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Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1906. 

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




636. To Thomas Gushing. January 5, 1773 i 

637. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. January 6, 1773 ... 4 
38. To Joseph Galloway. January 6, 1773 .... $/ 

639. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 2, 1773 ... 7 

640. To John Bartram. February 10, 1773 .... 8 

641. To Anthony Benezet. February 10, 1773 .... 9 

642. To Abel James and Benjamin Morgan. February 10, 1773 10 

643. To James Johnston. February 10, 1773 .n 

644. To William Franklin. February 14, 1773 .12 

645. To Humphry Marshall. February 14, 1773 ... 13 

646. To Rev. William Marshall. February 14, 1773 . . .15 

647. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. February 14, 1773 . . .16 

648. To Josiah Davenport. February 14, 1773 . , . . . 17 

649. To Joseph Galloway. February 14, 1773 . . . i8x- 

650. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. March 9, 1773 .... 21 

651. To Thomas Gushing. March 9, 1773 .... 21 

652. To Barbeu Dubourg. March 10, 1773 .... 23 

653. To Barbeu Dubourg. March 10, 1773 .... 26 

654. To Abel James and Benjamin Morgan. March 15, 1773 . 27 

655. To Jean Baptiste Le Roy. March 30, 1773 ... 28 

656. To Thomas Gushing. April 3, 1773 29 

657. To William Franklin. April 6, 1773 30 

658. To Mrs. Sarah Bache. April 6, 1773 . . . .32 

659. To Joseph Galloway. April 6, 1773 33 </ 

660. To Rev. Thomas Coombe. April 6, 1773 .... 34 

661. From Mrs. Bedford to Dr. Franklin. February 2, 1773 35 

662. To Mrs. Bedford. April 9, 1773 36 

663. To Dean Woodward. April 10, 1773 .... 39 

664. To William Deane. April n, 1773 40 

665. To Barbeu Dubourg. [April?] 1773 4 2 



666. To Messrs. Dubourg and Dalibard [May ?] 1773 . . 44 

667. To Barbeu Dubourg. May 4, 1773 47 

668. To Thomas Gushing. May 6, 1773 48 

669. To Barbeu Dubourg. June I, 1773 5 2 

670. To Alexander Golden. June 2, 1773 54 

671. To Thomas Gushing. June 2, 1773 55 

672. To Thomas Gushing. June 4, 1773 56 

673. From Samuel Cooper to B. Franklin. June 14, 1773 . . 57 

674. To Jean Baptiste Le Roy. June 22, 1773 .... 59 

675. To Barbeu Dubourg. June 29, 1773 61 

676. On Catching Cold. June, 1773 62 

677. To Matthew Maty. July i, 1773 72 

678. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. July 6, 1773 73 

679. To Thomas Gushing. July 7, 1773 73 

680. To Thomas Gushing [Private] . July 7, 1773 81 

681. To Samuel Mather. July 7, 1773 86 

682. To Samuel Cooper. July 7, 1773 . . . . . 89 

683. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. July 7, 1773 93 

684. To Samuel Franklin. July 7, 1773 95 

685. To Jonathan Williams. July 7, 1773 .... 95 

686. To William Franklin. July 14, 1773 96 

687. To Benjamin Rush. July 14, 1773 100 

688. To Anthony Benezet. July 14, 1773 IO2 

689. To John Foxcroft. July 14, 1773 Io2 

690. To Abel James and Benjamin Morgan. July 14, 1773 . 104 

691. To Samuel Danforth. July 25, 1773 ..... 105 

692. To John Winthrop. July 25, 1773 106 

693. To Samuel Cooper. July 25, 1773 107 

694. To Thomas Gushing. July 25, 1773 ..... 109 

695. To William Franklin. August 3, 1773 . . . .no 

696. To Giambatista Beccaria. August n, 1773 . . .112 

697. To Mr. Burdett. August 21, 1773 113 

698. To Thomas Gushing. August 24, 1773 . . . .114 

699. To William Franklin. September i, 1773 . . . .115 

700. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. September i, 1773 . .118 

701. An Edict by the King of Prussia. September 5, 1773 . 118 

702. To Thomas Gushing. September 12, 1773 . . .124 

703. To John Baskerville. September 21, 1773 .125 

704. Rules for reducing a Great Empire to a Small One. Sep- 

tember, 1773 I27 



705. To Thomas Gushing. September 23, 1773 . . .137 

706. To Thomas Percival. September 25, 1773 p. . . 138 

707. To Jan. Ingenhousz. September 30, 1773 .... 141 

708. To William Franklin. October 6, 1773 . . . .144 

709. To Thomas Gushing. November i, 1773 . . . .147 

710. To an Engraver. November 3, 1773 . . . . .149 

711. To Joseph Galloway. November 3, 1773 .... I5i</ 

712. To William Franklin. November 3, 1773 .... 152 

713. To William Brownrigg. November 7, 1773 . . . 153 

714. Abridgement of Book of Common Prayer. (?) 1773 . 165 

715. To Thomas Gushing. January 5, 1774 . . . .172 

716. To William Franklin. January 5, 1774 . . . .173 

717. To Samuel Rhoads. January 5, 1774 . . . .175 

718. To William Franklin. February 2, 1774 . . . .176 

719. From Thomas Gushing and others. December 21, 1773 . 176 

720. To Thomas Gushing and others. February 2, 1774 . . 178 

721. To Josiah Tucker. February 12, 1774 .... 180 

722. To Thomas Gushing. February 15, 1774 . . . .182 

723. To Richard Bache. February 17, 1774 . . . -193 

724. To Joseph Galloway. February 1 8, 1774 .... 194^ 

725. To William Franklin. February 18, 1774 . . . .197 

726. To John Foxcroft. February 18, 1774 . . . .197 

727. From J. Tucker to B. Franklin. February 21, 1774 . . 198 

728. To Josiah Tucker. February 22, 1774 .... 198 

729. From J. Tucker to B. Franklin. February 24, 1774 . . 199 

730. To Josiah Tucker. February 26, 1774 .... 200 

731. To Samuel Cooper. February 25, 1774 .... 203 

732. On the Rise and Progress of the Differences between Great 

Britain and her American Colonies. [February?] 1774 . 205 

733. To Jan. Ingenhousz. March 1 8, 1774 . . . .219 

734. To Giambatista Beccaria. March 20, 1774 . . . 220 

735. To the Marquis de Condorcet. March 20, 1774 . . .221 

736. To Thomas Gushing. March 22, 1774 .... 223 

737. To Thomas Gushing. April 2, 1774 224 

738. To Joseph Priestley. April 10, 1774 226 

739. To Thomas Gushing. April 16, 1774 .... 228 

740. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. April 28, 1774 . . .230 

741. To Thomas Gushing. June i, 1774 231 

742. To Rev. Thomas Coombe. July 22, 1774 .... 233 

743. To Mrs. Deborah Franklin. July 22, 1774 . . . 234 



744. To Benjamin Rush. July 22, 1774 235 

745. To Benjamin Rush. July 25, 1774 236 

746. To Thomas Gushing. July 27, 1774 238 

747. To Thomas Gushing. September 3, 1774 .... 238 

748. To William Franklin. September 7, 1774 . . . . 239 

749. To Samuel Tucker and others. September 7, 1774 . . 242 

750. To Peter Timothy. September 7, 1774 . . . .243 

751. To Thomas Gushing. September 15, 1774 . . . 244 

752. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. September 26, 1774 . . . 246 

753. To Thomas Gushing. September 27, 1774 . . . 247 

754. To Richard Bach e. September 30, 1774 .... 248 

755. To Thomas Gushing. October 6, 1774 .... 249 

756. To Thomas Gushing. October 10, 1774 . . . .251 

757. To Joseph Galloway. October 12, 1774 .... 252 

758. A Parable against Persecution. [November?] 1774 . . 254 

759. A Parable on Brotherly Love. [November?] 1774 . . 256 

760. Tract relative to the Affair of Hutchinson's Letters. [No- 

vember?] 1774 258 

761. The Result of England's Persistence in her Policy towards 

the Colonies illustrated. [November?] 1774 . . 290 

762. On a Proposed Act of Parliament for preventing Emigra- 

tion. November, 1774 . . . . . . .291 

763. The Intended Speech for the Opening of the First Session 

of the Present Parliament. November 29, 1774 . . 299 

764. To Thomas Gushing. January 28, 1775 . . . .301 

765. To Charles Thomson. February 5, 1775 .... 303 

766. To Samuel Tucker and others. February 14, 1775 . . 307 

767. To James Bowdoin. February 25, 1775 . . . 309 

768. To Joseph Galloway. February 25, 1775 . . . .311 

769. To Josiah Quincy. February 26, 1775 . . . -314 

770. To Charles Thomson. March 13, 1775 .... 315 

771 . An Account of Negotiations in London for effecting a Recon- 

ciliation between Great Britain and the American Colo- 
nies. March 22, 1775 . . . . . . .318 

772. To William Franklin. May 7, 1775 399 

773. To Joseph Priestley. May 16, 1775 400 

774. From N. W. Jones to B. Franklin. May 1 6, 1775 . . 401 

775. To Thomas Bradford. May 1 6, 1775 402 

776. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. May 26, 1775 403 

777- To Rev. Nathaniel Seidel. June 2, 1775 . . . . 403 



778. To W. T. Franklin. June 13, 1775 405 

779. To John Sargent. June 27, 1775 406 

780. To William Strahan. July 5, 1775 ..... 407 

781. To Joseph Priestley. July 7, 1775 408 

782. To Mrs. Mary Hewson. July 8, 1775 .... 410 

783. To Mrs. Margaret Stevenson. July 17, 1775 . . .411 

784. Vindication and Offer from Congress to Parliament. July 

18, 1775 412 

785. Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. July 21, 1775 420 

786. To Peter V. B. Livingston. August 29, 1775 . . . 427 

787. To Robert Morris. August 29, 1775 427 

788. To Jonathan Williams. September 12, 1775 . . . 428 

789. To Joseph Priestley. October 3, 1775 .... 429 

790. To a Friend in England. October 3, 1775 .... 430 

791. To Charles W. F. Dumas. December 9, 1775 43 2 

792. To Don Gabriel of Bourbon. December 12, 1775 43 6 

793. To Charles Lee. February n, 1776 438 

794. To Charles Lee. February 19, 1776 ..... 440 

795. From David Hartley to B. Franklin. February 24, 1776 . 441 

796. To Philip Schuyler. March n, 1776 443 

797. To Lord Stirling. March 27, 1776 444 

798. To Josiah Quincy. April 15, 1776 ..... 445 

799. To Philip Schuyler. May 27, 1776 ..... 447 

800. To the Commissioners in Canada. May 27, 1776 . . 448 

801. To George Washington. June 21, 1776 .... 449 

802. To George Washington. July 22, 1776 .... 450 

803. To Horatio Gates. August 28, 1776 . . . . .451 

804. Sketch of Propositions for a Peace. [September] 1776 . 452 

805. To Philip Mazzei. (?) 1776 ....... 455 

806. Correspondence and Interview with Lord Howe. June 20- 

September 10, 1776 ....... 457 

807. To W. T. Franklin. September 19, 1776 . . . . 467 

808. To W. T. Franklin. September 22, 1776 . . . .468 

809. To Thomas Morris. December 4, 1776 .... 469 

810. To Silas Deane. December 4, 1776 ..... 470 

811. To Barbeu Dubourg. December 4, 1776 .... 472 

812. To John Hancock. December 8, 1776 .... 473 

813. To the Committee of Secret Correspondence. December 8, 

1776 . .476 

814. To Count de Vergennes. December 23, 1776 . . . 477 


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. 

636. TO THOMAS GUSHING (p. R. o.) 

London, Jan. 5, 1773. 

I did myself the Honour of writing to you on the 2d of 
December past, inclosing some original Letters from Persons 
in Boston, which I hope got safe to hand. I have since re- 
ceived your Favour of Oct. 27th, which containing in a small 
Compass so full an Enumeration of our Grievances, the Steps 
necessary to remove them, and the happy Effects that must 
follow, I thought that tho' marked private, it might be of Use 
to communicate it to Lord Dartmouth ; the rather too, as he 
would there find himself occasionally mentioned with proper 
Respect, and learn that his Character was esteemed in the 
Colonies. Accordingly I wrote him a few lines, and inclosed 
it a Day or two before I was to wait on his Lordship, that he 
might have a little time to consider the Contents. 1 

1 The following note accompanied the letter, when it was communicated 
to Lord Dartmouth : 

" Craven Street, 8 December, 1 772. Dr. Franklin presents his best 
respects to Lord Dartmouth, and, believing it may be agreeable as well as 
useful to him to receive other information of the sentiments and dispositions 
of the leading people in America, besides what ministers are usually furnished 
with from the officers of the crown residing there, takes the liberty of com- 
municating to his Lordship a letter just received from the Speaker of the 
Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay, written not as Speaker but in his private 

" Dr. Franklin purposes to wait on Lord Dartmouth at his levee to-morrow, 
and shall be happy if he may bring from thence any thing proper to write in 
answer, that should tend to compose the minds of people in that province, at 
present greatly disquieted and alarmed by some late measures of govern- 
ment." S. 

VOL. vi B i 


When I next attended him, he return'd me the Letter with 
great Complaisance in his Countenance; said he was glad 
to find that People in America were dispos'd to think so favour- 
ably of him ; that they did him but Justice in believing he had 
the best Disposition towards them, for he wish'd sincerely 
their Welfare, though possibly he might not always think 
with them, as to the Means of obtaining that End ; that the 
Heads of Complaint in your Letter were many, some of them 
requiring much Consideration, and therefore it could scarce 
be expected that a sudden Change should be made in so many 
Measures, supposing them all improper to be continued, 
which perhaps might not be the Case. It was however his 
Opinion, that, if the Americans continued quiet, and gave 
no fresh Offence to government, those Measures would be 
reconsidered, and such Relief given as upon Consideration 
should be thought reasonable. 

I need not remark, that there is not much in such general 
Discourse; but I could then obtain nothing more particular, 
except that his Lordship expressed in direct terms his Dis- 
approbation of the Instruction for exempting the Colonies 
from Taxation; which, however, was, as he said, in Confi- 
dence to me, relying that no public Mention should be made 
of his Opinion on that Head. 

In the mean time, some Circumstances are working in our 
favour with regard to the Duties. It is found by the last 
year's Accounts transmitted by the Commissioners, that the 
Ballance in favour of Britain is but about 85, after Payment 
of Salaries, &c., exclusive of the charge of a fleet to enforce 
the collection. Then it is observed, that the India Company 
is so out of Cash, that it cannot pay the bills drawn upon it, 
and its other Debts ; and at the same time so out of Credit, 


that the Bank does not care to assist them, whence they find 
themselves oblig'd to lower their Dividend ; the Apprehension 
of which has sunk their Stock from 280 to 160, whereby several 
Millions of Property are annihilated, occasioning private 
Bankruptcies and other Distress, besides a Loss to the Public 
Treasury of 400,000 per Annum, which the Company are 
not to pay into it as heretofore, if they are not able to 
keep up their Dividend at twelve and a half. And, as they 
have at the same time Tea and other India Goods in their 
Warehouses, to the Amount of Four Millions, as some say, 
for which they want a Market, and which, if it had been sold, 
would have kept up their Credit, I take the Opportunity of 
remarking in all Companies the great Imprudence of losing 
the American Market, by keeping up the Duty on Tea, which 
has thrown that Trade into the Hands of the Dutch, Danes, 
Swedes, and French, who, according to the Reports and 
Letters of some Custom-House Officers in America, now 
supply by smuggling the whole Continent, not with Tea only, 
but accompany that Article with other India Goods, amount- 
ing, as supposed, in the whole to 500,000 Sterling per Annum. 
This gives some Alarm, and begins to convince People more 
and more of the Impropriety of Quarrelling with America, 
who at that rate might have taken off Two Millions and a 
half of those Goods within these Five Years that the Com- 
bination has subsisted, if the Duty had not been laid, or had 
been speedily repealed. 

But our great Security lies, I think, in our growing Strength, 
both in Numbers and Wealth; that creates an increasing 
Ability of assisting this Nation in its Wars, which will make 
us more respectable, our Friendship more valued, and our 
Enmity feared ; thence it will soon be thought proper to treat 


us not with Justice only, but with Kindness, and thence we 
may expect in a few Years a total Change of Measures with 
regard to us ; unless, by a Neglect of military Discipline, we 
should lose all martial Spirit, and our Western People become 
as tame as those in the Eastern Dominions of Britain, when 
we may expect the same Oppressions; for there is much 
Truth in the Italian saying, Make yourselves Sheep, and the 
Wolves will eat you. In Confidence of this coming Change 
in our favour, I think our Prudence is meanwhile to be quiet, 
only holding up our Rights and Claims on all Occasions in 
Resolutions, Memorials, and Remonstrances; but bearing 
patiently the little present Notice that is taken of them. 
They will all have their Weight in Time, and that Time is at 
no great Distance. With the greatest Esteem, I have the 
Honour to be, &c. 



London, Jan. 6 1773 


I feel still some Regard for this Sixth of January, as my 
old nominal Birthday, tho' the Change of Stile has carried 
the real Day forward to the iyth, when I shall be, if I live till 
then, 67 Years of Age. It seems but t'other Day since you 
and I were rank'd among the Boys & Girls, so swiftly does 
Time fly ! We have however great Reason to be thankful 
that so much of our Lives has pass'd so happily; and that so 
great a Share of Health and Strength remains, as to render 
Life yet comfortable. 

I received your kind Letter of November 16 by Sutton. 


The Apples are not yet come on shore, but I thank you for 
them. Capt. All was so good as to send me a Barrel of excel- 
lent ones, which serve me in the mean time. I rejoice to hear 
that you all continue well. But you have so us'd me to have 
something pretty about the Boy, that I am a little disappointed 
in finding nothing more of him than that he is gone up to 
Burlington. Pray give in your next as usual, a little of his 

All our Friends here are pleas'd with your remembring 
them, and send their Love to you. Give mine to all that 
enquire concerning me, and a good deal to our Children. I 
am ever, my dear Debby, your affectionate Husband, 


638. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY (D. s. w.) 

London, Jan. 6, 1773. 

DEAR FRIEND: I have received your Favours of Oct. 
1 8 and 30. I am oblig'd greatly to you and Mr. Rhoads for 
your friendly Interposition in the Affair of my Salary. As I 
never made any Bargain with the House, I accept thank- 
fully whatever they please to give me, and shall continue to 
serve them as long as I can afford to stay here : Perhaps it 
may be thought that my other Agencies contribute more than 
sufficient for that purpose; but the Jersey Allowance, tho' 
well paid, is a very small one ; that from Georgia, 100 only, 
is some Years in Arrear; and will not be continued, as the 
Appointment is by a Yearly Act, which I am told the Gov- 
ernor will not again pass with my Name in it. And from 


Boston I have never received a Farthing, perhaps never shall, 
as their Gov* is instructed to pass no Salary to an Agent 
whose Appointment he has not assented to. In these Cir- 
cumstances, with an almost double Expence of living by my 
Family remaining in Philadelphia, the Losses I am con- 
tinually suffering in my Affairs there through Absence, 
together with my now advanced Age, I feel renewed Inclina- 
tions to return and spend the remainder of my Days in private 
Life, having had rather more than my Share of publick Bustle. 
I only wish first to improve a little, for the general Advantage 
of our Country, the favourable Appearances arising from the 
Change of our American Minister, and the good Light I am 
told I stand in with the Successor. If I be instrumental in 
[illegible] Things in good train, with a Prospect of their 
[illegible] on a better Footing than they have had for some 
Years past, I shall think a little additional Time well spent, 
tho' I were to have no Allowance for it at all. 

I must, however, beg you will not think of retiring from 
Publick Business : You are yet a young Man, 1 and may still 
be greatly serviceable to your Country. It would be, I think, 
something criminal to bury in private Retirement so early, 
all the Usefulness of so much Experience and such great 
Abilities. The People do not indeed always see their Friends 
in the same favourable Light ; they are sometimes mistaken, 
and sometimes misled; but sooner or later they come right 
again, and redouble their former Affection. This, I am con- 
fident, will happen in your Case, as it often has in the Case of 
others. Therefore, preserve your Spirits and persevere, at 
least to the Age of 60. a Boundary I once fix'd for myself 
but have gone beyond it. 

1 Galloway was about forty years of age. ED. 


I am afraid the bill, Wilcock on Col. Alex. Johnston, for 
166 15 3^ must be returned with a protest. I shall know 
in a day or two. 

I shall consult Mr. Jackson, and do in the island Affair 
what shall be thought best for securing your interest and 
that of all concerned. 

By your Spring Ships I shall write you more fully. At 
present I can only add that I am with unalterable esteem 

and affection, 

Yours most sincerely 



London, Feb. 2, 1773. 

MY DEAR CHILD : Since my last I have got the Apples 
on shore, and they come out very good. Accept my best 
Thanks. Mr. Bache of York, has also kindly sent me two 
Barrels; Capt. Winn one, and Capt. Falconer one. I told 
you before that Capt. All gave me one, so that I am now 
plentifully supply'd. 

I know you love to have a Line from me by every Packet, 
so I write, tho' I have little to say, having had no Letter from 
you since my last, of Jan. 6. 

In Return for your History of your Grandson, I must give 
you a little of the History of my Godson. He is now 21 
Months old, very strong and healthy, begins to speak a little, 
and even to sing. He was with us a few Days last Week, 
grew fond of me, and would not be contented to sit down 
to Breakfast without coming to call Pa, rejoicing when he 


had got me into my Place. When seeing me one Day crack 
one of the Philad* Biscuits into my Tea with the Nut- 
crackers, he took another and try'd to do the same with the 
Tea-Tongs. It makes me long to be at home to play with 

My Love to him and our Children, with all enquiring 
Friends. Mrs. Stevenson presents her affectionate Respects, 
and Sally her Duty. 

I am ever, my dear Debby, 

Your loving Husband 


640. TO JOHN BARTRAM (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 10, 1773. 

I am glad to learn that the Turnip Seed and the Rhubarb 
grow with you, and that the Turnip is approved. It may be 
depended on, that the Rhubarb is the genuine Sort. But 
to have the Root in perfection, it ought not to be taken out 
of the Ground in less than 7 Years. Herewith I send you a 
few Seeds of what is called the Cabbage Turnip. They say 
that [it] will stand the Frost of the severest Winter, and so 
make a fine early Feed for Cattle in the Spring, when their 
other Fodder may be scarce. I send also some [seed of the 
Scotch cabbage; and some] peas that are much applauded 
here, [but I forget for what purpose, and shall inquire and let 
you know in my next.] l 

I think there has been no good Opportunity of sending 
your Medal since I received it till now. It goes in a Box to 

1 The passages in brackets are not found in the rough draft in D. S. W. ED. 


my Son Bache, with the Seeds. I wish you Joy of it. Not- 
withstanding the Failure of your Eyes, you write as distinctly 
as ever. With great Esteem and Respect, I am, my dear 
Friend, yours most affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 

641. TO ANTHONY BENEZET (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 10. 1773 

DEAR FRIEND : I received with Pleasure yours of Sept. 
13, as it informed me of your Welfare. With this I send you 
one of Young's " Night Thoughts" the largest Print I 
could find. I thank you for the 4 Copies you sent me of your 
Translation of the French Book; I have given two of them 
to Friends here, whom I thought the Subject might suit. I 
have commenced an Acquaintance with Mr. Granville Sharpe, 1 
and we shall act in Concert in the Affair of Slavery. The 
Accounts you send me relating to Surinam are indeed terrible. 
Go on and prosper in your laudable Endeavors, and believe 
me ever, my dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately 


I send you a few [copies] of a Pamphlet written at Paris by 
a well-wisher to our Country. 2 It is a little System of Morals 
that may give distinct Ideas on that Subject to Youth, and 
perhaps on that Ace* not unfit for a School- Book. I will 
send you more if you desire it. 

1 Granville Sharp (1735-1813), philanthropist and pamphleteer, who had 
just won (1772) the first victory in the struggle for the emancipation of slaves 
by securing the freedom of James Somersett. His correspondence with 
Franklin is in A. P. S. ED. 

2 Barbeu Dubourg : " Petit Code de 1'Humanite." ED. 



MORGAN ' (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. io. 1773 

GENTLEMEN: I duly receiv'd your Favour of [muti- 
lated], and have, after a long Delay got the Silk from the 
Custom-House. The Throwsters appointed to inspect it 
there, in order to ascertain the Bounty, valued it at 157 the 
small pound, the whole taken together, and afterwards 
wanted to buy it of me at that Price. But suspecting their 
Offer to be too low, I have shown it to others, who say it 
is much undervalued. Our Friend Freeman advises its 
being sold by Auction as the last and recommends the same 
Broker. Every one I have consulted are of the same Opin- 
ion. He will have a Sale about April next. 

The Spitalfield's Silk Business is very dead at present. 
The enormous Paper Credit which circulated so freely some 
time since, enabled the Master Manufacturers to employ 
more Men and make more Goods than the Market really 
required, and the Blow such Credit has lately received, obliges 
them to stop their Work 'till they can dispose of the great 
Quantity of Goods on hand, which some say is enough for 
a twelvemonth to come. 

So the disbanded Workmen are starving, tho' great Sums 
are collected to distribute among them in Charity. Several 

1 The Society in Pennsylvania for the manufacture of silk was organized 
as " the Filature," and held its first meeting, November 17, 1772. James and 
Morgan, two active members of the society, conducted the correspondence 
with Franklin. The product of the year 1772 was two trunks full of silk, of 
which a part was sent to F. ED. 


have apply'd to me to ship them to America, but having no 
Ace* that such Workmen were wanted there, I was obliged 
to refuse them. One came to me with the enclos'd Letter, 
and show'd me several written Characters from different 
Masters he had work'd with, all strongly in his favour for 
Ingenuity and Skill in his Business, as well as his Sobriety 
and Industry. He was a Quaker, and seem'd a sensible 
young Man ; so that I was strongly inclin'd to send him, till 
I understood he had a Wife and young Family, whi ch would 
make it too expensive : Tho* he said his Wife was a Work- 
woman in the Business, and one Child could also be service- 
able. He is endeavoring to get Subscriptions to pay the 
Passage-Money, but I suppose will hardly succeed, as People 
here would rather maintain the Workmen idle for a while, 
than pay toward sending them to America. 

I am much obliged to the Managers for their Present of 
4 Ibs of the Silk, and shall consider what Purpose I can apply 
it to that may best contribute to the encouragement of the 
Produce. Please to offer them my thankful Acknowledg- 
ments, and assure them of my most faithful Services. 

With great Esteem and Respect, I am, Gentlemen, 
Your most obed. hum. serv*, 

643. TO JAMES JOHNSTON (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 10, 1773 

SIR : I received your Letter with the Sample of North 
American Senna, which I put into the Hands of a Friend who 
is a great Botanist as well as a Physician, and has made some 


Trial of it. He tells me that to render it merchantable here, 
the Stalks should be pick'd out, and the Leaves pack'd up 
neatly, as that is which comes from the Levant. Perhaps 
among your Druggists you might see some of those Packages 
and so inform yourself of the manner. He has not yet had 
sufficient Experience of it to be decisive in his Opinion of its 
Qualities in comparison with other Senna, but thinks it 
likely that it may answer the same purposes. Of the Quan- 
tity that may be in demand here, I have yet been able to 
obtain no intelligence. 
I am, sir, your humble Servant. B. FRANKLIN. 

644. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 14. 1773 

The Opposition are now attacking the Ministry on the St. 
Vincent's affair, which is generally condemned here, and 
some think L d Hillsborough will be given up, as the Adviser 
of that Expedition. But if it succeeds perhaps all will blow 
over. The Ministry are more embarras'd with the India 
Affairs. The continu'd refusal of North America to take 
Tea from hence, has brought infinite Distress on the Com- 
pany. They imported great Quantities in the Faith that 
that agreement could not hold; and now they can neither 
pay their Debts nor Dividends ; their Stock has sunk to the 
annihilating near three millions of their Property, and Gov- 
ernment will lose its 400,000^ a year ; while their Teas lie upon 

1 Only a part of the letter is printed here. The remainder relates to unim- 
portant personal and business affairs. ED. 


Hand. The Bankruptcies, brought on partly by this means, 
have given such a Shock to Credit, as has not been ex- 
perienc'd here since the South Sea Year. And this has 
affected the great Manufacturers so much, as to oblige them 
to discharge their Hands, and thousands of Spitalfield and 
Manchester Weavers are now starving, or subsisting on 
Charity. Blessed Effects of Pride, Pique, and Passion in 
Government, which should have no Passions. I am ever 

your affectionate Father, 


645. TO HUMPHRY MARSHALL (D. s. w.) 
London, February 14, 1773. 


A considerable time after its arrival, I received the box of 
seeds you sent me the beginning of last year, with your ob- 
servations on spots of the sun. The seeds I distributed 
among some of my friends who are curious ; accept my thank- 
ful acknowledgments for them. The observations I commu- 
nicated to our astronomers of the Royal Society, who are 
much pleased with them, and hand them about from one to 
another; so that I have had little opportunity of examining 
them myself, they not being yet returned to me. 

Here are various opinions about the solar spots. Some 
think them vast clouds of smoke and soot arising from the 
consuming fuel on the surface, which at length take fire again 
on their edges, consuming and daily diminishing till they 
totally disappear. Others think them spots of the surface, 
in which the fire has been extinguished, and which by degrees 
is rekindled. It is however remarkable, that, though large 


spots are seen gradually to become small ones, no one has 
observed a small spot gradually become a large one ; at least 
I do not remember to have met with such an observation. 
If this be so, it should seem they are suddenly formed of their 
full size ; and perhaps, if there were more such constant and 
diligent observers as you, some might happen to be observing 
at the instant such a spot was formed, when the appearances 
might give some ground of conjecture by what means they 
were formed. 

The professor of astronomy at Glasgow, Dr. Wilson, 1 has 
a new hypothesis. It is this; that the sun is a globe of solid 
matter, all combustible, perhaps, but whose surface only is 
actually on fire to a certain depth, and all below that depth 
unkindled, like a log of wood, whose surface to half an inch 
deep may be burning coal, while all within remains wood. 
Then he supposes, by some explosion similar to our earth- 
quakes, the burning part may be blown away from a par- 
ticular district, leaving bare the unkindled part below, which 
then appears a spot, and only lessens as the fluid burning 
matter by degrees flows in upon it on all sides, and at last 
covers or rekindles it. 

He founds this opinion on certain appearances of the edges 
of the spots as they turn under the sun's disk, or emerge again 
on the other side ; for, if there are such hollows in the sun's 
face as he supposes, and the bright border round their edges 
be the fluid burning matter flowing down the banks into the 
hollow, it will follow, that, while a spot is in the middle of the 
sun's disk, the eye looking directly upon the whole, may dis- 

1 Alexander Wilson (1714-1786), First Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow. 
In 1769 he made his discovery concerning sun spots. See Philosophical 
Transactions, 1774. ED. 


cern that border all round; but when the hollow is moved 
round to near the edge of the disk, then, though the eye 
which now views it aslant can see full the farthest bank, yet 
that which is nearest is hidden, and not to be distinguished ; 
and when the same spot comes to emerge again on the other 
side of the sun, the bank which before was visible is now con- 
cealed, and that concealed which before was visible, gradually 
changing, however, till the spot reaches the middle of the disk, 
when the bank all round may be seen as before. Perhaps 
your telescope may be scarce strong enough to observe this. 
If it is, I wish to know whether you find the same appearances. 
When your observations are returned to me, and I have con- 
sidered them, I shall lodge them among the papers of the 
Society, and let you know their sentiments. 

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


646. TO REV. WILLIAM MARSHALL 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 14, 1773. 

REV D Sm : I duly received your respected Letter of 
Oct. 30, and am very sensible of the Propriety and Equity 
of the Act passed to indulge your Friends in their Scruples, 
relating to the Mode of Taking an Oath, which you plead 
for so ably by numerous Reasons. That Act, with others 
has now been sometime laid before his Majesty in Council. 
I have not yet heard of any Objection to it; but if such 
should arise, I shall do my utmost to remove them, and 

1 Rev. William Marshall was born about 1740 in Fifeshire. He was minis- 
ter of the Associate Presbyterian Church, in Philadelphia. He died Novem- 
ber 17, 1802. ED. 


obtain the Royal Assent. Believe me, Reverend Sir, to have 
the warmest Wishes for the Increase of Religious as well as 
Civil Liberty thro'out the World; and that I am, with great 
Regard, your most obedient humble Servant, 



London, Feb. 14, 1773. 

MY DEAR CHILD: I wrote to you a few Days since by 
the Packet. In a Box directed to Mr. Bache, I send a 
striped Cotton and Silk Gown for you, of a Manufacture 
now much the Mode here. There is another for Sally. 
People line them with some old Silk Gown, and they look 
very handsome. There goes also a Bedstead for Sally, 
sent on Capt. All's telling Mrs. Stevenson that you wish'd 
it had been sent with the Bed. She sends also some little 
things for Benny-boy. 

Now having nothing very material to add, let us trifle a 
little. The fine large grey Squirrel you sent, who was a 
great Favourite in the Bishop's Family, is dead. He had 
got out of his Cage in the Country, rambled, and was ram- 
bling over a Common 3 Miles from home, when he met a Man 
with a Dog. The Dog pursuing him, he fled to the Man for 
Protection ; running up to his Shoulder, who shook him off, 
and set the Dog on him, thinking him to be, as he said after- 
ward, some Varment or other. So poor Mungo, as his Mis- 
tress calFd him, died. To amuse you a little, and nobody 
out of your own House, I enclose you the little Correspon- 
dence between her and me on the melancholy Occasion. 1 

1 See letter to Georgiana Shipley, September 26, 1772, Vol. V, p. 438. ED. 


Skugg, you must know is a common Name by which all 
Squirrels are called here as all cats are called Puss. Miss 
Georgiana is the Bishop's youngest Daughter but one. 
There are five in all. Mungo was buried in the Garden, 
and the enclos'd Epitaph put upon his Monument. So 
much for Squirrels. 

My poor Cousin Walker, in Buckinghamshire, is a Lace- 
maker. She was ambitious of presenting you and Sally 
with some Netting of her Work; but as I knew she could 
not afford it, I chose to pay her for it at her usual Price, 
3/6 per yard. It goes also in the Box. I name the Price that 
if it does not suit you to wear it, you may know how to 
dispose of it. 

I have desired Miss Haydock to repay you the ;8"6"o 
Sterling, which I have laid out for her here, on account of 
her Silk. I think it is not the Colour she desired. I suppose 
her Relation, Mrs. Forster, who took the Management of it, 
will give her the Reason. 

My Love to Sally and the dear Boy. I am ever your 

affectionate Husband, 


648. TO JOSIAH DAVENPORT 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 14, 1773 

LOVING COUSIN : I am sorry to hear of your Failing in 
your Business. I hear you now keep a little Shop, and there- 
fore send you 4 Doz. of Evans' Maps, which, if you can sell 
you are welcome to apply the Money towards Clothing your 

1 Son of Joseph Davenport, who married Franklin's sister Sarah. ED. 
VOL. vi c 


Boys, or to any other Purpose. Enoch seems a solid, sen- 
sible Lad, and I hope he will do well. If you will be advis'd 
[illegible], think of any Place in the Post- Office. The money 
you receive will slip thro' your Fingers, and you will run 
behindhand imperceptibly, when your Securities must suffer, 
or your Employers. I grow too old to run such Risques, 
and therefore wish you to propose nothing more of the kind 
to me. I have been hurt too much by endeavouring to help 
Cousin Ben Mecom. I have no Opinion of the Punctuality 
of Cousins. They are apt to take Liberties with Relations 
they would not take with others, from a Confidence that a 
Relation will not sue them. And tho' I believe you now 
resolve and intend well in case of such an Appointment, I 
can have no Dependence that some unexpected Misfortune 
or Difficulty will not embarras your Affairs and render 
you again insolvent. Don't take this unkind. It is better 
to be thus free with you than to give you Expectations that 
cannot be answered. I should be glad to see you in some 
Business that would require neither Stock nor Credit and 
yet might afford a comfortable Subsistence, being ever, your 
affectionate Uncle, 


649. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY (D. s. w.) 

London, Feb. 14. 1773 

DEAR FRIEND : I wrote to you the 6th of last Month in 
answer to your Favours of Oct. 18 and 30; since which I 
have no Line from you, the New York January Packet not 
being yet arrived. 


The Bill on Col. Johnston, which I mentioned as likely 
to be protested, is since paid. The Gentleman trifled about 
it a good deal ; first refus'd to accept it, then came to me and 
desired it might be sent to him again and he would accept it ; 
then when it became due he wanted longer time. The 
Drawer, I think, should be inform'd of this, that he may 
be cautious. The Man seems honestly dispos'd, but appears 
embarrased in his Money Affairs. This, indeed, is at present 
a more common Case than usual, owing to the great Blow 
Paper Credit has received, which first fell upon the India 
Company, and by degrees became general. Hence, a great 
Stop of Employment among the Manufacturers, added to 
the Mischiefs mentioned in mine of Dec. 2, of which retain- 
ing the Duty on Tea in America, and thereby the Loss of 
that Market, are now acknowledg'd to be the Cause. The 
Ministry now would have the Company save its Honour by 
petitioning for the Repeal of that Duty; and the Company 
has it under Consideration. They see Government will be 
oblig'd, for its own sake, to support them, and therefore 
must repeal the Duty, whether they petition for it or not, 
and 't is said they are not willing to ask it as a Favour, lest 
that should be made a Foundation for some additional 
Demand upon them. A fine Hobble they are all got into 
by their unjust and blundering Politics with regard to the 

I thank you for proposing the two Members I mention'd. 
I have now some others to propose, viz. : Dr. Barbeu Du- 
bourg of Paris, a Man of very extensive Learning and an 
excellent Philosopher, who is ambitious of the Honour, as 
is Lord Stanhope for himself and son, Lord Mahone, 1 who 

1 Dubourg was elected a member of The American Philosophical Society, 


will be proposed by Dr. de Normandie l ; there is also Mr. 
Sam'l Dun, 2 a very ingenious Mathematician and universal 
Mechanic, very fond of America, and would be an Acquisi- 
tion if we could get him there and employ him : He writes 
to the Society, and is also very desirous of the honour. There 
is another Gentleman, who, I believe, would be pleas'd with 
it, tho' he has not mentioned it; I mean the President of 
the Royal Society, Sir John Pringle, Bart. It is usual for 
the Academy of Sciences at Paris always to chuse the presi- 
dent of the English Royal Society one of their Foreign Mem- 
bers, and it is well taken here as a Mark of Respect, and I 
think it would also be taken by the Society if you should 
chuse him. 3 By the way, is the Ten Shillings a Year ex- 
pected of Foreign Members? I have been ask'd that Ques- 
tion. Here no Contribution is taken of them. Enclosed 
I send you an Ace* of the presenting two more of your Acts 
to the King in Council. As yet I hear of no Objection to 
any of the former thirty, of which I sent a List per January 
Packet as presented Dec. 22. I send the Society some 
printed Pieces that will be indeed in the next Volume of the 
Philosophic Transactions here : But as that will not come out 
till Midsummer, it may be agreable to have them sooner. 
With unalterable Attachment, I am ever, my dear Friend, 
yours most affectionately, 


January 28, 1775; Lord Stanhope and Lord Mahon were elected January 21, 
1774. ED. 

1 Dr. John A. De Normandie, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was elected October 
1 8, 1768. He died in 1803. ED. 

2 Samuel Dunn (died 1794), author of "New Atlas of the Mundane System." 
He appears on the title-page of that work as a member of The American 
Philosophical Society, but there is no record at the society of his election. 
ED. Pringle was not elected. ED. 


650. TO MRS. JANE MECOM (D. s. w.) 

London, March 9. 1773 

DEAR SISTER: I received your kind Letter of Dec. 30, 
and rejoice to find you were well. I may possibly have 
the great Pleasure of seeing you before the Year is out. 
I have desired Cousin Williams to give you the Money he 
may recover from Hall. I would only mention to you that 
when I was in Boston in 175 [mutilated] Brother John then 
living, an old Man, whose Name I have forgotten, apply'd 
to me with a Bond of our Father's of about 15 or 17 Pound, 
if I remember right, desiring I would pay it, which I declin'd, 
with this Answer, that as I had never received anything from 
the Estate, I did not think myself oblig'd to pay any of the 
Debts. But I had another Reason, which was that I thought 
the Care of those Matters belonged more properly to my 
Brother. If you know that Person, I wish you would now, 
out of Hall's Money, pay that Debt; for I remember his 
Mildness on the Occasion with some Regard. My Love to 
Jenny. I am ever, 

Your affectionate Brother 


I have not yet seen Capt. Jenkins, but will enquire him 
out when I next go to the City. 

651. TO THOMAS CUSHING (D. s. w.) 

SlRj London, March 9, 1773. 

I did myself the Honour of Writing to you the 2d of Decem- 
ber and the 5th of January past. Since which I have re- 


ceived your Favour of Nov. 28, inclosing the Votes and Pro- 
ceedings of the Town of Boston, which I have reprinted here, 
with a Preface. Herewith I send you a few Copies. 

Governor Hutchinson's Speech, at the opening of your 
Jan y Session, has been printed and industriously circulated 
here by (as I think) the ministerial People, which I take to be 
no good Sign. The Assembly's Answer to it is not yet arriv'd, 
and in the mean while it seems to make Impression on the 
Minds of many not well acquainted with the Dispute. The 
Tea Duty, however, is under the Consideration of Parlia- 
ment, for a Repeal on a Petition from the East India Com- 
pany, and no new Measures have been talked of against 
America, or are likely to be taken during the present session. 
I was therefore preparing to return home by the Spring 
Ships, but have been advis'd by our Friends to stay till the 
Session is over; as the Commission sent to Rhode Island, 
and the Discontents in your Province, with the Correspon- 
dence of the Towns, may possibly give Rise to something here, 
when my being on the Spot may be of Use to our Country. 
I conclude to stay a little longer. In the mean time I must 
hope, that great Care will be taken to keep our People quiet ; 
since nothing is more wish'd for by our Enemies, than that 
by Insurrections we should give a good Pretence for increas- 
ing the Military among us, and putting us under more severe 
Restraints. And it must be evident to all, that, by our 
rapidly increasing Strength, we shall soon become of so much 
Importance, that none of our just Claims of Privilege will 
be as heretofore unattended to, nor any Security we can wish 
for our Rights be deny'd us. With great Respect, I have the 
Honour to be, &c. 




London, March 10, 1773. 


As to the magnetism, which seems produced by electricity, 
my real opinion is, that these two powers of nature have no 
affinity with each other, and that the apparent production 
of magnetism is purely accidental. The matter may be 
explained thus. 

i st. The earth is a great magnet. 

2dly. There is a subtile fluid, called the magnetic fluid, 
which exists in all ferruginous bodies, equally attracted by 
all their parts, and equally diffused through their whole sub- 
stance ; at least where the equilibrium is not disturbed by a 
power superior to the attraction of the iron. 

3dly. This natural quantity of the magnetic fluid, which 
is contained in a given piece of iron, may be put in motion 
so as to be more rarefied in one part and more condensed in 
another; but it cannot be withdrawn by any force that we 
are yet made acquainted with, so as to leave the whole in a 
negative state, at least relatively to its natural quantity; 
neither can it be introduced so as to put the iron into a posi- 
tive state, or render it plus. In this respect, therefore, 
magnetism differs from electricity. 

4thly. A piece of soft iron allows the magnetic fluid which 
it contains to be put in motion by a moderate force ; so that, 
being placed in a line with the magnetic pole of the earth, it 
immediately acquires the properties of a magnet, its magnetic 

1 This letter is translated from M. Dubourg's " GEuvres de M. Franklin " 
(Tom. I, pp. 277, 312, 332). ED. 


fluid being drawn or forced from one extremity to the other ; 
and this effect continues as long as it remains in the same 
position, one of its extremities becoming positively magnetized, 
and the other negatively. This temporary magnetism ceases 
as soon as the iron is turned east and west, the fluid imme- 
diately diffusing itself equally through the whole iron, as in 
its natural state. 

5thly. The magnetic fluid in hard iron, or steel, is put in 
motion with more difficulty, requiring a force greater than the 
earth to excite it; and, when once it has been forced from 
one extremity of the steel to the other, it is not easy for it to 
return ; and thus a bar of steel is converted into a permanent 

6thly. A great heat, by expanding the substance of this 
steel, and increasing the distance between its particles, 
affords a passage to the magnetic fluid, which is thus again 
restored to its proper equilibrium; the bar appearing no 
longer to possess magnetic virtue. 

7thly. A bar of steel, which is not magnetic, being placed 
in the same position, relatively to the pole of the earth, which 
the magnetic needle assumes, and in this position being 
heated and suddenly cooled, becomes a permanent magnet. 
The reason is, that while the bar was hot, the magnetic fluid 
which it naturally contained was easily forced from one 
extremity to the other by the magnetic virtue of the earth; 
and that the hardness and condensation, produced by the 
sudden cooling of the bar, retained it in this state without 
permitting it to resume its original situation. 

Sthly. The violent vibrations of the particles of a steel 
bar, when forcibly struck in the same position, separate the 
particles in such a manner during their vibration, that they 


permit a portion of the magnetic fluid to pass, influenced by 
the natural magnetism of the earth ; and it is afterwards so 
forcibly retained by the re-approach of the particles, when 
the vibration ceases, that the bar becomes a permanent 

pthly. An electric shock passing through a needle in a 
like position, and dilating it for an instant, renders it, for the 
same reason, a permanent magnet; that is, not by impart- 
ing magnetism to it, but by allowing its proper magnetic 
fluid to put itself in motion. 

lothly. Thus there is not in reality more magnetism in a 
given piece of steel after it is .become magnetic, than existed 
in it before. The natural quantity is only displaced or 
repelled. Hence it follows, that a strong apparatus of mag- 
nets may charge millions of bars of steel, without communi- 
cating to them any part of its proper magnetism ; only put- 
ting in motion the magnetism which already existed in these 

I am chiefly indebted to that excellent philosopher of 
Petersburg, Mr. ^Epinus, 1 for this hypothesis, which appears 
to me equally ingenious and solid. I say chiefly, because, as 
it is many years since I read his book, which I have left 
in America, it may happen, that I may have added to or 
altered it in some respect ; and, if I have misrepresented any 
thing, the error ought to be charged to my account. 

If this hypothesis appears admissible, it will serve as an 
answer to the greater part of your questions. I have only 
one remark to add, which is, that, however great the force 
is of magnetism employed, you can only convert a given 

1 Fr.-Ulrich-Theodore ^Epinus (1724-1802), Professor of Physics at St. 
Petersburg. ED. 


portion of steel into a magnet of a force proportioned to its 
capacity of retaining its magnetic fluid in the new position 
in which it is placed, without letting it return. Now this 
power is different in different kinds of steel, but limited in all 

kinds whatever. 



March 10, 1773. 

I SHALL not attempt to explain why damp clothes occasion 
colds, rather than wet ones, because I doubt the fact; I 
imagine that neither the one nor the other contribute to this 
effect, and that the causes of colds are totally independent 
of wet and even of cold. I propose writing a short paper on 
this subject, the first moment of leisure I have at my disposal. 
In the mean time I can only say, that, having some suspicions 
that the common notion, which attributes to cold the prop- 
erty of stopping the pores and obstructing perspiration, was 
ill founded, I engaged a young physician, 2 who is making 
some experiments with Sanctorius's balance, to estimate the 
different proportions of his perspiration, when remaining one 
hour quite naked, and another warmly clothed. He pur- 
sued the experiment in this alternate manner for eight hours 
successively, and found his perspiration almost doubled dur- 
ing those hours in which he was naked. 


1 Translated from M. Dubourg's "(Euvres de M. Franklin," Vol. II, p. 311. 


2 Dr. Stark, see p. 47. ED. 



MORGAN (D. s. w.) 

London, Mar. 15. 1773 

GENTLEMEN: In mine of Feb. 10, I mentioned a Silk 
Weaver who was desirous of going to America ; and endeavor- 
ing to get Subscriptions among his Friends to defray the 
Expence of his and Family's Passage. He now tells me that 
they have been so kind as to double the Sum he requested, 
and that he is to go in Sutton. He takes with him a good 
Certificate from the Meeting ; and I beg leave to recommend 
him to the Notice and Encouragement of the Silk Committee, 
as far as they may find him deserving. For tho' it may be 
most advantageous for our Country, while the Bounty con- 
tinues so high, to send all our raw Silk hither, yet as the 
Bounty will gradually diminish and at length cease, I should 
think it not amiss to begin early the laying a Foundation for 
the future Manufacture of it; and perhaps this Person, if 
he finds Employment, may be a means of raising Hands for 
that purpose. His Name is Joseph Clark. 

By the enclos'd you will see when the Silk will probably 
be sold. I hope to send you a good Account of it, and am, 
with great Esteem, Gentlemen, your most obed*, hum serv*, 



655. TO JEAN BAPTISTE LE ROY 1 (A. P. s.) 

London, March 30, [1773.] 


You punish my delay of writing to you very properly by 
not writing to me. It is long since I have had the Pleasure 
of hearing from you. But it is my fault, and I must for my 
own sake write to you oftener, tho' I have little to say, or 
you will quite forget me. 

I thank you for your Advice to send an English Copy of 
my Writings to the Academy, and shall do it as soon as the 
new Edition now in hand here is finish'd. 

I am glad you see some Weight in the Experiments I sent 
you concerning pointed Rods. Mr. Wilson is grown angry, 
that his Advice was not followed in making them blunt for 
the Public Magazines of Gunpowder, and has published a 
Pamphlet reflecting on the R. Society, the Committee and 
myself, with some Asperity; and endeavouring to alarm the 
City with the supposed Danger of Pointed Rods drawing the 
Lightning into them, & blowing them up. I find it is ex- 
pected from me that I make some Answer to it, and I shall 
do so, tho' I have an extreme Aversion to Public Altercation 
on philosophic Points, and have never yet disputed with any 
one, who thought fit to attack my Opinions. I am obliged 
to you for the Experiment of the Point and Ring. 

There is no being sure of any thing before it happens; 
but considering the Weight of your Reputation, I think there 
is little Reason to doubt the Success of your Friends' Endeav- 

1 Jean Baptiste LeRoy (1724-1800), physicist, famous for his experiments 
in electricity. His three brothers, Pierre, Charles, and David, were all num- 
bered among Franklin's friends. ED. 


ours to procure for our Society here the Honour of adding 
you to their Number at the next Election. 1 In the mean 
time will you for my sake confer the same kind of Honour 
on my young Society at Philadelphia. When I found that 
our first volume of American Transactions was favourably 
receiv'd in Europe, and had procured us some Reputation, 
I took the Liberty of nominating you for a Member, and you 
were accordingly chosen at a full Meeting in Philadelphia 
on the 1 5th of Jan y last. I sent a Copy of that Volume to 
the Academy of Sciences at Paris when it first came out, but 
I do not remember to have heard that they ever receiv'd it. 
I think it was Mr. Magelhaens, 2 who undertook to convey 
it. If it miscarried I will send another; and by the first 
Opportunity one for yourself. 

Two Ships are now fitting out here, by the Admiralty, at 
the Request of the Royal Society, to make a Voyage to the 
North Pole, or to go as near to it as the Ice will permit. If 
they return safe we shall probably obtain some new Geo- 
graphical Knowledge, and some Addition to Natural History. 

With the greatest Esteem and Respect, I am, &c. 


656. TO THOMAS GUSHING (p. R. o.) 

London, April 3, 1773. 


My last was of the gth past, since which nothing material 
has occurred relating to the Colonies. The Assembly's An- 

1 He was elected June 10, 1773. ED. 

2 Jean Hyacinthe de Magalhaens (1723-1790), born at Lisbon, lived from 
1764 until his death in England. He was elected a member of The American 
Philosophical Society, January 16, 1784. ED. 


swer to Governor Hutchinson's Speech is not yet come over, 
but I find that even his Friends here are apprehensive of 
some ill Consequences from his forcing the Assembly into 
that Dispute; and begin to say it was not prudently done, 
tho' they believe it meant well. I inclose for you two News- 
papers, in which it is mentioned. Lord Dartmouth the other 
day express'd his Wish to me, that some Means could be 
fallen upon to heal the Breach. I took the Freedom to tell 
him, that he could do much in it, if he would exert himself. 
I think I see Signs of Relenting in some others. The Bishop 
of St. Asaph's Sermon before the Society for Propagating 
the Gospel is much talk'd of, for its Catholic Spirit and 
favourable Sentiments relating to the Colonies. I will en- 
deavour to get a Copy to send you. With great Esteem and 
Respect, I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient 
and most humble Servant, 



London, April 6, 1773. 


I received yours of February 2d, with the Papers of In- 
formation that accompany it. 

1 ... I have sent to Mr. Galloway one of the Bishop 
of St. Asaph's Sermons to your Society for propagating the 
Gospel. I would have sent you one, but you will receive 
it of course as a Member. It contains such liberal and gen- 
erous Sentiments, relating to the Conduct of Government 

1 A paragraph omitted containing answers to queries in William Franklin's 
letter. ED. 


here towards America, that Sir J[ohn] P[ringle] says it was 
written in compliment to me. But from the Intimacy of 
Friendship in which I live with the Author, I know he has 
expressed nothing but what he thinks and feels ; and I honour 
him the more, that thro' the mere Hope of doing Good, he 
has hazarded the Displeasure of the Court, and of course 
the Prospect of further Preferment. Possibly indeed the 
Ideas of the Court may change; for I think I see some 
Alarm at the Discontents in New England, and some Appear- 
ance of Softening in the Disposition of Government, on the 
Idea that Matters have been carry'd too far there. But all 
depends upon Circumstances and Events. We govern from 
Hand to Mouth. There seems to be no wise regular Plan. 

. . . I saw Lord Dartmouth about 2 Weeks since. He 
mention'd nothing to me of your Appli cation for additional 
Salary, nor did I to him, for I do not like it. I fear it will 
embroil you with your People. 

While I am writing comes to hand yours of Mar. 2. My 
Letter by the October Pacquet must have been sent as usual 
to the Office by the Bellman. That being, as you inform me, 
rubb'd open, as some of yours to me have been, gives an 
additional Circumstance of Probability to the Conjecture 
made in mine of Dec. 2. For the future I shall send Letters 
of Consequence to the Office, when I use the Pacquet Con- 
veyance, by my Clerk. 

Your Accounts of the Numbers of People, Births, Burials, 
&c., in your Province will be very agreable to me, and par- 
ticularly so to Dr. Price. Compar'd with former Accounts, 
they will show the Increase of your People, but not per- 
fectly, as I think a great many have gone from N. Jersey 
to the more Southern Colonies. 


1 ... The Parliament is like to sit till the End of June, 
as Mr. Cooper tells me. I had thoughts of returning home 
about that time. The Boston Assembly's Answer to the 
Governor's Speech, which I have just received, may possibly 
produce something here to occasion my longer Stay. I am 

your affectionate Father, 


658. TO MRS. SARAH BACHE (D. s. w.) 

London, April 6. 1773 

DEAR SALLY, I received your pleasing Letter of Jan. 5. 
I am glad you have undertaken the Care of the Housekeeping, 
as it will be an Ease to your Mother, especially if you can 
manage to her Approbation ; that may perhaps be at first a 
Difficulty. It will be of Use to you if you get a Habit of 
keeping exact Accounts; and it will be some Satisfaction to 
me to see them. Remember, for your Encouragement in 
good ceconomy, that whatever a Child saves of its Parents' 
Money, will be its own another Day. Study Poor Richard a 
little, and you may find some Benefit from his Instructions. 
I long to be with you all, and to see your Son. I pray God 
to bless him and you; being ever 

Your affectionate Father 

P. S. Mrs. Stevenson and Daughter send their Love to 
you. The latter is near lying-in again. Her Boy, my God- 
son, is a very fine Child, and begins to talk. 
1 Omission of paragraph relating to business with Thomas Wharton. ED. 


659. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY (D. s. w.) 

London, April 6. 1773. 

