768," which was pub- 
lished on the 7th of January of that year. S. 



1 768] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN- 183 

sincerely on poor Debby's Account, and hope she got well to 
her Husband with her two Children. 

You say in yours of Oct. 18, "For me to give you any Un- 
easiness about your Affairs here, would be of no Service, and 
I shall not at this time enter on it." I am made by this to 
apprehend that something is amiss, and perhaps have more 
Uneasiness from the Uncertainty, than I should have had if 
you had told me what it was. I wish therefore you would 
be explicit in your next. I rejoice that my good old Friend, 
Mr. Coleman, is got safe home, and continues well. Upon 
what you write me now about the Watches, I shall, if I can 
afford it, send you another for yourself. I say if I find I can 
afford it; for I understand the Ballance of the Post Office 
Account which I must pay here, is greatly against me, owing 
to the large Sums you have received. I do not doubt your 
having applied them properly, and I only mention it, that if 
I do not send you a Watch, it will not be thro* Neglect or for 
want of Regard, but because I cannot spare the Cash, for I 
shall not like to leave Debts behind me here. Mrs. Stevens's 
Bills since her Marriage have been accepted as before, I 
should have mention'd it if they had not. Sally Franklin 
whom you inquire after is here at present under Mrs. Ste- 
venson's care, but I expect her Father to fetch her soon. She 
presents her Duty. 

Remember me respectfully to Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Wharton, 
Mr. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Duffield, Neighbour Thomson, 
Dr. and Mrs. Redman, Mrs. Hopkinson, Mr. Duche*, Dr. 
Morgan, Mr. Hopkinson, and all the other Friends you have 
from time to time mention'd as enquiring after me. As you 
ask me, I can assure you, that I do really intend, God willing, 
to return in the Summer, and that as soon as possible after 



184 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

seeing and settling Matters with Mr. Foxcroft, whom I 
expect in April or May. I am glad that you find so much 
reason to be satisfy'd with Mr. Bache. I hope all will prove 
for the best. Capt. Falkener has been arrived at Plymouth 
some time, but the Winds being contrary could get no farther, 
so I have not yet received the Apples, Meal, &c., and fear 
they will be spoilt. I send with this, some of the new kind of 
Oats much admir'd here to make Oatmeal of, and for other 
Uses, as being free from Huskes; and some Swiss Barley 
6 Rows to an Ear : perhaps our Friends may like to try them, 
and you may distribute the Seed among them. Give some 
to Mr. Roberts, Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Thomson, Mr. Bartram, 
our Son, and others. 

I cannot comprehend how so very sluggish a Creature as 
Ben. Mecom is grown, can maintain in Philadelphia so large 
a Family. I hope they do not hang upon you : for really as 
we grow old and must grow more helpless, we shall find we 
have nothing to spare. 

I hope the Cold you complain of in two of your Letters 
went off without any ill Consequences. We are, as you ob- 
serve, blest with a great Share of Health considering our 
Years now 63. For my own part, I think of late that my Con- 
stitution rather mends: I have had but one Touch of the 
Gout, and that a light one, since I left you ; It was just after 
my Arrival here, so that this is the 4th Winter I have been 
free. Walking a great deal tires me less than it used to do. 
I feel stronger and more active. Yet I would not have you 
think that I fancy I shall grow young again. I know that 
men of my Bulk often fail suddenly : I know that according 
to the Course of Nature I cannot at most continue much longer, 
and that the living even of another Day is uncertain. I there- 



1768] TO MICHAEL COLLINSON 185 

fore now form no Schemes, but such as are of immediate Exe- 
cution; indulging myself in no future Prospect except one, 
that of returning to Philadelphia, there to spend the Evening 
of Life with my Friends and Family. 

Mr. and Mrs. Strahan, & Mr. and Mrs. West, when I last 
saw them, desired to be kindly remembred to you. Mrs. 
Stevenson and our Polly send their Love. Mr. Coombe, who 
seems a very agreable young Man, lodges with us for the 
present. Adieu, my dear Debby. I am, as ever, your 
affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

492. TO MICHAEL COLLINSON 1 (A. p. s.) 

1768 or '69. 
[Date uncertain.] 

DEAR SIR, 

Understanding that it is intended to give the Publick some 
Account of our dear departed Friend, Mr. Peter Collinson, 
I cannot omit expressing my Approbation of the Design as the 
Characters of good Men are exemplary, and often stimulate 
the well disposed to an Imitation, beneficial to Mankind, 
and honourable to themselves. And as you may be unac- 
quainted with the following Instances of his Zeal and useful- 
ness in promoting Knowledge, which fell within my observa- 
tion, I take the Liberty of informing you, that in the Year 
1 730, a Subscription Library being set on foot in Philadelphia, 
he encouraged the [design] by making several very valuable 
Presents to it, and procuring others from his Friends; and, 

1 Peter Collinson died August II, 1768; Michael Collinson published 
" Some Account of Peter Collinson," in 1 770. This letter was written late in 
1768 or at the beginning of 1769. ED. 



186 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1768 

as the Library Company had a considerable Sum arising 
annually to be laid out in Books, and needed a judicious 
Friend in London to transact the Business for them, he vol- 
untarily and chearfully undertook that Service, and executed 
it for more than 30 years successively, assisting in the Choice 
of the Books, and taking the whole Care of Collecting and 
Shipping them, without ever charging or accepting any Con- 
sideration for his Trouble. The Success of this Library 
(greatly owing to his kind Countenance and good Advice) 
encouraged the erecting others in different Places on the same 
Plan ; and it is supposed there are now upwards of 30 sub- 
sisting in the several Colonies, which have contributed greatly 
to the spreading of useful Knowledge in that part of the 
World; the Books he recommended being all of that kind, 
and the Catalogue of this first Library being much respected 
and followed by those Libraries that succeeded. 

During the same time he transmitted to the Directors the 
earliest accounts of every new European Improvement in 
Agriculture and the Arts, and every philosophical Discovery ; 
among which, in 1745, he sent over an account of the new 
German Experiments in Electricity, together with a Glass 
Tube, and some Directions for using it, so as to repeat those 
Experiments. This was the first Notice I had of that curious 
Subject, which I afterwards prosecuted with some Diligence, 
being encouraged by the friendly Reception he gave to the 
Letters I wrote to him upon it. Please to accept this small 
Testimony of mine to his Memory, for which I shall ever 
have the utmost Respect ; and believe me, with sincere Esteem, 
dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



1769] TO LORD KAMES 187 

493. TO LORD KAMES 

London, January I, 1769. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, 

It is always a great pleasure to me to hear from you, and 
would be a much greater to be with you, to converse with you 
on the subjects you mention, or any other. Possibly I may 
one day enjoy that pleasure. In the mean time, we may use 
the privilege, that the knowledge of letters affords us, of con- 
versing at a distance by the pen. 

I am glad to find you are turning your thoughts to political 
subjects, and particularly to those of money, taxes, manu- 
factures, and commerce. The world is yet much in the dark 
on these important points ; and many mischievous mistakes 
are continually made in the management of them. Most of 
our acts of Parliament for regulating them are, in my opinion, 
little better than political blunders, owing to ignorance of the 
science, or to the designs of crafty men, who mislead the 
legislature, proposing something under the specious appear- 
ance of public good, while the real aim is, to sacrifice that to 
their own private interest. I hope a good deal of light may 
be thrown on these subjects by your sagacity and acuteness. 
I only wish I could first have engaged you in discussing the 
weighty points in dispute between Britain and the colonies. 
But the long letter I wrote you for that purpose, in February 
or March, 1767, perhaps never reached your hand, for I have 
not yet had a word from you in answer to it. 1 

The act you inquire about had its rise thus. During the 

1 This letter was supposed to have been intercepted and sent to the 
ministry. A copy of it was afterwards transmitted to Lord Kames. It was 
dated April n, 1767. ED. 



188 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

war, Virginia issued great sums of paper money for the pay- 
ment of their troops, to be sunk in a number of years by taxes. 
The British merchants trading thither received these bills 
in payment for their goods, purchasing tobacco with them to 
send home. The crop of tobacco one or two years falling 
short, the factors, who were desirous of making a speedy 
remittance, sought to pay, with the paper money, bills of ex- 
change. The number of bidders for these bills raised the 
price of them thirty per cent above par. This was deemed so 
much loss to the purchasers, and supposed to arise from a 
depreciation of the paper money. The merchants, on this 
supposition, founded a complaint against that currency to 
the Board of Trade. Lord Hillsborough, then at the head of 
that Board, took up the matter strongly, and drew a report, 
which was presented to the King in Council, against all paper 
currency in the colonies. And, though there was no com- 
plaint against it from any merchants, but those trading to 
Virginia, all those trading to the other colonies being satisfied 
with its operation, yet the ministry proposed, and the Parlia- 
ment came into the making a general act, forbidding all future 
emissions of paper money, that should be a legal tender in 
any colony whatever. 

The Virginia merchants have since had the mortification 
to find, that, if they had kept the paper money a year or two, 
the abovementioned loss would have been avoided; for, as 
soon as tobacco became more plenty, and of course bills of ex- 
change also, the exchange fell as much as it before had risen. 
I was in America when the act passed. On my return to Eng- 
land, I got the merchants trading to New York, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, Virginia, &c., to meet, to consider and join in an 
application to have the restraining act repealed. To prevent 






1769] TO LORD KAMES !8 9 

this application, a copy was put into the merchants' hands of 
Lord Hillsborough's report, by which it was supposed they 
might be convinced, that such an application would be wrong. 
They desired my sentiments on it, which I gave in the paper 
I send you enclosed. I have no copy by me of the report itself ; 
but in my answer you will see a faithful abridgment of all the 
arguments or reasons it contained. Lord Hillsborough has 
read my answer, but says he is not convinced by it, and ad- 
heres to his former opinion. We know nothing can be done 
in Parliament, that the minister is absolutely against, and 
therefore we let that point rest for the present. And, as I 
think a scarcity of money will work with our other present 
motives for lessening our fond extravagance in the use of the 
superfluous manufactures of this country, which unkindly 
grudges us the enjoyment of common rights, and will tend to 
lead us naturally into industry and frugality, I am grown 
more indifferent about the repeal of the act, and, if my 
countrymen will be advised by me, we shall never ask it again. 
There is not, as I conceive, any new principle wanting, to 
account for the operations of air, and all the affections of 
smoke in rooms and chimneys; but it is difficult to advise 
in particular cases at a distance, where one cannot have all 
the circumstances under view. If two rooms and chimneys 
are " perfectly similar" in situation, dimension, and all other 
circumstances, it seems not possible, that, "in summer, when 
no fire had been in either of them for some months, and in a 
calm day, a current of air should at the same time go up the 
chimney of the one, and down the chimney of the other." 
But such difference may and often does take place, from 
circumstances in which they are dissimilar, and which dis- 
similarity is not very obvious to those who have little studied 



190 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

the subject. As to your particular case, which you describe 
to be, that, "after a whole day's fire, which must greatly heat 
the vent, yet, when the fire becomes low, so as not to emit any 
smoke, neighbour smoke immediately begins to descend and 
fill the room ;" this, if not owing to particular winds, may be 
occasioned by a stronger fire in another room, communica- 
ting with yours by a door, the outer air being excluded by the 
outward door's being shut, whereby the stronger fire finds it 
easier to be supplied with air down through the vent, in which 
the weak fire is, and thence through the communicating door, 
than through the crevices. If this is the circumstance, you 
will find that a supply of air is only wanting, that may be 
sufficient for both vents. If this is not the circumstance, 
send me, if you please, a complete description of your room, 
its situation, and connexion, and possibly I may form a better 
judgment. Though I imagine your Professor of Natural 
Philosophy, Mr. Russel, or Mr. George Clark, may give you 
as good advice on the subject as I can. But I shall take the 
liberty of sending you, by the first convenient opportunity, 
a collection of my philosophical papers lately published, in 
which you will find something more relating to the motions 
of air in chimneys. 1 

To commence a conversation with you on your new project, 
I have thrown some of my present sentiments into the concise 
form of aphorisms, to be examined between us, if you please, 
and rejected or corrected and confirmed, as we shall find most 
proper. I send them enclosed. 2 

1 The fourth edition of " Experiments and Observations on Electricity " 
was published in London, in 1769. 

2 These were probably " Positions to be examined concerning National 
Wealth." 

In his reply to the above letter, Lord Kames said, " The letter you men- 



1769] TO JOHN BARTRAM 191 

With thanks for your good wishes, and with unalterable 
esteem, I remain, my dear friend, affectionately yours, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



494. TO JOHN BARTRAM 1 

London, January 9, 1769. 
MY DEAR OLD FRIEND, 

I received your kind letter of November 5th, and the box 
directed to the King is since come to hand. I have written 
a line to our late dear friend's son, 2 (who must be best ac- 
quainted with the usual manner of transacting your affairs 
here,) to know whether he will take charge of the delivery of 
it ; if not, to request he would inform me how or to whom it is 
to be sent for the King. I expect his answer in a day or two, 
and I shall, when I see him, inquire how your pension is here- 
after to be applied for and received, though I suppose he has 
written to you before this time. 

I hope your health continues, as mine does hitherto; but 
I wish you would now decline your long and dangerous 
peregrinations in search of new plants, and remain safe and 
quiet at home, employing your leisure hours in a work that is 
much wanted, and which no one besides is so capable of per- 
forming ; I mean the writing a Natural History of our coun- 
try. I imagine it would prove profitable to you, and I am 

tion, about American affairs, never came to hand. I have an essay on the 
subject of your Queries, and you shall hear from me soon about our agreeing 
or differing. I have a great fund of political knowledge reduced into writing, 
far from being ripe, but fit for your perusal. If you will come to my aid, I 
know not but that we shall make a very good thing of it. If not, it may be 
lost to the world, and what a loss will that be ! " Edinburgh^ January 21, 
1769. 

1 First published by Sparks. 2 Michael, son of Peter Collinson. ED. 



192 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

sure it would do you honour. My respects and best wishes 
attend Mrs. Bartram and your family. With sincere esteem 

I am, as ever, your affectionate friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. January 28th. The box is delivered, according to 
Mr. Michael Collinson's directions, at Lord Bute's. I have 
sent over some seed of naked oats and some of Swiss bar- 
ley, six rows to one ear. If you would choose to try some 
of it, call on Mrs. Franklin. 



495. TO JEAN BAPTISTE LE ROY 1 (A.P.S.) 

London, January 31, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your obliging favour of November i5th. I pre- 
sented your compliments to Sir John Pringle, who was glad 
with me to hear of your welfare, and desired me to offer his 
best respects whenever I wrote to you. The Farmer's 
Letters were written by one Mr. Dickinson, of Philadelphia, 
and not by me, as you seem to suppose. I only caused them 
to be reprinted here with that little Preface, and had no other 
hand in them, except that I see some of my sentiments for- 
merly published are collected, and interwoven with those of 
others and his own, by the author. I am glad they afforded 
you any amusement. It is true, as you have heard, that 
troops are posted in Boston, on the pretence of preventing 
riots and protecting the custom-house officers ; but it is also 

1 Jean Baptiste Le Roy (1724-1800), physicist, became a member of the 
Academic des Sciences, 1751; of the Royal Society, 1773; and of The 
American Philosophical Society, January 15, 1773. ED. 



1769] TO M. LE ROY I 93 

true, that there was no intention among the people there, 
to oppose the landing of those troops, or to resist the execu- 
tion of the law by arms. The riots talked of were sudden, 
unpremeditated things, that happened only among a few of 
the lower sort. Their plan of making war on this country 
is of a different kind. It is to be a war on commerce only, 
and consists in an absolute determination to buy and use no 
more of the manufactures of Britain, till the act is repealed. 
This is already agreed to by four provinces, and will be by 
all the rest in the ensuing summer. Eleven ships now here 
from Boston and New York, which would have carried, one 
with another, fifty thousand pounds sterling each in goods, 
are going away in their ballast, as the Parliament seems deter- 
mined not to repeal. I am inclined to think, however, 
that it will alter its mind before the end of the session. Other- 
wise it is to be feared the breach will grow wider by successive 
indiscretions on both sides. 

The subject you propose to me, the consequences of allow- 
ing a free exportation of corn, the advantages or disadvantages 
of the Concurrence, &c., is a very extensive one ; and I have 
been, and am at present, so much occupied with our American 
affairs, as that, if I were ever so capable of handling it, I 
have not time to engage in it at present to any purpose. I 
think, however, with you, that the true principles of commerce 
are yet but little understood, and that most of the acts of 
Parliament, arr&s and edicts of princes and states, relating 
to commerce, are political errors, solicited and obtained by 
particulars for private interest, under the pretext of public 
good. 

The bearer of this, Captain Ourry, is a particular friend of 
mine, who now only passes through Paris for Lyons and Nice, 

VOL. V O 



194 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

but in his return may stay in your city some time. He is a 
gentleman of excellent character and great merit, and as such 
I beg leave to recommend him to your civilities and advice, 
which may be of great service to him, as he is quite a stranger 
in Paris. With the greatest esteem and respect, I am, dear 
Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Your English is extremely good ; but, if it is more 
easy for you to write in French, do not give yourself the trouble 
of writing in English, as I understand your French perfectly 
well. 



496. TO LORD KAMES 1 

London, February 21, 1769. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, 

I received your excellent paper on the preferable use of 
oxen in agriculture, and have put it in the way of being com- 
municated to the public here. I have observed in America, 
that the farmers are more thriving in those parts of the coun- 
try where cattle are used, than in those where the labour is 
done by horses. The latter are said to require twice the 
quantity of land to maintain them ; and after all are not good 
to eat, at least we do not think them so. Here is a waste of 
land that might afford subsistence for so many of the human 
species. Perhaps it was for this reason, that the Hebrew 
lawgiver, having promised that the children of Israel should 
be as numerous as the sands of the sea, not only took care to 
secure the health of individuals by regulating their diet, 

1 From " Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Henry Home of Kames,'* 
Vol. II, p. 84. ED. 



1769] TO LORD KAMES 195 

that they might be fitter for producing children, but also 
forbid their using horses, as those animals would lessen the 
quantity of subsistence for men. Thus we find, when they 
took any horses from their enemies, they destroyed them; 
and in the commandments, where the labour of the ox and 
ass is mentioned, and forbidden on the Sabbath, there is 
no mention of the horse, probably because they were to have 
none. And, by the great armies suddenly raised in that small 
territory they inhabited, it appears to have been very full of 
people. 

Food is always necessary to all; and much the greatest 
part of the labour of mankind is employed in raising provi- 
sions for the mouth. Is not this kind of labour, then, the 
fittest to be the standard by which to measure the values of 
all other labour, and consequently of all other things whose 
value depends on the labour of making or procuring them? 
May not even gold and silver be thus valued ? If the labour 
of the farmer, in producing a bushel of wheat, be equal to 
the labour of the miner in producing an ounce of silver, will 
not the bushel of wheat just measure the value of the ounce 
of silver. The miner must eat ; the farmer indeed can live 
without the ounce of silver, and so perhaps will have some 
advantage in settling the price. But these discussions I 
leave to you, as being more able to manage them; only, 
I will send you a little scrap I wrote some time since on the 
laws prohibiting foreign commodities. 

I congratulate you on your election as president of your 
Edinburgh Society. I think I formerly took notice to you in 
conversation, that I thought there had been some similarity 
in our fortunes, and the circumstances of our lives. This 
is a fresh instance, for, by letters just received, I find that I 



196 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

was about the same time chosen president of our American 
Philosophical Society, established at Philadelphia. 

I have sent by sea, to the care of Mr. Alexander, a little 
box, containing a few copies of the late edition of my books, 
for my friends in Scotland. One is directed for you, and one 
for your Society, which I beg that you and they would accept 
as a small mark of my respect. With the sincerest esteem 
and regard, I am, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I am sorry my letter of 1767, concerning the Ameri- 
can disputes, miscarried. I now send you a copy of it from 
my book. The Examination mentioned in it you have proba- 
bly seen. Things daily wear a worse aspect, and tend more 
and more to a breach and final separation. 



497. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. M.) 

London, Feb. 24, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your Favour by Mr. Jefferies. I should have 
been glad if in any thing I could have served him here. The 
Part I took in the Application for your Degree l was merely 
doing justice to Merit, which is the Duty of an honest Man 
whenever he has the Opportunity. I did that Duty, indeed, 
with Pleasure and Satisfaction to myself, which was sufficient ; 
but I own the Pleasure is greatly increased by finding, that 
you are so good as to accept my Endeavours kindly. 

I was about to return home last Summer, and had some 

1 Degree of Doctor in Divinity, conferred by the University of Edinburgh. 
See letter to Richard Price, August I, 1767. ED. 



1769] TO SAMUEL COOPER 197 

Thoughts of doing it by way of Boston; but the untoward 
Situation of American Affairs here induc'd my Friends to 
advise my staying another Winter. I should have been happy 
in doing any Service to our Country. The Tide is yet strong 
against us, and our Endeavours to turn it have hitherto had 
but little Effect. But it must turn, if your frugal and industri- 
ous Resolutions continue. Your old Governor, Mr. Pownall, 
appears a warm and zealous Friend to the Colonies in Par- 
liament, but unfortunately he is very ill-heard at present. 
I have been in constant Pain since I heard of Troops assem- 
bling at Boston, lest the Madness of Mobs, or the Insolence 
of Soldiers, or both, should, when too near each other, occa- 
sion some Mischief difficult to be prevented or repaired, and 
which might spread far and wide. I hope, however, that 
Prudence will predominate, and keep all quiet. 

A great cause between the City of London and the Dis- 
senters was decided here the Year before last in the House of 
Lords. No Account of it has been printed ; but, one having 
been taken in writing, I obtained a Copy of it, which I send 
you, supposing it may afford you and your Friends some 
Pleasure. 

Please to present my respectful Compliments to Mrs. 
Cooper, and to Mr. Bowdoin, when you see him. With 
sincere and great esteem, I am, Rev'd dear Sir 

Your affectionate & most obedient humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



198 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN* FRANKLIN [1769 



498. TO JOHN WINTHROP (A. P. s.) 

London, March n, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

At length after much Delay and Difficulty I have been able 
to obtain your Telescope, that was made by Mr. Short before 
his Death. His brother who succeeds in the Business has 
fitted it up and compleated it. He has followed the Business 
many Years at Edinburgh, is reckoned very able, and there- 
fore I hope every thing will be found right ; but, as it is only 
just finished, I have no time left to get any philosophical or 
astronomical Friends to examine it, as I intended, the Ship 
being on the Point of sailing, and a future Opportunity un- 
certain. Enclosed is his Direction-Paper for opening and 
fixing it. 

I have not yet got the Bill of the Price. It is to be made 
from the deceased Mr. Short's * Book of Memorandums 
of Orders, in which he enter' d this Order of ours and as it is 
supposed, the Price. I do not remember, it is so long since, 
whether it was ^100, or 100 Guineas ; and the Book is in the 
Hands of the Executors as I understand. When I have the 
Account, I shall pay it as I did Bird's for the Transit Instru- 
ment, which was 40 Guineas, and then shall apply for the 
whole to Mr. Mauduit. 2 By the way, I wonder that I have 
not heard from you of the Receipt of that Instrument, which 
went from hence in September by Captain Watt. I hope it 
got safe to hand and gave Satisfaction. The Ship was the 

1 James Short, optician, died June 14, 1768. ED. 

2 Israel Mauduit (1708-1787) was agent in England for the Province of 
Massachusetts Bay. ED. 



1769] TO JOHN WINTHROP 199 

same that Mr. Rogers went in, who I hear is arriv'd ; and by 
him too I sent the Philosophical Transactions, with a Num- 
ber of Copies of your Paper as printed separately. But I 
have no Letter from you since that by the young Gentleman 
you recommended to me, Grandson to Sir W Pepperell, 
which I think was dated about the Beginning of October, 
when you could not have received them. 

By a late Ship, I sent your College l a Copy of the new Edi- 
tion of my Philosophical Papers; and others, I think, for 
yourself and for Mr. Bowdoin. I should apologize to you 
for inserting therein some part of our Correspondence with- 
out first obtaining your Permission; but, as Mr. Bowdoin 
had favoured me with his Consent for what related to 
him, I ventur'd to rely upon your Good-Nature, as to what 
related to you, and I hope you will forgive me. 

I have got from Mr. Ellicot the Glasses, &c. of the long 
Galilean Telescope, which he presents to your College. I 
put them into the Hands of Mr. Nairne, the Optician, to 
examine and put them in Order. I thought to have sent them 
by this Ship, but am disappointed. They shall go by the 
next, if possible. 

There is nothing new here in the philosophical Way at 
present. 

With great and sincere Esteem, I am, Dear Sir, 
Your most obedient and most humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. There is no Prospect of getting the Duty acts 
repeaPd this Session, if ever. Your steady Resolutions to 
consume no more British Goods may possibly, if persisted 

1 Harvard College. ED. 



200 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

in have a good Effect another Year. I apprehend the Par- 
liamentary Resolves and Address will tend to widen the 
Breach. Inclos'd I send you Gov r Pownall's Speech against 
those Resolves ; his name is not to be mentioned. He appears 
to me a hearty Friend to America, tho' I find he is suspected 
by some on account of his Connections. 



499. POSITIONS TO BE EXAMINED, CONCERNING 
NATIONAL WEALTH. 

DATED APRIL 4, 1769. 

1. ALL food or subsistence for mankind arises from the 
earth or waters. 

2. Necessaries of life, that are not food, and all other con- 
veniences, have their values estimated by the proportion of 
food consumed while we are employed in procuring them. 

3. A small people, with a large territory, may subsist on 
the productions of nature, with no other labour than that of 
gathering the vegetables and catching the animals. 

4. A large people, with a small territory, finds these insuffi- 
cient, and, to subsist, must labour the earth, to make it pro- 
duce greater quantities of vegetable food, suitable for the 
nourishment of men, and of the animals they intend to eat. 

5. From this labour arises a great increase of vegetable 
and animal food, and of materials for clothing, as flax, wool, 
silk, &c. The superfluity of these is wealth. With this 
wealth we pay for the labour employed in building our houses, 
cities, &c., which are therefore only subsistence thus meta- 
morphosed. 



1769] POSITIONS TO BE EXAMINED, ETC. 201 

6. Manufactures are only another shape into which so 
much provisions and subsistence are turned, as were equal 
in value to the manufactures produced. This appears 
from hence, that the manufacturer does not, in fact, obtain 
from the employer, for his labour, more than a mere subsist- 
ence, including raiment, fuel, and shelter; all which derive 
their value from the provisions consumed in procuring them. 

7. The produce of the earth, thus converted into manu- 
factures, may be more easily carried to distant markets than 
before such conversion. 

8. Fair commerce is, where equal values are exchanged 
for equal, the expense of transport included. Thus, if it 
costs A in England as much labour and charge to raise a 
bushel of wheat, as it costs B in France to produce four gal- 
lons of wine, then are four gallons of wine the fair exchange 
for a bushel of wheat, A and B meeting at half distance with 
their commodities to make the exchange. The advantage 
of this fair commerce is, that each party increases the number 
of his enjoyments, having, instead of wheat alone, or wine 
alone, the use of both wheat and wine. 

9. Where the labour and expense of producing both com- 
modities are known to both parties, bargains will generally 
be fair and equal. Where they are known to one party only, 
bargains will often be unequal, knowledge taking its advan- 
tage of ignorance. 

10. Thus, he that carries one thousand bushels of wheat 
abroad to sell, may not probably obtain so great a profit 
thereon, as if he had first turned the wheat into manufactures, 
by subsisting therewith the workmen while producing those 
manufactures ; since there are many expediting and facilitat- 
ing methods of working, not generally known ; and strangers 



202 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

to the manufactures, though they know pretty well the ex- 
pense of raising wheat, are unacquainted with those short 
methods of working, and, thence being apt to suppose more 
labour employed in the manufactures than there really is, 
are more easily imposed on in their value, and induced to 
allow more for them than they are honestly worth. 

11. Thus the advantage of having manufactures in a coun- 
try does not consist, as is commonly supposed, in their highly 
advancing the value of rough materials, of which they are 
formed ; since, though six pennyworth of flax may be worth 
twenty shillings, when worked into lace, yet the very cause 
of its being worth twenty shillings is, that, besides the flax, 
it has cost nineteen shillings and sixpence in subsistence to 
the manufacturer. But the advantage of manufactures is, 
that under their shape provisions may be more easily carried 
to a foreign market ; and, by their means, our traders may 
more easily cheat strangers. Few, where it is not made, 
are judges of the value of lace. The importer may demand 
forty, and perhaps get thirty, shillings for that which cost 
him but twenty. 

12. Finally, there seem to be but three ways for a nation to 
acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, 
in plundering their conquered neighbours. This is robbery. 
The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The 
third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man re- 
ceives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a 
kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in 
his favour, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous 
industry. 



1769] TO SAMUEL COOPER 203 

500. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. M.) 

London, April 27, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your Favour of Feb y 27th, by Captain Carver, 
and thank you for giving me an Opportunity of being ac- 
quainted with so great a Traveller. I shall be glad if I can 
render him any service here. 1 

The Parliament remain fix'd in their Resolution not to 
repeal the Duty Acts this Session, and will rise next Tuesday. 
I hope my Country folks will remain as fix'd in their Resolu- 
tions of Industry and Frugality till these Acts are repeaPd. 
And, if I could be sure of that, I should almost wish them 
never to be repealed; being persuaded, that we shall reap 
more solid and extensive Advantages from the steady Prac- 
tice of those two great Virtues, than we can possibly suffer 
Damage from all the Duties the Parliament of this kingdom 
can levy on us. They flatter themselves you cannot long 
subsist without their Manufactures. They believe you have 
not Virtue enough to persist in such Agreements, they 
imagine the Colonies will differ among themselves, deceive 
and desert one another, and quietly one after the other sub- 
mit to the Yoke, and return to the Use of British Fineries. 
They think, that, tho' the Men may be contented with home- 
spun stuffs, the Women will never get the better of their 

1 Captain Jonathan Carver, celebrated for his travels in the interior parts 
of North America, was born in Connecticut, in the year 1732. He served on 
the frontiers in the French war, with the reputation of a good officer, till the 
peace of 1763, after which he travelled near the sources of the Mississippi, 
and on the borders of Lake Superior. He carried his manuscript journal to 
England, where he met with many embarrassments, and it was not published 
till 1778. He died in London, in 1780, neglected and in want. S. 






204 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

Vanity and Fondness for English Modes and Gewgaws. 
The ministerial People all talk in this Strain, and many even 
of the Merchants. I have ventured to assert, that they will 
all find themselves mistaken ; and I rely so much on the Spirit 
of my Country, as to be confident I shall not be found a false 
Prophet, tho' at present not believed. 

I hope nothing that has happened, or may happen, will 
diminish in the least our Loyalty to our Sovereign, or Affec- 
tion for this Nation in general. I can scarcely conceive a 
King of better Dispositions, of more exemplary Virtues, or 
more truly desirous of promoting the Welfare of all his Sub- 
jects. The Experience we have had of the Family in the two 
preceding mild Reigns, and the good Temper of our young 
Princes, so far as can yet be discovered, promise us a Con- 
tinuance of this Felicity. The Body of this People, too, 
is of a noble and generous Nature, loving and honouring the 
Spirit of Liberty, and hating arbitrary Power of all sorts. 
We have many, very many, friends among them. 

But as to the Parliament ! tho' I might excuse that which 
made the Acts, as being surpriz'd & misled into the Measure ; 
I know not how to excuse this, which, under the fullest Con- 
viction of its being a wrong one, resolves to continue it. 
It is decent, indeed, in your publick Papers to speak as you 
do of the "Wisdom and the Justice oj Parliament; 11 but now 
that the Subject is more thoroughly understood, if this new 
Parliament had been really wise, it would not have refused 
even to receive a Petition against the Acts ; and, if it had been 
just, it would have repealed them, and refunded the Money. 
Perhaps it may be wiser and juster another Year, but that 
is not to be depended on. 

If under all the Insults and Oppressions you are now ex- 



1769] TO SAMUEL COOPER 205 

posed to, you can prudently, as you have lately done, continue 
quiet, avoiding Tumults, but still resolutely keeping up your 
Claim and asserting your Rights, you will finally establish 
them, and this military Cloud that now blusters over you will 
pass away, and do no more Harm than a Summer Thunder 
Shower. But the Advantages of your Perseverance in In- 
dustry and Frugality will be great and permanent. Your 
Debts will be paid, your Farms will be better improved, 
and yield a greater Produce ; your real Wealth will increase 
in a Plenty of every useful home Production, and all the true 
Enjoyments of Life, even tho' no foreign Trade should be 
allowed you; and this handicraft, shop-keeping State, will, 
for its own sake, learn to behave more civilly to its Customers. 
Your late governor, Mr. Pownall, appears a hearty Friend 
to America. He moved last week for a Repeal of the acts, 
and was seconded by General Conway, Sir George Saville, 
Mr. Jackson, Mr. Trecothic, and others, but did not succeed. 
A Friend has favoured me with a Copy of the Notes taken 
of Mr. PownalPs Speech, which I send you, believing it will 
be agreable to you and some other of our Friends to see 
them. You will observe in some Parts of it the Language 
a Member of Parliament is obliged to hold, on American 
topicks, if he would at all be heard in the House. He has 
given Notice that he will renew the Motion next and every 
Session. All Ireland is strongly in favour of the American 
cause. They have reason to sympathize with us. I send you 
four Pamphlets written in Ireland, or by Irish gentlemen 
here, in which you will find some excellent well-said Things. 
With the greatest Esteem, I am, my dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN. 



206 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

501. TO MRS. JANE MECOM 1 

London, April 27, 1769. 

MRS. STEVENSON has executed your order, and sends 
the things in a bandbox directed to you. A new-fashioned 
something, that was not ready when the box was packed up, 
is enclosed in her letter. 

I am now grown too old to be ambitious of such a station, 
as that which you say has been mentioned to you. 2 Repose 
is more fit for me, and much more suitable to my wishes. 
There is no danger of such a thing being offered to me, and 
I am sure I shall never ask it. But even if it were offered, 
I certainly could not accept it, to act under such instructions, 
as I know must be given with it. So you may be quite easy 
on that head. 

The account you write of the growing industry, frugality, 
and good sense of my countrywomen, gives me more pleasure 
than you can imagine; for from thence I presage great ad- 
vantages to our country. I should be sorry, that you are 
engaged in a business, which happens not to coincide with 
the general interest, if you did not acquaint me that you are 
now near the end of it. B. FRANKLIN. 



502. TO THE PRINTER OF The London Chronicle 

May 9, 1769. 
Mr. Chronicle: 

SIR : While the public attention is so much turned tow- 
ards America, every letter from thence that promises new 

1 First published by Sparks. 2 Governor of Pennsylvania. ED. 



1769] TO PRINTER OF "LONDON CHRONICLE" 207 

information, is pretty generally read. It seems, therefore, 
the more necessary that care should be taken to disabuse the 
public, when those letters contain facts false in themselves, 
and representations injurious to bodies of people, or even to 
private persons. 

In your paper, No. 310, 1 found an extract of a letter, said 
to be from a gentleman in General Abercrombie's army. 
As there are several strokes in it tending to render the colonies 
despicable, and even odious, to the mother country, which 
may have ill consequences, and no notice having been taken 
of the injuries contained in that letter, other letters of the same 
nature have since been published, permit me to make a few 
observations on it. 

The writer says: "New England was settled by Presby- 
terians and Independents, who took shelter there from the 
persecutions of Archbishop Laud; they still retain their 
original character; they generally hate the Church of Eng- 
land," says he. It is very true that if some resentment still 
remained for the hardships their fathers suffered, it might 
perhaps be not much wondered at; but the fact is, that the 
moderation of the present Church of England towards dissent- 
ers in Old as well as New England, had quite effaced those 
impressions; the dissenters, too, are become less rigid and 
scrupulous, and the good-will between those different bodies 
in that country is now both mutual and equal. 

He goes on: "They came out with a levelling spirit, and 
they retain it. They cannot bear to think that one man 
should be exorbitantly rich, and another poor; so that, ex- 
cept in the seaport towns, there are few great estates among 
them. This equality produces also a rusticity of manners; 
for their language, dress, and in all their behaviour, they are 



208 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1769 

more boorish than anything you ever saw in a certain northern 
latitude." One would imagine, from this account, that those 
who were growing poor plundered those who were growing 
rich, to preserve this equality, and that property had no pro- 
tection; whereas, in fact, it is nowhere more secure than in 
the New England colonies ; the law is nowhere better exe- 
cuted, or justice obtained at less expense. The equality he 
speaks of arises first from a more equal distribution of lands 
by the assemblies in the first settlement than has been prac- 
ticed in other colonies, where favourites of governors have 
obtained enormous tracts for trifling considerations, to the 
prejudice both of the crown revenues and the public good; 
and secondly, from the nature of their occupation ; husband- 
men with small tracts of land, though they may by industry 
maintain themselves and families in mediocrity, having few 
means of acquiring great wealth, especially in a young colony 
that is to be supplied with its clothing and many other ex- 
pensive articles of consumption from the mother country. 
Their dress the gentleman may be a more critical judge of than 
I pretend to be ; all I know of it is, that they wear the manu- 
facture of Britain, and follow its fashions perhaps too closely, 
every remarkable change in the mode making its appearance 
there within a few months after its invention here ; a natural 
effect of their constant intercourse with England, by ships 
arriving almost every week from the capital, their respect 
for the mother country, and admiration of every thing that 
is British. But as to their language, I must beg this gentle- 
man's pardon, if I differ from him. His ear, accustomed 
perhaps to the dialect practiced in the certain northern 
latitude he mentions, may not be qualified to judge so nicely 
what relates to pure English. And I appeal to all English- 



1769] TO PRINTER OF "LONDON CHRONICLE" 209 

men here, who have been acquainted with the Colonists, 
whether it is not a common remark, that they speak the lan- 
guage with such an exactness both of expression and accent, 
that though you may know the natives of several of the coun- 
ties of England, by peculiarities in their dialect, you cannot 
by that means distinguish a North American. All the new 
books and pamphlets worth reading, that are published here, 
in a few weeks are transmitted and found there, where there 
is not a man or woman born in the country but what can read ; 
and it must, I think, be a pleasing reflection to those who 
write either for the benefit of the present age or of pos- 
terity, to find their audience increasing with the increase 
of our colonies, and their language extending itself beyond 
the narrow bounds of these islands, to a continent larger than 
all Europe, and to future empire as fully peopled, which Brit- 
ain may one day probably possess in those vast western 
regions. 

But the gentleman makes more injurious comparisons than 
these : 

"That latitude," he says, "has this advantage over them, 
that it has produced sharp, acute men, fit for war or learning, 
whereas the others are remarkably simple, or silly, and blunder 
eternally. We have six thousand of their militia, which 
the general would willingly exchange for two thousand regu- 
lars. They are forever marring some one or other of our 
plans, when sent to execute them. They can, indeed, some 
of them at least, range in the woods ; but three hundred In- 
dians with their yell throw three thousand of them in panic, 
and then they will leave nothing for the enemy to do, for they 
will shoot one another; and in the woods our regulars are 
afraid to be on a command with them on that very account." 

VOL. V P 



210 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

I doubt, Mr. Chronicle, that this paragraph, when it comes 
to be read in America will have no good effect; and rather 
increase that inconvenient disgust which is too apt to arise 
between the troops of different corps, or countries, who are 
obliged to serve together. Will not a New England officer 
be apt to retort and say, what foundation have you for this 
odious distinction in favour of the officers from your certain 
northern latitude ? They may, as you say, be fit for learning ; 
but, surely, that return of your first general, with a well 
appointed and sufficient force, from his expedition against 
Louisbourg, without so much as seeing the place, is not the 
most shining proof of his talents for war. And no one will 
say his plan was marred by us, for we were not with him. 
Was his successor who conducted the blundering attack, 
and inglorious retreat from Ticonderoga, a New England 
man, or one of that certain latitude? Then as to the com- 
parison between regulars and provincials, will not the latter 
remark that it was two thousand New England provincials, 
with about one hundred and fifty regulars that took the strong 
fort of Beaudejour in the beginning of the war; though in the 
accounts transmitted to the English gazette, the honour was 
claimed by the regulars, and little or no notice taken of the 
others. That it was the provincials who beat General Dies- 
kau with his regulars, Canadians, and "yelling Indians," 
and sent him prisoner to England. That it was a provincial- 
born officer, with American batteaux-men, that beat the 
French and Indians on Oswego River. That it was the 
same officer, with provincials, who made that long and ad- 
mirable march into the enemy's country, took and destroyed 
Fort Frontenac, with the whole French fleet on the lakes, 
and struck terror into the heart of Canada. That it was a 



1769] TO PRINTER OF "LONDON CHRONICLE" 211 

provincial officer, with provincials only, who made another 
extraordinary march into the enemy's country, surprised and 
destroyed the Indian town of Kittanning, bringing off the 
scalps of their chiefs. That one ranging captain of a few 
provincials, Rogers, has harassed the enemy more on the 
frontiers of Canada, and destroyed more of their men, than; 
the whole army of regulars. That it was the regulars who 
surrendered themselves, with the provincials under their 
command, prisoners of war, almost as soon as they were 
besieged, with the forts, fleets, and all the provisions and 
stores that had been provided and amassed to so immense 
expense at Oswego. That it was the regulars who sur- 
rendered Fort William Henry, and suffered themselves to- 
be butchered and scalped with arms in their hands. That 
it was the regulars under Braddock, who were thrown into 
a panic by the " yells of three or four hundred Indians,"* 
in their confusion shot one another, and, with five times the 
force of the enemy, fled before them, destroying all their own 
stores, ammunition and provisions. These regular gentlemen,, 
will the provincial rangers add, may possibly be afraid, as 
they say they are, to be on a command with us in the woods, 
but when it is considered that, from all past experience, the 
chance of our shooting them is not as one to a hundred, com- 
pared with that of their being shot by the enemy, may it 
not be suspected, that what they give as the very account 
of their fear and unwillingness to venture out with us, is only 
the very excuse; and that a concern for their scalps weighs 
more with them than a regard for their honour. 

Such as these, sir, I imagine may be the reflections extorted 
by such provocation from the provincials in general. But 
the New England men in particular will have reason to re- 



212 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

sent the remark on their reduction of Louisbourg. Your 
writer proceeds: "Indeed they are all very ready to make 
their boast of taking Louisbourg, in 1745 ; but if people were 
to be acquitted or condemned according to the propriety and 
wisdom of their plans and not according to their success, 
the persons that undertook the siege merited little praise; 
for I have heard officers who assisted at it say, never was 
anything more rash; for had one single part of their plan 
failed, or had the French made the fortieth part of the resist- 
ance then that they have made now, every soul of the New 
Englanders must have fallen in the trenches. The garrison 
was weak, sickly, and destitute of provisions, and disgusted, 
and therefore became a ready prey ; and, when they returned 
to France, were decimated for their gallant defence." Where 
then is the glory arising from thence? After denying his 
facts: "that the garrison was weak, wanted provisions, 
made not a fortieth part of the resistance, were decimated," 
&c., the New England men will ask this regular gentleman, 
if the place was well fortified, and had (as it really had) 
a numerous garrison, was it not at least brave to attack it 
with a handful of raw, undisciplined militia ? If the garrison 
was, as you say, "sickly, disgusted, destitute of provisions, 
and ready to become a prey," was it not prudent to seize 
the opportunity, and put the nation in possession of so im- 
portant a fortress, at so small an expense? So that if you 
will not allow the enterprise to be, as we think it was, both 
brave and prudent, ought you not at least to grant it was 
either one or the other? But is there no merit on this score 
in the people, who, though at first so greatly divided, as to 
the making or forbearing the attempt, that it was carried in 
the affirmative by the small majority of one vote only; yet 



1769] TO PRINTER OF "LONDON CHRONICLE" 213 

when it was once resolved on, unanimously prosecuted the 
design, and prepared the means with the greatest zeal and 
diligence; so that the whole equipment was completely 
ready before the season would permit the execution ? Is 
there no merit or praise in laying and executing their plan so 
well, that, as you have confessed, not a single part of it failed? 
If the plan was destitute of "propriety and wisdom," would 
it not have required the sharp, acute men of the northern 
latitude to execute it, that by supplying its deficiencies they 
might give it some chance of success? But if such "remark- 
ably silly, simple, blundering mar plans," as you say we are, 
could execute this plan, so that not a single part of it failed, 
does it not at least show that the plan itself must be laid 
with some "wisdom and propriety"? Is there no merit in 
the ardour with which all degrees and ranks of people quitted 
their private affairs and ranged themselves under the ban- 
ners of their king, for the honour, safety, and advantage of their 
country ? Is there no merit in the profound secrecy guarded 
by a whole people, so that the enemy had not the least intel- 
ligence of the design, till they saw the fleet of transports cover 
the sea before their port ? Is there none in the indefatigable 
labour the troops went through during the siege, performing 
the duty both of men and horses ; the hardship they patiently 
suffered for want of tents and other necessaries; the readi- 
ness with which they learned to move, direct, and manage 
cannon, raise batteries, and form approaches; the bravery 
with which they sustained sallies; and finally, in their con- 
senting to stay and garrison the place after it was taken, 
absent from their business and families, till troops could be 
brought from England for that purpose, though they under- 
took the service on a promise of being discharged as soon as 



214 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

it was over, were unprovided for so long an absence, and 
actually suffered ten times more loss by mortal sickness 
through want of necessaries, than they suffered from the 
arms of the enemy? The nation, however, had a sense of 
this undertaking different from the unkind one of this gentle- 
man. At the treaty of peace, the possession of Louisbourg 
was found of great advantage to our affairs in Europe; and 
if the brave men that made the acquisition for us were not 
rewarded, at least they were praised. Envy may continue 
a while to cavil and detract, but public virtue will in the end 
obtain esteem; and honest impartiality, in this and future 
ages, will not fail doing justice to merit. 

Your gentleman writer thus decently goes on: "The 
most substantial men of most of the provinces are children 
or grandchildren of those that came here at the king's ex- 
pense that is, thieves, highwaymen, and robbers." Being 
probably a military gentleman, this, and therefore a person 
of nice honour, if any one should tell him in the plainest 
language that what he here says is an absolute falsehood, 
challenges and cutting of throats might immediately ensue. 
I shall therefore only refer to his own account in this same 
letter, of the peopling of New England, which he says with 
more truth, was by Puritans, who fled thither for shelter 
from the persecutions of Archbishop Laud. Is there not a 
wide difference between removing to a distant country to 
enjoy exercise of religion according to a man's conscience, 
and his being transported thither by law, as a punishment 
for his crimes? This contradiction we therefore leave the 
gentleman and himself to settle as well as they can between 
them. One would think from his account that the provinces 
were so many colonies from Newgate. The truth is, not only 






1769] TO PRINTER OF "LONDON" CHRONICLE" 215 

Laud's persecution, but the other public troubles in the fol- 
lowing reigns, induced many thousand families to leave 
England and settle in the plantations. During the predom- 
inance of the Parliament many Royalists removed or were 
banished to Virginia and Barbadoes, who afterward spread 
into other settlements. The Catholics sheltered themselves 
in Maryland. At the Restoration many of the deprived 
non-conformist ministers, with their families, friends, and 
hearers, went over. Towards the end of Charles the Second's 
reign, and during James the Second's, the dissenters again 
flocked into America, driven by persecution, and dreading 
the introduction at home. Then the high price or reward 
of labour in the colonies and want of artisans there drew 
over many, as well as the occasion of commerce ; and when 
once people begin to migrate, every one has his little sphere 
of acquaintance and connections, which he draws after him 
by invitation, motives of interest, praising his new settlement, 
and other encouragements. The "most substantial men" 
are descendants of those early settlers, newcomers not having 
yet had time to raise estates. The practice of sending con- 
victs thither is modern; and the same indolence of temper 
and habits of idleness that make people poor and tempt 
them to steal in England continue with them when they are 
sent to America, and must there have the same effects, where 
all who live well owe their subsistence to labour and business, 
and where it is a thousand times more difficult than here to 
acquire wealth without industry. Hence the instances of 
transported thieves advancing their fortunes in the colonies 
are extremely rare; if there really is a single instance of it, 
which I very much doubt ; but of their being advanced there 
to the gallows the instances are plenty. Might they not as 



216 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

well have been hanged at home ? We call Britain the mother 
country ; but what good mother would introduce thieves and 
criminals into the company of her children to corrupt and dis- 
grace them ? And how cruel is it to force, by the high hand 
of power, a particular country of your subjects, who have not 
deserved such usage, to receive your outcasts, repealing all the 
laws they make to prevent their admission, and then reproach 
them with the detested mixture you have made! "Their 
emptying their jails into our settlements," says a writer 
of that country, "is an insult and contempt, the cruellest 
perhaps that ever one people offered to another, and would 
not be equalled even by emptying their Jakes on tables." 

The letter I have been considering, Mr. Chronicle, is fol- 
lowed by another in your paper of Tuesday, the i7th, past, 
said to be from an officer who attended Brigadier-General 
Forbes, in his march from Philadelphia to Fort DuQuesne, 
but written probably by the same gentleman who wrote the 
former, as it seems calculated to raise the character of the 
officers of the certain northern latitude, at the expense of the 
reputation of the colonies and the provincial forces. Accord- 
ing to this letter- writer, if the Pennsylvanians granted large 
supplies and raised a great body of troops for the last cam- 
paign, this was not on account of Mr. Pitt's zeal for the king's 
service, or even a regard for their own safety; but it was 
owing to the "general's proper management of the Quakers 
and other parties in the province." The withdrawing the 
Indians from the French interest, by negotiating a peace, is 
all ascribed to the general, and not a word said of the honour 
of the poor Quakers, who first set these negotiations on foot, 
or of honest Frederick Post, that completed them with so 
much ability and success. Even the little merit of the As- 



1769] TO PRINTER OF "LONDON CHRONICLE" 217 

sembly's making a law to regulate carriages is imputed to 
the general's "multitude of letters." Then he tells us "in- 
numerable scouting parties had been sent out during a long 
period, both by the general and Colonel Bouquet, towards 
Fort DuQuesne, to catch a prisoner, if possible, for intelli- 
gence, but never got any." How happened that? Why, 
"it was the provincial troops that were constantly employed 
in that service," and they, it seems, never do anything they 
are ordered to do. That, however, one would think might 
be easily remedied, by sending regulars with them, who, of 
course, must command them, and may see that they do their 
duty. No ; the regulars are afraid of being shot by the pro- 
vincials in a panic. Then send all regulars. Aye ; that was 
what the colonel resolved upon. "Intelligence was now 
wanted [says the letter writer]. Col. Bouquet, whose atten- 
tion to business was [only] very considerable [that is, not 
quite so great as the general's, for he was not of the northern 
latitude], was determined to send no more provincials 
a- scouting." And how did he execute his determination? 
Why, by sending "Major Grant, of the Highlanders, with 
seven hundred men, three hundred of them Highlanders, 
the rest Americans, Virginians, and Pennsylvanians." No 
blunder this in our writer, but a misfortune; and he is, 
nevertheless, one of those "acute sharp" men who are "fit 
for learning." And how did this major and seven hundred 
men succeed in catching the prisoner? Why, their "march 
to Fort DuQuesne was so conducted the surprise was com- 
plete." Perhaps you may imagine, gentle reader, that this 
was a surprise of the enemy. No such matter. They knew 
every step of his motions, and had, every man of them, left 
their fires and huts in the fields, and retired into the fort. 






218 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

But the major and his seven hundred men, they were sur- 
prised, first to find nobody there at night, and next to find 
themselves surrounded and cut to pieces in the morning, two 
or three hundred being killed, drowned, or taken prisoners, 
and among the latter the major himself. Those who escaped 
were also surprised at their own good fortune ; and the whole 
army was surprised at the major's bad management. Thus 
the surprise was indeed complete, but not the disgrace; for 
provincials were there to lay the blame on. The misfortune 
(we must not call it misconduct) of the major was owing, it 
seems, to an unnamed and, perhaps, unknown provincial 
officer, who, it is said, "disobeyed his orders and quitted his 
post." Whence a formal conclusion is drawn, " that a planter 
is not to be taken from the plough and made an officer on a 
day." Unhappy provincials ! If success attends where you 
are joined with the regulars, they claim all the honour, though 
not a tenth part of your number. If disgrace, it is all yours, 
though you happen to be a small part of the whole, and have 
not the command; as if regulars were in their nature invin- 
cible when not mixed with provincials, and provincials of no 
kind of value without regulars. Happy is it for you that you 
were neither present at Prestonpans nor Falkirk, at the faint 
attempt against Rochfort, the rout of St. Cas, or the hasty 
retreat from Martinico. Every thing that went wrong, or 
did not go right, would have been ascribed to you. Our 
commanders would have been saved the labour of writing 
long apologies for their conduct. It might have been suffi- 
cient to say, provincials were with us. 

A NEW ENGLANDMAN. 



1769] 719 MISS MARY STEVENSON 219 

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

Tuesday Morn*, June 27, 1769. 

DEAR POLLEY, 

Agreable to your Orders, delivered to me very punctually 
by Temple, I return you enclosed Voltaire's Verses. The 
Translation I think full as good as the Original. Remember 
that I am to have them again. 

I take this Opportunity to send you, also, a late Paper, con- 
taining a melancholy Account of the Distresses of some Sea- 
men. You will observe in it the Advantages they received 
from wearing their Clothes constantly wet with Salt Water, 
under the total Want of fresh Water to drink. You may 
remember I recommended this Practice many years ago. 
Do you know Dr. Len, and did you communicate it to him? 
I fancy his Name is wrong spelt in this Paper, and that it 
should be Lind, having seen in the Review some Extracts 
from a book on Sea- Diseases, published within these 2 or 3 
Years, by one Dr. Lind ; 2 but I have not seen the Book, 
and know not whether such a Passage be in it. 

I need not point out to you an Observation in favour of 
our Doctrine, that you will make on reading this Paper, 
that, having little to eat y these poor People in wet Clothes Day 
and Night caught no Cold. 

My respects to your Aunt, and love to all that love you. 
Yours affectionately, B FRANKLIN _ 

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

2 James Lind, M.D. (1716-1794), wrote numerous books upon the diseases 
of the sea. The particular work to which Franklin refers is probably " An 
Essay on the most effectual means of Preserving the Health of Seamen in the 
Royal Navy," the second edition of which appeared in 1762. ED. 



220 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 



504. TO THE COMMITTEE OF MERCHANTS IN 
PHILADELPHIA 1 

London, July 9, 1769. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I received yours of the i8th of April, enclosing copies of 
the articles of your agreements with respect to importation, 
and of your letter to the merchants here. The letter was pub- 
lished, and universally spoken well of, as a well written, sen- 
sible, manly, and spirited performance; and I believe the 
publication has been of service to our cause. You are in my 
opinion perfectly right in your supposition, that "the re- 
dress of American grievances likely to be proposed by the 
ministry will at first only be partial; and that it is intended 
to retain some of the revenue duties, in order to establish a 
right of Parliament to tax the colonies." But I hope, that, 
by persisting steadily in the measure you have so laudably 
entered into, you will, if backed by the general honest resolu- 
tion of the people to buy British goods of no others, but to 
manufacture for themselves, or use colony manufactures 
only, be the means, under God, of recovering and establish- 
ing the freedom of our country entire, and of handing it down 
complete to posterity. 

And in the mean time the country will be enriched by its 
industry and frugality. These virtues will become habitual. 
Farms will be more improved, better stocked, and rendered 
more productive by the money that used to be spent in super- 
fluities. Our artificers of every kind will be enabled to carry 
on their business to more advantage; gold and silver will 

1 First printed by Sparks. 






1769] TO JOHN" BARTRAM 221 

become more plenty among us, and trade will revive, after 
things shall be well settled, and become better and safer 
than it has lately been ; for an industrious, frugal people are 
best able to buy, and pay best for what they purchase. With 
great regard, I have the honour to be, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



505. TO JOHN BARTRAM 1 

London, July 9, 1769. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

It is with great pleasure I understand by your favour of 
April loth, that you continue to enjoy so good a share of 
health. I hope it will long continue. And, although it may 
not now be suitable for you to make such wide excursions 
as heretofore, you may yet be very useful to your country 
and to mankind, if you sit down quietly at home, digest the 
knowledge you have acquired, and compile and publish the 
many observations you have made, and point out the advan- 
tages that may be drawn from the whole, in public under- 
takings or particular private practice. It is true, many peo- 
ple are fond of accounts of old buildings, and monuments; 
but there is a number, who would be much better pleased 
with such accounts as you could afford them. And, for one, 
I confess, that if I could find in any Italian travels a receipt 
for making Parmesan cheese, it would give me more satis- 
faction than a transcript of any inscription from any old stone 
whatever. 

I suppose Mr. Michael Collinson, or Dr. Fothergill, has 
written to you what may be necessary for your information 

1 First printed by Sparks. 



222 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

relating to your affairs here. I imagine there is no doubt 
but the King's bounty to you will be continued ; and that it 
will be proper for you to continue sending now and then a 
few such curious seeds, as you can procure, to keep up your 
claim. And now I mention seeds, I wish you would send me 
a few of such as are least common, to the value of a guinea, 
which Mr. Foxcroft will pay you for me. They are for a 
particular friend, who is very curious. If in any thing I can 
serve you here, command freely. Your affectionate friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



506. TO JAMES BOWDOIN 1 

DEAR SIR, London ' July I3 > l7 ^' 

I am honoured with yours of May loth, and agree with you 
perfectly in your sentiments of public affairs. Government 
here seems now to be growing more moderate with regard to 
America, and I am persuaded, that, by a steady, prudent 
conduct, we shall finally obtain all our important points, 
and establish American liberty on a clearer and firmer founda- 
tion. The folly of the late measures begins to be seen and 
understood at court; their promoters grow out of credit, 
and the trading part of the nation, with the manufacturers, 
are become sensible how necessary it is for their welfare to be 
on good terms with us. The petitioners of Middlesex and of 
London have numbered among their grievances the uncon- 
stitutional taxes on America, and similar petitions are expected 
from all quarters. So that I think we need only be quiet, 
and persevere in our schemes of frugality and industry, 
and the rest will do itself. 

1 First printed by Sparks. 



1769] FROM MARY STEVENSON TO FRANKLIN 223 

Your governor 1 is recalled, and it is said the commissioners 2 
will follow soon, or be new modelled with some more men of 
discretion among them. I am just setting out on a journey 
of five or six weeks, and have now only time to add, that I 
am, with the greatest esteem and regard, dear Sir, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



507. FROM MISS MARY STEVENSON TO 
B. FRANKLIN 8 

Margate, September i, 1769. 

WELCOME to England ! my dear, my honoured friend. Just as I began a 
letter to my mother, I received the news of your arrival.* I have the same 
confidence in my parent, that the Esquimaux woman had in hers; for, if my 
mother did not know "I always speak truth," I could not venture to say 
what she might be apt to doubt. I confess she has some reason to complain 
of me; I must not complain of her; I have written to her but once since I 

came hither, and she . A blank will conclude that sentence. I have 

had the satisfaction to hear of her by several of my correspondents. I hope 
you will intercede for me, that I may not be severely rebuked. Indeed, my 
expedition has afforded me so little entertainment, that I could not have given 
her any by my letters, and I know she is not so well affected to the govern- 
ment, as to wish to increase the revenue without some advantage to herself. 
She is a very good subject, notwithstanding; and a faithful disciple of yours 
in all points, but that of tribute. There her daughter exceeds her; for, con- 
vinced by your arguments, I turn a deaf ear to all the invitations to smug- 
gling, and in such a place as this, it is well to have one's honesty guarded. 

As I have cast a censure upon the inhabitants of this place, I must, for the 
honour of my landlord and his family, tell you, that they condemn and avoid 
those illicit practices, which are too common here. Indeed the exemplary 
conduct of these good people would make me join their sect, if reason would 
qualify me for it; but they are happily got into the flights of enthusiasm, which 
I cannot reach. They are certainly the happiest people, and I should be glad 
to be like them ; but my reason will not suffer me, and my heart prevents my 

1 Sir Francis Bernard, Governor of Massachusetts. He embarked at Bos- 
ton on the ist of August. ED. 

2 Commissioners of the Customs in Boston. ED. 

8 First printed by Sparks. * From a tour on the continent. ED. 



224 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

playing the hypocrite ; so your Polly must remain as she is, neither in the 
world, nor out of it. How strangely I let my pen run on to a philosopher ! 
but that philosopher is my friend, and I may write what I please to him. 

I met with a very sensible physician yesterday, who prescribes abstinence 
for the cure of consumptions. He must be clever, because he thinks as we do. 
I would not have you or my mother surprised, if I should run off with this 
young man. To be sure it would be an imprudent step, at the discreet age of 
thirty ; but there is no saying what one should do, if solicited by a man of an 
insinuating address and good person, though he may be too young for one 
and not yet established in his profession. He engaged me so deeply in con- 
versation, and I was so much pleased with him, that I thought it necessary to 
give you warning, though I assure you he has made no proposal. l 

How I rattle ! This flight must be owing to this new acquaintance, or to 
the joy of hearing my old one is returned to this country. I know which I 
attribute it to, for I can tell when my spirits were enlivened ; but you may 
think as you please, if you will believe me to be, dear Sir, your truly affectionate 

humble servant, 

MARY STEVENSON. 






508. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON. 2 (P. c.) 
Saturday Evening, Sept r . 2, 1769. 

JUST come home from a Venison Feast, where I have 
drank more than a Philosopher ought, I find my dear Polly's 
chearful, chatty Letter, that exhilirates me more than all the 
Wine. 

Your good Mother says there is no Occasion for any Inter- 
cession of mine in your behalf. She is sensible that she is 
more in fault than her Daughter. She received an affection- 
ate, tender Letter from you, and she has not answered it, 
tho' she intended to do it; but her Head, not her Heart, 
has been bad, and unfitted her for Writing. She owns, that 
she is not so good a Subject as you are, and that she is more 

1 Probably Mr. William Hewson ( 1739-1 774) , to whom she was married 
the year following. ED. 

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



1769] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 225 

unwilling to pay Tribute to Cesar, and has less Objection 
to Smuggling; but 'tis not, she says, mere Selfishness or 
Avarice ; 'tis rather an honest Resentment at the Waste of 
those Taxes in Pensions, Salaries, Perquisites, Contracts, 
and other Emoluments for the Benefit of People she does 
not love, and who do not deserve such Advantages, be- 
cause I suppose because they are not of her Party. 

Present my Respects to your good Landlord and his Family. 
I honour them for their conscientious Aversion to illicit 
Trading. There are those in the World, who would not 
wrong a Neighbour, but make no Scruple of cheating the 
King. The Reverse, however, does not hold; for whoever 
scruples cheating the King, will certainly not wrong his 
Neighbour. 

You ought not to wish yourself an Enthusiast. They 
have, indeed, their imaginary Satisfactions and Pleasures, 
but these are often ballanc'd by imaginary Pains and Morti- 
fications. You can continue to be a good Girl, and thereby 
lay a solid Foundation for expected future Happiness, without 
the Enthusiasm that may perhaps be necessary to some others. 
As those Beings, who have a good sensible Instinct, have no 
need of Reason, so those, who have Reason to regulate their 
Actions, have no Occasion for Enthusiasm. However, there 
are certain Circumstances in Life, sometimes, wherein 'tis 
perhaps best not to hearken to Reason. For instance; pos- 
sibly, if the Truth were known, I have Reason to be jealous 
of this same insinuating, handsome young Physician; but, 
as it flatters more my Vanity, and therefore gives me more 
Pleasure, to suppose you were in Spirits on ace* of my safe 
Return, I shall turn a deaf Ear to Reason in this Case, as 
I have done with Success in twenty others. But I am sure 

VOL. V Q 



226 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

you will always give me Reason enough to continue ever your 

affectionate Friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Our Love to Mrs. Tickell. We all long for your 
Return. Your Dolly was well last Tuesday; the Girls 
were there on a Visit to her; I mean at Bromley. Adieu. 
No time now to give you any ace 1 of my French Journey. 



509. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, September 7, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

I have now before me your favours of June nth and July 
1 5th. I thank you for communicating to me the observa- 
tions of the transit made by Messrs. Biddle and Bayley. I 
gave them immediately to Mr. Maskelyne, the Astronomer 
Royal, who will compare and digest the whole received from 
different parts of the world, and report thereon to the Royal 
Society. They are the only ones I have received from our 
Society ; those made by the others were sent to Mr. Penn. 
Being last week with Mr. Maskelyne, at Flamsteed House, I 
found he had got them. I shall send him to-day the cor- 
rected account, which I have since received from you by way 
of Liverpool. 

I should be very sorry that any thing of party remained in 
The American Philosophical Society after the union. Here 
the Royal Society is of all parties, but party is entirely out of 
the question in all our proceedings. 

It grieves me to hear that our friend Galloway is in so bad a 

1 First published by Sparks. 



1769] TO CADWALLADER EVANS 227 

state of health. He should make a long journey, or take a 
sea voyage. I wish he would come to London for the winter. 

Mr. Henry's Register, which you communicated to me last 
year, is thought a very ingenious one, and will be published 
here, though it has long been delayed. I have not seen Mrs. 
Dowell. I suppose she is not yet come to town. At least I 
have not heard of her being here, though possibly she might 
while I was in France. 

Our friend W ,* who is always complaining of a con- 
stant fever, looks nevertheless fresh and jolly, and does not 
fall away in the least. He was saying the other day at Rich- 
mond, (where we were together dining with Governor 
Pownall,) that he had been pestered with a fever almost con- 
tinually for these three years past, and that it gave way to 
no medicines, all he had taken, advised by different physicians, 
having never any effect towards removing it. On which I 
asked him, if it was not now time to inquire, whether he had 
really any fever at all. He is indeed the only instance I ever 
knew, of a man's growing fat upon a fever. But I see no 
occasion for reading him the lecture you desired, for he ap- 
pears to me extremely temperate in his eating and drinking. 
His affairs here are I think in a good train, but every thing 
to be transacted in our great offices requires time. I suppose 
he will hardly be able to return before the spring. 

By a ship just sailed from hence, (the captain a stranger, 
whose name I have forgotten,) I send you a late French 
treatise on the management of silkworms. It is said to be 
the best hitherto published, being written in the silk country 
by a gentleman well acquainted with the whole affair. It 
seems to me to be, like many other French writings, rather too 

1 Thomas Wharton. ED. 



228 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

much drawn out in words ; but some extracts from it, of the 
principal directions, might be of use, if you would translate 
and publish them. I think the bounty is offered for silk from 
all the colonies in general. I will send you the act. But I 
believe it must be wound from the cocoons, and sent over in 
skeins. The cocoons would spoil on the passage, by the dead 
worm corrupting and staining the silk. A public filature 
should be set up for winding them there ; or every family 
should learn to wind their own. In Italy they are all brought 
to market, from the neighbouring country, and bought up by 
those that keep the filatures. In Sicily each family winds 
its own silk, for the sake of having the remains to card and 
spin for family use. If some provision were made by the 
Assembly for promoting the growth of mulberry trees in all 
parts of the province, the culture of silk might afterwards 
follow easily. For the great discouragement to breeding 
worms at first is the difficulty of getting leaves and the being 
obliged to go far for them. 

There is no doubt with me but that it might succeed in our 
country. It is the happiest of all inventions for clothing. 
Wool uses a good deal of land to produce it, which, if employed 
in raising corn, would afford much more subsistence for man, 
than the mutton amounts to. Flax and hemp require good 
land, impoverish it, and at the same time permit it to produce 
no food at all. But mulberry trees may be planted in hedge- 
rows on walks or avenues, or for shade near a house, where 
nothing else is wanted to grow. The food for the worms, 
which produce the silk, is in the air, and the ground under the 
trees may still produce grass, or some other vegetable good 
for man or beast. Then the wear of silken garments con- 
tinues so much longer, from the strength of the materials, as 






1769] TO M. BARBEU DUBOURG 229 

to give it greatly the preference. Hence it is that the most 
populous of all countries, China, clothes its inhabitants with 
silk, while it feeds them plentifully, and has besides a vast 
quantity both raw and manufactured to spare for exportation. 
Raw silk here, in skeins well wound, sells from twenty to 
twenty-five shillings per pound; but, if badly wound, is not 
worth five shillings. Well wound is, when the threads are 
made to cross each other every way in the skein, and only 
touch where they cross. Badly wound is, when they are laid 
parallel to each other ; for so they are glued together, break 
in unwinding them, and take a vast deal of time more than 
the other, by losing the end every time the thread breaks. 
When once you can raise plenty of silk, you may have manu- 
factures enough from hence. With great esteem, I am, my 
dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



510. TO BARBEU DUBOURG (A.P.S.) 

London, Sept. 22, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

With this you will receive some Sheets of the Piece now 
printing, and which I am promised shall be finish'd in a few 
Days. I am afraid it is not so correct as it should be ; But 
as I have been advis'd not to publish it till next Month, most 
of our Gentry being yet out of Town, there will be time for 
you to send me the Errata which may be printed at the End. 

I send you also Dr Priestly's Essay on the first Principles 
of [Government] lately published, in which you will find 
some [mutilated] & free Sentiments. 