DEAR SIR: I wrote to you of the i4th Feb y and i5th of 
March, since which I have receiv'd no Line from you. This 
just serves to cover a Sermon of my Friend the Bishop of 
St. Asaph. You will find it replete with very liberal Senti- 
ments respecting America. I hope they will prevail here, 
and be the Foundation of a better Understanding between the 
two Countries. He is the more to be honour'd by us for this 
Instance of his Good- Will, as his Censure of the late Conduct 
towards the Colonies, however tenderly expressed, cannot 
recommend him at Court, or conduce in the least to his 

The Parliament is busy about India Affairs, and as yet see 
no End of the Business. It is thought they will sit till the 
End of June. An Alliance with France and Spain is talk'd 
of; and a War with Prussia. But this may blow over. A 
War with France and Spain would be of more Advantage to 
American Liberty: Every Step would then be taken to con- 
ciliate our Friendship, our Grievances would be redress'd, 
and our Claims allowed. And this will be the Case sooner or 
later. For as the House of Bourbon is most vulnerable in 
its American Possessions, our hearty Assistance in a War 
there must be of the greatest Importance. 

The Affair of the Grant goes on but slowly. I do not yet 
clearly see Land. I begin to be a little of the Sailor's Mind 
when they were handing a Cable out of a Store into a Ship, 
and one of 'em said : " Tis a long, heavy Cable. I wish we 



could see the End of it." "D n me," says another, "if I 
believe it has any End ; somebody has cut it off." 

I beg leave to recommend to your Civilities Mr. Robert 
Hare, 1 who does me the Favour to carry this Letter. He 
bears an excellent Character among all that know him here, 
and purposes settling in America to carry on there the 
Brewing Business. 

With the sincerest Esteem and Affection, I am ever yours, 


660. TO REV. THOMAS COOMBE 2 (D. s. w.) 

London, April 6. 1773 

DEAR FRIEND, I receiv'd a few welcome Lines from you 
acquainting me with your safe Arrival at Philad a , and promis- 
ing me a long Letter, which I suppose has miscarried. So I 
know nothing of your Reception and Engagements, your 
Views, Pursuits, or Studies, or what would please you best 
from hence, new Poetry or new Sermons; for the better 
chance, therefore of hitting your Taste, I send you a Sample 
of each, perhaps the best we have had since Pope and Tillotson. 
The Poetry is allowed by the Wits here to be neat classical 
Satyr. Finding a vacant Niche in it, I have, with my Pen, 
stuck up there a certain Enemy of America. The just, 
liberal, and benevolent Sentiments in my Friend the Bishop's 

1 He settled in Philadelphia, and became the father of Robert Hare, the 
inventor of the oxyhydrogen blowpipe. ED. 

2 Thomas Coombe (1747-1822) was Chaplain to the Marquis of Rockingham 
(1768-1772), and on his return to America was chosen an assistant minister 
of Christ Church and St. Peter's, in Philadelphia. ED. 


Sermon, do honour both to his Head and Heart; and the 
more, as he knows the Doctrine cannot be relish'd at Court, 
and therefore cannot conduce to his Promotion. My Re- 
spects to your good Father, and believe me ever 

Your affectionate friend, 


P. S. Give me leave to recommend to your Acquaintance 
and Civilities, the Bearer, Mr. Robert Hare, who bears an 
excellent Character here, and has views of Settling in America. 


(A. P. S.) 

Woodbridge February 2, 1773 
Honoured Sir 

At my Mama's particular request, I take the liberty of writing to you, 
whom once I could address without ceremony, but the unhappy difference 
between our families renders that perhaps now more necessary, which would 
formerly have been looked upon as an Act of Duty. You my D r Sir I was 
ever taught to look upon as the Friend, the Benefactor of one of the best of 
Parents and he is now no more, and his memory and Actions too soon forgot 
by some. Yet that hand which so kindly assisted him and thought him 
worthy when here of friendship, we hope will not forget his family now he is 
no more. When my Papa died he left something pritty behind him, 
enough to maintain Mama, and for his Children to enter into the World again. 
His Estate was no way incumbred, but with those Bonds to Mr. Franklin, as 
now appears but which my Mama have frequently heard him say before his 
Death, were almost discharged, that he had remitted money to M rs Franklin 
to near the amount of them, and particularly the last time he went from home 
he told Mama he believed he had sufficient with him to discharge them. 
However that be as it will and owing to what cause it may on either side 
there are now heavy Sums appear due on those Bonds. 

We have seen Powers of Attorney in the hands of both Gov r Franklin and 
Mr. Bache to receive and secure the Debt as soon as the Governor ap- 

1 Jenny Bedford was the daughter of James Parker, printer, of Woodbridge, 

New Jersey. ED. 


peared we sent in our Account and were ready to settle. Governor Franklin 
then took time to send the Account over to you When we called upon him 
again he said he had nothing to do with the matter, that M r Bache had come 
with a later Power of Attorney, and that we must settle with him. We then 
furnished M r Bache with the same Accounts as we had the Governor, who in 
answer said he could not settle till he had heard farther from you. 

Since that we have waited and called upon you again and again but he 
says no news from home and all must be let go till then. Mama thinks it 
very hard. If interest runs upon the Bonds they have almost consumed the 
Estate tho this is what we principally want to know papa in his Books 
mentions it, that if Interest is charged upon his Bonds to Mr. Franklin he 
thinks it but reasonable he should have commissions upon the Business he 
did for him now what business he did or what commissions to charge 
we know not, as he kept no Account of it and therefore we would wish to 
know from yourself wether (sic) or not we must pay Interest upon the Bonds, 
and if we do wether it is reasonable we should from the time that we have 
been ready to settle them it will make an odds in the Interest. . . . We 
should not have troubled or wrote to you, good Sir, was it not for Mamas 
great anxiety to have her Affairs settled^ and her particular desire that you 
should in some measure be concerned in them that she may know from your- 
self what she may depend on as to your accounts; as she finds some difficulty 
in settling them in her present situation. She is now advanced in Years and 
afflicted, and would willingly live in peace, and she thinks if those Bonds 
were discharged she could be happy as they are the only incumbrance on the 
Estate, but which tho we fear will eat the most of it up. She sincerely joins 
with me in much love and gratitude for your many favours, as would Mr. Bed- 
ford, the person whom I am so happy to call Husband, were he present a 
Gentleman tho unknown to you yet I flatter myself whose good qualities 
would recommend to your favour permit me therefore for him with to 
wish you many happy years and a safe return to your Family and Friends, 
From Honor'd Sir 

Your affectionate 
humble Servant 
Jennie Bedford. 

662. TO MRS. BEDFORD 1 (P. c.) 

DEAR JENKY, London > A P ril * ' 773 ' 

For so I must still call you, tho' you seem a little angry 
with me. I received your Letter of Feb. 2, and shall 

1 From the private collection of Mr. John Boyd Thacher, of Albany. ED. 

1773] TO MRS. BEDFORD 37 

examine the Accounts that are sent me from your Books, 
and write to you fully upon them very soon. In the mean 
time, you and Mrs Parker may be assured that nothing will 
be expected or desired on my Part inconsistent with the Re- 
gard I always had for her and you, and the ancient Friend- 
ship that so long subsisted between Mr Parker and me, 
whose Memory as an honest, worthy Man I shall always 
honour. The Power of Attorney you mention and seem to 
take amiss, was a general one, to settle Accounts for me with 
any Person in my Absence: But since your Accounts are 
sent to me, I will endeavour to settle them myself: And 
desiring nothing but what is just, shall be more pleas'd to 
find little due to me than much. In a Letter some years 
since to Mr Parker, I gave my Reasons for expecting his 
Bond, bearing Interest whenever I advanced considerable 
Sums of Money for him, viz., because to serve him I took my 
Money out of other Hands where it bore Interest ; and 
when I bought Goods for him here, and paid my Money for 
them, I charg'd no Profit or Commissions upon them, being 
no Merchant. Any Business he did for me, I always was and 
shall be willing to allow for, to Satisfaction, in Money; as 
well as to return Kindness for Kindness: But I think it 
contributes to the Duration of Friendship, to keep its Ac- 
counts & those of Business, distinct & separate, and that as 
exact Justice in Pounds Shillings and Pence should be ob- 
served between Friends as between Strangers. I always 
intended making Mr Parker an Allowance for the Time 
he spent and the Trouble he took in settling my Accounts 
with Mr Hall after I left America. This is the only thing I 
at present recollect unsatisfy'd. But if Mrs Parker, or you, 
or I myself, can find or recollect anything else, it shall be 


allow'd for. And notwithstanding what is said above, of 
Interest, I think with Mrs Parker that from the Time she 
render'd the Accounts, and offer'd as you say to pay the 
Ballance, no Interest should be charged. I received also 
for him here 64: 3.0 Sterling, on Jan 14. 1772. from which 
time the Interest of that Sum must be struck off in the Bonds. 
It was upon my Application here that the Quarter's Salary 
after your good Father's Death, was allowed, and if it is 
not yet paid, it will be : I suppose Mr Potts has desired Mr 
Golden to receive for the Newspapers. If so, I think you 
had better pay it there out of the Money you are to receive 
from the Office. If not, I will pay him here, as you desire it. 
Present my affectionate Respects to your good Mother, and 
my Compliments to Mr Bedford tho' unknown, to whom with 
yourself I wish all Happiness in your Marriage; being ever f 
with sincere Regard 

Your affectionate Friend 


P. S. The i35,,o . o remitted in March, 1770, was part 
of a Bill of 250 Sterl'g Watts & McEvers on Mess'" Harley 
and Drummond, dated Feb. 28 1770. concerning which your 
Father thus writes to me in his Letter of March 8. 

"This covers a Bill of 250^ SterP* Exch. 67^. so that it rises 
here. Of this Bill the Sum of 135 this Money is on 
Account of B. Mecom's Books sold at Auction; and the 
remaining 283 ,,i5,,o the same Money, is on the Post- 
Office Account, the Bill having cost 4i8,,5,,o. As soon as 
the Ace* 4 of the Auction can be made out, I shall send you a 
particular Account of every Article ; tho' I believe there will 
be little more net Proceeds when all Charges are paid. 


However, you will see. And if this be more than the net 
Proceeds I will debit your Ace'* for the Ballance ; and if less 
will debit my own Acc' fc , and credit you for it. This is all 
the Money I've yet got in." 

I suppose you may find by his Books how this Ace'* was 
closed. B F. 

You speak of a Difference between our Families. I have 
never heard of such a Thing but in your Letter, and wonder 
at it. 

663. TO DEAN WOODWARD 1 (A. p. s.) 

London, April 10, 1773. 


Desirous of being reviv'd in your Memory, I take this 
Opportunity by my good Friend Mrs. Blacker, of sending 
you a printed Piece, and a Manuscript, both on a Subject 
you and I frequently convers'd upon, with similar Sentiments, 
when I had the Pleasure of seeing you in Dublin. I have 
since had the Satisfaction to learn that a Disposition to 
abolish Slavery prevails in North America, that many of the 
Pennsylvanians have set their Slaves at Liberty, and that even 
the Virginia Assembly have petitioned the King for Per- 
mission to make a Law for preventing the Importation of 
more into that Colony. This Request however, will probably 
not be granted, as their former Laws of that kind have always 
been repealed, and as the Interest of a few Merchants here 
has more weight with Government, than that of Thousands 
at a Distance. 

1 Richard Woodward (1726-1794); Dean of Clogher (1764-1781); 
Chancellor of St. Patrick's, 1772; Bishop of Cloyne (1781-1794). ED. 


Witness a late Fact. The Goal Distemper being frequently 
imported and spread in Virginia, by the Ships transporting 
Convicts, occasioning the Death of many honest, innocent 
People there, a Law was made to oblige those Ships arriving 
with that Distemper to perform a quarantine. But the two 
Merchants of London, Contractors in that Business, alledg- 
ing that this might increase the Expence of their Voyages, 
the Law was at their instance repealed here. With great 
Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour to be, &c. 


664. TO WILLIAM DEANE (A. p. s.) 

London, April n, 1773. 


Miss Martin that was, now Mrs. Blacker, being about to 
return to Dublin, I cannot omit the Opportunity it gives me 
of chatting a little with one whose Conversation afforded me 
while I was there, so much Pleasure and Instruction. 

I know of nothing new here, worth communicating to you, 
unless perhaps the new Art of making Carriage Wheels, the 
Fellies of one Piece bent into a Circle and surrounded by a 
Hoop of Iron, the whole very light and strong, there being no 
cross'd Grain in the Wood, which is also a great Saving of 
Timber. The Wood is first steam'd in the Vapour from 
boiling Water, and then bent by a forcible Machine. I have 
seen pieces so bent of 6 Inches wide, and 3^ thick, into a 
Circle of 4 feet diameter. These, for Duration, can only 
be exceeded by your Iron Wheels. Pray, have you compleated 
that ingenious Invention? 

What is become of honest Mr. Kettilby? Does he go on 


with his Printing Schemes, or has he got into some better 
Employment? 1 

They tell us here that some Person with you has dis- 
covered a new moving Power, that may be of Use in mechan- 
ical Operations; that it consists in the Explosion of Iron 
Tears chill'd suddenly from the melting State in cold Water. 
That Explosion I have often seen in Drops of Glass with 
Wonder, understanding it no more than they did in the Time 
of Hudibras, who makes a Simile of it, which I repeat because 
tis probably so long since you read it, 

"Honour is like that glassy Bubble, 
That gives Philosophers such Trouble 
Whose least part crack'd, the whole does fly, 
And Wits are crack'd to find out why." 

May I ask you, if you know any thing of the Application 
of this Power, of which I have not at present the smallest 
Conception ? 

I have compleated my Stove, in which the Smoke of the 
Coal is all turn'd into Flame, operates as Fuel & in heating 
the Room. I have us'd it all this Winter ; and find it answer 
even beyond my Expectation. I purpose to print a little 
Description of its Use and Construction, & shall send you 
a Copy. 

I hope Billy and Jenny continue & will always continue 
as happy as when I knew them. My best Wishes attend 
them, being ever, with sincere Esteem, 

Dear Sir, 
Your most obedient humble Servant, 


1 J. Kettilby, printer, Mitre Alley, Dublin, inventor of new forms of 
type. ED. 



YOUR observations on the causes of death, and the experi- 
ments which you propose for recalling to life those who 
appear to be killed by lightning, demonstrate equally your 
sagacity and your humanity. It appears that the doctrines 
of life and death in general are yet but little understood. 

A toad buried in sand will live, it is said, till the sand becomes 
petrified; and then, being enclosed in the stone, it may still 
live for we know not how many ages. The facts which are 
cited in support of this opinion are too numerous, and too 
circumstantial, not to deserve a certain degree of credit. 
As we are accustomed to see all the animals with which we 
are acquainted eat and drink, it appears to us difficult to 
conceive how a toad can be supported in such a dungeon; 
but if we reflect that the necessity of nourishment which 
animals experience in their ordinary state proceeds from 
the continual waste of their substance by perspiration, it 
will appear less incredible that some animals in a torpid 
state, perspiring less because they use no exercise, should 
have less need of aliment ; and that others, which are covered 
with scales or shells, which stop perspiration, such as land 
and sea turtles, serpents, and some species of fish, should 
be able to subsist a considerable time without any nourish- 
ment whatever. A plant, with its flowers, fades and dies 
immediately, if exposed to the air without having its root 
immersed in a humid soil, from which it may draw a suffi- 

1 Translated from M. Dubourg's "CEuvres de M. Franklin" (1773), Vol. I, 
p. 327. It is without date, but the letter to which it is an answer is dated April 
15th, 1773. ED. 


cient quantity of moisture to supply that which exhales from 
its substance and is carried off continually by the air. Per- 
haps, however, if it were buried in quicksilver, it might pre- 
serve for a considerable space of time its vegetable life, its 
smell, and colour. If this be the case, it might prove a com- 
modious method of transporting from distant countries those 
delicate plants, which are unable to sustain the inclemency 
of the weather at sea, and which require particular care and 
attention. I have seen an instance of common flies preserved 
in a manner somewhat similar. They had been drowned 
in Madeira wine, apparently about the time when it was 
bottled in Virginia, to be sent hither (to London). At the 
opening of one of the bottles, at the house of a friend where 
I then was, three drowned flies fell into the first glass that 
was filled. Having heard it remarked that drowned flies 
were capable of being revived by the rays of the sun, I pro- 
posed making the experiment upon these; they were there- 
fore exposed to the sun upon a sieve, which had been employed 
to strain them out of the wine. In less than three hours, 
two of them began by degrees to recover life. They com- 
menced by some convulsive motions of the thighs, and at 
length they raised themselves upon their legs, wiped their 
eyes with their fore feet, beat and brushed their wings with 
their hind feet, and soon after began to fly, finding them- 
selves in Old England, without knowing how they came 
thither. The third continued lifeless till sunset, when, losing 
all hopes of him, he was thrown away. 

I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a 
method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner 
that they may be recalled to life at any period, however dis- 
tant ; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the 


state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to 
any ordinary death, the being immersed in a cask of Madeira 
wine, with a few friends, till that time, to be then recalled to 
life by the solar warmth of my dear country ! But since in 
all probability we live in an age too early and too near the 
infancy of science, to hope to see such an art brought in our 
time to its perfection, I must for the present content myself 
with the treat, which you are so kind as to promise me, of 
the resurrection of a fowl or a turkey cock. 

I am, &c. 




My answer to your questions concerning the mode of 
rendering meat tender by electricity, can only be founded 
upon conjecture; for I have not experiments enough to 
warrant the facts. All that I can say at present is, that I 
think electricity might be employed for this purpose, and I 
shall state what follows as the observations or reasons which 
make me presume so. 

It has been observed that lightning, by rarefying and 
reducing into vapour the moisture contained in solid wood, 
in an oak, for instance, has forcibly separated its fibres, and 
broken it into small splinters ; that, by penetrating intimately 

1 This letter has no date, but the one to which it is an answer is dated 
May ist, 1773. S. It is translated from Dubourg "CEuvres de M. Franklin," 
I, 332. ED. 


the hardest metals, as iron, it has separated the parts in an 
instant, so as to convert a perfect solid into a state of fluidity ; 
it is not then improbable, that the same subtile matter, pass- 
ing through the bodies of animals with rapidity, should 
possess sufficient force to produce an effect nearly similar. 

The flesh of animals, fresh killed in the usual manner, 
is firm, hard, and not in a very eatable state, because the 
particles adhere too forcibly to each other. At a certain 
period, the cohesion is weakened, and, in its progress towards 
putrefaction, which tends to produce a total separation, the 
flesh becomes what we call tender, or is in that state most 
proper to be used as our food. 

It has frequently been remarked, that animals killed by 
lightning putrefy immediately. This cannot be invariably 
the case, since a quantity of lightning, sufficient to kill, may 
not be sufficient to tear and divide the fibres and particles of 
flesh, and reduce them to that tender state, which is the pre- 
lude to putrefaction. Hence it is, that some animals killed 
in this manner will keep longer than others. But the putre- 
faction sometimes proceeds with surprising celerity. A 
respectable person assured me that he once knew a remark- 
able instance of this. A whole flock of sheep in Scotland, 
being closely assembled under a tree, were killed by a flash 
of lightning; and, it being rather late in the evening, the 
proprietor, desirous of saving something, sent persons early 
the next morning to flay them ; but the putrefaction was such, 
and the stench so abominable, that they had not the courage 
to execute their orders, and the bodies were accordingly 
buried in their skins. It is not unreasonable to presume, 
that, between the period of their death and that of their 
putrefaction, a time intervened in which the flesh might be 


only tender, and only sufficiently so to be served at table. 
Add to this, that persons, who have eaten of fowls killed by 
our feeble imitation of lightning (electricity), and dressed 
immediately, have asserted, that the flesh was remarkably 

The little utility of this practice has perhaps prevented its 
being much adopted. For, though it sometimes happens, 
that a company unexpectedly arriving at a country-house, or 
an unusual conflux of travellers to an inn, may render it 
necessary to kill a number of animals for immediate use ; yet, 
as travellers have commonly a good appetite, little attention 
has been paid to the trifling inconvenience of having their 
meat a little tough. As this kind of death is nevertheless 
more sudden, and consequently less severe, than any other, 
if this should operate as a motive with compassionate persons 
to employ it for animals sacrificed for their use, they may con- 
duct the process thus. 

Having prepared a battery of six large glass jars (each from 
twenty to twenty-four pints) as for the Leyden experiment, 
and having established a communication, as usual, from the 
interior surface of each with the prime conductor, and having 
given them a full charge (which, with a good machine, may 
be executed in a few minutes, and may be estimated by an 
electrometer), a chain which communicates with the exterior 
of the jars must be wrapped round the thighs of the fowl; 
after which the operator, holding it by the wings, turned 
back and made to touch behind, must raise it so high that 
the head may receive the first shock from the prime conductor. 
The animal dies instantly. Let the head be immediately 
cut off to make it bleed, when it may be plucked and dressed 
immediately. This quantity of electricity is supposed suffi- 


cient for a turkey of ten pounds weight, and perhaps for a 
lamb. Experience alone will inform us of the requisite pro- 
portions for animals of different forms and ages. Probably 
not less will be required to render a small bird, which is very 
old, tender, than for a larger one, which is young. It is easy 
to furnish the requisite quantity of electricity, by employing 
a greater or less number of jars. As six jars, however, dis- 
charged at once, are capable of giving a very violent shock, 
the operator must be very circumspect, lest he should happen 
to make the experiment on his own flesh, instead of that of 
the fowl. 



May 4, 1773. 

THE young physician 2 whom I mentioned is dead, and 

all the notes which he had left of his curious experiments are 
by some accident lost between our friends Sir John Pringle 
and Dr. Huck (Saunders); 3 but these gentlemen, if the 
papers cannot be recovered, it is to be presumed, will repeat 

the experiments themselves. 4 


1 Translated from M. Dubourg's "(Euvres de M. Franklin" (1773), Vol. 
II, p. 312. ED. 

2 William Stark (1740-1770). ED. 

3 Richard Huck-Saunders (1720-1785), physician to the British Army in 
America, under Lord Loudoun, during the Seven Years' War. He was born 
Huck; he married Jane, niece and heiress of Admiral Sir Charles Saunders, 
and assumed the name of Saunders. ED. 

4 "The works of the late William Stark . . . consisting of clinical and 
anatomical Observations with Experiments Dietetical and Statistical," edited 
by James Carmichael Smyth, London, 1 788. ED. 


668. TO THOMAS GUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, May 6, 1773. 

I have received none of your Favours since that of Nov 28. 
I have since written to you of the following Dates, Dec. 2, 
Jan. 5, March 9, and April 3, which I hope got safe to hand. 

The Council and Assembly's Answers to Gov* Hutchinson's 
Speech I caused to be printed here, as soon as I received 
them. His Reply I see since printed also, but their Rejoinder 
is not yet come. If he intended, by reviving that Dispute, 
to recommend himself here, he has greatly missed his Aim; 
for the Administration are chagrin'd with his Omciousness, 
their Intention having been to let all Contention subside, and 
by degrees suffer Matters to return to the old Channel. 
They are now embarras'd by his Proceedings; for, if they 
lay the governor's Dispatches, containing the Declaration of 
the General Court, before Parliament, they apprehend 
Measures may be taken that will widen the Breach; which 
would be more particularly inconvenient at this Time, when 
the disturbed State of Europe gives some Apprehensions of a 
general War. On the other hand, if they do not lay them 
before Parliament, they give Advantage to Opposition against 
themselves on some future Occasion, in a Charge of criminal 
Neglect. Some say he must be a Fool; others, that thro' 
some Misinformation he certainly supposed Lord Hills- 
borough to be again in Office. 

Yesterday I had a conversation with Lord Dartmouth], 
of which I think it right to give you some Account. On my 
saying that I had no late Advices from Boston, and asking 


if his Lordship had any, he said, None since the Governor's 
second Speech ; but what Difficulties says he, that Gentleman 
has brought us all into by his Imprudence ! tho' I suppose 
he meant well ; yet what can now be done ? It is impossible, 
that Parliament can suffer such a Declaration of the General 
Assembly, asserting its Independency, to pass unnotic'd. 
In my opinion, says I, it would be better and more prudent to 
take no Notice of it. It is Words only. Acts of Parliament 
are still submitted to there. No Force is us'd to obstruct 
their Execution. And while that is the Case, Parliament 
would do well to turn a deaf Ear, and seem not to know that 
such Declarations had ever been made. Violent Measures 
against the Province will not change the Opinion of the 
People. Force could do no good. I do not know, says he, 
that Force would be thought of; but perhaps an Act may 
pass to lay them under some Inconveniences, till they rescind 
that Declaration. Can they not withdraw it? I wish they 
could be persuaded to reconsider the Matter, and do it of 
themselves, voluntarily, and thus leave things between us on 
the old Footing, the Points undiscuss'd. Don't you think, 
(continues his L p ), such a thing possible. No, my Lord, 
says I, I think it impossible. If they were even to wish 
Matters back in the Situation before the Gov' 8 Speech, and 
the Dispute obliterated, they cannot withdraw their Answers 
till he first withdraws his Speech, which methinks would be 
an awkward Operation, that perhaps he will hardly be di- 
rected to perform. As to an Act of Parliament, laying that 
Country under Inconveniences, it is likely that it will only 
put them as heretofore upon inventing some Method of in- 
commoding this Country till the Act is repealed ; and so we 
shall go on injuring and provoking each other, instead of cul- 



tivating that Good Will and Harmony, so necessary to the 
general Welfare. 

He said, That might be, and he was sensible our Divisions 
must weaken the whole ; for we are yet one Empire (says he) 
whatever may be the Sentiments of the Massachusetts As- 
sembly ; but he did not see how that could be avoided. He 
wonder'd, as the Dispute was now of public Notoriety, Par- 
liament had not already called for the Dispatches; and he 
thought he could not omit much longer the communicating 
them, however unwilling he was to do it, from his Appre- 
hension of the Consequences. But what, (his L p was pleas'd 
to say,) if you were in my Place, would or could you do? 
Would you hazard the being calPd to Account in some future 
Session by Parliament for keeping back the Communication 
of Dispatches of such Importance? I said, his Lordship 
could best judge what in his Situation was fittest for him to 
do ; I could only give my poor Opinion with regard to Par- 
liament, that, supposing the Dispatches laid before them, 
they would act most prudently in ordering them to lie on the 
Table, and take no farther Notice of them. For were I as 
much an Englishman as I am an American, and ever so 
desirous of establishing the Authority of Parliament, I pro- 
test to your L p , I cannot conceive of a single Step the 
Parliament can take to encrease it, that will not tend to 
diminish it; and after abundance of Mischief they must 
finally lose it. The Loss in itself perhaps would not be of 
much consequence, because it is an Authority they can never 
well exercise for want of due Information and Knowledge, 
and therefore it is not worth hazarding the Mischief to pre- 
serve it. 

Then adding my Wishes that I could be of any Service in 


healing our Differences, his Lordship said, I do not see any 
thing of more Service, than prevailing on the Gen. Assembly, 
if you can do it, to withdraw their Answers to the Governor's 
Speech. There is not, says I, the least Probability they 
will ever do that : For the Country is all of one Mind upon 
the Subject. Perhaps the Governor may have represented 
to your Lordship, that these are the Opinions of a Party only, 
and that great Numbers are of different Sentiments, which 
may in time prevail. But, if he does not deceive himself, he 
deceives your Lordship : For in both Houses, notwithstand- 
ing all the Influence appertaining to his Office, there was not, 
in sending up those Answers, a single dissenting Voice. I 
do not recollect, says his L p , that the Governor has written 
any thing of that kind. I am told, however, by gentlemen 
from that Country, who pretend to know it, that there are 
many of the Governor's Opinion, but they dare not show 
their Sentiments. I never heard, says I, that any one has 
suffered Violence for siding with the Governor. Not Vio- 
lence, perhaps, says his Lordship, but they are revil'd and 
held in Contempt, and People don't care to incur the Dis- 
esteem and Displeasure of their Neighbours. 

As I knew Gov 1 Bernard had been in with his Lordship 
just before me, I tho't he was probably one of these Gentle- 
men Informants, and therefore said, People, who are engaged 
in any Party or have advis'd any Measures, are apt to magnify 
the Numbers of those they would have understood as approv- 
ing their Measures. His Lordship said, that was natural to 
suppose might be the present Case; for, whoever observ'd 
the Conduct of Parties here, must have seen it a constant 
Practice; and he agreed with me, that, tho' a Nemine Con- 
tradicente did not prove the absolute Agreement of every 


Man in the Opinion voted, it at least demonstrated the great 
Prevalence of that Opinion. 

Thus ended our Conference. I shall watch this Business 
till the Parliament rises, and endeavour to make People in 
general as sensible of the Inconveniences to this Country, 
that may attend a Continuance of the Contest, as the Spital- 
fields Weavers seem already to be in their Petition to the King, 
which I herewith send you. I have already the Pleasure 
to find, that my Friend, the Bishop of St. Asaph's Sermon is 
universally approved and applauded, which I take to be no 
bad Symptom. With sincere Esteem and Respect, I have 

the honour to be, Sir, &c. 



London, June I, 1773. 


I wish, with you, that some chemist (who should, if possible, 
be at the same time an electrician) would, in pursuance of the 
excellent hints contained in your letter, undertake to work 
upon glass with the view you have recommended. By means 
of a perfect knowledge of this substance, with respect to its 
electrical qualities, we might proceed with more certainty, 
as well in making our own experiments, as in repeating those 
which have been made by others in different countries, which, 
I believe, have frequently been attended with different suc- 
cess on account of differences in the glass employed, thence 
occasioning frequent misunderstandings and contrariety of 

There is another circumstance much to be desired with 


respect to glass, and that is, that it should not be subject to 
break when highly charged in the Leyden experiment. I 
have known eight jars broken out of twenty, and, at another 
time, twelve out of thirty-five. A similar loss would greatly 
discourage electricians desirous of accumulating a great 
power for certain experiments. We have never been able 
hitherto to account for the cause of such misfortunes. The 
first idea which occurs is, that the positive electricity, being 
accumulated on one side of the glass, rushes violently through 
it, in order to supply the deficiency on the other side and to 
restore the equilibrium. This, however, I cannot conceive 
to be the true reason, when I consider, that, a great number of 
jars being united, so as to be charged and discharged at the 
same time, the breaking of a single jar will discharge the 
whole; for, if the accident proceeded from the weakness of 
the glass, it is not probable, that eight of them should be pre- 
cisely of the same degree of weakness, as to break every one at 
the same instant, it being more likely, that the weakest should 
break first, and, by breaking, secure the rest; and again, 
when it is necessary to produce a certain effect, by means 
of the whole charge passing through a determined circle, 
(as, for instance, to melt a small wire,) if the charge, instead 
of passing in this circle, rushed through the sides of the jars, 
the intended effect would not be produced ; which, however 
is contrary to fact. For these reasons, I suspect, that there is, 
in the substance of the glass, either some little globules of air, 
or some portions of un vitrified sand or salt, into which a 
quantity of the electric fluid may be forced during the charge, 
and there retained till the general discharge; and that the 
force being suddenly withdrawn, the elasticity of the fluid 
acts upon the glass in which it is enclosed, not being able to 


escape hastily without breaking the glass. I offer this only 
as a conjecture, which I leave to others to examine. 

The globe which I had that could not be excited, though 
it was from the same glass-house which furnished the other 
excellent globes in my possession, was not of the same frit. 
The glass which was usually manufactured there, was rather 
of the green kind, and chiefly intended for drinking-glasses 
and bottles ; but, the proprietors being desirous of attempting 
a trial of white glass, the globe in question was of this frit. 
The glass not being of a perfect white, the proprietors were dis- 
satisfied with it, and abandoned their project. I suspected, 
that too great a quantity of salt was admitted into the com- 
position ; but I am no judge of these matters. 


670. TO ALEXANDER GOLDEN 1 (D. s. w.) 

London, June 2. 1773 

DEAR SIR : I received yours of April 7 Inclosing Con- 
ingham and Nesbit's Bill on D. Harvey & Co. for 200, 
with which your Account is credited. In my last I acknowl- 
edged the Receipt of Christie's renew'd Bill for 338 17 2J. 

I am glad the last Year's Accounts are to come by the next 
Packet, for then we shall have the whole settled and pass'd 
together, there having been a Delay for some time, occasioned 
by the Mislaying of a preceding Ace at the Office. If at the 
Settlement anything new should be required in the Mode of 
rendring your Acc ts , I shall acquaint you with it. 

I admire your good Father's rare Felicity in retaining so 

1 Alexander Golden (1716-1774), postmaster at New York. ED. 


long his Health and Spirits, and particularly that Vigour 
of his mental Faculties which enables him still to amuse 
himself with abstruse philosophical Disquisitions. For my 
own part, every thing of difficult Discussion, and that requires 
close Attention of Mind, and an Application of long Con- 
tinuance, grows rather irksome to me, and where there is not 
some absolute Necessity for it, as in the Settlement of Ac- 
counts, or the like, I am apt to indulge the Indolence usually 
attending Age, in postponing such Business from time to 
time ; tho' continually resolving to do it. This has been the 
Case with regard to your Father's Philosophical Piece on 
the Principles of Vital Motion, which he did me the Honour 
some time since to desire my Opinion of. I have read it 
carefully, and long intended to read it with close Attention, 
and still intend it, but what with Business that takes up so 
much of my Time, Interruptions of various kinds, and the 
Indolence I have above confessed, I have hitherto put it off. 
In my Voyage home which I am now preparing for, I promise 
myself to study it thoroughly, so that if I have the Happiness 
once more of meeting him, we may discourse of it together. 
In the meantime, present my best Respects to him, and 
believe me, with great Regard, dear sir, 

Your most obedient, humble serv* 


671. TO THOMAS CUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, June 2, 1773. 


Since my last which was of the 6th past, I have been 
honoured with yours of March 6 and 24, inclosing a Petition 


to the King, and a Letter to Lord Dartmouth. On con- 
sidering the whole, I concluded that a longer Delay of pre- 
senting the first Petition and Remonstrance was not likely to 
answer any good Purpose, and therefore immediately waited 
on Lord Dartmouth, and deliver'd to him the Letter, and the 
second Petition, at the same time re-delivering the first, and 
press'd his Lordship to present them to his Majesty, which he 
promised to do. 

Enclosed I send you the Answer I have just received from 
him, as this Day's Packet (the Mail for which is to be made 
up and dispatched in a few Hours) is the earliest Oppor- 
tunity, the Ships for Boston not being to sail till the Beginning 
of next Week. By one of them I shall send a Copy, with 
what Observations occur to me on the Occasion, which the 
time will not now permit me to write. In the mean while I 
would just beg leave to say, that I hope the House will come 
to no hasty Resolves upon it. The longer they deliberate, 
the more maturely they consider, the greater Weight will 
attend their Resolutions. With sincere Respect, I am, Sir, 


672. TO THOMAS GUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, June 4, 1773. 


The above is a Copy of mine per Packet, which inclos'd 
the Original of his Majesty's Answer to our Petitions and 
Remonstrance. I now send an exact Copy of the same, 
which I did intend to accompany with some Observations, 
and my Sentiments on the general State of our Affairs in this 


Country, and the Conduct proper for us to hold on this Occa- 
sion. But, beginning to write, I find the Matter too copious, 
and the Subject (on Reflection) too important, to be treated 
in a hasty Letter; and being told the Ships sail to-morrow, 
I must postpone it to another Opportunity. 

It was thought at the Beginning of the Session, that the 
American Duty on Tea would be taken off. But now the 
wise Scheme is to take off so much Duty here, as will make 
Tea cheaper in America than Foreigners can supply us, and 
to confine the Duty there to keep up the Exercise of the 
Right. They have no Idea that any People can act from 
any other Principle but that of Interest ; and they believe, 
that 3d in a Ib of Tea, of which one does not perhaps drink 
10 in a Year, is sufficient to overcome all the Patriotism of an 

I purpose soon to write you very fully. As to the Letters * 
I communicated to you, tho' I have not been able to obtain 
Leave to take Copies or publish them, I have permission to 
let the Originals remain with you, as long as you may think 
it of any Use to have them in Possession. With great Esteem, 
and Respect, I have the Honour to be, Sir, &c. 




Boston, June 14, 1773. 

WE have received high eulogiums upon the replies of our Council and 
Commons from gentlemen of the most respectable characters in the other 
colonies, where there evidently appears an increasing regard for this province, 

1 Letters from Governor Hutchinson and others. ED. 


and an inclination to unite for the common safety. Virginia has led the way, 
by proposing a communication and correspondence between all the Assemblies 
thro' the continent. The letter from their committee for this purpose was 
received here with no little joy, and the proposal agreed to in the most ready 
and respectful manner. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire 
have already chosen committees, so that all New England is now united with 
Virginia in this salutary plan, and the accession of most, if not all, the other 
colonies is not doubted. This opens a most agreeable prospect to the friends 
of our common rights. 

In my last, I mentioned to you my having had a sight of some letters, that 
had been transmitted to the Speaker with leave to communicate them to me, 
and some others in confidence. I soon apprehended from the nature of the 
contents, and the number of persons to whom they were directed to be shown, 
that they could not long remain secret. However, I have preserved inviolable 
the trust reposed in me. Some, not named by you as confidants, had hints 
from London that such letters were come or coming, and began to suspect 
they were concealed in favour of the writers. The secret was kept till the 
meeting of the General Court, when so many members had obtained such 
general intimations of it, as to render them extremely inquisitive and solicitous. 
At last it was thought best to communicate them to the House, with the re- 
strictions that accompanied them here. The House could not act upon them 
with those restrictions, but the substance of them was known everywhere, and 
the alarm given. Soon after, copies of them were brought into the House, 
said to have come from England by the last ships. 

Many members scrupled to act upon these copies, while they were under 
such public engagements to the unknown proprietor of the originals. As the 
matter was now so public, and the restrictions could answer no good end, no 
view of the sender, but on the contrary might prevent in a great measure a 
proper improvement of the letters for the public benefit, and for weakening 
the influence and power of the writers and their friends, and disarming their 
revenge, it was judged most expedient, by the gentlemen to whom they were 
first shown, to allow the House such a use of the originals, as they might 
think necessary to found their proceedings upon for the common safety. By 
whom and to whom they were sent is still a secret, known only to three per- 
sons here, and may still remain so, if you desire it. 

I forgot to mention, that, upon the first appearance of the letters in the 
House, they voted, by a majority of one hundred and one to five, that the 
design and tendency of them were to subvert the constitution, and introduce 
arbitrary power. Their committee upon this matter reported this day a num- 
ber of resolutions, which are to be printed by to-morrow morning, and every 
member furnished with a copy, that they may compare them with the letters; 
and to-morrow at 3 o'clock p. M. is the time appointed to decide upon the 
report. The acceptance of it by a great majority is not doubted. 

Should the vessel that is to carry this letter remain long enough, I will 


send you copy of the resolutions. Nothing could have been more seasonable, 
than the arrival of these letters. They have had great effect; they make deep 
impressions wherever they are known; they strip the mask from the writers, 
who, under the professions of friendship to their country, now plainly appear 
to have been endeavouring to build up themselves and their families upon its 
ruins. They and their adherents are shocked and dismayed; the confidence 
reposed in them by many is annihilated; and administration must soon see 
the necessity of putting the provincial power of the crown into other hands, 
if they mean it should operate to any good effect. This, at present, is almost 
the universal sentiment. 

The House have this day sent up the letters to the Board, which, I believe, 
will concur with them in the substance and spirit of their proceedings. We 
are highly indebted to our friends in London, and to you, Sir, in particular, 
for so important a communication, and hope, while it supports the cause of 
truth and justice, and promotes the deliverance of this abused and oppressed 
country, it will be attended with no disadvantage to them. 

The inconveniences, that may accidentally arise from such generous inter- 
positions, are abundantly compensated by the reflection, that they tend to the 
security and happiness of millions. I trust, however, that nothing of this kind 
will occur to disturb the agreeable feelings of those, who, in this instance, 
have done such extensive good. With great esteem, I am, &c. 


674. TO JEAN BAPTISTE LE ROY (A. p. s.) 

London, June 22, 1773 

HOWEVER glad I was of the Occasion, I forbore indulging 
myself in the Pleasure of congratulating by the first Post, my 
dear double Conjrbre, on his Election into our Royal Society ; 
because Mr. Walsh undertook to give you the Information, 
which would make a Second Expence unnecessary, and I 
saw I should soon have this opportunity by the favour of M. 
Poissonnier. 1 I rejoice in the Event, as you seemed anxiously 

1 Pierre Poissonnier (1720-1798) succeeded Dubois as Professor of 
Chemistry in the College of France, 1747. He became in 1754 Inspector of 
military hospitals. ED. 


concern'd about it, and as we have done ourselves Honour 
in distinguishing and associating a Merit so universally known 
and acknowledg'd. 

I am pleas'd to hear you are engag'd in the Consideration 
of Hospitals. I wish any Observations of mine could be of 
Use to you, they should be at your Service. But 'tis a Sub- 
ject I am very little acquainted with. I can only say, that, 
if a free & copious Perspiration is of Use in Diseases, that 
seems, from the Experiments I mention'd to M. Dubourg, 
to be best obtain'd by light covering & fresh Air continually 
changing: The Moisture on the Skin when the Body is 
warmly covered, being a Deception, and the Effect not of 
greater Transpiration, but of the Saturation of the Air in- 
cluded under & in the Bedclothes, which therefore can ab- 
sorb no more, and so leaves it on the Surface of the Body. 
From those Experiments I am convinc'd of what I indeed 
before suspected, that the Opinion of Perspiration being 
check'd by Cold is an Error, as well as that of Rheum being 
occasion'd by Cold. But as this is Heresy here, and perhaps 
may be so with you, I only whisper it, and expect you will 
keep my Secret. Our Physicians have begun to discover 
that fresh Air is good for People in the Small- Pox & other 
Fevers. I hope in time they will find out that it does no harm 
to People in Health. 

We have nothing new here in the philosophic Way. I shall 
like to hear how M. Lavoisier's Doctrine supports itself as I 
suppose it will be controverted. 

With the greatest Esteem, I am ever, Dear Sir, 

Yours most affectionately, 


P. S. Enclos'd I send you some Pamphlets relative to our 


American Affairs for your Amusement. Sir John Pringle 
bids me present his compl ta . He interested himself much 
in the Election. 

675. TO BARBEU DUBOURG (A. p. s.) 
London June 29, 1773. 


... * I HAVE not time now to write what I intend upon 
the Cause of Colds, or Rheums, and my Opinions on that 
Head are so singular here, that I am almost afraid to hazard 
them abroad. In the mean time, be so kind as to tell me at 
your leisure, whether in France, you have a general Belief 
that moist Air, and cold Air, and damp Shirts or Sheets, 
and wet Floors, and Beds that have not lately been used, and 
Clothes that have not been lately worn, and going out of a 
warm Room into the Air, and leaving off a long- worn Waste- 
coat, and wearing leaky Shoes, and sitting near an open 
Window, or Door, or in a Coach with both Glasses down, are 
all or any of them capable of giving the Distemper we call 
a Cold, and you a Rheum, or Catarrh ? Or are these merely 
English ideas ? . . . 

I am ever, with the greatest Esteem and Respect, 

Dear Sir, yours, &c. 


1 The first paragraph of the letter contains a list of errata in the French 
translation of the Works of Franklin. ED. 




IT is a Siziness and thickness of the Blood, whereby the 
smaller Vessels are obstructed, and the Perspirable Matter 
retained, which being retained offends both by its Quantity 
and Quality ; by Quantity, as it overfills the Vessels, and by 
its Quality, as part of it is acrid, and being retained, pro- 
duces Coughs and Sneezing by Irritation. 


1. By being long expos'd in a cold Air, without Exercise; 
cold thickens Glew. 

2. By a diminish'd Perspiration, either i. from breathing 
and living in moist Air, or, 2, from a clogging of the Pores 
by clammy Sweat dry'd on and fastning down the Scales of 
the Skin ; or, 3, by Cold constringing the Pores partially or 
totally, sleeping or waking ; or, 4, by having eat foods of too 
gross Particles for free Persp n , as Oysters, Pork, Ducks, &c. 
People are found frequently costive after much bathing. 

3. By Repletion, as when more is thrown into the Habit 
by Eating and Drinking than common Persp n is capable of 
Discharging in due time; whence the Vessels are distended 
beyond their Spring, and the Quantity of contained Fluid, that 
should be briskly moved to preserve or acquire a due Thinness, 
is too weighty for their Force, whence a slow Motion, 
thence viscidity. This Repletion is increased by a Constipa- 


tion of the Belly happening at the same time. In an approach- 
ing cold, more water is made than usual. 

By cooling suddenly in the Air after Exercise. Exercise 
quickening the Circulation, produces more perspirable Matter 
in a given time, than is produced in rest. And tho' more is 
likewise usually discharged during Exercise, yet on sudden 
quitting of Exercise, and standing in the Air, the Circulation 
and Production of perspirable matter still continuing some 
time, the over Quantity is retain'd. It is safer not to go into 
Water too cold. 

4. By particular Effluvia in the Air, from some un- 
known Cause. General Colds thro'out a Country. By being 
in a Coach close, or small Room with a Person having a 

5. By Relaxation of the Solids, from a warm and moist 
Air, so that they are too weak to give due Motion to the 

Of partial Colds affecting parts only of the Body. 

Causes of Feverishness attending Colds. 

Ill Consequences often attending Colds, as Pleurisies, 
Consumptions, &c. Some never take cold, some frequently ; 
causes of the Difference. 

Present Remedies for a Cold should be warming, diluting, 

Means of preventing Colds; Temperance, Choice of 
Meats and Drinks, warm Rooms, and Lodging, and Clothing 
in Winter; dry Air, Care to keep the Belly open, and fre- 
quent Discharge of Water; warm Bathing to cleanse the 
Skin ; rubbing after Sweat, especially in the Spring. 

Difficulties that first put me on thinking on this Subject. 
People get cold by less, and not by more, viz. 


By putting on a damp Shirt on a dry Body, Yes. 

By putting on a dry Shirt on a wet Body, tho* this wets the 
shirt ten times more, No. 

By sitting in a Room, where the Floor has been newly 
wash'd, Yes. 

By going into a River, and staying there an Hour (no 
Sheets so wet), No. 

By wetting the feet only, Yes. 

By wetting all the Clothes thro* to the Body, and wearing 
them a whole Day, No. 

By sitting in a Room against a Crevice, Yes. 

By sitting as long in the open Air, No. 

Few of these Causes take place, if the Vessels are kept 

Reapers in Pensilvania; 

Drinking cold Water when they are hot. 

If it makes them sweat, they are safe, 

If not, they fall ill, and some die. 

People hot, should drink by Spoonfuls; the Reason. 

Taking cold. The Disorder only called so in English, 
and in no other Language. 

American Indians, in the Woods, and the Whites in 
Imitation of them, lie with their Feet to the Fire in frosty 
Nights, on the ground and take no cold while they can keep 
their Feet warm. 

Feet and Hands apt to be Cold in that Disorder, and why. 
Is it the Siziness, or the greater Evaporation? 

Hottentots grease themselves, occasions other Evacua- 
tions more plentiful. Greasing keeps the body warm. Bad 
to hold Water too long. Parts colder when first unclothed 
than afterwards, why? 


It was a disgrace among the ancient Persians to cough or 

Probably as it argued Intemperance. 

Vessels when too full, leak. Quicksilver thro' leather. 
Thin Fluid leak'd evaporates. Corners of eyes, &c. Sizy 
will not all evaporate. What is left corrupts. Hence Con- 
sumptions. Hectic Fevers, from Absorption of Putrid Pus. 
It ferments the Blood like Yeast. 

People seldom get Cold at Sea, tho' they sleep in Wet 
Clothes. Constant Exercise, Moderate Living. Bad Cooks. 
Yet Air is very moist. Wet Floors. Sea surrounding, &c. 

Exercise cures a cold. Bishop Williams riding several 
Miles from London, or Exeter, to Salisbury. 

Bark good for a Cold, taken Early. 

Particular Parts more accustomed to discharge the irritat- 
ing persp. Matter, as under the Arms in some, Feet in others, 

Exp* of two Rasers. 

Every Pain or Disorder now ascrib'd to a Cold. 

It is the Covering Excuse of all Intemperance. 

Numbers of People in a close Room, and exercising there, 
fill the air with putrid Particles. 

People kill'd by House of Commons, breathing the air 
thro* Holes in Ceiling. 

Think they get Cold by coming out of such hot rooms; 
they get them by being in. 

Those that live in hotter Rooms (stoves) get no Colds ; 

Germans and all the northern people. 

Alderman and Turtle. 

People remark, they were very well before a Cold, and 
eat hearty. Wonder how they catch'd it. 



Signs of Temperance. 

Mouth not clammy after Sleep. 

Saliva thin and watery. 

Eyelids not stuck together with hard Glue. 

Voice clear. 

No Flegm to raise. 

Advice for Mode of general Temperance without appear- 
ing too singular. 

Supper not bad after preparatory light Dinner. 

May be rectify'd by slight Breakfast next Morning. 

He must be too full that one Excess will much disorder. 

Time of Great Meal mended of late. 

One hour variation of compass in 20 years. 

After Dinner not fit for Business. 

People from the Country get cold when they come to 
London, and why? Full Living with moist Air. London 
air generally moist, why? Much putrid air in London. 
Silver, &c. 

Cooks and Doctors should change Maxims. 

Common Sense more common among the common Scotch. 

Those who do not compare, cannot conceive the Differ- 
ence between themselves and themselves in full or spare 

Wet Newspapers, why give Colds. 

Old Libraries, and damp old Books. 

Putrid Animal Matter in Paper Size. 

Courts should not sit after Dinner. 

Juries fast, a good inst. 

Chess, Impatience of Deliberation because more diffi- 
cult. Writing, &c. 


Most Follies arise from full Feeding. Reasons pro and 
con not all present. 

Temperate Nations wisest. 

Dining Entertainments bad. 

Rem. of Barbarism, Expensive. 

Full Feeding of Children stupefies. 

Fasting strengthens Reason rather than subdues Pas- 

People often do not get Cold when they think they do, 
and do when they think they do not. 

Causes of Colds are primary and secondary. 

Colds are of different kinds, putrid and plethoric. 

Scarce any Air abroad so unwholesome as Air in a close 
room often breath'd. 

Warm Air dissolves more Moisture than Cold. 

In hot Countries men wrap themselves in wet Sheets to 

A general Service to redeem People from the slavish Fear 
of getting cold, by showing them where the Danger is not, 
and that where it is, 'tis in their Power to avoid it. 

Surfeit, an Expression formerly us'd, now laid aside. 

Costiveness occasioning Colds, how to be prevented. 

Colds formerly called Rheums and Catarrhs. 

Particular Foods said to engender Rheums. 

Query. Is Mr. Wood more or less subject to catch cold 
since he betook himself to his low diet? 

Answer (by Mr. Wood). He now finds himself much 
more healthy, and muck less liable to catch cold. What 
few colds he now catches are so very slight, that he is not 
sensible of them, but from the urine, which is then not so 


I caused the above question to be asked Mr. Wood, and 
obtained the answer. It is the Mr. Wood who lives upon a 

pound of flour in a pudding. 


Dampier, speaking of the Customs of the People at Min- 
danoo, (p. 330,) says; "You see abundance of People in the 
River from Morning 'till Night washing their Bodies or 
Clothes; they strip and stand naked till they have done; 
then put them on and march out again." 

Dr. Gregory says; "All that Class of Diseases which arise 
from catching cold, is found only among the civilized part of 
Mankind. An old Roman or an Indian, in the Pursuit of 
War or Hunting, would plunge into a River whilst in a pro- 
fuse sweat, without fear, and without danger. The greater 
care we take to prevent catching cold, by the various con- 
trivances of modern Luxury, the more we become subject 
to it. We can guard against cold only by rendering ourselves 
superior to its Influence. There is a striking instance of 
this in the vigorous constitutions of children who go thinly 
clad in all seasons and weathers." 

The Coats of the Vessels are a kind of Network, which 
contains the Fluids only when not so pressed as to enlarge 
the Pores of the Net, or when the Fluids are not so press'd 
as to break the Cohesion of the Globules or Particles, so as 
to make them small enough to come through. When the 
Vessels are full, occasioned by a course of full Living, they 
labour in carrying on the Circulation ; their Spring or Power 
of Contraction and Compressing the Fluids they contain, 
being overstrain'd, is weakened, the Circulation proceeds 
more slowly, the Fluids thicken and become more gluey, both 


for want of due churning and because less Heat is produc'd 
in the Body. Such a Body requires more Aid of Clothing 
and Fire to preserve its warmth. 

If a Person in that State of Body walks a Mile or two, or 
uses any other exercise that warms him, the Fluids are rare- 
fied by the Heat, distend the Vessels still more, and the 
thinner Parts of the Fluids in tender Places force out thro* 
the Pores of the Vessels in form of a gluey Water, viz. at the 
Eyes, within the Nose, and within the Lungs. This in 
moderate Exercise. 

If the Exercise is increased it comes through every Pore in 
the Skin, and is called Sweat. 

The more volatile Parts of this extravasated Fluid evapo- 
rate, and fly off in the Air ; the gluey Part remains, thickens 
and hardens more or less, as it becomes more or less dry; 
in the Nose and on the Lungs, where Air is continually 
coming and going, it soon becomes a Mucus, but can hardly 
grow dryer because surrounded with moist Parts and sup- 
ply'd with more Moisture. What oozes out of the Corner 
of the Eye when shut, as in Sleep, hardens into what is called 
a kind of Gum, being in fact dry Glue. 

This in a Morning almost sticks the Eyelids together. 

With such Mucous Matter the Nose is sometimes almost 
stopped, and must be cleared by strong Blowing. 

In the Windpipe and on the Lungs it gathers and is im- 
pacted, so as sometimes to induce a continual Coughing 
and Hawking to discharge it. 

If not easily discharg'd, but remaining long adhering to 
the Lungs, it corrupts and inflames the Parts it is in contact 
with; even behind the Ears and between the Parts of the 
Body so constantly in contact, that the perspirable Matter, 


Sweat, &c. cannot easily escape from between them; the 
Skin is inflamed by it, and a partial Putrefaction begins to 
take place, they corrupt and ulcerate. The Vessels being 
thus wounded, discharge greater and continual Quantities. 
Hence Consumption. 

Part of the corrupted Matter, absorb'd again by the 
Vessels and mix'd with the Blood, occasions Hectic 

When the Body has sweated, not from a dissolution of 
Fluids, but from the Force above mentioned, as the Sweat 
dries off, some clammy Substance remains in the Pores, 
which closes many of them, wholly or in part. The subse- 
quent Perspiration is hereby lessened. 

The Perspirable Matter consists of Parts approaching to 
Putrefaction, and therefore destined by Nature to be thrown 
off, that living Bodies might not putrefy, which otherwise, 
from their Warmth and Moisture, they would be apt to do. 

These corrupting Particles, if continually thrown off, the 
remainder of the Body continues uncorrupt, or approaches 
no nearer to a state of Putrefaction. Just as in Boiling 
Water, no greater degree of Heat than the Boiling Heat can 
be acquired, because the Particles that grow hotter, as fast 
as they become so, fly off in Vapour. But if the Vapour 
could be retained, Water might be made much hotter, per- 
haps red-hot, as Oil may, which is not so subject to Evapora- 
tion. So if the Perspirable Matter is retained it remixes 
with the blood, and produces first, a slight putrid Fever, 
attending always what we call a Cold, and when retained in 
a great Degree, more mischievous putrid Diseases. 

In hot Countries, Exercise of Body with the Heat of the 
Climate create much of this putrid perspirable Matter, 


which ought to be discharg'd. A check in those Countries 
very pernicious; Putrid Malignant Violent Fevers, and 
speedy Death, the Consequence. 

Its Discharge is also check'd another Way besides that of 
closing the Pores, viz. by being in an Air already full of it, 
as in close Rooms containing great Numbers of People, 
Playhouses, Ballrooms, &c. 

For Air containing a Quantity of any kind of Vapour, 
becomes thereby less capable of imbibing more of that 
Vapour, and finally will take no more of it. 