I wrote to you two or three Weeks since by M. Lettsom a 



230 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1769 

Quaker Physician, recommending him to your Civilities. 1 
I can now only add, with my best Respects to good Madame 
Dubourg, that I am as ever, Dear Sir, 

Your affectionate Friend, & 

most obedient humble Servt. 
B. FRANKLIN. 

Be so good as to present my respectful Compliments to M. 
Beaumont, 2 for whom I have the highest Esteem, and to 
Mr Dupont. Please to acquaint the latter, that Dr. Temple- 
man 3 had done nothing in the Subscriptions, the Society 
having been in Vacance; and the good Gentleman, is, I 
am afraid, now dying. 



511. TO THOMAS-FRANCOIS DALIBARD 

(A. P. s.) 

London, Sept. 22, 1769 

DEAR FRIEND, 

Having this Opportunity by M. Le Roy, I embrace it to 
thank you most heartily for the many Civilities & Marks of 
Friendship I received from you & Mad. Dalibard, while in 
Paris; & to express my sincere & cordial Wishes for your 

1 " London August 30, 1769 

" This letter will be forwarded to you by Dr. Lettsom, a young American 
physician of much merit, and one of the peaceable sect of Quakers ; you will 
therefore at least regard him as a curiosity, even though you should have 
embraced all the opinions of the majority of your countrymen concerning 
these people. " B. FRANKLIN. 

"To M. DUBOURG." 

2 See letter to Samuel Cooper, April 14, 1770. ED. 

8 Dr. Peter Templeman (1711-1769), Secretary of the Society of Arts, died 
before this letter was written (August 23, 1769). ED. 



1769] TO SAMUEL COOPER 231 

Health & Prosperity : in which I am joined by my Friend 
Sir John Pringle. 

As I cannot soon again enjoy the Happiness of being per- 
sonally in your Company, permit my Shadow to pay my 
Respects to you. J Tis from a Plate my Son caus'd to be 
engrav'd some Years since. With the greatest Esteem & 
Respect, I have the honour to be, Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

512. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. M.) 

DEAR SIR, London > Scpt * 3 > I769 ' 

Your favour of Aug* 3d has given me great Pleasure. I 
have only time now to acknowledge the Receipt of it, but 
purpose to write fully by the next Opportunity. I am just 
returned from France, where I found our Dispute much 
attended to, several of our Pamphlets being translated and 
printed there, among the rest my Examination 1 and the 
Farmer's Letters? with two of my Pieces annexed, of which 
last I send you a Copy. In short, all Europe (except Britain) 
appears to be on our side the question. But Europe has its 
Reasons. It fancies itself in some Danger from the Growth 
of British Power, and would be glad to see it divided against 
itself. Our prudence will, I hope, long postpone the Satis- 
faction our Enemies expect from our Dissensions. With 
sincere and great Esteem, I am, dear Sir, 

Your most obedient humble Serv* 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Examination before the House of Commons. ED. 

2 Written by John Dickinson, and published in London, with a Preface by 
Dr. Franklin. ED. 



232 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

513. TO ANTHONY TODD (p. R. o. A. w. i.) 

Craven Street, October 29, 1769. 

SIR : Discoursing with Captain Folger, a very intelligent 
Mariner of the Island of Nantucket, in New England, con- 
cerning the long Passages made by some ships bound from 
England to New York, I received from him the following 
Information, viz., 

That the Island in which he lives is inhabited chiefly by 
People concerned in the Whale Fishery, in which they em- 
ployed near 150 Sail of Vessels; that the Whales are found 
generally near the Edges of the Gulph Stream, a strong Cur- 
rent so called, which comes out of the Gulph of Florida, 
passing Northeasterly along the Coast of America, and then 
turning off most Easterly, running at the rate of 4, 3^, 3, and 
2 J Miles an Hour. That the Whaling Business leading these 
People to cruise along the Edges of the Stream in quest of 
Whales, they are become better acquainted with the Course, 
Breadth, Strength, and Extent of the same, than those Navi- 
gators can well be who only cross it in their Voyages to and 
from America, that they have Opportunities of discovering the 
strength of it when their Boats are out in the pursuit of this 
Fish, and happen to get into the Stream while the Ship is out 
of it, or out of the Stream while the Ship is in it, for then they 
are separated very fast, and would soon loose sight of each 
other if care were not taken that in crossing the Stream to 
and fro, they frequently in the same meet and speak with 
Ships bound from England to New York, Virginia, &c. who 
have Passages of 8, 9, and 10 weeks and are still far from 
Land, and not likely to be in with it for some time, being en- 




1769] TO ANTHONY TODD 233 

gaged in that part of the Stream that sets directly against 
them, and it is supposed that their Fear of Cape Sable 
Shoals, George's Banks, or Nantucket Shoals, hath induced 
them to keep so far to the southward as unavoidably to en- 
gage them in the said Gulph Stream, which occasions the 
length of their Voyage, since in a Calm it carries them directly 
back, and tho' they may have fair Winds, yet the Current 
being 60 or 70 Miles a Day, is so much subtracted from the 
way they make thro' the Water. At my request Captain 
Folger hath been so obliging as to mark for me on a Chart 
the Dimensions, Course and Swiftness of the Stream from 
its first coming out of the Gulph when it is narrowest and 
strongest, until it turns away to go to the southward of the 
Western Islands, where it is Broader and Weaker, and to 
give me withall some written Directions whereby Ships 
bound from the Banks of Newfoundland to New York may 
avoid the said Stream ; and yet be free of Danger from the 
Banks and Shoals above mentioned. As I apprehend that 
such Chart and Directions may be of use to our Packets in 
shortning their Voyages, I send them to you, that if their 
Lordships should think fit, so much of the Chart as is con- 
tained within the Red Lines may be engraved, and printed, 
together with the Remarks, at the Charge of the Office; or 
at least the Manuscript Copies may be made of the same for 
the use of the Packets. The Expence of the former would not 
much exceed the latter and would besides be of general Service. 

With much Esteem, I am, etc. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

Endorsed: "Craven Street, Oct. 2Qth, 1769, Dr. Franklin 
to Mr. Todd. In Mr. Todd's to Mr. Pownall, of i7* h Febf 
1769." 



234 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

514. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 1 (P. c.) 
Craven Street, Sat. eve. past ten. [1769] 

Ax length I have found an Hour, in which I think I may 
chat with my dear good Girl, free from Interruption. 

The Attention you have always shown to everything you 
think agreable to me, demands my most grateful Acknowl- 
edgements. I have received the Garters you have so kindly 
knit for me ; they are of the only Sort that I can wear, having 
worn none of any kind for 20 Years, till you began to supply 
me; but besides their Usefulness, these appear to me the 
finest, neatest, and prettiest that were ever made ! 

Accept my heartiest Thanks, and be assured that I shall 
think as often of you in the Wearing, as you did of me in the 
Making them. 

The Question you ask me is a very sensible one, and I shall 
be glad if I can give you a satisfactory Answer. There are 
two Ways of contracting a Chimney ; one, by contracting the 
Opening before the Fire ; the other, by contracting the Funnel 
above the Fire. If the Funnel above the Fire is left open in its 
full Dimensions, and the Opening before the Fire is con- 
tracted ; then the Coals, I imagine, will burn faster, because 
more Air is directed through the Fire, and in a stronger 
Stream; that Air which before pass'd over it, and on each 
side of it, now passing thro 1 it. This is seen in narrow Stove 
Chimneys, when a Sacheverell or Blower is used, which still 
more contracts the narrow Opening. But if the Funnel only 
above the Fire is contracted, then, as a less Stream of Air is 
1 From the original in the possession of T. Hewson Bradford, M.D. ED. 



1769] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON" 235 

passing up the Chimney, less must pass thro' the Fire, and 
consequently it should seem that the Consuming of the Coals 
would rather be checked than augmented by such Contraction. 
And this will also be the Case, when both the Opening before 
the Fire, and the Funnel above the Fire are contracted, pro- 
vided the Funnel above the Fire is more contracted in Pro- 
portion than the Opening before the Fire. 

So you see I think you had the best of the Argument ; and, 
as you notwithstanding gave it up in Complaisance to the 
Company, I think you had also the best of the Dispute. 
There are few, tho' convinced, that know how to give up, even 
an Error, they have been once engag'd in maintaining ; there 
is therefore the more Merit in dropping a Contest where one 
thinks one's self right ; 'tis at least respectful to those we con- 
verse with. And indeed all our Knowledge is so imperfect, 
and we are from a thousand Causes so perpetually subject to 
Mistake and Error, that Positiveness can scarce ever become 
even the most knowing; and Modesty in advancing any 
Opinion, however plain and true we may suppose it, is always 
decent, and generally more likely to procure assent. Pope's 
Rule, 

" To speak, tho' sure, with seeming Diffidence," 

is therefore a good one ; and, if I had ever seen in your Con- 
versation the least Deviation from it, I should earnestly 
recommend it to your Observation. 1 

I am, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 A paragraph of no importance omitted. ED. 



236 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

515. QUERIES 

BY MR. STRAHAN, 

RESPECTING AMERICAN AFFAIRS, 

AND 

DR. FRANKLIN'S ANSWERS 1 (B. M.) 






W. STRAHAN TO B. FRANKLIN 

New Street, Nov. 22 d , 1769. 
DEAR SIR, 

In the many conversations we have had together about our present dis- 
putes with North America, we perfectly agreed in wishing they may be 
brought to a speedy and happy conclusion. How this is to be done is not so 
easily ascertained. 

Five [sic] objects, I humbly apprehend, his Majesty's servants have now 
in contemplation. First, To relieve the colonies from the taxes complained 
of, which they certainly had no hand in imposing. Secondly, To preserve 
the honour, the dignity, and the supremacy of the British legislature over all 
his Majesty's dominions. 

As I know your singular knowledge of the subject in question, and am as 
fully convinced of your cordial attachment to his Majesty, and your sincere 
desire to promote the happiness equally of all his subjects, I beg you would, 
in your own clear, brief, and explicit manner, send me an answer to the fol- 
lowing questions. I make this request now, because this matter is of the 
utmost importance, and must very quickly be agitated. And I do it with the 
more freedom, as you know me and my motives too well, to entertain the most 
remote suspicion that I will make an improper use of any information you 
shall hereby convey to me. 

i. Will not a repeal of all the duties (that on tea excepted, which was 
before paid here on exportation, and of course no new imposition,) fully 
satisfy the colonists? If you answer in the negative, 

1 From the original Ms. in B. M. A French version is in A. P. S. dated 
November 21**. ED. 



1769] QUERIES AND ANSWERS 237 

2. Your reasons for that opinion? 

3. Do you think the only effectual way of composing the present differ- 
ences, is to put the Americans precisely in the situation they were in before 
the passing of the late Stamp Act? If that is your opinion, 

4. Your reasons for that opinion? 

5. If this last method is deemed by the legislature and his Majesty's minis- 
ters to be repugnant to their duty, as guardians of the just rights of the crown 
and of their fellow subjects, can you suggest any other way of terminating 
these disputes, consistent with the ideas of justice and propriety conceived by 
the King's subjects on both sides of the Atlantic? 

6. And, if this method was actually followed, do you not think it would 
actually encourage the violent and factious part of the colonists to aim at still 
farther concessions from the mother country? 

7. If they are relieved in part only, what do you, as a reasonable and dis- 
passionate man, and an equal friend to both sides, imagine will be the probable 
consequences? 

The answers to these questions, I humbly conceive, will include all the 
information I want, and I beg you will favour me with them as soon as may 
be. Every well-wisher to the peace and prosperity of the British empire, and 
every friend to our truly happy constitution, must be desirous of seeing even 
the most trivial causes of dissension among our fellow subjects removed. Our 
domestic squabbles, in my mind, are nothing to what I am speaking of. This 
you know much better than I do, and therefore I need add nothing farther 
to recommend this subject to your serious consideration. I am, with the most 
cordial esteem and attachment, dear Sir, your faithful and affectionate humble 
servant, 

W. STRAHAN. 



THE ANSWER (B. M.) 

Craven Street, Nov r 29, 1769. 

DEAR SIR, 

Being just returned to Town from a little excursion, I find 
yours of the 22 d , containing a number of Queries, that would 
require a Pamphlet to answer them fully. You, however, 
desire only brief Answers, which I shall endeavour to give 
you. 

Previous to your Queries, you tell me that you apprehend 
his Majesty's Servants have now "in Contemplation, First, 



238 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

to relieve the Colonists from the Taxes complained of; And 
2 J ly, to preserve the Honor, the Dignity, and the Supremacy 
of the British Legislature over all his Majesty's Dominions." 
I hope your Information is good, and that what you suppose 
to be in Contemplation, will be carried into Execution, by 
repealing all the Laws that have been made for raising a 
Revenue in America, by Authority of Parliament, without 
the Consent of the People there. The Honor and Dignity 
of the British Legislature will not be hurt by such an Act of 
Justice and Wisdom. The wisest Councils are liable to be 
misled, especially in Matters remote from their Inspection. 
It is the Persisting in an Error, not the Correcting it, that 
lessens the Honor of any Man or Body of Men. 

The Supremacy of that Legislature, I believe, will be best 
preserved by making a very sparing use of it, never, but for 
the evident good of the Colonies themselves, or of the whole 
British Empire, never, for the partial Advantage of Britain, 
to their Prejudice: By such prudent Conduct, I imagine 
that Supremacy may be gradually strengthened, and in Time 
fully established; but otherwise, I apprehend it will be dis- 
puted, and lost in the Dispute. At present the Colonies con- 
sent and submit to it for the Regulations of general Com- 
merce ; but a Submission to Acts of Parliament was no part 
of their original Constitution. Our former Kings governed 
their Colonies, as they had governed their Dominions in 
France, without the Participation of British Parliaments. 
The Parliament of England never presumed to interfere with 
that Prerogative, till the Time of the great Rebellion, when 
they usurped the Government of all the King's other Domin- 
ions, Ireland, Scotland, &c. The Colonies that held for the 
King, they conquered by Force of Arms, and governed after- 



1769] QUERIES AND ANSWERS 239 

wards as conquered Countries; but New England, having 
not opposed the Parliament, was considered and treated as a 
Sister-Kingdom in Amity with England, as appears by the 
Journals, March noth, 1642. 

" i. Will not a repeal of all the duties (that on Tea excepted, 
which was before paid here on Exportation, and of course no 
new Imposition,) fully satisfy the Colonists?" 

Answer. I think not. 

"2. Your reasons for that Opinion?" 

A. Because it is not the Sum paid in that Duty on Tea, 
that is complained of as a burthen, but the Principle of the 
Act expressed in the preamble ; viz. that those Duties were 
laid for the better Support of Government, and the Adminis- 
tration of Justice, in the Colonies. 1 This the Colonists think 
unnecessary, unjust, and dangerous to their most important 
Rights. Unnecessary, because in all the Colonies (two or 
three new ones are excepted) 2 Government and the Admin- 
istration of Justice were, and always had been, well supported 
without any Charge to Britain; unjust, as it has made such 
Colonies liable to pay such Charge for others, in which they 
had no Concern or Interest ; dangerous, as such Mode of rais- 
ing Money for those Purposes tended to render their Assem- 
blies useless ; for, if a Revenue could be raised in the Colonies 
for all the Purposes of Government by Act of Parliament, 
without Grants from the People there, Governors, who do not 

1 "Men may lose little property by an act which takes away all their 
freedom. When a man is robbed of a trifle on the highway, it is not the two 
pence lost that makes the capital outrage. Would twenty shillings have 
ruined Mr. Hampden's fortune? No! but the payment of half twenty 
shillings, on the principle it was demanded, would have made him a slave." 
See Mr. Burke's Speeches in 1774 and 1775. V. 

2 Nova Scotia, Georgia, the Floridas, and Canada. 



240 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

generally love Assemblies, would never call them. They 
would be laid aside ; and, when nothing should depend on the 
people's good Will to Government, their Rights would be 
trampled on ; they would be treated with Contempt. 

Another Reason why I think they would not be satisfied 
with such a partial Repeal is, that their Agreements not to 
import till the Repeal takes place, include the whole, which 
shows that they object to the whole, and those Agreements 
will continue binding on them if the whole is not repealed. 

"3. Do you think the only effectual Way of composing the 
present Differences is, to put the Americans precisely in the 
Situation they were in before the passing of the late Stamp 
Act ? " 

A. I think so. 

"4. Your Reasons for that Opinion?" 

A. Other Methods have been tried. They have been 
rebuk'd in angry Letters. Their Petitions have been refused 
or rejected by Parliament. They have been threatened with 
the punishment of Treason by Resolves of both Houses. 
Their Assemblies have been dissolved, and Troops have 
been sent among them; but all these Ways have only exas- 
perated their Minds and widened the Breach. Their Agree- 
ments to use no more British Manufactures have been 
strengthened; and these Measures, instead of composing 
Differences, and promoting a good Correspondence, have 
almost annihilated your Commerce with those Countries, and 
greatly endangered the national Peace and general Welfare. 

"5. If this last Method is deemed by the Legislature and 
his Majesty's Ministers to be repugnant to their duty, as 
Guardians of the just Rights of the Crown and of their Fellow 
Subjects, can you suggest any other way of terminating these 




S -a 

^ c/J 

n 






1769] QUERIES AND ANSWERS 241 

Disputes, consistent with the Ideas of Justice and Pro- 
priety conceived by the King's Subjects on both sides of the 
Atlantic?" 

A. I do not see how that Method can be deemed repug- 
nant to the Rights of the Crown. If the Americans are put 
into their former Situation, it must be by an Act of Parlia- 
ment ; in the passing of which by the King, the Rights of the 
Crown are exercised, not infringed. It is indifferent to the 
Crown whether the Aids received from America are granted 
by Parliament here, or by the Assemblies there, provided 
the quantum be the same ; and it is my Opinion, that more 
will be generally granted there voluntarily, than can ever be 
exacted or collected from thence by Authority of Parliament. 

As to the Rights of Fellow Subjects (I suppose you mean the 
People of Britain), I cannot conceive how those will be in- 
fringed by that Method. They will still enjoy the Right of 
granting their own Money, and may still, if it pleases them, 
keep up their Claim to the right of granting Ours; a Right 
they can never exercise properly, for Want of a sufficient 
Knowledge of us, our Circumstances and Abilities, (to say 
nothing of the little Likelihood there is that we should ever 
submit to it,) therefore a Right that can be of no good Use 
to them; and we shall continue to enjoy in fact the Right of 
granting our Money, with the Opinion now universally pre- 
vailing among us, that we are free subjects of the King, and 
that Fellow Subjects of one part of his Dominions are not 
Sovereigns over Fellow Subjects in any other part. 

If the Subjects on the different Sides of the Atlantic have 
different and opposite Ideas of "Justice and Propriety," no 
one "Method" can possibly be consistent with both. The 
best will be, to let each enjoy their own Opinions, without 

VOL. V R 



242 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

disturbing them, when they do not interfere with the common 
Good. 

"6. And, if this Method were actually followed, do you not 
think it would encourage the violent and factious Part of the 
Colonists to aim at still farther Concessions from the Mother 
Country?" 

A. I do not think it would. There may be a few among 
them, that deserve the Name of factious and violent, as there 
are in all Countries ; but these would have little Influence, if 
the great Majority of sober, reasonable People were satisfied. 
If any Colony should happen to think that some of your Regu- 
lations of Trade are inconvenient to the general Interest of the 
Empire, or prejudicial to them without being beneficial to 
you, they will state these Matters to the Parliament in Peti- 
tions as heretofore ; but will, I believe, take no violent Steps 
to obtain what they may hope for in Time from the wisdom 
of Government here. I know of nothing else they can have 
in view ; the Notion that prevails here of their being desirous 
to set up a Kingdom or Commonwealth of their own, is, to 
my certain Knowledge, entirely groundless. 

I therefore think, that, on a total Repeal of all Duties, laid 
expressly for the Purpose of raising a Revenue on the People 
of America without their Consent, the present Uneasiness 
would subside; the Agreements not to import would be dis- 
solved ; and the Commerce flourish as heretofore ; and I am 
confirmed in this Sentiment by all the Letters I have received 
from America, and by the Opinions of all the sensible People 
who have lately come from thence, Crown Officers excepted. 

I know, indeed, that the People of Boston are grievously 
offended by the Quartering of Troops among them, as they 
think, contrary to Law and are very angry with the Board of 



1769] QUERIES AND ANSWERS 243 

Commissioners, who have calumniated them to Government ; 
but, as I suppose withdrawing of those Troops may be a Con- 
sequence of reconciliating Measures taking place; and that 
the Commission also will either be desolved, if found useless, 
or filled with more temperate and prudent Men, if still deemed 
useful and necessary; I do not imagine these Particulars 
would prevent a Return of the Harmony so much to be 
wished. 

"7. If they are relieved in part only, what do you, as a 
reasonable and dispassionate Man, and an equal Friend to 
both Sides, imagine will be the probable Consequences?" 

A. I imagine, that repealing the offensive Duties in part 
will answer no end to this Country; the Commerce will 
remain obstructed, and the Americans go on with their 
Schemes of Frugality, Industry, and Manufactures, to their 
own great Advantage. How much that may tend to the 
Prejudice of Britain, I cannot say; perhaps not so much as 
some apprehend, since she may in time find new Markets. 
But I think, if the Union of the two Countries continues to 
subsist, it will not hurt the general Interest; for whatever 
Wealth Britain loses by the Failing of its Trade with the 'Colo- 
nies, America will gain; and the Crown will receive equal 
Aids from its Subjects upon the whole, if not greater. 

And now I have answered your Questions as to what may 
be, in my Opinion, the Consequences of this or that supposed 
Measure, I will go a little farther, and tell you what I fear is 
more likely to come to pass in Reality. I apprehend that the 
Ministry, at least the American Part of it, being fully per- 
suaded of the Right of Parliament, think it ought to be en- 
forced, whatever may be the Consequences ; and at the same 
time do not believe, there is even now any Abatement of the 



244 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1769 

Trade between the two Countries on account of these Dis- 
putes ; or that, if there is, it is small, and cannot long continue. 

They are assured by the Crown Officers in America, that 
Manufactures are impossible there; that the Discontented 
are few, and persons of little Consequence; that almost 
all the People of Property and Importance are satisfied, and 
disposed to submit quietly to the taxing Power of Parlia- 
ment ; and that, if the Revenue Acts are continued, and those 
Duties only that are called anti-commercial be repealed, and 
others perhaps laid instead; that Power will ere long be 
patiently submitted to, and the Agreements not to import 
be broken, when they are found to produce no Change of 
Measures here. 

From these and similar Misinformations, which seem to 
be credited, I think it likely that no thorough Redress of 
Grievances will be afforded to America this Session. This 
may inflame Matters still more in that Country ; farther rash 
Measures there may create more Resentment here, that may 
produce not merely ill-advised and useless Dissolutions of 
their Assemblies, as last year, but Attempts to dissolve their 
Constitutions; more Troops may be sent over, which will 
create more Uneasiness; to justify the Measures of Govern- 
ment, your Writers will revile the Americans in your News- 
papers, as they have already begun to do; treating them as 
Miscreants, Rogues, Dastards, Rebels, &c., which will tend 
farther to alienate the minds of the people here from them, and 
diminish their Affections to this Country. Possibly, too, 
some of their warm Patriots may be distracted enough to 
expose themselves by some mad Action to be sent for hither ; 
and Government here be indiscreet enough to hang them, on 
the Act of Henry the Eighth. 



1770] TO JOHN BARTRAM 245 

Mutual Provocations will thus go on to complete the Sepa- 
ration ; and instead of that cordial Affection that once and so 
long existed, and that Harmony, so suitable to the Circum- 
stances, and so necessary to the Happiness, Strength, Safety, 
and Welfare of both Countries; an implacable Malice and 
mutual Hatred, such as we now see subsisting between the 
Spaniards and Portuguese, the Genoese and Corsicans, from 
the same original Misconduct in the superior Governments, 
will take Place; the Sameness of Nation, the Similarity of 
Religion, Manners, and Language not in the least preventing 
in our Case, more than it did in theirs. 

I hope, however, that this may all prove false Prophecy, 
and that you and I may live to see as sincere and perfect a 
Friendship established between our respective Countries, as 
has so many years subsisted between Mr. Strahan and his 

truly affectionate old Friend, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



516. TO JOHN BARTRAM 1 

London, January n, 1770. 
MY EVER DEAR FRIEND, 

I received your kind letter of November 2Qth, with the 
parcel of seeds, for which I am greatly obliged to you. I can- 
not make you adequate returns in kind ; but I send you how- 
ever some of the true rhubarb seed, which you desire. I had 
it from Mr. English, who lately received a medal of the 
Society of Arts for propagating it. I send also some green 
dry peas, highly esteemed here as the best for making pea 
soup ; and also some Chinese caravances, with Father Navar- 

1 First printed by Sparks. 



246 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

rete's * account of the universal use of a cheese made of them 
in China, which so excited my curiosity, that I caused inquiry 
to be made of Mr. Flint, who lived many years there, in what 
manner the cheese was made, and I send you his answer. I 
have since learned, that some runnings of salt (I suppose 
runnet) is put into water, when the meal is in it, to turn it to 
curds. I think we have caravances* with us, but I know 
not whether they are the same with these, which actually 
came from China. They are said to be of great increase. 

I shall inquire of Mr. Collinson for your Journal. I see 
that of East Florida is printed with Stork's Account. 3 My 
love to good Mrs. Bartram and your children. With esteem 
I am ever, my dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



517. TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 4 (P. c.) 

Craven Street, Jan. 22, 1770. 

DEAR POLLY, 

I received your Favour of Saturday, early this Morning, 
and am as usual much obliged by the kind Readiness with 
which you have done what I requested. 

Your good Mother has complained more of her Head 
since you left us than ever before. If she stoops, or looks, 

1 Domingo-Hernandez Navarrete (1610-1698) went as missionary to 
China. Many curious observations of Chinese life are contained in his 
"Tratudos historicos, politicos, ethicos y religiosos de la monarchia de 
China" (1676). ED. 

2 Caravances or calavances seems to be used loosely for various kinds of 
pease, beans, lentils, etc. ED. 

8 " A Description of East Florida, with a Journal kept by John Bartram of 
Philadelphia" [William Stork], London, 1769. ED. 

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



1770] TO NEVIL MASKELYNE 247 

or bends her Neck downwards, on any occasion, it is with 
great Pain and Difficulty, that she gets her Head up again. 
She has, therefore, borrowed a Breast and Neck Collar of 
Mrs. Wilkes, such as Misses wear, and now uses it to keep 
her Head up. Mr. Strahan has invited us all to dine there 
to-morrow, but she has excused herself. Will you come, 
and go with me? If you cannot well do that, you will at 
least be with us on Friday to go to Lady Strachans. 

As to my own Head, which you so kindly enquire after, 
its Swimming has gradually worn off, and to-day for the first 
Time I felt nothing of it on getting out of Bed. But, as this 
speedy Recovery is, (as I am fully persuaded) owing to the 
extream Abstemiousness I have observed for some Days 
past at home, I am not without Apprehensions, that, being 
to dine abroad this Day, to-morrow, and next Day, I may 
inadvertently bring it on again, if I do not think of my little 
Monitor and guardian Angel, and make use of the proper 
and very pertinent Clause she proposes, in my Grace. Here 
comes a Morning Visitor. Adieu. My best Respects to 
Mrs. Tickel. I am, my dear Friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



518. TO NEVIL MASKELYNE 1 

Craven Street, February 12, 1770. 

DEAR SIR, 

I have just received a letter from Mr. Winthrop, dated 
December 7th, containing the following account, viz. 
"On Thursday, the Qth of November, I had an opportunity 

1 Read at the Royal Society, January 10, 1771. Maskelyne (1732-1811) 
became astronomer royal, February 26, 1765. ED. 



248 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

of observing a transit of Mercury. I had carefully adjusted 
my clock to the apparent time, by correspondent altitudes of 
the Sun, taken with the quadrant for several days before, and 
with the same reflecting telescope as I used for the transit of 
Venus. I first perceived the little planet making an impres- 
sion on the sun's limb at 2 h 52' 41" ; and he appeared wholly 
within at 53' 58" apparent time. The sun set before the planet 
reached the middle of his course ; and for a considerable time 
before sunset, it was so cloudy, that the planet could not be 
discerned. So that I made no observations of consequence, 
except that of the beginning, at which time the sun was 
perfectly clear. This transit completes three periods of 
forty-six years, since the first observation of Gassendi at 
Paris, in 1631." 

I am, Sir, with great esteem, 

Your most obedient servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



519. TO THOMAS VINY 1 (p. c.) 

London, Feb. 16. 1770 

DEAR SIR. 

I received your Favour of the 13"* past, which I ought to 
have acknowledged sooner, but much Business and some 
Indisposition have occasioned the Delay. I can easily con- 
ceive the Difficulty a Man in your Situation, with such 
Connections, and so well esteemed and belov'd among them, 
must have in resolving to leave them with an Intention of 
Settling in a distant Country. And I do not wonder that 

1 From the original in the possession of M. Mossant, Conseiller Generate, 
Bourg-de-Peage, France. ED. 



I 7 7o] TO THOMAS VINY 249 

your Regard for them should determine you to remain where 
you are. I was indeed of Opinion, from my Knowledge of 
that Country and of you, that if you should remove thither 
with your Family and Substance you would not only do 
extreamly well yourself, but have better Opportunities of 
establishing your Children in the World. Therefore I did 
not dissuade you when you appear'd to have such an Inclina- 
tion. But at the same time, tho' I own I should have a 
Pleasure in adding such worthy Inhabitants to my Country 
as you and Mrs. Viny, and should be very happy in having 
you there for my Neighbours; yet as your Removal would 
give Pain to your good Brother here, whom I love and to 
many others that love you, I cannot, without extreme Reluc- 
tance think of using any Arguments to persuade you. Let 
us then leave that Matter where we found it. 

Possibly, however, as you are likely to have many Children, 
you may hereafter judge it not amiss, when they are grown 
up, to plant one of them in America, where he may prepare 
an Asylum for the rest, should any great Calamity, which 
God avert, befal this Country. A Man I knew, who had a 
Number of Sons, us'd to say, he chose to settle them at some 
Distance from each other, for he thought they throve better; 
remarking that Cabbages growing too near together, were 
not so likely to come to a Head. I shall be asleep before 
that time, otherwise he might expect and command my 
best Advice and Assistance. But as the Ancients who knew 
not how to write had a Method of transmitting Friendships 
to Posterity; the Guest who had been hospitably enter- 
tain'd in a strange Country breaking a Stick with every one 
who did him a kindness; and the Producing such a Tally 
at any Time afterwards, by a Descendant of the Host, to a 



250 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

Son or Grandson of the Guest, was understood as a good 
Claim to special Regard besides the Common Rights of 
Hospitality : So if this Letter should happen to be preserved, 
your Son may produce it to mine as an Evidence of the Good 
will that once subsisted between their Fathers, as an Acknowl- 
edgement of the Obligations you laid me under by your 
many Civilities when I was in your Country and a Claim to 
all the Returns due from me if I had been living. Pray 
make my best Respects acceptable to good Mrs. Viny, and 
give my Love to your Children. Be so good, too, as to re- 
member me respectfully to your Sister and Brother-in-law, 
to Mr. Stace and Family, and to Mr. Hancock ; and believe 
me ever, with sincere Regard, Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient humble Servant, 

B. Franklin. 

520. TO MICHAEL HILLEGAS l 

London, March 17, 1770. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your favour of November 25, and have made 
inquiries, as you desired, concerning the copper covering of 
houses. It has been used here in a few instances only, and 
the practice does not seem to gain ground. The copper is 
about the thickness of a common playing-card, and though 
a dearer metal than lead, I am told that as less weight serves, 
on account of its being so much thinner, and as slighter 
woodwork in the roof is sufficient to support it, the roof is 
not dearer, on the whole, than one covered with lead. 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 70. Michael Hillegas (1728-1804), a merchant of Philadelphia, 
was Treasurer of the United States, 1775-1789. 



1770] TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT 251 

It is said, that hail and rain make a disagreeable drumming 
noise on copper; but this, I suppose, is rather fancy; for 
the plates being fastened to the rafters must, in a great 
measure, deaden such sound. The first cost, whatever it is, 
will be all, as a copper covering must last for ages; and, 
when the house decays, the plates will still have intrinsic 
worth. In Russia, I am informed, many houses are covered 
with plates of iron tinned, (such as our tin pots and other 
wares are made of,) laid on over the edges of one another, 
like tiles; and which, it is said, last very long; the tin pre- 
serving the iron from much decay by rusting. In France 
and the Low Countries I have seen many spouts or pipes for 
conveying the water down from the roofs of houses, made of 
the same kind of tin plates, soldered together ; and they seem 

to stand very well. 

With sincere regard, I am 

Yours, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



521. TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT IN 
AMERICA l 

London, March 18, 1770. 

DEAR SIR, 

Your very judicious letter of November 26th, being com- 
municated by me to some member of Parliament, was handed 
about among them, so that it was some time before I got it 
again into my hands. It had due weight with several, and 
was of considerable use. You will see that I printed it at 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of 
Benjamin Franklin" (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 124. ED. 



252 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

length in the London Chronicle, with the merchants* letter. 
When the American affairs came to be debated in the House 
of Commons, the majority, notwithstanding all the weight of 
ministerial influence, was only sixty-two for continuing the 
whole last act; and would not have been so large, nay, I 
think the repeal would have been carried, but that the ministry 
were persuaded by Governor Bernard, and some lying letters 
said to be from Boston, that the associations not to import 
were all breaking to pieces, that America was in the greatest 
distress for want of the goods, that we could not possibly 
subsist any longer without them, and must of course submit 
to any terms Parliament should think fit to impose upon us. 
This, with the idle notion of the dignity and sovereignty of 
Parliament, which they are so fond of, and imagine will be 
endangered by any further concessions, prevailed, I know, 
with many, to vote with the ministry, who, otherwise, on 
account of the commerce, wish to see the difference accom- 
modated. 

But, though both the Duke of Grafton and Lord North 
were and are, in my opinion, rather inclined to satisfy us, 
yet the Bedford party are so violent against us, and so prev- 
alent in the council, that more moderate measures could 
not take place. This party never speak of us but with evident 
malice; "rebels" and "traitors" are the best names they 
can afford us, and I believe they only wish for a colorable 
pretence and occasion of ordering the soldiers to make a 
massacre among us. 

On the other hand, the Rockingham and Shelburne people, 
with Lord Chatham's friends, are disposed to favour us if 
they were again in power, which at present they are not like 
to be; though they, too, would be for keeping up the claim 



1770] TO AN UNKNOWN CORRESPONDENT 253 

of Parliamentary sovereignty, but without exercising it in 
any mode of taxation. Besides these, we have for sincere 
friends and well-wishers the body of Dissenters generally 
throughout England, with many others, not to mention 
Ireland and all the rest of Europe, who, from various motives, 
join in applauding the spirit of liberty, with which we have 
claimed and insisted on our privileges, and wish us success, 
but whose suffrage cannot have much weight in our affairs. 
The merchants here were at length prevailed on to present 
a petition, but they moved slowly, and some of them, I thought, 
reluctantly; perhaps from a despair of success, the city not 
being much in favour with the court at present. The manu- 
facturing towns absolutely refused to move at all ; some pre- 
tending to be offended with our attempting to manufacture 
for ourselves; others saying, that they had employment 
enough, and that our trade was of little importance to them, 
whether we continued or refused it. Those, who began a 
little to feel the effects of our forbearing to purchase, were 
persuaded to be quiet by the ministerial people, who gave 
out, that certain advices were received of our beginning to 
break our agreements; of our attempts to manufacture 
proving all abortive and ruining the undertakers; of our 
distress for want of goods, and dissensions among ourselves, 
which promised the total defeat of all such kind of combina- 
tions, and the prevention of them for the future, if the govern- 
ment were not urged imprudently to repeal the duties. But 
now that it appears from late and authentic accounts, that 
agreements continue in full force, that a ship is actually re- 
turned from Boston to Bristol with nails and glass (articles 
that were thought of the utmost necessity), and that the 
ships, which were waiting here for the determination of 



254 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

Parliament, are actually returning to North America in their 
ballast, the tone of the manufacturers begins to change, and 
there is no doubt, that, if we are steady, and persevere in our 
resolutions, these people will soon begin a clamour, that much 
pains has hitherto been used to stifle. 

In short, it appears to me, that if we do not now persist 
in this measure till it has had its full effect, it can never again 
be used on any future occasion with the least prospect of 
success, and that, if we do persist another year, we shall 
never afterwards have occasion to use it. With sincere 
regards, I am, dear Sir, your obedient servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



522. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. M.) 

London, April 14, 1770. 

DEAR SIR, 

I suppose Gov r Pownall acquaints you with what has 
passed this Session relating to our American Affairs: All 
Europe is attentive to the Dispute between Britain and the 
Colonies, & I own I have a Satisfaction in seeing, that our 
Part is taken Everywhere; because I am persuaded, that 
that circumstance will not be without its Effect here in our 
favour. At the same time the malignant Pleasure, which 
other Powers take in British Divisions, may convince us on 
both sides of the Necessity of our uniting. 

In France they have translated and printed the principal 
Pieces, that have been written on the American Side of the 
Question; and, as French is the political Language of 
Europe, it has communicated an Acquaintance with our 
Affairs very extensively. M. Beaumont, a famous Advocate 



1770] TO MISS MARY STEVENSON 255 

of Paris, the defender of the Family of Galas, wrote the Re- 
flexions d'un Etranger desinteress6, which I send you. The 
manuscript is an original Letter from a Gentleman, (of 
Note, I am told,) as far off as the Austrian Silesia, who, 
being concern'd for us, wrote it to the Parliament, directing 
it to the late Speaker. The Speaker read only the first 
Side, was offended at the Freedom, and Impertinence, (as 
he calPd it,) and returned the Letter to the Office, refusing 
to pay the Postage. Accept it as a Curiosity. I send you 
also a late Edition of Molyneux's Case of Ireland, with a new 
Preface, shrewdly written. Our part is warmly taken by 
the Irish in general, there being in many points a similarity 
in our cases. My respects to Mr. Bowdoin, and believe me 
ever, dear Sir, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 



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

Thursday, May 31, 1770. 

DEAR POLLY, 

I received your Letter early this Morning; and, as I am 
so engaged, that I cannot see you when you come to-day, I 
write this Line just to say, that I am sure you are a much 
better Judge in this Affair of your own, than I can possibly 
be. 2 In that Confidence it was, that I forebore giving my 
Advice when you mention'd it to me, and not from any Dis- 
approbation. My Concern (equal to any Father's) for your 
Happiness makes me write this, lest, having more Regard for 

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

2 Alluding to a proposal from Mr. William Hewson, a physician of London 
(and partner of Dr. William Hunter), to whom Miss Stevenson was soon 
afterwards married. ED. 



256 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

my Opinion than you ought, and imagining it against the 
Proposal because I did not immediately advise accepting 
it, you should let that weigh any thing in your Deliberations. 

I assure you, that no Objection has occur'd to me. His 
Person you see ; his Temper and his Understanding you can 
judge of; his Character, for any thing I have ever heard, is 
unblemished; his Profession, with the Skill in it he is sup- 
pos'd to have, will be sufficient to support a Family; and, 
therefore, considering the Fortune you have in your Hands 
(tho' any future Expectation from your Aunt should be dis- 
appointed), I do not see but that the Agreement may be a 
rational one on both sides. 

I see your Delicacy, and your Humility too ; for you fancy 
that if you do not prove a great Fortune, you will not be 
lov'd; but I am sure that were I in his situation in every 
respect, knowing you so well as I do, and esteeming you so 
highly, I should think you a Fortune sufficient for me without 
a Shilling. 

Having thus, more explicitly than before, given my Opinion, 
I leave the rest to your sound Judgment, of which no one has 
a greater Share ; and I shall not be too inquisitive after your 
particular Reasons, your Doubts, your Fears, etc. For I 
shall be confident, whether you accept or refuse, that you do 
right. I only wish you may do what will most contribute to 
your Happiness, and of course to mine ; being ever, my dear 
Friend, yours most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Don't be angry with me for supposing your Deter- 
mination not quite so fix'd as you fancy it. 



1770] TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 257 

524. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 

London, June 6, 1770. 

DEAR COUSIN, 

Your favour of January 8th came duly to hand, but I 
have been so much engaged during the sitting of Parliament, 
that I could not correspond regularly with all my friends, 
and have of course trespassed most with those on whose good 
nature and indulgence I could most rely. I am, however, 
ashamed of being so long silent. It was but the other day, 
that I inquired after the fate of your tickets, when I received 
the enclosed answer, whereby you will see that the whole 
cost has not been lost. I only wished to see three ciphers 
more following the sum. I have not any further orders from 
you, but think to take at a venture two tickets more on your 
account. If you disapprove and choose to rest where you 
are, signify it by a line, before the drawing, directed to Messrs. 
Smith, Wright, and Grey, who may then dispose of the 
tickets. 

I am glad to hear the old gentleman, your father, is still 
alive and happy. Please to remember me to him respect- 
fully. Probably he can recollect but little of me, as it is a 
good deal more than half a century since he has seen me; 
but I remember him well, a lively, active, handsome young 
man, with a fine full flowing head of hair. I suppose he 
must now be near fourscore. 

If I could have given you any intimation of the inten- 
tions of government with regard to America, that might be 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of 
Benjamin Franklin" (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 129. ED. 
VOL. v s 



258 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

depended upon, you should have had them in good time for 
use, in the views of trade you hint at. But there have been 
this winter such changes of men and of minds, and such con- 
tinual expectations of more and other changes, that nothing 
was certain; and I believe that to this day the ministry are 
not all of a mind, nor determined what are the next steps 
proper to be taken with us. Some are said to be for severe, 
others for lenient measures ; others for leaving things as they 
now are, in confidence that we shall soon be tired of our 
non-importation agreements, manufacturing schemes, and 
self-denying frugalities, submit to the duties, and return by 
degrees to our dear luxuries and idleness, with our old course 
of commercial extravagance, folly, and good humour. Which 
of these opinions will prevail and be acted on, it is impossible 
yet to say. I only know, that generally the dispute is thought 
a dangerous one, and that many wish to see it well compro- 
mised in time, lest by a continuance of mutual provocations 
the breach should become past healing. 

I am much obliged to you and cousin Hubbard for your 
kindness to my friend Hughes, of which he informed me, 
with many expressions of gratitude for your civilities. He 
would have been very happy in that station, and in your 
acquaintance so nigh him ; but he is now removed to Carolina. 

My love to your good wife and children, and believe me 
ever your affectionate uncle, B. FRANKLIN. 



1770] TO SAMUEL COOPER 259 

525. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. u.) 

London, June 8, 1770. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received duly your favour of March 28th. With this I 
send you two Speeches in Parliament on our Affairs by a 
Member that you know. The Repeal of the whole late Act 
would undoubtedly have been a prudent Measure, and I 
have reason to believe that Lord North was for it, but some 
of the other Ministers could not be brought to agree to it; 
so the Duty on Tea, with that obnoxious Preamble, remains 
to continue the dispute: But I think the next Session will 
hardly pass over without repealing them; for the Parlia- 
ment must finally comply with the Sense of the Nation. 

As to the Standing Army kept up among us in time of 
Peace, without the Consent of our Assemblies, I am clearly 
of Opinion that it is not agreable to the Constitution. Should 
the King, by the aid of his Parliaments in Ireland and the 
Colonies, raise an Army, and bring it into England, quarter- 
ing it here in time of Peace without the Consent of the Parlia- 
ment of Great Britain, I am persuaded he would soon be 
told, that he had no Right so to do, and the Nation would 
ring with Clamours against it. I own, that I see no Difference 
in the Cases: And while we continue so many distinct and 
separate States, our having the same Head, or Sovereign,, 
the King, will not justify such an Invasion of the Separate 
Right of each State to be consulted on the Establishment of 
whatever Force is proposed to be kept up within its Limits, 
and to give or refuse its Consent, as shall appear most for 
the Public Good of that State. 



260 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

That the Colonies originally were constituted distinct 
States, and intended to be continued such, is clear to me from 
a thorough Consideration of their original Charters, and the 
whole Conduct of the Crown and Nation towards them until 
the Restoration. Since that Period, the Parliament here has 
usurped an Authority of making Laws for them, which be- 
fore it had not. We have for some time submitted to that 
Usurpation, partly through Ignorance and Inattention, and 
partly from our Weakness and Inability to contend : I hope, 
when our Rights are better understood here, we shall, by 
prudent and proper Conduct, be able to obtain from the 
Equity of this Nation a Restoration of them. And in the 
mean time, I could wish, that such Expressions as the Su- 
preme Authority of Parliament; the Subordinacy 0} our 
Assemblies to the Parliament, and the like, (which in Reality 
mean nothing, if our Assemblies, with the King, have a true 
Legislative Authority) ; I say, I could wish that such Ex- 
pressions were no more seen in our publick Pieces. They 
are too strong for Compliment, and tend to confirm a Claim 
of Subjects in one Part of the King's Dominions to be Sover- 
eigns over their Fellow Subjects in another Part of his Do- 
minions, when in truth they have no such Right, and their 
Claim is founded only in Usurpation, the several States 
having equal Rights and Liberties, and being only connected, 
as England and Scotland were before the Union, by having 
one common Sovereign, the King. 

This kind of Doctrine the Lords and Commons here would 
deem little less than Treason against what they think their 
Share of the Sovereignty over the Colonies. To me those 
Bodies seem to have been long encroaching on the Rights 
of their and our Sovereign, assuming too much of his Au- 



1770] TO SAMUEL COOPER 261 

thority, and betraying his Interests. By our Constitution 
he is, with his plantation Parliaments, the sole Legislator of 
his American Subjects, and in that Capacity is, and ought 
to be, free to exercise his own Judgment, unrestrained and 
unlimited by his Parliament here. And our Parliaments 
have right to grant him Aids without the Consent of this 
Parliament, a Circumstance, which, by the way, begins to 
give it some Jealousy. Let us, therefore, hold fast our 
Loyalty to our King, who has the best Disposition towards 
us, and has a Family Interest in our Prosperity; as that 
steady Loyalty is the most probable means of securing us 
from the arbitrary Power of a corrupt Parliament, that does 
not like us, and conceives itself to have an Interest in keeping 
us down and fleecing us. 

If they should urge the inconvenience of an empire's being 
divided into so many separate States, and from thence con- 
clude, that we are not so divided, I would answer, that an 
Inconvenience proves nothing but itself. England and 
Scotland were once separate States, under the same King. 
The Inconvenience found in their being separate States did 
not prove, that the Parliament of England had a right to 
govern Scotland. A formal Union was thought necessary, 
and England was a hundred Years soliciting it, before she 
could bring it about. If Great Britain now think such a 
Union necessary with us, let her propose her Terms, and we 
may consider them. Were the general Sentiments of this 
Nation to be consulted in the Case, I should hope the Terms, 
whether practicable or not, would at least be equitable ; for 
I think, that, except among those with whom the spirit of 
Toryism prevails, the popular Inclination here is, to wish 
us well, and that we may preserve our Liberties. 



262 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

I unbosom myself thus to you, in Confidence of your 
Prudence, and wishing to have your Sentiments on the Sub- 
ject in return. 

Mr. Pownall, I suppose, will acquaint you with the Event 
of his Motions, and therefore I say nothing more of them, 
than that he appears very sincere in his Endeavours to serve 
us; on which Account, I some time since republished with 
Pleasure the parting Addresses to him of your Assembly, 
with some previous Remarks to his Honour, as well as in 
Justification of our People. 

I hope, that before this time those detestable Murderers 
have quitted your Province, and that the Spirit of Industry 
and Frugality continues and increases. With sincerest 
Esteem and Affection, I am, dear Sir, 

Your most obedient & most humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Just before the last Session of Parliament com- 
menced, a Friend of mine, who had Connection with some 
of the Ministry, wrote me a Letter purposely to draw from 
me my Sentiments in writing on the then State of Affairs. I 
wrote a pretty free Answer which I know was immediately 
communicated, and a good deal handed about among them. 
For your private Amusement I send you Copies. I wish 
you may be able to read them, as they are very badly written 
by a blundering clerk. 1 

1 These papers were Mr. Strahan's Queries respecting American affairs, 
and Dr. Franklin's answers to them. ED. 






1770] TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN 263 

526. TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN 1 

London, June 8, 1770. 

LOVING COUSIN, 

I received your kind letter of the 23d of March. I was 
happy to find that neither you, nor any of your family, were 
in the way of those murderers. 2 I hope that before this time 
the town is quite freed from such dangerous and mischievous 
inmates. 

I rejoice to hear that you and your good wife and children 
continue in health. My love to them. I still enjoy a con- 
siderable share of that blessing, thanks to God, and hope 
once more to see Boston and my friends there before I die. 
I left it first in 1723. I made a visit there in 1733; another 
in 1743; another in 1753; another in 1763. Perhaps if I 
live to 1773, I may then call again and take my leave. 

Our relation, Sally Franklin, 3 is still with me here, is a 
very good girl, and grown up almost a woman. She sends 
her love to you and yours. I am, with sincere regard, your 
affectionate cousin, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers 
of Benjamin Franklin " (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 132. ED. 

2 Alluding to the tragical scene in the streets of Boston on the 5th of March 
commonly called the Massacre, when Captain Preston's troops fired upon the 
inhabitants, and killed three persons. S. 

8 Sally Franklin, at this time fifteen years old, was a great granddaughter 
of John Franklin, uncle of Benjamin Franklin. ED. 



264 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

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

London, June 10. 1770 
MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received your kind Letters of March 12 and April 24. 
I think you are the most punctual of all my Correspondents ; 
and it is often a particular Satisfaction to me to hear from 
you, when I have no Letter from any one else. I did by 
Capt. Falconer answer Sally's Letter about her Son's being 
inoculated, and told her Sir John Pringle's Opinion as to the 
Probability of his not having the SmallPox hereafter. I 
think he advised, as no Eruption appeared, to make sure of 
the thing by inoculating him again. I rejoice much in the 
Pleasure you appear to take in him. It must be of Use to 
your Health, the having such an Amusement. My Love 
to him, and to his Father and Mother. 

Capt. Ourry is gone abroad as a travelling Tutor to Lord 
Galway's Son; Mrs. Strahan is at Bath; Mr. Strahan and 
Children, Mr. and Mrs. West and their Son, are all well at 
present; tho' Mr. West himself has had a long Illness. 
They always enquire after you & I present your Compliments. 
Poor Nanny was drawn in to marry a worthless Fellow, who 
got all her Money, and then ran away and left her. So she 
is returned to her old Service with Mrs. Stevenson, poorer 
than ever, but seems pretty patient, only looks dejected, 
sighs sometimes, and wishes she had never left Philadelphia. 
Mr. Montgomery died at sea, as we have lately heard and Mrs. 
Montgomery, who has lain in at Lisbon, will return from 
thence with her Boy to Philadelphia. 



1770] TO SAMUEL RHOADS 265 

As to myself, I had from Christmas till Easter, a disagreable 
Giddiness hanging about me, which however did not hinder 
me from being about and doing Business. In the Easter 
Holidays being at a Friend's House in the Country, I was 
taken with a sore Throat, and came home half strangled. 
From Monday till Friday, I could swallow nothing but 
Barley Water and the like. I was bled largely, and purged 
two or three times. On Friday came on a Fit of the Gout, 
from which I had been free Five Years. Immediately the 
Inflammation and Swelling in my Throat disappeared; my 
Foot swelled greatly, and I was confined about three Weeks ; 
since which I am perfectly well, the Giddiness and every 
other disagreable Symptom having quite left me. I hope 
your Health is likewise by this time quite reestablished; 
being as ever, my dear Child, your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



528. TO SAMUEL RHOADS (P.H.S.) 

London, June 26, 1770 

DEAR FRIEND, 

It is a long time since I had the Pleasure of hearing from 
you directly. M rs . Franklin has indeed now and then ac- 
quainted me of your Welfare, which I am always glad to hear 
of. It is, I fear, partly, if not altogether, my Fault that our 
Correspondence has not been regularly continued. One 
thing only I am sure of; that it has been from no want of 
Regard on either side, but rather from too much Business and 
Avocations of various kinds, and my having little of Impor- 
tance to communicate. 



266 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1770 

One of our good Citizens, M r Hillegas, anxious for the 
future Safety of our Town, wrote to me some time since, 
desiring I would enquire concerning the Covering of Houses 
here with Copper. I sent him the best Information I could 
then obtain; 1 but have since received the enclos'd from an 
ingenious friend, M r Wooller, who is what they call here a Civil 
Engineer. I should be glad you would peruse it, think of 
the matter a little, and give me your Sentiments of it. When 
you have done with the Paper, please to give it to M r Hillegas. 
I am told by Lord Despencer, who has covered a long Piazza 
or Gallery with Copper, that the Expence is charged in this 
Account too high; for his cost but i/io per foot, all Charges 
included. I suppose his Copper must have been thinner. 
And indeed it is so strong a Metal, that I think it may well 
be used very thin. 

It appears to me of great Importance to build our Dwelling- 
Houses, if we can, in a Manner more secure from Danger 
by Fire. We scarce ever hear of a Fire in Paris. When I 
was there, I took particular Notice of the Construction of 
their Houses ; and I did not see how one of them could well 
be burnt. The Roofs are Slate or Tile ; the Walls are Stone ; 
the Rooms generally lin'd with Stucco or Plaister instead of 
Wainscot ; the Floors of Stucco, or of sixsquare Tiles painted 
brown; or of Flag Stone, or Marble; if any Floor were of 
Wood, it was Oak Wood, which is not so inflammable as 
Pine. Carpets prevent the Coldness of Stone or Brick Floors 
offending the Feet in Winter, and the Noise of Treading on 
such Floors overhead, is less inconvenient than on Boards. 

1 See letter to Hillegas, March 17, 1770. Samuel Rhoads (1711-1784) 
was a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, Mayor of Philadelphia, and one 
of the founders of the Pennsylvania Hospital. ED. 



1770] TO SAMUEL RHOADS 267 

The Stairs too, at Paris, are either Stone or Brick with only 
a Wooden Edge or Corner for the Step ; so that on the Whole, 
tho' the Parisians commonly burn Wood in their Chimneys, 
a more dangerous kind of Fuel than that used here, yet 
their Houses escape extreamly well, as there is little in a 
Room that can be consumed by Fire, except the Furniture. 
Whereas in London, perhaps scarce a Year passes in which 
half a Million of Property and many Lives are not lost by this 
destructive Element. Of late indeed they begin here to leave 
off Wainscotting their Rooms, and instead of it cover the Walls 
with Stucco, often form'd into Pannels like Wainscot, which, 
being painted, is very strong and warm: Stone Staircases 
too, with Iron Rails, grow more and more into Fashion here : 
But Stone Steps cannot in some Circumstances, be fixed; 
and there methinks Oak is safer than Pine ; and I assure you 
that in many genteel Houses here, both old & new, the Stairs 
and Floors are Oak, and look extreamly well. Perhaps solid 
Oak for the Steps would be still safer than Boards ; and two 
Steps might be cut diagonally out of one Piece. 

Excuse my talking to you on a Subject with which you 
must be so much better acquainted than I am. It is partly 
to make out a Letter for renewing our Correspondence, and 
partly in hope that by turning your Attention to the Point, 
some Methods of greater Security in our future Building may 
be thought of & promoted by you, whose Judgment I know 
has deservedly great Weight with our Fellow- Citizens. For 
tho' our Town has not hitherto suffered very greatly by Fire, 
yet I am apprehensive, that some time or other, by a Con- 
currence of unlucky Circumstances, such as dry Weather, 
hard Frost, & high Winds, a Fire then happening may 
suddenly spread far and wide over our Cedar Roofs, and 



268 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

do us immense Mischief. If you favour me with a Line, 
let me know how good M Rhoads does, and every one of 
your Children; and how it fares with my dear old Friend 
M rs Paschal. With sincere Esteem, I am 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN 



529. TO MRS. MARY HEWSON 1 (P. c.) 

London, July 24, 1770. 

DEAR POLLY, 

I wrote a few lines to you last Week, in answer to yours 
of the 1 5th, since which I have been in the Country; and, 
returning yesterday, found your good Mother was come home, 
and had got a Letter from you of the 2oth. She has just put 
it into my hands, and desires me to write to you, as she is 
going into the City with Miss Barwell to buy things. Whether 
she will have time to write herself I cannot say, or whether, 
if she had, she would get over her natural Aversion to writing. 
I rather think she will content herself with your knowing 
what she should say, and would say, if she wrote ; and with 
my letting you know, that she is well, and very happy in 
hearing that you are so. 

Your Friends are all much pleas'd with your account of the 
agreable Family, their kind Reception and Entertainment 
of you, and the Respect shown you. Only Dolly and I, 
tho' we rejoice and shall do so in every thing that contributes 
to your Happiness, are now and then in low Spirits, supposing 
we have lost each a Friend. Barwell says she conceives 
nothing of this ; and that we must be two Simpletons to enter- 

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



1770] TO MRS. MARY HEWSON 269 

tain such Imaginations. I showed her your Letter to your 
Mother, wherein you say, " Dolly is a naughty Girl, and, 
if she does not mend, I shall turn her off ; for I have got an- 
other Dolly now, and a very good Dolly too." She begg'd 
me not to communicate this to Dolly, for tho' said in jest, 
yet, in her present State of mind, it would hurt her. I suppose 
that it was for the same good-natur'd Reason, that she refus'd 
to show me a Paragraph of your Letter to Dolly, that had been 
communicated by Dolly to her. 

July 25. The above was written yesterday, but, being 
interrupted, I could not finish my Letter in time for the Post ; 
tho' I find I had little to add. Your Mother desires me to 
express abundance of Affection for you, and to Mr. Hewson ; 
and to say all the proper Things for her, with respect to the 
rest of your Friends there. But you can imagine better than 
I can write. Sally and little Temple * join in best Wishes 
of Prosperity to you both. Make my sincere Respects 
acceptable to Mr. Hewson, whom, exclusive of his other 
Merits, I shall always esteem in proportion to the Regard 
he manifests for you. Barwell tells me, that your Aunt had 
receiv'd his Letter, and was highly pleas'd with it and him ; 
so I hope all will go well there ; and I shall take every Oppor- 
tunity of cultivating her good Dispositions, in which I think 
you us'd to be sometimes a little backward, but you always 
had your Reasons. 

I am apt to love everybody that loves you, and therefore 
I suppose I shall in time love your new Mother, and new 
Sister, and your new Dolly. I find I begin to like them al- 
ready, and, if you think proper, you may tell them so. But 

1 William Temple Franklin, son of William Franklin, Governor of New 
Jersey. ED. 



270 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

your old Dolly and I have agreed to love each other better 
than ever we did, to make up as much as we can our suppos'd 
Loss of you. We like your Assurances of continued Friend- 
ship, unimpair'd by your Change of Condition, and we be- 
lieve you think as you write; but we fancy we know better 
than you. You know I once knew your Heart better than 
you did yourself. As a Proof that I am right, take notice, 
that you now think this the silliest Letter I ever wrote to you, 
and that Mr. Hewson confirms you in that Opinion. 

However, I am still what I have been so many Years, my 
dear good Girl, your sincerely affectionate Friend and Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



530. TO REV. JOHN EWING 1 (P. c.) 

London, Aug! 27. 1770. 

REV? SIR, 

I received your Favour of June 14, with several Copies 
of your Observations of the Transit of Venus, for which I 
thank you. I have sent one of them to M r Maskelyne as you 
desired, with an Extract from your Letter, and another to 
Paris, I have not yet obtained from him the Estimate he 
promised me, but hope to have it soon ; tho' by what I hear 
from others I begin to fear the Expense will be thought too 
heavy for us. I shall send the new Volume of the Trans- 
actions to M rB Franklin, where you will find what Observa- 

1 From the private collection of Mr. William F. Havemeyer. John Ewing 
(1732-1802), astronomer and theologian, was provost of The University of 
Pennsylvania (1779-1802). ED. 



1770] TO CADWALLADER EVANS 271 

tions have been received and published here. I am, very 
respectfully, 

Reverend Sir, 

Your most obedient 

humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



531. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, August 27, 1770. 

DEAR DOCTOR, 

I am favoured with yours of June loth. With this I send 
you our last volume of Philosophical Transactions, wherein 
you will see printed the Observations of Messrs. Biddle and 
Bayley on the Transit, as well as those of Messrs. Mason and 
Dixon relating to the longitude of places. When you and 
your friends have perused it, please to deliver it to Mrs. 
Franklin to be put among my books. 

Thanks for the books on the silk affair. It will give me 
great pleasure to see that business brought to perfection 
among us. The subscription is a noble one, and does great 
honour to our public spirit. If you should not procure from 
Georgia, as you expected, one that understands the reeling, 
I believe I can procure you such a hand from Italy, a great 
silk merchant here having offered me his assistance for that 
purpose, if wanted. 

I am happy beyond expression to see the virtue and firm- 
ness of our country, with regard to the non-importation. It 
does us great honour. And New York is in great disgrace 
with all the friends of liberty in the kingdom, who are, I 

1 Printed from Sparks. 



272 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

assure you, no contemptible number, and who applaud the 
stand we have made, and wish us success. I am, my dear 
friend, yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



532. THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE (A. p. s.) 

Saturday, September 22, 1770. 

THIS morning Queen Margaret, accompanied by her first 
maid of honour, Miss Franklin, set out for Rochester. Imme- 
diately on their departure, the whole street was in tears 
from a heavy shower of rain. It is whispered, that the new 
family administration, which took place on her Majesty's 
departure, promises, like all other new administrations, to 
govern much better than the old one. 

We hear, that the great person (so called from his enormous 
size), of a certain family in a certain street, is grievously 
affected at the late changes, and could hardly be comforted 
this morning, though the new ministry promised him a roasted 
shoulder of mutton and potatoes for his dinner. 

It is said, that the same great person intended to pay his 
respects to another great personage this day, at St. James's, 
it being coronation-day ; hoping thereby a little to amuse his 
grief ; but was prevented by an accident, Queen Margaret, or 
her maid of honour, having carried off the key of the drawers, 
so that the lady of the bed-chamber could not come at a 
laced shirt for his Highness. Great clamours were made on 
this occasion against her Majesty. 

Other accounts say, that the shirts were afterwards found, 
though too late, in another place. And some suspect, that 



1770] THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE 273 

the wanting a shirt from those drawers was only a ministerial 
pretence to excuse picking the locks, that the new administra- 
tion might have every thing at command. 

We hear that the lady chamberlain of the household went 
to market this morning by her own self, gave the butcher what- 
ever he asked for the mutton, and had no dispute with the 
potato-woman, to their great amazement at the change of 
times. 

It is confidently asserted, that this afternoon, the weather 
being wet, the great person a little chilly and nobody at home 
to find fault with the expense of fuel, he was indulged with 
a fire in his chamber. It seems the design is, to make him 
contented by degrees with the absence of the Queen. 

A project has been under consideration of government, 
to take the opportunity of her Majesty's absence for doing a 
thing she was always averse to, namely, fixing a new lock 
on the street door, or getting a key made to the old one; 
it being found extremely inconvenient, that one or other of 
the great officers of state should, whenever the maid goes out 
for a ha'penny worth of sand, or a pint of porter, be obliged 
to attend the door to let her in again. But opinions being 
divided, which of the two expedients to adopt, the project 
is, for the present, laid aside. 

We have good authority to assure our readers, that a Cabi- 
net Council was held this afternoon at tea; the subject of 
which was a proposal for the reformation of manners, and a 
more strict observation of the Lord's day. The result was a 
unanimous resolution, that no meat should be dressed to- 
morrow ; whereby the cook and the first minister will both be 
at liberty to go to church, the one having nothing to do, and 
the other no roast to rule. It seems the cold shoulder of 

VOL. V T 



274 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

mutton, and the apple-pie, were thought sufficient for Sun- 
day's dinner. All pious people applaud this measure, and 
it is thought the new ministry will soon become popular. 

We hear that Mr. Wilkes was at a certain house in Craven 
Street this day, and inquired after the absent Queen. His 
good lady and the children are well. 

The report, that Mr. Wilkes, the patriot, made the above 
visit, is without foundation, it being his brother, the courtier. 

Sunday, September 23. 

It is now found by sad experience, that good resolutions 
are easier made than executed. Notwithstanding yesterday's 
solemn order of Council, nobody went to church to-day. 
It seems the great person's broad-built bulk lay so long abed, 
that the breakfast was not over till it was too late to dress. 
At least this is the excuse. In fine, it seems a vain thing to 
hope reformation from the example of our great folks. 

The cook and the minister, however, both took advantage 
of the order so far, as to save themselves all trouble, and the 
clause of cold dinner was enforced, though the going to church 
was dispensed with; just as common working folks observe 
the commandments. The seventh day thou shall rest, they 
think a sacred injunction ; but the other six days thou shall 
labour is deemed a mere piece of advice, which they may prac- 
tise when they want bread and are out of credit at the ale- 
house, and may neglect whenever they have money in their 
pockets. 

It must, nevertheless, be said, in justice to our court, that, 
whatever inclination they had to gaming, no cards were 
brought out to-day. Lord and Lady Hewson walked after 
dinner to Kensington, to pay their duty to the Dowager, and 



1770] THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE 275 

Dr. Fatsides made four hundred and sixty-nine turns in his 
dining-room, as the exact distance of a visit to the lovely 
Lady Barwell, whom he did not find at home ; so there was 
no struggle for and against a kiss, and he sat down to dream 
in the easy-chair, that he had it without any trouble. 

Monday, September 24. 

We are credibly informed, that the great person dined this 
day with the Club at the Cat and Bagpipes in the City, on 
cold round of boiled beef. This, it seems, he was under some 
necessity of doing (though he rather dislikes beef), because 
truly the ministers were to be all abroad somewhere to dine 
on hot roast venison. It is thought, that, if the Queen had 
been at home, he would not have been so slighted. And 
though he shows outwardly no marks of dissatisfaction, it is 
suspected, that he begins to wish for her Majesty's return. 

It is currently reported, that poor Nanny had nothing for 
dinner in the kitchen, for herself and puss, but the scrapings 
of the bones of Saturday's mutton. 

This evening there was high play at Craven Street House. 
The great person lost money. It is supposed the ministers, 
as is usually supposed of all ministers, shared the emolu- 
ments among them. 

Tuesday, Sept. 25. 

This Morning my good Lord Hutton call'd at Craven- 
Street House, and enquired very respectfully & affectionately 
concerning the Welfare of the Queen. He then imparted 
to the big Man a Piece of Intelligence important to them both, 
and but just communicated by Lady Hawkesworth, viz. 
that the amiable and delectable Companion, Miss D[orothea] 
B[lount], had made a Vow to marry absolutely him of the 



276 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

two whose Wife should first depart this Life. It is impossible 
to express the various Agitations of Mind appearing in both 
their Faces on this Occasion. Vanity at the Preference 
given them over the rest of Mankind; Abjection to their 
present Wives, Fear of losing them, Hope, if they must lose 
them, to obtain the proposed Comfort ; Jealousy of each other 
in case both Wives should die together, &c. &c. &c., all 
working at the same time jumbled their Features into inex- 
plicable Confusion. They parted at length with Professions 
& outward Appearances indeed of ever-during Friendship, but 
it was shrewdly suspected that each of them sincerely wished 
Health & long Life to the other's Wife; & that however 
long either of these Friends might like to live himself, the 
other would be very well pleas'd to survive him. 

It is remarked, that the Skies have wept every Day in 
Craven Street, the Absence of the Queen. 

The Publick may be assured that this Morning a certain 
great Personage was asked very complaisantly by the Mistress 
of the Household, if he would chuse to have the Blade-Bone 
of Saturday's Mutton that had been kept for his Dinner to-day, 
broil' d or cold. He answer'd gravely, // there is any Flesh 
on it, it may be broil' d; if not, it may as well be cold. Orders 
were accordingly given for Broiling it. But when it came to 
Table, there was indeed so very little Flesh, or rather none, 
(Puss having din'd on it yesterday after Nanny) that if our 
new Administration had been as good Oeconomists as they 
would be thought, the Expence of Broiling might well have 
been saved to the Publick, and carried to the Sinking Fund. 
It is assured the great Person bears all with infinite Patience. 
But the Nation is astonish'd at the insolent Presumption, 
that dares treat so much Mildness in so cruel a manner ! 



1770] THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE 277 

A terrible Accident had like to have happened this Afternoon 
at Tea. The Boiler was set too near the End of the little 
square Table. The first Ministress was sitting at one End 
of the Table to administer the Tea; the great Person was 
about to sit down at the other End where the Boiler stood. 
By a sudden Motion the Lady gave the Table a Tilt. Had 
it gone over, the G. P. must have been scalded, perhaps to 
Death. Various are the Surmises and Observations on this 
Occasion. The Godly say it would have been a just Judg- 
ment on him, for preventing, by his Laziness, the Family's 
going to Church last Sunday. The Opposition do not stick 
to insinuate that there was a Design to scald him, prevented 
only by his quick Catching the Table. The Friends of the 
Ministry give it out, that he carelessly jogg'd the Table him- 
self, & would have been inevitably scalded, had not the Min- 
istress sav'd him. It is hard for the Publick to come at the 
Truth in these Cases. 

At six o'Clock this Afternoon, News came by the Post, that 
her Majesty arrived safely at Rochester on Saturday Night. 
The Bells immediately rang, for Candles to illuminate 
the Parlour, the Court went into Cribbidge, and the Evening 
concluded with every other Demonstration of Joy. 

It is reported that all the principal Officers of the State 
have received an Invitation from the Dutchess Dowager 
of Rochester to go down thither on Saturday next. But it 
is not yet known whether the great Affairs they have on their 
Hands will permit them to make this Excursion. 

We hear that from the Time of her Majesty's leaving 
Craven-Street House to this Day, no Care is taken to file the 
Newspapers; but they lie about in every Room in every 
Window, and on every Chair, just where the Great Person 



278 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN- FRANKLIN [1770 

lays them when he reads them. It is impossible Government 
can long go on in such Hands. 

"TO THE PUBLISHER OF THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE. 
"SIR, 

"I make no doubt of the Truth of what the Papers tell us, 
that a certain great Person is half-starved on the Blade-Bone 
of a Sheep (I cannot call it of Mutton, there being none on 
it) by a Set of the most careless, worthless, thoughtless, 
inconsiderate, corrupt, ignorant, blundering, foolish, crafty, 
& knavish Ministers, that ever got into a House and pretended 
to govern a Family and provide a Dinner. Alas for the poor 
old England of Craven Street! If they continue in Power 
another Week, the Nation will be ruined. Undone, totally 
undone, if I and my Friends are not appointed to succeed 
them. I am a great Admirer of your useful and impartial 
Paper ; and therefore request you will insert this without fail, 

from 

"Your humble Servant, 

"INDIGNATION." 
"TO THE PUBLISHER OF THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE. 

"SIR, 

"Your Correspondent, Indignation, has made a fine Story 
in your Paper against our Craven Street Ministry, as if they 
meant to starve his Highness, giving him only a bare Blade- 
Bone for his Dinner, while they riot upon roast Venison. The 
Wickedness of Writers in this Age is truly amazing. I be- 
lieve that if even the Angel Gabriel would condescend to be 
our Minister, and provide our Dinners, he could scarcely 



I 7 ;o] THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE 279 

escape Newspaper Defamation from a Gang of hungry, 
ever-restless, discontented, and malicious Scribblers. 

"It is, Sir, a Piece of Justice you owe our righteous 
Administration to undeceive the Publick on this Occasion, 
by assuring them of the Fact, which is, that there was pro- 
vided, and actually smoaking on the Table under his Royal 
Nose at the same Instant, as fine a Piece of Ribs of Beef 
roasted as ever Knife was put into, with Potatoes, Horse- 
radish, Pickled Walnuts, &c. which his Highness might have 
eaten of if so he had pleased to do; and which he forbore 
to do merely from a whimsical Opinion (with Respect be it 
spoken) that Beef doth not with him perspire well, but makes 
his Back itch, to his no small Vexation, now that he has lost 
the little Chinese ivory Hand at the End of a Stick, commonly 
called a Scratch back, presented to him by her Majesty. 
This is the Truth, and if your boasted Impartiality is real, 
you will not hesitate a Moment to insert this Letter in your 
next Paper. 

"I am, tho' a little angry at present, 

"Yours as you behave, 
"A HATER OF SCANDAL." 

Junius and Cinna came to hand too late for this Paper, 
but shall be inserted in our next. 

MARRIAGES, none since our last ; but Puss begins to go 
a Courting. 

DEATHS. In the back Closet and elsewhere, many poor 
Mice. 

STOCKS. Biscuit very low. Buckwheat & Indian 
Meal both sour. Tea, lowering daily in the Canister. 
Wine, shut. 



280 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

Wednesday, September 26th. Postscript. Those in the 
Secret of Affairs do not scruple to assert roundly, that our 
present First Ministress is very notable, having this Day 
been at Market, bought Mutton-Chops, and Apples 4 a 
Penny, made an excellent Applepy with her own Hands, 
and mended two Pair of Breeches. 



533. TO BARBEU DUBOURG 

London, October 2, 1770 

I SEE with pleasure, that we think pretty much alike on 
the subject of English America. We of the colonies have 
never insisted, that we ought to be exempt from contributing 
to the common expenses necessary to support the prosperity 
of the empire. We only assert, that, having Parliaments 
of our own, and not having representatives in that of Great 
Britain, our Parliaments are the only judges of what we can 
and what we ought to contribute in this case; and that the 
English Parliament has no right to take our money without 
our consent. In fact, the British empire is not a single state ; 
it comprehends many; and, though the Parliament of Great 
Britain has arrogated to itself the power of taxing the colonies, 
it has no more right to do so, than it has to tax Hanover. 
We have the same King, but not the same legislatures. 

The dispute between the two countries has already lost 
England many millions sterling, which it has lost in its com- 
merce, and America has in this respect been a proportionable 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), Phila., 1817, 
Vol. VI, p. 289. ED. 



1770] TO M. DU PONT DE NEMOURS 281 

gainer. This commerce consisted principally of superfluities ; 
objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without ; 
and the resolution we have formed of importing no more, till 
our grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our infant 
manufactures to take root; and it will not be easy to make 
our people abandon them in future, even should a connexion 
more cordial than ever succeed the present troubles. I 
have, indeed, no doubt that the Parliament of England will 
finally abandon its present pretensions, and leave us to the 
peaceable enjoyment of our rights and privileges. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



534. TO DU PONT DE NEMOURS 1 (P.C.) 

London, Oct. 2, 1770. 

DEAR SIR, 

I received with great Pleasure the Assurances of your kind 
Remembrance of me, and the Continuance of your Good will 
towards me, in your Letter by M. le Comte Chreptowitz. 
I should have been happy to have rendered him every Civility 
and Mark of Respect in my Power (as the Friend of those I 
so much respect and honour) if he had given me the Oppor- 
tunity: But he did not let me see him. 

Accept my sincere Acknowledgements and Thanks for the 
valuable Present you made me of your excellent Work on the 
Commerce of the India Company, which I have perused with 
much Pleasure and Instruction. It bears throughout the 
stamp of your Masterly Hand, in Method, Perspicuity, & 
Force of Argument. The honourable Mention you have 
made in it of your Friend is extremely obliging. I was 

1 From the original in the possession of Colonel H. A. Du Pont. ED. 



282 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

already too much in your Debt for Favours of that 
kind. 

I purpose returning to America in the ensuing Summer, 
if our Disputes should be adjusted, as I hope they will be 
in the next Session of Parliament. Would to God I could take 
with me Messrs, du Pont, du Bourg, and some other French 
Friends with their good Ladies! I might then, by mixing 
them with my Friends in Philadelphia, form a little happy 
Society that would prevent my ever wishing again to visit 
Europe. 

With great and sincere Esteem and Respect, I am, Dear Sir, 
Your most obedient 

& most humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



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

London, Oct. 3, 1770 
MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received your kind Letter of Aug. 16, which gave me a 
great deal of Satisfaction. I am glad your little Grandson 
recovered so soon of his Illness, as I see you are quite in Love 
with him, and your Happiness wrapt up in his; since your 
whole long Letter is made up of the History of his pretty 
Actions. It was very prudently done of you not to interfere 
when his Mother thought fit to correct him; which pleases 
me the more, as I feared, from your Fondness of him, that 
he would be too much humoured, and perhaps spoiled. 
There is a story of two little Boys in the Street; one was 
crying bitterly; the other came to him to ask what was the 
Matter ? I have been, says he, " for a pennyworth of Vinegar, 



1770] TO THOMAS GUSHING 283 

and I have broke the Glass, and spilt the Vinegar, and my 
Mother will whip me." No, she won't whip you, says the 
other. Indeed, she will, says he. What, says the other, 
have you then got ne'er a Grandmother? 

I am sorry I did not send one of my Books to Mr. Rhodes, 
since he was desirous of seeing it. My Love to him, and to 
all enquiring Friends. Mrs. West was here to-day, and de- 
sired me to mention her Love to you. Mr. Strahan and 
Family are all well, always enquire how you all do, & send 
their Love. Mrs. Stevenson is at present in the Country. 
But Polly sends her Love to you, and Mrs. Bache, & the 
young Gentleman. I am, as ever, your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



536. TO THOMAS GUSHING 1 

London, December 24, 1770. 

SIR, 

Your favour of October 3ist came to hand a few days 
since, with the vote of the House of Representatives appoint- 
ing me their agent here, which, as it was unsolicited on my 
part, I esteem the greater honour ; and shall be very happy, 
if I can, in that capacity, render my country any acceptable 
service. 

I have also just received your letter, of November 6th, 
containing an account of the state and circumstances of the 
province, and the grievances it labours under, with sundry 
depositions and other papers. Another of November iyth, 

1 First published by Sparks. Mr. Gushing was Speaker of the Massachu- 
setts Assembly, and in this capacity corresponded with Dr. Franklin during 
his agency for that colony in England. S. 



284 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

with a pamphlet, entitled, the "Proceedings of Council," 
&c. ; another of November 23d, containing an order on Mr. 
De Berdt for papers. I can at present only say, that I shall 
immediately endeavour to make myself master of the business 
committed to my care, that so, when the Parliament and public 
boards, which are now adjourned for a month, shall meet 
again, I may be ready to proceed, in such manner, as, on con- 
ferring with Mr. Bollan, shall appear advisable for obtaining 
redress of the grievances so justly complained of. 

I have the pleasure to acquaint you, from good authority, 
that the project formed by the enemies of the province, for 
bringing into Parliament a bill to abridge our charter rights, 
though at first it received some countenance, and great pains 
were taken to recommend it, is now laid aside. I do not 
presume to suppose, that the opposition I gave to it, (by show- 
ing the imprudence of the measure, and declaring openly my 
opinion on all occasions, that, the charter being a compact 
between the King and the people of the colony who were out 
o) the realm of Great Britain, there existed nowhere on earth a 
power to alter it, while its terms were complied with, without 
the consent o] BOTH the contracting parties^) had any weight 
on the occasion. I rather think, that a disposition prevails of 
late to be on good terms with the colonies, especially as we 
seem to be on the eve of a war with Spain ; and that, in conse- 
quence of that disposition, which I hope we shall cultivate, 
more attention has been paid to the sober advice of our 
friends, and less to the virulent instigations of our enemies. 

I beg you will present my dutiful respects to the House of 
Representatives, and assure them of my most faithful en- 
deavours in their service. With great esteem and regard, I 
have the honour to be, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 






1770] TO SAMUEL COOPER 285 

537. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. M.) 

London, Decem. 30, 1770 

DEAR SIR: 

I duly received your several Favours of July 12, Nov. 6, 
and 15, and am glad that my little Communications afforded 
you any Pleasure. I join with you most cordially in Wishes 
of a perfect happy Union between Great Britain and the 
Colonies. This is only to be expected from Principles of 
Justice and Equity on both sides, which we must endeavour 
to cultivate. I think there is now a Disposition here to treat 
us more equitably, and I hope it will increase and prevail. 

I esteem the Appointment to the Agency of your Province, 
unexpected and unsolicited by me, as one of the greatest 
Honours for which I must think myself indebted to your 
Friendship. I wish I may be able to do my Country effectual 
Service ; nothing could make me more happy. I shall how- 
ever, use my most faithful Endeavours. I had, before I 
heard of this Appointment, openly opposed the Project of 
abridging our Charter Privileges, which some of our Adver- 
saries were extremely busy in ; designing to do it by an act 
of Parliament ; a Bill for the purpose being, as I have heard, 
actually drawn ready to be brought in. I boldly and openly 
asserted that Parliament had no such power; and that an 
Attempt of that kind would, by alarming all America, raise 
a new Flame there, & tend more to loosen the Connections 
now subsisting, than any step that had yet been taken. I do 
not know that the freedom I use in declaring and publishing 
these Sentiments had much Effect ; I rather think the Appre- 
hension of an approaching War inclined Government to milder 



286 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

Measures, and to hearken less to the mad Projects of our Ad- 
versaries. So it is, however, that the Scheme has been laid 
aside, and will, I think, hardly be resumed, tho' the Expecta- 
tion of War is much lessened. 

It makes me happy to learn that my Ideas on a certain sub- 
ject appeared just to you and your Friends. I have now in 
hand a piece (intended for the publick at a convenient Time) l 
which I hope will satisfy many others even on this side the 
Water, that every lady of Genoa is not a Queen of Corsica. 
Just at this Juncture here, perhaps His more prudent to be 
quiet, to stir no new questions, to let heats abate ; and when 
men are cooler, Reason may be better heard. I think I shall 
send my Manuscript to America for the Perusal and Correc- 
tion of my Friends and for their Advice on the Expediency 
of its being published, before I venture it into the World. 
You I hope will give me leave to trouble you with it, as it 
seems to me a Question of great Importance to us all. 

You have given, in a little Compass, so full and compre- 
hensive a View of the Circumstances on which is founded the 
Security Britain has for all reasonable Advantages from us, 
tho' things were put into the same State in which they were 
before the Stamp Act, that I cannot refrain communicating 
an Extract of your Letter, where I think it may be of Use; 
and I think I shall publish it. 

There is no doubt of an Intention here to make all our 
Governors independent of the People for their Support, as 
fast as the American Duties will bear the Expense. In this 
Point I think all Parties are against us: And nothing ap- 
pears to them more unreasonable than that we should wish 
to have our Governors under such Influence, when the King 

1 u Probably the ' Plan for Benefiting Distant Unprovided Countries.' " B. 



1770] TO SAMUEL COOPER 287 

himself, as they say, is always made independent of the Par- 
liament here, in that Respect, by a fixed Civil List Revenue. 
I have endeavoured to show the Injustice of taxing those 
Colonies (who have always supported their own Government) 
for the support of other Governments in which they have no 
Interest, and the great Difference between a Prince, whose 
Welfare and that of his Family is intimately connected with 
the Prosperity of the Nation, and a governor who comes 
from another Country to make Money, and intends to return 
to the Place whence he came, where he will not hear the 
Complaints and Curses of those he has oppress'd and plun- 
der'd, nor his Children be less respected or fare the worse for 
the Malfeasance of their Father. But it is so sweet a thing 
to have the Giving of Places of great and sure Profit to Friends 
and Favorites; and the prospect of doing it out of other 
Revenues than those of this Nation, at which Parliament is 
therefore less likely to take Umbrage, is so tempting, that I 
think scarce anything said or to be said here will avail much 
towards discouraging the project. There is indeed one Thing 
(if that is in their power), the refraining absolutely from 
the Use of all Commodities subject to the Duty. The De- 
ficiency of the Revenue to pay the Salaries, and those to be 
made good by the Treasury here, might possibly put some 
Check to the Career. And if the Assemblies should at the 
same time decline giving any more annual Supports, and 
leave all Governors to their Appointments out of the Revenue, 
giving bountifully to a good Governor at the End of his Ad- 
ministration, and leaving bad ones to be rewarded by their 
Masters ; perhaps by this means some of that Influence with 
Governors might be retained, which induces them to treat the 
People with Equity and Moderation. But if our People will, 



288 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

by consuming such Commodities, purchase and pay for their 
Fetters, who that sees them so shackled, will think they 
deserve either Redress or Pity. Methinks that in drinking 
Tea, a true American, reflecting that by every Cup he con- 
tributed to the Salaries, Pensions, and Rewards of the Enemies 
and Persecutors of his Country, would be half choak'd at the 
Thought, and find no Quantity of Sugar sufficient to make 
the nauseous Draught go down. 

I hope your Health is restored, and that your valuable Life 
will be long continued, for the Benefit of your Friends, Family, 
and Country. 

With sincere and great Esteem, I am, dear Sir, 
Your affectionate and most obedient Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



538. TO MRS. JANE MECOM (B. M.) 

London, Dec. 30, 1770. 

DEAR SISTER, 

This Ship, staying longer than was expected, gives me an 
Opportunity of writing to you, which I thought I must have 
missed when I desired Cousin Williams to excuse me to you. 
I receiv'd your kind Letter of September 25th, by the young 
Gentlemen, who, by their discreet Behaviour have recom- 
mended themselves very much to me and many of my Ac- 
quaintance. Josiah has attained his Heart's Desire, of being 
under the Tuition of Mr. Stanley, who, though he had long 
left off Teaching, kindly undertook, at my Request, to in- 
struct him, and is much pleased with his Quickness of appre- 
hension and the Progress he makes ; and Jonathan appears a 
very valuable young Man, sober, regular, and inclined to 



1770] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 289 

Industry and Frugality, which are promising Signs of Success 
in business. I am very happy in their Company. 

As to the Rumor you mention, (which was, as Josiah tells 
me, that I had been deprived of my Place in the PostOffice on 
account of a Letter I wrote to Philadelphia,) it might have 
this Foundation, that some of the Ministry had been dis- 
pleased on my writing such Letters, and there were really 
some Thoughts among them of showing that Displeasure in 
that manner. But I had some Friends, too, who, unrequired 
by me, advis'd the Contrary. And my Enemies were forced 
to content themselves with abusing me plentifully in the News- 
papers, and endeavouring to provoke me to resign. In this 
they are not likely to succeed, I being deficient in that Chris- 
tian Virtue of Resignation. If they would have my Office, 
they must take it. 

I have heard of some great Man, whose Rule it was, with 
regard to Offices, never to ask for them, and never to refuse 
them; to which I have always added, in my own Practice, 
never to resign them. As I told my Friends, I rose to that 
Office through a long Course of Service in the inferior Degrees 
of it. Before my Time, through bad Management, it never 
produced the Salary annexed to it ; and, when I received it, no 
Salary was to be allowed, if the Office did not produce it. 
During the first four Years it was so far from defraying itself, 
that it became nine hundred and fifty Pounds Sterling in Debt 
to me and my Colleague. I had been chiefly instrumental 
in bringing it to its present flourishing State, and therefore 
thought I had some kind of Right to it. I had hitherto exe- 
cuted the Duties of it faithfully, and to the perfect Satisfac- 
tion of my Superiors, which I thought was all that should be 
expected of me on that Account. As to the Letters com- 
VOL. v u 



290 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1770 

plained of, it was true I did write them, and they were written 
in compliance with another Duty, that to my Country; a 
Duty quite distinct from that of PostMaster. 

My Conduct in this respect was exactly similar to that I 
held on a similar Occasion but a few Years ago, when the 
then Ministry were ready to hug me for the Assistance I 
afforded them of repealing a former revenue Act. My Sen- 
timents were still the same, that no such Acts should be made 
here for America ; or, if made, should as soon as possible be 
repealed ; and I thought it should not be expected of me to 
change my political Opinions every time his Majesty thought 
fit to change his Ministers. This was my Language on the 
occasion ; and I have lately heard, that, though I was thought 
much to blame, it being understood that every man who holds 
an office should act with the ministry, whether agreeable or 
not to his own judgment, yet, in consideration of the goodness 
of my private character (as they were pleased to compliment 
me), the office was not to be taken from me. 

Possibly they may still change their minds, and remove 
me; but no apprehension of that sort will, I trust, make the 
least alteration in my political conduct. My rule, in which I 
have always found satisfaction, is, never to turn aside in pub- 
lic affairs through views of private interest ; but to go straight 
forward in doing what appears to me right at the time, leaving 
the consequences with Providence. What in my younger days 
enabled me more easily to walk upright, was, that I had a 
trade, and that I knew I could live upon little ; and thence 
(never having had views of making a fortune) I was free from 
avarice, and contented with the plentiful supplies my business 
afforded me. And now it is still more easy for me to preserve 
my freedom and integrity, when I consider that I am almost 



1770] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 291 

at the end of my journey, and therefore need less to complete 
the expense of it ; and that what I now possess, through the 
blessing of God, may, with tolerable economy, be sufficient 
for me (great misfortunes excepted), though I should add 
nothing more to it by any office or employment whatsoever. 

I send you by this opportunity the two books you wrote 
for. They cost three shillings apiece. When I was first in 
London, about forty-five years since, I knew a person, who 
had an opinion something like your author's. Her name was 
Hive, a printer's widow. She died soon after I left England, 
and by her will obliged her son to deliver publicly, in Salters' 
Hall, a solemn discourse, the purport of which was to prove, 
that this world is the true Hell, or place of punishment for the 
spirits, who had transgressed in a better state, and were sent 
here to suffer for their sins in animals of all sorts. It is long 
since I saw the discourse, which was printed. 1 I think a good 
deal of Scripture was cited in it, and that the supposition was, 
that, though we now remembered nothing of such a pre- 
existent state, yet after death we might recollect it, and re- 
member the punishments we had suffered, so as to be the 
better for them; and others, who had not yet offended, 
might now behold and be warned by our sufferings. 

In fact, we see here, that every lower animal has its enemy, 
with proper inclinations, faculties, and weapons, to terrify, 
wound, and destroy it; and that men, who are uppermost, 
are devils to one another ; so that, on the established doctrine 
of the goodness and justice of the great Creator, this apparent 

1 Jacob Hive (1705-1763), who delivered this " Oration" in 1729, and who 
published it ("pursuant to the will" of his mother) in 1733, came of a 
family of printers. His father was a printer in Aldersgate Street, and his 
mother was a daughter of Thomas James, printer. Both his brothers were 
printers. He was imprisoned for blasphemy. ED. 



292 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

state of general and systematical mischief seemed to demand 
some such supposition as Mrs. Hive's, to account for it con- 
sistently with the honour of the Deity. But our reasoning 
powers, when employed about what may have been before our 
existence here, or shall be after it, cannot go far, for want of 
history and facts. Revelation only can give us the necessary 
information, and that, in the first of these points especially, 
has been very sparingly afforded us. 

I hope you continue to correspond with your friends at 
Philadelphia. My love to your children; and believe me 

ever your affectionate brother, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



.. 



539. TO THOMAS GUSHING 1 

London, February 5, 1771. 

SIR, 

Since mine of December 24th, I have been honoured by 
the letter from the Committee, dated December 1 7th, which, 
with yours of November 6th, now lies before me. 

The doctrine of the right of Parliament to lay taxes on 
America is now almost generally given up here, and one sel- 
dom meets in conversation with any, who continue to assert 
it. But there are still many, who think that the dignity and 
honour of Parliament, and of the nation, are so much engaged, 
as that no formal renunciation of the claim is ever to be ex- 
pected. We ought to be contented, they say, with a forbear- 
ance of any attempt hereafter to exercise such right ; and this 
they would have us rely on as a certainty. Hints are also 
given, that the duties now subsisting may be gradually with- 

1 First published by Sparks. 



1 771] TO THOMAS CUSHING 293 

drawn, as soon as a regard to that dignity will permit it to 
be decently done, without subjecting government to the con- 
tempt of all Europe, as being compelled into measures by the 
refractoriness of the colonies. How far this may be depended 
on, no one can say. The presumption rather is, that if by 
time, we become so accustomed to these, as to pay them with- 
out discontent, no minister will afterwards think of taking 
them off, but rather be encouraged to add others. 

Perhaps there was never an instance of a colony so much 
and so long persecuted with vehement and malicious abuse, 
as ours has been, for near two years past, by its enemies here 
and those who reside in it. The design apparently was, by 
rendering us odious, as well as contemptible, to prevent all 
concern for us in the friends of liberty here, when the projects 
of oppressing us further, and depriving us of our rights by 
various violent measures, should be carried into execution. 
Of late, this abuse has abated ; the sentiments of a majority 
of the ministers are, I think, become more favourable towards 
us ; and I have reason to believe, that all those projects are 
now laid aside. The projectors themselves, too, are, I believe, 
somewhat diminished in their credit; and it appears not 
likely that any new schemes of the kind will be listened to, if 
fresh occasion is not administered from our side the water. 
It seems, however, too early yet to expect such an attention 
to our complaints, as would be necessary to obtain an imme- 
diate redress of our grievances. A little time is requisite; 
but no opportunity will be lost by your agents, of stating them 
where it may be of use, and inculcating the necessity of re- 
moving them, for the strength and safety of the empire. And 
I hope the colony Assemblies will show, by frequently re- 
peated resolves, that they know their rights, and do not lose 



294 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

sight of them. Our growing importance will ere long compel 
an acknowledgment of them, and establish and secure them 
to our posterity. 

In case of my leaving this country, which I may possibly 
do in the ensuing summer, I shall put into the hands of Dr. 
Lee 1 all the papers relating to your affairs, which I have 
received from you, or from the son of your late agent, Mr. 
De Berdt. The present American secretary, Lord Hills- 
borough, has indeed objected to the Assembly's appointment, 
and insists that no agent ought to be received or attended to, 
by government here, who is not appointed by an act of the 
General Court, to which the governor has given his assent. 
This doctrine, if he could establish it, would in a manner give 
to his Lordship the power of appointing, or at least negativing 
any choice of the House of Representatives and Council, 
since it would be easy for him to instruct the governor not to 
assent to the appointment of such and such men, who are 
obnoxious to him; so that, if the appointment is annual, 
every agent that valued his post must consider himself as 
holding it by the favour of his Lordship, and of course too 
much obliged to him to oppose his measures, however con- 
trary to the interest of the province. 

Of what use such agents would be, it is easy to judge ; and, 
although I am assured, that, notwithstanding this fancy of 
his Lordship, any memorial, petition, or other address from, 
or in behalf of, the House of Representatives to the King in 
Council, or to either House of Parliament, would be received 
from your agent as usual, yet, on this occasion, I cannot but 
wish, that the public character of a colony agent was better 

1 Arthur Lee, who, having taken the degree of doctor in medicine before 
he commenced the study of the law, was sometimes called Dr. Lee. S. 






I 7 7i] TO THOMAS GUSHING 295 

understood and settled, as well as the political relation between 
the colonists and the mother country. 

When they come to be considered in the light of distinct 
states, as I conceive they really are, possibly their agents may 
be treated with more respect, and considered more as public 
ministers. Under the present American administration, they 
are rather looked on with an evil eye, as obstructers of minis- 
terial measures ; and the Secretary would, I imagine, be well 
pleased to get rid of them, being, as he has sometimes inti- 
mated, of opinion that agents are unnecessary, for that, what- 
ever is to be transacted between the assemblies of colonies 
and the government here, may be done through and by the 
governor's letters, and more properly than by any agent what- 
ever. In truth, your late nominations, particularly of Dr. 
Lee and myself, have not been at all agreeable to his Lordship. 

I purpose, however, to draw up a memorial, stating our 
rights and grievances, and, in the name and behalf of the 
province, protesting particularly against the late innovations 
in respect to the military power obtruded on the civil, as well 
as the other infringements of the charter; and at a proper 
time, if Mr. Bollan on due consideration approves of it and 
will join me in it, to present it to his Majesty in Council. 
Whether speedy redress is or is not the consequence, I imagine 
it may be of good use to keep alive our claims, and show, that 
we have not given up the contested points, though we take no 
violent measures to obtain them. 

A notion has been much inculcated here by our enemies, 
that any farther concession on the part of Great Britain would 
only serve to increase our demands. I have constantly given 
it as my opinion, that, if the colonies were restored to the state 
they were in before the Stamp Act, they would be satisfied, 



296 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

and contend no further. As in this I have been supposed not 
to know, or not to speak the sentiments of the Americans, I 
am glad to find the same so fully expressed in the Committee's 
letter. It was certainly, as I have often urged, bad policy, 
when they attempted to heal our differences by repealing part 
of the duties only ; as it is bad surgery to leave splinters in a 
wound, which must prevent its healing, or in time occasion it 
to open afresh. 

There is no doubt of the intention to make governors and 
some other officers independent of the people for their sup- 
port, and that this purpose will be persisted in, if the Ameri- 
can revenue is found sufficient to defray the salaries. Many 
think this so necessary a measure, that, even if there were no 
such revenue, the money should issue out of the treasury here. 
But this, I apprehend, would hardly be the case, there being 
so many demands at home; and the salaries of so many 
officers in so many colonies would amount to such an immense 
sum, that probably the burden would be found too great, and 
the providing for the expense of their own governments be 
left to the colonies themselves. 

I shall watch every thing that may be moved to the detri- 
ment of the province, and use my best endeavours for its 
service. 

No public notice has yet been taken of the inflammatory 
paper mentioned by the Committee, as stuck up in Boston ; 
and I think the indiscretion of individuals is not now so likely, 
as it has been of late, to make general impressions to our dis- 
advantage. With the greatest respect, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



1770 TO JAMES BOWDOIN 297 

540. TO JAMES BOWDOIN (B. M.) 

London, Feb. 5. 1771 

DEAR SIR 

I am very sensible of the honour done me by your House of 
Representatives, in appointing me their Agent here. It will 
make me extreamly happy, if I can render them any valuable 
Service. I have had several Conferences with Mr. Bollan 
on their Affairs. 

There is a good Understanding between us which I shall 
endeavour to cultivate. At present the Cloud, that threat- 
ened our Charter Liberties, seems to be blown over. In 
time, I hope harmony will be restored between the two 
Countries, by leaving us in the full possession and enjoyment 
of our Rights. 

It will be a great pleasure to me if I can be any way useful 
to your Son while he stays in England ; being with the greatest 
Esteem and Respect for you and Mrs. Bowdoin, dear Sir, 
Your most obedient & most humble Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Inclos'd I send you a Copy of an original Paper of 
some curiosity now in my hands. The first part, i.e. the 
Queries you will find in the papers pertaining to the Governor's 
History, but not the Abstract or state given with them to Mr. 
Randolph. 1 The old spelling is preserved in the Copy. 

1 Randolph's answers to the Queries are dated October 12, 1676, and are 
printed in Hutchinson's Collection of State Papers, pp. 477-503. ED. 



298 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

541. TO SAMUEL COOPER (B. M.) 

London, Feb. 5. 1771 

DEAR SIR, 

I have just received your kind Favour of January i by Mr. 
Bowdoin, to whom I should be glad to render any Service 
here. I wrote to you some Weeks since in Answer to yours of 
July and November, expressing my Sentiments without the 
least Reserve on Points that require free Discussion, as I know 
I can confide in your Prudence not to hurt my Usefulness here, 
by making me more obnoxious than I must necessarily be 
from that known Attachment to the American Interest, which 
my Duty as well as Inclination demands of me. 

In the same Confidence I send you the inclosed Extract 
from my Journal, containing a late Conference between the 
Secretary l and your Friend, in which you will see a little of 
his Temper : It is one of the many Instances of his Behaviour 
and Conduct, that have given me the very mean Opinion I 
entertain of his Abilities and Fitness for his Station. His 
Character is Conceit, Wrongheadedness, Obstinacy, and 
Passion. Those, who would speak most favourably of him, 
allow all this ; they only add, that he is an honest Man, and 
means well. If that be true, as perhaps it may, I wish him a 
better Place, where only Honesty and Well-meaning are re- 
quired, and where his other Qualities can do no harm. 
Had the War taken place, I have reason to believe he would 
have been removed. He had, I think, some Apprehensions 
of it himself at the Time I was with him. I hope, however, 
that our Affairs will not much longer be perplex'd and em- 

1 Lord Hillsborough. 



TO SAMUEL COOPER 



299 



barass'd by his perverse and senseless Management. I have 
since heard, that his Lordship took great Offence at some of 
my last Words, which he calls extreamly rude and abusive. 
He assured a Friend of mine, that they were equivalent to 
telling him to his Face, that the Colonies could expect neither 
Favour nor Justice during his Administration. I find he did 
not mistake me. 

It is true, as you have heard, that some of my Letters to 
America have been echo'd back hither; but that has not been 
the Case with any that were written to you. Great Umbrage 
was taken, but chiefly by Lord Hillsborough, who was dis- 
posed before to be angry with me, and therefore the Incon- 
venience was the less; and, whatever the Consequences are 
of his Displeasure, putting all my Offences together, I must 
bear them as well as I can. Not but that, if there is to be 
War between us, I shall do my best to defend myself and 
annoy my Adversary, little regarding the story of the Earthen 
Pot and Brazen Pitcher. One encouragement I have, the 
knowledge, that he is not a whit better lik'd by his Colleagues 
in the Ministry, than he is by me, that he cannot probably 
continue where he is much longer, and that he can scarce be 
succeeded by anybody, who will not like me the better for his 
having been at Variance with me. 

Pray continue Writing to me, as you find Opportunity. 
Your candid, clear, and well written Letters, be assured, are 
of great use. With the highest Esteem, I am, my dear 
Friend, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



300 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 



Minutes o] the Conference mentioned in the preceding 
Letter. 

Wednesday, January 16, 1771. 

I WENT this morning to wait on Lord Hillsborough. The 
porter at first denied his Lordship, on which I left my name 
and drove off. But, before the coach got out of the square, 
the coachman heard a call, turned, and went back to the door, 
when the porter came and said, "His Lordship will see you, 
Sir." I was shown into the levee room, where I found Gov- 
ernor Bernard, who, I understand, attends there constantly. 
Several other gentlemen were there attending, with whom I 
sat down a few minutes, when Secretary Pownall * came out 
to us, and said his Lordship desired I would come in. 

I was pleased with this ready admission and preference, 
having sometimes waited three or four hours for my turn; 
and, being pleased, I could more easily put on the open, cheer- 
ful countenance, that my friends advised me to wear. His 
Lordship came towards me and said, "I was dressing in order 
to go to court ; but, hearing that you were at the door, who 
are a man of business, I determined to see you immediately." 
I thanked his Lordship, and said that my business at present 
was not much ; it was only to pay my respects to his Lord- 
ship, and to acquaint him with my appointment by the House 
of Representatives of Massachusetts Bay to be their agent 
here, in which station if I could be of any service (I was 
going on to say "to the public, I should be very happy;" 
but his Lordship, whose countenance changed at my naming 

1 John Pownall, Secretary to the Board of Trade, and brother to Governor 
Pownall. ED. 



1770 TO SAMUEL COOPER 301 

that province, cut me short by saying, with something 
between a smile and a sneer,) 

L. H. I must set you right there, Mr. Franklin, you are 
not agent. 

B. F. Why, my Lord? 

L. H. You are not appointed. 

B. F. I do not understand your Lordship; I have the 
appointment in my pocket. 

L. H. You are mistaken ; I have later and better advices. 
I have a letter from Governor Hutchinson ; he would not give 
his assent to the bill. 

B. F. There was no bill, my Lord; it was a vote of the 
House. 

L. H. There was a bill presented to the governor for the 
purpose of appointing you and another, one Dr. Lee, I think 
he is called, to which the governor refused his assent. 

B. F. I cannot understand this, my Lord; I think there 
must be some mistake in it. Is your Lordship quite sure that 
you have such a letter? 

L. H. I will convince you of it directly. (Rings the bell.) 
Mr. Pownall will come in and satisfy you. 

B. F. It is not necessary, that I should now detain your 
Lordship from dressing. You are going to court. I will 
wait on your Lordship another time. 

L. H. No, stay; he will come immediately. (To the 
servant.) Tell Mr. Pownall I want him. 
(Mr. Pownall comes in.) 

L. H. Have not you at hand Governor Hutchinson's 
letter, mentioning his refusing his assent to the bill for appoint- 
ing Dr. Franklin agent? 

Sec. P. My Lord ? 



302 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

L. H. Is there not such a letter? 

Sec. P. No, my Lord; there is a letter relating to some 
bill for the payment of a salary to Mr. De Berdt, and I think 
to some other agent, to which the governor had refused his 
assent. 

L. H. And is there nothing in the letter to the purpose I 
mention ? 

Sec. P. No, my Lord. 

B. F. I thought it could not well be, my Lord; as my 
letters are by the last ships, and they mention no such thing. 
Here is the authentic copy of the vote of the House appointing 
me, in which there is no mention of any act intended. Will 
your Lordship please to look at it? (With seeming unwill- 
ingness he takes it, but does not look into it.) 

L. H. An information of this kind is not properly brought 
to me as Secretary of State. The Board of Trade is the 
proper place. 

B. F. I will leave the paper then with Mr. Pownall to 
be 

L. H. (Hastily.) To what end would you leave it with 
him? 

B. F. To be entered on the minutes of that Board, as 
usual. 

L. H. (Angrily.) It shall not be entered there. No 
such paper shall be entered there, while I have any thing to 
do with the business of that Board. The House of Repre- 
sentatives has no right to appoint an agent. We shall take 
no notice of any agents, but such as are appointed by acts of 
-Assembly, to which the governor gives his assent. We have 
had confusion enough already. Here is one agent appointed 
by the Council, another by the House of Representatives. 



I77i] TO SAMUEL COOPER 303 

Which of these is agent for the province ? Who are we to hear 
in provincial affairs ? An agent appointed by act of Assembly 
we can understand. No other will be attended to for the 
future, I can assure you. 

B. F. I cannot conceive, my Lord, why the consent of the 
governor should be thought necessary to the appointment of 
an agent for the people. It seems to me that 

L. H. (With a mixed look of anger and contempt.) I 
shall not enter into a dispute with YOU, Sir, upon this subject. 

B. F. I beg your Lordship's pardon; I do not presume 
to dispute with your Lordship ; I would only say, that it seems 
to me, that every body of men, who cannot appear in person, 
where business relating to them may be transacted, should 
have a right to appear by an agent. The concurrence of the 
governor does not seem to me necessary. It is the business of 
the people, that is to be done ; he is not one of them ; he is 
himself an agent. 

L. H. (Hastily.) Whose agent is he? 

B. F. The King's, my Lord. 

L. H. No such matter. He is one of the corporation by 
the province charter. No agent can be appointed but by an 
act, nor any act pass without his assent. Besides, this pro- 
ceeding is directly contrary to express instructions. 

B. F. I did not know there had been such instructions. 
I am not concerned in any offence against them, and 

L. H. Yes, your offering such a paper to be entered is an 
offence against them. (Folding it up again without having 
read a word of it.) No such appointment shall be entered. 
When I came into the administration of American affairs, I 
found them in great disorder. By my firmness they are now 
something mended ; and, while I have the honour to hold the 



304 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

seals, I shall continue the same conduct, the same firmness. 
I think my duty to the master I serve, and to the govern- 
ment of this nation, requires it of me. If that conduct is 
not approved, they may take my office from me when they 
please. I shall make them a bow, and thank them ; I shall 
resign with pleasure. That gentleman knows it, (pointing to 
Mr. Pownall,) but, while I continue in it, I shall resolutely 
persevere in the same FIRMNESS. (Spoken with great warmth, 
and turning pale in his discourse, as if he was angry at some- 
thing or somebody besides the agent, and of more consequence 
to himself.) 

B. F. (Reaching out his hand for the paper, which his 
Lordship returned to him.) I beg your Lordship's pardon 
for taking up so much of your time. It is, I believe, of no 
great importance whether the appointment is acknowledged 
or not, for I have not the least conception that an agent can 
at present be of any use to any of the colonies. I shall there- 
fore give your Lordship no further trouble. (Withdrew.) 






542. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, February 10, 1771. 

DEAR DOCTOR, 

I have not now before me your letter, which came with the 
sample of silk, having put it into the hands of Mr. Walpole 
with the sample, who has promised me full and particular 
answers to all your queries, after the silk has been thoroughly 
examined. In the mean time he tells me, the best sort ap- 
pears to him to be worth in itself twenty-seven or twenty- 

1 Printed from Sparks. 



1770 TO SAMUEL RHOADS 305 

eight shillings a pound, and will fetch that price when some 
imperfections in the reeling it are remedied. He tells me 
farther, that the best eggs are to be had from Valencia in 
Spain, whence he will procure some for you against the next 
year ; the worms from those eggs being the strongest, health- 
iest, and producing the finest silk of any others; and he 
thinks you should get some reelers from Italy, which he would 
likewise undertake to do for you if desired. He is one of 
the most opulent and noble-spirited merchants of this king- 
dom. 

I shall write to you fully by Osborne, with all the informa- 
tion I can procure. In the mean time, please to present my 
respects to the gentlemen concerned in the affair, and assure 
them of my best services. I am, my dear friend, yours affec- 
tionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



543. TO SAMUEL RHOADS (p. H. s.) 

London, Feb. 10. 1771 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I received your kind favour of Nov. 9. and am glad to hear 
of the Welfare of you and yours. 

Mentioning to a Friend of mine, Mr. Wooller, an Engineer, 
your Idea of Paint and Sand, to make Roofs durable and safer 
from Fire (which I hope you will try, as I think it very likely 
to succeed) he communicated to me an Account of a new 
Method of Covering, in the North, that is in some respects 
similar, may be as durable, but in my Opinion not so safe. 
Perhaps it may be of Use for Summer-Houses, Barns, Out- 
houses, or Buildings where no Fire comes; (and therefore 

VOL. V X 



306 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

I send you the Account enclosed) but I think I should not 
care to trust it in a Dwelling-House, in a Town, unless the 
under Side of the Boards was lathed & plaistered between the 
Rafters, which would add to the Expence : For tho' the Out- 
side, hardened by the Air, and paved as it were, by the Sand, 
Shells, &c. might not readily take fire, the Tar coming thro* 
the Seams or Cracks of the Boards might be readily inflamed 
by a Candle from the Inside, placed carelessly by Servants 
in the Garret. 

The Flatness of the Roof, as well as of those with Copper, 
lessens a good deal the Areas to be covered, and of course the 
Expence. 

I am glad to hear that you have good Workmen in the 
Stucco Way, and that it is likely to take place of Wainscot. 

In some of the Paris Buildings the Floors are thus formed. 
The Joists are large and square, and laid with two of their 
Corners up and down, whereby their sloping Sides afford 
Butments for intermediate Arches of Brick. Over the whole 
is laid an Inch or two of Loom and on that the Tiles of the 
Floor, which are often six-square, & painted. The lower 
Corner of the Joists is cut off enough to admit of nailing 
to them the Laths that are to hold the Plaister of the Ciel- 
ing of the Room beneath. Where there is any Apprehen- 
sion of Walls spreading by the Weight of such Floor, they 
are prevented by Bars of Iron, with external SS. This kind 
of Floor seems safe from Fire : For the Joists in Contact with 
the Bricks above, and shielded by the Plaister Cieling below 
are not very likely to kindle and burn. It likewise prevents 
in a great degree the Noise of what is doing over-head offend- 
ing those below. But it is heavy, takes up more Room, re- 
quires great Strength of Timber and is supposed more expen- 



1770 TO ROBERT MORRIS AND THOMAS LEACH 307 

sive than Boards. I apprehend those Arches are not gen- 
erally used; but the Tiles are more commonly laid upon 
rough Boards & the Joints clos'd with fine Mortar or some 
kind of Cement. 

Plaster Floors are of late coming again into Use here. I 
know not whether we have the proper Materials in our Prov- 
ince ; but I have been told there are Quarries of the kind in 
Nova Scotia near navigable Water. I send you however 
an Account of the Method of managing it. All from my 
Friend the ingenious Mr Wooller. 

Remember me respectfully & affectionately to M rs Rhoads 
& my dear old Friend Mrs Paschal. 

With sincere Esteem, I am, dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 

I send you also a Pamphlet on the Subject of securing 
Houses from Fire tho' the Method is perhaps impracticable 
with us. 



544. TO ROBERT MORRIS AND THOMAS LEACH 

(P. H. S.) 
London, March 5. 1771 

SIR, 

I duly received your several Favours of Oct. 9. and Decem- 
ber 13. inclosing Bills of Exchange, viz. On 

Greenwood & Higginson for ^ioo-o-'O 
On Campbell for 20--o-.o 



which are paid and carried to the Credit of the Province 
Account. I am much obliged to you and the Assembly 



308 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

for so readily transmitting them; and it makes me very 
happy to understand that my Endeavours in their Service are 
in any degree acceptable. 

Notwithstanding the ample Recommendations brought 
over by M r Winter, the Bishop of London has refused him 
Ordination, for two Reasons, as I understand, his mechanical 
Education, and his Connection with M r Whitefield & the 
Methodists. I did not think either of these of so much 
Weight as to discourage me from attempting to get him 
ordain'd by some other Bishop of London as might overcome 
his Lordship's Objections. Accordingly I endeavoured 
to engage in his Favour the Associates of D r Bray, a Society 
of which I have long been a Member. As it was established 
for Purposes similar to that of M r Louberbuhler's Will, I 
hope they would readily have afforded us the Weight of their 
Recommendation, or my laying before them a Copy of the 
Will, Copies of several Letters from you and M r Flabersham, 
&c. But the Idea of his being a Methodist, and the Imagi- 
nation of his neglecting the Negroes and becoming an Itin- 
erant Preacher, disturbing regular Congregations, &c. &c. 
as soon as he should obtain Ordination, I found were thought 
sufficient Reason to prevent their concerning themselves in 
the Affair. However I do not yet quite despair of it. 

Mentioning M r Whitefield, I cannot forbear expressing the 
Pleasure it gave me to see in the Newspapers an Account of 
the Respect paid to his Memory by your Assembly. I knew 
him intimately upwards of thirty years. His Integrity, 
Disinterestedness, and indefatigable Zeal in prosecuting every 
good Work, I have never seen equalled, I shall never see 
exceeded. 

The enclosed Paper has been put into my Hand by M r 



I7?i] TO ROBERT MORRIS AND THOMAS LEACH 309 

Maudit, a principal Man among the Dissenters here. I 
promised him to communicate it to you. The Dissenters 
were for complaining to Government, and petitioning for 
Redress; but M r Maudit advis'd that M r Frink should first 
be written to, as possibly he might be dissuaded from persist- 
ing in such Demands. I know nothing of the Circumstances 
but what appears in the Paper, nor am I acquainted with 
your Laws; but I make no doubt you will advise what is 
proper and prudent to be done in the Affair. The Dissenters 
in those Northern Colonies where they are predominant, 
have by Laws exempted those of the Church of England re- 
siding among them from all Rates and Payments toward the 
Support of the Dissenting Clergy ; and methinks it would be 
a Pity to give them a Handle against re-enacting those Law 
when they expire ; for they are temporary, and their perpetual 
Laws tax all Sects alike. The Colonies have Adversaries 
enow to their common Privileges : They should endeavour to 
agree among themselves, and avoid everything that may 
make Ill-Blood and promote Divisions, which must weaken 
them in their common Defence. 

If the Laws of your Province are printed, I should wish to 
be furnished with a Copy; it must be sometimes of Use to 
me in the Management of your Business. 

With great Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour to be, 
Sir, 

Your most obedient 

humble Servant 

B FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I shall shortly write fully to the Committee relating 
to the Matters referr'd in the Letter of May 23, '70 in the 
mean time be so good as to inform them that the Business has 



310 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

not been neglected. The Hurry in our Public Councils during 
the first Part of the Winter, occasion'd by the Expectation 
of an immediate foreign War, and the domestic Confusion 
that took place after the Convention, have been great Hin- 
drances to proceeding in American Affairs. 



545. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 

* 

London, March 5, 1771 

LOVING COUSIN, 

I suppose Jonathan has told you, that the lottery is drawn, 
and your two new tickets had the same success as the former, 
namely, one twenty-pound prize, and one blank. Would 
you go on any further? 

Josiah is very happy in being under the tuition of Mr. 
Stanley, who very kindly undertook him at my request, 
though he had left off teaching. Josiah goes constantly, too, 
to several concerts, besides operas and oratorios, so that his 
thirst for music is in a way of being thoroughly satiated. 
This is the principal expense; for, in all other respects, I 
never saw two young men from America more prudent and 
frugal, than he and his brother are. 

Jonathan seems to have an excellent turn for business, 
and to be a perfect master of accounts. In the latter he has 
been of great use to me, having put all mine in order for me. 
There is a proposal from his uncle of his going to East India, 
as a writer in the Company's service, which I wish may take 
place, as I think, if he lives, he cannot fail bringing home a 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of 
Benjamin Franklin" (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 137. ED. 






i77i] TO MRS. WILLIAMS 3 n 

fortune. He had ordered a cargo of goods to be sent you for 
cousin Wood's shop, and had given expectations of paying 
ready money. But, one of your bills being protested, there 
seemed a necessity of asking some credit of the merchant. 
I advised him to take what was wanting of me, rather than 
fail in punctuality to his word, which is sacred here among all 
that would maintain a character in trade. He did so; and 
thereby also saved the discount without putting me to the 
least inconvenience, provided the money is replaced in six 
months ; and I was glad I had it in my power to accommodate 
him. 

I hope you have before this time got another tenant for 
your house, and at the former rent. However, I would have 
you go on advancing to my sister the amount of it, as I am 
persuaded she cannot well do without it. She has, indeed, 
been very unfortunate in her children. I am glad to hear, 
that, as soon as the weather permits, the tomb will receive 
a thorough repair. Your kind care in this matter will greatly 

oblige your affectionate uncle, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



546. TO MRS. WILLIAMS 1 (P. c.) 

London, March 5, 1771. 

DEAR COUSIN, 

I received your kind Letter with your Sons. They are, I 
assure you, exceeding welcome to me ; and they behave with 
so much Prudence, that no two young Men could possibly 
less need the Advice you would have me give them. Josiah is 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Louis A. Biddle. Mrs. Will- 
iams, the mother of Jonathan Williams, was Grace Harris, a niece of Benja- 
min Franklin. ED. 



312 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

very happily employ'd in his Musical Pursuits. And as you 
hinted to me, that it would be agreable to you, if I employ'd 
Jonathan in Writing, I requested him to put my Accounts in 
Order, which had been much neglected. He undertook it 
with the utmost chearfulness and Readiness, and executed 
it with the greatest Diligence, making me a compleat new Set 
of Books, fairly written out and settled in a mercantile Man- 
ner, which is a great Satisfaction to me, and a very consider- 
able Service. I mention this, that you may not be in the 
least Uneasy from an Apprehension of their Visit being 
burthensome to me ; it being, I assure you, quite the contrary. 

It has been wonderful to me to see a young Man from 
America, in a Place so full of various Amusements as London 
is, as attentive to Business, as diligent in it, and keeping as 
close at home till it was finished, as if it had been for his own 
Profit; and as if he had been at the Publick Diversions so 
often, as to be tired of them. 

I pray God to keep and preserve you and yours, and give 
you again, in due time, a happy Sight of these valuable Sons ; 

being your affectionate Uncle, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



547. TO THE LIBRARY CO. OF PHILADELPHIA * 

London, April 16, 1771 

GENTLEMEN 

I received yours of Jan. 25 with a Catalogue of Books to 
be purchased for the Library Company. The Collection is 
making with all possible Expedition, but I fear will scarce be 
ready to go with this Ship. 

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



1771] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 313 

I beg you would not imagine it giving me Trouble When 
you send me the Commands of the Company. If I can 
execute them to their Satisfaction it will on the contrary be 
a very great Pleasure to me For I have many Reasons to wish 
well to the Institution. 

I hope to send you with the Books an Estimate of the Cost 
of the European Transactions and the French Cyclopaedia. 

I am very Respectfully 

B. FRANKLIN. 
Messrs Mich. Hillegas 

Nich. Wain 
and R. Strettrell Jones 



548. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, April 20, 1771. 

DEAR SON, 

It is long since I have heard from you. The last Packet 
brought me no Letter, and there are two Packets now due. 
It is supposed that the long easterly Winds have kept them 
back. We have had a severe and tedious Winter here. 
There is not yet the smallest Appearance of Spring. Not 
a Bud has push'd out, nor a Blade of Grass. The Turnips 
that us'd to feed the Cattle have been destroy'd by the Frost. 
The Hay in most Parts of the Country is gone, and the Cattle 
perishing for Want, the Lambs dying by thousands, thro' 
Cold and scanty Nourishment. Tuesday last I went to dine 
at our Friend Sir Matthew Featherstone's 1 thro 1 a heavy 
Storm of Snow. His Windows you know look into the Park. 
Towards Evening I observed the Snow still lying over all the 

1 A member of the Royal Society, elected a Fellow, February 13, 1752. ED. 



314 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

Park, for the Ground was before too cold to thaw it, being 
itself frozen & Ice in the Canal. You cannot imagine a more 
winterlike Prospect! Sir M. and Lady F. always enquire 
kindly of your Welfare: As do Mr. and Mrs. Sargent. 

Sir John Pringle has heard from Mr. Bowman of your kind- 
ness to that gent n , and desires I would present his particular 
Acknowledgments for the Attention you have paid to his Rec- 
ommendation. 1 The Ohio Affair seems now near a Conclu- 
sion. And if the present Ministry stand a little longer, I 
think it will be compleated to our Satisfaction. Mr. Wharton 
has been indefatigable, and I think scarce any one I know 
besides would have been equal to the Task, so difficult it is 
to get Business forward here, in which some Party Purpose 
is not to be served: But he is among them, eternally, & 
leaves no Stone unturn'd. I would, however, advise you not 
to say anything of our Prospect of Success, till the Event 
appears, for many things happen between the Cup & the 
Lip. 

I have attended several Times this Winter upon your 
Acts of Assembly. The Board are not favourably disposed 
towards your Insolvent Acts, pretending to doubt whether 
distant Creditors, particularly such as reside in England, may 
not sometimes be injured by them. I have had a good deal 
of Conversation with Mr. Jackson about them, who remarks 
that whatever Care the Assembly may, according to my Rep- 
resentation of their Practice, take in examining into the Cases 
to prevent Injustice, yet upon the Face of the Acts nothing 



1 A paragraph concerning William Franklin's accounts is here omitted. 
The only item of interest in it is : " the heaviest Part is the Maintenance & 
Education of Temple but that his Friends will not grudge when they see 
him." ED. 



. 



TO HUMPHRY MARSHALL 



315 



of that Care appears. The Preambles only say that such 
& such Persons have petitioned & set forth the Hardship 
of their Imprisonment, but not a Word of the Assembly's 
having enquired into the Allegations contained in such Peti- 
tions and found them true, not a Word of the general Consent 
of the principal Creditors, or of any publick Notice given of 
the Debtor's Intention to apply for such an Act; all which 
he thinks should appear in the Preambles, and then those 
Acts would be subject to less Objection and Difficulty in 
getting them through the Offices here. I would have you 
communicate this to the Speaker of the Assembly, with my 
best Respects. I doubt some of those Acts will be repeal'd. 
Nothing has been done, or is now likely to be done by the 
Parliament in American Affairs: The House of Commons 
& the City of London are got into a violent Controversy, 
that seems at present to engross the publick Attention, and 
the Session cannot continue much longer. 

By this Ship I send the Picture that you left with Meyer. 
He has never yet finished the Miniatures. The other Pic- 
tures I send with it are for my own House, but this you may 

take to yours. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



549. TO HUMPHRY MARSHALL 



London, April 22, 1771 



SIR, 



I duly received your Favours of the 4*? of October and the 
if* of November. It gave me Pleasure to hear, that tho' 
the Merchants had departed from their Agreement of Non- 

1 From a facsimile. ED. 



316 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

Importation, the Spirit of Industry and Frugality was likely 
to continue among the People. I am obliged to you for your 
Concern on my Account. The Letters you mention gave 
great Offence here ; but that was not attended with the imme- 
diate ill Consequences to my Interest that seem to have been 
hoped for by those that sent Copies of them hither. 

If our Country People would well consider, that all they 
save in refusing to purchase foreign Gewgaws, & in making 
their own Apparel, being apply'd to the Improvement of 
their Plantations, would render those more profitable, as 
yielding a greater Produce, I should hope they would persist 
resolutely in their present commendable Industry and Fru- 
gality. And there is still a farther Consideration. The 
Colonies that produce Provisions grow very fast: But of 
the Countries that take off those Provisions, some do not in- 
crease at all, as the European Nations ; and others, as the West 
India Colonies, not in the same proportion. So that tho' 
the Demand at present may be sufficient, it cannot long con- 
tinue so. Every Manufacturer encouraged in our Country, 
makes part of a Market for Provisions within ourselves, 
and saves so much Money to the Country as must otherwise 
be exported to pay for the Manufactures he supplies. Here 
in England it is well known and understood, that whenever 
a Manufacture is established which employs a Number of 
Hands, it raises the Value of Lands in the neighbouring 
Country all around it; partly by the greater Demand near 
at hand for the produce of the Land; and partly from the 
Plenty of Money drawn by the Manufacturers to that part 
of the Country. It seems therefore the Interest of all our 
Farmers and Owners of Lands, to encourage our young 
Manufactures in preference to foreign ones imported among 
us from distant Countries. 



1770 TO COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE 317 

I am much obliged by your kind Present of curious Seeds. 
They were welcome Gifts to some of my Friends. I send 
you herewith some of the new Barley lately introduced into 
this Country, & now highly spoken of, I wish it may be 
found of Use with us. 

I was the more pleased to see in your Letter the Improve- 
ment of our Paper, having had a principal Share in establish- 
ing that Manufacture among us many Years ago, by the 
Encouragement I gave it. 

If in anything I can serve you here, it will be a Pleasure to 
Your obliged Friend 

and humble Servant, 

B FRANKLIN. 



550. TO THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPOND- 
ENCE IN MASSACHUSETTS 1 

London, May 15, 1771. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I have received your favour of the 27th of February, 
with the Journal of the House of Representatives, and copies 
of the late oppressive prosecutions in the Admiralty Court, 
which I shall, as you direct, communicate to Mr. Bollan, 
and consult with him on the most advantageous use to be 
made of them for the interest of the province. 
/ 1 think one may clearly see, in the system of customs to 
be exacted in America by act of Parliament, the seeds sown 
of a total disunion of the two countries, though, as yet, that 
event may be at a considerable distance. \\ The course and 

1 First published by Sparks. The members of this committee were Thomas 
Gushing, James Otis, and Samuel Adams. S. 



3i8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

natural progress seems to be, first, the appointment of needy 
men as officers, for others do not care to leave England; 
then, their necessities make them rapacious, their office makes 
them proud and insolent, their insolence and rapacity make 
them odious, and, being conscious that they are hated, they 
become malicious; their malice urges them to a continual 
abuse of the inhabitants in their letters to administration, 
representing them as disaffected and rebellious, and (to 
encourage the use of severity) as weak, divided, timid, and 
cowardly. Government believes all; thinks it necessary 
to support and countenance its officers; their quarrelling 
with the people is deemed a mark and consequence of their 
fidelity; they are therefore more highly rewarded, and this 
makes their conduct still more insolent and provoking. 

The resentment of the people will, at times and on par- 
ticular incidents, burst into outrages and violence upon such 
officers, and this naturally draws down severity and acts of 
further oppression from hence. The more the people are dis- 
satisfied, the more rigor will be thought necessary; severe 
punishments will be inflicted to terrify ; rights and privileges 
will be abolished ; greater force will then be required to secure 
execution and submission; the expense will become enor- 
mous; it will then be thought proper, by fresh exactions, 
to make the people defray it ; thence, the British nation and 
government will become odious, the subjection to it will 
be deemed no longer tolerable; war ensues, and the bloody 
struggle will end in absolute slavery to America, or ruin to 
Britain by the loss of her colonies ; the latter most probable, 
from America's growing strength and magnitude. 

But, as the whole empire must, in either case, be greatly 
weakened, I cannot but wish to see much patience and the 






1770 TO COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE 319 

utmost discretion in our general conduct, that the fatal period 
may be postponed, and that, whenever this catastrophe shall 
happen, it may appear to all mankind, that the fault has not 
been ours. And, since the collection of these duties has 
already cost Britain infinitely more, in the loss of commerce, 
than they amount to, and that loss is likely to continue and 
increase by the encouragement given to our manufactures 
through resentment; and since the best pretence for estab- 
lishing and enforcing the duties is the regulation of trade for 
the general advantage, it seems to me, that it would be much 
better for Britain to give them up, on condition of the colo- 
nies undertaking to enforce and collect such, as are thought 
fit to be continued, by laws of their own, and officers of their 
own appointment, for the public uses of their respective 
governments. This would alone destroy those seeds of dis- 
union, and both countries might thence much longer continue 
to grow great together, more secure by their united strength, 
and more formidable to their common enemies. But the 
power of appointing friends and dependents to profitable 
offices is too pleasing to most administrations, to be easily 
parted with or lessened; and therefore such a proposition 
if it were made, is not very likely to meet with attention. 

I do not pretend to the gift of prophecy. History shows, 
that, by these steps, great empires have crumbled heretofore ; 
and the late transactions we have so much cause to complain 
of show, that we are in the same train, and that, without a 
greater share of prudence and wisdom, than we have seen 
both sides to be possessed of, we shall probably come to the 
same conclusion. 

The Parliament, however, is prorogued, without having 
taken any of the steps we had been threatened with, relating 



320 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

to our charter. Their attention has been engrossed by other 
affairs, and we have therefore longer time to operate in mak- 
ing such impressions, as may prevent a renewal of this par- 
ticular attempt by our adversaries. With great esteem and 
respect, I have the honour to be, &c. B FRANKLIN. 



551. TO ISAAC SMITH (A. p. s.) 

~ Cravenstreet May 17, 1771 

Being greatly hurried in preparing for my Journey, I have 
barely had time to write the enclos'd. I cannot find M. 
Allemand's Paper : But you will meet with no Difficulty 
in Holland. A good general Rule in travelling foreign Coun- 
tries, is, to avoid as much as possible all Disputes, & to be 
contented with such Provisions and Cookery, as you meet 
with in the Inns, so you will have the best the Country affords 
in the Season, which you cannot know so as to direct, and if 
you attempt to direct the Cookery they will not understand 
or be able to follow your Orders, & whatever Difficulties you 
put them to they will be sure to charge you extravagantly 
for, particularly in Holland. I inclose a Card of the House 
at which I lodg'd in Paris. It is a good one, that I can rec- 
ommend to you. If full, Mrs. Mean, the Landlady, will 
advise you in the Choice of another. Wishing you & your 
Companion a good Journey & happy Return to your Friends, 

I am, Sir 

Your most obedient humble Servant. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

M. Dessin at the Hotel D'Angleterre at Calais, will advise 
you about your Journey, Baggage &c. His is a good House, 
& I recommend it to you as your Inn, when there. 



1770 TO THOMAS CUSH1NG 321 

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

London, June 5. 1771 
MY DEAR CHILD, 

I have lately made a Journey of a Fortnight, to Birming- 
ham, Sheffield, Leeds, and Manchester, and returned only in 
time to be at Court on the King's Birthday, which was yester- 
day. The Joy was in a fair way of being doubled on the same 
Day, for the Queen was deliver' d early this Morning of an- 
other Prince, the eighth Child, there being now six Princes 
and two Princesses, all lovely Children. The Prince of 
Wales & the Bishop of Oszabrug appear'd yesterday for 
the first time in the Drawingroom, and gave great Pleasure 
by their sensible, manly Behaviour. My Journey has been 
of use to my Health, the Air and Exercise have given me 
fresh Spirits, and I feel now exceeding well, Thanks to God. 

I wrote to you lately, and have received no Line from you 
by Capt. Sparks who is arrived. I suppose you have written 
by Falconer, who is not yet heard of. My love to our Chil- 
dren and Grandson. I am as ever, your affectionate husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



553. TO THOMAS CUSHING (P. R. o.) 

(Private.) 

London, June 10, 1771. 

SIR : I received your Favour of the 3oth of April a few 
Days since, with the Newspapers, etc., and am much obliged 
by the Information you as a private Person so kindly give me 
of the present state of Affairs in your Province. Such a con- 

VOL. V Y 



322 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

fidential Correspondence between us I most willingly embrace, 
as I am persuaded it must be often useful in the prudent con- 
duct of our publick interests to interchange Intelligence that 
cannot so properly or safely appear in Publick Letters, since 
nothing written to or from an Assembly can be kept from the 
Knowledge of Adversaries, who may take Advantage of it, 
to the Prejudice of our Affairs and of the Persons concerned 
in the Management of them. 

The continuing our General Court at Cambridge has always 
appeared to me a Measure extreamly impolitic in Govern- 
ment here, as it can tend only to irritate the Members, offend 
the People in general, and create an ill-humour that can never 
be for his Majesty's Service or the Benefit of this Nation. 
For supposing the Province to be ever so great an Offender, 
this is not a Punishment sufficient to reform by its severity ; 
it is rather more fitted to affront and provoke. You will 
therefore hardly understand it, if you do not well know the 
Character of the present American Secretary, proud, super- 
cilious, extreamly conceited, moderate as they are, of his 
political knowledge and Abilities, fond of every one that can 
stoop to flatter him, and inimical to all that dare tell him dis- 
agreable Truths. This Man's Mandates have been treated 
with Disrespect in America, his Letters have been criticised, 
his Measures censur'd and despis'd; which has produced 
in him a kind of settled Malice against the Colonies, particu- 
larly ours, that would break out into greater Violence if 
cooler Heads did not set some Bounds to it. I have indeed 
good Reason to believe that his Conduct is far from being 
approved by the King's other Servants, and that he himself 
is so generally dislik'd by them that it is not probable he 
will continue much longer in his present Station, the general 



1770 TO THOMAS CUSHING 323 

Wish here being to recover (saving only the Dignity of Gov- 
ernment) the Good- Will of the Colonies, which there is little 
reason to expect while they are under his wild Administra- 
tion. Their permitting so long his Eccentricities (if I may 
use such an Expression) is owing, I imagine, rather to the 
Difficulty of knowing how to dispose of or what to do with a 
man of his wrong-headed bustling Industry, who, it is appre- 
hended, may be more mischievous out of Administration than 
in it, than to any kind of personal Regard for him. 

All Views or Expectations of drawing any considerable 
Revenue to this Country from the Colonies are, I believe, 
generally given over, and it seems probable that nothing 
of that kind will ever again be attempted. But as Foreign 
Courts appear to have taken great Pleasure in the Prospect 
of our Disunion, it seems now to be thought necessary for 
supporting the National Weight and the Influence of our 
Court abroad, that there should be an Appearance as if all 
was pacified in America; and, as I said before, I think the 
general Wish is that it may be really so. But then there is 
an Apprehension lest a too sudden yielding to all our Claims 
should be deem'd the Effect of Weakness, render the British 
Court contemptible in the Eyes of Foreigners ; make us more 
presumptuous, and promote more extravagant Demands 
such as could never be granted, and thence still greater 
Danger of a fatal Rupture. I am thus particular, that you 
may judge whether it will not be prudent in us to indulge 
the Mother Country in this Concern for her own Honour, 
so far as may be consistent with the Preservation of our essen- 
tial Rights, especially as that Honour may in some Cases be 
of Importance to the General Welfare. And in this View, 
whether it will not be better gradually to wear off the assum'd 



324 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

Authority of Parliament over America, which we have in 
too many Instances given countenance to, with our indiscrete 
Acknowledgment of it in Publick Acts, than by a general 
open Denial and Resistance to it, bring on prematurely a 
Contest to which, if we are not found equal, that Authority 
will by the Event be more strongly establish'd; and if we 
should prove superior, yet by the Division, the general strength 
of the British Nation must be greatly diminished. I do not 
venture to advise in this Case, because I see in this seemingly 
prudent Course some Danger of a diminishing Attention to 
our Rights, instead of a persevering Endeavor to recover 
and establish them; but I rely a good deal on the growing 
Knowledge of them among the Americans, and the daily 
increasing Strength and Importance of that Country to this, 
which must give such Weight in time to our just Claims 
as no selfish Spirit in this Part of the Empire will be able to 
resist. In the meantime, while we are declining the usurped 
Authority of Parliament, I wish to see a steady dutiful Attach- 
ment to the King and his Family maintained among us; 
and that however we may be induced for Peace-sake, or from 
a Sense of our present Inability, to submit at present in some 
Instances to the Exercise of that unjust Authority, we shall 
continue from time to time to assert our Rights in occasional 
solemn Resolves and other publick Acts, never yielding them 
up, and avoiding even the slightest Expressions that seem 
confirmatory of the Claim that has been set up against them. 
My Opinion has long been that Parliament had originally 
no Right to bind us by any kind of Law whatever without our 
Consent. We have indeed in a manner consented to some of 
them, at least tacitly. But for the future methinks we should 
be cautious how we add to those Instances, and never adopt 



I77i] TO THOMAS CUSHING 325 

or acknowledge an Act of Parliament but by a formal Law 
of our own, as your General Assembly I think did in the case 
of the Act of Parliament relating to the Oaths mention' d 
in the first Paragraph of your Votes ; tho' as it stands there, 
it seems as if the Act of Parliament had required those 
Oaths to be taken by your Members, and was acknowledged 
as of force for that purpose. 

I do not at present see the least likelihood of preventing 
the Grant of Salaries or Pensions from hence to the King's 
Officers in America, by any Application in Behalf of the 
People there. It is look'd on as a strange thing here to ob- 
ject to the King's paying his own servants sent among us to 
do his Business ; and they say we would seem to have much 
more Reason of Complaint if it were requir'd of us to pay 
them. And the more we urge the Impropriety of their not 
depending on us for their Support, the more Suspicion it 
breeds that we are desirous of influencing them to betray 
the Interests of their Master or of ;his Nation. Indeed if 
the money is rais'd from among us against our Wills, the 
Injustice becomes more evident than where it arises from 
hence. I do not think, however, that the Effect of these 
Salaries is likely to be so considerable, either in favour of Gov- 
ernment here, or in our Prejudice, as may be generally appre- 
hended. The Love of Money is not a Thing of certain 
Measure, so as that it may be easily filled and satisfied. 
Avarice is infinite ; and where there is not good (Economy, 
no Salary, however large, will prevent Necessity. He that 
has a fixed and what others may think a competent Income, 
is often as much to be byassed by the Expectation of more, 
as if he had already none at all. If the Colonies should re- 
solve on giving handsome Presents to good Governors at or 



326 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1771 

after their Departure, or to their Children after their Decease, 
I imagine it might produce even better Effects than our pres- 
ent annual Grants. But the Course probably will soon be 
that the Chief Governor, to whom the Salary is given, will 
have leave to reside in England; a Lieutenant or Deputy 
will be left to do the Business and live on the Perquisites, 
which not being thought quite sufficient, his receiving Pres- 
ents yearly will be wink'd at through the Interest of his Prin- 
cipal; and thus things will get into the old Train, only this 
Inconvenience remaining, that while by our Folly in consum- 
ing the Duty-Articles the fixed Salary is raised on ourselves 
without our Consent, we must pay double for the same Ser- 
vice. However, tho' it may be a hopeless Task while the 
Duties continue sufficient to pay the Salaries, I shall on all 
proper Occasions make Representations against this new 
Mode ; and if by the Duties falling short the Treasury should 
be calPd on to pay those Salaries, it is possible they may come 
to be seen in another Light than at present, and dropt as 
unnecessary. 