If the Air will not take it off from the Body, it must remain 
in the Body; and the Perspiration is as effectually stopt 
and the perspirable Matter as certainly retained, as if the 
Pores were all stopt. 

A Lock of wet Wool contained in a Nutmeg- Grater, may 
dry, parting with its Moisture thro' the Holes of the Grater. 
But if you stop all those Holes with wax it will never dry. 
Nor, if expos'd to the open Air, will it dry when the Air is 
as moist as itself. On the contrary, if already dry, and ex- 
pos'd to moist Air, it would acquire Moisture. 

Thus People in Rooms heated by a Multitude of People, 
find their own Bodies heated; thence the quantity of per- 
spirable Matter is increased that should be discharged, but 
the Air, not being changed, grows so full of the same Matter, 
that it will receive no more. So the Body must retain it. 
The Consequence is, that next Day, perhaps sooner, a slight 
putrid Fever comes on, with all the Marks of what we call a 
Cold, and the Disorder is supposed to be got by coming out 
of a warm Room, whereas it was really taken while in that 

Putrid Ferments beget their like. Small-Pox. Wet 


rotten Paper, containing corrupt Glue. The cold Fever 
communicable by the Breath to others, &c. 

Urine retained, occasions Sneezing, &c. 

Coughing and Spitting continually, marks of Intemperance. 

People eat much more than is necessary. 

Proportionable Nourishment and Strength is not drawn 
from great Eating. 

The succeeding Meals force the preceding thro' half- 

Small Meals continue longer in the Body, and are more 
thoroughly digested. 

The Vessels being roomy can bear and receive without 
hurt, an accidental Excess. 

They can concrete more easily. 

There is less quantity of corrupting Particles produced. 

Putrid Fish very bad. 

Black Hole in the Indies. 

677. TO MATTHEW MATY 1 (A. P. s.) 
Cravenstreet, July I. 1773 


Our ingenious and worthy Brother Mr. Walsh, having 
long had an Intention of drawing up from his Minutes a full 
Account of the numerous Experiments he made on the 
Torpedo, which Intention his other Avocations have not 
permitted him to execute, it is but lately that I have obtained 

1 Dr. Maty (1718-1776) was elected F.R.S. December 19, 1751, and was 
appointed Secretary November 30, 1765. He became principal librarian of the 
British Museum in 1772 on the death of Dr. Gowin Knight. ED. 


his Permission to lay before the Society what he had in the 
mean time been pleased to communicate to me on that very 
curious and interesting Subject, or I should sooner have put 
it into your Hands for that purpose : I wish you may now have 
time to read them before the Recess. 

With great Esteem, I am, 
Your most obedient 
humble Servant 



West Wickham, the Seat 
of Lord Le Despencer, Bucks 
July 6. 1773. 


I am here in my Way to Oxford, where I am going to be 
present at the Installation, & shall stay a few Days among 
my Friends there. By Capt. All who sails next Week I shall 
write fully to you, & to Friends in Philadelphia. This is 
my only Letter per Packet. Love to our Children, & to 
Benny Boy. I am, Thanks to God, very well and hearty, 
and ever 

Your affectionate Husband. 


679. TO THOMAS CUSHING (n. s. w.) 

London, July 7. 1773 


The Parliament is at length prorogued, without meddling 
with the State of America. Their Time was much employed 


in the East India Business ; and perhaps it was not thought 
prudent to lay before them the Advices from New England, 
tho' some threatning Intimations had been given of such an 
Intention. The King's firm Answer, (as it is called) to our 
Petitions and Remonstrances, has probably been judg'd 
sufficient for the present. I forwarded that Answer to you 
by the last Packet, and sent a Copy of it by a Boston Ship 
the beginning of last Month. Therein we are told, "that 
his Majesty has well weighed the Subject-matter, and the 
Expressions, contained in those Petitions; and that as he 
will ever attend to the humble Petitions of his Subjects, and 
be forward to redress every real Grievance, so he is deter- 
mined to support the Constitution, and resist with Firmness 
every Attempt to derogate from the Authority of the Supreme 

By this it seems that some Exception is taken to the Ex- 
pressions of the Petitions, as not sufficiently humble, that the 
Grievances complain'd of are not thought real Grievances, 
that Parliament is deem'd the Supreme Legislature, and its 
Authority over the Colonies suppos'd to be the Constitution. 
Indeed this last Idea is express'd more fully in the next 
Paragraph, where the Words of the Act are us'd, declaring 
the Right of the Crown, with the Advice of Parliament, to 
make Laws of sufficient Force and Validity to bind its Sub- 
jects in America in all Cases whatsoever. 

When one considers the King's Situation, surrounded by 
Ministers, Councellors, and Judges, learned in the Law, who 
are all of this Opinion, and reflect how necessary it is for 
him to be well with his Parliament, from whose yearly Grants 
his Fleets and Armies are to be supported, and the Defi- 
ciencies of his Civil List supplied, it is not to be wondered 


at, that he should be firm in an Opinion establish'd, as far 
as an Act of Parliament could establish it, by even the 
Friends of America at the Time they repealed the Stamp 
Act; and which is so generally thought right by his Lords 
and Commons, that any Act of his, countenancing the con- 
trary, would hazard his embroiling himself with those Power- 
ful Bodies. And from hence it seems hardly to be expected 
from him, that he should take any Step of that kind. The 
grievous Instructions, indeed, might be withdrawn without 
their observing it, if his Majesty thought fit so to do ; but 
under the present Prejudices of all about him, it seems that 
this is not yet likely to be advised. 

The Question then arises, How are we to obtain Redress ? 
If we look back into the Parliamentary History of this Coun- 
try, we shall find that, in similar Situations of the Subjects 
here, Redress would seldom be obtained but by withholding 
Aids when the Sovereign was in Distress, till the Grievances 
were removed. Hence the rooted Custom of the Commons to 
keep Money Bills in their own Disposition, not suffering 
even the Lords to meddle in Grants, either as to Quantity, 
Manner of raising, or even in the smallest Circumstance. 
This Country pretends to be collectively our Sovereign. It 
is now deeply in debt. Its Funds are far short of recovering 
their Par since the last War: Another would distress it still 
more. Its People diminish, as well as its Credit. Men will 
be wanted, as well as Money. The Colonies are rapidly 
increasing in Wealth and Numbers. In the last War they 
maintained an Army of 25,000. A Country able to do that 
is no contemptible Ally. In another War they may perhaps 
do twice as much with equal Ease. Whenever a War hap- 
pens, our Aid will be wish'd for, our Friendship desired and 


cultivated, our Good will courted : Then is the Time to say, 
"Redress our Grievances. You take Money from us by 
Force, and now you ask it of voluntary Grant. You cannot 
have it both Ways. If you chuse to have it without our Con- 
sent, you must go on taking it that way, and be content with 
what little you can so obtain. If you would have our free 
Gifts, desist from your compulsive Methods, and acknowl- 
edge our Rights, and secure our future Enjoyment of them." 
Our Claims will then be attended to, and our Complaints 

By what I perceiv'd not long since when a War was appre- 
hended with Spain, the different Countenance put on by 
some Great Men here towards those who were thought to 
have a little Influence in America, and the Language that 
began to be held with regard to the then Minister for the 
Colonies, I am confident that, if that War had taken place, 
he would have been immediately dismiss'd, all his Measures 
revers'd, and every step taken to recover our Affection and 
procure our Assistance. Thence I think it fair to conclude, 
that similar Effects will probably be produced by similar 

But as the Strength of an Empire depends not only on the 
Union of its Parts, but on their Readiness for united Exertion 
of their common Force: And as the Discussion of Rights 
may seem unseasonable in the Commencement of actual 
War; and the Delay it might occasion be prejudicial to the 
common Welfare. As likewise the Refusal of one or a few 
Colonies would not be so much regarded, if the others granted 
liberally, which perhaps by various Artifices and Motives 
they might be prevailed on to do ; and as this want of Concert 
would defeat the Expectation of general Redress, that other- 


wise might be justly formed ; perhaps it would be best and 
fairest for the Colonies, in a general Congress now in Peace 
to be assembled, or by means of the Correspondence lately 
proposed, after a full and solemn Assertion and Declaration 
of their Rights, to engage firmly with each other, that they 
will never grant Aids to the Crown in any General War, till 
those Rights are recognized by the King and both Houses of 
Parliament; communicating at the same time to the Crown 
this their Resolution. Such a Step I imagine will bring the 
Dispute to a Crisis; and whether our Demands are imme- 
diately comply'd with, or compulsory Measures thought of 
to make us rescind them, our Ends will finally be obtained; 
for even the Odium accompanying such compulsory Attempts 
will contribute to unite and strengthen us, and in the mean 
time all the World will allow, that our Proceeding has been 

No one doubts the Advantage of a strict Union between 
the Mother Country and the Colonies, if it may be obtained 
and preserv'd on equitable Terms. In every fair Connection, 
each Party should find its own Interest. Britain will find 
hers in our joining with her in every War she makes, to the 
greater Annoyance and Terror of her Enemies; in our 
Employment of her Manufactures, and Enriching of her 
Merchants by our Commerce; and her Government will 
feel some additional Strengthening of its Hands by the Dis- 
position of our profitable Posts and Places. On our side, 
we have to expect the Protection she can afford us, and the 
Advantage of a common Umpire in our Disputes, thereby 
preventing Wars we might otherwise have with each other; 
so that we can without Interruption go on with our Im- 
provements, and increase our Numbers. We ask no more 


of her, and she should not think of forcing more from 

By the Exercise of prudent Moderation on her part, 
mix'd with a little Kindness ; and by a decent Behaviour on 
ours, excusing where we can excuse from a Consideration 
of Circumstances, and bearing a little with the Infirmities of 
her Government, as we would with those of an aged Parent, 
tho' firmly asserting our Privileges, and declaring that we 
mean at a proper time to vindicate them, this advantageous 
Union may still be long continued. We wish it, and we may 
endeavour it ; but God will order it as to his Wisdom shall 
seem most suitable. The Friends of Liberty here, wish we 
may long preserve it on our side the Water, that they may 
find it there if adverse Events should destroy it here. They 
are therefore anxious and afraid, lest we should hazard it by 
premature Attempts in its favour. They think we may 
risque much by violent Measures, and that the Risque is 
unnecessary, since a little Time must infallibly bring us all 
we demand or desire, and bring it us in Peace and Safety. 
I do not presume to advise. There are many wiser men 
among you, and I hope you will be directed by a still superior 

With regard to the Sentiments of People in general here, 
concerning America, I must say that we have among them 
many Friends and Wellwishers. The Dissenters are all for 
us, and many of the Merchants and Manufacturers. There 
seems to be, even among the Country Gentlemen, a general 
Sense of our growing Importance, a Disapprobation of the 
harsh Measures with which we have been treated, and a 
Wish that some Means may be found of perfect Reconcilia- 
tion. A few Members of Parliament in both Houses, and 


perhaps some in high Office, have in a Degree the same Ideas ; 
but none of these seem willing as yet to be active in our favour, 
lest Adversaries should take Advantage, and charge it upon 
them as a Betraying the Interests of this Nation. In this 
State of things, no Endeavour of mine, or our other Friends 
here, "to obtain a Repeal of the Acts so oppressive to the 
Colonists, or the Orders of the Crown so destructive of the 
Charter Rights of our Province in particular," can expect a 
sudden Success. By Degrees, and a judicious Improvement 
of Events, we may work a Change in Minds and Measures ; 
but otherwise such great Alterations are hardly to be look'd 

I am thankful to the House for the Mark of their kind At- 
tention, in repeating their Grant to me of Six Hundred Pounds. 
Whether the Instruction restraining the Governor's Assent 
is withdrawn or not, or is likely to be, I cannot tell, having 
never solicited or even once mentioned it to Lord Dartmouth, 
being resolved to owe no Obligation on that Account to the 
Favour of any Minister. If from a Sense of Right, that In- 
struction should be recall'd, and the general Principle on 
which it was founded is given up, all will be very well : but 
you can never think it worth while to employ an Agent here, 
if his being paid or not is to depend on the Breath of a Min- 
ister, and I should think it a Situation too suspicious, and 
therefore too dishonourable for me to remain in a single Hour. 
Living frugally, I am under no immediate Necessity ; and, if 
I serve my Constituents faithfully, tho' it should be unsuccess- 
fully, I am confident they will always have it in their Inclina- 
tion, and some time or other in their Power, to make their 
Grants effectual. 

A Gentleman of our Province, Captain Calef, is come 


hither as an Agent for some of the Eastern Townships, to 
obtain a Confirmation of their Lands. Sir Francis Bernard 
seems inclin'd to make Use of this Person's Application for 
promoting a Separation of that Country from your Province, 
and making it a distinct Government ; to which purpose he 
prepared a Draft of a Memorial for Calef to present, setting 
forth not only the hardship of being without Security in the 
Property of their Improvements, but also the Distress of the 
People there for want of Government ; that they were at too 
great a Distance from the Seat of Gov* in the Massachusetts 
to be capable of receiving the Benefits of Government from 
thence, and expressing their Willingness to be separated and 
form'd into a new Province, &c. 

With this Draft Sir Francis and Mr. Calef came to me to 
have my Opinion. I read it, and observ'd to them, that 
tho' I wish'd the People quieted in their Possessions, and 
would do any thing I could to assist in obtaining the Assur- 
ance of their Property, yet, as I knew the Province of the 
Massachusetts had a Right to that Country, of w ch they 
were justly tenacious, I must oppose that part of the Me- 
morial, if it should be presented. Sir Francis allow'd the 
Right, but propos'd that a great Tract of Land between 
Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers, which had been allotted 
to Newhampshire, might be restor'd to our Province, by 
order of the Crown, as a Compensation. This, he said, 
would be of more Value to us than that Eastern Country, as 
being nearer home, &c. I said I would mention it in my 
Letters, but must in the mean time oppose any Step taken in 
the Affair, before the Sentiments of the General Court should 
be known as to such an Exchange, if it were offered. Mr. 
Calef himself did not seem fond of the Draft, and I have not 


seen him or heard any thing farther of it since ; but I shall 
watch it. 

Be pleased to present my dutiful Respects to the House, 
and believe me with sincere and great Esteem, Sir, your most 
obedient and most humble Serv*. 


680. TO THOMAS GUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, July 7, 1773. 


The Letters communicated to you were not merely to sat- 
isfy the Curiosity of any, but it was thought there might be a 
Use in showing them to some Friends of the Province, and 
even to some of the Governor's Party, for their more certain 
Information concerning his Conduct and Politicks, tho' the 
Letters were not made quite publick. I believe I have since 
wrote to you, that there was no Occasion to return them 
speedily; and, tho' I cannot obtain Leave as yet to suffer 
Copies to be taken of them, I am allowed to say, that they 
may be shewn and read to whom and as many as you think 
proper. Had not a Person died in whose Hands they were 
probably we should not soon have seen them. Politicians 
on our Side the water should take Care what they write to 
Ministers if they wish the World may never know it. One 
of them not long since gave a great Quantity of American 
Letters to his Footman who sold them for waste Paper. By 
chance an Acquaintance of mine saw them, bought for a 
Trifle, & sent them to me & they have Afforded me Abun- 



dance of Argument. Mr. Grenville who was the Center to 
which flow'd all the Correspondance inimical to America, 
to whomsoever directed, had these Letters put into his Hands, 
lent them to another, & dying before they were returned 
gave an Opportunity for their falling into ours. 

I thank you for the Pamphlets you have sent me, contain- 
ing the Controversy between the Governor and the two 
Houses. I have distributed them where I thought they might 
be of Use. He makes perhaps as much of his Argument as 
it will bear; but has the Misfortune of being on the weak 
Side, and so is put to Shifts and Quibbles, and the Use of 
much Sophistry and Artifice, to give Plausibility to his 
Reasonings. The Council and Assembly have greatly the 
Advantage in point of Fairness, Perspicuity, and Force. His 
Precedents of Acts of Parliament binding the Colonies, and 
our Tacit Consent to those Acts, are all frivolous. Shall a 
guardian who has impos'd upon, cheated, and plundered a 
Minor under his Care who was unable to prevent it, plead 
those Impositions after his Ward has discovered them, as 
Precedents and Authorities for continuing them? There 
have been Precedents time out of mind for Robbing on 
Hounslow Heath, but the Highwayman, who robb'd there 
yesterday, does nevertheless deserve a Hanging. 

I am glad to see the Resolves of the Virginia House of Bur- 
gesses. 1 There are brave Spirits among that People. I hope 

1 The resolves appointing a Committee of Correspondence, and requesting 
the legislatures of the other colonies to do the same, for the purpose of pro- 
moting a mutual intercourse. These resolves were passed on the I2th of 
March, 1773; and, as the plan was generally adopted by the other colonies, 
it became a very important instrument in effecting a union, and carrying for- 
ward concerted measures in the early stages of the Revolution. See the 
Resolves in WIRT'S Life of Patrick Henry, 3d ed. p. 87. S. 


their Proposal will be readily comply'd with by all the Colo- 
nies. It is natural to suppose as you do, that, if the Oppres- 
sions continue, a Congress may grow out of that Correspond- 
ence. Nothing would more alarm our Ministers ; but if the 
Colonies agree to hold a Congress, I do not see how it can be 

The Instruction relating to the Exemption of the Commis- 
sioners I imagine is withdrawn : perhaps the other also relat- 
ing to the Agents, but of that I have heard nothing. I only 
wonder that the Gov r should make such a Declaration of his 
Readiness to comply with an Intimation in acting contrary 
to any Instructions, if he had not already, or did not soon 
expect a Repeal of those Instructions. I have not and shall 
never use your Name on this or any similar Occasion. 

I note your Directions relating to publick and private 
Letters, and shall not fail to observe them. At the same 
time I cannot but think all the Correspondence should be in 
the Speaker's Power, to communicate such Extracts only as 
he should think proper to the House. It is extreamly em- 
barrasing to an Agent to write Letters concerning his Transac- 
tions with Ministers, which Letters he knows are to be read 
in the House, where there may be Governor's Spies, who 
carry away Parts, or perhaps take Copies, that are echo'd 
back hither privately; if they should not be as sometimes 
they are printed in the Votes. It is impossible to write freely 
in such Circumstances, unless he would hazard his Useful- 
ness, and put it out of his Power to do his Country 
any farther Service. I speak this now, not upon my own 
Ace*, being about to decline all publick Business, but for 
your Consideration with regard to future Agents. 

And, now we speak of Agents, I must mention my Con- 


cern, that I should fall under so severe a Censure of the House, 
as that of Neglect in their Business. I have submitted to the 
Reproof without Reply in my publick Letter, out of pure 
Respect. It is not decent to dispute a Father's Admonitions. 
But to you in private permit me to observe, that, as to the two 
things I am blam'd for not giving the earliest Notice of, viz. 
the Clause in the Act relating to Dock Yards, and the Appoint- 
ment of Salaries for the Gov* and Judges; the first only 
seems to have some Foundation. I did not know, but per- 
haps I ought to have known, that such a Clause was intended. 
And yet in a Parliament, that during the whole Session re- 
fused Admission to Strangers, wherein near 200 Acts were 
passed, it is not so easy a Matter to come at the Knowledge 
of the purport of every Clause in every Act, and to give Oppo- 
sition to what may affect one's Constituents, especially when 
it is not uncommon to smuggle Clauses into a Bill, whose 
Title shall give no Suspicion, when an Opposition to such 
Clauses is apprehended. I say this is no easy matter. But 
had I known of this Clause, it is not likely I could have pre- 
vented its passing in the then Disposition of Government 
towards America ; nor do I see, that my giving earlier Notice 
of its having passed could have been of much Service. 

As to the other, concerning the Gov* and Judges, I should 
hardly have thought of sending the House an Account of it, 
if the Minister had mentioned it to me, as I understood from 
their first Letter to me, that they had already the best intel- 
ligence of its being determined by Administration to bestow 
large Salaries on the Attorney-General, Judges, and Gov- 
ernor of the Province. I could not therefore possibly "give 
the first Notice of this Impending Evil." I answered how- 
ever "that there was no doubt of the Intention of making 


Governors, and some other Officers, independent of the 
People for their Support ; and that this Purpose will be per- 
sisted in, if the American Revenue is found sufficient to defray 
the Salaries." This Censure, tho' grievous, does not so much 
surprize me, as I apprehended from the Beginning, that be- 
tween the Friends of an old Agent, my Predecessor, who 
thought himself hardly us'd in his Dismission, and those of a 
young one impatient for the Succession, my situation was not 
likely to be a very comfortable one, as my Faults could scarce 
pass unobserved. 1 

I think of leaving England in September. As soon as 
possible after my Arrival in America, I purpose, God will- 
ing, to visit Boston, when I hope to have the Pleasure of 
paying my Respects to you. I shall then give every Informa- 
tion in my Power, and offer every Advice relating to our 
Affairs, not so convenient to be written, that my Situation 
here for so many Years may enable me to suggest for the 
Benefit of our Country. Some time before my Departure, I 
shall put your Papers into the Hands of Mr. Lee, and assist 
him with my Counsel while I stay, where there may be any 
Occasion for it. He is a Gentleman of Parts and Ability; 
and tho' he cannot exceed me in sincere Zeal for the Interest 
and Prosperity of the Province, his Youth will easily enable 
him to serve it with more Activity. I am, Sir, very respect- 
fully, &c. 


1 The young agent here mentioned, as " impatient for the succession," was 
Arthur Lee. He was called in English circles Junius Americans, to dis- 
tinguish him from his elder brother, Richard Henry Lee. Arthur was ad- 
mitted to the bar in England, and commenced the practice of the law in 
London. B. 


681. TO SAMUEL MATHER 1 (D. s. w.) 

(L. C.) 
London, July 7: 1773. 


By a Line of the 4th past, I acknowledged the Receipt of 
your Favour of March 18, and sent you with it two Pamphlets. 
I now add another, a spirited Address to the Bishops, who 
opposed the Dissenters* Petition. It is written by a Dissent- 
ing Minister at York. There is preserv'd at the End of it a 
little fugitive Piece of mine on the same Occasion. 

I perused your Tracts with Pleasure. I see you inherit all 
the various Learning of your famous Ancestors, Cotton and 
Increase Mather. The Father, Increase, I once when a boy 
heard preach at the Old South for Mr. Pemberton; and 
remember his mentioning the Death of "that wicked old 
Persecutor of God's People, Lewis XIV;" of which News 
had just been received; but which proved premature. I 
was some Years afterwards at his House at the North End, 
on some Errand to him, and remember him sitting in an easy 
Chair, apparently very old and feeble. But Cotton I remem- 
ber in the Vigour of his Preaching and Usefulness. 

You have made the most of your Argument, to prove that 
America might be known to the Ancients. . . . There is 
another Discovery of it claimed by the Norwegians, which 
you have not mentioned, unless it be under the Words, "of 
old viewed and observed," page 7. About 25 Years since, 
Professor Kalm, a learned Swede, was with us in Pensilvania. 
He contended, that America was discovered by their Northern 

1 Samuel Mather (1706-1785), a clergyman of Boston, and son of Cotton 
Mather. There is a copy of this letter in L. C. ED. 

1 773 ] TO SAMUEL MATHER 87 

People, long before the Time of Columbus ; which I doubting, 
he drew up and gave me some time after a Note of those Dis- 
coveries, which I send you inclos'd. It is his own Hand- 
writing, and his own English; very intelligible for the time 
he had been among us. The Circumstances give the Account 
a great Appearance of Authenticity. And if one may judge 
by the Description of the Winter, the Country they visited 
should be southward of New England, supposing no Change 
since that time of the Climate. But, if it be true, as Krantz, I 
think, and other Historians tell us, that old Greenland, once 
inhabited and populous, is now render'd uninhabitable by 
Ice, it should seem that almost perpetual northern Winter 
has gained ground to the Southward ; and if so perhaps more 
northern Countries might anciently have had Vines, than can 
bear them in these Days. 1 

The Remarks you have added, on the late Proceedings 
against America, are very just and judicious; and I cannot 
see any Impropriety in your making them, tho' a Minister of 
the Gospel. This Kingdom is a good deal indebted for its 
Liberties to the Publick Spirit of its ancient Clergy, who 
join'd with the Barons in obtaining Magna Charta, and 
join'd heartily in forming the Curses of Excommunication 
against the Infringers of it. There is no doubt but the Claim 
of Parliament, of Authority to make Laws binding on the 
Colonies in all cases whatsoever, includes an Authority to 
change our Religious Constitution, and establish Popery or 
Mahometanism, if they please, in its Stead : but, as you inti- 
mate, Power does not infer Right; and, as the Right is noth- 
ing, and the Power, (by our Increase,) continually diminish- 
ing, the one will soon be as insignificant as the other. You 

1 Here L. C. copy ends. ED. 


seem only to have made a small Mistake, in supposing they 
modestly avoided to declare they had a Right, the Words of 
the Act being, "that they have and of right ought to have, 
fuU Power, &c." 

Your Suspicion that "sundry others, besides Gov* Bern d , 
had written hither their Opinions and Counsels, encouraging 
the late Measures to the Prejudice of our Country, which 
have been too much heeded and followed," is, I apprehend, 
but too well founded. You call them "traiterous Indi- 
viduals," whence I collect, that you suppose them of our own 
Country. There was among the twelve Apostles one Traitor, 
who betrayed with a Kiss. It should be no Wonder, there- 
fore, if among so many Thousand true Patriots, as New Eng- 
land contains, there should be found even twelve Judases 
ready to betray their Country for a few paltry Pieces of Silver. 
Their Ends, as well as their Views, ought to be similar. But 
all these Oppressions evidently work for our Good. Provi- 
dence seems by every Means intent on making us a great 
People. May our Virtues publick and private grow with us, 
and be durable, that Liberty, Civil and Religious, may be 
secured to our Posterity, and to all from every Part of the 
Old World that take Refuge among us. 

. . . With great Esteem, and my best Wishes for a long 
Continuance of your Usefulness, I am, Rev d Sir, your most 
obedient humble Servant, 




London, July 7. 1773 


I received your very valuable favours of March 1 5th and 
April 23d. It rejoices me to find your Health so far restored, 
that your Friends can again be benefitted by your Cor- 

The Governor was certainly out in his Politics, if he hoped 
to recommend himself there, by entering upon that Dispute 
with the Assembly. His Imprudence in bringing it at all 
upon the tapis, and his bad Management of it, are almost 
equally censured. The Council and Assembly on the other 
hand have, by the Coolness, Clearness, and Force of their 
Answers, gained great Reputation. 

The Unanimity of our Towns, in their Sentiments of Lib- 
erty, gives me great Pleasure, as it shows the generally en- 
lightened State of our People's Minds, and demonstrates the 
Falshood of the Opinion, much cultivated here by the Par- 
tisans of arbitrary Power in America, that only a small Fac- 
tion among us were discontented with the late Measures. If 
that Unanimity can be discovered in all the Colonies, it will 
give much greater Weight to our future Remonstrances. I 
heartily wish with you that some Line could be drawn, some 
Bill of Rights established for America, that might secure 
Peace between the two Countries, so necessary for the Pros- 
perity of both. But I think little Attention is like to be 

1 This letter has hitherto been published as two different letters bearing the 
same date. It is here reprinted from the Ms. [written by a secretary and 
signed by F.] in B. M. (K. 203). ED. 


afforded by our Ministers to that salutary Work, till the 
Breach becomes greater and more alarming, and then the 
Difficulty of repairing it will be greater in a tenfold Proportion. 