I was glad to see that Attention in the general Court to the 
Improvement of the Militia. A War may happen in which 
Britain, like Rome of old, may find so much to do for her own 
Defence as to be unable to spare Troops or Ships for the Pro- 
tection of her Colonies. A Minister may arise so little our 
Friend as to neglect that Protection, or to permit Invasions 
of our Country, in order to make us cry out for Help, and 
thereby furnish stronger Pretence for maintaining a standing 
Army among us. If we once lose our military Spirit and 
supinely depend on an Army of Mercenaries for our Defence, 
we shall become contemptible ; despis'd both by Friends and 
Enemies, as neither our Friendship nor our Enmity will be 



1770 TO THOMAS GUSHING 327 

deem'd of any Importance. As our Country is not wealthy 
so as to afford much ready Plunder, the Temptation to a 
foreign Invasion of us is the less, and I am persuaded that the 
Name of a numerous well-disciplined Militia, would alone be 
almost sufficient to prevent any Thoughts of attempting it. 
And what a Glory would it be for us to send, on any trying 
Occasion, ready and effectual Aid to our Mother Country ! 

I have lately been among the Clothing Towns in York- 
shire, and by conversing with the Manufacturers there, am 
more and more convinced of the natural Impossibility there 
is that, considering our Increase in America, England should 
be able much longer to supply us with Cloathing. Necessity, 
therefore, as well as Prudence, will soon induce us to seek 
Resources in our own Industry, which becoming general 
among the People, encouraged by resolutions of your Court, 
such as I have the Pleasure of seeing in your late Votes, will 
do Wonders. Family Manufactures will alone amount to a 
vast Saving in the Year; and a steady Determination and 
Custom of buying only of your own Artificers wherever they 
can supply you, will soon make them more expert in Working, 
so as to despatch more Business, while constant Employment 
enables them to afford their Work still cheaper. The low- 
ness of Provisions with us, compared with their daily rising 
Price here, added to the Freight, Risque, and Commissions 
on the Manufactures of this Country, must give great Ad- 
vantage to our Workmen, and enable them in time to retain 
a great deal of Money in the Country, tho' still Trade enough 
should remain between us and Britain to render our Friend- 
ship of the greatest Importance to this Nation. 

I was a Subscriber to a Set of Plates published here, en- 
titled The Senator's Remembrancer, a Work encouraged by 



328 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

many Members of both Houses. Having a spare Copy, I 
beg your Acceptance of it as a small Mark of my Respect, 
and send it by Captain Jarvis. Should it afford to your 
already well-furnished Mind no useful Hints in the Manage- 
ment of publick Affairs, it may however be of Service to some 
young Friend at least as Copies of fair and elegant Writing. 

The Letters I have received from my friends in Boston have 
lately come to hand, badly sealed, with no distinct Impression, 
appearing as if they had been opened, and in a very bungling 
way closed again. I suspect this may be done by some prying 
Persons that use the Coffee-house here. I therefore mention 
it that you may, if you think fit, send yours under Cover to 
some Merchant of Character who would forward them to me 
more safely. 

With great and sincere respect, I have the honour of being, 
sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

[ This note is on a slip of paper attached to the preceding 
letter.] 

Whatever the Prerogative may be, with regard to appoint- 
ing the Place of Meeting for Parliaments and Assemblies, it 
should be used only for the good of the people. Where it is 
made an Instrument of arbitrary Power to enforce Minis- 
terial Measures to the Prejudice of the People's Rights, such 
Use of it has justly been condemned. It was one Article 
of Impeachment against a former evil Minister, 1 that to work 
his Ends (or the king's) he had caused the Parliament to sit 

1 Or a charge against the king himself. I have not the Book by me from 
whence this Note was taken, but think it was some Minister of Henry VI. 
Search the history. F. 




1771] TO JONATHAN SHIPLEY 329 

in mllibus et remotis partibus Regni, where few People, propter 
dejectum hospitii et victualium, could attend, and by shifting 
that Assembly from Place to Place to enforce (the author's 
words) illos paucos qui remanebunt de communitate Regni, 
concedere Regi quamvis pessima. 



554. TO JONATHAN SHIPLEY, BISHOP OF 

ST. ASAPH (A. p. s.) 

London, June 24. 1771 

MY LORD, 

I got home in good time, and well. But on perusing the 
Letters that were come to me from America during my Ab- 
sence, and considering the Business they require of me, I 
found it not convenient to return so soon as I had intended. 
I regret my having been obliged to leave that most agreable 
Retirement which good Mrs. Shipley put me so kindly in 
possession of. I now breathe with Reluctance the Smoke 
of London, when I think of the sweet Air of Twyford. And 
by the Time your Races are over, or about the Middle of next 
Month, (if it should then not be unsuitable to your Engage- 
ments or other Purposes) I promise myself the Happiness 
of spending another Week or two where I so pleasantly 
spent the last. 

I have taken the Liberty of sending by the Southampton 
Stage, which goes to-morrow, a Parcel directed to your Lord- 
ship, to be left at the Turnpike next beyond Winchester, con- 
taining one of my Books for Miss Georgiana, which I hope 
she will be good enough to accept as a small Mark of my 
Regard for her philosophic Genius: and a Specimen of the 



330 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

American dry'd Apples for Mrs. Shipley, that she may judge 
whether it will be worth while to try the Practice. I doubt 
some Dust may have got among them, as I found the Cask 
uncovered: therefore it will not perhaps be amiss to rinse 
them a minute or two in warm Water and dry them quick 
in a Napkin : but this is submitted to her better Judgment. 
With the greatest Esteem and Respect, and many Thanks 
for your abundant Civilities, I am, my Lord, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 






555. TO NOBLE WIMBERLY JONES 1 

London, July 3, 1771. 

SIR, 

In mine of May ist, I enclosed a copy of the petition in- 
tended to be presented to the King in Council, in behalf of the 
possessors of the lands claimed by Sir William Baker's assigns. 
I am now to acquaint you, that it was presented accordingly, 
and is referred down to the Board of Trade for their opinion. 
But, as the Board is about to adjourn for some months, we 
are advised not to press the consideration of it till they meet 
again, as they have now too little time to attend to it properly. 
Immediately on their return to business, we shall urge for 
their report. 

I see by the newspapers that your new Assembly is also 
dissolved. 2 I am sorry for these differences, which must be 
uncomfortable to you and all that wish the welfare of the 
province. 

It is now thought that a peace between the Turks and Rus- 

1 First printed by Sparks. 

2 The Assembly of Georgia, of which Mr. Jones was Speaker. ED. 



I77i] TO CADWALLADER EVANS 331 

sians is likely soon to be concluded, which gives a better 
prospect of the continuance of peace among the other powers 
of Europe ; for it seldom happens that a war, begun between 
any two of them, does not extend itself sooner or later till it 
involves the whole. Spain showed a strong inclination to 
begin with us ; but, France being not willing or ready to join 
her, she has smothered that inclination for the present. 
With great esteem, I am, Sir, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



556. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, July 4, 1771. 

DEAR DOCTOR, 

I acquainted you some time since, that I expected soon to 
obtain satisfactory answers to your queries relating to the 
specimens of silk you sent over; but I was disappointed till 
lately, when I had a meeting with Mr. Patterson, esteemed 
one of the best judges of that commodity, who favoured me 
with the enclosed paper, and, in conversation, with the fol- 
lowing particulars. 

He thinks that the water, though clear at first, may grow 
foul with the impurities of the cocoons reeled in it, and there- 
fore should be changed as that appears to be the case. He 
gave me a skein of what is called the best Italian silk imported 
here, and advised me to send it over as a pattern, for our 
people to endeavour to imitate, with regard to its evenness, 
cleanness from nibs, and lustre ; and, that they might better 
see the difference and understand his remarks, he wished the 
skeins sent over hither might be returned with it. I send 
them all together accordingly. 

1 Printed from Sparks. 



332 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

He says the silk reeled from twelve cocoons fetches nearly 
as good a price as that from six, because it winds well, and 
there is less -fine waste; the dropping accidentally, or through 
inattention, three or four of the cocoons out of twelve not 
weakening the thread so much in proportion, as when the 
same number are dropped out of six ; nor is the thread so apt 
to break in winding. I observe that the Italian silk has a 
sweet smell, as if perfumed. He thinks it is the natural smell 
of the silk, when prepared in perfection. He understands 
that the Piedmontese reel is esteemed preferable to Mr. 
Pullein's. He says we may carry that produce to what 
length we please. It is impossible to overstock the market, as 
the demand is continually increasing, silk being more and 
more worn, and daily entering into the composition of more 
and a greater variety of manufactures. 

I communicated your thanks to Mr. Walpole, who was 
pleased to assure me he should always be ready to afford the 
design all the assistance in his power, and will endeavour to 
procure some eggs for you from Valencia against the next 
season. 

I am much obliged to you for the snuffbox. The wood is 
beautiful. The manufacturer should be encouraged. I 
hope our people will not be disheartened by a few accidents, 
and such disappointments as are incident to all new under- 
takings, but persevere bravely in the silk business, till they 
have conquered all difficulties. By diligence and patience 
the mouse ate in twain the cable. It is not two centuries since 
it was as much a novelty in France, as it is now with us 
in North America, and the people as much unacquainted 
with it. 

My respects to my good old friend, Mr. Wharton. I hope 






1 77 1] TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN 333 

he is recovered of the indisposition you mention. With sin- 
cere esteem, I am, dear Sir, your affectionate friend and 

humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



557. TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN 1 

London, July 12, 1771. 

LOVING COUSIN, 

I received your kind letter of May iyth, and rejoice to hear, 
that you and your good family are well. My love to them. 
With this I send you the print you desire for Mr. Bowen. He 
does me honour in accepting it. 

Sally Franklin presents her duty to you and Mrs. Franklin. 
Yesterday a very odd accident happened, which I must men- 
tion to you, as it relates to your grandfather. A person, that 
deals in old books, of whom I sometimes buy, acquainted me, 
that he had a curious collection of pamphlets bound in eight 
volumes folio, and twenty-four volumes quarto and octavo, 
which he thought, from the subjects, I might like to have, 
and that he would sell them cheap. I desired to see them, 
and he brought them to me. On examining, I found that 
they contained all the principal pamphlets and papers on 
public affairs, that had been printed here from the Restora- 
tion down to 1715. In one of the blank leaves at the begin- 
ning of each volume the collector had written the titles of the 
pieces contained in it, and the price they cost him. Also 
notes in the margin of many of the pieces ; and the collector, 
I find, from the handwriting and various other circumstances, 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers 
of Benjamin Franklin" (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 140. ED. 



334 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

was your grandfather, my uncle Benjamin. Wherefore, I 
the more readily agreed to buy them. I suppose he parted 
with them, when he left England and came to Boston, soon 
after your father, which was about the year 1716 or 1717, 
now more than fifty years since. In whose hands they have 
been all this time I know not. The oddity is, that the book- 
seller, who could suspect nothing of any relation between me 
and the collector, should happen to make me the offer of them. 
My love to your good wife and children. Your affectionate 
cousin, B. FRANKLIN. 



558. TO JOHN BARTRAM 1 

London, July 17, 1771. 
MY GOOD AND DEAR OLD FRIEND, 

I received your kind letter of April 2Qth, wherein you com- 
plain of your friends here not writing to you. I had written a 
letter to you on the 2oth of the same month, which I hope is 
long since come to hand ; but I confess I ought to have written 
sooner, to acknowledge the receipt of the box of seeds, whereby 
I was much obliged. As to your pension, there is not, I be- 
lieve, the least reason for you to apprehend its being stopped. 
I know not who receives it for you here, or I should quicken 
them in writing to you. But there is no instance in this King's 
reign of taking away a pension once granted, unless for some 
great offence. Young is in no esteem here as far as I can learn. 

I wish your daughter success with her silkworms. I am 
persuaded nothing is wanting in our country for the produce 
of silk, but skill; which will be obtained by persevering till 
we are instructed by experience. 

1 First printed by Sparks. 



I77i] TO CADWALLADER EVANS 335 

You take notice of the failing of your eyesight. Perhaps 
you have not spectacles that suit you, and it is not easy there 
to provide one's self. People too, when they go to a shop for 
glasses, seldom give themselves time to choose with care; 
and, if their eyes are not rightly suited, they are injured. 
Therefore I send you a complete set, from number one to 
thirteen, that you may try them at your ease; and, having 
pitched on such as suit you best at present, reserve those of 
higher numbers for future use, as your eyes grow still older; 
and with the lower numbers, which are for younger people, 
you may oblige some other friends. My love to good Mrs. 
Bartram and your children. I am, as ever, your faithful 
friend and servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. On inquiry, I find your pension continues, and will 
be regularly paid, as it becomes due, to the person you em- 
power to receive it for you. 



559. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, July 18, 1771. 

DEAR DOCTOR, 

I wrote to you on the 4th instant, and sent you a paper of 
observations on your specimens of silk, drawn up by Mr. 
Patterson, who is noted here in that trade, with a specimen 
of Italian silk as a copy for our people to imitate. But they 
must not be discouraged if they should not come up to the 
lustre of it, that being the very finest, and from a particular 
district in Italy, none other being equal to it from any other 
district or any other country. 

1 Printed from Sparks. 



336 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

The European silk I understand is all yellow, and most 
of the India silk. What comes from China is white. In 
Ogilby's account of that country, I find that, in the province 
of Chekiang, "they prune their mulberry trees once a year, 
as we do our vines in Europe, and suffer them not to grow up 
to high trees, because through long experience they have 
learned, that the leaves of the smallest and youngest trees 
make the best silk, and know thereby how to distinguish the 
first spinning of the threads from the second, viz. the first is 
that which comes from the young leaves, that are gathered in 
March, with which they feed their silkworms ; and the second 
is of the old summer leaves. And it is only the change of 
food, as to the young and old leaves, which makes the differ- 
ence in the silk. The prices of the first and second spinning 
differ among the Chineses. The best silk is that of March, 
the coarsest of June, yet both in one year." I have copied 
this passage to show, that in Chekiang they keep the mul- 
berry trees low; but I suppose the reason to be, the greater 
facility of gathering the leaves. It appears too by this pas- 
sage, that they raise two crops a year in that province, which 
may account for the great plenty of silk there. But perhaps 
this would not answer with us, since it is not practised in 
Italy, though it might be tried. Chekiang is from twenty- 
seven to thirty-one degrees of north latitude. Duhalde has 
a good deal on the Chinese management of the silk business. 

Dr. Pullein l is an acquaintance of mine. I will forward 
any letters you may send him. He lives in Ireland, but often 
comes to London. 

As you did not write to Dr. Fothergill, I communicated to 
him what you wrote in favour of Mr. Parke, who is to wait on 

1 Dr. Samuel Pullein, author of various papers upon silkworms and silk 
culture. ED. 



I77IJ TO JONATHAN SHIPLEY 337 

him to-morrow. I shall be glad to render the young man any 
service here. 

We had a cold, backward spring here, and it is since the 
solstice that we have had what may be called a warm day. 
But the country now looks well with the prospect of great 
plenty. It is, however, the general opinion, that Britain will 
not for some years export much corn, great part of the arable 
land being now enclosed and turned to grass, to nourish the 
immense number of horses raised for exportation, there being 
a rage in France and other parts of Europe for English horses, 
that seems increasing every year. 

I hope our friend Galloway will not decline the public ser- 
vice in the Assembly with his private business. Both may be 
too much for his health ; but the first alone will be little more 
than an amusement. And I do not see that he can be spared 
from that station, without great detriment to our affairs and to 
the general welfare of America. I am, with sincere esteem, 
&c. B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. The enclosed notes were given me by Mr. Small, a 
leading member of the Society of Arts, with a desire that I 
would send them over to some member of your Philosophical 
Society ; supposing the herbs may be of some use. 



560. TO JONATHAN SHIPLEY (A. P. s.) 

July 25. 1771 

I SHOULD have been happy in accompanying your Lordship 
on that agreable Party, or in being at Twyford instead of this 
dusty Town; but Business kept me here longer than I ex- 
pected. I now purpose to set out on Tuesday next, if nothing 

VOL. V Z 



338 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

at present unforeseen does not happen to prevent me. I hope 
to find the good Family well, which will add greatly to the 
Pleasure I promise myself in that sweet Retreat. With the 
greatest Respect, I am, 

Your Lordship's most 

obedient humble Servt 

[B. FRANKLIN.] 



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

London, Aug* 14. 1771 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received yours of June 29, by Packet. I am glad to hear 
of all your Welfares, and that the Pictures &c. were safe 
arrived. You do not tell me who mounted the great one, nor 
where you have hung it up. Let me know whether Dr. Bond 
likes the new one better than the old one ; if so, the old one 
is to be returned hither to Mr. Wilson, the Painter. You may 
keep the Frame, as it may be wanted for some other Picture 
there. I wrote to you the Beginning of last Month, to go by 
Capt. Falconer, & have since been in the Country, am just 
come to town, and find him still here, and the Letters not gone. 
He goes however next Saturday. 

I had written to many of my Friends by him. I spent three 
Weeks in Hampshire at my Friend the Bishop of St. Asaph's. 
The Bishop's Lady knows what Children and Grandchildren 
I have, their Ages, &c. So when I was to come away on 
Monday the i2th in the Morning, she insisted on my staying 
that one Day longer, that we might together keep my Grand- 
son's Birthday. At Dinner, among other nice Things, we 
had a Floating Island, which they always particularly have 



1770 TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 339 

on the BirthDays of any of their own Six Children; who 
were all but one at Table, where there was also a Clergyman's 
Widow now above 100 Years old. The chief Toast of the 
Day was Master Benjamin Bache, which the venerable old 
Lady began in a Bumper of Mountain. The Bishop's Lady 
politely added, and that he may be as good a Man as his Grand- 
father. I said I hop'd he would be much better. The Bishop, 
still more complaisant than his Lady, said, "We will com- 
pound the Matter, and be contented if he should not prove 
quite so good." This Chitchat is to yourself only, in return 
for some of yours about your Grandson, and must only be 
read to Sally, and not spoken of to anybody else; for you 
know how People add and alter silly Stories that they hear, 
and make them appear ten times more silly. 

Just while I am writing the Post brings me the enclosed 
from the good Bishop, with some Letters of Recommenda- 
tion for Ireland, to see which Country I am to set out next 
week with my old Friend and Fellow Traveller, Counsellor 
Jackson. We expect to be absent a Month or Six Weeks. 
The Bishop's youngest Daughter, mention'd in his Letter, is 
about 1 1 years of age, and came up with me in the PostChaise 
to go to her School. 

Capt. Osborne is not yet arrived here, but is every day 
expected. I hope he will come before I set out, that I may 
hear from you by him. I desire you will push the enquiry 
after the Lancaster Dutchman, and not let it sleep & be 
forgotten. I send you by Capt. Falconer a Box of Looking- 
Glasses for the Closet Door in the little l 

1 The remainder is mutilated. It was during this visit at the Bishop of St. 
Asaph's, that Dr. Franklin commenced writing the memoirs of his life, in the 
form of a letter to his son. ED. 



340 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN* [1771 



562. PLAN 

FOR BENEFITING DISTANT UNPROVIDED 
COUNTRIES. 

BY DR. FRANKLIN AND MR. DALRYMPLE. 1 
AUGUST 29, 1771. 

THE country, called in the maps New Zealand, has been 
discovered, by the Endeavour, to be two islands, together as 
large as Great Britain ; these islands, named Acpy-nomawee 
and Tovy-poennammoo, are inhabited by a brave and gen- 
erous race, who are destitute of corn, fowls, and all quadru- 
peds, except dogs. 

These circumstances being mentioned lately in a company 
of men of liberal sentiments, it was observed, that it seemed 
incumbent on such a country as this, to communicate to all 
others the conveniences of life, which we enjoy. 

Dr. Franklin, whose life has ever been directed to promote 
the true interest of society, said, "he would with all his heart 
subscribe to a voyage intended to communicate in general 
those benefits which we enjoy, to countries destitute of them 
in the remote parts of the globe." This proposition being 
warmly adopted by the rest of the company, Mr. Dalrymple, 

1 These proposals were printed upon a sheet of paper, and distributed. 
The parts written by Dr. Franklin and Mr. Dalrymple are easily distin- 
guished. V. 

The " Plan " was reprinted in " Ephemerides des Citoyen," Vol. II. Baron 
F. de Westerhalt, of Zutphen, read it there, and, " filled with admiration for 
such universal benevolence," sent four Holland ducats to Franklin, explain- 
ing that he was a poor gentleman with a large family, but he trusted that 
Franklin would not scorn his small contribution. See letter to F., Nov. 12, 
1772 (A. P. S.). Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808) was hydrographer to 
the Admiralty. ED. 



I 



1 77 1] PLAN FOR BENEFITING COUNTRIES 341 

then present, was induced to offer to undertake the command 
in such an expedition. 

On mature reflection, this scheme appears the most honour- 
able to the national character of any which can be conceived, 
as it is grounded on the noblest principle of benevolence. 
Good intentions are often frustrated by letting them remain 
undigested; on this consideration, Mr. Dalrymple was in- 
duced to put the outlines on paper, which are now published, 
that, by an early communication, there may be a better op- 
portunity of collecting all the hints which can conduce to 
execute effectually the benevolent purpose of the expedition, 
in case it should meet with general approbation. 

On this scheme being shown to Dr. Franklin, he communi- 
cated his sentiments, by way of introduction, to the following 
effect ; 

"Britain is said to have produced originally nothing but 
sloes. What vast advantages have been communicated to 
her by the fruits, seeds, roots, herbage, animals, and arts of 
other countries ! We are, by their means, become a wealthy 
and a mighty nation, abounding in all good things. Does 
not some duty hence arise from us towards other countries, 
still remaining in our former state ? 

"Britain is now the first maritime power in the world. 
Her ships are innumerable, capable, by their form, size, and 
strength, of sailing on all seas. Our seamen are equally bold, 
skilful, and hardy; dexterous in exploring the remotest re- 
gions, and ready to engage in voyages to unknown countries, 
though attended with the greatest dangers. The inhabitants 
of those countries, our fellow men, have canoes only; not 
knowing iron, they cannot build ships; they have little 
astronomy, and no knowledge of the compass to guide them ; 



342 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

they cannot therefore come to us, or obtain any of our advan- 
tages. From these circumstances, does not some duty seem 
to arise from us to them? Does not Providence, by these 
distinguishing favours, seem to call on us, to do something 
ourselves for the common interest of humanity? 

"Those who think it their duty to ask bread and other 
blessings daily from Heaven, would they not think it equally a 
duty to communicate of those blessings when they have re- 
ceived them, and show their gratitude to their great Bene- 
factor by the only means in their power, promoting the 
happiness of his other children ? 

" Ceres is said to have made a journey through many 
countries to teach the use of corn, and the art of raising it. 
For this single benefit the grateful nations deified her. How 
much more may Englishmen deserve such honour, by com- 
municating the knowledge and use, not of corn only, but of 
all the other enjoyments the earth can produce, and which 
they are now in possession of. Communiter bona projundere, 
DeAm est. 

"Many voyages have been undertaken with views of profit 
or of plunder, or to gratify resentment ; to procure some ad- 
vantage to ourselves, or do some mischief to others. But a 
voyage is now proposed, to visit a distant people on the other 
side the globe; not to cheat them, not to rob them, not to 
seize their lands, or enslave their persons ; but merely to do 
them good, and make them, as far as in our power lies, to live 
as comfortably as ourselves. 

"It seems a laudable wish, that all the nations of the earth 
were connected by a knowledge of each other, and a mutual 
exchange of benefits; but a commercial nation particularly 
should wish for a general civilization of mankind, since trade 



1771] PLAN" FOR BENEFITING COUNTRIES 343 

is always carried on to much greater extent with people who 
have the arts and conveniences of life, than it can be with 
naked savages. We may therefore hope, in this undertaking, 
to be of some service to our country as well as to those poor 
people, who, however distant from us, are in truth related to 
us, and whose interests do, in some degree, concern every one 
who can say, Homo sum, &c." 

Scheme of a voyage by subscription, to convey the con- 
veniences of life, as fowls, hogs, goats, cattle, corn, iron, &c., 
to those remote regions, which are destitute of them, and to 
bring from thence such productions, as can be cultivated in 
this kingdom, to the advantage of society, in a ship under 
the command of Alexander Dalrymple. 
Catt or bark, from the coal trade, of 350 tons, 

estimated at about . . . . . 2,000 
Extra expenses, stores, boats, &c. . . . 3,000 

To be manned with sixty men at 4 per man 

per month, . * . 240 

12 

2,880 per annum. 

3 
Wages and provisions 8,640 for three years 8,640 



13,640 

Cargo included, supposed 15,000 

The expenses of this expedition are calculated for three 
years ; but the greatest part of the amount of wages will not 
be wanted till the ship returns, and a great part of the ex- 
pense of provisions will be saved by what is obtained in the 



344 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

course of the voyage, by barter or otherwise, though it is 
proper to make provision for contingencies. 



563. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 

Edinburgh, Oct. 27. 1771. 

DEAR FRIEND 

Thro' Storms and Floods I arrived here on Saturday 
night, late, and was lodg'd miserably at an Inn: But that 
excellent Christian David Hume, agreable to the Precepts 
of the Gospel, has received the Stranger, and I now live with 
him at his House in the new Town most happily. I purpose 
staying about a Fortnight, and shall be glad to hear from you. 
I congratulate you on certain political Events that I know 
give you Pleasure. Let me know how it is with you and 
yours, how my Wife does and Sir John Pringle, and our other 
Friends. 
With sincerest Esteem I am, my dear Friend 

Yours most affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 



564. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 2 

Edinburgh, November 17, 1771. 

DEAR SIR : I have been at Blair Drummond on a visit 
to my friend Lord Kames, thence I went to Glasgow, thence 
to Carron Works, viewing the Canal by the way. Extreme 

1 From the private collection of Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. ED. 

2 From John Bigelow, "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
New York, 1887, Vo1 - IV P- 423. ED. 






I 7 7i] TO MRS. MARY HEWSON 345 

bad weather detained me in several places some days longer 
than I intended. But on Tuesday I purpose setting out on 
my return, and hope for the pleasure of seeing you by the 
Tuesday following. I thank you for your kind congratula- 
tions on the news you have heard. I like immortal friendships, 
but not immortal enmities; and therefore kill the latter 
whenever I have a good opportunity, thinking it no murder. 
I am but just come back hither, and write this line just to 
let you know I am well and again under the hospitable roof 
of the good Samaritan. As to news, which you seem to ex- 
pect from me, I protest I know of none, and I am too dull 
for invention. My love to Mrs. Strahan and your children, 
and believe me, ever, my dear friend, Yours most affection- 
ately, B. FRANKLIN. 



565. TO MRS. MARY HEWSON 1 (p. c.) 

Preston, Nov. 25, 1771. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I came to this Place on Saturday night, right well, and un- 
tir'd with a 70 miles' Journey that day. I met with your 
and my Dolly's joint Letter, which would have refreshed me 
with its kindness, if I had been ever so weary. 

The Account you give of a certain Lady's having enter- 
tain'd a new Gallant, in my Absence, did not surprize me; 
for I have been us'd to Rivals, and scarce ever had a Friend 
or a Mistress in my whole Life, that other People did not 
like as well as myself. And, therefore, I did not wonder, 
when I read in the Newspapers some Weeks since, that "the 
Duke of C." (that general Lover) "had made many Visits 

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



346 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1771 

of late to an old Lady not many Miles from Craven Street." 
I only wonder'd, considering the Dislike she us'd to have 
for the Family, that she would receive his Visits. But as I 
saw, soon after, that Prince Charles had left Rome, and was 
gone a long Journey, nobody knew whither, I made no doubt 
but the Newswriters had mistaken the Person, and that it 
was he, who had taken the Opportunity of my Absence to 
solace himself with his old Friend. 

I thank you for your Intelligence about my Godson. I 
believe you are sincere, when you say you think him as fine 
a Child as you wish to see. He had cut two Teeth, and three, 
in another Letter, make five; for I know you never write 
Tautologies. If I have over-reckon'd, the Number will be 
right by this Time. His being like me in so many Particulars 
pleases me prodigiously ; and I am persuaded there is another, 
which you have omitted, tho' it must have occurred to you 
while you were putting them down. Pray let him have every 
thing he likes; I think it of great Consequence while the 
Features of the Countenance are forming; it gives them a 
pleasant Air, and, that being once become natural and fix'd 
by Habit, the Face is ever after the handsomer for it, and on 
that much of a Person's good Fortune and Success in Life 
may depend. Had I been cross'd as much in my Infant 
Likings and Inclinations as you know I have been of late 
Years, I should have been, I was going to say, not near so 
handsome ; but as the Vanity of that Expression would offend 
other Folk's Vanity, I change it, out of regard to them, and 
say, a great deal more homely. 

I rejoice that your good Mother's new Regimen succeeds 
so well with her. We are to set out, my Son and I, to-morrow 
for London, where I hope to be by the End of the Week, 



1772] TO SIR ALEXANDER DICK 347 

and to find her, and you, and all yours well and happy. 
My Love to them all. They tell me Dinner is coming in, 
and I have yet said nothing to Dolly ; but must nevertheless 
conclude, my dear Friend, yours ever most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I am very happy here in the pleasant Family of 
Mr. Bache's Mother and Sister. Dear Dolly, I love you 
more than you can imagine, Yours most sincerely, 

B. F. 



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

London, Jan. n. 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

My last Expedition convinced me that I grow too old for 
Rambling, and that 'twas probable I should never make such 
another Journey. 'Tis an uncomfortable Thing, the Part- 
ing with Friends one hardly expects ever again to see. This, 
with some occasional Hindrances, prevented my calling at 
Preston Field after my Return from Glasgow: But my 
Heart was with you and your dear Family, and my best 
Wishes attended you all. Sir John Pringle rejoic'd with me 
on the Account I gave him of the Recovery of your Health, 
which I pray God may long continue. Pray present my 
respectful Compliments to Lady Dick, & to Miss Dick. 
Many happy New Years to you & all yours. I am, with the 
sincerest Esteem, Dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately 
B. FRANKLIN 



348 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 



567. TO MRS. JANE MECOM 1 

London, January 13, 1772. 

MY DEAR SISTER, 

I received your kind letters of September i2th and Novem- 
ber gth. I have now been some weeks returned from my 
journey through Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and the North 
of England, which, besides being an agreeable tour with a 
pleasant companion, has contributed to the establishment 
of my health; and this is the first ship I have heard of, 
by which I could write to you. 

I thank you for the receipts; they are as full and par- 
ticular as one could wish; but they can easily be practised 
only in America, no bayberry wax, nor any Brasiletto, being 
here to be had, at least to my knowledge. I am glad, how- 
ever, that those useful arts, which have so long been in our 
family, are now put down in writing. Some future branch 
may be the better for it. 

It gives me pleasure, that those little things sent by Jona- 
than proved agreeable to you. I write now to cousin Will- 
iams to press the payment of the bond. There has been for- 
bearance enough on my part ; seven years or more, without 
receiving any principal or interest. It seems as if the debtor 
was like a whimsical man in Pennsylvania, of whom it was 
said that, it being against his principle to pay interest, and 
against his interest to pay the principal, he paid neither one 
nor the other. 

I doubt you have taken too old a pair of glasses, being 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of 
Benjamin Franklin" (Sparks), Boston, 1833, p. 145. ED. 



1772] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 349 

tempted by their magnifying greatly. But people in choosing 
should only aim at remedying the defect. The glasses that 
enable them to see as well, at the same distance they used to 
hold their book or work, while their eyes were good, are those 
they should choose; not such as make them see better, for 
such contribute to hasten the time when still older glasses 
will become necessary. 

All, who have seen my grandson, agree with you in their 
accounts of his being an uncommonly fine boy, which brings 
often afresh to my mind the idea of my son Franky, 1 though 
now dead thirty-six years, whom I have seldom since seen 
equalled in every thing, and whom to this day I cannot think 
of without a sigh. Mr. Bache is here; I found him at 
Preston, in Lancashire, with his mother and sisters, very 
agreeable people, and I brought him to London with me. 
I very much like his behaviour. He returns in the next 
ship to Philadelphia. The gentleman, who brought your 
last letter, Mr. Fox, stayed but a few minutes with me, and 
has not since called, as I desired him to do. 

I shall endeavour to get the arms you desire for cousin 
Coffin. Having many letters to write, I can now only add my 
love to cousin Jenny, and that I am, as ever, your affectionate 

brother ' B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Sally Franklin presents her duty. Mrs. Stevenson 
desires to be affectionately remembered. No arms of the 
Folgers are to be found in the Herald's Office. I am per- 
suaded it was originally a Flemish family, which came over 
with many others from that country in Queen Elizabeth's 
time, flying from the persecution then raging there. 

1 His son, Francis Folger, who died when four years of age. S. 



350 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 



568. TO THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPOND- 
ENCE IN MASSACHUSETTS 1 

London, January 13, 1772. 

GENTLEMEN, 

On my return from a late tour through Ireland and Scot- 
land, for the establishment of my health, I found your re- 
spected letter of June 25th, with the papers therein referred 
to, relating to the townships settled eastward of Penobscot 
River. I immediately waited on Mr. Bollan to consult 
with him, agreeably to your instructions, who informed me, 
that, in my absence, he had by himself thoroughly considered 
the same, having formerly had occasion to be acquainted 
with the whole affair, and he suggested to his constituents, 
the Council, a plan of accommodation to be proposed to 
government here, if they should approve of it; and that he 
hoped by the meeting of Parliament (before which, little 
public business is done here, so many of the Lords of the 
Council being out of town,) he might have their answer; 
and it would otherwise be to little purpose to attempt any 
thing sooner. I make no doubt but the proposal has been 
communicated to the House of Representatives, if they have 
since had a meeting, and that we may soon receive their 
further instructions thereon. 

The town now begins to fill with members of Parliament, 
and great officers of state coming in daily to celebrate the 
Queen's birthday, and be present at the opening of the ses- 
sion, which is fixed for next Tuesday. It is given out, that 
nothing relating to America is likely to be agitated this ses- 

1 First published by Sparks. 



1772] TO COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE 351 

sion; that is, there is no purpose either to abrogate the old 
duties or lay new ones. For the first, I am sorry, believing 
as I do, that no harmony can be restored between the two 
countries, while these duties are continued. This, with the 
other aggrievances mentioned in your letters of June 29th, 
and July i3th, your agents will constantly attend to, and take 
every step possible in their present situation, unacknowledged 
as they are here, to obtain the redress, that is so justly your 
due, and which it would be so prudent in government here 
to grant. 

In yours of July Qth it is mentioned, that the House desire 
I would annually send an account of the expense I am at, 
in carrying on the affairs of the province. Having business 
to do for several colonies, almost every time I go to the public 
offices, and to the ministers, I have found it troublesome to 
keep an account of small expenses, such as coach and chair 
hire, stationery, &c., and difficult to divide them justly. 
Therefore I have some time since omitted keeping any ac- 
count, or making any charge of them, but content myself 
with such salaries, grants, and allowances, as have been made 
me. Where considerable sums have been disbursed, as in 
fees to counsel, payment of solicitors' bills, and the like, 
those I charge. But as yet I have made no such disburse- 
ments on the account of your province. Please to present 
my duty to the House of Representatives, and believe me to 
be, with great esteem and respect, Gentlemen, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



352 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 



569. FROM SAMUEL COOPER TO B. FRANKLIN 

(B.M.) 

Boston, July 10, 1771. 
DEAR SIR, 

I should sooner have acknowledged the receipt of your Favours of 
Decem r 30 and Feb'ry 5 had not the state of my health called me out 
of Town and obliged me to be sparing in writing. My thanks are due to 
you for writing to me with so much freedom, and I endeavour to make the 
best use of what you communicate to me. Your interposition in favor of the 
charter was kind, and must endear you to every true friend of the province. 
But what shall we say of those, who were capable of forming or promoting 
such a design? Can we suppose them possessed of such ideas and principles, 
as entitle them to influence the councils of a great nation? 

I could not but regard with a revengeful pleasure the figure, which the 
Secretary made in his conversation with my friend. He must have been 
uneasy, not only from an apprehension of losing his place, but from feeling 
also his own littleness ; and his self-sufficiency, for a moment at least, must 
have been suspended amidst all the pomp and parade of his office. His 
measures respecting this province exactly answer the picture you have given 
of him ; and, while we have in the American department a man, of a size 
and temper to be a tool of Sir Francis, 1 his Majesty's service here will be 
perpetually embarrassed. 

The project, for making governors independent for their salaries upon the 
grants of the people they govern, gives great uneasiness to the most considerate 
friends of the constitution. The reasons you mention against it are I think 
unanswerable. It was taken for granted, when the charter was received here, 
that the governor was to be supported by the free gift of the province, and 
this was doubtless one reason for acquiescing in a compact, that gave so great 
a power and influence to the crown ; and, accordingly, this has been the 
manner in which the representatives of the crown have constantly been sup- 
ported. It is a strong connexion between the ruler and the people, tending 
in every view to promote the great end of government, and the want of which 
no expedient can supply. The civil list is the free grant of a British Parlia- 
ment, and is augmented from time to time at their pleasure, but the American 
revenue is not the gift of the American Assemblies ; it is extorted from them 
by mere power, contrary to their just remonstrances and humble petitions. 
And, though the Assembly may make a grant to a good governor, at the close 
of his administration, yet it is in the power of the crown to cut off from the 
people this very small resource of influence, by obliging its representative not 

1 Sir Francis Bernard. ED. 



. 



1772] FROM SAMUEL COOPER TO B. FRANKLIN 353 

to accept such a grant, while, by its absolute appointment of him, it is absolute 
master of his conduct ; nor can there be any pretence for this threatening 
innovation from the conduct of our provincial Assembly upon this point. For 
even, in the highest political contest with Sir Francis Bernard, so sensible 
were the House of the importance of supporting the King's governor, while 
he remained in office, that they never once proposed to diminish or delay, 
much less to deny, his salary ; and surely it is to be hoped, that the Assembly 
will never meet with a stronger provocation to such a measure, than they did 
in him. 

I cannot forbear to add, though writing to one who has a much more 
thorough comprehension of the subject than myself, that this proposed, and, 
I am afraid, determined independence, is impolitic on the part of the crown, 
and tends to prejudice its interest, even considered separately from that of the 
people ; as it will prove a strong temptation to governors to hold a conduct, 
that will greatly lessen their esteem and influence in the province, and con- 
sequently their power to promote the service of the King. Caution and 
watchfulness in governors, and some regard to the interest, and even the 
inclinations and humours, of the people, must, I think, be a security to the 
prerogative ; but independence will take off this guard, and lead them to be 
inattentive to, if not directly to encourage and promote, such things as will 
still further weaken the political connexion between the parent country and 
the colonies ; so that, the ministry, upon I hope cool consideration, may be 
induced to lay aside this measure, as they wish the continuance of the con- 
stitutional powers of the crown, and that it may long retain the peaceful and 
happy government of America. 

I doubt not of your exerting your abilities and influence for so good a pur- 
pose ; and, should you succeed, you will do a most important and obliging 
service to the province. But what are we to expect, when the means of self- 
defence upon such great points are to be taken from us, and no public moneys 
are allowed for the support of an agent, unless he be under the controul of 
the chair? 

You will no doubt be particularly informed of a new point, that has 
alarmed us as much as any thing, and is regarded almost universally as an 
undisguised violation of a fundamental principle of the charter. I mean 
the governor's refusing to sign the supply bill, because the Commissioners 1 
were not exempted by it from taxes. The crown grants by charter, that the 
General Assembly shall have full power and authority to impose rates and 
taxes upon all and every the proprietors and inhabitants of the province. No 
persons, however related to the crown, are excepted. The King now says, by 
his instructions, no supply bill shall be passed, unless the Commissioners are 
exempted. Is not this to claim a right to rescind by instruction what was 

1 Commissioners appointed by the government to collect the customs in 
America. S. 

VOL. V 2 A 



354 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

solemnly ceded by charter and compact? The governor may indeed refuse 
his assent to a supply bill ; but can he do it upon a declared principle sub- 
versive of the capital privileges of the charter, and only because they exercise 
the power and authority granted them in it? If the crown can exempt five 
persons, it may with equal right five hundred ; not only the Commissioners, 
but all judges, justices, clerks of courts, constables, and all friends to govern- 
ment, as men of slavish principles affect to be called, and leave the whole 
burden of taxes upon those, who wish well to the rights of their country. 

In this manner people reason here. But " out of the eater cometh forth 
meat." Good may arise from this. It is bold and open, and strikes every 
size of men. It is not a point confined to trade ; it regards in itself, and 
much more in its tendency, the pocket of the farmer, and the farmer will 
regard his pocket. It shows the disposition of the Commissioners, who, for 
such a trifle, as the tax they pay, and which perhaps affects their pride much 
more than their purse, have started a new and important subject of conten- 
tion ; and how fit they are for that influence in governmental measures, which 
they have so long and so mysteriously possessed. 

I long to see your treatise, showing that every lady of Genoa is not Queen 
of Corsica. I doubt not you will be able to prove your point. But though I 
believe you capable of confuting a whole island of queens, I fear whether you 
could persuade them silently to renounce their crowns and sceptres. I am, 
Sir, with the greatest esteem, and Attachment 

Your obedient, etc. 

SAMUEL COOPER. 



570. TO SAMUEL COOPER (A. p. s.) (B. M.) 

London, Jan. 13. 1772 

DEAR SIR, 

I have now before me your several favours of July 10. 
Aug. 23. and Nov. 5. A long Journey I took in the Summer 
and Autumn, for the Establishment of my Health, prevented 
my answering sooner the two first. I hope the State of your 
Health is also mended by your Retirement into the Country, 
as mine has sensibly been by that Journey. 

You have furnished me with a very good additional Argu- 
ment against the Crown's paying its Governors, viz. "that 



1772] TO SAMUEL COOPER 355 

this propos'd Independence is impolitic on the part of the 
Crown, and tends to prejudice its Interest, even considered 
separately from that of the People, as it will prove a strong 
temptation to Governors to hold a Conduct that will greatly 
lessen their Esteem and Influence in the Province, and conse- 
quently their Power to promote the Service of the King." 
Indeed the making it a Rule among ourselves that the Gov- 
ernor is to have his Salary from our Assemblies, tho j his 
publick Conduct should be wilfully and maliciously preju- 
dicial to the Province, has the same Tendency; of which the 
Conduct of Governor Barnard, while he was constantly 
and regularly paid [by] us, is a considerable Proof. And 
therefore in my Opinion, if we would have our Power of 
granting the Support operate with any Weight in maintaining 
an Influence with the Governor, it should have been withheld 
from him, & we should withold it in Part or in the Whole 
according to Circumstances, as often as such a Conduct 
appears in any Governor. Otherwise the Power, if in such 
Cases it is not to be used, would seem of very little Impor- 
tance. And since the Assembly have of late Years, and under 
such great Provocations, never attempted to abridge or with- 
hold the Salary, no Reason appears why the Am? Minister, 
should now think it necessary or adviseable for the Crown 
to take the Payment of its Governor upon itself, unless it be 
with an Intention to Influence him, by witholding it when 
he declines executing arbitrary Instructions ; and then in 
such Cases the People should be sure to compensate him. 
As to procuring here any Change of this Measure, I frankly 
own that I despair of it, while the Administration of American 
Affairs continues in the hands of Lord H. 1 and while by our 

1 Lord Hillsborough. ED. 



356 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Paying the Duties there is a sufficient American Fund out 
of which such Salaries can be satisfied. The Failure of that 
Fund, would be the most likely means of demolishing the 
Project. 

The Attempt to get the Commissioners exempted from the 
Payment of their Taxes, by an Instruction to the Governor, 
is the most indiscrete Thing, surely, to say nothing of its 
Injustice, that any prudent Government was ever guilty 
of. I cannot think it will be persisted in. I hope it will 
never be comply'd with. If the Supply Bill is duly offered 
without the Clause, I am persuaded it will not long be re- 
fused. The Publick must however suffer in the mean time 
by the want of the Supply ; but that will be a good Foundation 
for an Impeachment here. Your Reasonings against the 
Instruction are unanswerable, [and shall appear here just 
before the meeting of Parliament. 1 ] 

I am glad that Commodore Gambier 2 behav'd in so satis- 
factory a Manner. His Uncle Mr. Mead, first Commissioner 
of the Customs, is a particular and intimate Friend of mine, 
a Man of great Moderation and Prudence; I knew that 
he gave his Nephew, before he went hence, a great deal 
of good Advice with regard to his Conduct among the 
People of Boston, for whom he has a great Esteem and 
Regard, having formerly commanded a Frigate stationed 
there; and he is happy to find by your Letter (which I 
communicated to him) that his Advice was so well followed. 
He gave also equally good Advice to your indiscrete Com- 



1 In the British Museum copy this clause reads : " & will be of use in the 
discussing that business." ED. 

2 James Gambier (1723-1789), commander-in-chief on the North American 
station (1770-1773). ED. 



1772] TO SAMUEL COOPER 357 

missioners when they were sent out, but they had not Sense 
enough to follow it, and therefore have been the Authors of 
infinite Mischief. I wonder at the Invention of so improbable 
a Lye, as that I should desire a Place among them, who am 
daily urging the Expediency of their Dissolution. The other 
Calumny you mention, contain'd in an anonymous Letter to 
the Speaker is so weak, that I believe you do not think that 
I ought to take any notice of it. 1 

As to the Agency, whether I am re-chosen or not, and 
whether the Gen. Assembly is ever permitted to pay me or 
not, I shall nevertheless continue to exert myself in behalf 
of my Country, as long, as I see a [Probability] 2 of my being 
able to do it any Service. I have nothing to ask or expect of 
Ministers. I have, thanks to God, a Competency, [for the 
little Time I may expect to live,] 3 and am grown too old for 
Ambition of every other kind but that of leaving a good Name 
behind me. 

Your Story of the Clergyman and Proclamation is a Pleas- 
ant one. I can only match it with one I had from my Father, 
I know not if it was ever printed. Charles the First ordered 
his Proclamation authorizing Sports on a Sunday to be read 
in all Churches. Many Clergymen comply'd, some refus'd, 
and others hurry'd it thro' as indistinctly as possible. But 
one, whose Congregation expected no such thing from him, 
did nevertheless to their great Surprize, read it distinctly. 

1 Dr. Cooper had written : " Speaker Gushing shewed me this morning 
an anonymous letter, directed to him as from London in a feigned hand, repre- 
senting you as a tool of Lord H. Whether it originated on this or your side of 
the water is uncertain. It will make no impression to your disadvantage, but 
rather confirm the opinion of your importance, while it shows the baseness 
of its author." August 23^, 1771. The original letter is in the British 
Museum. ED. 

2 Probability (B. M.) Possibility (A. P. S.). ED. B. M. ED. 



358 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

He follow'd it however with the Fourth Commandment, 
Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day, and then said, 
"Bretheren, I have laid before you the Command of your 
King, and the Commandment of your God. I leave it to 
yourselves to judge which of the two ought rather to be ob- 
served." With great and sincere esteem, I remain, dear Sir, 
Your most obedient and most humble servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



571. TO JAMES BOWDOIN (A. P. s.) 

London, Jan. 13. 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

I should very readily have recommended your Son to the 
Care of my Friend Dr. Priestly if he had continued to super- 
intend the Academy at Warrington: But he has left that 
Charge some time since, and is now Pastor of a Congrega- 
tion at Leeds in Yorkshire. I am much obliged to you for 
introducing me to the Acquaintance of Mr. Erving, 1 who 
appears a very intelligent, sensible Man. 

The Governing of Colonies by Instructions has long been 
a favourite Point with Ministers here. About 30 Years since, 
in a Bill brought into Parliament relating to America, they 
inserted a Clause to make the King's Instructions Laws in 
the Colonies, which being opposed by the then Agents, was 
thrown out. And I well remember a Conversation with Lord 
Granville soon after my Arrival here, in which he expressed 
himself on that Subject in the following Terms; "Your 
American Assemblies slight the King's Instructions, pretend- 
ing that they are not Laws. The Instructions, sent over to 

1 Ewing? ED. 



1772] TO JAMES BOWDOIN 359 

your Governors, are not like the Pocket Instructions given 
to Embassadors, to be observ'd at their Discretion as Circum- 
stances may require. They are drawn up by grave Men 
learned in the Laws and Constitutions of the Realm; they 
are brought into Council, thoroughly weigh'd, well considered, 
and amended if necessary by the Wisdom of that Body; 
and when receiv'd by the Governors, are the Law of the Land ; 
for the King is the Legislator o) the Colonies" 

I remember this the better, because being new Doctrine 
to me, I put it down as soon as I return'd to my Lodging. 
To be sure if a Governor thinks himself oblig'd to obey all 
Instructions, whether consistent or inconsistent with the Con- 
stitution, Laws and Rights of the Country he governs, and can 
proceed to govern in that Train, there is an End of the Con- 
stitution, and those Rights are abolish'd. But I wonder, 
that any honest Gentleman can think there is Honour in being 
a Governor on such Terms. And I think the Practice cannot 
possibly continue, especially if opposed with Spirit by our 
Assemblies. At present no Attention is paid by the American 
Minister to any Agent here whose Appointment is not rati- 
fied by the Governor's Assent; and if this is persisted in, 
you can have none to serve you in publick Character that do 
not render themselves agreable to these Ministers; those 
otherwise appointed can only promote your Interests by 
Conversation as private Gentlemen or by Writing. 

Virginia had, as you observe, two Agents, one for the Coun- 
cil, the other for the Assembly ; but I think the latter only was 
considered as Agent for the Province. He was appoint'd 
by an Act, which expired in the time of Lord Botetourt, and 
was not revived. The other I apprehend continues, but I 
am not well acquainted with the Nature of his Appointment. 



360 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

I only understand that he does not concern himself much 
with the general Affairs of the Colony. 

It gives me great Pleasure that my Book afforded any to 
my Friends. I esteem those Letters of yours among its 
brightest Ornaments; and have the Satisfaction to find, 
that they add greatly to the Reputation of American Phi- 
losophy. 

There is in the Governor's Collection of Papers relative 
to the History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, published 
1769, a Copy of an Answer made by Randolph to several 
Heads oj Enquiry, which I take to be the same with those I 
sent you. 1 I shall be very glad to have an Account of the 



1 Dr. Franklin had sent to Mr. Bowdoin a set of Queries, respecting the 
state of affairs in New England, which were given to Edward Randolph by 
the ministry, when he was about to visit Massachusetts in 1676. Randolph 
returned answers to them the same year. The Queries and Answers are con- 
tained in Hutchinson's " Collection of Papers," p. 477. Accompanying the 
Queries, Randolph received an estimate, which is said to have been drawn 
from the best sources of information. A copy of this Estimate was obtained 
by Dr. Franklin, and sent to Mr. Bowdoin. It is curious as a historical docu- 
ment, and has the merit of brevity. Its date is fifty-six years after the first 
settlement of Plymouth. 

"There are in New England about 120,000 souls ; 13,000 families ; 16,000 
that can bear arms ; 12 ships of between 100 and 220 tons ; 190, of between 
20 and loo tons ; 440 fisherboats of about 6 tons each. 

"There are 5 iron works, which cast no guns ; 15 merchants, worth about 
^5000, one with another ; 500 persons, worth ^3000 each. No house in 
New England hath above 20 rooms ; not 20 in Boston, which have above 10 
rooms each. About 1500 families in Boston. The worst cottages in New 
England are lofted. No beggars ; not 3 put to death for theft. 

"About 35 rivers and harbours. About 23 islands and fishing-places. 
The three provinces of Boston, Maine, and Hampshire are three fourths of 
the whole in wealth and strength ; the other four provinces of Plymouth, 
Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Kennebec being but one quarter of the 
whole in effect. Not above three of their military men have ever been 
actual soldiers, but many are such soldiers as the artillerymen at London. 
Amongst their magistrates, Leverett, the governor, Major Dennison, Major 






1772] TO DR. JOSHUA BABCOCK 361 

present Number of rateables, when you can obtain it for 
me. 

In Ireland among the Patriots I din'd with Dr. Lucas. 1 
They are all Friends of America, in which I said every thing 
I could think of to confirm them. Lucas gave Mr. Bowdoin 
of Boston for his Toast. My best respects to Mrs. Bowdoin. 
With sincere and great Esteem, I am, dear Sir, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



572. TO DR. JOSHUA BABCOCK (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 13. 1772 

DEAR SIR, 

It was with great Pleasure I learnt by Mr. Marchant, 
that you & Mrs. Babcock and all your good Family continue 
well & happy. I hope I shall find you all in the same State 
when I next come your Way, and take Shelter as often here- 
tofore under your hospitable Roof. The Colonel, I am told, 
continues an active and able Farmer, the most honourable 
of all Employments, in my opinion, as being the most useful 
in itself, and rend'ring the Man most independent. My 
Namesake, his Son, will soon I hope be able to drive the 
Plough for him. 

Clarke, and Mr. Broadstreet are the most popular. And amongst their 
ministers, Mr. Thatcher, Mr. Oxenbridge, and Mr. Higginson. 

" There are no musicians by trade. One dancing school was set up, but 
put down. A fencing school is allowed. All cordage, sailcloth, and nets 
come from England. No cloth made there worth above 4*. a yard ; nor 
linen worth above 2s. 6</. No allum, nor copperas, nor salt by the sun. 

" They take an oath of fidelity to the governor, but none to the King. 
The governor is chosen by every freeman. A freeman must be orthodox, 
above twenty years of age, and worth about ^200." S. 

1 Dr. Charles Lucas (1713-1771), Irish patriot. ED. 



362 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1772 

I have lately made a Tour thro' Ireland and Scotland. 
In those Countries a small Part of the Society are Landlords, 
great Noblemen, and Gentlemen, extreamly opulent, living 
in the highest Affluence and Magnificence : The Bulk of the 
People Tenants, extreamly poor, living in the most sordid 
Wretchedness, in dirty Hovels of Mud and Straw, and cloathed 
only in Rags. 

I thought often of the Happiness of New England, where 
every Man is a Freeholder, has a Vote in publick Affairs, 
lives in a tidy, warm House, has plenty of good Food and 
Fewel, with whole cloaths from Head to Foot, the Manu- 
facture perhaps of his own Family. Long may they continue 
in this Situation ! But if they should ever envy the Trade 
of these Countries, I can put them in a Way to obtain a Share 
of it. Let them with three fourths of the People of Ireland 
live the Year round on Potatoes and Buttermilk, without 
Shirts, then may their Merchants export Beef, Butter, and 
Linnen. Let them, with the Generality of the Common 
People of Scotland, go Barefoot, then may they make large 
Exports in Shoes and Stockings : And if they will be content 
to wear Rags, like the Spinners and Weavers of England, 
they may make Cloths and Stuffs for all Parts of the World. 

Farther, if my Countrymen should ever wish for the honour 
of having among them a gentry enormously wealthy, let them 
sell their Farms & pay rack'd Rents ; the Scale of the Land- 
lords will rise as that of the Tenants is depressed, who will 
soon become poor, tattered, dirty, and abject in Spirit. Had 
I never been in the American Colonies, but was to form my 
Judgment of Civil Society by what I have lately seen, I should 
never advise a Nation of Savages to admit of Civilization: 
For I assure you, that, in the Possession & Enjoyment of the 



1772] TO THOMAS GUSHING 363 

various Comforts of Life, compar'd to these People every 
Indian is a Gentleman : And the Effect of this kind of Civil 
Society seems only to be, the depressing Multitudes below 
the Savage State that a few may be rais'd above it. My 
best Wishes attend you and yours, being ever, with great 
Esteem, Dear Sir, etc. B. [FRANKLIN.] 



573. TO THOMAS GUSHING * (P. R. o.) 

(A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 13, 1772. 

SIR, 

I am now return'd again to London from a Journey of 
some Months in Ireland and Scotland. Tho' my Constitu- 
tion, and too great Confinement to Business during the 
Winter, seem to require the Air and Exercise of a long Journey 
once a Year, which I have now practised for more than 20 
Years past, yet I should not have been out so long this Time, 
but that I was well assured the Parliament would not meet 
till towards the End of January, before which Meeting few 
of the principal People would be in Town, and no Business 
of importance likely to be agitated relating to America. 

I have now before me your esteemed Favours of June 24. 
July 9, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. In the first you mention, that 
the General Assembly was still held out of its antient and only 
convenient Seat, the Townhouse in Boston, and by the latest 
Papers from thence I see, that it was prorogued again to meet 
in Cambridge, w c * I a little wonder at, when I recollect a 

1 The original of this letter is in London (P. R. O. A. W. I. 684). It is 
endorsed " very remarkable and requires no commentary." It also exists in 
an incomplete draft in A. P. S. Sparks printed from the draft. ED. 



364 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Question ask'd me by my Lord H. in Ireland, viz. Whether 
I had heard from New England lately, since the Gen. Court 
was return'd to Boston? From this I concluded, Orders 
had been transmitted by his Lordship for that removal. 
Perhaps such may have been sent, to be used discretionally. 
I think I have before mentioned to you one of the Articles 
of Impeachment brought against a bad Minister of a former 
King; "That to work his Ends he had caused the Parlia- 
ment to sit in Villibus et remotis partibus Regni, where few 
People, propter dejectum hospitii et victualium, could attend, 
thereby to force illos paucos, qui remanebunt de communi- 
tate regni, concedere regi quamvis pessima," Lord Clarendon, 
too, was impeach'd for endeavouring to introduce arbitrary 
Government into the Colonies. 

Lord H. 1 seems, by the late Instructions, to have been 
treading in the Paths, that lead to the same unhappy Situa- 
tion, if the Parliament here should ever again feel for the 
Colonies. Being in Dublin, at the same Time with his Lord- 
ship, I met with him accidentally at the Lord Lieutenant's, 
who had happened to invite us to dine with a large Company 
on the same Day. As there is something curious in our 
Interview in Ireland I must give you an Account of it. He 
was surprizingly civil, and urg'd my fellow Traveller and me 
to call at his House in our intended Journey Northwards 
where we might be sure of better Accommodations than the 
Inns would afford us. He pressed us so politely, that it was 
not easy to refuse, without apparent Rudeness, as we must 
pass through his town, Hillsborough, and by his Door ; and 
therefore, as it might afford an Opportunity of saying some- 
thing on American Affairs, I concluded to comply with his 
Invitation. 

1 Hillsborough. ED. 






1772] TO THOMAS CUSHING 365 

His Lord p went home some time before we left Dublin. 
We call'd upon him, and were detain'd at his House four 
Days, during which time he entertain'd us with great Civility, 
and a particular Attention to me that appear'd the more 
extraordinary, as I knew that just before I left London he had 
express'd himself concerning me in very angry Terms, calling 
me a Republican, a factious, mischievous Fellow, and the like. 

In our Conversations he first show'd himself a good Irish- 
man, blaming England for its Narrowness towards that Coun- 
try in restraining its Commerce, discouraging its Woollen 
Manufacture, etc. And when I apply 'd his Observations 
to America, he said he had always been of Opinion, that the 
Subjects in every Part of the King's Dominions had a natural 
Right to make the best Use they could of the Productions of 
their Country, and that America ought not to be restrain'd 
in manufacturing any thing she could manufacture to Advan- 
tage ; that he suppos'd, that, at present, she found generally 
more Profit in Agriculture ; but, whenever she found that less 
profitable, or a particular Manufacture more so, he had no 
Objection to her persuing it ; and he censur'd Lord Chatham 
for affecting in his Speech, that the Parliament had a Right 
or ought to restrain Manufactures in the Colonies; adding, 
that, as he knew the English were apt to be jealous on that 
head, he avoided every thing that might enflame that Jealousy ; 
and, therefore, tho' the Commons had requested the Crown 
to order the Governors to send over annually Accounts of such 
Manufactures, as were undertaken in the Colonies, yet, as 
they had not ordered such Accounts to be annually laid be- 
fore them, he should never produce them till they were calPd 
for. 

Then he gave me to understand, that the Bounty on Silk 



366 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

raised in America was a Child of his, and he hoped would 
prove of great Advantage to that Country ; and that he wish'd 
to know in what manner a Bounty on raising Wine there 
might be contrived, so as to operate effectually for that Pur- 
pose, desiring me to turn it in my Thoughts, as he should be 
glad of my Opinion and Advice. Then he inform' d me, that 
Newfoundland was grown too populous to be left any longer 
without a regular Government, but there were great Difficul- 
ties in the forming such a kind of Government as would be 
suitable to the particular Circumstances of that Country, 
which he wish'd me likewise to consider, and that I would 
favour him with my Sentiments. 

He seem'd attentive to every thing, that might make my 
Stay in his House agreeable to me, and put his eldest Son 
Lord Kilwarling into his Phaeton with me, to drive me a 
Round of Forty Miles, that I might see the Country, the Seats, 
Manufactures, etc. covering me with his own GreatCoat, lest 
I should take Cold. And in short, seem'd in every-Thing 
extreamly solicitous to impress me, and the Colonies thro' 
me, with a good Opinion of him : All which I could not but 
wonder at, knowing that he likes neither them nor me ; and 
I thought it inexplicable but on the Supposition, that he ap- 
prehended an approaching Storm, and was desirous of lessen- 
ing beforehand the Number of Enemies he had so impru- 
dently created. But, if he takes no Step towards withdrawing 
the Troops, repealing the Duties, restoring the Castle, or 
recalling the offensive Instructions, I shall think all the 
plausible Behaviour I have describ'd is meant only, by patting 
and streaking the Horse, to make him more patient, while 
the Reins are drawn tighter, and the Spurs set deeper into his 
Sides. 



1772] TO THOMAS GUSHING 367 

Before leaving Ireland I must mention, that, being desirous 
of seeing the principal Patriots there, I staid till the Opening 
of their Parliament. I found them dispos'd to be friends of 
America, in which I endeavoured to confirm them, with the 
Expectation that our growing Weight might in time be thrown 
into their Scale, and, by joining our Interest with theirs 
might be obtained for them as well as for us, a more equitable 
Treatment from this Nation. There are many brave Spirits 
among them. The Gentry are a very sensible, polite, 
friendly and handsome People. Their Parliament makes a 
most respectable Figure, with a number of very good Speakers 
in both Parties, and able Men of Business. And I must not 
omit acquainting you, that, it being a standing Rule to admit 
Members of the English Parliament to sit (tho* they do not 
vote) in the House among the Members, while others are 
only admitted into the Gallery, my Fellow Traveller, being 
an English Member, was accordingly admitted as such. But 
I supposed I must go to the Gallery, when the Speaker stood 
up, and acquainted the House, that he understood there was 
in Town an American Gentleman of (as he was pleas' d to say) 
distinguish'd Character and Merit, a Member or Delegate of 
some of the Parliaments of that Country, who was desirous 
of being present at the Debates of this House ; that there was 
a Rule of the House for admitting Members of English Par- 
liaments, and that he did suppose the House would consider 
the American Assemblies as English Parliaments; but, as 
this was the first Instance, he had chosen not to give any 
Order in it without receiving their Directions. On the Ques- 
tion, the whole House gave a loud, unanimous Aye; when 
two Members came to me without the Bar where I was 
standing, led me in, and placed me very honourably. This 



368 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

I am the more particular in to you, as I esteemed it a mark 
of respect for our Country, and a piece of politeness in which 
I hope our Parliament will not fall behind theirs, whenever 
an occasion shall offer. Ireland is itself a poor Country, 
and Dublin a magnificent City ; but the appearances of gen- 
eral extreme poverty among the lower people are amazing. 
They live in wretched hovels of mud and straw, are clothed 
in rags, and subsist chiefly on potatoes. Our New England 
farmers, of the poorest sort, in regard to the Enjoyment of 
all the comforts of life, are princes when compared to them. 
Such is the effect of the discouragements of industry, the non- 
residence not only of pensioners, but of many original land- 
lords, who lease their lands in gross to undertakers that rack 
the tenants and fleece them skin and all to make estates to 
themselves, while the first rents, as well as most of the pen- 
sions, are spent out of the country. An English gentleman 
there said to me, that by what he had heard of the good 
grazing in North America, and by what he saw of the plenty 
of flaxseed imported in Ireland from thence, he could not 
understand why we did not rival Ireland in the beef and 
butter trade to the West Indies, and share with it in its linen 
trade. But he was satisfied when I told him that I supposed 
the reason might be, our people eat bee) and butter every day, 
and wear shirts themselves. 

In short, the chief exports of Ireland seem to be pinched 
off the backs and out of the bellies of the miserable inhabit- 
ants. But schemes are now under consideration among the 
humane gentry to provide some means of mending if possible 
their present wretched condition. 

I am much obliged by the very particular account you have 
favoured me with of the general sentiments of people in our 



1772] TO THOMAS CUSHING 369 

province on the present state of Affairs between the two 
countries. They are for the most part the same with my 
own. 

I think the Revenue Act should be repealed, as not consti- 
tutionally founded; that the commission of the customs 
should be dissolved; that the troops (foreigners to us as 
much as Hanoverians would be in England, since they are 
not introduced with the consent of our Legislature) ought to 
be withdrawn, and the Castle restored to its rightful owners, 
the government of the province that built it; and that the 
General Court should be returned to its ancient seat, and the 
Governor's salary put upon its ancient footing. But it is 
also my opinion that, while the present American Minister 
continues, there is very little likelihood that any change will 
be made in any of those particulars, that of returning the 
Court perhaps excepted. And yet I am also of opinion that 
no farther duties are intended, and that although the Ameri- 
can Minister might wish to increase that fund for corruption, 
the other Ministers are not disposed to humour him in it, 
and would not consent to it. I may be deceived in this 
opinion, but I have grounds for it. However, I think we 
should be as much on our guard, and use the same defensive 
measures and endeavours as if we saw new duties intended 
in the ensuing session. And nothing can more effectually 
discourage new duties than the diminution of the revenue 
produced by duties; a resolute steady refusal to consume 
the dutiable commodities. 

In compliance with your respected recommendation I 
introduced Mr. Story to a Secretary of the Treasury, who 
forwarded his memorial ; and he tells me he has obtained his 
request relating to the affair of Mr. Wheelwright's debt. He 

VOL. V 2 B 



370 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

now seems to wish for some appointment in consideration of 
his sufferings from the mob. But I doubt whether it may 
be worth his while to attend here the solicitation and ex- 
pectation of such a reward, those attendances being often 
drawn out to an inconceivable length, and the expense, of 
course, enormous. 

With the greatest esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, 
your most obedient and most humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



574. TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 13, 1772 

DEAR COUSIN, 

I received your kind Letter of Nov 8. and rejoice to hear 
of the continued Welfare of you & your good Wife & four 
Daughters: I hope they will all get good Husbands. I 
dare say they will be educated so as to deserve them. 

I knew a wise old Man, who us'd to advise his young 
Friends to chuse Wives out of a Bunch ; for where there were 
many Daughters, he said they improv'd each other, and from 
Emulation acquired more Accomplishments, knew more, 
could do more, & were not spoil' d by parental Fondness like 
single Children. Yours have my best Wishes, and Blessing, 
if that can be of any Value. 

I receiv'd a very polite Letter from Mr. Bowen relating to 
the Print. Please to present him my respectful Compliments. 
I am just returned from as long a Journey as a Man can well 
make in these Islands, thro' Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and 
the Northern Parts of England ; and I find my Health much 
improv'd by it. I shall soon take some good Opportunity 



1772] TO EZRA STILES 371 

of letting you see one of the Books that were collected by 
your good Grandfather. Sally Franklin presents her Duty 
to you & Mrs. Franklin, and Love to her Kinswomen. I 
am, Dear Kinsman, 

Yours very affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN. 



575. TO EZRA STILES 1 (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 13. 1772 



DEAR SIR, 

There is lately published in Paris a Work intitled Zend- 
Avesta, Outrage de Zoroastre, contenant les I dees Theolo- 
giques, Physiques, et Morales, de ce Legislateur; les Ceremonies 
du Culte Religieux qu'il a etabli, et plusieurs Traits importans 
relatijs a PAneienne Histoire des Perses. Traduit en Fran- 
$ois sur V Original Zend, avec des Remarques; et accom- 
pagne de plusieurs Traites propres a eclaircir les Matieres 
qui en sont V Ob jet. Par M. Anquetil du Perron, de PAcademie 
Royale des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres, et Interprets du 
Roy pour les Langues Orientates. It is in two Volumes 4to. 
Near half the Work is an Account of the author's Travels in 
India, and his Residence among the Parses during several 
Years to learn their Languages. 