I congratulate you on the finishing of your new Meeting 
house. I have considered, as well as I can, without being 
on the Spot, the Intention of warming it by some Machine in 
the cold, damp Seasons. It must be a Matter of Difficulty 
to warm sensibly all the Air in so large and so lofty a Room, 
especially if the Fire is not kept up constantly on the common 
Week Days as well as Sundays. For tho' the Machine is very 
large and made very hot, yet the Space of Air and quantity 
of Wall to be warmed is so great, that it must be long before 
any considerable Effect will be produc'd. Then the Air 
warm'd below by the Machine being rarify'd & lighter will 
not spread among the People below as it would under a low 
Cieling, but will naturally rise to the Top of the Room, and 
can only descend again as it becomes colder and must give 
Place to the succeeding warm rising Air. It will then descend 
by the Walls and Windows, which being very cold by the 
preceding Week's Absence of Fire, will cool that descending 
Air so much in so long a Descent, that it will fall very heavily 
and uncomfortably upon the Heads of all that happen to sit 
under it, and will proceed in cold Currents along the Floor 
to the warming Machine wherever it is situated. This must 
continue till the Walls are warmed, for which I think one 
Day is by no means sufficient, and that therefore a Fire kin- 
dled in the Morning of the Sabbath will afford no Comfort 
to the Congregation that day, except to a few that sit near it, 
and some inconvenience to the rest from the Currents above 

If, however, your People, as they are rich, can afford it, 


and may be willing to indulge themselves, should chuse to 
keep up a constant Fire in the Winter Months, you may have 
from hence a Machine for the purpose, cast from the same 
Patterns with those now used at the Bank, or that in Lin- 
coln's Inn Hall, which are plac'd in the middle of the respec- 
tive Rooms. The Smoke of these descends, and passing 
under ground, rises in some Chimney at a Distance. Yours 
must be a Chimney built, I suppose, without the House; 
and as it ought to draw well to prevent your being troubled 
with Smoke (as they often are at the Bank), it should be on 
the South Side ; but this I fear would disfigure your Front. 
That at Lincoln's Inn Hall draws better. They are in the 
Form of Temples, cast in Iron, with Columns, Cornishes, 
and every Member of elegant Architecture. 

And I mention casting them from the same Patterns or 
Moulds, because those being already made, a great deal of 
Work and Expence will thereby be saved. But if you can 
cast them in New England, a large Vase, or an antique Altar, 
which are more simple Forms, may answer the Purpose as 
well, and be more easily executed. Yet after all, when I con- 
sider the little Effect I have observed from these Machines 
in those great Rooms, the Complaints of People who have 
tried Buzaglo's Stoves in Halls, and how far your Meeting- 
house must exceed them in all its Dimentions, I apprehend 
that after a great deal of Expence, and a good deal of Dust 
on the Seats and in the Pews, which they constantly occasion, 
you will not find your Expectations answered. And per- 
suaded as I am, from philosophic Considerations, that no one 
ever catches the Disorder we call a Cold from cold Air, and 
therefore never at Meeting, I should think it rather advisable 
for those who cannot well bear it, to guard against the short 


Inconvenience of cold Feet (w ch only takes place toward the 
End of the Service), by Basses or Bearskin Cases to put the 
Legs in, or by small Stoves with a few Coals under foot, 
more majorum. 1 

You mention the Surprise of Gentlemen, to whom those 
Letters have been communicated, 2 at the Restrictions with 
which they were accompanied, and which they suppose ren- 
der them incapable of answering any important end. The 
great Reason of forbidding their Publication was an Appre- 
hension, that it might put all the Possessors of such Cor- 
respondence here upon their Guard, and so prevent the ob- 
taining more of it. And it was imagined, that showing the 
Originals to so many as were named, and to a few others as 
they might think fit, would be sufficient to establish the 
Authenticity, and to spread thro' the Province so just an 
Estimation of the Writers, as to strip them of all their deluded 
Friends, and demolish effectually their Interest and Influence. 
The Letters might be shown even to some of the Governor's 
and Lieutenant- Governor's Partisans, and spoken of to 

1 Samuel Cooper replied (November 10, 1773), 


1 received your valuable favours of the 7th and 2$th of July, and you will 
please to accept the thanks of the committee of our congregation, as well as 
my own, for the trouble you have very kindly given yourself in your clear and 
particular account of the warming machines for large rooms, and your advice 
respecting our new building, together with the truly philosophical and con- 
vincing reasons upon which it is founded. All, to whom I have read that 
part of your letter, have been highly entertained with it; and I must particu- 
larly thank you for your observation, that we do not receive the disorder 
called a cold from cold air, and therefore never at meeting, being proud of 
supporting myself with your authority against some of our physicians, who 
seem to think that all the disorders of their patients are caught there. Your 
letter has satisfied my whole congregation, and we are now all determined to 
worship and make ourselves as comfortable as may be more majorum." ED. 

2 Governor Hutchinson's Letters. ED. 

1773] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 93 

Everybody ; for there was no Restraint proposed to talking 
of them, but only to copying. However, the Terms given 
with them could only be those with which they were received. 
The great Defect here is, in all sorts of People, a want of 
attention to what passes in such remote Countries as America ; 
an Unwillingness even to read any thing about them if it 
appears a little lengthy, and a Disposition to postpone the 
Consideration even of the Things they know they must at 
last consider, that so they may have Time for what more 
immediately concerns them, and withal enjoy their Amuse- 
ments, and be undisturbed in the universal Dissipation. In 
other Respects, though some of the great regard us with a 
jealous Eye, and some are angry with us, the Majority of the 
Nation rather wish us well, and have no Desire to infringe 
our Liberties. And many console themselves under the Ap- 
prehensions of declining Liberty here, that they or their 
Posterity shall be able to find her safe and vigorous in America. 

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


683. TO MRS. JANE MECOM (D. s. w.) 

London, July 7. 1773 

DEAR SISTER, I believe it is long since I have written 
any Letters to you. I hope you will excuse it. I am op- 
press'd with too much Writing, and am apt to postpone when 
I presume upon some Indulgence. 

I received duly yours of Jan. 19, April 20, May 5 and May 


Our Relations Jenkins and Paddock, came to see me. 
They seem to be clever, sensible Men. 

Is there not a little Affectation in your Apology for the 
Incorrectness of your Writing ? Perhaps it is rather fishing 
for Commendation. You write better, in my Opinion, than 
most American Women. Here indeed the Ladies write 
generally with more Elegance than the Gentlemen. 

By Capt. Hatch went a Trunk containing the Goods you 
wrote for. I hope they will come safe to hand and please. 
Mrs. Stevenson undertook the Purchasing them with great 
Readiness and Pleasure. Teasdale, whom you mention as 
selling cheap, is broke and gone. Perhaps he sold too cheap. 
But she did her best. 

I congratulate you on the Marriage of your Daughter. 
My Love to them. I am oblig'd to good Dr. Cooper for his 

Your Shortness of Breath might perhaps be reliev'd by 
eating Honey with your Bread instead of Butter, at Breakfast. 

Young Hubbard seems a sensible Boy, and fit, I should 
think, for a better Business than the Sea. I am concern'd 
to hear of the Illness of his good Mother. 

If Brother John had paid that Bond, there was no Occasion 
to recal it for you to pay it ; for I suppose he might have had 
Effects of our Father's to pay it with. I never heard how it 
was managed. 

Mrs. Stevenson presents her Respects, and I am ever, 
Your affectionate Brother, 



684. TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN (D. s. w.) 

London, July 7, 1773. 


I received your kind Letter of Nov. 6, and was glad to hear 
of the Welfare of yourself and Family, which I hope contin- 
ues. Sally Franklin is lately married to Mr. James Pearce, 
a substantial young Farmer at Ewell, about 12 miles from 
London, a very sober, industrious Man, and I think it likely 
to prove a good Match, [as she is likewise an industrious, 
good girl.] J 

I would not have you be discouraged at the little Dullness 
of Business, which is only occasional. A close Attention to 
your Shop, and Application to Business, will always secure 
more than an equal Share, because every Competitor will 
not have those Qualities. Some of them, therefore, must 
give Way to you, and the constant Growth of the Country 
will increase the Trade of all, that steadily stand ready for it. 
I send you a little Piece of mine, which more particularly 
explains this Sentiment and am ever 

Your affectionate Kinsman, 



London, July 7, 1773 

DEAR COUSIN : In looking over your letters I find in 
that of November i2th mention of a prize of 20 which you 

1 Passage in brackets is not found in the d. in D. S. W. ED. 


have drawn. It never came into my hands, and I cannot 
find that Smith, Wright, & Gray know anything of it. If I 
knew the No. of the ticket I could inquire farther. 

I am much obliged by your care in Hall's affair, and glad 
you have recovered so much of that debt and are likely to get 
the rest. I hope it will be of service to my dear sister. The 
goods for her were sent per Capt. Hatch, in a trunk consigned 
to you. 

I wish you success in your new plan of business, and shall 
certainly embrace every opportunity I may have of promoting 

Upon your recommendation I went to see the black poetess l 
and offered her any services I could do her. Before I left 
the house I understood her master was there, and had sent 
her to me, but did not come into the room himself, and I 
thought was not pleased with the visit. I should perhaps 
have inquired first for him, but I had heard nothing of him ; 
and I have heard nothing since of her. 

My love to Cousin Grace and your children 

I am, yours affectionately, 

686. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (D. s. w.) 

London, July 14, 1773. 


I am glad to find by yours of May 4 that you have been 
able to assist Josiah Davenport a little, but vex'd that he and 
you should think of putting me upon a Solicitation, which 
it is impossible for me to engage in. I am not upon Terms 
with Lord North, to ask any such Favour from him. Dis- 
iphillisWheatley. ED. 


pleased with something he said relating to America, I have 
never been at his Levees, since the first. Perhaps he has 
taken that amiss. For the last Week we met occasionally at 
Lord Le Despencer's, in our Return from Oxford, where I had 
been to attend the Solemnity of his Installation, and he seemed 
studiously to avoid speaking to me. I ought to be asham'd 
to say that on such occasions I feel myself to be as proud as 
anybody. His Lady indeed was more gracious. She came, 
and sat down by me on the same Sopha, and condescended 
to enter into a Conversation with me agreably enough, as if 
to make some Amends. Their Son and Daughter were with 
them. They staied all Night, so that we din'd, supp'd, and 
breakfasted together, without exchanging three Sentences. 
But had he ever so great a Regard for me, I could not ask 
that Office, trifling as it is, for any Relation of mine. And 
detesting as I do the whole System of American Customs, 
believing they will one Day bring on a Breach, through the 
Indiscretion and Insolence of those concern'd in the Collec- 
tion, I should never wish to see one so near to me in that Busi- 
ness. If you think him capable of acting as Deputy Secre- 
tary, I imagine you might easily obtain that for him of Mr. 

He has lately been with me, is always very complaisant, 
and, understanding I was about returning to America, re- 
quested my Interest to obtain for him the Agency of your 
Province. His Friend, Sir Watkin Lewes, who was formerly 
Candidate for the same great Place, is now High Sheriff of 
London, and in the Way of being Lord Mayor. The new 
Sheriffs elect are (could you think it?) both Americans, viz. 
Mr. Sayre, the New Yorker, and Mr. W. 1 brother to Dr. 
i William Lee. ED. 



Lee. . . . I am glad you stand so well with Lord Dartmouth. 
I am likewise well with him, but he never spoke to me of 
augmenting your Salary. He is truly a good Man, and 
wishes sincerely a good Understanding with the Colonies, 
but does not seem to have Strength equal to his Wishes. 
Between you and I, the late Measures have been, I suspect, 
very much the King's own, and he has in some Cases a great 
Share of what his Friends call Firmness. Yet, by some 
Painstaking and proper Management, the wrong Impressions 
he has received may be removed, which is perhaps the only 
Chance America has for obtaining soon the Redress she aims 
at. This entirely to yourself. 

And, now we are among Great Folks, let me tell you a little 
of Lord Hillsborough. I went down to Oxford with and at 
the Instance of Lord Le Despencer, who is on all occasions 
very good to me, and seems of late very desirous of my Com- 
pany. Mr. Todd too was there, who has some Attachment to 
Lord H. and in a walk we were taking, told me, as a Secret, 
that Lord H was much chagrin'd at being out of place, and 
could never forgive me for writing that Pamphlet against his 
Report about the Ohio. " I assur'd him, " says Mr. T., " that 
I knew you did not write it ; and the Consequence is, that he 
thinks I know the contrary, and wanted to impose upon him 
in your Favour ; and so I find he is now displeas'd with me, 
and for no other Cause in the World." His friend Bamber 
Gascoign, too, says, that they well know it was written by 
Dr. Franklin, who was one of the most mischievous Men in 

That same Day Lord H. called upon Lord Le Despencer, 
whose chamber and mine were together in Queen's College. 
I was in the Inner Room shifting, and heard his Voice, but 


did not see him, as he went down Stairs immediately with 
Lord Le D, who mentioning that I was above, he return'd 
directly and came to me in the pleasantest Manner imag- 
inable. "Dr. F.," says he, "I did not know till this Minute 
that you were here, and I am come back to make you my 
Bow I I am glad to see you at Oxford, and that you look so 
well," &c. In Return for this Extravagance, I compli- 
mented him on his Son's Performance in the Theatre, tho' 
indeed it was but indifferent, so that Account was settled. 
For as People say, when they are angry, // lie strikes me, I'll 
strike him again; I think sometimes it may be right to say, 
// he flatters me, Ftt flatter him again. This is Lex Talionis, 
returning Offences in kind. His Son however (Lord Fair- 
ford,) is a valuable young Man, and his Daughters, Ladys 
Mary and Charlotte, most amiable young Women. My 
Quarrel is only with him, who, of all the Men I ever met with, 
is surely the most unequal in his Treatment of People, the 
most insincere, and the most wrongheaded ; witness, besides 
his various Behaviour to me, his Duplicity in encouraging us 
to ask for more Land, ask for enough to make a Province (when 
we at first ask'd only for 2,500,000 Acres), were his Words, 
pretending to befriend our Application, then doing every thing 
to defeat it ; and reconciling the first to the last, by saying to 
a Friend, that he meant to defeat it from the Beginning ; and 
that his putting us upon asking so much was with that very 
View, supposing it too much to be granted. Thus, by the 
way, his Mortification becomes double. He has serv'd us 
by the very means he meant to destroy us, and tript up his 
own Heels into the Bargain. Your affectionate father, 


687. TO BENJAMIN RUSH (D. s. w.) 

London, July 14, 1773. 


I received your favour of May ist, with the pamphlet, for 
which I am obliged to you. It is well written. I hope that 
in time the endeavours of the friends to liberty and humanity 
will get the better of a practice, that has so long disgraced our 
nation and religion. 

A few days after I received your packet for M. Dubourg, 
I had an opportunity of forwarding it to him per M. Pois- 
sonniere, physician of Paris, who kindly undertook to deliver 
it. M. Dubourg has been translating my book into French. 
It is nearly printed, and he tells me he purposes a copy for 

I shall communicate your judicious remark, relating to the 
septic quality of the air transpired by patients in putrid 
diseases, to my friend Dr. Priestley. I hope that after having 
discovered the benefit of fresh and cool air applied to the sick, 
people will begin to suspect that possibly it may do no harm 
to the well. I have not seen Dr. Cullen's book, but am glad 
to hear that he speaks of catarrhs or colds by contagion. I 
have long been satisfied from observation, that besides the 
general colds now termed influenzas, (which may possibly 
spread by contagion, as well as by a particular quality of the 
air), people often catch cold from one another when shut up 
together in close rooms, coaches, &c., and when sitting near 
and conversing so as to breathe in each other's transpiration ; 
the disorder being in a certain state. I think, too, that it is 
the frouzy, corrupt air from animal substances, and the per- 


spired matter from our bodies, which being long confined in 
beds not lately used, and clothes not lately worn, and books 
long shut up in close rooms, obtains that kind of putridity, 
which occasions the colds observed upon sleeping in, wearing, 
and turning over such bedclothes, or books, and not their 
coldness or dampness. From these causes, but more from 
too full living, with too little exercise, proceed in my opinion 
most of the disorders, which for about one hundred and fifty 
years past the English have called colds. 

As to Dr. Cullen's cold or catarrh a jrigore, I question 
whether such an one ever existed. Travelling in our severe 
winters, I have suffered cold sometimes to an extremity only 
short of freezing, but this did not make me catch cold. And, 
for moisture, I have been in the river every evening two or 
three hours for a fortnight together, when one would suppose 
I might imbibe enough of it to take cold if humidity could 
give it; but no such effect ever followed. Boys never get 
cold by swimming. Nor are people at sea, or who live at 
Bermudas, or St. Helena, small islands, where the air must 
be ever moist from the dashing and breaking of waves against 
their rocks on all sides, more subject to colds than those who 
inhabit part of a continent where the air is driest. Dampness 
may indeed assist in producing putridity and those miasmata 
which infect us with the disorder we call a cold ; but of itself 
can never by a little addition of moisture hurt a body filled 
with watery fluids from head to foot. 

With great esteem, and sincere wishes for your welfare, I 
am, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 



688. TO ANTHONY BENEZET (D. s. w.) 

London, July 14, 1773 

DEAR FRIEND, I received your Favour of April 24 
with the Pamphlets, for which I thank you. I am glad to 
hear that such humane Sentiments prevail so much more 
generally than heretofore ; that there is Reason to hope our 
Colonies may in time get clear of a Practice that disgraces 
them, and, without producing any equivalent Benefit, is 
dangerous to their very Existence. 

I hope erelong to have the Pleasure of seeing you, and con- 
versing with you more fully on that and other Subjects than I 
can now do by Writing. 

In the meantime, believe me ever, dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately, 
B. F. 

689. TO JOHN FOXCROFT l (D. s. w.) 

London, July 14, 1773 

DEAR FRIEND, I received yours of June 7, and am glad 
to find by it that you are safely return'd from your Virginia 

1 John Foxcroft was deputy postmaster under Franklin. He was married 
August 2, 1770, by the Rev. Thomas Coombe at St. James's Church, West- 
minster, to Judith Osgood, resident in King Street. The reference in this 
letter to Mrs. Foxcroft as " my daughter " has caused some persons to leap at 
the unwarranted conclusion that she was the illegitimate child of Franklin. 
The indisputable evidence of dates disposes promptly of such speculations. 
If all the young women whom Franklin called " daughter " and who called 
him "father" were actually of his flesh and blood, he would have been 
attended by the largest family that ever dwelt under one roof-tree. ED. 


Journey, having settled your Affairs there to Satisfaction, 
and that you found your Family well at New York. 

I feel for you in the Fall you had out of your Chair. I 
have had three of those Squelchers in different Journeys, 
and never desire a fourth. 

I do not think it was without Reason that you continued 
so long one of St. Thomas' Disciples; for there was always 
some cause for doubting. Some People always ride before 
the Horse's Head. The Draft of the Patent is at length got 
into the Hands of the Att y -General, who must approve the 
Form before it passes the Seals, so one would think much 
more time can scarce be required to compleat the Business; 
But 't is good not to be too sanguine. He may go into the 
Country; and the Privy Councillors likewise; and some 
Months pass before they get together again. Therefore, if 
you have any Patience, use it. 

I suppose Mr. Finlay will be some time at Quebec in settling 
his Affairs. By the next Packet you will receive a Draft of 
Instructions for him. 

In mine of Dec 2, upon the Post-Office Accounts to Apr. 
1772, I took Notice to you that I observed I had full Credit 
for my Salary ; but no Charge appear'd against me for Money 
paid on my Ace* to Mrs. Franklin from the Philad* Office. 
I supposed the Thirty Pounds Currency per Month was regu- 
larly paid, because I had had no Complaint from her for 
want of Money, and I expected to find the Charge in the 
Acc ts of the last Year that is, to April 5, 1773 ; but nothing 
of it appear* there, I am at a loss to understand it, and you 
take no Notice of my Observation above mentioned. The 
great ballance due from that Office begins to be remark'd 
here, and I should have thought the Officer would, for his 


own sake, not have neglected to lessen it, by showing what 
he had paid on my Ace*. Pray, my dear Friend, explain 
this to me. 

I find by yours to Mr. Todd that you expect d soon another 
little One. God send my Daughter a good time, and you a 
Good Boy. Mrs. Stevenson is pleas'd with your Remem- 
brance of her, and joins with Mr. and Mrs. Hewson and 
myself in best Wishes for you and yours. 

I am ever yours affectionately, 


(P. H. S.) 

London, July 14. 1773 


Inclos'd is the Broker's Acct. of Sales of the last Silk, Accts. 
of Charges, & my Acct Current. The Price is not so high 
as we might have expected if the Ruin of Paper Credit here 
had not occasioned such a Scarcity of Currency as put a 
stop to a great Part of the Silk Business as well as other 
Businesses that were carried on by Credit beyond their 
natural Brands. Two Months Time was given to Buyers, 
and I have not received the Money. You may therefore 
draw for the Ballance of the Acct. 210" 10" 5} on me, 
or in Case of my Absence on Brown & Collinson, Bankers, 
with whom I shall leave an Order to honour your Bill. 
I hear by several Hands that your Silk is in high Credit; 
we may therefore hope for rising Prices, The Manufacturers 
being at first doubtful of a new Commodity, not knowing 
till Trial has been made how it will work. I most cordially 


wish Success to your generous & Noble Undertaking, be- 
lieving it likely to prove of great Service to our Country; 
and am, with great Esteem 

Your most obedient 

humble Servant 


691. TO SAMUEL DANFORTH 1 (D. s. w.) 

(L. C.) 
London, July 25, 1773. 


It gave me great pleasure to receive so chearful an Epistle 
from a Friend of half a Century's Standing, and to see him 
commencing Life anew in so valuable a Son. I hope the 
young Gentleman's Patent will be as beneficial to him, as 
his Invention must be to the Publick. 

I see by the Papers, that you continue to afford her your 
Services, which makes me almost asham'd of my Resolu- 
tions for Retirement. But this Exile, tho' an honourable 
one, is become grievous to me, in so long a Separation from 
my Family, Friends, and Country; all which you happily 
enjoy ; and long may you continue to enjoy them. I hope 
for the great Pleasure of once more seeing and conversing 
with you : And tho' living-on in one's Children, as we both 
may do, is a good thing, I cannot but fancy it might be better 
to continue living ourselves at the same time. I rejoice, 

1 Samuel Danforth (1696-1777), President of the Council of the Massa- 
chusetts Colony, and judge of probate for Middlesex County. His son, Samuel 
(1740-1827), was an eminent physician, and President of the Massachusetts 
Medical Society. ED. 


therefore, in your kind Intentions of including me in the 
Benefits of that inestimable Stone, which, curing all Diseases 
(even old Age itself), will enable us to see the future glorious 
State of our America, enjoying in full Security her own 
Liberties, and offering in her Bosom a Participation of them 
to all the oppress'd of other Nations. I anticipate the jolly 
Conversation we and twenty more of our Friends may have 
loo Years hence on this subject, over that well replenish'd 
Bowl at Cambridge Commencement. I am, dear Sir, for 
an Age to come, and for ever, with sincere Esteem and Re- 
spect, your most obedient humble Serv*. 


692. TO JOHN WINTHROP (D. s. w.) 

London, July 25. '73 


I received your Favours of March 4 & April 19. Mr. 
Danforth paid me the 52 / you sent by him. The Vol. of 
Transactions I think went in a Trunk that I sent to Mr. 
Jonathan Williams. I hope you receiv'd it safe. Mr. 
Danforth has succeeded in obtaining his Patent. I hope it 
will prove serviceable to himself as well as the Publick. 

Dr. Priestley is now well provided for. Lord Shelburne is 
become his Patron, and desirous to have the Company of 
a Man of general Learning to read with him & superintend 
the Education of his Children, has taken him from his Con- 
gregation at Leeds, settled 300^ a Year upon him for Ten 
Years, and 2oo for life with a House to live in near his 
Country Seat. My Lord has a great Library there which 
the Doctor is now putting in Order & seems very happy in 


his new Situation. The learned Leisure he will now have, 
secure of a comfortable Subsistance, gives his Friends a 
pleasing Hope of many useful Works from his Pen. I 
expect him soon in town, when I shall communicate to him 
your Remarks on his last Book, for which I am sure he will 
feel himself much obliged to you. 

Your Remark on the Passage of Castillioneous will be 
read at the Society at their next Meeting. I thank you much 
for the Paper & Accounts of Damage done by Lightning 
which you have favoured me with. The Conductors begin 
to be used here. Many Country Seats are furnished with 
them, some Churches, the Powder Magazine at Purfleet, 
the Queen's House in the Park, & M. LeRoy of the Academy 
of Sciences at Paris has lately given a Memoir recommending 
the Use of them in that Kingdom, which has been long 
oppos'd and obstructed by Abbe* Nollet. The Duke of 
Tuscany, he says, ce Prince, qui ne connoit pas de delasse- 
ment plus agre*able des soins pe*nible du Gouvernement, que 
PEtude de la Physique, a ordonne*, PAnne*e derniere, qu'on 
e*tablit de ces Barres audessus de tous les Magasins a poudre 
de ses Etats; on dit que la Re*publique de Venise a donne" 
les MSmes Ordres, etc. 1 [B. FRANKLIN.] 


DEAR SIR, London, July 25. 1773 

I wrote to you on the 7th Instant pretty fully, and am 
since favoured with yours of June i4th. I am much pleased 

1 As the remainder of this letter is quoted by Franklin in his " Tract rela- 
tive to the Affair of Hutchinson's Letters," it is not printed here and the 
reader is referred to page 273. ED. 


with the Proposal of the Virginia Assembly, and the respect- 
ful Manner in which it has been received by ours. I think 
it likely to produce very salutary Effects. 1 

I am glad to know your Opinion, that those Letters came 
seasonably, and may be of public Utility. I accompanied 
them with no Restriction relating to myself. My duty to 
the Province, as their Agent, I thought required the Com- 
munication of them, as far as I could. I was sensible I 
should make Enemies there, and perhaps might offend gov- 
ernment here ; but those Apprehensions I disregarded. I did 
not expect and hardly still expect that my sending them could 
be kept a Secret; but since it is so hitherto, I now wish it 
may continue so, because the Publication of the Letters, 
contrary to my Engagement, has changed the Circumstances. 
If they serve to diminish the Influence and demolish the 
Power of the Parties, whose Correspondence has been, and 
would probably have continued to be so mischievous to the 
Interests and Rights of the Province, I shall on that Account 
be more easy under any inconveniences I may suffer, either 
here or there ; and shall bear, as well as I can, the Imputation 
of not having taken sufficient Care to insure the Performance 
of my Promise. 

I think Government can hardly expect to draw any future 
Service from such Instruments, and one would suppose they 
must soon be dismiss'd. We shall see. 

I hope to be favoured with the Continuance of your Corre- 
spondence and Intelligence, while I stay here; it is highly 

1 The Virginia resolves for appointing a Committee of Correspondence 
arrived in Boston a short time before the assembling of the legislature. The 
first business after the meeting was to accede to the proposal of Virginia, and 
to appoint a Committee of Correspondence. S. 


useful to me, and will be, as it always has been, pleasing 

everywhere. I am ever, dear Sir, &c. 


694. TO THOMAS GUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, July 25. 1773. 


I am favour'd with yours of June 14 and 16, contain 8 
some Copies of the Resolves of the Committee upon the 
Letters. 1 I see by your Account of the Transaction, that 
you could not well prevent what was done. As to the Re- 
port of other Copies being come from England, I know that 
could not be. It was an Expedient to disengage the House. 
I hope the Possession of the Originals, and the Proceedings 
upon them, will be attended with salutary Effects to the 
Province, and then I shall be well pleased. 

I observe that you mention, that no Person besides Dr. 
Cooper and one of the Committee knew they came from me. 
I did not accompany them with any Request of being myself 
conceal'd ; for believing what I did to be in the Way of my 
Duty as Agent, tho' I had no doubt of its giving Offence, not 
only to the Parties expos'd, but to Administration here, I 
was regardless of the Consequences. However, since the 
Letters themselves are now copied ; and printed, contrary to 
the Promise I made, I am glad my Name has not been heard 
on the occasion ; and, as I do not see it could be of any Use 
to the Publick, I now wish it may continue unknown, tho' 
I hardly expect it. As to yours, you may rely on my never 
mentioning it, except that I may be obliged to show your 

1 Resolves concerning Hutchinson's Letters. ED. 


Letter in my own Vindication to the Person only, who might 
otherwise think he had reason to blame me for breach of 
Engagement. It must surely be seen here, that, after such 
a Detection of their Duplicity, in pretending a Regard and 
Affection to the Province, while they were undermining its 
Privileges, it is impossible for the Crown to make any good 
Use of their Services, and that it can never be for its Interest 
to employ Servants, who are under such universal Odium. 
The Consequence, one would think, should be their Removal. 
But perhaps it may be to Titles, or to Pensions, if your 
Revenue can pay them. I am, with great Esteem, Sir, 

your most obedient humble Servant. 


695. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN (D. s. w.) 

West Wycombe, Lord le Despencer's, Aug. 3. 1773 

DEAR SON: I am come hither to spend a few Days 
and breathe a little fresh Air. 

Nothing material has occurr'd since mine per Sutton, 
except the final Hearing at the Cockpit relating to Gov. 
Wentworth, 1 against whose Conduct the Board of Trade 
had reported, and the Hearing was at the Instance of his 
Friends against the Report. Their L pB have not yet given 
their Determination, but it is thought he is in no Danger. 

As to the Ohio Affair, it is scarce likely to be got through 
this Summer, for Reasons I have already given you. 

Our Paper-Money A 01 not being yet considered here, 

1 Sir John Wentworth (1737-1820), governor of New Hampshire (1766- 
1776). ED. 


together with the Massachusetts Affairs, will, I believe, 
keep me another Winter in England. 

Temple is just return'd to School from his Summer Vaca- 
tion. He always behaves himself so well, as to encrease 
my Affection for him every time he is with me. 

As you are like to have a considerable Landed Property, 
it would be well to make your Will, if you have not already 
done it, and secure that Property to him. Our Friend Gallo- 
way will advise you in the Manner. Whatever he may come 
to possess, I am persuaded he will make a good Use of it, 
if his Temper and Understanding do not strangely alter. 

I am in this House as much at my Ease as if it was my 
own; and the Gardens are a Paradise. But a pleasanter 
Thing is the kind Countenance, the facetious and very intelli- 
gent Conversation of mine Host, who having been for many 
Years engaged in publick Affairs, seen all Parts of Europe, 
and kept the best Company in the World, is himself the best 

I wear the Buttons (for which I thank you) on a suit of 
light gray which matches them. All the connoisseurs in 
natural Productions are puzzeled with them, not knowing 
any thing similar. 1 

With love to Betsey, I am ever your affectionate Father 


1 See letter to Peter Collinson, Vol. IV, p. 244. ED. 


London, Aug. n, 1773 


I embrace this opportunity to salute you by means of 
Mr. Fromond 2 your most ingenious fellow country-man, 
and to tell you that as my continuous occupation in various 
affairs hinders me from making further studies in our favorite 
science I have thought that I could not better promote it 
among the English, than by procuring a translation into our 
tongue, of your last excellent book; with the aid of some 
friends who have contributed to the expense, it is now com- 
pleted and ready for the press, May I beg you to take from 
your plates and to send me 500 copies of the pictures to be 
used in the projected edition? They could come by sea 
from Nice and be directed to your envoy extraordinary, who 
will have the goodness to permit it I will promptly pay 
according to your order whatever may be the expense for 
paper, printing, and duty, etc. If this can be done it will 
spare us the expense of the wood cutter. 

I am with the greatest esteem always Dear Sir 
Your most obb. and most humble servant 


1 Translated from " Memorie istoriche intorno Gli studi del Padre Giam- 
batista Beccaria." (Eandi: Turin, 1783.) ED. 

2 Jean Claude Fromond (1703-1795), an Italian physicist, professor in the 
University of Pisa. ED. 

1773] TO MR. BURDETT 113 

697. TO MR. BURDETT (A. p. s.) 

London, Aug* 21 1773 


I duly received your Favour of the io* h and should 

think a Man of your Talents a great Acquisition to the Col- 
onies, if we could make it worth your while to remove hither. 
No Country is better fitted by Nature to receive Advantage 
from the Arts of making Rivers Navigable, & forming ex- 
tensive Communications by the means of short Canals be- 
tween their Branches, but as yet I doubt whether the Popu- 
lation & internal Commerce is sufficient to bear the Expence. 
Mr. Ballendene, however may in this Respect be better in- 
formed than I am. As yet there has been no Meeting of 
those concerned in the New Colony, and I apprehend that 
when they have obtained their Patent, their first Care must 
be of another kind. But since I am acquainted with your 
Willingness to engage in such Undertakings, on proper 
Encouragement I shall omit no Opportunity of doing Justice 

to you Opinion may have 

As I am persuaded that in serving you I shall serve my 

With great Esteem, I am, 

Your most obed* 
hum Servt. 


P. S. I should be glad to be inform'd where I can see 
some Sample of the new Art you mention of printing in Imita- 



tion of Paintings. It must be a most valuable Discovery: 
but more likely to meet with adequate Encouragement on 
this Side the water than on ours. 

698. TO THOMAS GUSHING (D. s. w.) 

London, Aug* 24, 1773. 

I received duly your several Favours of June 25, 26, and 
30, with the Papers enclosed. My Lord Dartmouth being 
at his Country Seat in Staffordshire, I transmitted to him 
the Address for the Removal of the Gov* and Lieu* Gov 1 , 
and Mr. Bollan and I jointly transmitted the Letter to his 
Lordship from both Houses. I delivered to Mr. Bollan 
one Set of the authenticated Copies of the Letters, and we 
shall cooperate in the Business we are charg'd with. 

I am told that the Governor has requested leave to come 
home; that some great Persons about the Court do not 
think the Letters, now they have seen them, a sufficient 
Foundation for the Resolves ; that therefore it is not likely 
he will be remov'd, but suffered to resign, and that some 
Provision will be made for him here. But nothing, I appre- 
hend, is likely to be done soon, as most of the great Officers 
of State, who compose the Privy Council, are in the Country, 
and likely to continue there till the Parliament meets, and 
perhaps the above may be chiefly Conjecture. 

I have inform'd Mr. Lee, that, in Case there should be a 
hearing, I was directed to engage him as Council for the 
Province ; that I had received no money, but would advance 
what might be necessary; those Hearings by Council being 


expensive. I purpose writing to you again by the Packet, 

and am with the greatest Respect, Sir, &c. 


P. S. No Determination is yet public on the case of Mr. 
Lewis against Governor Wentworth, which has been a very 

costly Hearing to both Sides. 

B. F. 


London, Sept. I, 1773. 


I have now before me yours of July 5 and 6. The August 
packet is not yet arrived. Dr. Cooper of New York's opinion 
of the author of the Sermon, however honourable to me, is 
injurious to the good Bishop; and therefore, I must say, 
in justice and truth, that I knew nothing of his intention to 
preach on the subject, and saw not a word of the Sermon till 
it was printed. Possibly some preceding conversation be- 
tween us may have turned his thoughts that way ; but if so, 
that is all. 

I think the resolutions of the New England townships must 
have the effect they seem intended for, viz. to show that the 
discontents were really general and their sentiments concern- 
ing their rights unanimous, and not the fiction of a few dema- 
gogues, as their governors used to represent them here: 
and therefore not useless, though they should not as yet in- 
duce government to acknowledge their claims; that people 
may probably think it sufficient for the present to assert and 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin " (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 329. ED. 


hold forth their rights secure ; that sooner or later they must 
be admitted and acknowledged. The declaratory law here, 
had too its use, viz. to prevent or lessen at least a clamour 
against the ministry, that repealed the Stamp Act, as if they 
had given up the right of this country to govern America. 
Other use indeed it could have none ; and I remember Lord 
Mansfield told the Lords, when upon that bill, that it was 
nugatory. To be sure, in a dispute between two parties 
about rights, the declaration of one party can never be sup- 
posed to bind the other. 

It is said there is now a project on foot to form a union 
with Ireland, and that Lord Harcourt is to propose it at the 
next meeting of the Irish Parliament. The eastern side of 
Ireland are averse to it; supposing, that, when Dublin is 
no longer the seat of their government it will decline, the 
harbour being but indifferent, and that the western and 
southern ports will rise and flourish on its ruins, being good 
in themselves, and much better situated for commerce. 
For these same reasons, the western and southern people 
are inclined to the measure, and 'tis thought it may be car- 
ried. But these are difficult affairs, and usually take longer 
time than the projectors imagine. Mr. Crowley, 1 the author 
of several proposals for uniting the colonies with the mother 
country, and who runs about much among the ministers, 
tells me, the union of Ireland is only the first step towards 
a general union. He is for having it done by the Parliament 
of England, without consulting the colonies, and he will 
warrant, he says, that if the terms proposed are equitable, 
they will all come in one after the other. He seems rather 
a little cracked upon the subject. 

1 See letter in reply to Thomas Crowley, Vol. V, p. 166. ED. 


It is said here, that the famous Boston letters J were sent 
chiefly, if not all, to the late Mr. Wheatly. They fell into 
my hands, and I thought it my duty to give some principal 
people there a sight of them, very much with this view, that 
when they saw the measures they complained of took their 
rise in a great degree from the representations and recom- 
mendations of their own countrymen, their resentment 
against Britain on account of those measures might abate, 
as mine had done, and a reconciliation be more easily ob- 
tained. In Boston they concealed who sent them, the better 
to conceal who received and communicated them. And 
perhaps it is as well, that it should continue a secret. Being 
of that country myself, I think those letters more heinous 
than you seem to think them ; but you had not read them all, 
nor perhaps the Council's remarks on them. I have written 
to decline their agency, on account of my return to America. 
Dr. Lee succeeds me. I only keep it while I stay, which 
perhaps will be another winter. 

I grieve to hear of the death of my good old friend, Dr. 
Evans. 2 I have lost so many, since I left America, that I 
begin to fear that I shall find myself a stranger among strangers, 
when I return. If so, I must come again to my friends in 
England. I am ever your affectionate father, 


1 Governor Hutchinson's Letters. ED. 

2 Cadwallader Evans was elected a member of A. P. S., Nov. 1767. He 
died in 1773, aged 57. ED. 



London, September i, 1773 

MY DEAR CHILD: . . . There is a new Transla- 
tion of my Book at Paris and printed there, being the 3d 
Edition in French. A Fifth Edition is now printing here. 
To the French Edition they have prefixed a Print of me, 
which, tho' a Copy of that by Chamberlin, has got so French 
a Countenance, that you would take me for one of that lively 
Nation. I think you do not mind such things or I would 
send you one. I am ever, my dear Debby, 

Your affectionate Husband, 


701. AN EDICT 

Dantzic, Sept. 5, [I773-] 

WE have long wondered here at the supineness of the 
English nation, under the Prussian impositions upon its 
trade entering our port. We did not, till lately, know the 
claims, ancient and modern, that hang over that nation; 
and therefore could not suspect that it might submit to those 
impositions from a sense of duty or from principles of equity. 
The following Edict, just made publick, may, if serious, 
throw some light upon this matter. 

1 From The Gentleman's Magazine t October, 1773, p. 513. ED. 


4 'FREDERIC, by the grace of God, King of Prussia, &c. 
&c. &c., to all present and to come, (& tous prtsens et & 
venir,) Health. The peace now enjoyed throughout our 
dominions, having afforded us leisure to apply ourselves 
to the regulation of commerce, the improvement of our 
finances, and at the same time the easing our domestic sub- 
jects in their taxes: For these causes, and other good con- 
siderations us thereunto moving, we hereby make known, 
that, after having deliberated these affairs in our council, 
present our dear brothers, and other great officers of the 
state, members of the same, we, of our certain knowledge, 
full power, and authority royal, have made and issued this 
present Edict, viz. 

"Whereas it is well known to all the world, that the first 
German settlements made in the Island of Britain, were by 
colonies of people, subject to our renowned ducal ancestors, 
and drawn from their dominions, under the conduct of 
Hengist, Horsa, Hella, Uff, Cerdicus, Ida, and others; and 
that the said colonies have flourished under the protection 
of our august house for ages past; have never been eman- 
cipated therefrom ; and yet have hitherto yielded little profit to 
the same: And whereas we ourself have in the last war 
fought for and defended the said colonies, against the power 
of France, and thereby enabled them to make conquests 
from the said power in America, for which we have not yet 
received adequate compensation : And whereas it is just and 
expedient that a revenue should be raised from the said 
colonies in Britain, towards our indemnification; and that 
those who are descendants of our ancient subjects, and thence 
still owe us due obedience, should contribute to the replen- 
ishing of our royal coffers as they must have done, had their 


ancestors remained in the territories now to us appertaining : 
We do therefore hereby ordain and command, that, from 
and after the date of these presents, there shall be levied and 
paid to our officers of the customs, on all goods, wares, and 
merchandizes, and on all grain and other produce of the 
earth, exported from the said Island of Britain, and on all 
goods of whatever kind imported into the same, a duty of 
four and a half per cent ad valorem, for the use of us and our 
successors. And that the said duty may more effectually 
be collected, we do hereby ordain, that all ships or vessels 
bound from Great Britain to any other part of the world, 
or from any other part of the world to Great Britain, shall 
in their respective voyages touch at our port of Konings- 
berg, there to be unladen, searched, and charged with the 
said duties. 

"And whereas there hath been from time to time dis- 
covered in the said island of Great Britain, by our colonists 
there, many mines or beds of iron-stone ; and sundry subjects, 
of our ancient dominion, skilful in converting the said stone 
into metal, have in time past transported themselves thither, 
carrying with them and communicating that art; and the 
inhabitants of the said island, presuming that they had a 
natural right to make the best use they could of the natural 
productions of their country for their own benefit, have not 
only built furnaces for smelting the said stone into iron, 
but have erected plating-forges, slitting-mills, and steel- 
furnaces, for the more convenient manufacturing of the same ; 
thereby endangering a diminution of the said manufacture 
in our ancient dominion ; we do therefore hereby farther 
ordain, that, from and after the date hereof, no mill or other 
engine for slitting or rolling of iron, or any plating-forge to 


work with a tilt-hammer, or any furnace for making steel, 
shall be erected or continued in the said island of Great 
Britain: And the Lord Lieutenant of every county in the 
said island is hereby commanded, on information of any 
such erection within his county, to order and by force to 
cause the same to be abated and destroyed; as he shall 
answer the neglect thereof to us at his peril. But we are 
nevertheless graciously pleased to permit the inhabitants 
of the said island to transport their iron into Prussia, there 
to be manufactured, and to them returned; they paying our 
Prussian subjects for the workmanship, with all the costs of 
commission, freight, and risk, coming and returning; any 
thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding. 

"We do not, however, think fit to extend this our indul- 
gence to the article of wool ; but, meaning to encourage, not 
only the manufacturing of woollen cloth, but also the raising 
of wool, in our ancient dominions, and to prevent both, as 
much as may be, in our said island, we do hereby absolutely 
forbid the transportation of wool from thence, even to the 
mother country, Prussia; and that those islanders may be 
farther and more effectually restrained in making any ad- 
vantage of their own wool in the way of manufacture, we 
command that none shall be carried out of one county into 
another; nor shall any worsted, bay, or woollen yarn, cloth, 
says, bays, kerseys, serges, frizes, druggets, cloth-serges, 
shalloons, or any other drapery stuffs, or woollen manufac- 
tures whatsoever, made up or mixed with wool in any of the 
said counties, be carried into any other county, or be water- 
borne even across the smallest river or creek, on penalty of 
forfeiture of the same, together with the boats, carriages, 
horses, &c., that shall be employed in removing them. 


Nevertheless, our loving subjects there are hereby permitted 
(if they think proper) to use all their wool as manure for the 
improvement of their lands. 

"And whereas the art and mystery of making hats hath 
arrived at great perfection in Prussia, and the making of 
hats by our remoter subjects ought to be as much as possible 
restrained : And forasmuch as the islanders before mentioned, 
being in possession of wool, beaver and other furs, have 
presumptuously conceived they had a right to make some 
advantage thereof, by manufacturing the same into hats, 
to the prejudice of our domestic manufacture : We do there- 
fore hereby strictly command and ordain, that no hats or 
felts whatsoever, dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished, 
shall be loaded or put into or upon any vessel, cart, carriage, 
or horse, to be transported or conveyed out of one county 
in the said island into another county, or to any other place 
whatsoever, by any person or persons whatsoever; on pain 
of forfeiting the same, with a penalty of five hundred pounds 
sterling for every offence. Nor shall any hat-maker, in any 
of the said counties, employ more than two apprentices, on 
penalty of five pounds sterling per month; we intending 
hereby, that such hatmakers, being so restrained, both in the 
production and sale of their commodity, may find no ad- 
vantage in continuing their business. But, lest the said 
islanders should suffer inconveniency by the want of hats, 
we are farther graciously pleased to permit them to send their 
beaver furs to Prussia ; and we also permit hats made thereof 
to be exported from Prussia to Britain; the people thus 
favoured to pay all costs and charges of manufacturing, 
interest, commission to our merchants, insurance and freight 
going and returning, as in the case of iron. 


"And, lastly, being willing farther to favour our said 
colonies in Britain, we do hereby also ordain and command, 
that all the thieves, highway and street robbers, house- 
breakers, forgerers, murderers, s d tes, and villains of 
every denomination, who have forfeited their lives to the law 
in Prussia; but whom we, in our great clemency, do not 
think fit here to hang, shall be emptied out of our gaols into 
the said island of Great Britain, for the better peopling of 
that country. 

"We flatter ourselves, that these our royal regulations and 
commands will be thought just and reasonable by our much- 
favoured colonists in England; the said regulations being 
copied from their statutes of 10 and n William III. c. 10, 
5 Geo. II. c. 22, 23, Geo. II. c. 29, 4 Geo. I. c. n, 
and from other equitable laws made by their parliaments; 
or from instructions given by their Princes ; or from resolu- 
tions of both Houses, entered into for the good government 
of their own colonies in Ireland and America. 

"And all persons in the said island are hereby cautioned 
not to oppose in any wise the execution of this our Edict, 
or any part thereof, such opposition being high treason; of 
which all who are suspected shall be transported in fetters 
from Britain to Prussia, there to be tried and executed ac- 
cording to the Prussian law. 

"Such is our pleasure. 

"Given at Potsdam, this twenty-fifth day of the month of 
August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, 
and in the thirty-third year of our reign. 
"By the King, in his Council. 



Some take this Edict to be merely one of the King's Jeux 
d 1 Esprit: others suppose it serious, and that he means a 
quarrel with England; but all here think the assertion it 
concludes with, "that these regulations are copied from acts 
of the English parliament respecting their colonies," a very 
injurious one; it being impossible to believe, that a people 
distinguished for their love of liberty, a nation so wise, so 
liberal in its sentiments, so just and equitable towards its 
neighbours, should, from mean and injudicious views of 
petty immediate profit, treat its own children in a manner 
so arbitrary and tyrannical ! 


London, September 12, 1773. 


The above is a copy of my last, per packet. Inclosed is 
the original letter therein mentioned. His Lordship con- 
tinues in the country, but is expected (Secretary Pownall 
tells me) the beginning of next month. 

To avoid repealing the American tea duty, and yet find a 
vent for tea, a project is executing to send it from hence, 
on account of the East India Company to be sold in America, 
agreeable to a late act, impowering the Lords of the Treasury 
to grant licenses to the company to export tea thither, under 
certain restrictions, duty free. Some friends of govern- 
ment (as they are called) in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, 
&c., are to be favoured with the commission, who undertake 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 331. ED. 


by their interest to carry the measure through in the colonies. 
How the other merchants, thus excluded from the tea trade, 
will like this, I cannot foresee. Their agreement, if I re- 
member right, was not to import tea, till the duty shall be 
repealed. Perhaps they will think themselves still obliged 
by that agreement, notwithstanding this temporary expe- 
dient; which is only to introduce the tea for the present, 
and may be dropped next year, and the duty again re- 
quired, the granting or refusing such license from time to 
time remaining in the power of the treasury. And it will 
seem hard, while their hands are tied, to see the profits of 
that article all engrossed by a few particulars. 

Inclosed I take the liberty of sending you a small piece of 
mine, written to expose, in as striking a light as I could, to 
the nation, the absurdity of the measures towards America, 
and to spur the ministry if possible to a change of those 
measures. 1 Please to present my duty to the House, and 
respects to the Committee. I have the honour to be, with 
much esteem, Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 


London, Sept. 21. 1773. 


I duly received your Favour, of the 24th past and some 
time after the parcel containing the Specimens, and your 
valuable Present of Shaftesbury, excellently printed, for 
which I hold myself greatly obliged to you. The Specimens 

1 Probably the " Rules by which a Great Empire may be reduced to a 
Small One," or " An Edict of the King of Prussia." ED. 


I shall distribute by the first ship among the Printers of 
America, and I hope to your Advantage. I suppose no 
Orders will come unaccompanied by Bills, or Money, and I 
would not advise you to give Credit, especially as I do not 
think it will be necessary. 

The Sheet of Chinese Paper, from its enormous Size, is a 
great Curiosity. I see the Marks of the Mold in it. One 
Side is smooth ; that, I imagine, is the Side that was apply'd 
to the smooth Face of the Kiln on which it was dry'd. The 
little Ridges on the other Side I take to be Marks of a Brush 
pass'd over it to press it against that Face, in places where it 
might be kept off by Air between, and which would otherwise 
prevent its receiving the Smoothness. But we will talk 
further of this, when I have the Pleasure of seeing you. 

You speak of enlarging your Foundery. Here are all the 
matrices of James's Foundery * to be sold. There seem to be 
among them some tolerable Hebrews and Greeks, and some 
good Blacks. I suppose you know them. Shall I buy any 
of them for you? I thank you for your kind Invitation. 2 
Perhaps I may embrace it for a few Days. My best Respects 
to good Mrs. Baskerville, & believe me ever, with great es- 

Your most obedient hum 16 Serv* 

B. F. 

1 Rumford and James. ED. 

2 To visit Baskerville at " Easy Hill." B's letter of August 24, 1773, is in 
A.P.S. ED. 




704. RULES 


V ' 


AN ancient Sage boasted, that, tho' he could not fiddle, 
he knew how to make a great city of a little one. The science 
that I, a modern simpleton, am about to communicate, is 
the very reverse. 

I address myself to all ministers who have the management 
of extensive dominions, which from their very greatness 
are become troublesome to govern, because the multiplicity 
of their affairs leaves no time for -fiddling. 

I. In the first place, gentlemen, you are to consider, that 
a great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished 
at the edges. Turn your attention, therefore, first to your 
remotest provinces; that, as you get rid of them, the next 
may follow in order. 

II. That the possibility of this separation may always 
exist, take special care the provinces are never incorporated 
with the mother country; that they do not enjoy the same 
common rights, the same privileges in commerce; and that 
they are governed by severer laws, all of your enacting, with- 

1 Printed from The Gentleman! s Magazine, Vol. XLIII, September, 1773, 
p. 441. There is an incomplete rough draft in A. P. S. The Minister re- 
ferred to was the Earl of Hillsborough. ED. 


out allowing them any share in the choice of the legislators. 
By carefully making and preserving such distinctions, you 
will (to keep to my simile of the cake) act like a wise ginger- 
bread-baker, who, to facilitate a division, cuts his dough 
half through in those places where, when baked, he would 
have it broken to pieces. 

III. Those remote provinces have perhaps been acquired, 
purchased, or conquered, at the sole expence of the settlers, 
or their ancestors, without the aid of the mother country. 
If this should happen to increase her strength, by their grow- 
ing numbers, ready to join in her wars; her commerce, by 
their growing demand for her manufactures; or her naval 
power, by greater employment for her ships and seamen, 
they may probably suppose some merit in this, and that it 
entitles them to some favour; you are therefore to jorget it 
all, or resent it, as if they had done you injury. If they 
happen to be zealous whigs, friends of liberty, nurtured in 
revolution principles, remember all that to their prejudice, 
and resolve to punish it ; for such principles, after a revolu- 
tion is thoroughly established, are of no more use; they are 
even odious and abominable. 

IV. However peaceably your colonies have submitted to 
your government, shewn their affection to your interests, 
and patiently borne their grievances; you are to suppose 
them always inclined to revolt, and treat them accordingly. 
Quarter troops among them, who by their insolence may 
provoke the rising of mobs, and by their bullets and bayonets 
suppress them. By this means, like the husband who uses 
his wife ill from suspicion, you may in time convert your 
suspicions into realities. 

V. Remote provinces must have Governors and Judges, to 


represent the Royal Person, and execute everywhere the J, 
delegated parts of his office and authority. You ministers 
know, that much of the strength of government depends on 
the opinion of the people ; and much of that opinion on the 
choice of rulers placed immediately over them. If you send 
them wise and good men for governors, who study the in- 
terest of the colonists, and advance their prosperity, they 
will think their King wise and good, and that he wishes the 
welfare of his subjects. If you send them learned and up- 
right men for Judges, they will think him a lover of justice. 
This may attach your provinces more to his government. %> 
You are therefore to be careful whom you recommend for 
those offices. If you can find prodigals, who have ruined 
their fortunes, broken gamesters or stockjobbers, these 
may do well as governors; for they will probably be rapacious, 
and provoke the people by their extortions. Wrangling 
proctors and pettifogging lawyers, too, are not amiss; for 
they will be for ever disputing and quarrelling with their 
little parliaments. If withal they should be ignorant, wrong- 
headed, and insolent, so much the better. Attornies' clerks 
and Newgate solicitors will do for Chief Justices, especially 
if they hold their places during your pleasure; and all will 
contribute to impress those ideas of your government, that 
are proper for a people you would wish to renounce it. 

VI. To confirm these impressions, and strike them deeper, 
whenever the injured come to the capital with complaints 
of mal-administration, oppression, or injustice, punish such 
suitors with long delay, enormous expence, and a final 
judgment in favour of the oppressor. This will have an 
admirable effect every way. The trouble of future complaints 
will be prevented, and Governors and Judges will be encour- 



aged to farther acts of oppression and injustice ; and thence 
the people may become more disaffected, and at length des- 

VII. When such Governors have crammed their coffers, 
and made themselves so odious to the people that they can 
no longer remain among them, with safety to their persons, 
recall and reward them with pensions. You may make them 
baronets too, if that respectable order should not think fit 
to resent it. All will contribute to encourage new governors 
in the same practice, and make the supreme government, 

VIII. If, when you are engaged in war, your colonies 
should vie in liberal aids of men and money against the 
common enemy, upon your simple requisition, and give far 
beyond their abilities, reflect that a penny taken from them 
by your power is more honourable to you, than a pound 
presented by their benevolence; despise therefore their 
voluntary grants, and resolve to harass them with novel 
taxes. They will probably complain to your parliaments, 
that they are taxed by a body in which they have no repre- 
sentative, and that this is contrary to common right. They 
will petition for redress. Let the Parliaments flout their 
claims, reject their petitions, refuse even to suffer the reading 
of them, and treat the petitioners with the utmost contempt. 
Nothing can have a better effect in producing the alienation 
proposed ; for though many can forgive injuries, none ever 
forgave contempt. 

IX. In laying these taxes, never regard the heavy burthens 
those remote people already undergo, in defending their 
own frontiers, supporting their own provincial governments, 
making new roads, building bridges, churches, and other 


public edifices, which in old countries have been done to your 
hands by your ancestors, but which occasion constant calls 
and demands on the purses of a new people. Forget the 
restraints you lay on their trade for your own benefit, and the 
advantage a monopoly of this trade gives your exacting 
merchants. Think nothing of the wealth those merchants 
and your manufacturers acquire by the colony commerce; 
their encreased ability thereby to pay taxes at home; their 
accumulating, in the price of their commodities, most of those 
taxes, and so levying them from their consuming customers; 
all this, and the employment and support of thousands of 
your poor by the colonists, you are intirely to jorget. But 
remember to make your arbitrary tax more grievous to your 
provinces, by public declarations importing that your power 
of taxing them has no limits; so that when you take from 
them without their consent one shilling in the pound, you 
have a clear right to the other nineteen. This will probably 
weaken every idea of security in their property 1 and convince 
them, that under such a government they have nothing they 
can call their own; which can scarce fail of producing the 
happiest consequences! 