I have cast my Eye over the Religious Part; it seems to 
contain a nice Morality, mix'd with abundance of Prayers, 
Ceremonies, & Observances. If you desire to have it, I will 
procure it for you. There is no doubt of its being a genuine 
Translation of the Books at present deem'd sacred as the 

1 President of Yale College, 1778-1795. ED. 



372 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Writings of Zoroaster by his Followers ; but perhaps some of 
them are of later Date tho' ascrib'd to him; for to me there 
seems too great a Quantity & Variety of Ceremonies & 
Prayers, to be directed at once by one Man. In the Romish 
Church they have increased gradually in a Course of Ages to 
their present Bulk. Those who added new ones from time 
to time found it necessary to give them Authority by Pre- 
tences of their Antiquity. The Books of Moses indeed, if 
all written by him, which some doubt, are an Exception to 
this Observation. With great Esteem, I am ever, Dear 

Sir, &c. 

Your affectionate 

Friend and hum 1 Serv* 

B. FRANKLIN. 



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

London, Jan. 28. 1772 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I have written several short Letters to you lately just to let 
you know of my Welfare, and promising to write more fully 
by Capt. Falconer, which I now sit down to do, with a Num- 
ber of your Favours before me. I received the Box & Letter 
from Mr. Peter Miller, but if as you mention, Enoch Daven- 
port brought it, I did not see him. Perhaps he might call 
while I was absent in Ireland. I write by this Opportunity 
to Mr. Miller. What he sent me is a most valuable Curi- 
osity. I take notice of the considerable Sums you have 
paid. I would not have you send me any Receipts. I am 
satisfy'd with the Accounts you give. 

I am much pleas'd with your little Histories of our Grand- 



1772] TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 373 

son, & happy in thinking how much Amusement he must 
afford you. I pray that God may continue him to us, & to 
his Parents. Mr. Bache is about returning. His Behaviour 
here has been very agreable to me. I have ad vis' d him to 
settle down to Business in Philadelphia, where I hope he will 
meet with Success. I mentioned to you before, that I saw 
his Mother and Sisters at Preston, who are genteel People, 
and extreamly agreable. 

I receiv'd your young Neighbour Haddock's Silk, and 
carried it myself to her Relations, who live very well, keeping 
a Linnen-Draper's Shop in Bishop's-Gate Street. They have 
a Relation in Spitalfields that is a Manufacturer who I 
believe will do it well. I shall honour much every young 
Lady that I find on my Return Dress'd in Silk of their own 
raising. I thank you for the Sauceboats, and am pleas'd to 
find so good a Progress made in the China Manufactury. I 
wish it Success most heartily. 

Mrs. Stevenson too loves to hear about your little Boy. 
Her own Grandson (my Godson) is a fine Child, now nine 
Months old. He has an attentive, observing, sagacious 
Look, as if he had a great deal of Sense, but as yet he is not 
enough acquainted with our Language to express it intelli- 
gibly. His Mother nurses him herself, for which I much 
esteem her, as it is rather unfashionable here ; whence Num- 
bers of little Innocents suffer and perish. His Name is 
William. Mr. and Mrs. Strahan & their Family are well. 
We din'd there not long since. Yesterday Mrs. Stevenson, 
her Daughter, Mr. Bache, and myself, din'd at Mr. West's. 
They are well and their fine Boy. 

I am pleas'd that the Letters between me and the good 
Lady entertain'd you. But you ought not to have shown 



374 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

them to any body but Sally. Since my Return I receiv'd 
the enclosed ; but having too much to do, I could not accept 
the kind Invitation. 

The Squirrels came safe and well. You will see by the 
enclosed how welcome they were. A 1000 Thanks are sent 
you for them, and I thank you for the Readiness with which 
you executed the Commission. 

My Love to our dear precious Policy Hunt & all our kind 
enquiring Friends. Mrs. Montgomery's Health is I hope 
established, as also that of our Dear Friend Rhoads and his 
Family. The Buckwheat and Indian Meal are come safe & 
good. They will be a great Refreshment to me this Winter. 
For since I cannot be in America, every thing that comes 
from thence comforts me a little, as being something like 
Home. The dry'd Peaches too are excellent, those dry'd 
without the Skin: The Parcel in their Skins are not so 
good. The Apples are the best I ever had and came with the 
least Damage. The Sturgeon you mention did not come: 
but that is not so material. 

I hope our cousin Tyler will do well among us. He seems 
a sober well inclin'd Man ; and when I saw him at Birming- 
ham, he appeared to be well respected by his Relations and 
Friends. An active, lively industrious Wife would be a good 
Thing for him. I grieve for our Friend Bond's heavy Loss ; 
and am sorry for poor Dr. Kearsley's misfortune. I sent 
you from Ireland a fine Piece of the Holland of that Country. 
Capt. All, whom I met with there, found a Captain that he 
knew who promis'd to take care of it and deliver it safe. 
You mention nothing of it in your Letter of Decem r 2. when 
in the common Course you ought to have had it before that 
time, which makes me fear it is lost. I wrote to you from 



1772] TO ANTHONY TISSINGTON 375 

Dublin; and from Glasgow in Scotland. I was in Ireland 
about 7 Weeks, in Scotland about 4 Weeks, absent from 
London in all more than three Months. My Tour was a 
very pleasant one. I received abundance of Civilities from 
the Gentry of both those Kingdoms, and my Health is im- 
prov'd by the Air & Exercise. 

I have advis'd Mr. Bache to deal only in the Ready Money 
Way, tho' he should sell less. It is the safest and the most 
easy Manner of carrying on Business. He may keep his 
Store in your little North Room, for the present. And as he 
will be at no Expence while the Family continues with you, 
I think he may, with Industry and Frugality, get so forward, 
as at the end of his Term, to pay his Debts and be clear of 
the World, which I much wish to see. I have given him ^200 
SterPg to add something to his Cargo. My Love to our dear 
Sally, and to Ben. concludes at present, from Your ever 

affectionate Husband 

B. FRANKLIN. 



577. TO ANTHONY TISSINGTON 1 (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 28. 1772 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your very kind Letter of the i5* h together with 
the Turkey, which prov'd exceeding fine. We regal'd a 
Number of our Friends with it, & drank your & M r 
Tissington's Health, which we wished sincerely. M r8 
Stevenson keeps about, but is ever ailing, like your Dame, 
with Rheumatic Pains that fly from Limb to Limb con- 
tinually. Tis a most wicked Distemper, & often puts me 
i See Vol. I, p. 56. ED. 



376 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

in mind of the Saying of a Scotch Divine to some of his 
Brethren who were complaining that their Flocks had of 
late been infected with Arianism and Socinianism. Mine, 
says he, is infected with a worse ism than either of those. 
Pray, Brother, what can that be ? It is, the Rheumatism. 
I was a good deal mortified at not having it in my Power 
to call at Alfreton in my late Tours: But I hope for the 
Pleasure of seeing you both in London this Winter. M M 
Stevenson & Sally Franklin join in Wishes of every kind 
of Prosperity to you & yours, with, Dear Sir, 

Your oblig'd & affectionate hum 1 Serv* 

B. FRANKLIN 






578. TO MRS. SARAH BACHE (A. p. s.) 


London, Jan. 29. 1772 

DEAR SALLY, 

I received your agreable Letters of Oct. n. and Nov. 5. 
I met with Mr. Bache at Preston, where I staid two or three 
Days, being very kindly entertained by his Mother and Sisters, 
whom I lik'd much. He came to town with me, and is now 
going home to you. I have advis'd him to settle down to 
Business in Philadelphia, where he will always be with you. 
I am of Opinion, that almost any Profession a Man has been 
educated in, is preferable to an Office held at Pleasure, as 
rendering him more independent, more a Freeman, and less 
subject to the Caprices of Superiors. And I think, that in 
keeping a Store, if it be where you dwell, you can be ser- 
viceable to him as your Mother was to me : For you are not 
deficient in Capacity, and I hope are not too proud. 

You might easily learn Accounts, and you can copy Letters, 



1772] TO MRS. SARAH BACHE 377 

or write them very well upon Occasion. By Industry & 
Frugality you may get forward in the World, being both of 
you yet young. And then what we may leave you at our 
Death may be a pretty Addition, tho' of itself far from suf- 
ficient to maintain & bring up a Family. It is of the more 
Importance for you to think seriously of this, as you may 
have a Number of Children to educate. 'Till my Return you 
need be at no Expence for Rent, etc, as you are all welcome 
to continue with your Mother, and indeed it seems to be your 
Duty to attend her, as she grows infirm, and takes much 
Delight in your Company and the Child's. This Saving 
will be a Help in your Progress : And for your Encourage- 
ment I can assure you that there is scarce a Merchant of 
Opulence in your Town, whom I do not remember a young 
Beginner with as little to go on with, & no better Prospects 
than Mr. Bache. That his Voyage hither might not be quite 
fruitless, I have given him 2Oo Sterling; with which I wish 
you good Luck. 

I hope you will attend to what is recommended to you in 
this Letter, it proceeding from sincere Affection, after due 
Consideration, with the Knowledge I have of the World and 
my own Circumstances. I am much pleas' d with the Ace* 
I receive from all Hands of your dear little Boy. I hope he 
will be continu'd a Blessing to us all. Tho' I long to see my 
Family, I am glad you did not come over, as the Expence 
would have been very great, and I think I shall not continue 
here much longer. It is a Pleasure to me that the little 
Things I sent you prov'd agreable. I am ever, my dear 
Sally, your affectionate Father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



378 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

579. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 30. 1772 
MY DEAR SON, 

I have now before me yours of July 3. Aug. 3. Sept. 3. and 
Nov. 5. All but the last came in my Absence, which is the 
Reason they were not immediately answer'd. In yours of 
July 3 you mention some Complaisance of Lord H.V towards 
you, that show'd a Disposition of being upon better Terms. 
His Behaviour to me in Ireland corresponds exactly. We 
met first at the Lord Lieutenant's. Mr. Jackson and I were 
invited to dine there, and when we came, were shown into a 
Room, where Lord H. was alone. He was extreamly civil, 
wonderfully so to me whom he had not long before abus'd to 
Mr. Strahan, as a factious turbulent Fellow, always in Mis- 
chief, a Republican, Enemy to the King's Service, and what not. 
He entered very frankly into Conversation with us both, and 
invited us both to stop at his House in Hillsboro', as we should 
travel Northward, and urged it in so polite a Manner, that 
we could not avoid saying we would wait on him if we went 
that way. In my own Mind I was determin'd not to go that 
way, but Mr. Jackson thought himself obliged to call on his 
Lordship, considering the connection his Office forms between 
them. His Lordship dined with us at the Lord Lieut's. 
There were at Table, the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker, & 
all the great Officers of State. He drank my Health & was 
otherwise particularly civil. He went from Dublin some 
Days before us, And when we were on the Road, it was 
my Purpose to have turn'd off for Armagh on a Visit to Dean 

1 Hillsborough. ED. 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 379 

Hamilton, let Mr. Jackson go to Hillsborough alone, and meet 
him at Belfast: But it so happen'd that where we were to 
have parted, no Post Chaise was to be had for me, nor any 
other to proceed with but that we came in, so I was oblig'd 
to go forward with Mr. Jackson to Hillsborough, and as soon 
as his Lordship knew we were arriv'd at the Inn he sent a 
Message over for us to come to the House. There we were 
detained by a 1000 Civilities from Tuesday to Sunday. 

I believe I wrote you a good deal of this before from Scot- 
land, but as I have no Copy of that Letter, I cannot easily 
avoid the Repetition. 1 

At Dublin we saw and were entertained by both Parties, 
the Courtiers & the Patriots. The latter treated me with 
particular Respect. We were admitted to sit among the 
Members in the Commons' house, Mr. Jackson as member 
of the British Parliament, & I as Member of some English 
Parliament in America. The Speaker proposed it in my 
Behalf, with some very obliging Expressions of Respect for 
my Character, and was answered by the House with a 
unanimous Aye of Consent, when two Members came out 
to me, led me in between them, and plac'd me honourably 
& commodiously. I hope our Assemblies will not fall short 
of them in this Politeness, if any Irish Member should hap- 
pen to be in our Country. 

In Scotland I spent 5 Days with Lord Kaims at his Seat, 
Blair Drummond near Stirling, two or three Days at Glas- 
gow, two Days at Carron Iron Works, and the rest of the 
Month in and about Edinburgh, lodging at David Hume's, 
who entertained me with the greatest Kindness and Hospi- 

1 See letter to Thomas Gushing, January 13, 1772. ED. 



380 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

tality, as did Lord Kaims & his Lady. All our old Acquaint- 
ance there, Sir Alex r Dick and Lady, Mr. MGowan, Drs. 
Robertson, Cullen, Black, Ferguson, Russel, and others, 
enquired affectionately of your Welfare. I was out three 
Months, and the Journey was evidently of great service to 
my Health. 

Mr. Bache had some Views of obtaining an Office in 
America, but I dissuaded him from the Application, as I 
could not appear in it, and rather wish to see all I am con- 
nected with in an Independent Situation, supported by their 
own Industry. I therefore advis'd him to lay out the Money 
he brought with him (1000^ Sterling) in Goods, return and 
sit down to Business in Philadelphia, selling for ready Money 
only, in which way I think he might, by quick Returns, get 
forward in the World. It would have been wrong for Sally 
to leave her Mother, besides incurring the Expence of such a 
Voyage. 

I cast my eye over Goddard's Piece against our friend Mr. 
Galloway, and then lit my Fire with it. I think such feeble, 
malicious Attacks cannot hurt him. 

The Resolution of the Board of Trade to admit for the 
future no Agents to appear before them but such as are ap- 
pointed by "concurrent Act of the whole Legislature," will 
I think put an End to Agencies, as I apprehend the Assem- 
blies will think Agents under the ministerial Influence that 
must arise from such Appointments, cannot be of much Use 
in their Colony Affairs. In truth, I think the Agents, as now 
appointed, of as much Use to the Government here as to the 
Colonies that send them, having often prevented its going 
into mistaken Measures thro' Misinformation, that must 
have been very inconvenient to itself, and would have pre- 



I 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 381 

vented more of the same kind if they had been attended to, 
witness the Stamp and Duty Acts. I believe therefore we 
shall conclude to leave this omniscient infallible Minister to 
his own Devices, and be no longer at the Expence of sending 
any Agent, whom he can displace by a Repeal of the ap- 
pointing Act. I am sure I should not like to be an Agent in 
such a suspicious Situation, and shall therefore decline serving 
under every such Appointment. 

Your Assembly may avoid the Dispute you seem appre- 
hensive of, by leaving the Appointment of an Agent out of the 
Support Bill, or rather I should say the Sum for his Salary. 
The Money in my Hands will pay him (whoever he is) for 
two or three Years, in which the Measure and the Minister, 
may be changed. In the mean time, by working with a 
Friend who has great Influence at the Board, he can serve 
the Province as effectually as by an open Reception and 
Appearance. . . . 

. . . * Our Friend Sir John Pringle put into my hand the 
other Day a Letter from Mr. Bowman, seeming, I thought, 
a good deal pleas'd with the Notice you had taken of his 
Recommendation. I send you a Copy of it, that you may 
see the Man has a grateful Disposition. Temple has been 
at home with us during the Christmas Vacation from School. 
He improves continually, and more and more engages the 
Regard of all that are acquainted with him, by his pleasing, 
sensible, manly Behaviour. 

I have of late great Debates with myself whether or not I 
shall continue here any longer. I grow homesick, and, being 
now in my 6yth Year, I begin to apprehend some Infirmity 
of Age may attack me, and make my Return impracticable. 

14 A paragraph relating to small matters of private business omitted. ED. 



382 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

I have, also, some important Affairs to settle before my 
Death, a Period I ought now to think cannot be far distant. 
I see here no Disposition in Parliament to meddle farther in 
Colony Affairs for the present, either to lay more Duties or 
to repeal any ; and I think, tho' I were to return again, I may 
be absent from hence a Year without any Prejudice to the 
Business I am engag'd in, tho' it is not probable, that, being 
once at home I should ever again see England. I have indeed 
so many good kind Friends here, that I could spend the 
Remainder of my Life among them with great Pleasure, if 
it were not for my American connections, & the indelible 
Affection I retain for that dear Country, from which I have 
so long been in a State of Exile. My love to Betsey. I am 

ever your affectionate Father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



580. TO JOHN FOXCROFT (A. p. s.) 

DEAR FRIEND, London > Fcb ' 4 ' I772 

I have written two or three small Letters to you since my 
Return from Ireland and Scotland. I now have before me 
your Favours of Oct. i. Nov. 5. and Nov. 13. Mr. Todd has 
not yet shewn me that which you wrote to him about the New 
Colony, tho' he mentioned it, and will let me see it, I suppose, 
when I call on him. I told you in one of mine, that he has 
advanced for your Share what has been paid by others, tho' 
I was ready to do it, and shall in the whole Affair take the 
same Care of your Interest as of my own. 

You take Notice that "Mr. Wharton's Friends will not 
allow me any Merit in this Transaction, 1 but insist the Whole is 

i " Walpole's grant." ED. 



1772] TO JOHN FOXCROFT 383 

owing to his superior Abilities." It is a common Error in 
Friends when they would extol their Friend, to make Com- 
parisons & to depreciate the Merits of others. It was not 
necessary for his Friends to do so in this Case. Mr. Wharton 
will in Truth have a good deal of Merit in the Affair if it suc- 
ceeds, he having been exceedingly active and industrious in 
soliciting it, and in drawing up Memorials and Papers to sup- 
port the Application, remove objections, etc. But tho' I have 
not been equally active, (it not being thought proper that I 
should appear much in the Solicitation since I became a little 
obnoxious to the Ministry on Ace* of my Letters to America) 
yet I suppose my Advice may have been thought of some 
Use, since it has been ask'd on every Step, and I believe that 
being longer and better known here than Mr. Wharton, I may 
have lent some Weight to his Negociations by joining in the 
Affair, from the greater Confidence men are apt to place in 
one they know, than in a Stranger. However, as I neither 
ask nor expect any particular Consideration for any Service 
I may have done, and only think I ought to escape Censure, 
I shall not enlarge on this invidious Topic. 

Let us all do our Endeavours, in our several Capacities, 
for the common Service, and if one has the Ability or Oppor- 
tunity of doing more for his Friends than another, let him 
think that a Happiness, and be satisfied. The Business is 
not yet quite compleated, and as many Things happen be- 
tween the Cup & the Lip, perhaps there may be nothing of 
this kind for Friends to dispute about. For if nobody should 
receive any Benefit, there would be no Scrambling for the 
Honour. Stavers is in the wrong to talk of my promising him 
the Rider's Place again. I only told him that I would (as he 
requested it) recommend him to Mr. Hubbard, to be replac'd 



384 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN- FRANKLIN [1772 

if it could be done without Impropriety or Inconveniency. 
This I did, & the rather as I had always understood him to 
be a good honest punctual Rider. His Behaviour to you 
entitles him to no Favour and I believe any Application he 
may make here, will be to little purpose: 

In yours from N. York, of July 3. You mention'd your 
Intention of purchasing a Bill to send hither, as soon as you 
return'd home from your Journey. I have not since receiv'd 
any from you, which I only take notice of to you, that if you 
have sent one you may not blame me for not acknowledging 
the Receipt of it. 

In mine of April 20. I explained to you what I had before 
mentioned, that in settling our private Account, I had paid 
you the sum of 389^, (or thereabouts,) in my own Wrong, 
having before paid it for you to the General PostOffice. I 
hope that since you have receiv'd your Books & looked over 
the Accounts, you are satisfy'd of this. I am anxious for 
your Answer upon it, the sum being too large to be left long 
without an Adjustment. My Love to my Daughter, and 
Compliments to your Brother. I am ever, my dear friend, 
Yours most Affectionately, B FRANKLIN. 






581. TO DR. THOMAS BOND 1 (A. p. s.) 

London, Feb. 5. 1772 

DEAR SIR 

I received your Favour by Mr. D. Kuhn but being then 
just setting out on a Tour thro' Ireland and Scotland, I had 

1 Thomas Bond (1712-1784), a distinguished physician of Philadel- 
phia. ED. 



1772] TO DR. THOMAS BOND 385 

not time to answer it. Mr. Kuhn I believe went directly 
to Sweden. I shall, if he returns hither while I am here, 
gladly render him any Service in my Power. 

I suppose your Son Richard will spend some time in Lon- 
don, where by what I have heard, Physic and Surgery may 
be studied to as great Advantage as in any Part of the World, 
by Attending the Anatomical Lectures and Hospitals, con- 
versing with the most eminent Practitioners, and Reading 
under their Advice and Direction: And yet the general 
Run is at present to Edinburgh ; there being at the Opening 
of the Schools when I was there in November last, a much 
greater Number of medical Students than had ever been 
known before. They have indeed a Set of Able Professors 
in the several Branches, if common Opinion may be rely'd on. 
I who am no Judge in that Science, can only say that I found 
them very sensible Men, and agreable Companions. I will 
endeavour to obtain Sir John Pringle's Advice in the Affair, 
as you desire. Every Wednesday Evening he admits young 
Physicians and Surgeons to a Conversation at his House, 
which is thought very improving to them. I will endeavour 
to introduce your Son there when he comes to London. And 
to tell you frankly my Opinion, I suspect there is more 
valuable knowledge in Physic to be learnt from the honest 
candid Observations of an old Practitioner, who is past all 
desire of more Business, having made his Fortune, who has 
none of the Professional Interest in keeping up a Parade of 
Science to draw Pupils, and who by Experience has discov- 
ered the Inefficacy of most Remedies and Modes of Practice, 
than from all the formal Lectures of all the Universities upon 
Earth. I like therefore a Physician's breeding his Son to 
Medicine, and wish the Art to be continued with the Race, 

VOL. V 2 C 



386 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

as thinking that must be upon the whole most for the Publick 
Welfare. 

When I was last at your House I observed that the Paint 
of the Picture you had was all cracked. I complain'd of 
it to the Painter. He acknowledged that in that Picture, and 
three others, he had made Trial of a new Vernish which had 
been Attended with this mischievous Effect; and offer'd 
to make Amends, if I would sit to him again, by drawing a 
new Picture gratis, only on this Condition, that the old one 
should be returned to him. I wrote this to Mrs. Franklin, 
who should have acquainted you with it, but I suppose forgot 
it. He was 5 or 6 Years in finishing it, having much other 
Business. If therefore you like the new one best, please to 
put the old one in a Box, and send it by the next Ship hither, 
as the Painter expects to have one or the other returned. 

Mr. Small, an ingenious Gentleman, now gone to Jamaica, 
has bequeathed to our Society, some Journals of the Weather 
which he kept there with great Accuracy, which I shall send 
you as soon as they come into my Hands. With this you will 
receive a Circular Scheme for noting the Variations of the 
Barometer, and comparing them in different and distant 
Places, which he recommends to be used by the Members of 
the Society that inhabit different Provinces, as he conceives 
that some curious and useful Discoveries in Meteorology 
may thence arise. I send also a Box from Mr. Ludlam, 1 
containing some Books which he presents to the Society; a 
Parcel with some Books presented by Mr. Forster; another 

1 Mr. Ludlam is a most learned Man and ingenious mechanic. You will 
be so good as to communicate his Letter to Mr. Rittenhouse. F. [William 
Ludlam (1717-1788), fellow of St. John's, Cambridge. He was one of " three 
gentlemen skilled in mechanics " appointed to report to the Board of Longi- 
tude, on the merits of John Harrison's watch. ED.] 



1772] TO DR. THOMAS BOND 387 

with two Volumes of the Philosophical Transactions presented 
to our Society by the Royal Society here, in Return for the 
Volume you sent them. I inclose Mr. Forster's l Letter, a 
Letter of Thanks from the Society of Arts, and a Letter from 
Mr. Ludlam. Dr. Smith in a Letter which came with the 
Books, gave me to expect another Box with Copies for the 
learned Societies abroad; and a few spare ones for my 
Friends ; but they are not yet come to hand ; and I am often 
ask'd by the Curious how it happens that none are to be 
bought here. 

I hope soon to receive them, and have no doubt but it will 
procure us the Correspondence of those Societies. 

I thank you for the inaugural Dissertation, and am pleas' d 
to see our School of Physic begin to make a Figure. I know 
not why it should not soon be equal to that in Edinburgh. 
I am much oblig'd to the young gentleman who has done me 
the Honour to inscribe his Performance to me. I wish him 
the Success his Ingenuity seems to promise him. 

My Love to Mrs. Bond and your Children. I condole 
with you both most sincerely on the great Loss you have 
lately sustained. 

With the truest Esteem and Regard, I am ever, my 
dear Friend 

Yours most Affectionately 

B. FRANKLIN 
The Parcels are in 
the care of Mr. Bache. 

1 John Reinhold Forster translated Kalm's " Travels through North Amer- 
ica," Bossu's "Travels through Louisiana," and published a Catalogue of 
North American Animals. ED. 



388 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

582. TO CADWALLADER EVANS 1 

London, February 6, 1772. 

DEAR DOCTOR, 

The trunks of silk were detained at the customhouse till 
very lately; first, because of the holidays, and then waiting 
to get two persons, skilful in silk, to make a valuation of it, 
in order to ascertain the bounty. As soon as that was done, 
and the trunks brought to my house, I waited on Dr. Fother- 
gill to request he would come and see it opened, and consult 
about disposing of it, which he could not do till last Thursday. 
On examining it, we found that the valuers had opened all 
the parcels, in order, we suppose, to see the quality of each, 
had neglected to make them up again, and the directions and 
marks were lost, (except that from Mr. Parke, and that of 
the second crop,) so that we could not find which was in- 
tended for the Queen, and which for the Proprietary family. 
Then, being no judges ourselves, we concluded to get Mr. 
Patterson or some other skilful person, to come and pick 
out six pounds of the best for her Majesty, and four pounds 
for each of the other ladies. This I have endeavoured, but 
it is not yet done, though I hourly expect it. 

Mr. Boydell, broker for the ship, attended the custom- 
house to obtain the valuation, and had a great deal of trouble 
to get it managed. I have not since seen him, nor heard the 
sum they reported, but hope to give you all the particulars 
by the next ship, which I understand sails in about a fort- 
night, when Dr. Fothergill and myself are to write a joint 
letter to the committee, to whom please to present my respects, 

1 Printed from Sparks. 



1772] TO DR. RICHARD PRICE 389 

and assure them of my most faithful services. I am charmed 
with the sight of such a quantity the second year, and have 
great hopes the produce will now be established. The sec- 
ond crop silk seems to me not inferior to the others; and, 
if it is practicable with us to have two crops, and the second 
season does not interfere too much with other business in the 
farming way, I think it will be a great addition to the profits, 
as well as to the quantity. 

Dr. Fothergill has a number of Chinese drawings, of which 
some represent the process of raising silk, from the beginning 
to the end. I am to call at his house and assist in looking 
them out, he intending to send them as a present to the Silk 
Company. I have now only time to add, that I am ever, 
yours very affectionately, R FRANKLIN 



583. TO DR. RICHARD PRICE (A. p. s.) 

Cravenstreet, Feb. n. '72. 

DEAR SIR, 

Permit me to thank you, not only on my own Account for 
the Book * itself you have so kindly sent me, but in Behalf 
of the Publick for Writing it: It being in my Opinion con- 
sider? the profound Study, & steady Application of Mind 
that the Work required, & the sound Judgment with which 
it is executed, and its great and important Utility to the Nation, 
the foremost Production of human Understanding, that this 
Century has afforded us. With great & sincere Esteem I 

am, my dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately 

B. F. 

1 "Appeal to the Public on the subject of the National Debt" (1771). ED. 



390 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

584. TO NOBLE WIMBERLEY JONES (A. p. s.) 

London, April 2. 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

I was in Ireland when your respected Fav 1 of July 8. 
arrived at my House here. On my Return which was just 
before the Meeting of Parliam* I by a Line or two acknowl- 
edg'd the Receipt of it, intending to write more largely as 
soon as any Business should occur. I hoped the Petition 
relating to the controverted Lands would have been brought 
forward long before this time, having been assured when it 
was presented that it should in its Turn come under Con- 
sideration ; but such has been the Croud of more important 
Affairs, that the Council have as yet found no time to do any 
thing in it. Tho' I flatter my self, as no solicitation is omitted, 
that it may be brought to a favourable Conclusion before the 
Season of Business is over. 

Your Account of the Governor's Treatment of the Assem- 
bly & your self, determined me to wait upon him on his 
Arrival here, as we can not but greatly disapprove his Con- 
duct. As your Mode of appointing an Agent is by an Ordi- 
nance to which he must give his Assent I think it not likely 
that I shall be continued in that Service for your Province. 
I shall nevertheless continue to render it every Good Office 
in my power while I remain in England, which I think will 
not now be much longer. 

The presenting of a Speaker to the King I suppose was 
originally intended that the King might know the Person 
from whom he was to receive the Sense of Parliament on 
every proper Occasion. To facilitate the Intercourse, it is 



1772] TO THOMAS CUSHING 391 

probable the Parliament might think it advisable rather to 
chuse (other Qualifications being equal) a Person not justly 
obnoxious to the King; and then it was natural for him to 
compliment them by saying he approv'd their Choice. But 
from this it by no means follows, that without such Approba- 
tion the Speaker could not continue in his Office, or that if 
the House refus'd to chuse another, it would be a justifiable 
Use of the Prerogative therefore to dissolve them. I believe 
a King of England at this Day would hardly venture on such 
a Step; but Governors take greater Liberties, having natu- 
rally no Respect for the People, but abundance for Minis- 
ters. It is by the Arbitrary Proceedings of Governors & other 
Crown Officers countenanced by their Protectors here, that 
the Affections of the Americans to this Country are daily 
diminishing, and their Attachment to its Government in 
danger of being lost in the Course of a few succeeding Years. 
As a Disunion would be a Weakening to the Empire, & of 
course prejudicial to 1 



585. TO THOMAS GUSHING 2 

London, April 13, 1772. 

SIR, 

I wrote to you in January last a long letter, by Meyrick, 
and at the same time wrote to the Committee, since which I 
have received no line from any one in Boston, nor has Mr. 
Bollan yet received the answer we wait for, respecting the 
eastern settlements on the crown land. 

The Parliament has been employed in the royal marriage 
bill, and other business; nothing of importance relating to 

1 The remainder of the letter is lost. ED. a First published by Sparks. 



392 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

America has been mentioned hitherto during the session, 
and it is thought that India affairs will fill up the remainder 
of the time, to the prorogation. I have not met with Lord 
Hillsborough since my return from Ireland, seeing no use at 
present in attending his levees. The papers mentioned his 
intention of moving something in the House of Lords relating 
to America, but I cannot learn there was any truth in it. 

It is my present purpose to return home this summer, 
in which case, I suppose I am to leave your business and 
papers in the hands of Mr. Lee, which I shall do, if I do not 
receive other directions. 

Upon the present plan here of admitting no agent, but such 
as governors shall approve of, from year to year, and of course 
none but such as the ministry approves of, I do not conceive 
that agents can be of much use to you; and, therefore, I 
suppose you would rather decline appointing any. In my 
opinion, they have at all times been of full as much service 
to government here, as to the colonies from whence they 
come, and might still be so, if properly attended to, in pre- 
venting, by their better information, those disgraceful blun- 
ders of government, that arise from its ignorance of our situa- 
tion, circumstances, abilities, temper, &c., such as the Stamp 
Act, which too would have been prevented, if the agents had 
been regarded. Therefore I should think, that, if agents 
can be allowed here on no other footing than is now proposed, 
we should omit sending any, and leave the crown, when 
it wants our aids, or would transact business with us, to 
send its minister to the colonies. 

Be pleased to present my respects to the Committee, and 
duty to the Assembly, and believe me, with sincere esteem, 
&c. B. FRANKLIN. 



1772] TO M. JEAN BAPTISTE LE ROY 393 

586. TO JEAN BAPTISTE LE ROY (A. P. s.) 

London, April 20. 1772 

DEAR SIR, 

I received your Favour of March 5, by M. Dazeux, and 
shall be glad of any opportunity of doing him Service. It gave 
me great Pleasure to learn by him, that you are well & hap- 
pily married, on which I give you Joy. J Tis after all the most 
natural State of Man. 

Mr. West, our President, concerning whom you make 
enquiry, is esteemed a good Antiquarian, but has not distin- 
guish'd himself in any other Branch of Science. He is a 
Member of Parliament, was formerly Secretary to the Treas- 
ury, and is very rich. 1 

I am glad to hear that a Voyage is intended from France 
to the North Pole. The World owes much to the noble 
Spirit with which your Nation pursues the Improvement 
of Knowledge, and to the Liberality with which you com- 
municate what you acquire to the rest of Mankind. I hope 
your Philosophers on that Voyage will be able to discover 
more clearly the Cause of the Aurora Borealis, and a Passage 
round the North of America. 

I suppose Care has been taken to make their Ships very 
strong, that they may bear thumping among the Ice. My 
best Wishes will attend them for their Success and Safe Re- 
turn. 

1 James West was President of the Royal Society from November, 1768, 
till his death in July, 1772. He possessed a very extensive library of rare and 
valuable books, which were sold by auction after his death. His curious 
collection of manuscripts was sold to the Marquis of Lansdown, of whom they 
were purchased by Parliament, and they now make a part of the Lansdown 
Mamiscripts in the British Museum. S. 



394 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Messrs. Banks and Solander 1 are to sail with two Ships 
in about a Fortnight for the South. They expect to be out 
near 4 Years. They present their Compliments, & are 
pleas'd with the Notice you honour them with in your Letter 
to me. Sir John Pringle continues well and presents his 
respectful compliments to you. I am, with the most perfect 

Esteem, 

Dear Sir, yours, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



587. TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY (A. p. s.) 

London, May 4. 1772 

DEAR SIR, 

I think with you that there cannot be the least Occasion 
for my explaining your Method of impregnating water with 
fix'd air to Messrs. Banks and Solander, as they were present 
and I suppose are as well acquainted with it as myself ; how- 
ever, I shall readily do it, if they think it necessary. I am 
glad you intend to improve and publish the Process. 

You must go half an Inch farther with your Spark to 
exceed what I show'd here with my Philadelphia Machine 
in 1758 to Lord Charles Cavendish and others, who judg'd 
them to be nine Inches. My Cushion was of Buckskin 
with a long damp flap, and had a Wire from it thro' the Win- 
dow down to the Iron Rails in the Yard ; the Conductor of 
Tin 4 feet long and about 4 Inches Diameter. So powerful 
a Machine had then never been seen in England before, as 

1 Daniel Charles Solander (1736-1782), botanist, accompanied Sir Joseph 
Banks on Cook's voyage in the Endeavour (1768), and went with him to 
Iceland in 1772. ED. 



1772] TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY 395 

they were pleas'd to tell me. A Machine was made from 
mine for Mr. Simmer, and was afterwards in the Possession 
of Lord Morton: A more convenient Construction I have 
never since seen, except that of yours. I intend soon to repeat 
Barletti's experiments, being provided with the Requisites, 
and shall let you know the Result. 

I should be glad to see the French Translation of your 
Book. Can you conveniently lend it to me when you have 
perus'd it? I fancy it was translated at the Request of 
Abbe* Nollet by a Friend & Disciple of his as I know there 
was one (whose Name I have forgotten) that us'd to translate 
for him Extracts of English Electrical Books. 

The Abbe*'s Machine was a very bad one, requiring three 
Persons to make the smallest Experiment, one to turn the 
great Wheel, and one to hold Hands on the Globe. And the 
Effect after all but weak. De lor had a similar one, and 
invited me to see him exhibit to the Duchess of Rochefou- 
cauld but the Weather being a little warm, he could perform 
nothing, scarce obtaining a Spark. 

This Inconvenience must have occasioned his making 
fewer Experiments, & of course his not being so easily con- 
vinced. M. Le Roy, however, got early possession of the 
Truth, & combated for it with Nollet ; yet I think the Acad- 
emy rather favoured the latter. Le Roy will, I suppose, 
now confute this translator, for I have just seen a Letter of 
his to Mr. Magelhaens, thanking him for sending so excellent 
an Electrical Machine to France ; (it is one of the Plate ones) 
which he has improved so as to produce the positive and neg- 
ative electricities separately or together at the same time, 
"de fafon" (says he) "qu'on peut faire toutes les experiences 
possibles sur Tune ou Pautre de ces deux e*lectricite*s. Enfin 



396 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

on e"toit si eloigne* de connoitre les phe*nomenes de ces deux 
electricite*s ici, faute de machines commodes de les demontrer, 
que beaucoup des gens ont e*te* e*tonne*s de voir avec quelle 
evidence ils e*tablissent la distinction de ces deux e*lectricite*s," 
&c. This Letter is of the 5th instant. 

My best Wishes attend you and yours. I am ever, with 
great Respect, my dear Friend, 

Yours most sincerely, 

B. F[RANKLIN.] 



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

London, May 5. 1772 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I received your kind Letter of March 2, and am glad to 
hear that the Ship from Ireland is got safe into Antigua. I 
hope you will now get the little Token I sent you from thence. 
I have not receiv'd the Letter you mention to have given the 
young Scotsman, nor that from Mr. Craige. 

I am sorry for the Disorder that has fallen on our Friend 
Kinnersley, but hope he will get the better of it. I thank you 
for your Advice about putting back a Fit of the Gout. I 
shall never attempt such a Thing. Indeed I have not much 
occasion to complain of the Gout, having had but two slight 
Fits since I came last to England. I hope Mr. Bache is 
with you and his Family by this Time, as he sailed from the 
Downs the latter End of February. My Love to him and 
Sally, and young Master, who I suppose is Master of the 
House. Tell him, that Billy Hewson is as much thought of 
here as he can be there; was wean'd last Saturday; loves 
musick ; comes to see his Gran-ma ; and will be lifted up to 



I 



1772] TO MAJOR DAWSON 397 

knock at the Door himself, as he has done while I was writing 
this at the Request of Mrs. Stevenson, who sends her Love, 
as Sally does her Duty. Thanks to God, I continue well, 
and am, as ever, your affectionate Husband, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



589. TO MAJOR DAWSON 1 (A. p. s.) 
Craven Street, May 29, 177 [2.] 

SIR, 

Having visited yesterday, as you desired, the powder maga- 
zines at Purfleet, in order to see how they may be protected 
against danger from lightning, I think, 

1. That all the iron bars, which pass down along the 
arches, from the top to the place where the powder is 
deposited, should be removed; as they now constitute, 
with the brass hoops with which the casks are bound, an 
imperfect conductor; imperfect in proportion to the greater 
or less height to which the casks are piled ; but, in any case, 
such that they can only serve to attract towards the powder 
the first stroke that falls upon the arch; and that they are 
consequently very dangerous. 

2. That the building, which has a leaden coping along 
the ridge from one end to the other, may be secured by 
means of a pointed iron rod, carried up near each end, com- 
municating with this coping, and extending through the rock 
of chalk, which serves as the foundation of the building, 
till it meets with water. This rod should be at least an inch 
in diameter, that it may be more durable, and afford the light- 

1 From a document in the handwriting of M. Dubourg. Major Dawson 
was a military engineer. ED. 



398 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

ning a more free course through its substance ; and it should 
be painted, to preserve it from rust. Its upper extremity 
should be carried ten feet above the summit of the roof, 
and taper off gradually till it ends in a sharp point ; and, the 
better to preserve this point, the last six inches should be of 
brass, because it is less liable to become blunted by rust. 
If the rod cannot well be made entirely of a single piece, 
the different pieces composing it should be strongly screwed 
together, or into one another very closely, with a thin plate of 
lead between the joints, in order to render the junction or 
continuation of the metal more perfect. 

After all the electrical experiments that I have made in 
reference to this subject, and all the examples that have come 
to my knowledge of the effects of lightning on these conduct- 
ors, it seems to me, that (provided they are good and perfect, 
carried down till water or very moist ground is reached) 
they are equally safe, whether placed directly against the wall, 
and secured by staples driven into it, or whether supported 
by a pole or staff planted in the ground, at some distance from 
the wall. The former is the better mode, as the rod can be 
bent to avoid the windows or doors, which are situated di- 
rectly below the summit of the roof. Yet, as certain appre- 
hensions may be more effectually set at rest by supporting 
the rods in the other manner, I should make no objection 
to this, provided that they can be suitably placed, without 
interfering with any passage, and that they are so firmly 
fixed that the wind cannot, by causing them to vibrate, inter- 
rupt the communication of iron or lead, between the side of 
the rod and the lead that covers the ridge. 

3. As I am informed that the roofs of the other four build- 
ings are to be reconstructed after the model of that of which 



1772] TOLERATION IN OLD AND NEW ENGLAND 399 

I have just been speaking, the same method may be followed 
with regard to them, when they are finished in this manner. 
But, if it be asked how they may be rendered secure in the 
mean time, I would advise, that, (as their roofs are now of a 
different form, being hip-roofs with four corners, and the 
joining at their corners, as well as their ridge-pieces, having 
a coping of lead, which extends to the gutters,) the passages, 
which it is proposed to carry down till water is reached, be 
bored or dug immediately, and that that part of each con- 
ductor, which is to be carried up from the water as high as the 
gutters, be fixed in them. From the top of this conductor 
I would carry out two arms of iron to the corners of the gut- 
ters, where the leaden coping of the corners of the roof should 
be united to the ends of these bars; and at the junction of 
these corners with the ridge-piece, I would carry up rods to 
the height of ten feet, pointed as directed above; which, 
when a new roof is made, could be used for the upper part of 
a straight conductor. I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. For that part of the conductor which is to be carried 
under ground, leaden pipes should be used, as less liable to 
rust. 

590. TOLERATION IN OLD ENGLAND AND NEW 

ENGLAND l 
SIR, 

I understand from the public papers, that in the debates 
on the bill for relieving the Dissenters in the point of subscrip- 

1 From The London Packet, June 3, 1772. Reprinted in "Two Letters to 
the Prelates," as the production of "a gentleman highly respected in the 
literary world." ED. 



400 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1772 

tion to the church articles, sundry reflections were thrown 
out against that people, importing, "that they themselves 
are of a persecuting, intolerant spirit; for that, when they 
had the superiority, they persecuted the church, and still 
persecute it in America, where they compel its members to 
pay taxes for maintaining the Presbyterian or Independent 
worship, and, at the same time, refuse them a toleration in 
the full exercise of their religion by the administrations of a 
bishop." 

If we look back into history for the character of the present 
sects in Christianity we shall find few that have not in their 
turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. 
The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely 
wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The 
first Protestants of the church of England blamed persecu- 
tion in the Romish church, but practised it against the Puri- 
tans. These found it wrong in the bishops, but fell into the 
same practise themselves, both here and in New England. 
To account for this we should remember, that the doctrine 
of toleration was not then known, or had not prevailed in 
the world Persecution was, therefore, not so much the 
fault of the sect as of the times. It was not in those days 
deemed wrong in itself. The general opinion was only, that 
those who are in error ought not to persecute the truth; but 
the possessors of truth were in the right to persecute error 
in order to destroy it. Thus every sect, believing itself pos- 
sessed of all truth, and that every tenet differing from theirs 
was error y conceived, that, when the power was in their hands, 
persecution was a duty required of them by that God, whom 
they supposed to be offended with heresy. By degrees 
more moderate and more modest sentiments have taken place 



1772] TOLERATION IN OLD AND NEW ENGLAND 401 

in the Christian world ; and among Protestants, particularly, 
all disclaim persecution, none vindicate it, and but few practise 
it. We should then cease to reproach each other with what 
was done by our ancestors, but judge of the present character 
of sects or churches by their present conduct only. 

Now, to determine on the justice of this charge against 
the present Dissenters, particularly those in America, let us 
consider the following facts. They went from England to 
establish a new country for themselves, at their own expense, 
where they might enjoy the free exercise of religion in their 
own way. When they had purchased the territory of the 
natives, they granted the lands out in townships, requiring 
for it neither purchase-money nor quit-rent, but this condition 
only to be complied with, that the freeholders should for ever 
support a gospel minister, (meaning probably one of the gov- 
erning sects,) and a free-school, within the township. Thus 
what is commonly called Presbyterianism became the estab- 
lished religion of that country. All went on well in this way 
while the same religious opinions were general, the support 
of minister and school being raised by a proportionate tax 
on the lands. But, in process of time some becoming 
Quakers, some Baptists, and, of late years, some returning 
to the church of England (through the laudable endeavours, 
and a proper application of their funds, by the Society for 
Propagating the Gospel), objections were made to the pay- 
ment of a tax appropriated to the support of a church they 
disapproved and had forsaken. 

The civil magistrates, however, continued for a time to 
collect and apply the tax according to the original laws, 
which remained in force; and they did it more freely, as 
thinking it just and equitable, that the holders of lands 

VOL. V 2 D 



402 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

should pay what was contracted to be paid when they were 
granted, as the only consideration for the grant, and what 
had been considered by all subsequent purchasers as a per- 
petual incumbrance on the estate, bought therefore at a 
proportionably cheaper rate ; a payment which it was thought 
no honest man ought to avoid, under the pretence of his having 
changed his religious persuasion. And this, I suppose, is 
one of the best grounds of demanding tithes of Dissenters 
now in England. But the practice being clamoured against 
by the Episcopalians as persecution, the legislature of the 
province of Massachusetts Bay, near thirty years since, passed 
an act for their relief, requiring indeed the tax to be paid as 
usual, but directing that the several sums levied from members 
of the Church of England, should be paid over to the minister 
of that church, with whom such members usually attended 
divine worship, which minister had power given him to 
receive, and on occasion to recover the same by law. 

It seems that the legislature considered the end of the tax 
was to secure and improve the morals of the people, and 
promote their happiness, by supporting among them the 
public worship of God, and the preaching of the Gospel; 
that where particular people fancied a particular mode, 
that mode might probably, therefore, be of most use to those 
people ; and that, if the good was done, it was not so material 
in what mode or by whom it was done. The consideration 
that their brethren, the Dissenters in England, were still 
compelled to pay tithes to the clergy of the church, had not 
weight enough with the legislature to prevent this moderate 
act, which still continues in full force ; and I hope no unchari- 
table conduct of the church towards the Dissenters will ever 
provoke them to repeal it. 






1772] TOLERATION IN OLD AND NEW ENGLAND 403 

With regard to a bishop, I know not upon what grounds the 
Dissenters, either here or in America, are charged with refus- 
ing the benefit of such an officer to the church in that country. 
Here they seem to have naturally no concern in the affair. 
There they have no power to prevent it, if government should 
think fit to send one. They would probably dislike, indeed, 
to see an order of men established among them, from whose 
persecutions their fathers fled into that wilderness, and whose 
future domination they may possibly fear, not knowing that 
their natures are changed. But the non-appointment of bish- 
ops for America seems to arise from another quarter. The 
same wisdom of government, probably, that prevents the sitting 
of convocations, and forbids by noli-prosequis the persecution 
of Dissenters for non-subscription, avoids establishing bishops 
where the minds of the people are not yet prepared to receive 
them cordially, lest the public peace should be endangered. 

And now let us see how this persecution account stands 
between the parties. 

In New England, where the legislative bodies are almost 
to a man dissenters from the church of England, 

1. There is no test to prevent churchmen from holding 
offices. 

2. The sons of churchmen have the full benefit of the 
universities. 

3. The taxes for support of public worship, when paid 
by churchmen, are given to the Episcopal minister. 

In Old England, 

1. Dissenters are excluded from all offices of profit and 
honour. 

2. The benefits of education in the universities are appro- 
priated to the sons of churchmen. 



404 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

3. The clergy of the Dissenters receive none of the tithes 
paid by their people, who must be at the additional charge 
of maintaining their own separate worship. 

But it is said, the Dissenters of America oppose the intro- 
duction of a bishop. 

In fact, it is not alone the Dissenters there that give oppo- 
sition (if not encouraging must be termed opposing), but the 
laity in general dislike the project, and some even of the 
clergy. The inhabitants of Virginia are almost all Episco- 
palians. The church is fully established there, and the Coun- 
cil and General Assembly are perhaps to a man its members ; 
yet, when lately, at a meeting of the clergy, a resolution was 
taken to apply for a bishop, against which several however 
protested, the Assembly of the province at their next meeting 
expressed their disapprobation of the thing in the strongest 
manner, by unanimously ordering the thanks of the House 
to the protesters; for many of the American laity of the 
church think it some advantage, whether their own young men 
come to England for ordination and improve themselves at 
the same time with the learned here, or the congregations 
are supplied by Englishmen, who have had the benefit of 
education in English universities, and are ordained before 
they come abroad. They do not, therefore, see the necessity 
of a bishop merely for ordination, and confirmation is deemed 
among them a ceremony of no very great importance, since 
few seek it in England, where bishops are in plenty. These 
sentiments prevail with many churchmen there, not to pro- 
mote a design which they think must sooner or later saddle 
them with great expenses to support it. As to the Dissenters, 
their minds might probably be more conciliated to the meas- 
ure, if the bishops here should, in their wisdom and good- 



1772] TO M. DU PONT DE NEMOURS 405 

ness, think fit to set their sacred character in a more friendly 
light, by dropping their opposition to the Dissenters' applica- 
tion for relief in subscription, and declaring their willingness 
that Dissenters should be capable of offices, enjoy the benefit 
of education in the universities, and the privilege of appro- 
priating their tithes to the support of their own clergy. 
In all these points of toleration they appear far behind the 
present Dissenters of New England, and it may seem to 
some a step below the dignity of bishops to follow the exam- 
ple of such inferiors. I do not however despair of their 
doing it some time or other, since nothing of the kind is too 
hard for true Christian humility. I am, Sir, yours, &c. 

A NEW ENGLAND MAN. 



591. TO DU PONT DE NEMOURS 1 (P.C.) 

London, June 15, 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

I am much obliged to you for introducing me to the Knowl- 
edge of M. le Marquis d'Ecrammeville, who appears a very 
amiable Man, with an excellent Understanding. 

Abraham Mansword's Advice to his Countrymen is very 
good. I hope they will have more of it. 

Pray inform me by a Line, whether M. Le Roy has paid 
for the Ephemerides in my Behalf. If not, I will upon Sight 
discharge the amount, by paying your Draft upon me. And 
I request they may be continually sent me as long as you are 
concerned in them. 

Go on to do good with your inlighten'd Pen, and by 

1 From the original in the possession of Colonel H. A. Du Pont. ED. 



406 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

instructing them & inciting them to Virtue deserve well of 
Mankind & of their common Father. 

With sincere and great Esteem, I am, my Dear Friend, 
Yours most affectionately, 

B FRANKLIN. 



592. TO FRANCIS MASERES 1 (L. c.) 

Craven Street, June 17, 1772. 

SIR : I thank you for the pamphlets proposing to establish 
Life Annuities in Parishes, &c. I think it an excellent one. 
In compliance with your wish, pages 25, 26, 1 send it back 
with a few marginal notes (perhaps of no great importance) 
made in reading it, requesting it may be returned to me. 

In page 118 of Dr. Price's book on Annuities, 2d edition, 
you will find mention made of an institution in Holland. 
He had that information from me. Those houses are hand- 
some, neat buildings, with very comfortable apartments. 
Some form the sides of a square, with grass-plots and gravel 
walks, flowers, &c., and some have little separate gardens 
behind each apartment. Those for men are called Oude 
Mannen Huyzen; for women, Oude Vrouwen Huyzen. 
I think the different kinds sometimes make different sides 
of the same square. There is a chapel for prayers, a common 
kitchen, and a common hall in which they dine together. 
Two persons, such as best like one another, and choose so 
to associate, are generally lodged in one apartment, though in 

1 Francis Maseres (1731-1824), bencher of the Inner Temple [see Lamb's 
"Essay on the Old Benchers of the Inner Temple"], cursitor baron of 
the Exchequer and Senior Judge of the Sheriffs' Court in the city of Lon- 
don. ED. 



1772] TO FRANCIS MASERES 407 

separate beds, that they may be at hand to assist each other 
in case of sudden illness in the night, and otherwise be 
mutually helpful. 

The Directors have also a room to meet in, who form rules, 
for the government of the house, hear complaints, and rectify 
what is amiss. Gentlemen are directors of the Oude Mannen 
Huyzen, ladies of the Oude Vrouwen Huyzen. A committee 
of two are chosen every year, who visit often, see the rules 
observed, and take care of the management. At the end of 
the year these are thanked off, and as an honourable memorial 
of their services, their names, with the year they served, are 
added to the Gold Letter List on the walls of the room. All 
the furniture is neat and convenient, the beds and rooms 
kept clean and sweet by the servants of the house ; and the 
people appear to live happily. 

These institutions seem calculated to prevent poverty, 
which is rather a better thing than relieving it. For it keeps 
always in the public eye a state of comfort and repose in old 
age, with freedom from care held forth as an encouragement 
to so much industry and frugality in youth as may at least serve 
to raise the required sum (suppose 50) that is to entitle a 
man or a woman at fifty to a retreat in those houses. And 
in acquiring this sum habits may be acquired that produce 
such affluence before that age arrives, as to make the retreat 
unnecessary and so never claimed. Hence if 50 would 
(as by your table) entitle a man at fifty years of age to an 
annuity of 19,3,6^, I suppose that in such a house, enter- 
tainment, and accommodations to a much greater value might 
be afforded him ; because the right to live there is not transfer- 
able, and therefore every unclaimed right is an advantage to 
the house, while annuities would probably all be claimed. 



408 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Then it seems to me that the prospect of a distant annuity 
will not be so influencing on the minds of young people, as 
the constant view of the comfort enjoyed in those houses, 
in comparison of which the payment and receipt of the annui- 
ties are private transactions. 

I write this in hopes you will, after consideration, favour 
me with your opinion whether (in addition to your plan, 
which will still have all advantages for smaller sums) one or 
more such houses in every county, would not probably be 
of great use in still farther promoting industry and frugality 
among the lower people and of course lessening the enormous 
weight of the poor- tax? 

I enclose a little piece I wrote in America, to encourage 
and strengthen those important virtues, of which I beg your 
acceptance, and am, with great esteem, Sir, your most 

obedient and humble Servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



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

London, July 14, 1772 

MY DEAR CHILD, 

I am just returned from a Journey of near a Month, which 
has given a new Spring to my Health and Spirits. I did not 
get home in time to write by Osborne, but shall fully to my 
Friends in general by Cap 1 . All, who sails about the End of 
the Week. 

I was charg'd with Abundance of Love to you and Sally 
and Ben from our Sister Bache and her amiable Daughters. 
I spent some Days at Preston, visited several Friends in 
Cumberland, Westmoreland, Yorkshire, and Staffordshire. 



1772] TO M. DU PONT DE NEMOURS 409 

Rachel Wilson sent her Love to you and our Children, as did 
our remaining Relations at Birmingham, where I likewise 
staied several Days. In Cumberland I ascended a very high 
Mountain, where I had a Prospect of a most beautiful Coun- 
try, of Hills, Fields, Lakes, Villas, &c. and at Whitehaven 
went down the Coal mines till they told me I was 80 Fathoms 
under the Surface of the Sea, which roll'd over our Heads; 
so that I have been nearer both the upper and lower Regions 
than ever in my Life before. My Love to our Children, 
and all enquiring Friends. I am ever, my dear Debby, your 
affectionate Husband, R FRANKLIN> 



594. TO DU PONT DE NEMOURS 1 (p.c.) 

London, Aug. 12, 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

I am concerned to understand lately that you have never 
been paid as I expected for the Ephemerides, and therefore 
I send you three Guineas by our valuable Friend M. Baudeau, 
requesting you will let me have the Accompt at your Leisure, 
& I will take care for the future that the Payment shall be 
more punctual. You are doing a great deal of Good to 
Mankind, for which I am afraid you are not duly rewarded, 
except in the Satisfaction that results from it to your benevo- 
lent Mind. With sincere and great Esteem and Affection, 
I have the Honour to be, 

Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient 

& most humble servant, 
(Signed) B. FRANKLIN. 

1 From the original in the possession of Colonel H. A. Du Pont. ED. 



4 io THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

595. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 

London, August 17, 1772. 

DEAR SON, 

At length we have got rid of Lord Hillsborough, and Lord 
Dartmouth takes his place, to the great satisfaction of all 
the friends of America. You will hear it said among you, 
I suppose, that the interest of the Ohio planters has ousted 
him; but the truth is, what I wrote you long since, that all 
his brother ministers disliked him extremely, and wished for 
a fair occasion of tripping up his heels; so, seeing that he 
made a point of defeating our scheme, they made another of 
supporting it, on purpose to mortify him, which they knew 
his pride could not bear. I do not mean they would have 
done this, if they had thought our proposal bad in itself, or 
his opposition well founded ; but I believe, if he had been on 
good terms with them, they would not have differed with 
him for so small a matter. The King, too, was tired of him 
and of his administration, which had weakened the affection 
and respect of the colonies for a royal government, of which 
(I may say it to you) I used proper means from time to time 
that his Majesty should have due information and convincing 
proofs. More of this when I see you. 

The King's dislike made the others more firmly united 
in the resolution of disgracing Hillsborough, by setting at 
nought his famous report. But, now that business is done, 
perhaps our affair may be less regarded in the cabinet and 
suffered to linger, and possibly may yet miscarry. Therefore 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 290. ED. 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN" 411 

let us beware of every word and action, that may betray 
a confidence in its success, lest we render ourselves ridicu- 
lous in case of disappointment. We are now pushing for a 
completion of the business; but the time is unfavourable, 
everybody gone or going into the country, which gives room 
for accidents. 

I am writing by Falconer, and therefore in this only add, 
that I am ever your affectionate father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

P.S. The regard Lord Dartmouth has always done me 
the honour to express for me, gives me room to hope being able 
to obtain more in favour of our colonies upon occasion, than 
I could for some time past. 



596. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 (L. c.) 

London, AugJ 19: 1772. 

[DEAR SON,] 

In yours of May i4th, you acquaint me with your indispo- 
sition, which gave me great concern. The resolution you 
have taken to use more exercise is extremely proper; and I 
hope you will steadily perform it. It is of the greatest im- 
portance to prevent diseases, since the cure of them by physic 
is so very precarious. 

In considering the different kinds of exercise, I have thought, 
that the quantum of each is to be judged of, not by time or 
by distance, but by the degree of warmth it produces in the 
body. Thus, when I observe, if I am cold when I get into a 

1 From a trans, in L. C. It was also printed in " The Works of Dr. Benja- 
min Franklin" (1817), Vol. VI., p. 291. ED. 



412 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

carriage in a morning, I may ride all day without being 
warmed by it ; that, if on horseback my feet are cold, I may 
ride some hours before they become warm; but, if I am 
ever so cold on foot, I cannot walk an hour briskly, without 
glowing from head to foot by the quickened circulation; I 
have been ready to say, (using round numbers without regard 
to exactness, but merely to mark a great difference), that there 
is more exercise in one mile's riding on horseback, than in 
five in a coach ; and more in one mile's walking on foot, than 
in five on horseback ; to which I may add, that there is more 
in walking one mile up and down stairs, than in five on a 
level floor. The two latter exercises may be had within 
doors, when the weather discourages going abroad ; and the 
last may be had when one is pinched for time, as containing 
a great quantity of exercise in a handful of minutes. The 
dumb bell is another exercise of the latter compendious kind. 
By the use of it I have in forty swings quickened my pulse 
from sixty to one hundred beats in a minute, counted by a 
second watch; and I suppose the warmth generally increases 

with quickness of pulse. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



597. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (L. c.) 

London, August 19, 1772. 

DEAR SON, 

I received yours of June soth. I am vexed that my letter 
to you, written at Glasgow, miscarried; not so much that 
you did not receive it, as that it is probably in other hands. 
It contained some accounts of what passed in Ireland, which 
were for you only. 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 413 

As Lord Hillsborough in fact got nothing out of me, I 
should rather suppose he threw me away as an orange that 
would yield no juice, and therefore not worth more squeezing. 
When I had been a little while returned to London, I waited 
on him to thank him for his civilities in Ireland, and to dis- 
course with him on a Georgia affair. The porter told me 
he was not at home. I left my card, went another time, and 
received the same answer, though I knew he was at home, a 
friend of mine being with him. After intermissions of a week 
each, I made two more visits, and received the same answer. 
The last time was on a levee day, when a number of carriages 
were at his door. My coachman driving up, alighted, and 
was opening the coach door, when the porter, seeing me, 
came out, and surlily chid the coachman for opening the door 
before he had inquired whether my Lord was at home ; and 
then turning to me, said, "My Lord is not at home." I have 
never since been nigh him, and we have only abused one 
another at a distance. 

The contrast, as you observe, is very striking between his 
conversation with the chief justice, and his letter to you con- 
cerning your province. I know him to be as double and 
deceitful as any man I ever met with. But we have done 
with him, I hope, for ever. His removal has, I believe, been 
meditated ever since the death of the Princess Dowager. For 
I recollect, that on my complaining of him about that time 
to a friend at court, whom you may guess, he told me, we 
Americans were represented by Hillsborough as an unquiet 
people, not easily satisfied with any ministry ; that, however, 
it was thought too much occasion had been given us to dislike 
the present ; and asked me, whether, if he should be removed, 
I could name another likely to be more acceptable to us. 



414 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

I said, "Yes, there is Lord Dartmouth; we liked him very 
well when he was at the head of the Board formerly, and 
probably should like him again." This I heard no more 
of, but I am pretty sure it was reported where I could wish it, 
though I know not that it had any effect. 

As to my situation here, nothing can be more agreeable, 
especially as I hope for less embarrassment from the new 
minister ; a general respect paid me by the learned, a number 
of friends and acquaintance among them, with whom I have 
a pleasing intercourse; a character of so much weight, that 
it has protected me when some in power would have done me 
injury, and continued me in an office they would have de- 
prived me of; my company so much desired, that I seldom 
dine at home in winter, and could spend the whole summer 
in the country-houses of inviting friends, if I chose it. 
Learned and ingenious foreigners, that come to England, 
almost all make a point of visiting me ; for my reputation is 
still higher abroad than here. Several of the foreign ambas- 
sadors have assiduously cultivated my acquaintance, treating 
me as one of their corps, partly I believe from the desire they 
have, from time to time, of hearing something of American 
affairs, an object become of importance in foreign courts, 
who begin to hope Britain's alarming power will be dimin- 
ished by the defection of her colonies; and partly that they 
may have an opportunity of introducing me to the gentlemen 
of their country who desire it. The King, too, has lately 
been heard to speak of me with great regard. 

These are flattering circumstances; but a violent longing 
for home sometimes seizes me, which I can no otherwise 
subdue but by promising myself a return next spring or next 
fall, and so forth. As to returning hither, if I once go back, I 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 415 

have no thoughts of it. I am too far advanced in life to pro- 
pose three voyages more. I have some important affairs to 
settle at home, and, considering my double expenses here and 
there, I hardly think my salaries fully compensate the dis- 
advantages. The late change, however, being thrown into 
the balance, determines me to stay another winter. 

August 22d. I find I omitted congratulating you on the 
honour of your election into the Society for propagating the 
Gospel. There you match indeed my Dutch honour. But 
you are again behind, for last night I received a letter from 
Paris, of which the enclosed is an extract, acquainting me 
that I am chosen Associe Etr anger (foreign member) of the 
Royal Academy there. There are but eight of these Associes 
Etrangers in all Europe, and those of the most distinguished 
names of science. The vacancy I have the honour of filling 
was made by the death of the late celebrated Van Swieten of 
Vienna. This mark of respect from the first academy in the 
world, which Abbe* Nollet, one of its members, took so much 
pains to prejudice against my doctrines, I consider as a kind 
of victory without ink-shed, since I never answered him. I 
am told he has but one of his sect now remaining in the Acad- 
emy. All the rest, who have in any degree acquainted them- 
selves with electricity, are as he calls them Franklinists. 1 

Yours, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 

1 The following is the reply, which Dr. Franklin wrote to the Duke de 
Vrilliere, who had informed him of his having been chosen a member of 
the Royal Academy at Paris. 

Dear Sir ; It was with the greatest pleasure I received the information 
your Grace has condescended to give me, of my nomination by the King to 
fill a vacancy in the Academy of Sciences, as Associe Etranger. I have a 
high sense of the great honour thereby conferred on me, and beg that my 
grateful acknowledgments may be presented to his Majesty. With the 
greatest respect, &c." London. September tfA, 1772. 



4 l6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN- FRANKLIN [1772 



598. REPORT ON LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS 
FOR THE POWDER MAGAZINES AT PUR- 
FLEET (L. c.) 

Drawn up by Benjamin Franklin, August 2ist, 1772. 
To THE PRESIDENT AND COUNCIL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY. 

GENTLEMEN, 

The Society being consulted by the Board of Ordnance, 
on the Propriety of fixing Conductors for securing the Pow- 
der Magazines at Purfleet from Lightning, and having there- 
upon done us the Honour of appointing us a Committee to 
consider the same and report our Opinion, we have accord- 
ingly visited those Buildings, and examined with Care and 
Attention their Situation, Construction, and Circumstances, 
which we find as follows ; 

They are five in Number, each about 150 feet long, about 
52 feet wide, built of Brick, arched under the Roof, which in 
one of them is slated, with a Coping of Lead 22 Inches wide 
on the Ridge, from End to End ; and the others, we were in- 
formed, are soon to be covered in the same manner. They 
stand parallel to each other, at about 57 feet distance, and are 
founded on a Chalk Rock about 100 feet from the River, 
which rises at high Tides within a few Inches of the Level 
of the Ground, its brackish Water also soaking through to 
the Wells that are dug near the Buildings. 

The Barrels of Powder, when the Magazines are full, lie pil'd 
on each other up to the Spring of the Arches ; and there are 
four Copper Hoops on each Barrel, which, with a Number 
of perpendicular Iron Bars (that come down through the 



1772] REPORT ON LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS 417 

Arches to support a long, grooved Piece of Timber, wherein 
the Crane was usually moved and guided to any Part where 
it was wanted), formed broken Conductors, within the 
Building, the more dangerous from their being incompleat; 
as the Explosion from Hoop to Hoop, in the Passage of 
Lightning drawn down thro' the Bars among the Barrels, 
might easily happen to fire the Powder contained in them; 
but the Workmen were removing all those Iron Bars (by 
the Advice of some Members of the Society who had been 
previously consulted), a measure we very much approve of. 

On an elevated Ground, nearly equal in height 'with the 
Tops of the Magazines, and 150 Yards from them, is the 
House wherein the Board usually meet ; it is a lofty Building, 
with a pointed Hip-roof, the Copings of Lead down to the 
Gutters; whence leaden Pipes descend at each End of the 
Building, into the Water of two Wells 40 feet deep, for 
the purpose of conveying Water, forc'd up by Engines, to a 
Cistern in the Roof. 

There is also a Proof-House adjoining to the End of one 
of the Magazines; and a Clock-House at the Distance of 
Feet from them, which has a Weathercock on an 
Iron Spindle, and probably some incompleat Conductors 
within, such as the Wire usually extending up from a Clock 
to its Hammer, the Clock, Pendulum Rod, &c. 

The Blowing-up of a Magazine of Gunpowder by Light- 
ning within a few Years past, at Brescia in Italy, which de- 
molished a considerable Part of the Town, with the Loss of 
many Lives, does, in our Opinion, strongly urge the Pro- 
priety of guarding such Magazines from that kind of Danger. 
And since it is now well known from many Observations, 
that Metals have the Property of conducting Lightning, and 
VOL. v 2 E 



418 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

a Method has been discovered of using that Property for the 
Security of Buildings, by so disposing and fixing Iron Rods, 
as to receive and convey safely away such Lightning as might 
otherwise have damaged them, which Method has been prac- 
tised near 20 years in many Places, and attended with Success 
in all the Instances that have come to our Knowledge, we 
cannot therefore but think it adviseable to provide Conductors 
of that kind for the Magazines in question. 

In common Cases it has been judg'd sufficient, if the lower 
Part of the Conductor were sunk three or four feet into the 
Ground till it came to moist Earth; but, this being a Case 
of the greatest Importance, we are of Opinion, that greater 
Precautions should be taken. Therefore we would advise, 
that in each End of each Magazine a Well should be dug in 
or through the Chalk, so deep as to have in it at least 4 feet 
of standing Water. From the Bottom of this Water should 
rise a Piece of leaden Pipe to or near the Surface of the 
Ground, where it should be strongly joined to the End of an 
upright Iron Bar, an inch and half in Diameter, fastned to 
the Wall by leaden Straps, and extending ten feet above the 
Ridge of the Building, tapering from the Ridge upwards to a 
sharp Point; the upper 12 Inches to be Copper; the Iron to 
be painted. 

We mention Lead for the underground Part of the Con- 
ductor, as less liable to rust in Water and moist Places, in 
the Form of a Pipe, as giving greater Stiffness for the Sub- 
stance; and Iron for the Part above ground, as stronger 
and less likely to be cut away. The Pieces of which the Bar 
may be composed should be screwed strongly into each other 
by a close Joint, with a thin Plate of Lead between the 
Shoulders, to make the Joining or Continuation of Metal 



1772] REPORT ON LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS 419 

more perfect. Each Rod, in passing above the Ridge, should 
be strongly and closely connected by Iron or Lead, or both, 
with the leaden Coping of the Roof, whereby a Communica- 
tion of Metal will be made between the two Bars of each 
Building, for a more free and easy conducting of the Light- 
ning into the Earth. 

We also advise, in Consideration of the great Length of 
the Buildings, that two Wells, of the same Depth with the 
others, should be dug within 12 feet of the Doors of the two 
outside Magazines ; that is to say, one of them on the North 
Side of the north Building, the other on the South Side of the 
South Building; from the Bottoms of which Wells, similar 
Conductors should be carried up to the Eaves, there joining 
well with a Plate of Lead extending on the Roof up to the 
leaden Coping of the Ridge, the said Plate of Lead being 
of equal Substance with that of the Coping. 

We are further of Opinion, that it will be right to form a 
Communication of Lead from the Top of the Chimney of the 
Proof- House to the Lead on its Ridge, and thence to the Lead 
on the Ridge of the Corridor, and thence to the Iron Con- 
ductor of the adjacent End of the Magazine ; and also to fix 
a Conductor from the Bottom of the Weathercock Spindle 
of the Clock-house, down on the outside of that Building into 
the moist Earth. 

As to the Board-House, we think it already well furnished 
with Conductors by the several leaden Communications 
above mentioned, from the Point of the Roof down into the 
Water; and that, by its Height and Proximity, it may be 
some Security to the Buildings below it; we therefore 
propose no other Conductor for that Building, and only 
advise erecting a pointed Rod on the Summit, similar to 



420 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN' FRANKLIN [1772 

those before described, and communicating with those Con- 
ductors. 

To these Directions we would add a Caution, that, in all 
future Alterations or Repairs of the Buildings, special Care 
be taken that the metalline Communications are not cut off 
or removed. 

It remains that we express our Acknowledgments to Sir 
Charles Frederick, Surveyor-general of the Ordnance, for 
the obliging Attention with which he entertained and accom- 
modated us on the Day of our Enquiry. 
With very great respect we are, Gentlemen, 
Your most obedient humble servants, 

H. CAVENDISH, 
WILLIAM WATSON, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
J. ROBERTSON. 



599. EXPERIMENTS, OBSERVATIONS, AND FACTS, 
TENDING TO SUPPORT THE OPINION OF THE 
UTILITY OF LONG, POINTED RODS, FOR 
SECURING BUILDINGS FROM DAMAGE BY 
STROKES OF LIGHTNING 

READ AT THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED TO CONSIDER THE ERECTING OF CON- 
DUCTORS TO SECURE THE MAGAZINES AT PURFLEET, AUGUST 27TH, 1772. 

EXPERIMENT I. 

THE prime conductor of an electric machine, A, B, (see 
Plate IV.) being supported about ten inches and a half above 
the table by a wax stand, and under it erected a pointed wire, 
seven inches and a half high, and one fifth of an inch thick, 



1772] UTILITY OF LONG, POINTED RODS, ETC. 421 

and tapering to a sharp point, and communicating with the 
table; when the point (being uppermost) is covered by the 
end of a finger, the conductor may be full charged, and the 
electrometer will rise to the height indicating a full charge ; 
but the moment the point is uncovered, the ball of the elec- 
trometer drops, showing the prime conductor to be instantly 
discharged and nearly emptied of its electricity. Turn the 
wire its Hunt end upwards (which represents an unpointed 
bar), and no such effect follows, the electrometer remaining 
at its usual height when the prime conductor is charged. 

OBSERVATION. 

What quantity of lightning a high, pointed rod, well com- 
municating with the earth, may be expected to discharge from 
the clouds silently in a short time, is yet unknown; but I 
reason from a particular fact to think it may at some times 
be very great. In Philadelphia I had such a rod fixed to the 
top of my chimney, and extending about nine feet above it. 
From the foot of this rod, a wire (the thickness of a goose- 
quill) came through a covered glass tube in the roof, and 
down through the well of the staircase; the lower end con- 
nected with the iron spear of a pump. On the staircase 
opposite to my chamber door, the wire was divided ; the ends 
separated about six inches, a little bell on each end; and 
between the bells a little brass ball, suspended by a silk thread, 
to play between and strike the bells when clouds passed with 
electricity in them. After having frequently drawn sparks 
and charged bottles from the bell of the upper wire, I was 
one night awaked by loud cracks on the staircase. Starting 
up and opening the door, I perceived that the brass ball, 
instead of vibrating as usual between the bells, was repelled 



422 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

and kept at a distance from both; while the fire passed, 
sometimes in very large, quick cracks from bell to bell, and 
sometimes in a continued, dense, white stream, seemingly 
as large as my finger, whereby the whole staircase was in- 
lightened as with sunshine, so that one might see to pick up 
a pin. 1 And from the apparent quantity thus discharged, I 
cannot but conceive that a number 2 of such conductors must 
considerably lessen that of any approaching cloud, before it 
comes so near as to deliver its contents in a general stroke; 
an effect not to be expected from bars unpointed, if the above 
experiment with the blunt end of the wire is deemed pertinent 
to the case. 

EXPERIMENT II. 

The pointed wire under the prime conductor continuing 
of the same height, pinch it between the thumb and finger 
near the top, so as just to conceal the point ; then turning the 
globe, the electrometer will rise and mark the full charge. 
Slip the fingers down, so as to discover about half an inch of 
the wire, then another half inch, and then another; at every 
one of these motions discovering more and more of the pointed 
wire ; you will see the electrometer fall quick and proportion- 
ably, stopping when you stop. If you slip down the whole 
distance at once, the ball falls instantly down to the stem. 

1 M. de Romas saw still greater quantities of lightning brought down by 
the wire of his kite. He had " explosions from it, the noise of which greatly 
resembled that of thunder, and were heard (from without) into the heart of 
the city, notwithstanding the various noises there. The fire seen at the instant 
of the explosion had the shape of a spindle, eight inches long and five lines 
in diameter. Yet, from the time of the explosion to the end of the experi- 
ment, no lightning was seen above, nor any thunder heard. At another time 
the streams of fire issuing from it were observed to be an inch thick and ten 
feet long." See Dr. Priestley's History of Electricity y pp. 134-136, first 
edition. F. 

2 Twelve were proposed on and near the magazines at Purfleet. F. 



1772] UTILITY OF LONG, POINTED RODS, ETC. 423 

OBSERVATION. 

From this experiment it seems, that a greater effect in 
drawing off the lightning from the clouds may be expected 
from long, pointed rods, than from short ones ; I mean from 
such as show the greatest length above the building they are 
fixed on. 

EXPERIMENT HI. 

Instead of pinching the point between the thumb and finger, 
as in the last experiment, keep the thumb and finger each at 
near an inch distance from it, but at the same height, the point 
between them. In this situation, though the point is fairly 
exposed to the prime conductor, it has little or no effect ; the 
electrometer rises to the height of a full charge. But the 
moment the fingers are taken away, the ball falls quick to the 
stem. 

OBSERVATION. 

To explain this, it is supposed, that one reason of the sud- 
den effect produced by a long, naked, pointed wire is, that 
(by the repulsive power of the positive charge in the prime 
conductor) the natural quantity of electricity contained in the 
pointed wire is driven down into the earth, and the point of the 
wire made strongly negative; whence it attracts the elec- 
tricity of the prime conductor more strongly than bodies in 
their natural state would do; the small quantity of common 
matter in the point not being able by its attractive force to 
retain its natural quantity o) the electric fluid, against the force 
of that repulsion. But the finger and thumb, being substan- 
tial and blunt bodies, though as near the prime conductor, 
hold up better their own natural quantity against the force 
of that repulsion; and so, continuing nearly in the natural 
state, they jointly operate on the electric fluid in the point, 



424 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

opposing its descent, and aiding the point to retain it; con- 
trary to the repelling power of the prime conductor, which 
would drive it down. And this may also serve to explain 
the different powers of the point in the preceding experiment, 
on the slipping down the ringer and thumb to different dis- 
tances. 

Hence is collected, that a pointed rod, erected 'between two 
tall chimneys, and very little higher, (an instance of which I 
have seen,) cannot have so good an effect, as if it had been 
erected on one of the chimneys, its whole length above it. 

EXPERIMENT IV. 

If, instead of a long, pointed wire, a large, solid body (to 
represent a building without a point) be brought under and 
as near the prime conductor, when charged ; the ball of the 
electrometer will fall a little ; and, on taking away the large 
body, will rise again. 

OBSERVATION. 

Its rising again shows that the prime conductor lost little 
or none of its electric charge, as it had done through the 
point ; the jailing of the ball while the large body was under 
the conductor therefore shows, that a quantity of its atmos- 
phere was drawn from the end where the electrometer is 
placed, to the part immediately over the large body, and there 
accumulated ready to strike into it with its whole undiminished 
force, as soon as within the striking distance ; and, were the 
prime conductor movable like a cloud, it would approach 
the body by attraction till within that distance. The swift 
motion of clouds, as driven by the winds, probably prevents 
this happening so often as otherwise it might do ; for, though 
parts of the cloud may stoop towards a building as they pass, 



1772] UTILITY OF LONG, POINTED RODS, ETC. 425 

in consequence of such attraction, yet they are carried for- 
ward beyond the striking distance before they could by their 
descending come within it. 



py/jnl/ fj$ v jj,*;j r-jf 
EXPERIMENT V. 



Attach a small, light lock of cotton to the under side of 
the prime conductor, so that it may hang down towards the 
pointed wire mentioned in the first experiment. Cover the 
point with your finger, and, the globe being turned, the cotton 
will extend itself, stretching down towards the finger, as at 
a; but, on uncovering the point, it instantly flies up to the 
prime conductor, as at b, and continues there as long as 
the point is uncovered. The moment you cover it again, the 
cotton flies down again, extending itself towards the finger; 
and the same happens in degree, if (instead of the finger) you 
use, uncovered, the blunt end of the wire uppermost. 

OBSERVATION. 

To explain this, it is supposed that the cotton, by its con- 
nexion with the prime conductor, receives from it a quantity 
of its electricity; which occasions its being attracted by the 
finger that remains still in nearly its natural state. But, 
when a point is opposed to the cotton, its electricity is thereby 
taken from it, faster than it can at a distance be supplied with 
a fresh quantity from the conductor. Therefore being re- 
duced nearer to the natural state, it is attracted up to the 
electrified prime conductor; rather than down, as before, to 
the finger. 

Supposing farther, that the prime conductor represents a 
cloud charged with the electric fluid; the cotton, a ragged 
fragment of cloud (of which the under-side of great thunder- 



426 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1772 

clouds are seen to have many), the finger, a chimney or high- 
est part of a building. We then may conceive, that, when 
such a cloud passes over a building, some one of its ragged, 
under-hanging fragments may be drawn down by the chim- 
ney, or other high part of the edifice ; creating thereby a more 
easy communication between it and the great cloud. But a 
long, pointed rod, being presented to this fragment, may 
occasion its receding, like the cotton, up to the great cloud ; 
and thereby increase, instead of lessening the distance, so as 
often to make it greater than the striking distance. Turning 
the blunt end of a wire uppermost (which represents the un- 
pointed bar), it appears that the same good effect is not from 
that to be expected. A long, pointed rod, it is therefore 
imagined, may prevent some strokes; as well as conduct 
others that fall upon it, when a great body of cloud comes on 
so heavily that the above repelling operation on fragments 
cannot take place. 

EXPERIMENT VI. 

Opposite the side of the prime conductor place separately, 
isolated by wax stems, Mr. Canton's two boxes with pith 
balls suspended by fine linen threads. On each box lay a wire, 
six inches long and one fifth of an inch thick, tapering to a 
sharp point; but so laid, as that four inches of the pointed 
end of one wire, and an equal length of the blunt end of the 
other, may project beyond the ends of the boxes; and both 
at eighteen inches distance from the prime conductor. Then 
charging the prime conductor by a turn or two of the globe, 
the balls of each pair will separate ; those of the box, whence 
the point projects most, considerably; the others less. Touch 
the prime conductor, and those of the box with the blunt 
point will collapse, and join ; those connected with the point 



1772] UTILITY OF LONG, POINTED RODS, ETC. 427 

will at the same time approach each other, till within about 
an inch, and there remain. 

OBSERVATION. 

This seems a proof, that, though the small, sharpened part 
of the wire must have had a less natural quantity in it before 
the operation, than the thick, blunt part, yet a greater quantity 
was driven down from it to the balls. Thence it is again 
inferred, that the pointed rod is rendered more negative; 
and, farther, that if a stroke must jail from the cloud over a 
building, furnished with such a rod, it is more likely to be 
drawn to that pointed rod than to a blunt one ; as being more 
strongly negative, and of course its attraction stronger. And 
it seems more eligible, that the lightning should fall on the 
point of the conductor (provided to convey it into the earth) 
than on any other part of the building, thence to proceed to 
such conductor. Which end is also more likely to be obtained 
by the length and loftiness of the rod; as protecting more 
extensively the building under it. 

It has been objected, that erecting pointed rods upon edifices 
is to invite and draw the lightning into them; and therefore 
dangerous. Were such rods to be erected on buildings, 
without continuing the communication quite down into the 
moist earth, this objection might then have weight; but, 
when such complete conductors are made, the lightning is 
invited, not into the building, but into the earth, the situation 
it aims at, and which it always seizes every help to obtain, 
even from broken, partial metalline conductors. 

It has also been suggested, that, from such electric experi- 
ments, nothing certain can be concluded as to the great opera- 
tions of nature; since it is often seen, that experiments, which 



428 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

have succeeded in small, in large have failed. It is true, that 
in mechanics this has sometimes happened. But, when it 
is considered, that we owe our first knowledge of the nature 
and operations of lightning to observations on such small ex- 
periments ; and that, on carefully comparing the most accu- 
rate accounts of former facts, and the exactest relations of 
those that have occurred since, the effects have surprisingly 
agreed with the theory ; it is humbly conceived, that in natural 
philosophy, in this branch of it at least, the suggestion has not 
so much weight ; and that the farther new experiments, now 
adduced in recommendation of long, sharp-pointed rods, 
may have some claim to credit and consideration. 

It has been urged, too, that, though points may have con- 
siderable effects on a small prime conductor at small dis- 
tances; yet, on great clouds and at great distances, nothing is 
to be expected from them. To this it is answered, that in 
those small experiments it is evident the points act at a greater 
than the striking distance ; and, in the large way, their service 
is only expected where there is such nearness of the cloud as to 
endanger a stroke; and there, it cannot be doubted, the points 
must have some effect. And, if the quantity discharged by 
a single pointed rod may be so considerable as I have shown 
it, the quantity discharged by a number will be proportionably 
greater. 

But this part of the theory does not depend alone on small 
experiments. Since the practice of erecting pointed rods 
in America (now near twenty years), five of them have been 
struck by lightning, namely, Mr. Raven's and Mr. Maine's 
in South Carolina, Mr. Tucker's in Virginia, Mr. West's 
and Mr. Moulder's in Philadelphia. Possibly there may have 
been more, that have not come to my knowledge. But, in 



1772] UTILITY OF LONG, POINTED RODS, ETC. 429 

every one of these, the lightning did not fall upon the body 
oj the house, but precisely on the several points of the rods; 
and, though the conductors were sometimes not sufficiently 
large and complete, was conveyed into the earth, without any 
material damage to the buildings. Facts then in great, 
as far as we have them authenticated, justify the opinion that 
is drawn from the experiments in small, as above related. 

It has also been objected, that, unless we knew the quan- 
tity that might possibly be discharged at one stroke from the 
clouds, we cannot be sure we have provided sufficient conduct- 
ors; and therefore cannot depend on their conveying away 
all that may fall on their points. Indeed we have nothing to 
form a judgment by in this, but past facts ; and we know of 
no instance, where a complete conductor to the moist earth has 
been insufficient, if half an inch in diameter. It is probable, 
that many strokes of lightning have been conveyed through 
the common leaden pipes affixed to houses to carry down the 
water from the roof to the ground ; and there is no account 
of such pipes being melted and destroyed, as must sometimes 
have happened, if they had been insufficient. We can, then, 
only judge of the dimensions proper for a conductor of light- 
ning, as we do of those proper for a conductor of rain, by past 
observations. And, as we think a pipe of three inches bore 
sufficient to carry off the rain that falls on a square of twenty 
feet, because we never saw such a pipe glutted by any shower ; 
so we may judge a conductor of an inch diameter more than 
sufficient for any stroke of lightning that will fall on its point. 
It is true, that, if another deluge should happen wherein the 
windows of heaven are to be opened, such pipes may be un- 
equal to the falling quantity ; and, if God for our sins should 
think fit to rain fire upon us, as upon some cities of old, it is 



430 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

not expected that our conductors, of whatever size, should 
secure our houses against a miracle. Probably, as water 
drawn up into the air and there forming clouds, is disposed to 
fall again in rain by its natural gravity, as soon as a number 
of particles sufficient to make a drop can get together ; so, 
when the clouds are (by whatever means) over or under 
charged with the electric fluid to a degree sufficient to attract 
them towards the earth, the equilibrium is restored, before 
the difference becomes great beyond that degree. Mr. 
Lane's electrometer, for limiting precisely the quantity of a 
shock that is to be administered in a medical view, may serve 
to make this more easily intelligible. The discharging knob 
does by a screw approach the conductor to the distance in- 
tended, but there remains fixed. Whatever power there may 
be in the glass globe to collect the fulminating fluid, and what- 
ever capacity of receiving and accumulating it there may be 
in the bottle or glass jar, yet neither the accumulation nor the 
discharge ever exceeds the destined quantity. Thus, were 
the clouds always at a certain fixed distance from the earth, 
all discharges would be made when the quantity accumulated 
was equal to the distance. But there is a circumstance, which, 
by occasionally lessening the distance, lessens the discharge ; 
to wit, the movableness of the clouds, and their being drawn 
nearer to the earth by attraction when electrified ; so that dis- 
charges are thereby rendered more frequent and of course 
less violent. Hence, whatever the quantity may be in nature, 
and whatever the power in the clouds of collecting it, yet an 
accumulation and force beyond what mankind has hitherto 
been acquainted with is scarce to be expected. 

B. F. 

August, 27, 1772. 



1772] TO ANTHONY BENEZET 431 

600. TO REV. WILLIAM SMITH (A. p. s.) 

London, Aug* 22, 1772 

SIR, 

I received yours of May 16 with the Box of Books, and 
have already delivered and forwarded most of them as di- 
rected. I supply'd D r Fothergill with the wanting Sheet. 
I approve much of the Letter's being in English. I forwarded 
your Letter to Mr. White, Son of Taylor White, Esq r late 
Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital (now deceased) but he 
has not call'd for the Book. I am glad to hear of your Success 
at South Carolina, and that the College flourishes. I send 
enclosed a Pamphlet on a new Discovery that makes some 
Noise here. With my best Wishes of Prosperity to the 
Society and Thanks for the Number of Books they have 
sent me, which I shall endeavour to dispose of to their 
Credit, I am, Sir, 

Your most obed* hum 1 Servant 

B. FRANKLIN. 



601. TO ANTHONY BENEZET 1 (L. c.) 

London, August 22 : 1772. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I made a little extract from yours of April 27, of the number 
of slaves imported and perishing, with some close remarks 
on the hypocrisy of this country, which encourages such a 
detestable commerce by laws for promoting the Guinea trade ; 

1 Anthony Benezet (1713-1784) was born in St. Quentin, France, but lived 
fifty-three years in Philadelphia. He belonged to the Society of Friends and 
devoted his life to the abolition of the slave trade. ED. 



432 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

while it piqued itself on its virtue, love of liberty, and the 
equity of its courts, in setting free a single negro. This was 
inserted in the London Chronicle, of the 2Oth of June last. 

I thank you for the Virginia address, which I shall also 
publish with some remarks. I am glad to hear that the dis- 
position against keeping negroes grows more general in North 
America. Several pieces have been lately printed here 
against the practice, and I hope in time it will be taken into 
consideration and suppressed by the legislature. Your 
labours have already been attended with great effects. I 
hope, therefore, you and your friends will be encouraged 
to proceed. My hearty wishes of success attend you, being 

ever, my dear friend, yours affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



602. TO JOHN BARTRAM 1 

London, August 22, 1772. 

My dear old Friend, I received your kind letter of 
May 10. I am glad the Rhubarb Seed got safe to hand. I 
make no doubt of its Thriving well in our Country, where the 
Climate is the same with that of the Chinese Wall, just out- 
side which it grows in plenty and of the best Quality. I shall 
be glad to know how you find the Juniper. I asked Solander 
about the Lucern Seed you wrote for. He could give me no 
Account of it, nor can I learn anything of it from others. 
You may rely upon my Friendship in recommending your 
Seeds. I send all that enquire of me about American Seeds 
to Mr. Freeman. He should advertise them when they come. 

1 From the original in the Royal Museum, Salford, England. ED. 



1772] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 433 

I hear nothing lately of Young, and think him not of much 
Consequence. With Love to Mrs. Bartram and your Chil- 
dren, I am ever, my dear Friend, yours most Affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



603. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 

London, August 22, 1772. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I acknowledged before the receipt of your favour of May 14, 
since which I have no line from you. It will be a pleasure to 
render any service to Mr. Tilghman whom you recommended. 

The acts passed in your winter and spring sessions I have 
not yet received, nor have I heard from Mr. Wilmot, that they 
have been presented. 

Lord Hillsborough, mortified by the Committee of Council's 
approbation of our grant, in opposition to his report, has 
resigned. I believe when he offered to do so, he had 
such an opinion of his importance that he did not think 
it would be accepted ; and that it would be thought prudent 
rather to set our grant aside than part with him. His col- 
leagues in the ministry were all glad to get rid of him, and per- 
haps for this reason joined more readily in giving him that 
mortification. Lord Dartmouth succeeds him, who has much 
more favourable dispositions towards the colonies. He has 
heretofore expressed some personal regard for me, and I hope 
now to find our business with the Board more easy to transact. 

Your observations on the state of the Islands did not come 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, VoL VI, 
p. 293. ED. 

VOL. V 2 F 



434 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

to hand, till after Lord Rochford had withdrawn his petition. 3 
His Lordship and the promoters of it were so roasted on the 
occasion, that I believe another of the kind will not very soon 
be thought of. The Proprietor was at the expense of the 
opposition, and as I knew it would not be necessary, and 
thought it might be inconvenient to our affairs, I did not 
openly engage in it ; but I gave some private assistance, that 
I believe was not without effect. I think too that Mr. 
Jackson's opinion was of great service. I would lodge a 
copy of your paper in the Plantation Office against any 
similar future applications, if you approve of it. I only 
think the Island holders make too great a concession to the 
crown, when they suppose it may have a right to quitrent. 
It can have none, in my opinion, on the old grants from Ind- 
ians, Swedes, and Dutch, where none was reserved. And 
I think those grants so clearly good, as to need no confirmation ; 
to obtain which I suppose is the only motive for offering such 
quitrent. I imagine, too, that it may not be amiss to affix 
a caveat in the Plantation Office, in the behalf of holders of 
property in those islands, against any grant of them that may 
be applied for, till they have had timely notice, and an oppor- 
tunity of being fully heard. Mr. Jackson is out of town, 
but I shall confer with him on the subject as soon as he re- 
turns. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Islands in the Delaware River, to which Lord Rochford had made a 
claim. S. 



1772] 



TO JOHN HUSKE 



435 



604. TO THOMAS GUSHING 1 



SIR, 



London, September 3, 1772. 



I write this line, just to acknowledge the receipt of your 
several favours of July i5th and i6th, containing the resolves 
of the House relating to the governor's salary, and the peti- 
tion to the King. 

Lord Dartmouth, now our American minister, is at present 
in the country, and will probably not be in town till the sea- 
son of business comes on. I shall then immediately put the 
petition into his hands, to be presented to his Majesty. I 
may be mistaken, but I imagine we shall not meet the same 
difficulty in transacting business with him, as with his prede- 
cessor, on whose removal I congratulate you and the Assem- 
bly most heartily. I shall write fully by some of the next 
Boston ships; at present can only add, that, with the sin- 
cerest esteem and respect, I have the honour to be, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



605. TO JOHN HUSKE 2 (A. p. s.) 

London, Sept. 6, 1772. 
DEAR SIR, 

I have deferred Writing to you agreable to the Caution 
you gave me, till this safe Opportunity offered. America 
is infinitely oblig'd to you for your continued good Wishes 
& Schemes for her Advantage : But I am sorry to tell you 

1 First printed by Sparks. 

2 M. P. for Maldon, Essex, born in 1721, died 1773. ED. 



436 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

that she is here become an Object of Jealousy, and that the 
obtaining Money from our poor Treasury to forward such 
Schemes, tho' at the same time equally beneficial to this Coun- 
try, is out of all Expectation. A new Colony however is 
forming, where good Land may be had cheap, & where your 
Friend may probably find an Opportunity of serving himself 
& Family, while he is at the same time useful to the Publick 
wherein I shall be glad to serve him. Of this I shall write 
more fully when things are riper. In the meantime, I am, 
with great Esteem, Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient 

humble Servt. 
B. F. 

606. TO JOHN WALSH 1 (A. p. s.) 

London, Sept. 6, 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

I am glad to find by your Favour of the 2yth past, that you 
are returned safe & well to Paris after your Expedition to the 
Sea Coast, and that you intend to publish an Ace* of your 
Experiments. Your doing it as you propose in a Letter to 
me I shall esteem a very great Honour. Nothing new in the 
Philosophic Way has occurred here since my last, in which 
I think I mentioned Dr. Priestly's Experiments whereby he 
found that growing Vegetables restore Air that has been spoilt 
by Putrefaction. Your Friends here expect your Return 

1 Secretary to Clive. He was first cousin of Nevil Maskelyne. The experi- 
ments referred to in the letter were upon the torpedo fish. He was elected 
a Fellow of the Royal Society, November 8, 1770, and a letter from him to 
Franklin, July I, 1773, treating "of the electric property of the torpedo," was 
read before the Society (Philo. Trans., LXIII, 461). He died in London, 
March 9, 1795. ED. 



1772] TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY 437 

with some Impatience. I am, with sincere Esteem & 
Respect, Dear Sir, 

Your obliged & most obedt 

humble Serv 1 . 

B. F. 



607. TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY (D. s. w.) (L. c.) 

London, Sept. 19: 1772. 

DEAR SIR, 

In the Affair of so much Importance to you, wherein you 
ask my Advice, I cannot for want of sufficient Premises, 
advise you what to determine, but if you please I will tell you 
how. When those difficult Cases occur, they are difficult, 
chiefly because while we have them under Consideration, all 
the Reasons pro and con are not present to the Mind at the 
same time; but sometimes one Set present themselves, and 
at other times another, the first being out of Sight. Hence 
the various Purposes or Inclinations that alternately prevail, 
and the Uncertainty that perplexes us. 

To get over this, my Way is, to divide half a Sheet of Paper 
by a Line into two Columns ; writing over the one Pro, and 
over the other Con. Then during three or four Days Con- 
sideration, I put down under the different Heads short Hints 
of the different Motives, that at different Times occur to me, 
for or against the Measure. When I have thus got them all 
together in one View, I endeavour to estimate their respective 
Weights ; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem 
equal, I strike them both out. If I find a Reason pro equal 
to some two Reasons con, I strike out the three. If I judge 
some two Reasons con, equal to some three Reasons pro, 



438 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN" FRANKLIN [1772 

I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length 
where the Ballance lies ; and if after a Day or two of farther 
Consideration, nothing new that is of Importance occurs on 
either side, I come to a Determination accordingly. And, 
tho' the Weight of Reasons cannot be taken with the Precision 
of Algebraic Quantities, yet, when each is thus considered, 
separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, 
I think I can judge better, and am less liable to make a rash 
Step; and in fact I have found great Advantage from this 
kind of Equation, in what may be called Moral or Prudential 
Algebra. 

Wishing sincerely that you may determine for the best, 
I am ever, my dear Friend, yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



608. TO MISS GEORGIANA SHIPLEY 1 

London, September 26, 1772. 

DEAR Miss, 

I LAMENT with you most sincerely the unfortunate end of 
poor MUNGO. Few squirrels were better accomplished; 
for he had had a good education, had travelled far, and seen 
much of the world. As he had the honour of being, for his 
virtues, your favourite, he should not go, like common skuggs, 
without an elegy or an epitaph. Let us give him one in the 
monumental style and measure, which, being neither prose 
nor verse, is perhaps the properest for grief; since to use 
common language would look as if we were not affected, and 
to make rhymes would seem trifling in sorrow. 

1 A daughter of the Bishop of St. Asaph. See the Life of Franklin in this 
edition, Vol. X. ED. 



1772] TO MISS GEORGIANA SHIPLEY 439 

EPITAPH. 

Alas! poor MUNGO! 
Happy wert thou, hadst thou known 

Thy own felicity. 
Remote from the fierce bald eagle, 

Tyrant of thy native woods, 

Thou hadst nought to fear from his piercing talons, 
Nor from the murdering gun 
Of the thoughtless sportsman. 

Safe in thy wired castle, 

GRIMALKIN never could annoy thee. 

Daily wert thou fed with the choicest viands, 

By the fair hand of an indulgent mistress ; 

But, discontented, 

Thou wouldst have more freedom. 

Too soon, alas ! didst thou obtain it ; 

And wandering, 
Thou art fallen by the fangs of wanton, cruel RANGER! 

Learn hence, 

Ye who blindly seek more liberty, 

Whether subjects, sons, squirrels or daughters, 

That apparent restraint may be real protection ; 

Yielding peace and plenty 

With security. 

You see, my dear Miss, how much more decent and proper 
this broken style is, than if we were to say, by way of epitaph, 

Here SKUGG 
Lies snug, 
As a bug 
In a rug. 

and yet, perhaps, there are people in the world of so little 
feeling as to think that this would be a good-enough epitaph 
for poor Mungo. 

If you wish it, I shall procure another to succeed him; 
but perhaps you will now choose some other amusement. 

Remember me affectionately to all the good family, and 
believe me ever, 

Your affectionate friend, B. FRANKLIN. 



440 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

609. TO RICHARD PRICE 1 (p. c.) 

Craven Street, Sept. 28, 1772. 

DEAR SIR, Inclos'd I send you Dr. Priestly's last letter, 
of which a part is for you, he says ; but the whole seems as 
proper for you as for me. I did not advise him pro or con, 
but only explain' d to him my method of judging for myself 
in doubtful cases, by what I called Prudential Algebra. 

If he had come to town, and preach'd here sometimes, 
I fancy Sir John P. would now and then have been one of his 
hearers; for he likes his theology as well as his philosophy. 
Sir John has ask'd me if I knew where he could go to hear 
a preacher of rational Christianity. I told him I knew sev- 
eral of them, but did not know where their churches were in 
town; out of town, I mention' d yours at Newington, and 
offer 'd to go with him. He agreed to it, but said we should 
first let you know our intention. I suppose, if nothing in his 
profession prevents, we may come, if you please, next Sunday ; 
but if you sometimes preach in town, that will be most con- 
venient to him, and I request you would by a line let me know 
when and where. If there are dissenting preachers of that 
sort at this end of the town, I wish you would recommend one 
to me, naming the place of his meeting. And if you please, 
give me a list of several, in different parts of the town, perhaps 
he may incline to take a round among them. At present I 
believe he has no view of attending constantly anywhere, 
but now and then only as it may suit his convenience. All 
this to yourself. 

a The original is in the possession of Walter Ashburner, Esq., of Lon- 
don. ED. 



1772] 



TO RICHARD BACHE 



441 



My best respects to Mrs Price and Mrs Barker. With 
sincere wishes for your health and welfare, I am ever, my dear 

Friend 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



610. TO RICHARD BACHE (D. s. w.) 

London, Oct. 7, 1772. 

LOVING SON : I receiv'd yours of Sept. i, and am rejoic'd 
to hear you are all well. Your good Mother and Sisters were 
so about a Fortnight ago, when I heard from them. The Bill 
you sent me for 60, Whinney on Smith, Wright, & Grey, 
being good, I return your Note enclos'd and cancel'd. There 
remains Five Guineas unpaid, which you had of me just on 
going away, so I suppose you forgot it. Send it in a Venture 
for Ben to Jamaica. By the way, it has been reported here 
that some Years since a very long Building in that Island, 
which had a Rod or Conductor at each End, was nevertheless 
struck by Lightning in the middle and much damaged. Did 
you hear of such a Thing while you was there ? If so pray 
enquire and learn the Particulars from thence, what kind of 
Rods, how plac'd, how high above the Roof, how deep in the 
Ground, and other material Circumstances with regard to the 
Building and the Damage. If you heard of no such Event 
while you was there, I suppose the Story is not true. But a 
Mr. Smith, who was there in some Business, and now here a 
Merchant, I think, relates it as what he heard spoken of 
when there. 



442 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN- FRANKLIN [1772 

I am surprised to hear that the Dutchman I assisted with 
25 Guineas turned out a Rogue; and that Sheets has paid 
nothing of what I furnished him when here. I am afraid 
I do not grow wiser as I grow older. Pray let me know 
whether the Dutch printer, Armbruster, has paid anything, 
or is solvable or not. And also how the Affair stands 
of the Mortgage I had on my friend Maugridge's Plan- 
tation, no intelligible Information has yet been given me 
of it. 

We are moving to another House in the same [mutilated] 
leaving this to Mr. Hewson. As soon as I am settled in my 
new Apartments I shall examine Parker's Acc ts and write 
to you on them. 

You hope I was not a Sufferer in the late general Wreck 
of Credit here. My two Banking-Houses, Browns & Collin- 
son, and Smith, Wright & Grey, stood firm, and they were the 
only People here in Debt to me, so I lost nothing by the Failure 
of others ; and being out of Debt myself, my Credit could not 
be shaken by any Run upon me ; out of Debt, as the Proverb 
says, was being out of Danger. But I have since hazarded 
a little in using my Credit with the Bank to support that of 
a Friend as far as 5,000, for which I am secured by Bills 
of the Bank of Douglas, Heron, & Co., accepted by a good 
House here; and therefore I call it only hazarding a little, 
tho' the Sum is large enough to ruin me if I were to lose it. 
Our Friends, the Alexanders, went on again immediately, 
being supported by great Houses here and thro' them by the 
Bank, their Bottom being manifestly very great and good, 
tho' they had embarrassed themselves by assisting the Adams's 
and others. 

The Affair of the Grant is in good Train, and we expect 



1772] TO JOHN BARTRAM 443 

it to be compleated soon after the Boards meet; if no new 
Difficulties start up unexpected. 
My Love to Sally and the Boy. 

I am your affectionate Father. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



611. TO JOHN BARTRAM 1 

London, Oct. 17, 1772. 
MY DEAR OLD FRIEND, 

I received some time since the enclosed Letter from Dr. 
Hope ; and lately the Gold Medal it mentions was delivered 
to me for you. By the first ship directly to Philadelphia, 
I shall send it in the Care of some safe Hand, thinking it not 
so well to hazard it with this Letter round through New York. 
Mr. Hope's Letter to you is not yet come to my hands. 

I hope the Rhubarb you have sown and distributed will be 
taken care of. There seems to me no doubt of its doing as 
well with us as in Scotland. Remember that for Use the Root 
does not come to its Perfection of Power and Virtue in less 
than Seven Years. The Physicians here, who have try'd the 
Scotch, approve it much, and say it is fully equal to the best 
imported. I send you enclosed a small Box of Upland Rice, 
brought from Cochin China. It grows there on dry Grounds, 
and not in Water like the common Sort. Also a few Seeds of 
the Chinese Tallow Tree. They have been carefully preserved 
in bringing hither by Mr. Ellis's Method. I had them from 
him, and he tells me they are in good Condition fit to vege- 
tate. I hope they may grow under your skilful Care. My 

1 From the original in the Charles Roberts Collection of Autographs, 
Haverford College. ED. 



444 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

love to Mrs. Bartram, and all yours, from your affectionate 
Friend, B . FRANKLIN. 



612. TO LORD STIRLING 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, Nov. 3. 1772 

MY LORD : On my Return to Town I found your Favour, 
with the Schemes of your Lottery, to which I wish Success, 
and besides ordering some Tickets for myself, I have spoken 
well of it on every Occasion; but I find little Inclination 
among my Acquaintance to engage in Lotteries at such a 
Distance, and one cannot be very open in promoting them, 
it being contrary to express Acts of Parliament, as well as 
offensive to Administration here, which would avail itself 
of all that is to be gain'd that Way. 

With great and sincere Esteem, I am, my Lord, your 
Lordship's most obedient and most humble Serv.' 

B. ?. 



613. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (D. s. w.) 

London, Nov. 3, 1772 

DEAR SON : I wrote to you per the October Packet, and 
have not since had any Line from you. I spent 16 Days 
at Lord Le Despencer's most agreably, and returned in good 
Health and Spirits. Lord Dartmouth came to town last Week, 
and had his first Levee on Wednesday, at which I attended. 
He received me very politely in his Room, only Sec y Pownall 

1 William Alexander (1726-1783), who claimed to be the sixth Earl of 
Stirling. ED. 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 445 

present, expressing some Regret that he happened to be from 
home when I was near him in the Country, where he had hop'd 
for the Pleasure of seeing me, &c. I said I was happy to see 
his Lordship in his present Situation, in which for the good 
of both Countries I hoped he would long continue; and I 
begged Leave to recommend my Son to his Protection, who, 
says I, is one of your Governors in America. The Sec y 
then put in And a very good Governor he is. Yes, says 
my Lord, he has been a good Governor, and has kept his 
Province in good Order during Times of Difficulty. I 
then said that I came at present only to pay my Respects, 
and should wait on his Lordship another Day on Business; 
to which he said he should always be ready to hear me and 
glad to see me. I shall attend his Levee again to-day, on 
some N. England Affairs, and hope we may now go on more 
smoothly; but Time will show. 

As the Boards are met again, the Ohio Affair will again be 
put forward as soon as Mr. Walpole comes to [town? muti- 
lated in record], who went lately into Norfolk. I am almost 
settled in my new Apartment; but Removing, and sorting 
my Papers, and placing my Books and things has been a 
troublesome Job. I am amaz'd to see how Books have 
grown upon me since my Return to England. I brought 
none with me, and have now a Roomfull ; many collected in 
Germany, Holland and France; and consisting chiefly 
of such as contain Knowledge that may hereafter be useful 
to America. 

My Love to Betsey concludes at present from your affec- 
donate Father B FRANKLIN- 

P. S. I was this day again at Lord Dartmouth's Levee, 



446 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

who show'd me particular Respect in sending for me out 
of the Crowd long before my Turn, and apologizing for having 
kept me so long by Means of Mr. Maseres's detaining him on 
Canada Affairs. He receiv'd my Business too very properly, 
not making any Objection to my acting as Agent for the 
Massachusetts without the Gov " Approbation of my Appoint- 
ment, as his Predecessor had done. Whether this will con- 
tinue or not, is now the Question; for as he has the same 
Secretaries, Pownall and Knox, probably they will remind him 
of the late Measures, and prompt him to continue them. 



614. TO PETER TIMOTHY 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, Nov. 3, 1772. 

DEAR SIR : I received yours of Aug. 24 by Capt Vander- 
horst, to whom I should willingly have shown any Civilities 
in my Power, but I being goutly of late, seldom go into the 
City, and he has not called on me since he delivered your 
Letter. I am sorry you talk of leaving off your Business 
with a View of getting some Post. It is so difficult a matter 
to obtain anything of the kind, that I think to leave a good 
Trade in hopes of an Office, is quitting a Certainty for an 
Uncertainty, and losing Substance for Shadow. I have 
known so many here dangling and soliciting Years for Places, 
till they were reduced to the lowest Poverty and Distress, that 
I cannot but pity a Man who begins to turn his Thoughts 
that way. The Proverb says; He who has a Trade has an 

1 Clerk of the General Assembly in South Carolina. ED. 



1772] 



TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 



447 



Office oj Profit and Honour; because he does not hold it 
during any other Man's Pleasure, and it affords him honest 
Subsistence with Independence. I hope, therefore, you will 
alter your mind and go on with your Business. I assure you 
it is not in my Power to procure you that Post you mention 
or any other, whatever my wishes may be for your Prosperity. 
I am now thought here too much an American to have any 
Interest of the kind. You have done me Honour in giving 
a Son my Name. I wish he may live to be an Honour and 
Comfort to you. With my Compliments to Mrs. Timothy, I 

am ever, 

Dear Sir, etc. B. F. 



615. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS 1 

London, November 3, 1772. 

DEAR COUSIN : My sister, to whom I have not now time 
to write, acquainted me in her last letter that there was some 
expectation her daughter would soon be married with her 
consent. 

If that should take place, my request is that you would 
lay out the sum of fifty pounds, lawful money, in bedding or 
such other furniture as my sister shall think proper to be given 
the new-married couple towards housekeeping, with my 
best wishes ; and charge that sum to my account. I can now 
only add that I am ever 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. FRANKLIN. 

iFrom John Bigelow, "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. IV, p. 535. -ED. 



448 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

616. TO THOMAS GUSHING 1 

London, November 4, 1772. 

SIR, 

Lord Dartmouth, our American minister, came to town 
last week, and held his first levee on Wednesday, when I paid 
my respects to him, acquainting him at the same time, that 
I should in a few days wait upon him, on business from Bos- 
ton ; which I have accordingly since done, and have put your 
petition to the King into his Lordship's hands, that being the 
regular course. 

He received me very obligingly, made no objection to my 
acting as agent without an appointment assented to by the 
governor, as his predecessor had done, so that I hope business 
is getting into a better train. I shall use my best endeavours 
in supporting the petition, and write you more fully by the 
next ship to Boston. In the mean time I remain with great 
respect, your most obedient and humble servant, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



617. TO THOMAS GUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, Dec. 2, 1772. 

SIR, 

The above is a Copy of my last. A few Days after my 
leaving your Petition with Lord Dartmouth, his Lordship 
sent for me to discourse with me upon it. After a long 
Audience, he was pleased to say, that, notwithstanding all I 
had said or that could be said, in Support and Justification of 

1 First printed by Sparks. 



1772] TO THOMAS GUSHING 449 

the Petition, he was sure the presenting it at this time could 
not possibly produce any good: That the King would be 
exceedingly offended, but what Steps his Majesty would take 
upon it was uncertain ; perhaps he would require the Opinion 
of the Judges or Government Lawyers, which would surely 
be against us; perhaps he might lay it before Parliam*, 
and so the Censure of both Houses would be drawn down 
upon us. The most favourable thing to be expected was 
a severe Reprimand to the Assembly by Order of his Maj- 
esty the natural Consequence of which must be more Discon- 
tent and Uneasiness in the Province. That possessed as he 
was with great Good will for New England, he was extreamly 
unwilling, that one of the first Acts of his Administration, 
with regard to the Massachusetts, should be of so unpleasant 
a Nature. That Minds had been heated and irritated on both 
Sides the Water, but he hoped those Heats were now cooling, 
and he was averse to the Addition of fresh Fuel. That as 
I had delivered the Petition to him officially, he must present 
it, if I insisted upon it; but he wished I would first consult 
my Constituents, who might possibly on Reconsideration think 
fit to order its being deferred. 

I answered, that the great Majority with which the Petition 
and the Resolves on which it was founded were carried thro' 
the House, made it scarce expectable, that their Order would 
be countermanded; that the slighting, evading, or refusing 
to receive Petitions from the Colonies, on some late Occa- 
sions by the Parliament, had occasioned a total loss of the 
Respect for and Confidence in that Body, formerly subsist- 
ing so strongly in America, and brought on a Questioning 
of their Authority: That his Lordship might observe Peti- 
tions came no more from thence to Parliament, but to the 

VOL. V 2G 



450 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

King only: That the King appeared now to be the only 
Connection between the two Countries; and that as a con- 
tinued Union was essentially necessary to the Wellbeing of the 
Whole Empire, I should be sorry to see that Link weakened, 
as the other had been : That I thought it a dangerous Thing 
for any Governm* to refuse receiving Petitions, and thereby 
prevent the Subjects from giving vent to their Griefs. 

His L p interrupted me by replying, that he did not refuse 
to deliver the Petition ; that it should never justly be said of 
him, that he interrupted the Complaints of his Majesty's 
Subjects; and that he must and would present it, as he had 
said before, whenever I should absolutely require it; but 
from Motives of pure Good Will to the Province, he wish'd 
me not to insist on it, till I should receive fresh orders. 

Finally, considering that since the Petition was ordered, 
there had been a Change in the American Administration, 
that the present minister was our Friend in the Repeal of the 
Stamp Act, and seems still to have good Dispositions towards 
us; that you had mentioned to me the Probability, that the 
House would have remonstrated on all their other Grievances, 
had not their Time been taken up with the difficult Business 
of a general Valuation ; and since the Complaint of this Pe- 
tition was likely alone to give Offence, it might perhaps be 
judg'd adviseable to give the Substance of all our Complaints 
at once, rather than in Parts and after a Reprimand received ; 
I say upon the whole I thought it best not to disoblige him in 
the Beginning of his Administration, by refusing him what 
he seem'd so desirous of, a Delay at least in presenting the 
Petition, till farther Directions should be received from my 
Constituents. If after Deliberation they should send me 
fresh Orders, I shall immediately obey them, and the Applica- 



1772] ANSWER TO M. DUBOURGS QUERIES 451 

tion to the Crown itself may possibly derive greater Weight 
from the Reconsideration given it, while the Temper of the 
House may be thought somewhat calmed by the Removal 
of a Minister, who had rendred himself so obnoxious to them. 
Accordingly, I consented to the Delay desired, wherein I 
hope my Conduct will not be disapproved. 1 

With the greatest Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour 
to be, Sir, your and the Committee's most obedient and most 
humble Serv 1 , 

B. FRANKLIN. 



618. ANSWER TO M. DUBOURG'S QUERIES 
RESPECTING THE ARMONICA 

London, December 8, 1772. 

WHEN the glasses are ranged on the horizontal spindle, or, 
to make use of your expression, enfilis, and each one is defi- 
nitely fixed in its place, the whole of the largest glass appears, 
at the extremity to the left ; the following one, nearly enclosed 
in the preceding one, shows only about an inch of its border, 
which advances so much further than the edge of the larger 
glass ; and so, in succession, each glass exceeds the one con- 
taining it, leaving by this placement an uncovered border on 
which the fingers may be applied. The glasses do not touch 
one another, but they are so near as not to admit a finger to 
pass between them; so that the interior border is not sus- 
ceptible of being rubbed. 

The finger is to be applied flat on the borders of the largest 

1 The remainder of this letter is printed in the Tract on the Hutchinson 
Letters. ED. 






452 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN- FRANKLIN [1772 

glasses, and on the borders of the smaller; but in part on 
the borders, and in part on the edges, of the glasses of an 
intermediate size. Nothing but experience can instruct 
with respect to this manutation, (fingering,) because the dif- 
ferent-sized glasses require to be touched differently, some 
nearer the edge, and others farther from it. A few hours' 
exercise will teach this. 



619. PREFACE, 
OF THE BRITISH EDITOR 

TO "THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE FREEHOLDERS 
AND OTHER INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN OF BOSTON, 
IN TOWN MEETING ASSEMBLED, ACCORDING TO LAW 
[PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE TOWN]. BOSTON, 
PRINTED: LONDON, REPRINTED; 1773." 



On the 20th of November, 1772, there was a meeting of the inhabitants of 
Boston, at which was read a report of a committee, who had been appointed 
at a previous meeting. This report contained a view of the state of public 
affairs, touching largely on the rights of the colonists, and the infringement 
and violations of those rights by the British government. It was the boldest 
exposition of the American grievances, which had hitherto been made public, 
and was drawn up with as much ability as freedom. 

Hutchinson says of this report of the committee, that, " although at its first 
appearance it was considered as their own work, yet they had little more to do 
than to make the necessary alterations in the arrangement of materials pre- 
pared for them by their great director in England, whose counsels they obeyed, 
and in whose wisdom and dexterity they had an implicit faith. Such prin- 
ciples in government were avowed, as would be sufficient to justify the colo- 
nies in revolting, and forming an independent state ; and such instances were 
given of the infringement of their rights by the exercise of Parliamentary author- 
ity, as, upon like reasons, would justify an exception to the authority in all 
cases whatever; nevertheless, there was colour for alleging, that it was not 'ex- 



1772] PREFACE OF THE BRITISH EDITOR 453 

pressly ' denied in * every ' case. The whole frame of it, however, was calculated 
to strike the colonists with a sense of their just claim to independence, and 
to stimulate them to assert it." History of Massachusetts, Vol. Ill, p. 364. 
The person alluded to by Governor Hutchinson, as " the great director in 
England," was Dr. Franklin, and it is insinuated, that he was in effect the 
author of the report; but this is in no sense true; nor did he wholly approve 
the measures adopted at that meeting. He thought the affair was carried a 
little farther than the occasion required at the time, and was afraid that ill con- 
sequences would result. It was only the time and manner of bringing the 
subject forward, however, upon which he had any doubts. To the sentiments 
expressed in the report of the committee, and adopted by the inhabitants of 
the town, he fully assented. This is proved by his sending a copy of the pro- 
ceedings to the press, as soon as he received it in London, with a prefatory 
notice written by himself. S. 



ALL Accounts of the Discontent so general in our Colonies, 
have of late Years been industriously smothered and con- 
cealed here; it seeming to suit the Views of the American 
Minister * to have it understood, that by his great Abilities all 
Faction was subdued, all Opposition suppressed, and the 
whole Country quieted. That the true State of Affairs there 
may be known, and the true Causes of that Discontent well 
understood, the following Piece (not the Production of a 
Private Writer, but the unanimous Act of a large American 
City), lately printed in New-England, is republished here. 
This Nation, and the other Nations of Europe, may thereby 
learn, with more Certainty, the Grounds of a Dissension, that 
possibly may, sooner or later, have Consequences interesting 
to them all. 

The Colonies had, from their first Settlement, been gov- 
erned with more Ease, than perhaps can be equalled by any 
Instance in History, of Dominions so distant. Their Affec- 

1 Lord Hillsborough. This nobleman, already first Lord of Trade, was 
introduced in 1768 into the new-titled office of Secretary of State for the 
Colonies. V. 



454 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

tion and Respect for this Country, while they were treated 
with Kindness, produced an almost implicit Obedience to 
the Instructions of the Prince, and even to Acts of the British 
Parliament; though the Right of binding them by a Legis- 
lature in which they were unrepresented, was never clearly 
understood. That Respect and Affection produced a Par- 
tiality in favour of every thing that was English ; whence their 
preference of English Modes and Manufactures; their Sub- 
mission to Restraints on the Importation of Foreign Goods, 
which they had but little Desire to use; and the Monopoly 
we so long enjoyed of their Commerce, to the great enriching 
of our Merchants and Artificers. 

The mistaken Policy of the Stamp-Act first disturbed this 
happy Situation ; but the Flame thereby raised was soon ex- 
tinguished by its Repeal, and the old Harmony restored, with 
all its concomitant Advantages to our Commerce. The sub- 
sequent Act of another administration, which, not content 
with an established Exclusion of Foreign Manufactures, 
began to make our own Merchandize dearer to the Consumers 
there by heavy Duties, revived it again: And Combinations 
were entered into throughout the Continent, to stop Trading 
with Britain till those Duties should be repealed. All were 
accordingly repealed but One, the Duty on Tea. This was 
reserved (professedly so) as a standing Claim and Exercise 
of the Right assumed by Parliament of laying such Duties. 

The Colonies, on this Repeal, retracted their Agreement, 
so far as related to all other Goods, except that on which the 
Duty was retained. This was trumpeted here by the Minister 
for the Colonies as a Triumph ; there it was considered only 
as a decent and equitable Measure, shewing a Willingness 
to meet the Mother Country in every Advance towards a Rec- 



1772] PREFACE OF THE BRITISH EDITOR 455 

onciliation. And the Disposition to a good Understanding 
was so prevalent, that possibly they might soon have relaxed 
in the Article of Tea also. But the System of Commissioners 
of Customs, Officers without end, with Fleets and Armies 
for collecting and enforcing those Duties, being continued, 
and these acting with much Indiscretion and Rashness, 
(giving great and unnecessary Trouble and Obstruction to 
Business, commencing unjust and vexatious Suits, and harass- 
ing Commerce in all its Branches, while that Minister kept 
the People in a constant State of 'Irritation by Instructions, 
which appeared to have no other End than the gratifying 
his Private Resentments,) occasioned a persevering Adher- 
ence to their Resolutions in that Particular: And the Event 
should be a Lesson to Ministers, not to risque through Pique, 
the obstructing any one Branch of Trade, since the Course 
and Connection of General Business may be thereby dis- 
turbed to a Degree impossible to be foreseen or imagined. 
For it appears, that the Colonies finding their Humble Peti- 
tions to have this Duty repealed, were rejected and treated 
with Contempt, and that the Produce of the Duty was applied 
to the rewarding with undeserved Salaries and Pensions every 
one of their Enemies, the Duty itself became more odious, 
and their Resolution to starve it more vigorous and obstinate. 
The Dutch, the Danes, and French, took the Advantage 
thus offered them by our Imprudence, and began to smuggle 
their Teas into the Plantations. At first this was something 
difficult ; but at length, as all Business improves by Practice, 
it became easy. A Coast, 1500 Miles in Length, could not in 
all Parts be guarded, even by the whole Navy of England, 
especially where the restraining Authority was by all the 
Inhabitants deemed unconstitutional, and Smuggling of 



456 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

course considered as Patriotism. The needy Wretches too, 
who with small Salaries, were trusted to watch the Ports 
Day and Night, in all Weathers, found it easier and more 
profitable, not only to wink, but to sleep in their Beds, the 
Merchant's Pay being more generous than the King's. Other 
India Goods, also, which by themselves, would not have 
made a Smuggling Voyage sufficiently profitable, accompanied 
Tea to Advantage; and it is feared the cheap French Silks, 
formerly rejected, as not to the Taste of the Colonies, may 
have found their way with the Wares of India, and now estab- 
lished themselves in the popular Use and Opinion. 

It is supposed, that at least a Million of Americans drink 
Tea twice a Day, which, at the first Cost here, can scarce be 
reckoned at less than Half a Guinea a Head per Annum. This 
Market, that in the five Years which have run on since the 
Act passed, would have paid 2,500,000 Guineas for Tea 
alone, into the Coffers of the Company, we have wantonly 
lost to Foreigners. 

Meanwhile, it is said, the Duties have so diminished, that 
the whole Remittance of the last Year amounted to no more 
than the pitiful Sum of 85 Pounds, 1 for the Expence of some 
Hundred Thousands, in armed Ships and Soldiers, to support 
the Officers. Hence the Tea, and other India Goods, which 
might have been sold in America, remain rotting in the Com- 
pany's Warehouses ; while those of Foreign Ports are known 
to be cleared by the American Demand. Hence, in some 
Degree, the Company's Inability to pay their Bills ; the sink- 

1 " Eighty-five pounds, I am assured, my Lords, is the whole equivalent we 
have received for all the hatred and mischief, and all the infinite losses this 
kingdom has suffered during that year, in her disputes with North America." 
See the Bishop of St. Asaph's " Speech, intended to have been spoken." V. 



1772] 



TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN 



457 



ing of their Stock, by which Millions of Property have been 
annihilated; the lowering of their Dividend, whereby so 
many must be distressed; the Loss to Government of the 
stipulated 400,000 Pounds a Year, which must make a pro- 
portionable Reduction in our Savings towards the Discharge 
of our enormous Debt ; and hence, in part, the severe Blow 
suffered by Credit in general, to the Ruin of many Families ; 
the Stagnation of Business in Spital-Fields and at Manchester, 
through want of Vent for their Goods; with other future 
Evils, which, as they cannot, from the numerous and secret 
Connections in General Commerce, easily be foreseen, can 
hardly be avoided. 



620. TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN (D. s. w.) 

London, Dec. I, 1772. 

MY DEAR CHILD : I received yours of Oct. 14, and one 
without Date which I suppose to be written since. Capts. 
All, Osborne, and Sparkes are arrived ; and a Barrel of Apples 
with another of Cranberries are come, I know not yet by 
which of them. 

I am glad to hear you continue so well, and that the Pains 
in your Side and Head have left you. Eat light Foods, such 
as Fowls, Mutton, etc., and but little Beef or Bacon, avoid 
strong Tea, and use what Exercise you can ; by these Means 
you will preserve your Health better, and be less subject to 
Lowness of Spirits. 

It seems Polly Pitts is really dead. I suppose you know 
that we have a Mortgage on her Lotts? Mr. Galloway 
took it for me. You do not tell me whether any thing has 



458 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN' FRANKLIN [1772 

been done about it ; or whether any Interest was ever paid. 
Nor have you ever told me whether Mr. Maugridge's Execu- 
tors have paid off his Mortgage to me, and that to the Insur- 
ance Office. I wish you would. 

Give my Love to Mrs. Montgomery and all enquiring 
Friends. Mrs. Stevenson and Polly Hewson and Sally 
Franklin present their Love, the latter adds her Duty. She 
is about to be married to a Farmer's Son. I shall miss her, 
as she is nimble-footed and willing to run of Errands and wait 
upon me, and has been very serviceable to me for some 
Years, so that I have not kept a Man. 

I am ever my dear Debby, your affectionate Husband, 

B. F. 

P. S. Have just opened the Apples and Cranberries, 
which I find in good order, all sound. Thanks for your kind 
Care in sending them. 



621. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, Dec. 2, 1772. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

... I am glad you are returned again to a Seat in the 
Assembly, where your Abilities are so useful and necessary 
in the Service of your Country. We must not in the Course 
of Publick Life expect immediate Approbation and immediate 
grateful Acknowledgment of our Services. But let us per- 
severe thro' Abuse and even Injury. The internal Satisfaction 
of a good Conscience is always present, and Time will do us 

1 A paragraph at the beginning of the letter is omitted. It contains the 
acknowledgment of some Bills of Exchange. ED. 



1772] TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY 459 

Justice in the Minds of the People, even of those at present 
the most prejudiced against us. 

I have given Dr. Denormandie a Recommendation to a 
Friend in Geneva, for which Place he set out this Morning ; 
and I shall be glad of any Opportunity of serving him when 
he returns to London. I see by the Pens Gazette, of Oct. 21, 
that you are continued Speaker, and myself Agent; but I 
have no Line from you or the Committee relative to Instruc- 
tions. Perhaps I shall hear from you by Falconer. I find 
myself upon very good Terms with our new Minister, Lord 
Dartmouth, who we have reason to think means well to the 
Colonies. I believe all are now sensible, that nothing is to 
be got by contesting with or oppressing us. 

Two Circumstances have diverted me lately. One was, 
that being at the court of Exchequer on some Business of 
my own, I met there with one of the Commissioners of the 
Stamp Office, who told me he attended with a Memorial 
from that Board, to be allowed in their Accounts the Differ- 
ence between their Expence in endeavouring to establish 
those Offices in America, and the Amount of what they re- 
ceived, which from Canada and the W. India Islands was but 
about 1500^, while the Expence, if I remember right was 
above 1 2,000 , being for Stamps and Stamping, with Paper 
and Parchment return'd upon their Hands, Freight, &c. 
The other is the present Difficulties of the India Company, 
and of Government on their Ace*. The Comp a have accepted 
Bills, which they find themselves unable to pay, tho' they have 
the Value of Two Millions in Tea and other India Goods in 
their Stores, perishing under a Want of Demand; their 
Credit thus suffering, and their Stock falling 120 p ct . The 
Bank will not advance for them, and no Remedy is thought 



460 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

of but lowering their Dividend from 12^ to 6| per Cent, 
whereby Government will lose the 400,000 ; per ann, it 
having been stipulated that it should no longer be paid, if 
the Dividend fell to that Mark. And, altho' it is known, 
that the American Market is lost by continuing the Duty 
on Tea, and that we are supply'd by the Dutch, who doubt- 
less take the Opportunity of Smuggling other India Goods 
among us with the Tea, so that for the 5 Years past we might 
probably have otherwise taken off the greatest Part of what 
the Cornp* have on hand, and so have prevented their present 
Embarrasment, yet the Honour of Government is suppos'd 
to forbid the Repeal of the American Tea Duty; while the 
Amount of all the Duties goes on decreasing, so that the 
Ballance of this Year does not (as I have it from good Au- 
thority) exceed 80 , after paying the Collection ; not reckon- 
ing the immense Expence of Guarda-Costas, &c. Can an 
American forbear smiling at these Blunders? Tho', in a 
national Light, they are truly deplorable. 

With the sincerest Esteem and inviolable Attachment, 
I am, my dear Friend, ever most affectionately yours, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



622. TO ABEL JAMES (D. s. w.) 

London, Dec. 2, 1772. 

DEAR FRIEND: I duly received your Favours of Sept. 
22 and Oct. 9, and am glad the Purchase proves acceptable. 
Our Friend Dr. Evans 1 has remitted me the Bill you mention, 
drawn for the Produce of the Silk. It exceeds what I paid, 

1 Cadwallader Evans. ED. 



1772] TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN' 461 

and I wait Orders for the Disposition of the Overplus, par- 
ticularly what I am to pay Wheeler for his Services in the 
Business. 

I do not at this Distance understand the Politics of your 
last Election, why so many of the Members declin'd the Ser- 
vice, and why yourself and Mr. Fox were omitted (which I 
much regret) while Goddard was voted for by so great a 
Number. Another Year I hope will set all right. The 
People seldom continue long in the wrong, when it is nobody's 
Interest to mislead them. It must be very discouraging 
to our Friend Galloway, to see his long and faithful Services 
repaid with Abuse and Ingratitude; but let him persevere 
in well-doing and all will end well, and to his final Satisfac- 
tion. And tho' it may be inconvenient to your private 
Affairs to attend Publick Business, I hope neither you nor 
Mr. Fox will thro' Resentment of the present Slight, decline 
the Service when again called upon by your Country. 

With great and sincere Esteem, I am ever, dear Sir, your 

affectionate Friend and most obedient Servant, 

B. F. 



623. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (D. s. w.) 

London, Dec. 2, 1772. 

DEAR Son: I have received yours of Oct. 4, 8, and 13. 
I cannot imagine what became of my Letter of Aug* 3 from 
May Place. It was, however of no great Importance. Mr. 
Denonnandie is gone this Day to Geneva. I gave him a 
Letter of Recommendation to a Friend there. 

I am persuaded that your Packets were not open'd at the 



462 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Office; for tho' a Secretary of the State has the Power of 
ordering Letters to be opened, I think it is seldom used but 
in times of War, Rebellion, or on some great publick Occa- 
sion, and I have heard they have Means of copying the Seal 
so exactly, as that it cannot be discovered that the Letters 
have been look'd into. 

It is plain therefore, that whoever rubb'd your Packets 
open, had not the Use of such Means. And yet as you are 
satisfy'd it was not done on your Side the Water, I suspect 
the Letter-Carrier might be corrupted and the Business done 
between the Office in Lombard Street and my House. When 
a Packet arrives, a special Messenger goes directly from the 
Office with the publick Letters before the Sorting is finished. 
Mine has been sometimes sent by the same Messenger, 
who calPd on me in his Way to Lord H.'s, sometimes in his 
Return, and as he told Mr. Strahan that his Letters to you 
were often return'd to me from America, and yours to him sent 
thro' my Hands to be seen he supposed by me before Delivery ; 
and since his Resignation your Packets do not appear to have 
suffered the least Violation, I fancy the Rubbing them open 
may possibly have been the Ingenuity of Mr. Sec 1 " 7 Knox. 
By the List you have sent me I find none of the Papers 
missing. Another Circumstance in favour of this Opinion 
is, that no Letters to me were thus abused but yours and those 
from the Assembly of Boston. This I think clears the Per- 
son you suspected, and rather fixes the above Conjecture. 

I have not seen your Speech at the Opening of your last 
Session, but I hear it has been commended by the Ministry. 

I return Mr. Foxcroft's Letters as you desire. I make no 
Remarks on the Reports he mentions. I know not who is 
meant by the Hero of your Speech. Nor will I say more at 



1772] TO M. BARBEU DUBOURG 463 

present of the Ohio Affair, than that it is not yet quite secure, 
and therefore I still advise Discretion in speaking of it. 

Dr. Price has been so good as to give me his Opinion of 
your Scheme, which I send, hoping it may be of Use; I 
suppose that you have his Book, referred to in the Paper. 
Some Acknowledgment or Thanks should be sent him for 
the Trouble he has taken. 

I continue very well, Thanks to God. On Monday last 
I was chosen into the Council of the Royal Society for the 
4th time. Our Friend Sir John Pringle was elected President, 
which is very agreable to him. 

I shall send you a Tea-Urn by the first Ship. I just now 
hear that the November Packet is arrived, so I stop here till 
I receive the Letters that come by her. [These words are 
crossed out in the record, apparently in the same ink.] 

Just now comes to hand yours of Nov. 3, whereby I find 
mine of Aug. 3 is received. I am glad to learn that you and 
your neighbouring Governors are so sociable. I shall com- 
municate what you write about the Virginia Grants. At 
present I can only add that I am, with Love to Betsey, 
Your ever affectionate Father, 

B. FRANKLIN. 



624. TO BARBEU DUBOURG (A.P.S.) 

London, Dec. 26. 17727 

DEAR SIR, 

Last Night I received your Favour of the ig^ per Post, 
which I think is the best Conveyance for our Letters without 
any indirect Address; for I perceive that not only the little 
Piece which I sent on the 14 th Inst. but a long Letter of the 



464 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

8 th have miscarried. With the first I only thank'd you for 
the Square of nooo, & made a short Remark of some Im- 
perfection I observ'd in it, and told you I had some where a 
square of 8, with the Diagonals you requir'd, w** I would send 
you if I could find it. I also mentioned that I deferr'd 
sending the other Pieces you directed, till I should hear from 
you that the first was correct. Nevertheless they went the 
Week following, and I suppose have likewise miscarried. 
I shall write over again the Purport of my Letter of the 8*. b 
& send it with this. And as I pay no Postage here, I would 
request that for the future you would keep a little Ace* of 
what you pay there, and we will divide that Expence between 
us. Only I wish you to let me know how I may make 
my Letters cheapest, i.e. whether Letters are paid for in 
Paris according to their Weight, or according to the Number 
of Pieces of Paper as here. 

Page 179 Binnacle, Boyer explains this under the Word 
Bittacle, which is the same thing, tho' the first is more agreable 
to the common Pronunciation. 

P. 209. it ought to be 1756, and not 1754 

P. 219. Acrement close, is a proper Name, the Name 
of a particular Field 

P. 225. It should be, a Point as at P. in Fig. 2. 

P. 231. What you say on the Fixing of Salt, may be put 
in a Note of the Translator. 

P. 253. after a warm Spell. Spell is a Vulgar English 
Word, therefore improper. It should have been after a 
warm Season. 

P. 266. there make another Note of the Translator. 

P. 278. A Surveyor's Chain meant here, is four Poles 
or 66 feet. 






1772] SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 465 

P. 311. Outward Warmth It is not a "chaleur exte- 
rieure que Ton eprouve en entrant dans une Chambre pour 
y prendre le bain froid," that would indeed be unintelligible. 
As the Passage seems difficult, I have got my Clerk who is of 
French Extraction, to put it into his French, which perhaps 
you will understand better than my English. 

I will as you desire send to Mess 6 Dilly & enquire for the 
Amer 11 Transactions. If it is not come there, I shall send you 
another by the first Opportunity. I am sure the President 
of that Society can have but one Objection to your translat- 
ing their Book, which is, an Apprehension that the Sale of 
it will not pay for the Trouble & Expence of printing; 
and the Society must esteem it great Honour to them to 
enroll you among their foreign Members. 

I have not the least Objection to your making what Notes 
you please in the Translation. I only wish I could have the 
Advantage of seeing them before my new Edition is printed 
in English. 

M" e Biheron has been indisposed, but is now well again. 
We join in the Wishes of the Season for you & Mad e Du- 
bourg. I am ever 

Yours most affectionately 

B. F. 



625. SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 

THIS paper relates to what has been commonly called 
Walpole's Grant. The history of it will be found in the Life 
of Franklin in Volume X of this edition. 

The following "Report of the Lords Commissioners of 
Trade and Plantations " was drawn up by Lord Hillsborough, 

VOL. V 2 H 



466 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

at that time President of the Board of Trade, who opposed 
the petition. Franklin replied to the " Report" in so con- 
vincing a manner that when the subject was again brought 
before the Privy Council (July i, 1772), and his Answer was 
read, the petition was granted, although the Council seldom 
decided against the Reports of the Board of Trade. See 
Franklin's letter to Joseph Galloway, August 22, 1772; and 
his letter to Governor Franklin, July 14, 1773. 

Lord Hillsborough's Report and Franklin's Answer were 
published in Almon's "Biographical, Literary and Political 
Anecdotes of Several of the most eminent Persons of the 
Present Age, London 1797," Volume II, p. 3O3. 1 "Lord 
Hillsborough was so much offended by the decision of the 
Privy Council, that he resigned upon it. He resigned for 
that reason only. He had conceived an idea, and was form- 
ing the plan, of a boundary line to be drawn from the Hudson 
River to the Mississippi, and thereby confining the British 
colonies between that line and the ocean, similar to the 
scheme of the French after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 
which brought on the War of 1756. His favorite project 
being thus defeated, he quitted the ministry. Dr. Franklin's 
answer to the Report of the Board of Trade was intended to 
have been published; but Lord Hillsborough resigning, 
Dr. Franklin stopped the sale on the morning of the publica- 
tion, when not above five copies had been disposed of" 
(Almon). ED. 

1 This volume contains also Franklin's Letters to Shirley. ED. 



1772] 



SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 



467 



REPORT 

OF the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, on the Petition of the 
Honourable Thomas Walpole and his Associates, for a Grant of Lands on 
the River Ohio, in North America. 

"Mv LORDS, 

"Pursuant to your Lordships' order of the 25th May, 1770, we have taken 
into our consideration the humble memorial of the Honorable Thomas Wal- 
pole, Benjamin Franklin, John Sargent, and Samuel Wharton, Esqs., in behalf 
of themselves and their associates, setting forth among other things, 'That 
they presented a petition to his Majesty in Council, for a grant of lands in 
America {parcel of the lands purchased by government of the Indians) in 
consideration of a price to be paid in purchase of the same ; that, in pur- 
suance of a suggestion which arose when the said petition was under considera- 
tion of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, the memorialists 
presented a petition to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, proposing 
to purchase a larger tract of land on the River Ohio in America, sufficient for 
a separate government ; whereupon their Lordships were pleased to acquaint 
the memorialists, they had no objection to accepting the proposals made by 
them, with respect to the purchase money and quitrent to be paid for the 
said tract of land, if it should be thought advisable by those departments of 
government, to whom it belonged to judge of the propriety of the grant, both 
in point of policy and justice, that the grant should be made ; in consequence 
whereof the memorialists humbly renew their application, that a grant of said 
lands may be made to them, reserving therein to all persons their just and 
legal rights to any parts or parcels of said lands, which may be comprehended 
within the tract prayed for by the memorialists ;' whereupon we beg leave to 
report to your Lordships, 

" I. That according to the description of the tract of land prayed for by 
the memorialists, which description is annexed to their memorial, it appears 
to us to contain part of the dominion of Virginia, to the south of the River 
Ohio, and to extend several degrees of longitude westward from the western 
ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, as will more fully appear to your Lord- 
ships from the annexed sketch of the said tract, which we have since caused 
to be delineated with as much exactness as possible, and herewith submit to 
your Lordships, to the end that your Lordships may judge, with the greater 
precision, of the situation of the lands prayed for in the memorial. 

" II. From this sketch your Lordships will observe, that a very consider- 
able part of the lands prayed for lies beyond the line, which has, in conse- 
quence of his Majesty's orders for that purpose, been settled by treaty, as 
well with the tribes of the Six Nations and their confederates, as with the 
Cherokee Indians, as the boundary line between his Majesty's territories and 



468 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

their hunting grounds : and as the faith of the crown is pledged in the most 
solemn manner, both to the Six Nations and to the Cherokees, that, notwith- 
standing the former of these nations had ceded the property in the lands to 
his Majesty, yet no settlement shall be made beyond that line, it is our duty 
to report to your Lordships our opinion, that it would on that account be 
highly improper to comply with the request of the memorial, so far as it in- 
cludes any lands beyond the said line. 

" It remains, therefore, that we report to your Lordships our opinion, how 
far it may consist with good policy and with justice, that his Majesty should 
comply with that part of the memorial which relates to those lands, which are 
situated to the east of that line, and are part of the dominion of Virginia. 

" III. And, first, with regard to the policy, we take leave to remind your 
Lordships of that principle, which was adopted by this Board, and approved 
and confirmed by his Majesty, immediately after the treaty of Paris, viz. the 
confining the western extent of settlements to such a distance from the sea- 
coast, as that those settlements should lie within the reach of the trade and 
commerce of this kingdom, upon which the strength and riches of it depend, 
and also of the exercise of that authority and jurisdiction, which was con- 
ceived to be necessary for the preservation of the colonies in a due subordi- 
nation to, and dependence upon, the mother country. And these we appre- 
hend to have been two capital objects of his Majesty's proclamation of the 
7th of October, 1763, by which his Majesty declares it to be his royal will and 
pleasure, to reserve under his sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the 
use of the Indians, all the lands not included within the three new govern- 
ments, the limits of which are described therein, as also all the lands and 
territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers, which fall into 
the sea from the west and northwest ; and by which all persons are forbid to 
make any purchases or settlements whatever, or to take possession of any of 
the lands above reserved, without special license for that purpose. 

"IV. It is true indeed, that partly from want of precision in describing 
the line intended to be marked out by the proclamation of 1 763, and partly 
from a consideration of justice in regard to legal titles to lands, which had 
been settled beyond that line, it has been since thought fit to enter into en- 
gagements with the Indians, for fixing a more precise and determinate boun- 
dary between his Majesty's territories and their hunting grounds. 

" V. By this boundary, so far as regards the case now in question, your 
Lordships will observe, that the hunting grounds of the Indians are reduced 
within narrower limits, than were specified by the proclamation of 1763. We 
beg leave, however, to submit to your Lordships, that the same principles of 
policy, in reference to settlements at so great a distance from the seacoast as 
to be out of the reach of all advantageous intercourse with this kingdom, con- 
tinue to exist in their full force and spirit ; and, though various propositions 
for erecting new colonies in the interior parts of America have been, in con- 






1772] SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 469 

sequence of this extension of the boundary line, submitted to the consideration 
of government, (particularly in that part of the country wherein are situated 
the lands now prayed for, with a view to that object,) yet the dangers and 
disadvantages of complying with such proposals have been so obvious, as to 
defeat every attempt made for carrying them into execution. 

" VI. Many objections, besides those which we have already stated, occur 
to us to propositions of this kind ; but as every argument on this subject is 
collected together, with great force and precision, in a representation made to 
his Majesty by the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in March, 1768, 
we beg leave to state them to your Lordships in their words. 

" In that representation they deliver their opinion upon a proposition for 
settling new colonies in the interior country as follows, viz. 

" ' The proposition of forming inland colonies in America is, we humbly 
conceive, entirely new: It adopts principles in respect to American settle- 
ments, different from what has hitherto been the policy of this kingdom, and 
leads to a system, which, if pursued through all its consequences, is, in the 
present state of that country, of the greatest importance. 

" * The great object of colonizing upon the continent of North America has 
been to improve and extend the commerce, navigation, and manufactures of 
this kingdom, upon which its strength and security depend. 

"'i. By promoting the advantageous fishery carried on upon the northern 
coast. 

"*2. By encouraging the growth and culture of naval stores, and of raw 
materials, to be transported hither in exchange for perfect manufactures and 
other merchandise. 

" ' 3. By securing a supply of lumber, provisions, and other necessaries, for 
the support of our establishments in the American islands. 

" ' In order to answer these salutary purposes it has been the policy of this 
kingdom to confine her settlements, as much as possible to the seacoast, and 
not to extend them to places inaccessible to shipping, and consequently more 
out of the reach of commerce ; a plan, which, at the same time that it secured 
the attainment of these commercial objects, had the further political advantage 
of guarding against all interfering of foreign powers, and of enabling this king- 
dom to keep up a superior naval force in those seas, by the actual possession 
of such rivers and harbours, as were proper stations for fleets in time of war. 

" ' Such, may it please your Majesty, have been the considerations inducing 
that plan of policy hitherto pursued in the settlement of your Majesty's Ameri- 
can colonies, with which the private interest and sagacity of the settlers 
cooperated from the first establishments formed upon that continent. It was 
upon these principles, and with these views, that government undertook the 
settling of Nova Scotia in 1749 ; and it was from a view of the advantages 
represented to arise from it in these different articles, that it was so liberally 
supported by the aid of Parliament. 



470 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN- FRANKLIN [1772 

"'The same motives, though operating in a less degree, and applying to 
fewer objects, did, as we humbly conceive, induce the forming the colonies of 
Georgia, East Florida, and West Florida, to the south, and the making those 
provincial arrangements in the proclamation of 1763, by which the interior 
country was left to the possession of the Indians. 

" ' Having thus briefly stated what has been the policy of this kingdom in 
respect to colonizing in America, it may be necessary to take a cursory view 
of what has been the effect of it in those colonies, where there has been suffi- 
cient time for that effect to discover itself ; because, if it shall appear from 
the present state of these settlements, and the progress they have made, that 
they are likely to produce the advantages above stated, it will, we humbly 
apprehend, be a very strong argument against forming settlements in the 
interior country ; more especially, when every advantage, derived from an 
established government, would naturally tend to draw the stream of popula- 
tion ; fertility of soil and temperature of climate offering superior incitements 
to settlers, who, exposed to few hardships, and struggling with few difficulties, 
could, with little labour, earn an abundance for their own wants, but without 
a possibility of supplying ours with any considerable quantities. Nor would 
these inducements be confined in their operation to foreign emigrants, deter- 
mining their choice where to settle, but would act most powerfully upon the 
inhabitants of the northern and southern latitudes of your Majesty's American 
dominions ; who, ever suffering under the opposite extremes of heat and 
cold, would be equally tempted by a moderate climate to abandon latitudes 
peculiarly adapted to the production of those things, which are by nature 
denied to us ; and for the whole of which we should, without their assistance, 
stand indebted to, and dependent upon, other countries. 

"'It is well known that antecedent to the year 1749, all that part of the 
seacoast of the British empire in America, which extends northeast from the 
province of Main to Canceau in Nova Scotia, and from thence to the mouth 
of the St. Lawrence River, lay waste and neglected ; though naturally afford- 
ing, or capable by art of producing, every species of naval stores ; the seas 
abounding with whale, cod, and other valuable fish, and having many great 
rivers, bays, and harbours, fit for the reception of ships of war. Thus circum- 
stanced, a consideration of the great commercial advantages, which would 
follow from securing the possession of this country, combined with the evi- 
dence of the value set upon it by our enemies, who, during the war which 
terminated at that period, had, at an immense expence, attempted to wrest it 
from us, induced that plan, for the settlement of Nova Scotia, to which we 
have before referred ; and which, being prosecuted with vigour, though at a 
very large expence to this kingdom, secured the possession of that province, 
and formed those establishments which contributed so greatly to facilitate 
and promote the success of your Majesty's arms in the late war. 

'"The establishment of government in this part of America, having 



1772] SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 471 

opened to the view and information of your Majesty's subjects in other colo- 
nies the great commercial advantages to be derived from it, induced a zeal 
for migration ; and associations were formed for taking up lands, and making 
settlements, in this province, by principal persons residing in these colonies. 

" ' In consequence of these associations, upwards of ten thousand souls 
have passed from those colonies into Nova Scotia, who have either engaged 
in the fisheries, or become exporters of lumber and provisions to the West 
Indies. And further settlements, to the extent of twenty-one townships, of 
one hundred thousand acres each, have been engaged to be made there, by 
many of the principal persons in Pennsylvania, whose names and association 
for that purpose now lie before your Majesty in Council. 

" ' The government of Massachusetts Bay, as well as the proprietors of 
large tracts to the eastward of the province of Main, excited by the success 
of these settlements, are giving every encouragement to the like settlements 
in that valuable country lying between them and Nova Scotia; and the pro- 
prietors of the twelve townships lately laid out there, by the Massachusetts 
government, now solicit your Majesty for a confirmation of their title. 

" ' Such, may it please your Majesty, is the present state of the progress 
making in the settlement of the northern parts of the seacoasts of North 
America, in consequence of what appears to have been the policy adopted by 
this kingdom ; and many persons of rank and substance here are proceeding 
to carry into execution the plan, which your Majesty (pursuing the same 
principles of commercial policy) has approved, for the settlement of the 
islands of St. John and Cape Breton, and of the new- established colonies to 
the south ; and, therefore, as we are fully convinced, that the encouraging 
settlements upon the seacoast of North America is founded in the true prin- 
ciples of commercial policy ; and as we find, upon examination, that the 
happy effects of that policy are now beginning to open themselves, in the 
establishment of those branches of commerce, culture, and navigation, upon 
which the strength, wealth, and security of this kingdom depend ; we cannot 
be of opinion, that it would in any view be advisable to divert your Majesty's 
subjects in America, from the pursuit of those important objects, by adopting 
measures of a new policy, at an cxpence to this kingdom, which in its present 
state it is unable to bear. 

" ' This, may it please your Majesty, being the light in which we view the 
proposition of colonizing in the interior country, considered as a general prin- 
ciple of policy ; we shall, in the next place, proceed to examine the several 
arguments urged in support of the particular establishments now recom- 
mended. 

" ' These arguments appear to us reducible to the following general propo- 
sitions, viz. 

" ' First, That such colonies will promote population, and increase the de- 
mands for, and consumption of, British manufactures. 



472 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

"* Secondly, That they will secure the fur trade, and prevent an illicit 
trade, or interfering of French or Spaniards with the Indians. 

" ' Thirdly, That they will be a defence and protection to the old colonies 
against the Indians. 

" ' Fourthly, That they will contribute to lessen the present heavy expence 
of supplying provisions to the distant forts and garrisons. 

" Lastly, That they are necessary in respect to the inhabitants already re- 
siding in those places, where they are proposed to be established, who require 
some form of civil government. 

" ' After what we have already stated, with respect to the policy of encour- 
aging colonies in the interior country as a general principle, we trust it will 
not be necessary to enter into an ample discussion of the arguments brought 
to support the foregoing propositions. 

" ' We admit, as an undeniable principle of true policy, that, with a view 
to prevent manufactures, it is necessary and proper to open an extent of terri- 
tory for colonization proportioned to the increase of people, as a large 
number of inhabitants cooped up in narrow limits, without a sufficiency of 
land for produce, would be compelled to convert their attention and industry 
to manufactures ; but we submit whether the encouragement given to the 
settlement of the colonies upon the seacoast, and the effect which such 
encouragement has had, have not already effectually provided for this object, 
as well as for increasing the demand for, and consumption of, British manu- 
factures, an advantage which, in our humble opinion, would not be promoted 
by these new colonies, which being proposed to be established at the distance 
of above fifteen hundred miles from the sea, and in places which, upon the 
fullest evidence, are found to be utterly inaccessible to shipping, will, from 
their inability to find returns wherewith to pay for the manufactures of Great 
Britain, be probably led to manufacture for themselves ; a consequence 
which experience shews has constantly attended in greater or lesser degree 
every inland settlement, and therefore ought, in our humble opinion, to be 
carefully guarded against, by encouraging the settlement of that extensive 
tract of seacoast hitherto unoccupied ; which, together -with the liberty that 
the inhabitants of the middle colonies will have (in consequence of the pro- 
posed boundary line with the Indians) of gradually extending themselves back- 
wards, will more effectually and beneficially answer the object of encouraging 
population and consumption, than the erection of new governments. Such 
gradual extension might, through the medium of a continued population, 
upon even the same extent of territory, preserve a communication of mutual 
commercial benefits between its extremest parts and Great Britain, impossible 
to exist in colonies separated by immense tracts of unpeopled desart. 

" * As to the effect which it is supposed the colonies may have to increase 
and promote the fur trade, and to prevent all contraband trade or intercourse 
between the Indians under your Majesty's protection, and the French or 



1772] SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 473 

Spaniards ; it does appear to us, that the extension of the fur trade depends 
entirely upon the Indians being undisturbed in the possession of their hunting 
grounds ; that all colonizing does in its nature, and must in its consequences, 
operate to the prejudice of that branch of commerce ; and that the French 
and Spaniards would be left in possession of a great part of what remained ; 
as New Orleans would still continue the best and surest market. 

" ' As to the protection, which it is supposed these new colonies may be 
capable of affording to the old ones, it will, in our opinion, appear upon the 
slightest view of their situation, that, so far from affording protection to the 
old colonies, they will stand most in need of it themselves. 

" ' It cannot be denied, that new colonies would be of advantage in raising 
provisions for the supply of such forts and garrisons, as may be kept up in 
the neighbourhood of them ; but, as the degree of utility will be proportioned 
to the number and situation of these forts and garrisons, which, upon the 
result of the present inquiry, it may be thought advisable to continue, so the 
force of argument will depend upon that event. 

" ' The present French inhabitants in the neighbourhood of the Lakes will, 
in our humble opinion, be sufficient to furnish with provisions whatever posts 
may be necessary to be continued there ; and as there are also French in- 
habitants settled in some parts of the country lying upon the Mississippi, 
between the rivers Illinois and the Ohio, it is to be hoped that a sufficient 
number of these may be induced to fix their abode, where the same con- 
venience and advantage may be derived from them. But, if no such cir- 
cumstance were to exist, and no such assistance to be expected from it, the 
objections stated to the plan now under our consideration are superior to this, 
or any other advantage it can produce ; and, although civil establishments 
have frequently rendered the expence of an armed force necessary for their 
protection, one of the many objections to these now proposed, yet we humbly 
presume there never has been an instance of a government instituted merely 
with a view to supply a body of troops with suitable provisions ; nor is it 
necessary in these instances for the settlements, already existing as above 
described, which, being formed under military establishments, and ever sub- 
jected to military authority, do not, in our humble opinion, require any other 
superintendence than that of the military officers commanding at these posts.' 

" In addition to this opinion of the Board of Trade, expressed in the fore- 
going recital, we further beg leave to refer your Lordships to the opinion of 
the commander-in-chief of his Majesty's forces in North America, who, in a 
letter laid before us by the Earl of Hillsborough, delivers his sentiments with 
regard to settlements in the interior parts of America in the following words, 
viz. 

" VII. ' As to increasing the settlements to respectable provinces, and to 
colonization in general terms in the remote countries, I conceive it altogether 
inconsistent with sound policy ; for there is little appearance that the advan- 



474 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

tages will arise from it, which nations expect when they send out colonies 
into foreign countries. They can give no encouragement to the fishery, and, 
though the country might afford some kind of naval stores, the distance would 
be too far to transport them ; and for the same reason they could not supply 
the sugar islands with lumber and provisions. As for the raising wine, silk, 
and other commodities, the same may be said of the present colonies without 
planting others for the purpose at so vast a distance : but, on the supposition 
that they would be raised, their very long transportation must probably make 
them too dear for any market. 

"'I do not apprehend the inhabitants could have any commodities to 
barter for manufactures, except skins and furs, which will naturally decrease, 
as the country increases in people, and the desarts are cultivated; so that in 
the course of a few years necessity would force them to provide manufactures 
of some kind for themselves ; and, when all connection upheld by commerce 
with the mother country shall cease, it may be expected, that an independency 
on her government will soon follow ; the pretence of forming barriers will 
have no end ; wherever we settle, however remote, there must be a frontier ; 
and there is room enough for the colonists to spread within our present limits, 
for a century to come. 

" ' If we reflect how the people of themselves have gradually retired from 
the coast, we shall be convinced they want no encouragement to desert the 
seacoast, and go into the back countries, where the lands are better and got 
upon easier terms ; they are already almost out of the reach of law and gov- 
ernment ; neither the endeavours of government, or fear of Indians, has kept 
them properly within bounds ; and it is apparently most for the interest of 
Great Britain to confine the colonies on the side of the back country, and to 
direct their settlements along the seacoast, where millions of acres are yet un- 
cultivated. The lower provinces are still thinly inhabited and brought to the 
point of perfection, that has been aimed at for the mutual benefit of Great 
Britain and themselves. 

"'Although America may supply the mother country with many articles, 
few of them are yet supplied in quantities equal to her consumption ; the 
quantity of iron transported is not great, of hemp very small, and there are 
many other commodities, not necessary to enumerate, which America has not 
yet been able to raise, notwithstanding the encouragement given her by 
bounties and premiums. The laying open new tracts of fertile territory in 
moderate climates might lessen her present produce ; for it is the passion of 
every man to be a landholder, and the people have a natural disposition to 
rove in search of good lands, however distant. It may be a question likewise, 
whether colonization of the kind could be effected -without an Indian war and 
fighting for every inch of ground. The Indians have long been jealous of our 
power, and have no patience in seeing us approach their towns, and settle 
upon their hunting grounds ; atonements may be made for a fraud discovered 



1772] SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 475 

in a trader, and even the murder of some of their tribes, but encroachments 
upon their lands have often produced serious consequences. The springs of 
the last general war are to be discovered near the Allegany Mountains, and 
upon the banks of the Ohio. 

" It is so obvious, that settlers might raise provisions to feed the troops, 
cheaper than it can be transported from the country below, that it is not 
necessary to explain it ; but I must own I know no other use in settlements, 
nor can give any other reason for supporting forts, than to protect the settle- 
ments, and keep the settlers in subjection to government. 

" ' I conceive, that to procure all the commerce it will afford, and at as 
little expence to ourselves as we can, is the only object we should have in 
view in the interior country for a century to come ; and I imagine it might 
be effected, by proper management, without either forts or settlements. Our 
manufactures are as much desired by the Indians, as their peltry is sought for 
by us ; what was originally deemed a superfluity, or a luxury, by the natives, 
is now become a necessary ; they are disused to the bow, and can neither 
hunt nor make war without fire-arms, powder, and lead. The British provinces 
can only supply them with their necessaries, which they know, and for their 
own sakes would protect the trader, which they actually do at present. It 
would remain with us to prevent the traders being guilty of frauds and imposi- 
tions, and to pursue the same methods to that end, as are taken in the south- 
ern district ; and I must confess, though the plan pursued in that district 
might be improved by proper laws to support it, that I do not know a better 
or more economical plan for the management of trade ; there are neither 
forts nor settlements in the southern department, and there are both in the 
northern department ; and your Lordships will be the best judge, which of 
them has given you the least trouble ; in which we have had the fewest quar- 
rels with, or complaints from, the Indians. 

" ' I know of nothing so liable to bring on a serious quarrel with Indians, 
as an invasion of their property. Let the savages enjoy their desarts in quiet ; 
little bickerings that may unavoidably sometimes happen, may soon be accom- 
modated ; and I am of opinion, independent of the motives of common justice 
and humanity, that the principles of interest and policy should induce us 
rather to protect than molest them. Were they driven from their forests, 
the peltry trade would decrease ; and it is not impossible that worse sav- 
ages would take refuge in them, for they might then become the asylum of 
fugitive negroes, and idle vagabonds escaped from justice, who in time might 
become formidable, and subsist by rapine, and plundering the lower coun- 
tries.' 

"VIII. The opinions delivered in the foregoing recitals are so accurate 
and precise, as to make it almost unnecessary to add any thing more : But 
we beg leave to lay before your Lordships the sentiments of his Majesty's 
Governor of Georgia, upon the subject of large grants in the interior parts of 



476 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

America, whose knowledge and experience in the affairs of the colonies give 
great weight to his opinion. 

" In a letter to us, on the subject of the mischiefs attending such grants, 
he expresses himself in the following manner, viz. 

" 'And now, my Lords, I beg your patience a moment, while I consider this 
matter in a more extensive point of view, and go a little further in declaring 
my sentiments and opinion, with respect to the granting of large bodies of 
land, in the back parts of the province of Georgia, or in any other of his 
Majesty's northern colonies, at a distance from the seacoast, or from such 
parts of any province as is already settled and inhabited. 

" ' And this matter, my Lords, appears to me in a very serious and alarm- 
ing light, and I humbly conceive may be attended with the greatest and worst 
of consequences. For, my Lords, if a vast territory be granted to any set of 
gentlemen, who really mean to people it, and actually do so, it must draw and 
carry out a great number of people from Great Britain ; and I apprehend 
they will soon become a kind of separate and independent people, and who 
will set up for themselves ; that they will soon have manufactures of their 
own ; that they will neither take supplies from the mother country, nor from 
the -provinces, at the back of which they are settled ; that, being at a distance 
from the seat of government, courts, magistrates, &c. &c., they will be out of 
the reach and control of law and government ; that it will become a recep- 
tacle and kind of asylum for offenders, who will fly from justice to such new 
country or colony ; and therefore crimes and offences will be committed, not 
only by the inhabitants of such new settlements, but elsewhere, and pass with 
impunity; and that, in process of time (and perhaps at no great distance), 
they will become formidable enough to oppose his Majesty's authority, disturb 
government, and even give law to the other or first settled part of the country, 
and throw every thing into confusion. 

" ' My Lords, I hope I shall not be thought impertinent, when I give my 
opinion freely, in a matter of so great consequence, as I conceive this to be ; 
and, my Lords, I apprehend, that in all the American colonies, great care 
should be taken, that the lands on the seacoast should be thick settled with 
inhabitants, and well cultivated and improved ; and that the settlements 
should be gradually extended back into the province, and as much connected 
as possible, to keep the people together in as narrow a compass, as the nature 
of the lands and state of things will admit of; and by which means there 
would probably become only one general view and interest amongst them, 
and the power of government and law would of course naturally and easily 
go with them, and matters thereby properly regulated and kept in due order 
and obedience ; and they would have no idea of resisting or transgressing 
either, without being amenable to justice, and subject to punishment for 
offences they may commit. 

" 4 But, my Lords, to suffer a kind of province within a province, and 



1772] SETTLEMENT ON THE OHIO RIVER 477 

one that may, indeed must in process of time become superior, and too big 
for the head, or original settlement or seat of government, to me conveys 
with it many ideas of consequences of such a nature, as I apprehend are ex- 
tremely dangerous and improper, and it would be the policy of government 
to avoid and prevent, whilst in their power to do so. 

" ' My ideas, my Lords, are not chimerical ; I know something of the 
situation and state of things in America ; and from some little occurrences 
or instances that have already really happened, I can very easily figure to 
myself what may, and, in short, what will certainly happen, if not prevented 
in time.' 

" IX. At the same time that we submit the foregoing reasoning against 
colonization in the interior country to your Lordships' consideration, it is 
proper we should take notice of one argument, which has been invariably 
held forth in support of every proposition of this nature, and upon which the 
present proponents appear to lay great stress. It is urged, that such is the 
state of the country now proposed to be granted, and erected into a separate 
government, that no endeavours on the part of the crown can avail, to pre- 
vent its being settled by those who, by the increase of population in the 
middle colonies, are continually emigrating to the westward, and forming 
themselves into colonies in that country, without the intervention or control 
of government, and who, if suffered to continue in that lawless state of an- 
archy and confusion, will commit such abuses as cannot fail of involving us 
in quarrel and dispute with the Indians, and thereby endangering the security 
of his Majesty's colonies. 

" We admit, that this is an argument that deserves attention ; and we 
rather take notice of it in this place, because some of the objections stated by 
Governor Wright lose their force, upon the supposition that the grants against 
which he argues are to be erected into separate governments. But we are 
clearly of opinion, that his arguments do, in the general view of them, as 
applied to the question of granting lands in the interior parts of America, 
stand unanswerable ; and, admitting that the settlers in the country in ques- 
tion are as numerous as report states them to be, yet we submit to your Lord- 
ships, that this is a fact which does, in the nature of it, operate strongly in 
point of argument against what is proposed ; for, if the foregoing reasoning 
has any weight, it certainly ought to induce your Lordships to advise his 
Majesty to take every method to check the progress of these settlements, and 
not to make such grants of the land as will have an immediate tendency to 
encourage them ; a measure which we conceive is altogether as unnecessary 
as it is impolitic, as we see nothing to hinder the government of Virginia 
from extending the laws and constitution of that colony to such persons as 
may have already settled there under legal titles. 

"X. And there is one objection suggested by Governor Wright to the 
extension of settlements in the interior country, which we submit, deserves 



478 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

your Lordships' particular attention, viz. the encouragement that is thereby 
held out to the emigration of his Majesty's European subjects ; an argument 
which, in the present peculiar situation of this kingdom, demands very serious 
consideration, and has for some time past had so great weight with this Board, 
that it has induced us to deny our concurrence to many proposals for grants 
of land, even in those parts of the continent of America where, in all other 
respects, we are of opinion, that it consists with the true policy of this king- 
dom to encourage settlements ; and this consideration of the certain bad 
consequences which must result from a continuance of such emigrations as 
have lately taken place from various parts of his Majesty's European dominions, 
added to the constant drains to Africa, to the East Indies, and to the new- 
ceded islands, will, we trust, with what has been before stated, be a sufficient 
answer to every argument that can be urged in support of the present memo- 
rial, so far as regards the consideration of it in point of policy. 

" XI. With regard to the propriety, in point of justice, of making the 
grant desired, we presume this consideration can have reference only to the 
case of such persons who have already possession of lands in that part of 
the country, under legal titles derived from grants made by the governor 
and Council of Virginia ; upon which case we have only to observe, that it 
does appear to us, that there are some such possessions held by persons who are 
not parties to the present memorial ; and therefore, if your Lordships shall 
be of opinion, that the making the grant desired would, notwithstanding the 
reservation proposed, in respect to such titles, have the effect to disturb those 
possessions, or to expose the proprietors to suit and litigation, we do conceive, 
that, in that case, the grant would be objectionable in point of justice. 

" XII. Upon the whole, therefore, we cannot recommend to your Lord- 
ships to advise his Majesty to comply with the prayer of this memorial, either 
as to the erection of any parts of the lands into a separate government, or the 
making a grant of them to the memorialists ; but, on the contrary, we are of. 
opinion, that settlements in that distant part of the country should be as 
much discouraged as possible ; and that, in order thereto, it will be expedient, 
not only that the orders which have been given to the governor of Virginia, 
not to make any further grants beyond the line prescribed by the proclama- 
tion of 1763, should be continued and enforced, but that another proclamation 
should be issued, declaratory of his Majesty's resolution not to allow, for the 
present, any new settlements beyond that line, and to forbid all persons from 
taking up or settling any lands in that part of the country. 

" We are, my Lords, 

" Your Lordships' most obedient and 

" Most humble servants. 
" Whitehall, April 15, 1772." 



1772] FRANKLIWS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 479 



DR. FRANKLIN'S OBSERVATIONS ON AND AN- 
SWERS TO THE FOREGOING REPORT 

I. THE first paragraph of the Report, we apprehend, was 
intended to establish two propositions as facts ; viz. 

First, That the tract of land, agreed for with the Lords 
Commissioners of the Treasury, contains part of the dominion 
of Virginia. 

Secondly, That it extends several degrees of longitude 
westward from the western ridge of the Allegany Mountains. 

On the first proposition we shall only remark, that no part 
of the above tract is to the eastward of the Allegany Moun- 
tains, and that those mountains must be considered as the 
true western boundary of Virginia; for the King was not 
seised and possessed of a right to the country westward of the 
mountains, until his Majesty purchased it, in the year 1768, 
from the Six Nations; and, since that time, there has not 
been any annexation of such purchase, or of any part thereof, 
to the colony of Virginia. 

On the second proposition we shall just observe that the 
Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations appear to 
us to be as erroneous in this, as in the former proposition; 
for their Lordships say, that the tract of land under considera- 
tion extends several degrees of longitude westward. The 
truth is, that it is not more, on a medium, than one degree 
and a half of longitude from the western ridge of the Allegany 
Mountains to the River Ohio. 

II. It appears, by the second paragraph, as if the Lords 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations apprehended, 



480 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

that the lands southwesterly of the boundary line, marked 
on a map annexed to their Lordships' Report, were either 
claimed by the Cherokees, or were their hunting grounds, 
or were the hunting grounds of the Six Nations and their 
confederates. 

As to any claim of the Cherokees to the above country, it is 
altogether new and indefensible, and never was heard of 
until the appointment of Mr. Stewart to the superintendency 
of the southern colonies, about the year 1764; and this, we 
flatter ourselves, will not only be obvious from the following 
state of facts, but that the right to all the country on the 
southerly side of the River Ohio, quite to the Cherokee River, 
is now undoubtedly vested in the King, by the grant which 
the Six Nations made to his Majesty at Fort Stanwix, in 
November, 1768. In short, the lands from the Great Ken- 
hawa to the Cherokee River never were either the dwelling 
or hunting grounds of the Cherokees; but formerly belonged 
to, and were inhabited by, the Shawanesse, until such time 
as they were conquered by the Six Nations. 

Mr. Golden, the present Lieutenant-Governor of New 
York, in his "History of the Five Nations," observes, that, 
about the year 1664, "the Five Nations, being amply supplied 
by the English with fire-arms and ammunition, gave a full 
swing to their warlike genius. They carried their arms as 
far south as Carolina, to the northward of New England, and 
as jar west as the River Mississippi, over a vast country, which 
extended 1200 miles in length from north to south, and 600 
miles in breadth, where they entirely destroyed whole nations, 
of whom there are no accounts remaining among the English." 

In 1701, the Five Nations put all their hunting lands under 
the protection of the English, as appears by the records, and 



1772] FRANKLIWS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 481 

by the recital and confirmation thereof, in their deed to the 
King of the 4th September, 1726; and Governor Pownal, 
who many years ago diligently searched into the rights of the 
natives, and in particular into those of the northern con- 
federacy, says, in his book entitled the Administration of the 
Colonies, "The right of the Five-Nation confederacy to the 
hunting lands of Ohio, Ticucksouchrondite and Scania- 
deriada, by the conquest they made in subduing the 
Shadanoes, Delawares (as we call them), Twictwees, and 
Oilinois, may be fairly proved, as they stood possessed thereof 
at the peace of Ryswick, 1697." And confirmatory hereof, 
Mr. Lewis Evans, a gentleman of great American knowledge, 
in his Map of the middle colonies, published in America in 
the year 1755, has laid down the country on the southeasterly 
side of the River Ohio, as the hunting lands of the Six Nations; 
and in his Analysis to this Map, he expressly says; "The 
Shawanesse, who were formerly one of the most considerable 
nations of those parts of America, whose seat extended from 
Kentucke southwestward to the Mississippi, have been sub- 
dued by the confederates (or Six Nations), and the country 
since became their property. No nation," Mr. Evans adds, 
"held out with greater resolution and bravery; and, although 
they have been scattered in all parts for a while, they are again 
collected on Ohio, under the dominion of the confederates." 
At a Congress held in the year 1744, by the provinces of 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, with the Six Nations, 
the commissioners of Virginia, in a speech to the sachems 
and warriors of that confederacy, say; "Tell us what nations 
of Indians you conquered any lands from in Virginia, how 
long it is since, and what possession you have had ; and if it 
does appear, that there is any land on the borders of Virginia, 

VOL. V 21 



4 82 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

that the Six Nations have a right to, we are willing to make 
you satisfaction." 

To this speech, the Six Nations gave the following animated 
and decisive answer. "All the world knows we conquered the 
several nations living on Sasquehanna, Cohongoranto [that 
is, Powtomac], and on the back of the great mountains in Vir- 
ginia; the Conoy-uck-suck-roona, Cock- now- was-roonan, 
Tohoa-irough-roonan, and Connutskin-ough-roonaw feel the 
effects of our conquests, being now a part of our nations, and 
their lands at our disposal. We know very well, it hath often 
been said by the Virginians, that the King of England and 
the people of that colony conquered the people who live there ; 
but it is not true. We will allow they conquered the Sach- 
dagughronaw, and drove back the Tuskaroras [the first 
resided near the branches of James's River in Virginia, and 
the latter on these branches], and that they have, on that 
account, a right to some parts of Virginia ; but as to what lies 
beyond the mountains, we conquered the nations residing there, 
and that land, if the Virginians ever get a good right to it, it 
must be by us" 

In the year 1750, the French seized four English traders, 
who were trading with the Six Nations, Shawanesse, and 
Delawares, on the waters of the Ohio, and sent them pris- 
oners to Quebec, and from thence to France. 

In 1754, the French took a formal possession of the River 
Ohio, and built forts at Venango, at the confluence of the 
Ohio and Monongahela, and at the mouth of the Cherokee 
River. 

In 1755, General Braddock was sent to America with an 
army to remove the French from their possessions over the 
Allegany Mountains and on the River Ohio; and on his 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 483 

arrival at Alexandria, he held a council of war with the gov- 
ernors of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and 
the Massachusetts Bay; and, as these gentlemen well knew, 
that the country claimed by the French, over the Allegany 
Mountains, and southwesterly to the River Mississippi, was 
the unquestionable property of the Six Nations, and not of 
the Cherokees, or any other tribe of Indians, the general gave 
instructions to Sir William Johnson to call together the 
Indians of the Six Nations, and lay before them their before- 
mentioned grant to the King in 1726, wherein they had put 
all their hunting lands under his Majesty s protection, to be 
guaranteed to them and to their use. And as General Brad- 
dock's instructions are clearly declaratory of the right of the 
Six Nations to the lands under consideration, we shall here 
transcribe the conclusive words of them; "And it appearing 
that the French have, from time to time, by fraud and violence, 
built strong forts within the limits of the said lands, contrary 
to the covenant chain of the said deed and treaties, you are, 
in my name, to assure the said nations, that I am come by his 
Majesty's order to destroy all the said forts, and to build such 
others, as shall protect and secure the said lands to them, their 
heirs and successors for ever, according to the intent and spirit 
of the said treaty ; and I do therefore call upon them to take 
up the hatchet and come and take possession of their own 
lands: 1 

That General Braddock and the American governors were 
not singular in their opinion, as to the right of the Six Nations 
to the land over the Allegany Mountains, and on both sides 
of the River Ohio, quite to the Mississippi, is evident from 
the memorials, which passed between the British and French 
courts in 1755. 



484 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

In a memorial delivered by the King's ministers on the 
yth June, 1755, to the Due de Mirepoix, relative to the pre- 
tensions of France to the abovementioned lands, they very 
justly observed; "As to the exposition, which is made in the 
French memorial of the i5th article of the treaty of Utrecht, 
the court of Great Britain does not think it can have any 
foundation, either by the words or the intention of this treaty. 

ist. "The court of Great Britain cannot allow of this 
article, relating only to the persons of the savages, and not 
to their country : The words of this treaty are clear and pre- 
cise, that is to say, the Five Nations, or Cantons, are subject 
to the dominion of Great Britain, which, by the received 
exposition of all treaties, must relate to the country, as well 
as to the persons of the inhabitants; it is what France has 
acknowledged, in the most solemn manner; she had well 
weighed the importance of this acknowledgement, at the time 
of signing this treaty, and Great Britain can never give it up. 
The countries possessed by these Indians are very well known, 
and are not at all so undetermined, as it is pretended in the 
memorial; they possess and make them over, as other pro- 
prietors do in all other places" 

5th. "Whatever pretext might be alledged by France, in 
considering these countries as the appurtenances of Canada, 
it is a certain truth, that they have belonged, and (as they have 
not been given up or made over to the English) belong still, to 
the same Indian nations; which, by the i$th article of the 
treaty of Utrecht, France agreed not to molest, Nullo in 
posterum impedimento aut molestia afficiant." 

"Notwithstanding all that has been advanced in this article, 
the court of Great Britain cannot agree to France having the 
least title to the River Ohio, and the territory in question" 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 485 

[N. B. This was all the country from the Allegany Moun- 
tains to the Ohio, and down the same and on both sides 
thereof to the River Mississippi.] 

"Even that of possession is not, nor can it be alleged on this 
occasion ; since France cannot pretend to have had any such 
before the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, nor since, unless it be 
that of certain forts, unjustly erected lately on the lands, 
which evidently belong to the Five Nations, or which these 
have made over to the crown of Great Britain or its subjects, 
as may be proved by treaties and acts of the greatest authority. 
What the court of Great Britain maintained, and what it in- 
sists upon, is, that the Five Nations of the Iroquois, acknowl- 
edged by France, are, by origin or by right of conquest, the 
lawful proprietors of the River Ohio, and the territory in ques- 
tion. And, as to the territory, which has been yielded and 
made over by these people to Great Britain (which cannot but 
be owned must be the most just and lawful manner of making 
an acquisition of this sort), she reclaims it, as belonging to 
her, having continued cultivating it for above 20 years past, 
and having made settlements in several parts of it, from the 
sources even of the Ohio to Pichawillanes, in the centre of the 
territory between the Ohio and the Wabache." 

In 1755, the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Planta- 
tions were so solicitous to ascertain the territory of the Six 
Nations, that Dr. Mitchel, by their desire, published a large 
map of North America; and Mr. Pownal, the present Sec- 
retary of the Board of Trade, then certified, as appears on the 
map, That the Doctor was furnished with documents for the 
purpose from that Board. In this map, Dr. Mitchel observes, 
"that the Six Nations have extended their territories, ever 
since the year 1672, when they subdued and were incorporated 



486 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

with ike ancient Shawanesse, the native proprietors 0} these 
countries, and the River Ohio; besides which, they likewise 
claim a right of conquest over the Illinois, and all the Mis- 
sissippi, as far as they extend. This," he adds, "is confirmed 
by their own claims and possessions in 1742, which include 
all the bounds here laid down, and none have ever thought 
fit to dispute them." And, in confirmation of this right of the 
Six Nations to the country on the Ohio, as mentioned by the 
King's ministers in their memorial to the Duke of Mirepoix, 
in 1755, we would just remark, that the Six Nations, Shawa- 
nesse, and Dela wares were in the actual occupation of the 
lands southward of the Great Kenhawa, for some time after 
the French had encroached upon the River Ohio; and that, 
in the year 1752, these tribes had a large town on Kentucke 
River, 238 miles below the Sioto; that in the year 1754, they 
resided and hunted on the southerly side of the River Ohio, 
in the Low Country, at about 320 miles below the Great 
Kenhawa; and, in the year 1755, they had also a large town 
opposite to the mouth of Sioto, at the very place which is the 
southern boundary line of the tract of land applied for by Mr. 
Walpole and his associates. But it is a certain fact that the 
Cherokees never had any towns or settlements in the country, 
southward of the Great Kenhawa ; that they do not hunt there, 
and that neither the Six Nations, Shawanesse, nor Delawares 
do now reside or hunt on the southerly side of the River Ohio, 
nor did not for several years before they sold the country to 
the King. These are facts, which can be easily and fully 
proved. 

In October, 1768, at a Congress held with the Six Nations 
at Fort Stanwix, they observed to Sir William Johnson; 
"Now, brother, you, who know all our affairs, must be sen- 






1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 487 

sible, that our rights go much farther to the southward, than 
the Kenhawa, and that we have a very good and clear title 
as far south as the Cherokee River, which we cannot allow to 
be the right of any other Indians, without doing wrong to 
our posterity, and acting unworthy those warriors, who 
fought and conquered it; we therefore expect our right will 
be considered." 

In November, 1768, the Six Nations sold to the King all 
the country on the southerly side of the River Ohio, as far 
as the Cherokee River; but, notwithstanding that sale, as 
soon as it was understood in Virginia, that government 
favoured the pretensions of the Cherokees, and that Dr. 
Walker and Colonel Lewis (the commissioners sent from 
that colony to the Congress at Fort Stanwix) had returned 
from thence, the late Lord Bottetourt sent these gentlemen 
to Charlestown, South Carolina, to endeavour to convince 
Mr. Stuart, the Southern Superintendent of Indian affairs, 
of the necessity of enlarging the boundary line which he had 
settled with the Cherokees; and to run it from the Great 
Kenhawa to Holston's River. These gentlemen were ap- 
pointed commissioners by his Lordship, as they had been 
long conversant in Indian affairs, and were well acquainted 
with the actual extent of the Cherokee country. Whilst 
these commissioners were in South Carolina, they wrote a 
letter to Mr. Stuart, as he had been but a very few years in 
the Indian service, (and could not, from the nature of his 
former employment, be supposed to be properly informed 
about the Cherokee territory,) respecting the claims of the 
Cherokees to the lands southward of the Great Kenhawa, and 
therein they expressed themselves as follows. 

"Charlestown, South Carolina, Feb. 2, 1769. The coun- 



488 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

try southward of the Big Kenhawa was never claimed by the 
Cherokees, and now is the property of the crown, as Sir 
William Johnson purchased it of the Six Nations at a very 
considerable expence, and took a deed of cession from them 
at Fort Stanwix." 

In 1769, the House of Burgesses of the colony of Virginia 
represented to Lord Bottetourt, "That they have the greatest 
reason to fear the said line" (meaning the boundary line, 
which the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations 
have referred to in the map annexed to their Lordships' Re- 
port), "if confirmed, would constantly open to the Indians, 
and other enemies to his Majesty, a free and easy ingress to 
the heart of the country on the Ohio, Holston's River, and 
the Great Kenhawa; whereby the settlements which may 
be attempted in those quarters will, in all probability, be 
utterly destroyed, and that great extent of country [at least 
800 miles in length] from the mouth of the Kenhawa to the 
mouth of the Cherokee River, extending eastward as far as the 
Laurell Hill, so lately ceded to his Majesty, to which no tribe 
of Indians at present set up any pretensions, will be entirely 
abandoned to the Cherokees; in consequence of which, claims 
totally destructive of the true interest of his Majesty may at 
some future time arise, and acquisitions justly ranked among 
the most valuable of the late war be altogether lost." 

From the foregoing detail of facts, it is obvious, 

ist. That the country southward of the Great Kenhawa, 
at least as far as the Cherokee River, originally belonged to 
the Shawanesse. 

2d. That the Six Nations, in virtue of their conquest of the 
Shawanesse, became the lawful proprietors of that country. 

3d. That the King, in consequence of the grant from the 






1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 489 

Six Nations, made to his Majesty at Fort Stanwix in 
1768, is now vested with the undoubted right and property 
thereof. 

4th. That the Cherokees never resided, nor hunted, in that 
country, and have not any kind of right to it. 

5th. That the House of Burgesses of the colony of Virginia 
have, upon good grounds, asserted, (such as properly arise 
from the nature of their stations and proximity to the Chero- 
kee country,) that the Cherokees had not any just pretensions 
to the territory southward of the Great Kenhawa. 

And lastly, That neither the Six Nations, the Shawanesse, 
nor Delawares do now reside or hunt in that country. 

From these considerations, it is evident no possible injury 
can arise to his Majesty's service, to the Six Nations and their 
confederacy, or to the Cherokees, by permitting us to settle 
the whole of the lands comprehended within our contract 
with the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. If, however, 
there has been any treaty held with the Six Nations, since 
the cession made to his Majesty at Fort Stanwix, whereby the 
faith of the crown is pledged, both to the Six Nations and the 
Cherokees, that no settlement should be made beyond the 
line, marked on their Lordships' Report; we say, if such 
agreement has been made by the orders of government 
with these tribes, (notwithstanding, as the Lords Com- 
missioners have acknowledged, "the Six Nations had ceded 
the property in the lands to his Majesty") we flatter our- 
selves, that the objection of their Lordships in the second 
paragraph of their Report will be entirely obviated, by a 
specific clause being inserted in the King's grant to us, ex- 
pressly prohibiting us from settling any part of the same, until 
such time as we shall have first obtained his Majesty's allow- 



490 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

ance, and the full consent of the Cherokees, and the Six 
Nations and their confederates, for that purpose. 

III. In regard to the third paragraph of their Lordships' 
Report, That it was the principle of the Board of Trade, 
after the treaty of Paris, "to confine the western extent of 
settlements to such a distance from the seacoast, as that these 
settlements should lie within the reach of the trade and com- 
merce of this kingdom," &c., we shall not presume to con- 
trovert it ; but it may be observed, that the settlement of the 
country over the Allegany Mountains, and on the Ohio, was 
not understood, either before the treaty of Paris, nor intended 
to be so considered by his Majesty's proclamation of October, 
1763, "as without the reach of the trade and commerce of this 
kingdom" &c. ; for, in the year 1748, Mr. John Hanbury, 
and a number of other gentlemen, petitioned the King for a 
grant of 500,000 acres of land over the Allegany Mountains, 
and on the River Ohio and its branches; and the Lords 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations were then pleased 
to report to the Lords committee of his Majesty's most hon- 
ourable Privy Council, "That the settlement of the country 
lying to the westward of the great mountains, as it was the 
centre of the British dominions, would be for his Majesty 1 s 
interest, and the advantage and security of Virginia and the 
neighbouring colonies" 

And on the 23d of February, 1748-9, the Lords Commis- 
sioners for Trade and Plantations again reported to the Lords 
of the committee of the Privy Council, that they had "fully 
set forth the great utility and advantage of extending our set- 
tlements beyond the great mountains, ('which report has been 
approved of by your Lordships;') and as, by these new pro- 
posals, there is a great probability of having a much larger 



1772] FRANKLIATS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 491 

tract of the said country settled than under the former, we are 
of opinion, that it will be greatly for his Majesty s service, and 
the welfare and security of Virginia, to comply with the prayer 
of the petition. 11 

And on the i6th of March, 1748-9, an instruction was sent 
to the governor of Virginia to grant 500,000 acres of land 
over the Allegany Mountains to the aforesaid Mr. Hanbury 
and his partners (who are now part of the company of Mr. 
Walpole and his associates) ; and that instruction sets forth, 
that u such settlements will be for our interest, and the advan- 
tage and security of our said colony, as well as the advantage 
of the neighbouring ones; inasmuch as our loving subjects 
will be thereby enabled to cultivate a friendship, and carry on 
a more extensive commerce, with the nations of Indians in- 
habiting those parts ; and such examples may likewise induce 
the neighbouring colonies to turn their thoughts towards de- 
signs of the same nature 11 Hence, we apprehend, it is evi- 
dent, that a former Board of Trade, at which the late Lord 
Halifax presided, was of opinion, that settlements over the 
Allegany Mountains were not against the King's interest, 
nor at such a distance from the seacoast, as to be without 
"the reach of the trade and commerce of this kingdom," nor 
where its authority or jurisdiction could not be exercised. 
But the Report under consideration suggests, that two capital 
objects of the proclamation of 1763 were, to confine future 
settlements to the "sources of the rivers which fall into the 
sea from the west and northwest," (or, in other words, to the 
eastern side of the Allegany Mountains,) and to the three new 
governments of Canada, East Florida, and West Florida; 
and to establish this fact, the Lords Commissioners for Trade 
and Plantations recite a part of that proclamation. 



492 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

But if the whole of this proclamation is considered, it will 
be found to contain the nine following heads ; viz. 

ist To declare to his Majesty's subjects, that he had 
erected four distinct and separate governments in America; 
viz. Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada. 

2d. To ascertain the respective boundaries of these four 
new governments. 

3d. To testify the royal sense and approbation of the con- 
duct and bravery, both of the officers and soldiers of the 
King's army, and of the reduced officers of the navy, who had 
served in North America, and to reward them by grants of 
lands in Quebec, and in East and West Florida, without fee 
or reward. 

4th. To hinder the governors of Quebec, East Florida, and 
West Florida from granting warrants of survey, or passing 
patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective gov- 
ernments. 

5th. To forbid the governors of any other colonies or plan- 
tations in America from granting warrants or passing patents 
for lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers, 
which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or north- 
west, or upon any lands whatever, "which, not having been 
ceded to or purchased by the King, are reserved to the said 
Indians, or any of them." 

6th. To reserve, "for the present," under the King's sov- 
ereignty, protection, and dominion, "for the use of the said 
Indians," all the lands not included within the limits of the 
said three new governments, or within the limits of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company; as also, all the lands lying to the west- 
ward of the sources of the rivers, which fall into the sea from 
the west and northwest, and forbidding the King's subjects 






1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 493 

from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking 
possession of the lands so reserved, without his Majesty's 
leave and license first obtained. 

7th. To require all persons, who had made settlements on 
lands not purchased by the King from the Indians, to remove 
from such settlements. 

8th. To regulate the future purchases of lands from the 
Indians, within such parts as his Majesty, by that proclama- 
tion, permitted settlements to be made upon. 

9th. To declare, that the trade with the Indians should be 
free and open to all his Majesty's subjects, and to prescribe 
the manner how it shall be carried on. 

And, lastly, To require all military officers, and the super- 
intendents of Indian affairs, to seize and apprehend all per- 
sons who stood charged with treasons, murders, &c., and 
who had fled from justice and taken refuge in the reserved 
lands of the Indians, to send such persons to the colony where 
they stood accused. 

From this proclamation, therefore, it is obvious, that the 
sole design of it, independent of the establishment of the three 
new governments, ascertaining their respective boundaries, 
rewarding the officers and soldiers, regulating the Indian 
trade, and apprehending felons, was to convince the Indians 
"of his Majesty's justice and determined resolution to re- 
move all reasonable cause of discontent," by interdicting all 
settlements on land not ceded to, or purchased by, his Majesty; 
and declaring it to be, as we have already mentioned, his 
royal will and pleasure, "for the present, to reserve, under his 
sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the 
Indians, all the land and territories lying to the westward of 
the sources of the rivers, which fall into the sea from the west 



494 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

and northwest." Can any words express more decisively 
the royal intention? Do they not explicitly mention, that 
the territory is, at present, reserved, under his Majesty's pro- 
tection, for the use of the Indians ? And, as the Indians had 
no use for those lands, which are bounded westerly by the 
southeast side of the river Ohio, either for residence or hunt- 
ing, they were willing to sell them; and accordingly did sell 
them to the King in November, 1768, the occasion of which 
sale will be fully explained in our observations on the succeed- 
ing paragraphs of the Report. Of course, the proclamation, 
so far as it regarded the settlement of the lands included 
within that purchase, has absolutely and undoubtedly ceased. 
The late Mr. Grenville, who was, at the time of issuing this 
proclamation, the minister of this kingdom, always admitted, 
that the design of it was totally accomplished, so soon as the 
country was purchased o) the natives. 

IV. In this paragraph, the Lords Commissioners for 
Trade and Plantations mention two reasons for his Majesty's 
entering into engagements with the Indians, for fixing a more 
precise and determinate boundary line than was settled by the 
proclamation of October, 1763, viz. 

ist, Partly for want of precision in the one intended to be 
marked by the proclamation of 1763. 

2d, And partly from a consideration of justice in regard to 
legal titles to lands. 

We have, we presume, fully proved, in our observations on 
the third paragraph, that the design of the proclamation, so 
far as related to lands westward of the Allegany Mountains, 
was for no other purpose than to reserve them, under his 
Majesty's protection, for the present, for the use of the Indians; 
to which we shall only add, That the line established by the 






1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 495 

proclamation, so far as it concerned the lands in question, 
could not possibly be fixed and described with more precision, 
than the proclamation itself describes it ; for it declares, That 
'all the lands and territories lying to the westward of the 
sources of the rivers, which jail into the sea from the west and 
northwest,' should be reserved under his Majesty's protection. 

Neither, in our opinion, was his Majesty induced to enter 
into engagements with the Indians, for fixing a more precise 
and determinate boundary, "partly from a consideration of 
justice, in regard to legal titles to lands," for there were none 
such (as we shall prove) comprehended within the tract now 
under consideration. 

But for a full comprehension of ALL the reasons for his 
Majesty's "entering into engagements with the Indians, for 
fixing a more precise and determinate boundary line," than 
was settled by the royal proclamation of October, 1763, we 
shall take the liberty of stating the following facts. In the 
year 1764, the King's ministers had it then in contemplation 
to obtain an act of Parliament for the proper regulation of 
the Indian commerce, and providing a fund, (by laying a 
duty on the trade,) for the support of superintendents, com- 
missaries, interpreters, &c., at particular forts in the Indian 
country, where the trade was to be carried on ; and, as a part 
of this system it was thought proper, in order to avoid future 
complaints from the Indians, on account of encroachments 
on their hunting grounds, to purchase a large tract of terri- 
tory from them, and establish, with their consent, a respectable 
boundary line, beyond which his Majesty's subjects should 
not be permitted to settle. 

In consequence of this system, orders were transmitted to 
Sir William Johnson, in the year 1764, to call together the Six 



496 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Nations, lay this proposition of the boundary before them, 
and take their opinion upon it. This, we apprehend, will 
appear evident from the following speech, made by Sir 
William to the Six Nations, at a conference which he held 
with them at Johnson Hall, May the 2d, 1765. 

"Brethren, 

"The last, but the most important affair I have at this time 
to mention is, with regard to the settling a boundary between 
you and the English. I sent a message to some of your 
nations some time ago, to acquaint you, that I should confer 
with you at this meeting upon it. The King, whose gener- 
osity and forgiveness you have already experienced, being 
very desirous to put a final end to disputes between his people 
and YOU CONCERNING LANDS, and to do you strict justice, 
has fallen upon the plan of a boundary between our provinces 
and the Indians, (which no white man shall dare to invade,) 
as the best and surest method of ending such like disputes, 
and securing your property to you beyond a possibility of 
disturbance. This will, I hope, appear to you so reasonable, 
so just on the part of the King, and so advantageous to you 
and your posterity, that I can have no doubt of your chear- 
fully joining with me in settling such a division line, as will 
be best for the advantage of both white men and Indians, and 
as shall best agree with the extent and increase of each province, 
and the governors, whom I shall consult upon that occasion, 
so soon as I am fully empowered ; but in the mean time I am 
desirous to know in what manner you would choose to extend 
it, and what you will agree heartily to, and abide by, in gen- 
eral terms. At the same time, I am to acquaint you, that 
whenever the whole is settled, and that it shall appear you 
have so far consulted the increasing state of our people, as to 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 497 

make any convenient cessions 0} ground where it is most 
wanted, that then you will receive a considerable present in 
return for your friendship." 

To this speech the sachems and warriors of the Six Nations, 
after conferring some time among themselves, gave an answer 
to Sir William Johnson, and agreed to the proposition of the 
boundary line; which answer, and the other transactions of 
this conference, Sir William transmitted to the office of the 
Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. 

From a change of the administration, which formed the 
above system of obtaining an act of Parliament for regulating 
the Indian trade and establishing the boundary line, or from 
some other public cause, unknown to us, no measures were 
adopted, until the latter end of the year 1767, for completing 
the negotiation about this boundary line. But in the mean 
time, viz. between the years 1765 and 1768, the King's sub- 
jects removed in great numbers from Virginia, Maryland, 
and Pennsylvania, and settled over the mountains; upon 
which account the Six Nations became so irritated, that in 
the year 1766 they killed several persons, and denounced a 
general war against the middle colonies; and to appease 
them, and to avoid such a public calamity, a detachment of 
the 42 d regiment of foot was that year sent from the garrison 
of Fort Pitt, to remove such settlers as were seated at Red- 
Stone Creek, &c.; but the endeavours and threats of this 
detachment proved ineffectual, and they returned to the 
garrison without being able to execute their orders. The 
complaints of the Six Nations, however, continuing and 
increasing, on account of the settling of their lands over the 
mountains, General Gage wrote to the governor of Penn- 
sylvania on the 7th of December, 1767, and after mentioning 

VOL. V 2 K 






498 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

these complaints, he observed; " You are a witness how little 
attention has been paid to the several proclamations that have 
been published, and that even the removing those people from 
the lands in question, which was attempted this summer by 
the garrison at Fort Pitt, has been only a temporary expedient. 
We learn they are returned again to the same encroachments 
on Red-Stone Creek and Cheat River, in greater numbers 
than ever" 

On the 5th of January, 1768, the governor of Pennsylvania 
sent a message to the General Assembly of the province, with 
the foregoing letter from General Gage; and on the i3th 
the Assembly, in the conclusion of a message to the Gov- 
ernor on the subject of Indian complaints, observed; "To 
obviate which cause of their discontent, and effectually to 
establish between them and his Majesty's subjects a durable 
peace, we are of opinion, that a speedy confirmation of the 
boundary, and a just satisfaction made to them for their lands 
on this side of it, are absolutely necessary. By this means 
all their present complaints of encroachments will be removed, 
and the people on our frontiers will have a sufficient country 
to settle or hunt in, without interfering with them." 

On the i gth of January, 1768, Mr. Galloway, the Speaker 
of the Assembly in Pennsylvania, and the Committee of Cor- 
respondence, wrote on the subject of the Indians' disquietude, 
by order of the House, to their agents, Richard Jackson and 
Benjamin Franklin, Esquires, in London, and therein they 
said, "That the delay of the confirmation of the boundary 
the natives have warmly complained of, and that, although 
they have received no consideration for the lands agreed to be 
ceded to the crown on our side of the boundary, yet that its sub- 
jects are daily settling and occupying those very lands" 



1772] FRANKLIWS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 499 

In April, 1768, the legislature of Pennsylvania rinding that 
the expectations of an Indian war were hourly increasing, 
occasioned by the settlement of the lands over the mountains 
not sold by the natives, and flattering themselves that orders 
would soon arrive from England for the perfection of the 
boundary line ; they voted the sum of one thousand pounds, 
to be given as a present, in blankets, strouds, &c., to the 
Indians upon the Ohio, with a view of moderating their re- 
sentment, until these orders should arrive. And, the Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania being informed that a treaty was soon 
to be held at Fort Pitt by George Croghan, Esq. deputy agent 
of Indian affairs, by order of General Gage and Sir William 
Johnson, he sent his secretary and another gentleman, as 
commissioners from the province, to deliver the above present 
to the Indians at Fort Pitt. 

On the 2d of May, 1768, the Six Nations made the follow- 
ing speech at that conference. 
"Brother, 

"It is not without grief, that we see our country settled by 
you, without our knowledge or consent ; and it is a long time 
since we complained to you of this grievance, which we find 
has not as yet been redressed ; but settlements are still extending 
further into our country; some of them are made directly on 
our war-path, leading into our enemies' country, and we do 
not like it. Brother, you have laws among you to govern your 
people by ; and it will be the strongest proof of the sincerity 
of your friendship, to let us see that you remove the people 
from our lands; as we look upon it, they will have time 
enough to settle them, when you have purchased them, and the 
country becomes yours" 

The Pennsylvania commissioners, in answer to this speech, 



5<x> THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

informed the Six Nations, that the Governor of that province 
had sent four gentlemen with his proclamation and the act 
of assembly (making it felony of death without benefit of 
clergy, to continue on Indian lands) to such settlers over the 
mountains, as were seated within the limits of Pennsylvania, 
requiring them to vacate their settlements, but all to no avail ; 
that the governor of Virginia had likewise, to as little purpose, 
issued his proclamations and orders ; and that General Gage 
had twice ineffectually sent parties of soldiers to remove the 
settlers from Red-Stone Creek and Monongahela. 

As soon as Mr. Jackson and Dr. Franklin received the 
foregoing instructions from the General Assembly of Penn- 
sylvania, they waited upon the American minister, and urged 
the expediency and necessity of the boundary line being 
speedily concluded; and, in consequence thereof, additional 
orders were immediately transmitted to Sir William Johnson 
for that purpose. 

It is plain, therefore, that the proclamation of October, 
1763, was not designed, as the Lords Commissioners for Trade 
and Plantations have suggested, to signify the policy of this 
kingdom against settlements over the Allegany Mountains, 
after the King had actually purchased the territory ; and that 
the true reasons for purchasing the lands comprised within 
that boundary were to avoid an Indian rupture, and give an 
opportunity to the King's subjects quietly and lawfully to 
settle thereon. 

V. Whether the Lords Commissioners for Trade and 
Plantations are well founded in their declarations, that the 
lands under consideration "are out of all advantageous inter- 
course with this kingdom" shall be fully considered in our 
observations on the sixth paragraph; and, as to "the various 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 501 

propositions for erecting new colonies in the interior parts, 
which, their Lordships say, have been, in consequence of the 
extension of the boundary line, submitted to the considera- 
tion of government, particularly in that part of the country ', 
wherein are situated the lands now prayed for, and the danger 
of complying with such proposals have been so obvious as to 
defeat every attempt for carrying them into execution," we 
shall only observe on this paragraph, that as we do not 
know what these propositions were, or upon what principle 
the proposers have been defeated, it is impossible for us to 
judge, whether they are any ways applicable to our case. 
Consistent however with our knowledge, no more than one 
proposition for the settlement of a part of the lands in question, 
has been presented to government, and that was from Dr. 
Lee, 32 other Americans, and two Londoners, in the year 
1768, praying that his Majesty would grant to them, without 
any purchase money, 2,500,000 of land, in one or more sur- 
veys, to be located between the 38th and 42d degrees of lati- 
tude, over the Allegany Mountains, and on condition of their 
possessing these lands 12 years WITHOUT the payment of any 
quit-rent, (the^ same not to begin until the whole 2,500,000 
acres were surveyed,) and that they should be obliged to settle 
200 families in 12 years. Surely, the Lords Commissioners 
did not mean this proposition, as one that was similar, and 
would apply to the case now reported upon; and especially 
as Dr. Lee and his associates did not propose, as we do, 
either to purchase the lands, or pay the quit-rents to his 
Majesty, neat and clear of all deductions, or be at the whole 
expence of establishing and maintaining the civil government 
of the country. 
VI. In the sixth paragraph the Lords Commissioners 



5 02 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

observe, that "every argument on the subject, respecting the 
settlement of the lands in that part of the country now prayed 
for, is collected together with great force and precision in a 
representation made to his Majesty by the Lords Commis- 
sioners for Trade and Plantations, in March, 1768." 

That it may be clearly understood, what was the occasion 
of this Representation, we shall take the liberty of mention- 
ing, that, on the ist of October, 1767, and during the time 
that the Earl of Shelburne was Secretary of State for the 
southern department, an idea was entertained of forming, 
"at the ex pence of the crown" three new governments in 
North America, viz. one at Detroit, (on the waters between 
Lake Huron and Lake Erie); one in the Illinois country, 
and one on the lower part of the river Ohio ; and, in conse- 
quence of such idea, a reference was made by his Lordship 
to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, for 
their opinion upon these proposed new governments. 

Having explained the cause of the Representation, which 
is so very strongly and earnestly insisted upon by the Lords 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, as containing 
"every argument on the subject of the lands which is at present 
before your Lordships"; we shall now give our reasons for 
apprehending, that it is so far from applying against our case, 
that it actually declares a permission would be given to settle 
the very lands in question. 

Three principal reasons are assigned in the Representation, 
"as conducive to the great object of colonizing upon the 
continent of North America, viz. 

" ist, Promoting the advantageous fishery carried on upon 
the northern coast. 

"2dly, Encouraging the growth and culture of naval 






1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 503 

stores, and of raw materials, to be transported hither, in 
exchange for perfect manufactures and other merchandise. 

"3dly, Securing a supply of lumber, provisions, and other 
necessaries, for the support of our establishments in the 
American islands." 

On the first of these reasons, we apprehend, it is not neces- 
sary for us to make many observations ; as the provinces of 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and the 
colonies southward of them, have not, and from the nature 
of their situation and commerce will not, promote the fishery, 
more, it is conceived, than the proposed Ohio colony. These 
provinces are, however, beneficial to this kingdom in culture 
and exportation of different articles; as it is humbly pre- 
sumed the Ohio colony will likewise be, if the production 
of staple commodities is allowed to be within that description. 

On the 2d and 3d general reasons of the Representation we 
shall observe, that no part of his Majesty's dominions in 
North America will require less encouragement "for the growth 
and culture of naval stores and raw materials, and for the 
supplying the islands with lumber, provisions," &c., than 
the solicited colony on the Ohio; and for the following 
reasons. 

First, The lands in question are excellent, the climate 
temperate; the native grapes, silk- worms, and mulberry 
trees are everywhere; hemp grows spontaneously in the val- 
leys and low lands; iron ore is plenty in the hills; and no 
soil is better adapted for the culture of tobacco, flax, and 
cotton, than that of the Ohio. 

Second, The country is well watered by several navigable 
rivers, communicating with each other; and by which, and 
a short land carriage of only 40 miles, the produce of the lands 



504 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

of the Ohio can, even now, be sent cheaper to the seaport 
town of Alexandria, on the river Potomack (where General 
Braddock's transports landed his troops), than any kind of 
merchandize is at this time sent from Northampton to London. 

Third, The river Ohio is, at all seasons of the year, navi- 
gable for large boats, like the West Country barges, rowed 
only by four or five men; and, from January to the month 
of April, large ships may be built on the Ohio, and sent laden 
with hemp, iron, flax, silk, &c., to this kingdom. 

Fourth, Flour, corn, beef, ship-plank, and other neces- 
saries can be sent down the stream of Ohio to West Florida, 
and from thence to the islands, much cheaper and in better 
order, than from New York or Philadelphia. 

Fifth, Hemp, tobacco, iron, and such bulky articles can 
also be sent down the stream of the Ohio to the sea, at least 
50 per centum cheaper than these articles were ever carried 
by a land carriage, of only 60 miles, in Pennsylvania ; where 
waggonage is cheaper than in any other part of North America. 

Sixth, The expence of transporting British manufactures 
from the sea to the Ohio colony will not be so much, as is now 
paid, and must ever be paid, to a great part of the counties 
of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. 

From this state of facts, we apprehend, it is clear, that the 
lands in question are altogether capable, and will advan- 
tageously admit, from their fertility, situation, and the small 
expence attending the exporting the produce of them to this 
kingdom, "of conducing to the great object of colonizing upon 
the continent of North America;" but, that we may more 
particularly elucidate this important point, we shall take the 
freedom of observing, that it is not disputed, but even ac- 
knowledged, by the very Report now under consideration, 






1772] FRANKLIWS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 505 

that the climate and soil of the Ohio are as favourable as we 
have described them; and, as to the native silk- worms, it is 
a truth, that above 10,000 weight of cocoons was, in August, 
1771, sold at the public filature in Philadelphia; and that the 
silk produced from the native worm is of a good quality, and 
has been much approved of in this city. 

As to hemp, we are ready to make it appear, that it 
grows, as we have represented, spontaneously, and of a good 
texture, on the Ohio. When, therefore, the increasing de- 
pendence of this kingdom upon Russia for this very article 
is considered, and that none has been exported from the sea- 
coast American colonies, as their soil will not easily produce 
it, this dependence must surely be admitted as a subject of 
great national consequence, and worthy of the serious atten- 
tion of government. Nature has pointed out to us, where 
any quantity of hemp can be soon and easily raised ; and by 
that means, not only a large amount of specie may be retained 
yearly in this kingdom, but our own subjects can be employed 
most advantageously, and paid in the manufactures of this 
kingdom. The state of the Russian trade is briefly thus ; 

From the year 1722 to 1731, 250 ships were, on a 
medium, sent each year to St. Petersburgh, 
Narva, Riga, and Archangel, for hemp . . .250 ships. 

And from the year 1762 to 1771, 500 were also 
sent for that purpose 500 

Increase in ten years 250 ships. 

Here then, it is obvious, that in the last ten years there was 
on a medium, an increase of 250 ships in the Russian trade. 
Can it be consistent with the wisdom and policy of the great- 
est naval and commercial nation in the world, to depend 






506 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

wholly on foreigners for the supply of an article, in which is 
included the very existence of her navy and commerce? 
Surely not; and especially when God has blessed us with a 
country yielding naturally the very commodity, which draws 
our money from us, and renders us dependent on Russia 
for it. 

As we have only hitherto generally stated the small expence 
of carriage between the waters of Potomack and those of the 
Ohio, we shall now endeavour to shew how very ill founded 
the Lords of Trade and Plantations are, in the fifth paragraph 
of their Report, viz. that the lands in question ( 'are out of all 
advantageous intercourse with this kingdom. 11 In order, 
however, that a proper opinion may be formed on this im- 
portant article, we shall take the liberty of stating the par- 
ticular expence of carriage, even during the last French war, 
when there was no back carriage from Ohio to Alexandria; 
as it will be found, it was even then only about a halfpenny 
per pound, as will appear from the following account, the 
truth of which we shall fully ascertain, viz. 

From Alexandria to Fort Cumberland, by water, 
per cwt is. yd. 

From Fort Cumberland to Red-Stone Creek, at 14 
dollars per waggon-load, each waggon carrying 
15 cwt , 4 2 



5 9 

Note. The distance was then 70 miles; but, by a new 

waggon road, lately made, it is now but forty miles ; a 

saving of course of above one half the 55. gd. is at present 

experienced. 

If it is considered, that this rate of carriage was in time of 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 507 

war, and when there were no inhabitants on the Ohio, we 
cannot doubt but every intelligent mind will be satisfied, that 
it is now much less than is daily paid in London for the car- 
riage of coarse woollens, cutlery, iron ware, Sac., from several 
counties in England. 

The following is the cost of carriage from Birmingham, 
&c., viz. 

From Birmingham to London, is ... 4$. per cwt. 

From Walfall in Staffordshire, .... 5 

From Sheffield, 8 

From Warrington, 7 

If the lands which are at present under consideration are, 
as the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations say, 
11 out of all advantageous intercourse with this kingdom," we 
are at a loss to conceive by what standard that Board calcu- 
lates the rate of "advantageous intercourse." If the King's 
subjects, settled over the Allegany Mountains, and on the 
Ohio, within the new erected county of Bedford, in the 
province of Pennsylvania, are altogether cloathed with Brit- 
ish manufactures, as is the case, is that country "out of all 
advantageous intercourse with this kingdom"? If mer- 
chants in London are now actually shipping British manu- 
factures for the use of the very settlers on the lands in 
question, does that exportation come within the Lords Com- 
missioners' description of what is "out of all advantageous 
intercourse with this kingdom"? In short, the Lords Com- 
missioners admit, upon their own principles, that it is a politi- 
cal and advantageous intercourse with this kingdom, when 
the settlements and settlers are confined to the eastern side 
of the Allegany Mountains. Shall, then, the expence of 



5 o8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

carriage, even of the very coarsest and heaviest cloths, or 
other articles, from the mountains to the Ohio, only about 
70 miles, and which will not at most increase the price of car- 
riage above a halfpenny a yard, convert the trade and con- 
nexion with the settlers on the Ohio into a predicament "that 
shall be," as the Lords Commissioners have said, "out of all 
advantageous intercourse with this kingdom"? 

On the whole, "if the poor Indians in the remote parts of 
North America, are now able to pay for the linens, woollens, 
and iron ware they are furnished with by 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 indus- 
trious English farmers," employed in the culture of hemp, 
flax, silk, &c., "be able to pay for what shall be brought to 
them in the fair way of commerce;" and especially when it 
is remembered, that there is no other allowable market for 
the sale of these articles, than in this kingdom? And if "the 
growths of the country find their way out of it, will not the 
manufactures of this kingdom, where the hemp, &c. must be 
sent to, find their way into it?" 

Whether Nova Scotia, and East and West Florida have 
yielded advantages and returns equal to the enormous sums 
expended in founding and supporting them, or even advan- 
tages, such as the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plan- 
tations, in their representation of 1768, seemed to expect, it 
is not our business to investigate ; it is, we presume, sufficient 
for us to mention, that those "many principal persons in 
Pennsylvania," as is observed in the representation, "whose 
names and association lie before your Majesty in Council, 
for the purpose of making settlements in Nova Scotia," have, 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 509 

several years since, been convinced of the impracticability 
of exciting settlers to move from the middle colonies and 
settle in that province ; and even of those who were prevailed 
on to go to Nova Scotia, the greater part of them returned 
with great complaints against the severity and length of the 
winters. 

As to East and West Florida, it is, we are persuaded, 
morally impossible to force the people of the middle prov- 
inces, between 37 and 40 degrees north latitude (where there 
is plenty of vacant land in their own temperate climate) to 
remove to the scorching, unwholesome heats of those prov- 
inces. The inhabitants of Montpelier might as soon and 
easily be persuaded to remove to the northern parts of Russia, 
or to Senegal. 

In short, it is contending with nature, and the experience 
of all ages, to attempt to compel a people, born and living in 
a temperate climate, and in the neighbourhood of a rich, health- 
ful, and uncultivated country, to travel several hundred miles 
to a seaport in order to make a voyage to sea, and settle either 
in extreme hot or cold latitudes. If the county of York was 
vacant and uncultivated, and the more southern inhabitants 
of this island were in want of land, would they suffer them- 
selves to be driven to the north of Scotland ? Would they not, 
in spite of all opposition, first possess themselves of that 
fertile county? Thus much we have thought necessary to 
remark, in respect to the general principles laid down in the 
Representation of 1768; and we hope we have shewn, that 
the arguments therein made use of, do not in any degree mili- 
tate against the subject in question; but that they were in- 
tended and do solely apply to "new colonies proposed to be 
established," as the Representation says, "at an expence to 



Sio THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

this kingdom, at the distance of above 1500 miles from the 
sea, which, from their inability to find returns, wherewith to 
pay for the manufactures of Great Britain, will be probably 
led to manufacture for themselves, as they would" continues 
the Representation, "be separated from the old colonies by 
immense tracts of unpeopled desart." 

It now only remains for us to inquire, whether it was the 
intention of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Planta- 
tions in 1768, that the territory, which would be included 
within the boundary line, then negotiating with the Indians 
(and which was the one, that was that year perfected) should 
continue a useless wilderness, or be settled and occupied by 
his Majesty's subjects. 

The very Representation itself, which, the present Lords 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations say, contains 
"every argument on the subject" furnishes us an ample and 
satisfactory solution to this important question. The Lords 
Commissioners in 1768, after pronouncing their opinion 
against the proposed three new governments, as above stated, 
declare, "They ought to be carefully guarded against, by 
encouraging the settlement of that extensive tract of seacoast 
hitherto unoccupied; which," say their Lordships, "together 
with the liberty the inhabitants of the middle colonies WILL 
HAVE (in consequence of the proposed boundary line with the 
Indians) of gradually extending themselves backwards, will 
more effectually and beneficially answer the object of en- 
couraging population and consumption, than the erection of 
new governments; such gradual extension might, through 
the medium of a continual population, upon even the same 
extent of territory, preserve a communication of mutual com- 
mercial benefits between its extremest parts and Great 






1772] FRANKLIN'S ANSWER TO THE REPORT 511 

Britain, impossible to exist in colonies separated by immense 
tracts of unpeopled desart." 

Can any opinion be more clear and conclusive, in favour 
of the proposition, which we have humbly submitted to his 
Majesty? For their Lordships positively say, that the in- 
habitants of the middle colonies will have liberty of gradually 
extending themselves backwards. But is it not very extraor- 
dinary, that, after near two years' deliberation, the present 
Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations should 
make a Report to the Lords of the Committee of the Privy 
Council, and therein expressly refer to that opinion of 1768, 
in which they say, "every argument on the subject is collected 
together with great force and precision" and yet that, almost 
in the same breath, their Lordships should contravene that 
very opinion, and advise his Majesty "to check the progress 
of these settlements"? and that "settlements in that distant 
part of the country ought to be discouraged as much as pos- 
sible, and another proclamation should be issued declaratory 
of his Majesty's resolution, not to allow, for the present, any 
new settlement beyond the line;" to wit, beyond the Alle- 
gany Mountains? How strange and contradictory is this 
conduct ? But we forbear any strictures upon it ; and shall 
conclude our remarks on this head, by stating the opinion, 
at different times, of the Lords Commissioners for Trade 
and Plantations, on this subject. 

In 1748, their Lordships expressed the strongest desire 
to promote settlements over the mountains and on the 
Ohio. 

In 1768, the then Lords Commissioners for Trade and 
Plantations declared, (in consequence of the boundary line 
at that time negotiating,) that the inhabitants of the middle 



512 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

colonies would have liberty of gradually extending themselves 
backwards. 

In 1770, the Earl of Hillsborough actually recommended 
the purchase of a tract of land over the mountains, sufficient 
for a new colony, and then went down to the Lords Com- 
missioners of the Treasury to know, whether their Lordships 
would treat with Mr. Walpole and his associates for such 
purchase. 

In 1772, the Earl of Hillsborough, and the other Lords 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, made a report on 
the petition of Mr. Walpole and his associates, and referred 
to the Representation of the Board of Trade in 1768, "as 
containing every argument on the subject, collected together 
with force and precision;" which Representation declared, 
as we have shown, " That the inhabitants of the middle colo- 
nies WILL have liberty to extend backwards" on the identical 
lands in question; and yet, notwithstanding such reference, 
so strongly made from the present Board of Trade to the 
opinion of that Board, the Earl of Hillsborough and the 
other Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations have 
now, in direct terms, reported against the absolute engage- 
ment and opinion of the Board in 1768. 

It may be asked, what was intended by the expressions in 
the Representation of 1768, "of gradually extending them- 
selves backwards"? It is answered, they were only in con- 
tradistinction to the proposal of erecting at that time three 
new governments at Detroit^ &c. ; and "thereby exciting," 
as the Representation says, "the stream of population to 
various distant places." In short, it was, we think, beyond 
all doubt, the lt precise" opinion of the Lords Commissioners 
in 1768, that the territory, within the boundary line then 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 513 

negotiating and since completed, would be sufficient at that 
time to answer the object of population and consumption; 
and that, until that territory was fully occupied, it was not 
necessary to erect the proposed three new governments "at 
an ex pence to this kingdom" in places, as their Lordships 
observed, ''separated by immense tracts of unpeopled desart." 

To conclude our observations on the sixth paragraph, we 
would just remark, that we presume we have demonstrated, 
that the inhabitants of the middle colonies cannot be com- 
pelled to exchange the soil and climate of these colonies, 
either for the severe colds of Nova Scotia and Canada, or the 
unwholesome heats of East and West Florida. Let us next 
inquire, what would be the effect of confining these inhabit- 
ants, if it was practicable, within narrow bounds, and thereby 
preventing them from exercising their natural inclination of 
cultivating lands; and whether such restriction would not 
force them into manufactures, to rival the mother country. 
To these questions, the Lords Commissioners have with 
much candour replied, in their Representation of 1768. 
"We admit," said their Lordships, "as an undeniable prin- 
ciple of true policy, that, with a view to prevent manufactures, 
it is necessary and proper to open an extent of territory for 
colonization, proportioned to an increase of people, as a large 
number of inhabitants, cooped up in narrow limits, without 
a sufficiency of land for produce, would be compelled to con- 
vert their attention and industry to manufactures." But 
their Lordships at the same time observe, "That the encour- 
agement given to the settlement of the colonies upon the sea- 
coast, and the effect which such encouragement has made 
has already effectually provided for this object." 

In what parts of North America this encouragement has 

VOL. V 2L 



514 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

thus provided for population, their Lordships have not men- 
tioned. If the establishment of the governments of Quebec, 
Nova Scotia, and the Island of St. John's, or East and West 
Florida, was intended by their Lordships as that effectual 
provision, we shall presume to deny the proposition, by 
asserting, as an undoubted truth, that, although there is at 
least a million of subjects in the middle colonies, none have 
emigrated from thence, and settled in these new provinces; 
and for that reason, and from the very nature of colonization 
itself, we affirm, that none will ever be induced to exchange 
the healthy, temperate climate of Virginia, Maryland, and 
Pennsylvania, for the extreme colds or heats of Canada and 
Nova Scotia, or East and West Florida. 

In short, it is not in the power of government, to give any 
encouragement, that can compensate for a desertion of friends 
and neighbours, dissolution of family connexions, and aban- 
doning a soil and climate infinitely superior to those of Canada, 
Nova Scotia, or the Floridas. Will not therefore the inhab- 
itants of the middle provinces, whose population is great 
beyond example, and who have already made some advances 
in manufactures, "by confining them to their present narrow 
limits," be necessarily compelled to convert their whole 
attention to that object? How then shall this, in the nature 
of things, be prevented, except, as the Lords Commissioners 
have justly remarked, "by opening an extent of territory 
proportioned to their increase?" But where shall a territory 
be found proper for "the colonization of the inhabitants of 
the middle colonies ?" We answer, in the very country, 
which the Lords Commissioners have said that the inhabitants 
of these colonies would have liberty to settle in; a country 
which his Majesty has purchased from the Six Nations ; one 



1772] FRANK LI WS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 515 

where several thousands of his subjects are already settled ; 
and one where, the Lords Commissioners have acknowledged, 
"a gradual extension might, through the medium of a con- 
tinued population, upon even the same extent of territory, 
preserve a communication of mutual commercial benefits 
between its extremest parts and Great Britain." 

VII. This paragraph is introduced, by referring to the 
extract of a letter from the commander-in-chief of his 
Majesty's forces in North America, laid by the Earl of Hills- 
borough before the Lords Commissioners for Trade and 
Plantations. But, as their Lordships have not mentioned 
either the general's name, or the time when the letter was 
written, or what occasioned his delivering his opinion upon 
the subject of colonization in general, in the "remote coun- 
tries" we can only conjecture, that General Gage was the 
writer of the letter, and that it was wrote about the year 1768, 
when the plan of the three new governments was under the 
consideration of the then Lords Commissioners for Trade 
and Plantations, and before the lands on the Ohio were bought 
from, and the boundary line established with, the Six Nations. 

Indeed, we think it clear, that the general had no other 
lands, at that time, under his consideration, than what he 
calls "remote countries" such as the Detroit, Illinois, and 
the lower parts of the Ohio; for he speaks of "foreign coun- 
tries," from which it " would be too far to transport some kind 
of naval stores," and for the same reason could not, he says, 
supply the sugar islands "with lumber and provisions." 
He mentions, also, " planting colonies at so vast a distance, 
that the very long transportation (of silk, wine, &c.) must 
probably make them too dear for any market," and where "the 
inhabitants could not have any commodities to barter for 



516 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

manufactures, except skins and furs. 11 And what, in our 
opinion, fully evinces that the general was giving his senti- 
ments upon settlements at Detroit y &c. and not on the terri- 
tory in question, is, that he says, "It will be a question like- 
wise, whether colonization of this kind could be effected without 
an Indian war, and fighting jor every inch of the ground" 

Why the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations 
should encumber their Report with the opinion of General 
Gage on what he calls the settlement of a "foreign country" 
that could not be effected without "fighting for every inch of 
ground" and how their Lordships could apply that case to 
the settlement of a territory, purchased by his Majesty near 
four years ago, and now inhabited by several thousand British 
subjects, whom the Indians themselves living on the northern 
side of the Ohio (as shall be fully shown in the course of these 
observations) have earnestly requested may be immediately 
governed, we confess we are wholly at a loss to comprehend. 

VIII. The eighth paragraph highly extols, not only the 
accuracy and precision of the foregoing Representation of the 
Lords of Trade in 1768, (which, as has been before observed, 
expressed, that the inhabitants of the middle colonies would 
have liberty to settle over the mountains and on the Ohio,) 
but also the above-mentioned letter from the commander-in- 
chief in America ; and at the same time introduces the sen- 
timents of Mr. Wright, governor of Georgia, "on the subject 
of large grants in the interior parts of America." 

When this letter was written; what was the occasion of 
the governor's writing it ; whether he was then, from his own 
knowledge, acquainted with the situation of the country 
over the mountains, with the disposition of the middle colo- 
nies, with the capability of the Ohio country, from its soil, 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 517 

climate, or communication with the River Powtomac, &c., 
to supply this kingdom with silk, flax, hemp, &c. ; and 
whether the principal part of Mr. Wright's estate is on the 
seacoast in Georgia, are facts which we wish had been stated, 
that it might be known whether Governor Wright's "knowl- 
edge and experience in the affairs of the colonies ought," as 
the Lords of Trade mention, "to give great weight to his 
opinion," on the present occasion. 

The doctrine insisted upon by Governor Wright appears 
to us reducible to the following propositions ; viz. 

i st. That if a vast territory be granted to any set of 
gentlemen, who really mean to people it, and actually do 
so, it must draw and carry out a great number of people 
from Great Britain. 

2d. That they will soon become a kind of separate and 
independent people; who will set up for themselves, will 
soon have manufactures of their own, will neither take sup- 
plies from the mother country, nor the provinces at the back 
of which they are settled ; that, being at such a distance from 
the seat of government, from courts, magistrates, &c., and out 
of the control of law and government, they will become a 
receptacle for offenders, &c. 

3d. That the seacoast should be thick settled with in- 
habitants, and be well cultivated and improved, &c. 

4th. That his ideas are not chimerical; that he knows 
something of the situation and state of things in America; 
and, from some little occurrences that have happened, he 
can very easily figure to himself what may, and, in short, 
what will certainly happen, if not prevented in time. 

On these propositions we shall take the liberty of making 
a few observations. 



S i8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

To the first we answer, we shall, we are persuaded, satis- 
factorily prove, that in the middle colonies, viz. New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, there is hardly any 
vacant land, except such as is monopolized by great land- 
holders, for the purpose of selling at high prices; that the 
poor people of these colonies, with large families of children, 
cannot pay these prices; and that several thousand families, 
for that reason, have already settled upon the Ohio ; that we do 
not wish for, and shall not encourage, one single family of his 
Majesty's European subjects to settle there, (and this we have 
no objection to be prevented from doing,) but shall wholly 
rely on the voluntary superflux of the inhabitants of the 
middle provinces for settling and cultivating the lands in 
question. 

On the second, it is not, we presume, necessary for us to 
say more, than that all the conjectures and suppositions 
"of being a kind of separate and independent people," &c. 
entirely lose their force, on the proposition of a government 
being established on the grant applied for, as the Lords of 
Trade themselves acknowledged. 

On the third, we would only briefly remark, that we have 
fully answered this objection in the latter part of our answer 
to the sixth paragraph. 

And, as the fourth proposition is merely the governor's 
declaration of his knowledge of something of the situation and 
state of things in America, and that, from some little occur- 
rences, that have already really happened, he can very easily 
figure to himself what may and will certainly happen, if not 
prevented in time, we say, that, as the governor has not men- 
tioned what these little occurrences are, we cannot pretend 
to judge, whether what he figures to himself is any ways rela- 



1772] FRANKLIWS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 519 

tive to the object under consideration, or, indeed, what else 
it is relative to. 

But, as the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Planta- 
tions have thought proper to insert in their Report the above- 
mentioned letters from General Gage and Governor Wright, 
it may not be improper for us to give the opinion of his 
Majesty's House of Burgesses of the dominion of Virginia on 
the very point in question, as conveyed to his Majesty in their 
Address of the 4th of August, 1767, and delivered the latter 
end of that year, to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and 
Plantations, by Mr. Montague, agent for the colony. The 
House of Burgesses say; " We humbly hope, that we shall ob- 
tain your royal indulgence, when we give it as our opinions, 
that it will be for your Majesty 1 s service, and the interest of 
your American dominions in general, to continue the encour- 
agements" (which were a total exemption from any considera- 
tion-money whatsoever, and a remission of quit-rent for ten 
years, and of all kinds of taxes for fifteen years) "for settling 
those frontier lands." By this means, the House observed, 
"new settlements will be made by people of property, obedient 
subjects to government; but, if the present restriction should 
continue, we have the strongest reason to believe, that country 
will become the resort of fugitives and vagabonds, defiers of 
law and order, and who in time may form a body dangerous to 
the peace and civil government of this colony." 

We come now to the consideration of the Qth, loth, and 
nth paragraphs. 

In the Qth, the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Planta- 
tions observe, "that, admitting the settlers over the moun- 
tains, and on the Ohio, to be as numerous as report states 
them to be," (and which we shall, from undoubted testimony, 



520 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

prove to be not less than five thousand families, of at least 
six persons to a family, independent of some thousand fami- 
lies, which are also settled over the mountains, within the 
limits of the province of Pennsylvania,) yet their Lordships 
say, "it operates strongly in point of argument against what 
is proposed." And their Lordships add, "If the foregoing 
reasoning has any weight, it ought certainly to induce the 
Lords of the committee of the Privy Council to advise his 
Majesty to take every method to CHECK the progress of these 
settlements ; and not to make such grants of the land, as will 
have an immediate tendency to encourage them." 

Having, we presume, clearly shown, that the country 
southward of the Great Kenhawa, quite to the Cherokee 
River, belonged to the Six Nations, and not to the Chero- 
kees ; that now it belongs to the King, in virtue of his Majesty's 
purchase from the Six Nations; that neither these tribes, 
nor the Cherokees, do hunt between the Great Kenhawa and 
the land opposite to the Sioto River; that, by the present 
boundary line, the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plan- 
tations would sacrifice to the Cherokees an extent of country 
of at least eight hundred miles in length, which his Majesty 
has bought and paid for; that the real limits of Virginia do 
not extend westward, beyond the Allegany mountains ; that, 
since the purchase of the country from the Six Nations, his 
Majesty has not annexed it, nor any part of it, to the colony 
of Virginia; that there are no settlements made under legal 
titles, on any part of the lands we have agreed for, with the 
Lords Commissioners of the Treasury; that, in the year 1748, 
the strongest marks of royal encouragement were given to 
settle the country over the mountains; that the suspension 
of this encouragement, by the proclamation of October, 1763, 



1772] FRANKLIATS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 521 

was merely temporary, until the lands were purchased from 
the natives ; that the avidity to settle these lands was so great, 
that large settlements were made thereon, before they were 
purchased; that, although the settlers were daily exposed to 
the cruelties of the savages, neither a military force, nor re- 
peated proclamations, could induce them to vacate these 
lands ; that the soil of the country over the mountains is excel- 
lent, and capable of easily producing hemp, flax, silk, tobacco, 
iron, wine, &c. ; that these articles can be cheaply conveyed 
to a seaport for exportation; that the charge of carriage is 
so very small, it cannot possibly operate to the prevention of 
the use of British manufactures ; that the King's purchasing 
the lands from the Indians, and fixing a boundary line with 
them, was for the very purpose of his subjects' settling them ; 
and that the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, in 
1768, declared, that the inhabitants of the middle colonies 
would have liberty for that purpose. 

And to this train of facts, let us add, that at the congress 
held with the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix in 1768, when his 
Majesty purchased the territory on the Ohio, Messrs. Penn 
also bought from these Nations a very extensive tract of 
country over the Allegany Mountains, and on that river 
joining the very lands in question; that in the spring 1769, 
Messrs. Penn opened their land-office in Pennsylvania, for 
the settling the country which they had so bought at Fort 
Stanwix ; and all such settlers as had seated themselves over 
the mountains, within the limits of Pennsylvania, before the 
lands were purchased from the natives, have since obtained 
titles for their plantations; that, in 1771, a petition was pre- 
sented to the Assembly of the province of Pennsylvania, 
praying that a new county may be made over these moun- 



522 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

tains; that the legislature of that province, in consideration 
of the great number of families settled there, within the limits 
of that province, did that year enact a law for the erection of 
the lands over the mountains into a new county, by the name 
of Bedford county; that, in consequence of such law, William 
Thompson Esq., was chosen to represent it in the General 
Assembly ; that a sheriff, coroner, justices of the peace, con- 
stables, and other civil officers are appointed and do reside 
over the mountains ; that all the King's subjects, who are not 
less than five thousand families, who have made locations 
and settlements on the lands southward of, and adjoining to, 
the southern line of Pennsylvania, live there without any 
degree of order, law, or government ; that, being in this law- 
less situation, continual quarrels prevail among them; that 
they have already infringed the boundary line, killed several 
Indians, and encroached on the lands on the opposite side of 
the Ohio ; and that disorders of the most dangerous nature, 
with respect to the Indians, the boundary line, and the old 
colonies, will soon take place among these settlers, if law and 
subordination are not immediately established among them. 
Can these facts be possibly perverted so as to operate, either 
in point of argument or policy, against the proposition of 
governing the King's subjects on the lands in question? 

It ought to be considered, also, that we have agreed to pay 
as much for a small part of the cession made at Fort Stanwix, 
as the whole cession cost the crown, and at the same time to 
be at the entire expence of establishing and supporting the 
proposed new colony. 1 

1 The parliamentary grants for the civil establishment of the provinces of 
Nova Scotia, Georgia, and East and West Florida, amount to one million 
twelve thousand eight hundred and thirty-one pounds two shillings and eight 



1772] FRANKLINS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 523 

The truth is, the inhabitants settled on this tract of country 
'are in so ungoverned and lawless a situation, that the very 
Indians themselves complain of it; so that, if they are not 
soon governed, an Indian war will be the inevitable conse- 
quence. This, we presume, is evident, both from the cor- 
respondence of General Gage with the Earl of Hillsborough 
and a speech of the chiefs of the Delawares, Munsies, and 
Mohickons, living on the Ohio, to the governors of Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, and Virginia, lately transmitted by the 
General to his Lordship. 

In this speech these nations observe, that, since the sale 
of the lands to the King on the Ohio, "Great numbers more 
0} your people have come over the great mountains and settled 
throughout this country; and we are sorry to tell you, that 
several quarrels have happened between your people and 
ours, in which people have been killed on both sides; and that 
we now see the nations round us and your people ready to 
embroil in a quarrel, which gives our nations great concern, 
as we, on our parts, want to live in friendship with you. 
As you have always told us, you have laws to govern your 

pence halfpenny, as the following account shows ; and, notwithstanding this 
vast expence, the King has not received any quit-rents from these provinces. 
How different is the present proposition, for the establishment of the Ohio 
colony? In this case, the crown is to be paid for the lands, (and which is 
the first instance of any being sold in North America.) Government is to be 
exempted from the expence of supporting the colony, and the King will 
receive his quit-rents, neat and clear of all deductions, (which deductions in 
the old colonies are at least twenty per centum,) as will more particularly 
appear by a state of the King's quit-rents annexed hereto. 
The parliamentary grants above mentioned are as follows ; 

To Nova Scotia . . . .707,320 19*. 7^. 

To Georgia .... 214,610 3 \\ 

To East Florida . . . 45,450 

To West Florida . . . 45,450 F. 



524 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

people by, but we do not see that you have; therefore, 
brethren, unless you can jail upon some method of governing 
your people, who live between the great mountains and the 
Ohio River, and who are very numerous, it will be out of the 
Indians' power to govern their young men; for, we assure 
you, the black clouds begin to gather fast in this country, 
and, if something is not soon done, these clouds will deprive us 
of seeing the sun. We desire you to give the greatest attention 
to what we now tell you ; as it comes from our hearts, and a 
desire we have to live in peace and friendship with our 
brethren the English, and therefore it grieves us to see some 
of the nations about us and your people ready to strike each 
other. We find your people are very fond of our rich land; 
we see them quarrelling with each other every day about land, 
and burning one another's houses, so that we do not know 
how soon they may come over the River Ohio, and drive us 
from our villages; nor do we see you, brothers, take any care 
to stop them: 1 

This speech, from tribes of such great influence and weight 
upon the Ohio, conveys much useful information; it estab- 
lishes the fact of the settlers over the mountains being very 
numerous; it shews the entire approbation of the Indians, in 
respect to a colony being established on the Ohio ; it patheti- 
cally complains of the King's subjects not being governed; 
and it confirms the assertion mentioned by the Lords Com- 
missioners for Trade and Plantations in the eighth paragraph 
of their Report, "that if the settlers are suffered to continue 
in the lawless state of anarchy and confusion, they will commit 
such abuses as cannot fail of involving us in quarrels and 
disputes with the Indians, and thereby endanger the security 
of his Majesty's colonies." 



1772] FRANKLIN'S ANSWER TO THE REPORT 525 

The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, how- 
ever, pay no regard to all these circumstances, but content 
themselves with observing, "We see nothing to hinder the 
government of Virginia from extending the laws and consti- 
tution of that colony to such persons as may have already 
settled there under legal titles" To this we repeat, that there 
are no such persons, as have settled under legal titles; and, 
even admitting there were, as their Lordships say, in the 
loth paragraph, "it appears to them, there are some posses- 
sions derived from grants made by the governor and council 
of Virginia," and allowing that the laws and constitution of 
Virginia did, as they unquestionably do not, extend to this 
territory, have the Lords Commissioners proposed any ex- 
pedient for governing those many thousand families, who 
have not settled under legal titles, but only agreeably to the 
ancient usage of location ? Certainly not. But, on the con- 
trary, their Lordships have recommended, that his Majesty 
should be advised to take every method to check the progress 
of their settlements ; and thereby leave them in their present 
lawless situation, at the risk of involving the middle colonies 
in a war with the natives, pregnant with a loss of subjects, 
loss of commerce, and depopulation of their frontier counties. 

Having made these observations, it may next be proper 
to consider, how the laws and constitution of Virginia can 
possibly be extended, so as effectually to operate on the terri- 
tory in question. Is not Williamsburgh, the capital of Vir- 
ginia, at least 400 miles from the settlements on the Ohio? 
Do not the laws of Virginia require, that all persons guilty of 
capital crimes shall be tried only in Williamsburgh ? Is not 
the General Assembly held there ? Is not the court of King's 
Bench, or the superior court of the dominion, kept there? 



526 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [1772 

Has Virginia provided any fund for the support of the officers 
of these distant settlements, or for the transporting offenders, 
and paying the expence of witnesses travelling 800 miles (viz. 
going and returning), and during their stay at Williams- 
burgh ? And will not these settlers be exactly (for the reasons 
assigned) in the situation described by Governor Wright, in 
the very letter which the Commissioners for Trade and Planta- 
tions have so warmly recommended, viz. "such persons as 
are settled at the back of the provinces, being at a distance 
from the seat of government, courts, magistrates, &c., they 
will be out of the reach and controul of law and government, 
and their settlement will become a receptacle and a kind of 
asylum for offenders"? 

On the nth paragraph, we apprehend, it is not necessary 
to say much. The reservatory clause proposed in our 
Memorial is what is usual in royal grants ; and in the present 
case, the Lords of the committee of the Privy Council, we 
hope, will be of opinion, it is quite sufficient ; more especially 
as we are able to prove to their Lordships, that there are no 
" possessions," within the boundaries of the lands under 
consideration, which are held "under legal titles" 

To conclude: As it has been demonstrated, that neither 
royal nor provincial proclamations, nor the dread and hor- 
rors of a savage war, were sufficient, even before the country 
was purchased from the Indians, to prevent the settlement 
of the lands over the mountains, can it be conceived, that, 
now the country is purchased, and the people have seen the 
proprietors of Pennsylvania, who are the hereditary sup- 
porters of British policy in their own province, give every 
degree of encouragement to settle the lands westward of the 
mountains, the legislature of the province, at the same time, 



1772] FRANKLIWS ANSWER TO THE REPORT 527 

effectually corroborate the measure, and several thousand 
families, in consequence thereof, settle in the new county of 
Bedford, that the inhabitants of the middle colonies will be 
restrained from cultivating the luxuriant country of the Ohio, 
joining to the southern line of Pennsylvania ? But, even ad- 
mitting that it might formerly have been a question of some 
propriety, whether the country should be permitted to be 
settled, that cannot surely become a subject of inquiry now, 
when it is an obvious and certain truth, that at least thirty 
thousand British subjects are already settled there. Is it fit to 
leave such a body of people lawless and ungoverned? Will 
sound policy recommend this manner of colonizing and in- 
creasing the wealth, strength, and commerce of the empire? 
Or will it not point out, that it is the indispensable duty of 
government to render bad subjects useful subjects; and for 
that purpose immediately to establish law and subordination 
among them, and thereby early confirm their native attach- 
ment to the laws, traffic, and customs of this kingdom ? 

On the whole, we presume that we have, both by facts and 
sound argument, shewn, that the opinion of the Lords Com- 
missioners for Trade and Plantations on the object in ques- 
tion is not well founded ; and that, if their Lordships' opinion 
should be adopted, it would be attended with the most mis- 
chievous and dangerous consequences to the commerce, peace, 
and safety of his Majesty's colonies in America. 

We therefore hope the expediency and utility of erecting 
the lands agreed for into a separate colony, without delay, 
will be considered as a measure of the soundest policy, highly 
conducive to the peace and security of the old colonies, to 
the preservation of the boundary line, and to the commercial 
interests of the mother country. 






APPENDIX 

626. TO PETER FRANKLIN 1 

[No date.] 
DEAR BROTHER, 

I like your ballad, and think it well adapted for your pur- 
pose of discountenancing expensive foppery, and encourag- 
ing industry and frugality. If you can get it generally sung 
in your country, it may probably have a good deal of the 
effect you hope and expect from it. But as you aimed at 
making it general, I wonder you chose so uncommon a meas- 
ure in poetry, that none of the tunes in common use will 
suit it. Had you fitted it to an old one, well known, it 
must have spread much faster than I doubt it will do from 
the best new tune we can get compos'd for it. I think too, 
that if you had given it to some country girl in the heart of 
the Massachusetts, who has never heard any other than 
psalm tunes, or Chevy Chace, the Children in the Wood, the 
Spanish Lady, and such old simple ditties, but has naturally 
a good ear, she might more probably have made a pleasing 
popular tune for you, than any of our masters here, and more 

1 From "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," London, 1769, 
p. 473. ED. 

VOL. V 2M 529 



53 o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

proper for your purpose, which would best be answered, if 
every word could as it is sung be understood by all that hear 
it, and if the emphasis you intend for particular words could 
be given by the singer as well as by the reader; much of the 
force and impression of the song depending on those cir- 
cumstances. I will however get it as well done for you as I 
can. 

Do not imagine that I mean to depreciate the skill of our 
composers of music here; they are admirable at pleasing 
practised ears, and know how to delight one another; but, 
in composing for songs, the reigning taste seems to be quite 
out of nature, or rather the reverse of nature, and yet like 
a torrent, hurries them all away with it ; one or two perhaps 
only excepted. 

You, in the spirit of some ancient legislators, would in- 
fluence the manners of your country by the united powers 
of poetry and music. By what I can learn of their songs, 
the music was simple, conformed itself to the usual pronun- 
ciation of words, as to measure, cadence or emphasis, &c., 
never disguised and confounded the language by making 
a long syllable short, or a short one long, when sung; their 
singing was only a more pleasing, because a melodious 
manner of speaking ; it was capable of all the graces of prose 
oratory, while it added the pleasure of harmony. A modern 
song, on the contrary, neglects all the proprieties and beau- 
ties of common speech, and in their place introduces its 
dejects and absurdities as so many graces. I am afraid you 
will hardly take my word for this, and therefore I must 
endeavour to support it by proof. Here is the first song I 
lay my hand on. It happens to be a composition of one of 
our greatest masters, the ever-famous Handel. It is not 



TO PETER FRANKLIN 



53' 



one of his juvenile performances, before his taste could be 
improved and formed : It appeared when his reputation was 
at the highest, is greatly admired by all his admirers, and is 
really excellent in its kind. It is called, "The additional 
Favourite Song in Judas Maccabeus." Now I reckon among 
the defects and improprieties of common speech, the fol- 
lowing, viz. 

1. Wrong placing the accent or emphasis, by laying it on 
words of no importance, or on wrong syllables. 

2. Drawling; or extending the sound of words or sylla- 
bles beyond their natural length. 

3. Stuttering; or making many syllables of one. 

4. Unintelligibleness; the result of the three foregoing 
united. 

5. Tautology; and 

6. Screaming, without cause. 

For the wrong placing of the accent, or emphasis, see it 
on the word their instead of being on the word vain. 




with their 



nous 



art. 



And on the word from, and the wrong syllable like. 



i 



God - like wis - dom 



from 



a - bove. 



For the drawling, see the last syllable of the word wounded 
(see p. 532). 
And in the syllable wis, and the word from, and syllable bove. 



S3 2 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

tr 






Nor can heal the wound-*/ heart. 




God - like wis dom from a 

For the stuttering, see the words ne'er relieve, in 



Ma - gic 



charms can nitr 



you. 



Here are four syllables made of one, and eight of three; 
but this is moderate. I have seen in another song, that I 
cannot now find, seventeen syllables made of three, and 
sixteen of one. The latter I remember was the word charms; 
viz. cha, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, arms. Stammering 
with a witness ! 

For the unintelligibleness; give this whole song to any 
taught singer, and let her sing it to any company that have 
never heard it; you shall find they will not understand 
three words in ten. It is therefore that at the oratorios 
and operas one sees with books in their hands all those 
who desire to understand what they hear sung by even our 
best performers. 

For the Tautology; you have, with their vain mysterious 
art t twice repeated ; magic charms can ne'er relieve you, three 
times. Nor can heal the wounded heart, three times. God- 



TO PETER FRANKLIN" 533 

like wisdom from above, twice; and, this alone can ne'er 
deceive you, two or three times. But this is reasonable when 
compared with the Monster Polypheme, the Monster Poly- 
pheme, a hundred times over and over, in his admired Acis 
and Galatea. 

As to the screaming; perhaps I cannot find a fair instance 
in this song; but whoever has frequented our operas will 
remember many. And yet here methinks the words no and 
e'er, when sung to these notes, have a little of the air of 
screaming, and would actually be screamed by some singers. 



rf$=~ 


f 

1 


T 

| h 


vr f 

-H 1 


m T 


W 

H~i 


-J T| 


No 


__J 
ma 


gic 


*- ^-_ 

charms 


-J 
can Jcr re - 


-J--/ 

lieve 


you. 



I send you inclosed the song with its music at length. 
Read the words without the repetitions. Observe how few 
they are, and what a shower of notes attend them : You will 
then perhaps be inclined to think with me, that though 
the words might be the principal part of an ancient song, 
they are of small importance in a modern one; they are in 
short only a pretence for singing. 
I am, as ever, 

Your affectionate brother, 
B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. I might have mentioned inarticulation among the 
defects in common speech that are assumed as beauties 
in modern singing. But as that seems more the fault of 
the singer than of the composer, I omitted it in what related 
merely to the composition. The fine singer, in the present 
mode, stifles all the hard consonants, and polishes away all 



534 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

the rougher parts of words that serve to distinguish them 
one from another; so that you hear nothing but an ad- 
mirable pipe, and understand no more of the song, than you 
would from its tune played on any other instrument. If 
ever it was the ambition of musicians to make instruments 
that should imitate the human voice, that ambition seems 
now reversed, the voice aiming to be like an instrument. 
Thus wigs were first made to imitate a good natural head of 
hair; but when they became fashionable, though in un- 
natural forms, we have seen natural hair dressed to look 
like wigs. 



627. ON THE 

PRICE OF CORN, AND MANAGEMENT OF THE 

POOR. 

The following extracts from a letter, signed COLUMELLA, and ad- 
dressed to the editors of The Repository for select Papers on Agriculture, 
Arts, and Manufactures (Vol. I, p. 352), will serve the purpose of pre- 
paring those who read it, for entering upon this paper. 

" GENTLEMEN, 

" There is now publishing in France a periodical work, called Ephe- 
mirides du Citoyen, in which several points, interesting to those con- 
cerned in agriculture, are from time to time discussed by some able 
hands. In looking over one of the volumes of this work a few days 
ago, I found a little piece written by one of our countrymen, and which 
our vigilant neighbours had taken from The London Chronicle in 1766. 
The author is a gentleman well known to every man of letters in Europe ; 
and perhaps there is none, in this age, to whom mankind in general are 
more indebted. That this piece may not be lost to our own country, 
I beg you will give it a place in your Repository. It was written in 
favour of the farmers, when they suffered so much abuse in our public 
papers, and were also plundered by the mob in many places." V. 



PRICE OF CORN; MANAGEMENT OF POOR 535 
TO THE PUBLIC. 

I AM one of that class of people, that feeds you all, and 
at present is abused by you all; in short I am a farmer. 

By your newspapers we are told, that God had sent a 
very short harvest to some other countries of Europe. I 
thought this might be in favour of Old England ; and that 
now we should get a good price for our grain, which would 
bring millions among us, and make us flow in money; that 
to be sure is scarce enough. 

But the wisdom of government forbade the exportation. 

"Well," says I, "then we must be content with the market 
price at home." 

"No;" say my lords the mob, "you sha'nt have that. 
Bring your corn to market if you dare ; we '11 sell it for you 
for less money, or take it for nothing." 

Being thus attacked by both ends of the constitution, the 
head and tail of government, what am I to do? 

Must I keep my corn in the barn, to feed and increase 
the breed of rats? Be it so; they cannot be less thankful 
than those I have been used to feed. 

Are we farmers the only people to be grudged the profits 
of our honest labour? And why? One of the late scrib- 
blers against us gives a bill of fare of the provisions at my 
daughter's wedding, and proclaims to all the world, that 
we had the insolence to eat beef and pudding! Has he 
not read the precept in the good Book, Thou shalt not muzzle 
the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn; or does he 
think us less worthy of good living than our oxen ? 

" O, but the manufacturers ! the manufacturers ! they are 
to be favoured, and they must have bread at a cheap rate !" 



53 6 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

Hark ye, Mr. Oaf; the fanners live splendidly, you say. 
And pray, would you have them hoard the money they get? 
Their fine clothes and furniture, do they make them them- 
selves, or for one another, and so keep the money among 
them ? Or do they employ these your darling manufacturers, 
and so scatter it again all over the nation? 

The wool would produce me a better price, if it were 
suffered to go to foreign markets; but that, Messieurs the 
Public, your laws will not permit. It must be kept all at 
home, that our dear manufacturers may have it the cheaper. 
And then, having yourselves thus lessened our encouragement 
for raising sheep, you curse us for the scarcity of mutton! 

I have heard my grandfather say, that the farmers sub- 
mitted to the prohibition on the exportation of wool, being 
made to expect and believe, that, when the manufacturer 
bought his wool cheaper, they should also have their cloth 
cheaper. But the deuce a bit. It has been growing dearer 
and dearer from that day to this. How so? Why, truly, 
the cloth is exported; and that keeps up the price. 

Now, if it be a good principle, that the exportation of a 
commodity is to be restrained, that so our people at home 
may have it the cheaper, stick to that principle, and go 
thorough-stitch with it. Prohibit the exportation of your 
cloth, your leather, and shoes, your iron ware, and your 
manufactures of all sorts, to make them all cheaper at home. 
And cheap enough they will be, I will warrant you ; till people 
leave off making them. 

Some folks seem to think they ought never to be easy 
till England becomes another Lubberland, where it is fancied 
that streets are paved with penny-rolls, the houses tiled with 
pancakes, and chickens, ready roasted, cry, "Come eat me." 






PRICE OF CORN-, MANAGEMENT OF POOR 537 

I say, when you are sure you have got a good principle, 
stick to it, and carry it through. I hear it is said, that though 
it was necessary and right for the ministry to advise a pro- 
hibition of the exportation of corn, yet it was contrary to 
law; and also, that though it was contrary to law for the 
mob to obstruct wagons, yet it was necessary and right. Just 
the same thing to a tittle. Now they tell me, an act of in- 
demnity ought to pass in favour of the ministry, to secure 
them from the consequences of having* acted illegally. If 
so, pass another in favour of the mob. Others say, some of 
the mob ought to be hanged, by way of example. If so, 
but I say no more than I have said before, when you are sure 
that you have a good principle, go through with it. 

You say, poor labourers cannot afford to buy bread at a 
high price, unless they had higher wages. Possibly. But 
how shall we farmers be able to afford our labourers higher 
wages, if you will not allow us to get, when we might have 
it, a higher price for our corn? 

By all that I can learn, we should at least have had a 
guinea a quarter more, if the exportation had been allowed. 
And this money England would have got from foreigners. 

But, it seems, we farmers must take so much less, that the 
poor may have it so much cheaper. 

This operates, then, as a tax for the maintenance of the 
poor. A very good thing you will say. But I ask, Why 
a partial tax ? why laid on us farmers only ? If it be a good 
thing, pray, Messieurs the Public, take your share of it, 
by indemnifying us a little out of your public treasury. In 
doing a good thing, there is both honour and pleasure ; you 
are welcome to your share of both. 

For my own part, I am not so well satisfied of the good- 



53 8 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

ness of this thing. I am for doing good to the poor, but I 
differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way 
of doing good to the poor, is, not making them easy in pov- 
erty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth, 
I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, 
that the more public provisions were made for the poor, 
the less they provided for themselves, and of course became 
poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, 
the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There 
is no country in the world where so many provisions are 
established for them; so many hospitals to receive them 
when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by 
voluntary charities; so many almshouses for the aged of 
both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by 
the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the sup- 
port of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor 
modest, humble, and thankful? And do they use their best 
endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders 
of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm, that there is 
no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, 
dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that 
act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of 
all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by 
giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful 
accumulation during youth and health, for support in age 
or sickness. 

In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement 
of idleness, and you should not now wonder, that it has had 
its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and 
you will soon see a change in their manners. Saint Mon- 
day and Saint Tuesday will soon cease to be holidays. Six 






DIRECTIONS FOR DISCOVERING, ETC. 539 

days shall thou labour, though one of the old command- 
ments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon 
as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with 
it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will 
mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring 
them to provide for themselves, than could be done by 
dividing all your estates among them. 

Excuse me, Messieurs the Public, if, upon this interest- 
ing subject, I put you to the trouble of reading a little of 
my nonsense. I am sure I have lately read a great deal of 
yours, and therefore from you (at least from those of you 
who are writers) I deserve a little indulgence. 

I am yours, &c. ARATOR. 



628. DIRECTIONS FOR DISCOVERING WHETHER 
THE POWER THAT GIVES THE SHOCK IN 
TOUCHING THE TORPEDO OR THE GYMNO- 

TUS OF SURINAM IS ELECTRICAL OR NOT 

(A. P. s.) 

i. Touch the Fish with a Stick of dry Sealing- Wax, or 
Rod of dry Glass, and observe whether the Stroke can be 
communicated thro' those Bodies. 

Touch him with a Rod of Iron or other Metal. If the 
Stroke is communicated thro' the latter, and not thro' the 
former it seems probable that it is not the mechanical Effect 
of some muscular Exertion as heretofore supposed, but the 
Effect of some subtile Fluid, similar in one Property at least 
to that of Electricity. 



54 o THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

2. Then observe whether the Stroke can be received with- 
out actual contact of the Iron with the Fish. If it can, 
observe whether any Light appears in the intermediate Space, 
and whether any Noise or Snap is heard at the Time. 

If so it agrees in most Properties with the Electric Fluid. 



629. TO THOMAS PERCIVAL 1 

ON my return to London I found your favour of the i6th 
of May (1771). I wish I could, as you desire, give you a better 
explanation of the phenomenon in question, since you seem 
not quite satisfied with your own ; but I think we want more 
and a greater variety of experiments in different circumstances, 
to enable us to form a thoroughly satisfactory hypothesis. 
Not that I make the least doubt of the facts already related, 
as I know both Lord Charles Cavendish and Dr. Heberden 
to be very accurate experimenters; but I wish to know the 
event of the trials proposed in your six queries; and also, 
whether in the same place where the lower vessel receives 
nearly twice the quantity of water that is received by the 
upper, a third vessel placed at half the height will receive a 
quantity proportionable. I will however endeavour to ex- 
plain to you what occurred to me, when I first heard of the fact. 

I suppose it will be generally allowed, on a little considera- 
tion of the subject, that scarce any drop of water was, when 

1 This letter is without date, but was probably written in the year 1771, 
since it was in answer to a letter dated in May of that year. It was first 
printed in the " Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Man- 
chester," Vol. II, p. 1 10, having been communicated to the society by Dr. Per- 
cival, and read on the 2ist of January, 1784. S. 



TO THOMAS PERCIVAL 541 

it began to fall from the clouds, of a magnitude equal to that 
it has acquired, when it arrives at the earth ; the same of the 
several pieces of hail ; because they are often so large and so 
weighty, that we cannot conceive a possibility of their being 
suspended in the air, and remaining at rest there, for any 
time, how small soever; nor do we conceive any means of 
forming them so large, before they set out to fall. It seems 
then, that each beginning drop, and particle of hail, receives 
continual addition in its progress downwards. This may be 
several ways; by the union of numbers in their course, so 
that what was at first only descending mist, becomes a shower; 
or by each particle, in its descent through air that contains a 
great quantity of dissolved water, striking against, attaching 
to itself, and carrying down with it such particles of that dis- 
solved water, as happen to be in its way; or attracting to 
itself such as do not lie directly in its course by its different 
state with regard either to common or electric fire; or by 
all these causes united. 

In the first case, by the uniting of numbers, larger drops 
might be made, but the quantity falling in the same place 
would be the same at all heights; unless, as you mention, 
the whole should be contracted in falling, the lines described 
by all the drops converging, so that what set out to fall from 
a cloud of many thousand acres, should reach the earth in 
perhaps a third of that extent, of which I somewhat doubt. 
In the other cases we have two experiments. 

i. A dry glass bottle filled with very cold water, in a warm 
day, will presently collect from the seemingly dry air that 
surrounds it a quantity of water, that shall cover its surface 
and run down its sides ; which perhaps is done by the power 
wherewith the cold water attracts the fluid common fire that 






542 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

had been united with the dissolved water in the air, and 
drawing the fire through the glass into itself, leaves the water 
on the outside. 

2. An electrified body, left in a room for some time, will 
be more covered with dust than other bodies in the same 
room not electrified, which dust seems to be attracted from 
the circumambient air. 

Now we know that the rain, even in our hottest days, 
comes from a very cold region. Its falling sometimes in the 
form of ice shows this clearly ; and perhaps even the rain is 
snow or ice, when it first moves downwards, though thawed 
in falling ; and we know that the drops of rain are often elec- 
trified. But those causes of addition to each drop of water, 
or piece of hail, one would think could not long continue to 
produce the same effect; since the air, through which the 
drops fall, must soon be stripped of its previously dissolved 
water, so as to be no longer capable of augmenting them. 
Indeed very heavy showers, of either, are never of long con- 
tinuance; but moderate rains often continue so long as to 
puzzle this hypothesis ; so that upon the whole I think, as I 
intimated before, that we are yet hardly ripe for making 
one. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



630. TO BARBEU DUBOURG l 

I AM apprehensive, that I shall not be able to find leisure 
for making all the disquisitions and experiments which would 

iFrom "CEuvres de M. Franklin" (Dubourg), 1773, Vol. II, p. 258. 
Date unknown, but in reply to a letter from Dubourg, dated February 12, 
1773. ED. 



TO BARBEU DUBOURG 543 

be desirable on this subject. I must, therefore, content 
myself with a few remarks. 

The specific gravity of some human bodies, in comparison 
to that of water, has been examined by Mr. Robinson, in our 
Philosophical Transactions, Volume L., page 30, for the year 
1757. He asserts, that fat persons with small bones float 
most easily upon the water. 

The diving-bell is accurately described in our Transactions. 

When I was a boy, I made two oval palettes, each about 
ten inches long, and six broad, with a hole for the thumb, in 
order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand. They much 
resembled a painter's palettes. In swimming I pushed the 
edges of these forward, and I struck the water with their flat 
surfaces as I drew them back. I remember I swam faster 
by means of these pallets, but they fatigued my wrists. I 
also fitted to the soles of my feet a kind of sandals ; but I was 
not satisfied with them, because I observed that the stroke is 
partly given by the inside of the feet and the ancles, and not 
entirely with the soles of the feet. 

We have here waistcoats for swimming, which are made 
of double sail-cloth, with small pieces of cork quilted in 
between them. 

I know nothing of the scaphandre of M. de la Chapelle. 

I know by experience, that it is a great comfort to a swim- 
mer, who has a considerable distance to go, to turn himself 
sometimes on his back, and to vary in other respects the 
means of procuring a progressive motion. 

When he is seized with the cramp in the leg, the method of 
driving it away is, to give to the parts affected a sudden, 
vigorous, and violent shock; which he may do in the air as 
he swims on his back. 



544 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

During the great heats of summer there is no danger in 
bathing, however warm we may be, in rivers which have 
been thoroughly warmed by the sun. But to throw one's 
self into cold spring water, when the body has been heated 
by exercise in the sun, is an imprudence which may prove 
fatal. I once knew an instance of four young men, who, 
having worked at harvest in the heat of the day, with a view 
of refreshing themselves plunged into a spring of cold water; 
two died upon the spot, a third the next morning, and the 
fourth recovered with great difficulty. A copious draught 
of cold water, in similar circumstances, is frequently attended 
with the same effect in North America. 

The exercise of swimming is one of the most healthy and 
agreeable in the world. After having swam for an hour or 
two in the evening, one sleeps coolly the whole night, even 
during the most ardent heat of summer. Perhaps, the pores 
being cleansed, the insensible perspiration increases and 
occasions this coolness. It is certain that much swimming 
is the means of stopping a diarrhoea, and even of producing 
a constipation. With respect to those, who do not know 
how to swim, or who are affected with a diarrhoea at a season 
which does not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, 
by cleansing and purifying the skin, is found very salutary, 
and often effects a radical cure. I speak from my own experi- 
ence, frequently repeated, and that of others, to whom I have 
recommended this. 

You will not be displeased if I conclude these hasty re- 
marks by informing you, that as the ordinary method of 
swimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the arms and 
legs, and is consequently a laborious and fatiguing operation 
when the space of water to be crossed is considerable ; there 



TO BARBEU DUBOURG 545 

is a method in which a swimmer may pass to great distances 
with much facility, by means of a sail. This discovery I 
fortunately made by accident, and in the following manner. 
When I was a boy, I amused myself one day with flying a 
paper kite ; and approaching the bank of a pond, which was 
near a mile broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the kite 
ascended to a very considerable height above the pond, 
while I was swimming. In a little time, being desirous of 
amusing myself with my kite, and enjoying at the same time 
the pleasure of swimming, I returned ; and, loosing from the 
stake the string with the little stick which was fastened to it, 
went again into the water, where I found, that, lying on my 
back and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along 
the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having 
then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, 
to a place which I pointed out to him on the other side, I 
began to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite 
over without the least fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure 
imaginable. I was only obliged occasionally to halt a little 
in my course, and resist its progress, when it appeared that, 
by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much; by 
doing which occasionally I made it rise again. I have never 
since that time practised this singular mode of swimming, 
though I think it not impossible to cross in this manner from 
Dover to Calais. The packet-boat, however, is still preferable. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



VOL. V 2N 



546 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 



631. TO OLIVER NEAVE 1 

DEAR SIR, 

I cannot be of opinion with you that it is too late in life for 
you to learn to swim. The river near the bottom of your 
garden affords a most convenient place for the purpose. 
And as your new employment requires your being often on 
the water, of which you have such a dread, I think you would 
do well to make the trial ; nothing being so likely to remove 
those apprehensions as the consciousness of an ability to 
swim to the shore, in case of an accident, or of supporting 
yourself in the water till a boat could come to take you up. 

I do not know how far corks or bladders may be useful in 
learning to swim, having never seen much trial of them. 
Possibly they may be of service in supporting the body while 
you are learning what is called the stroke, or that manner 
of drawing in and striking out the hands and feet that is 
necessary to produce progressive motion. But you will be 
no swimmer till you can place some confidence in the power 
of the water to support you; I would therefore advise the 
acquiring that confidence in the first place; especially as I 
have known several, who, by a little of the practice necessary 
for that purpose, have insensibly acquired the stroke, taught 
as it were by nature. 

The practice I mean is this. Choosing a place where the 
water deepens gradually, walk coolly into it till it is up to 
your breast, then turn round, your face to the shore, and throw 
an egg into the water between you and the shore. It will sink 

1 Translated from "CEuvres de M. Franklin" (Dubourg), Vol. II. p. 241. 
Date unknown. ED. 



TO OLIVER NEAVE 547 

to the bottom, and be easily seen there, as your water is clear. 
It must lie in water so deep as that you cannot reach it to 
take it up but by diving for it. To encourage yourself in 
order to do this, reflect that your progress will be from deeper 
to shallower water, and that at any time you may, by bringing 
your legs under you and standing on the bottom, raise your 
head far above the water. Then plunge under it with your 
eyes open, throwing yourself towards the egg, and endeavour- 
ing by the action of your hands and feet against the water to 
get forward till within reach of it. In this attempt you will 
find, that the water buoys you up against your inclination; 
that it is not so easy a thing to sink as you imagined; that 
you cannot but by active force get down to the egg. Thus 
you feel the power of the water to support you, and learn to 
confide in that power ; while your endeavours to overcome it, 
and to reach the egg, teach you the manner of acting on the 
water with your feet and hands, which action is afterwards 
used in swimming to support your head higher above water, 
or to go forward through it. 

I would the more earnestly press you to the trial of this 
method, because, though I think I satisfied you that your 
body is lighter than water, and that you might float in it a 
long time with your mouth free for breathing, if you would 
put yourself in a proper posture, and would be still and for- 
bear struggling ; yet till you have obtained this experimental 
confidence in the water, I cannot depend on your having the 
necessary presence of mind to recollect that posture and the 
directions I gave you relating to it. The surprise may put 
all out of your mind. For though we value ourselves on 
being reasonable, knowing creatures, reason and knowl- 
edge seem on such occasions to be of little use to us; and 



548 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

the brutes, to whom we allow scarce a glimmering of either, 
appear to have the advantage of us. 

I will, however, take this opportunity of repeating those 
particulars to you, which I mentioned in our last conversa- 
tion, as, by perusing them at your leisure, you may possibly 
imprint them so in your memory as on occasion to be of some 
use to you. 

1. That though the legs, arms, and head, of a human body, 
being solid parts, are specifically something heavier than 
fresh water, yet the trunk, particularly the upper part, from 
its hollowness, is so much lighter than water, as that the whole 
of the body taken together is too light to sink wholly under 
water, but some part will remain above, until the lungs be- 
come filled with water, which happens from drawing water 
into them instead of air, when a person in the fright attempts 
breathing while the mouth and nostrils are under water. 

2. That the legs and arms are specifically lighter than salt 
water, and will be supported by it, so that a human body 
would not sink in salt water, though the lungs were filled as 
above, but from the greater specific gravity of the head. 

3. That therefore a person throwing himself on his back 
in salt water, and extending his arms, may easily lie so as to 
keep his mouth and nostrils free for breathing; and by a 
small motion of his hands may prevent turning, if he should 
perceive any tendency to it. 

4. That in fresh water, if a man throws himself on his back, 
near the surface, he cannot long continue in that situation 
but by proper action of his hands on the water. If he uses 
no such action, the legs and lower part of the body will gradu- 
ally sink till he conies into an upright position, in which he 
will continue suspended, the hollow of the breast keeping the 
head uppermost. 






TO OLIVER NEAVE 



549 



5. But if, in this erect position, the head is kept upright 
above the shoulders, as when we stand on the ground, the 
immersion will, by the weight of that part of the head that is 
out of water, reach above the mouth and nostrils, perhaps a 
little above the eyes, so that a man cannot long remain sus- 
pended in water with his head in that position. 

6. The body continuing suspended as before, and upright, 
if the head be leaned quite back, so that the face looks up- 
wards, all the back part of the head being then under water, 
and its weight consequently in a great measure supported by 
it, the face will remain above water quite free for breathing, 
will rise an inch higher every inspiration, and sink as much 
every expiration, but never so low as that the water may come 
over the mouth. 

7. If therefore a person, unacquainted with swimming and 
falling accidentally into the water, could have presence of 
mind sufficient to avoid struggling and plunging, and to let 
the body take this natural position, he might continue long 
safe from drowning till perhaps help would come. For as 
to the clothes, their additional weight while immersed is very 
inconsiderable, the water supporting it, though when he comes 
out of the water, he would find them very heavy indeed. 

But, as I said before, I would not advise you or any one 
to depend on having this presence of mind on such an occa- 
sion, but learn fairly to swim ; as I wish all men were taught 
to do in their youth. They would, on many occurrences, be 
the safer for having that skill, and on many more the happier, 
as freer from painful apprehensions of danger, to say nothing 
of the enjoyment in so delightful and wholesome an exercise. 
Soldiers particularly should, methinks, all be taught to swim ; 
it might be of frequent use either in surprising an enemy, or 



550 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

saving themselves. And if I had now boys to educate, I 
should prefer those schools (other things being equal) where 
an opportunity was afforded for acquiring so advantageous 
an art, which, once learned, is never forgotten. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 






632. PETITION OF THE LETTER Z 1 

From "The Tatler," No. 1778. 

TO THE WORSHIPFUL ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, ESQUIRE, 
CENSOR-GENERAL 

The petition of the letter Z, commonly called Ezzard, Zed, 
or Izardj most humbly showeth ; 

That your petitioner is of as high extraction, and has as 
good an estate, as any other letter of the Alphabet ; 

That there is therefore no reason why he should be treated 
as he is, with disrespect and indignity ; 

That he is not only actually placed at the tail of the Alpha- 
bet, when he had as much right as any other to be at the head ; 
but is by the injustice of his enemies totally excluded from the 
word WISE;] and his place injuriously filled by a little 
hissing, crooked, serpentine, venomous letter, called S, when 
it must be evident to your worship, and to all the world, that 
W, I, S, E, do not spell Wize, but Wise. 

Your petitioner therefore prays, that the Alphabet may 
by your censorial authority be reversed; and that in con- 
sideration of his long-suffering and patience he may be placed 

1 The date of this jeu d' esprit in imitation of " The Tatler," from which it 
purports to be an extract, is not known. ED. 



TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY 551 

at the head of it ; that s may be turned out of the word Wise; 
and the petitioner employed instead of him. 

And your petitioner, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, 
&c. &c. 

Mr. Bickerstaff, having examined the allegations of the 
above petition, judges and determines, that Z be admon- 
ished to be content with his station, forbear reflections upon 
his brother letters, and remember his own small usefulness, 
and the little occasion there is for him in the Republic of 
Letters, since S whom he so despises can so well serve instead 
of him. 



633. TO JOSEPH PRIESTLEY 1 

[Effect of Vegetation on Noxious Air] 

THAT the vegetable creation should restore the air 

which is spoiled by the animal part of it, looks like a rational 
system, and seems to be of a piece with the rest. Thus fire 
purifies water all the world over. It purifies it by distillation, 
when it raises it in vapours, and lets it fall in rain ; and farther 
still by filtration, when, keeping it fluid, it suffers that rain to 
percolate the earth. We knew before, that putrid animal 
substances were converted into sweet vegetables, when mixed 
with the earth, and applied as manure ; and now it seems that 
the same putrid substances, mixed with the air, have a simi- 

1 This extract is taken from Priestley's " Experiments on Air " (Vol. I, 
P- 94) 3d Edition. The author introduces it with the following remark: 
" Dr. Franklin, who, as I have already observed, saw some of my plants in 
a very flourishing state, in noxious air, was pleased to express very great 
satisfaction with the result of the experiments. In answer to the letter in 
which I informed him of it, he says," &c. S. 



55 2 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

lar effect. The strong thriving state of your mint, in putrid 
air, seems to show, that the air is mended by taking something 
from it, and not by adding to it. I hope this will give some 
check to the rage of destroying trees that grow near houses, 
which has accompanied our late improvements in gardening, 
from an opinion of their being unwholesome. I am certain, 
from long observation, that there is nothing unhealthy in the 
air of woods ; for we Americans have everywhere our country 
habitations in the midst of woods, and no people on earth 

enjoy better health, or are more prolific. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



634. TO BARBEU DUBOURG 1 

[On the Nature of Sea Coal] 

I AM persuaded, as well as you, that the sea coal has 

a vegetable origin, and that it has been formed near the sur- 
face of the earth; but, as preceding convulsions of nature 
had served to bring it very deep in many places, and covered 
it with many different strata, we are indebted to subsequent 
convulsions for having brought within our view the extremi- 
ties of its veins, so as to lead us to penetrate the earth in search 
of it. I visited last summer a large coal mine at Whitehaven, 
in Cumberland; and, in following the vein and descending 
by degrees towards the sea, I penetrated below the ocean, 
where the level of its surface was more than eight hundred 
fathoms above my head, and the miners assured me, that 

1 Translated from M. Dubourg's edition of Franklin's writings (" CEuvres 
de M. Franklin," 1773, Vol. II, p. 199). Its date is uncertain, but it was prob- 
ably written about the year 1770. ED. 



OBSERVATIONS ON MAYZ, OR INDIAN CORN 553 

their works extended some miles beyond the place where I 
then was, continually and gradually descending under the 
sea. The slate, which forms the roof of this coal mine, is 
impressed in many places with the figures of leaves and 
branches of fern, which undoubtedly grew at the surface 
when the slate was in the state of sand on the banks of the 
sea. Thus it appears, that this vein of coal has suffered a 

prodigious settlement. 

B. FRANKLIN. 



635. OBSERVATIONS ON MAYZ, OR INDIAN 
CORN l (L. c.) 

IT is remark'd in North America, that the English Farmers, 
when they first arrive there, finding the Soil and Climate 
proper for the Husbandry they have been accustomed to, 
and particularly suitable for raising Wheat, they despise and 
neglect the Culture of Mayz: but observing the Advantage 
it affords their Neighbours, the older Inhabitants, they by 
degrees get more and more into the Practice of Raising it; 
and the Face of the Country shows, from time to time, that 
the Culture of that Grain goes on visibly augmenting. 

The Inducements are, the many different Ways in which 
it may be prepared, so as to afford a wholesome and pleasing 
Nourishment to Men and other Animals, ist. The Family 
can begin to make use of it before the time of full Harvest; 
for the tender green Ears, stript of their Leaves, and roasted 
by a quick Fire till the Grain is brown, and eaten with a little 
Salt or Butter, are a Delicacy. 2. When the Grain is riper 

1 Date unknown. ED. 



554 THE WRITINGS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 

and harder, the Ears, boil'd in their Leaves, and eaten with 
Butter, are also good and agreable Food. The green tender 
Grains, dried, may be kept all the Year, and, mixed with 
green Haricots, also dried, make at any time a pleasing Dish, 
being first soak'd some hours in Water, and then boil'd. 
When the Grain is ripe and hard, there are also several Ways 
of using it. One is, to soak it all Night in a Lessive, and then 
pound it in a large wooden Mortar with a wooden Pestle; 
the Skin of each Grain is by this means stript off, and the 
farinaceous part left whole, which, being boil'd, swells into a 
white soft Pulp, and eaten with Milk, or with Butter and 
Sugar, is delicious. The dry Grain is also sometimes ground 
loosely, so as to be broke into Pieces of the size of Rice, and 
being winnow'd to separate the Bran, it is then boil'd and 
eaten with Turkies or other Fowls, as Rice. Ground into a 
finer Meal, they make of it by Boiling a hasty-pudding, or 
Bouilli, to be eaten with Milk, or with Butter and Sugar; 
this resembles what the Italians call Polenta. They make of 
the same Meal, with Water and Salt, a hasty Cake, which, 
being stuck against a Hoe or any flat Iron, is plac'd erect 
before the Fire, and so baked, to be used as Bread. Broth 
is also agreably thicken'd with the same Meal. They also 
parch it in this manner. An Iron Pot is fill'd with Sand, and 
set on the Fire till the Sand is very hot. Two or three Pounds 
of the Grain are then thrown in, and well mix'd with the 
Sand by stirring. Each Grain bursts and throws out a white 
Substance of twice its bigness. The Sand is separated by a 
Wire Sieve, and return' d into the Pot, to be again heated and 
repeat the Operation with fresh Grain. That which is 
parch'd is pounded to a Powder in Mortars. This, being 
sifted, will keep long for Use. An Indian will travel far and 



OBSERVATIONS ON MAYZ, OR INDIAN CORN 555 

subsist long on a small Bag of it, taking only 6 or 8 Ounces of 
it per day, mix'd with water. 

The Flour of Mayz, mix'd with that of Wheat, makes ex- 
cellent Bread, sweeter and more agreable than that of Wheat 
alone. To feed Horses, it is good to soak the Grain 12 
hours; they mash it easier with their Teeth, and it yields 
them more Nourishment. The Leaves, stript off the Stalks 
after the Grain is ripe, and ty'd up in Bundles when dry, are 
excellent Forage for Horses, Cows, &c. The Stalks, press'd 
like Sugar- Cane, yield a sweet Juice, which, being fermented 
and distilPd, yields an excellent Spirit; boil'd without Fer- 
mentation, it affords a pleasant Syrop. In Mexico, Fields 
are sown with it thick, that multitudes of small Stalks may 
arise, which, being cut from time to time like Asparagus, are 
serv'd in desserts, and their sweet Juice extracted in the Mouth 
by chewing them. The Meal wet is excellent Food for young 
Chickens, and the whole Grain for grown Fowls. 



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