X. Possibly, indeed, some of them might still comfort 
themselves, and say, "Though we have no property, we have 
yet something left that is valuable; we have constitutional 
liberty, both of person and of conscience. This King, these 
Lords, and these Commons, who it seems are too remote 
from us to know us, and feel for us, cannot take from us our 
Habeas Corpus right, or our right of trial by a jury of our 
neighbours; they cannot deprive us of the exercise of our 
religion, alter our ecclesiastical constitution, and compel us 
to be Papists, if they please, or Mahometans." To annihilate 


this comfort, begin by laws to perplex their commerce with 
infinite regulations, impossible to be remembered and ob- 
served; ordain seizures of their property for every failure; 
take away the trial of such property by Jury, and give it to 
arbitrary Judges of your own appointing, and of the lowest 
characters in the country, whose salaries and emoluments 
are to arise out of the duties or condemnations, and whose 
appointments are during pleasure. Then let there be a 
formal declaration of both Houses, that opposition to your 
edicts is treason, and that any person suspected of treason 
in the provinces may, according to some obsolete law, be 
seized and sent to the metropolis of the empire for trial; 
and pass an act, that those there charged with certain other 
offences, shall be sent away in chains from their friends and 
country to be tried in the same manner for felony. Then 
erect a new Court of Inquisition among them, accompanied 
by an armed force, with instructions to transport all such 
suspected persons; to be ruined by the expence, if they 
bring over evidences to prove their innocence, or be found 
guilty and hanged, if they cannot afford it. And, lest the 
people should think you cannot possibly go any farther, pass 
another solemn declaratory act, "that King, Lords, Com- 
mons had, hath, and of right ought to have, full power and 
authority to make statutes of sufficient force and validity 
to bind the unrepresented provinces IN ALL CASES WHATSO- 
EVER." This will include spiritual with temporal, and, 
taken together, must operate wonderfully to your purpose; 
by convincing them, that they are at present under a power 
something like that spoken of in the scriptures, which can 
not only kill their bodies, but damn their souls to all eternity, 
by compelling them, if it pleases, to worship the Devil. 


XI. To make your taxes more odious, and more likely to 
procure resistance, send from the capital a board of officers 
to superintend the collection, composed of the most indis- 
creet, ill-bred, and insolent you can find. Let these have 
large salaries out of the extorted revenue, and live in open, 
grating luxury upon the sweat and blood of the industrious; 
whom they are to worry continually with groundless and 
expensive prosecutions before the abovementioned arbitrary 
revenue Judges; all at the cost of the party prosecuted, tho* 
acquitted, because the King is to pay no costs. Let these 
men, by your order, be exempted from all the common taxes 
and burthens of the province, though they and their property 
are protected by its laws. If any revenue officers are sus- 
pected of the least tenderness for the people, discard them. 
If others are justly complained of, protect and reward them. 
If any of the under officers behave so as to provoke the people 
to drub them, promote those to better offices: this will 
encourage others to procure for themselves such profitable 
drubbings, by multiplying and enlarging such provocations, 
and all will work towards the end you aim at. 

XII. Another way to make your tax odious, is to misapply 
the produce of it. If it was originally appropriated for the 
defence of the provinces, the better support of government, 
and the administration of justice, where it may be necessary, 
then apply none of it to that defence, but bestow it where it 
is not necessary, in augmented salaries or pensions to every 
governor, who has distinguished himself by his enmity to the 
people, and by calumniating them to their sovereign. This 
will make them pay it more unwillingly, and be more apt to 
quarrel with those that collect it and those that imposed it, 
who will quarrel again with them, and all shall contribute 


to your main purpose, of making them weary of your govern- 

XIII. If the people of any province have been accus- 
tomed to support their own Governors and Judges to satis- 
faction, you are to apprehend that such Governors and Judges 
may be thereby influenced to treat the people kindly, and to 
do them justice. This is another reason for applying part 
of that revenue in larger salaries to such Governors and 
Judges, given, as their commissions are, during your pleasure 
only; forbidding them to take any salaries from their 
provinces; that thus the people may no longer hope any 
kindness from their Governors, or (in Crown cases) any 
justice from their Judges. And, as the money thus mis- 
applied in one province is extorted from all, probably all 
will resent the misapplication. 

XIV. If the parliaments of your provinces should dare to 
claim rights, or complain of your administration, order 
them to be harrassed with repeated dissolutions. If the same 
men are continually returned by new elections, adjourn their 
meetings to some country village, where they cannot be ac- 
commodated, and there keep them during pleasure; for 
this, you know, is your PREROGATIVE ; and an excellent one it is, 
as you may manage it to promote discontents among the 
people, diminish their respect, and increase their disaffection. 

XV. Convert the brave, honest officers of your navy into 
pimping tide-waiters and colony officers of the customs. 
Let those, who in time of war fought gallantly in defence of 
the commerce of their countrymen, in peace be taught to 
prey upon it. Let them learn to be corrupted by great and 
real smugglers; but (to shew their diligence) scour with 
armed boats every bay, harbour, river, creek, cove, or nook 


throughout the coast of your colonies ; stop and detain every 
coaster, every wood-boat, every fisherman, tumble their 
cargoes and even their ballast inside out and upside down; 
and, if a penn'orth of pins is found un-entered, let the whole 
be seized and confiscated. Thus shall the trade of your 
colonists suffer more from their friends in time of peace, 
than it did from their enemies in war. Then let these boats 
crews land upon every farm in their way, rob the orchards, 
steal the pigs and the poultry, and insult the inhabitants. 
If the injured and exasperated farmers, unable to procure 
other justice, should attack the aggressors, drub them, and 
burn their boats; you are to call this high treason and re- 
bellion, order fleets and armies into their country, and threaten 
to carry all the offenders three thousand miles to be hanged, 
drawn, and quartered. O! this will work admirably! 

XVI. If you are told of discontents in your colonies, never 
believe that they are general, or that you have given occasion 
for them; therefore do not think of applying any remedy, 
or of changing any offensive measure. Redress no grievance, 
lest they should be encouraged to demand the redress of 
some other grievance. Grant no request that is just and 
reasonable, lest they should make another that is unreason- 
able. Take all your informations of the state of the colonies 
from your Governors and officers in enmity with them. 
Encourage and reward these leasing-makers ; secrete their 
lying accusations, lest they should be confuted ; but act upon 
them as the clearest evidence ; and believe nothing you hear 
from the friends of the people : suppose all their complaints 
to be invented and promoted by a few factious demagogues, 
whom if you could catch and hang, all would be quiet. 
Catch and hang a few of them accordingly; and the blood 


of the Martyrs shall work miracles in favour of your 

XVII. If you see rival nations rejoicing at the prospect 
of your disunion with your provinces, and endeavouring to 
promote it; if they translate, publish, and applaud all the 
complaints of your discontented colonists, at the same time 
privately stimulating you to severer measures, let not that 
alarm or offend you. Why should it, since you all mean 
the same thing ? 

XVIII. If any colony should at their own charge erect a 
fortress to secure their port against the fleets of a foreign 
enemy, get your Governor to betray that fortress into your 
hands. Never think of paying what it cost the country, for 
that would look, at least, like some regard for justice; but 
turn it into a citadel to awe the inhabitants and curb their 
commerce. If they should have lodged in such fortress 
the very arms they bought and used to aid you in your con- 
quests, seize them all ; it will provoke like ingratitude added 
to robbery. One admirable effect of these operations will 
be, to discourage every other colony from erecting such de- 
fences, and so your enemies may more easily invade them ; 
to the great disgrace of your government, and of course the 
furtherance o] your project. 

XIX. Send armies into their country under pretence of 
protecting the inhabitants; but, instead of garrisoning the 
forts on their frontiers with those troops, to prevent incur- 
sions, demolish those forts, and order the troops into the heart 
of the country, that the savages may be encouraged to attack 
the frontiers, and that the troops may be protected by the 
inhabitants. This will seem to proceed from your ill will 
or your ignorance, and contribute farther to produce and 


strengthen an opinion among them, that you are no longer 
fit to govern them. 

XX. Lastly, invest the General of your army in the prov- 
inces, with great and unconstitutional powers, and free him 
from the controul of even your own Civil Governors. Let 
him have troops enow under his command, with all the 
fortresses in his possession ; and who knows but (like some 
provincial Generals in the Roman empire, and encouraged 
by the universal discontent you have produced) he may 
take it into his head to set up for himself? If he should, 
and you have carefully practised these few excellent rules of 
mine, take my word for it, all the provinces will immediately 
join him; and you will that day (if you have not done it 
sooner) get rid of the trouble of governing them, and all 
the plagues attending their commerce and connection from 
henceforth and for ever. Q. E. D. 

705. TO THOMAS GUSHING (P. R. o.) 

Sept. 23, 1773 


Nothing of Importance has occur'd since my last. This 
serves chiefly to cover a Newspaper in which I have Stated 
a few of the American Grievances that were omitted in my 
''Receipt for Diminishing a Great Empire." These odd 
ways of presenting Matters to the publick View sometimes 
occasion them to be more read, talk'd of, and more attended 


With great Respect, I am, Sir, etc. 



706. TO THOMAS PERCIVAL 1 (A. p. s.) 

West Wycomb, the Seat of Lord Le 
Despencer, Sept. 25. 1773 


I have received here your Favour of the i8th, enclosing 
your very valuable Paper of the Numeration of Manchester. 
Such enquiries may be as useful as they are curious, and if 
once made general would greatly assist in the prudent Govern- 
ment of a State. 

In China I have somewhere read, an Account is yearly 
taken of the Numbers of People, and the Quantities of Pro- 
vision produc'd. This Account is transmitted to the Em- 
peror, whose Ministers can thence foresee a Scarcity, likely 
to happen in any Province, and from what Province it can 
best be supply'd in good time. To facilitate the Collecting 
this Account, and prevent the Necessity of entring Houses 
and spending time in asking and answering Questions, each 
House is furnish'd with a little Board, to be hung without the 
Door during a certain time each Year; on which Board is 
marked certain Words, against which the Inhabitant is to 
mark Number or Quantity, somewhat in this Manner; 

Men, i 

Women, 2 

Children, 3 

Rice or Wheat, 5 Quarters 

Flesh, &c. 1,000 Ibs. 

1 Thomas Percival (1740-1804), a learned and eminent physician of Man- 
chester, in England, and author of several valuable publications on medical 
and philosophical subjects. ED. 


All under 16 are accounted Children, and all above Men 
and Women. Any other Particulars, which the Government 
desires information of, are occasionally mark'd on the same 
Boards. Thus the Officers, appointed to collect the Ac- 
counts in each District, have only to pass before the Doors, 
and enter in their Book what they find mark'd on the Board, 
without giving the least Trouble to the Family. There is a 
Penalty on marking falsly; and, as Neighbours must know 
nearly the Truth of each other's Account, they dare not 
expose themselves, by a false one, to each other's Accusation. 
Perhaps such a Regulation is scarce practicable with us. 

The Difference of Deaths, between i in 28 at Manchester, 
and i in 120 at Morton, is surprizing. It seems to show 
the Unwholesomeness of the Manufacturing Life; owing 
perhaps to the Confinement in small, Close Rooms, or in 
larger with Numbers, or to Poverty and want of Necessaries, 
or to Drinking, or to all of them. Farmers who manufacture 
in their own Families what they have occasion for and no 
more, are perhaps the happiest People and the healthiest. 

'Tis a curious Remark that moist Seasons are the healthiest. 
The Gentry of England are remarkably afraid of Moisture, 
and of Air. But Seamen, who live in perpetually moist 
Air, are always Healthy, if they have good Provisions. The 
Inhabitants of Bermuda, St. Helena, and other Islands far 
from Continents, surrounded with Rocks against which the 
Waves continually dashing fill the Air with Spray & Vapour, 
and where no Wind can arrive that does not pass over much 
Sea, and of course bring much Moisture, these People are 
remarkably healthy. And I have long thought that mere 
moist Air has no ill Effect on the Constitution; tho' Air 
impregnated with Vapours from putrid Marshes is found 


pernicious, not from the Moisture, but the Putridity. It 
seems strange that a Man whose Body is compos'd in great 
Part of moist Fluids, whose Blood and Juices are so watery, 
who can swallow Quantities of Water and Small Beer daily 
without Inconvenience, should fancy that a little more or 
less Moisture in the Air should be of such Importance. But 
we abound in Absurdity and Inconsistency. 

Thus, tho it is generally allowed that taking ike Air is a good 
Thing, yet what Caution against Air, what stopping of 
Crevices, what wrapping up in warm Clothes, what shutting 
of Doors and Windows! even in the midst of Summer! 
Many London Families go out once a Day to take the Air; 
three or four Persons in a Coach, one perhaps Sick ; these go 
three or four Miles, or as many Turns in Hide Park, with the 
Glasses both up close, all breathing over & over again the 
same Air they brought out of Town with them in the Coach 
with the least change possible, and render'd worse and worse 
every moment. And this they call taking ike Air. From 
many Years' Observations on myself and others, I am per- 
suaded we are on a wrong Scent in supposing Moist or cold 
Air, the Causes of that Disorder we call a Cold. Some un- 
known Quality in the Air may perhaps produce Colds, as in 
the Influenza; but generally I apprehend they are the Effects 
of too full Living in proportion to our Exercise. 

Excuse, if you can, my Intruding into your Province, and 
believe me ever with sincere Esteem, dear Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 



707. TO JAN INGENHOUSZ (A. p. s.) 
London, Sept. 30. 1773 


I rejoic'd as much as any friend could do, at the News we 
receiv'd here from time to time of your Successes in your Pro- 
fession, and of the safe Recovery of your illustrious Patients 
of that most amiable Family. But it griev'd us all at the same 
time to hear that you did not yourself enjoy Health in that 
Country. Surely their known Goodness will graciously give 
you Leave of Absence, if you have but the Courage to request 
it, and permit you to come and reside in England, which 
always agreed well with your Constitution. All your Friends 
here will be made happy by such an Event. 1 

I had proposed to return to America this last Summer, 
but some Events in our Colony Affairs, induc'd me to stay 
here another Winter. Some Time in May or June next I 
believe I shall leave England. May I hope to see you here 
once more. 

I shall be glad to see the work of Abbe* Fontana on that 
Disease of Wheat. As yet I have not heard that it is come to 

Sir W. Hamilton writes from Naples, that after many 
Experiments, he has not been able to perceive any certain 

1 Dr. Ingenhousz was now residing at Vienna, whither he had gone to 
inoculate for the smallpox the Archduchess Theresa Elizabeth, the only 
daughter of the Emperor, and the Archdukes Ferdinand and Maximilian, 
the Emperor's brothers. He remained in that city several years. He was in 
England during a large part of the year 1779, when he published his work, 
entitled " Experiments on Vegetables, &c." In the title-page of that work, he 
styles himself, " Counsellor of the Court and Body Physician to their Imperial 
Majesties." S. 


Signs of Electricity in the Torpedo. It is perhaps best that 
there should be two Opinions on this Subject, for that may 
occasion a more thorough Examination of it, & finally make 
us better acquainted with it. 

It is not difficult to construct a Needle, so as to keep point- 
ing to the Meridian of any one Place, whatever may be the 
Variation in that Place. But to point always to the Merid- 
ian, wherever the Needle may be remov'd, is I apprehend 
not possible. 

Mr. Nairne, has, as you have heard, finished a very fine 
Electric Machine. I have seen Sparks from the prime Con- 
ductor 13 Inches in length. He has added a large Battery, 
and produces a Discharge from it sufficiently strong to blast 
growing Vegetables, as Lightning is suppos'd to do. From 
a greater Force used, perhaps some more Discoveries may 
be made. I am much pleas'd with the Account you give me 
of your new Machine of white Velvet rubbed upon Hareskin. 

Last Year the Board of Ordnance apply'd to the Royal 
Society here for their Opinion of the Propriety of erecting 
Conductors to secure the Powder Magazines at Purfleet. 
The Society appointed a Committee to view the Magazines, 
and report their Advice. The members appointed were 
Messrs. Cavendish, Watson, Delavall, Robertson, Wilson, 
and myself. We accordingly, after viewing them, drew up 
a Report, recommending Conductors to each, elevated 10 
feet above the Roof, & pointed at the Ends. Mr. Delavall 
did not attend but all the rest agreed in the Report, only 
Mr. Wilson objected to pointing the Rods, asserting that blunt 
Ends or Knobs would be better. The Work however was 
finished according to our Direction. He was displeas'd, 
that his Opinion was not followed, and has written a Pamphlet 


against Points. I have not answered it, being averse to Dis- 
putes. But in a new Translation and Edition of my Book, 
printed lately at Paris, in 2 vols. 4, you will see some new 
Experiments of mine, with the Reasonings upon them, which 
satisfy'd the Committee. They are not yet printed in Eng- 
lish, but will in a new Edition now printing at Oxford, and 
perhaps they will be in the next Transactions. 

It has been a Fashion to decry Hawkesworth's Book ; l 
but it does not deserve the Treatment it has met with. It 
acquaints us with new People having new Customs, and 
teaches us a good Deal of new Knowledge. 

Capt. Phips is returned, not having been able to approach 
the Pole nearer than 81 Degrees, the Ice preventing. 

M. Fremont, an ingenious young Italian, who was lately 
here, gave me a little SpyGlass of his Making, upon Pere 
Boschovich's Principles, the Ocular Lens being a composi- 
tion of different Glasses instead of the Objective. It is in- 
deed a very good one. 

Sir John Pringle is returned from Scotland, better in Health 
than heretofore. He always speaks of you with Respect 
and affection, as does Dr. Huck and all that knew you. 
I am ever, with the sincerest Esteem, dear Sir, 
Your faithful and most obed* serv 1 , 


1 " An Account of the Voyages undertaken by order of his present Majesty 
for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere . . . drawn up from the 
Journals which were kept by the several commanders and from the Papers of 
Joseph Banks, Esq., by John Hawkesworth, LL.D., London, 1773." Fot 
criticism of the book, see Mrs. Delany "Autobiography," 1862, 2d Series, 
1.552. ED. 


London, October 6, 1773. 


I wrote to you the ist of last month, since which I have 
received yours of July 29, from New York. I know not what 
letters of mine Governor H[utchinson] could mean, as advis- 
ing the people to insist on their independency. But whatever 
they were, I suppose he has sent copies of them hither, having 
heard some whisperings about them. I shall however, be 
able at any time to justify every thing I have written; the 
purport being uniformly this, that they should carefully avoid 
all tumults and every violent measure, and content themselves 
with verbally keeping up their claims, and holding forth their 
rights whenever occasion requires; secure, that, from the 
growing importance of America, those claims will ere long 
be attended to and acknowledged. 

From a long and thorough consideration of the subject, 
I am indeed of opinion, that the parliament has no right to 
make any law whatever, binding on the colonies; that the 
king, and not the king, lords, and commons collectively, 
is their sovereign; and that the king, with their respective 
parliaments, is their only legislator. I know your senti- 
ments differ from mine on these subjects. You are a thor- 
ough government man, which I do not wonder at, nor do I 
aim at converting you. I only wish you to act uprightly and 
steadily, avoiding that duplicity, which in Hutchinson, adds 
contempt to indignation. If you can promote the prosperity 
of your people, and leave them happier than you found them, 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 332. ED. 


whatever your political principles are, your memory will be 

I have written two pieces here lately for the Public Adver- 
tiser, on American affairs, designed to expose the conduct 
of this country towards the colonies in a short, comprehensive, 
and striking view, and stated, therefore, in out-of-the-way 
forms, as most likely to take the general attention. The 
first was called "Rules by which a Great Empire may be 
reduced to a small one; 11 the second, "An Edict 0} the King 
oj Prussia." I sent you one of the first, but could not get 
enough of the second to spare you one, though my clerk went 
the next morning to the printer's, and wherever they were 
sold. They were all gone but two. In my own mind I pre- 
ferred the first, as a composition for the quantity and variety 
of the matter contained, and a kind of spirited ending of each 
paragraph. But I find that others here generally prefer the 

I am not suspected as the author, except by one or two 
friends; and have heard the latter spoken of in the highest 
terms, as the keenest and severest piece that has appeared 
here for a long time. Lord Mansfield, I hear, said of it, 
that it was very ABLE and very ARTFUL indeed; and would 
do mischief by giving here a bad impression of the measures 
of government ; and in the colonies, by encouraging them in 
their contumacy. It is reprinted in the Chronicle, where 
you will see it, but stripped of all the capitaling and italicing, 
that intimate the allusions and mark the emphasis of written 
discourses, to bring them as near as possible to those spoken : 
printing such a piece all in one even small character, seems 
to me like repeating one of Whitefield's sermons in the monot- 
ony of a schoolboy. 



What made it the more noticed here was, that people in 
reading it were, as the phrase is, taken in, till they had got 
half through it, and imagined it a real edict, to which mistake 
I suppose the King of Prussia's character must have contrib- 
uted. I was down at Lord Le Despencer's, when the post 
brought that day's papers. Mr. Whitehead l was there, too, 
(Paul Whitehead, the author of "Manners,") who runs early 
through all the papers, and tells the company what he finds 
remarkable. He had them in another room, and we were 
chatting in the breakfast parlour, when he came running in to 
us, out of breath, with the paper in his hand. Here ! says 
he, here's news for ye ! Here's the King of Prussia, claiming 
a right to this kingdom ! All stared, and I as much as any- 
body; and he went on to read it. When he had read two 
or three paragraphs, a gentleman present said, Damn his 
impudence, I dare say, we shall hear by next post that he is 
upon his march with one hundred thousand men to back this. 
Whitehead, who is very shrewd, soon after began to smoke 
it, and looking in my face said, /'// be hanged if this is not 
some of your American jokes upon us. The reading went on, 
and ended with abundance of laughing, and a general ver- 
dict that it was a fair hit : and the piece was cut out of the 
paper and preserved in my Lord's collection. 

I do not wonder that Hutchinson should be dejected. It 
must be an uncomfortable thing to live among people who he 
is conscious universally detest him. Yet I fancy he will not 
have leave to come home, both because they know not well 

1 Paul Whitehead (1710-1774). For Johnson's opinion of "Manners," 
see Boswell, " Life," V, 1 1 6. The Ms. of " Manners " ( 1 739) is in B. M. (Add. 
Mss. 25, 277, ff. 117-120). Whitehead bequeathed his heart to his friend and 
patron, Lord Le Despencer, and it is buried in the mausoleum at High 
Wycombe. ED. 


what to do with him, and because they do not very well like 
his conduct. I am ever your affectionate father, 



London, November i, 1773. 


I duly received your favour of 26th of August, with the 
letter inclosed for Lord Dartmouth, which I immediately 
sent to him. As soon as he comes to town, I shall wait upon 
his lordship, and discourse with him upon the subject of it; 
and I shall immediately write to you what I can collect from 
the conversation. 

In my own opinion, the letter of the two Houses of the 
2 gth June, proposing, as a satisfactory measure, the restoring 
things to the state in which they were at the conclusion of 
the late war, is a fair and generous offer on our part, and my 
discourse here is, that it is more than Britain has a right to 
expect from us ; and that if she has any wisdom left she will 
embrace it, and agree with us immediately; for that the 
longer she delays the accommodation, which finally she must 
for her own sake obtain, the worse terms she may expect, 
since the inequality of power and importance, that at present 
subsists between us is daily diminishing, and our sense of our 
own rights, and of her injustice, continually increasing. I 
am the more encouraged to hold such language, by perceiv- 
ing that the general sense of the nation is for us; a convic- 
tion prevailing that we have been ill used, and that a breach 
with us would be ruinous to this country. 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 334. ED. 


The pieces I wrote, to increase and strengthen those sen- 
timents, were more read and talked of and attended to than 
usual. The first, as you will see by the inclosed, has been 
called for and reprinted in the same paper, besides being cop- 
ied in others, and in the magazines. A long, laboured answer 
has been made to it, (by Governor Bernard, it is said,) * 
which I send you. I am told it does not satisfy those in whose 
justification it was written, and that a better is preparing. 
I think with you, that great difficulties must attend an at- 
tempt to make a new representation of our grievances, in 
which the point of right should be kept out of sight, espe- 
cially as the concurrence of so many colonies seems now 
necessary. And therefore it would certainly be best and 
wisest for Parliament, (which does not meet till after the 
middle of January,) to make up the matter themselves, and 
at once reduce things to the state desired. There are not 
wanting some here who believe this will really be the case; 
for that a new election being now in view, the present members 
are likely to consider the composing all differences with 
America, as a measure agreeable to the trading and manu- 
facturing part of the nation; and that the neglecting it may 
be made use of by their opponents to their disadvantage. 

I have as yet received no answer to the petition for remov- 
ing the governors. 2 I imagine that it will hardly be complied 
with, as it would embarrass government to provide for them 
otherwise, and it will be thought hard to neglect men, who 
have exposed themselves, by adhering to what is here called 

1 " Select Letters on the Trade and Government of America, and the Prin- 
ciples of Law and Polity applied to the American Colonies " (Sir Francis 
Bernard), 1773. ED. 

2 Petition from the Legislature of Massachusetts for the removal of Gov- 
ernor Hutchinson and Lieutenant-Governor Oliver. ED. 

1773] TO AN ENGRAVER 149 

the interest and rights of this country. But this I only con- 
jecture, as I have heard nothing certain about it. Indeed I 
should think continuing them in their places would be rather 
a punishment than a favour. For what comfort can men have 
in living among a people, with whom they are the object of 
universal odium? 

I shall continue here one winter longer, and use my best 
endeavours, as long as I stay, for the service of our country. 
With great esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, &c. 


710. TO AN ENGRAVER 1 (A. p. s.) 

London, Nov. 3, 1773. 


I was much pleased with the Specimens you so kindly sent 
me of your new Art of Engraving. That on the China is 
admirable. No one would suppose it any thing but Painting. 
I hope you meet with all the Encouragement you merit, and 
that the invention will be, (what inventions seldom are,) 
profitable to the Inventor. 

I know not who (now we speak of Inventions) pretends to 
that of Copper-Plate Engravings for Earthen- Ware, and I 
am not disposed to contest the Honour of it with anybody, 
as the Improvement in taking Impressions not directly from 
the Plate, but from printed Paper, applicable by that means 
to other than flat Forms, is far beyond my first Idea. But I 
have reason to apprehend I might have given the Hint, on 
which that Improvement was made: For more than twenty 

1 The name of the engraver is unknown. ED. 


years since, I wrote to Dr. Mitchell from America, proposing 
to him the printing of square Tiles for ornamenting Chimnys, 
from Copper Plates, describing the Manner in which I thought 
it might be done, and advising the Borrowing from the Book- 
seller the Plates, that had been used in a thin Folio, called 
Moral Virtue Delineated, for the Purpose. 

As the Dutch Delph-ware Tiles were much used in America, 
which are only or chiefly Scripture Histories, wretchedly 
scrawled, I wished to have those moral Prints, (which were 
originally taken from Horace's poetical Figures,) introduced 
on Tiles, which being about our Chimneys, and constantly 
in the Eyes of Children when by the Fireside, might give 
Parents an Opportunity, in explaining them, to impress 
moral Sentiments ; and I gave Expectations of great Demand 
for them if executed. Dr. Mitchell wrote to me, in answer, 
that he had communicated my Scheme to several of the prin- 
cipal Artists in the Earthen Way about London, who rejected 
it as impracticable. And it was not till some years after that 
I first saw an enamelled Snuff Box, which I was sure was from 
a Copper-Plate, tho' the Curvature of the Form made me 
wonder how the Impression was taken. 

I understand the China Work in Philadelphia is declined 
by the first Owners. Whether any others will take it up and 
continue it, I know not. 

Mr. Banks is at present engaged in preparing to publish 
the Botanical Discoveries of his Voyage. He employs 10 
Engravers for the Plates, in which he is very curious, so as 
not to be quite satisfied in some Cases with the Expression 
given by either the Graver, Etching, or Metzotinto, par- 
ticularly where there is a Wooliness, or a Multitude of small 
Points, on a Leaf. I sent him the largest of the Specimens 


you sent, containing a Number of Sprigs. I have not seen 
him since, to know whether your Manner would not suit some 
of his plants better than the more common Methods. With 

great esteem, I am, Sir, &c. 



London, Nov. 3, 1773. 


There is at present great quietness here, and no prospect 
that the war between the Turks and Russians will spread 
farther in Europe. The last harvest is allowed to have been 
generally plentiful in this country; and yet such was the pre- 
ceding scantiness of crops, that it is thought there is no corn 
to spare for exportation, which continues the advantages to 
our corn provinces. 

The Parliament is not to meet till after the middle of 
January. It is said there is a disposition to compose all 
differences with America before the next general election, 
as the trading and manufacturing part of the nation are 
generally our wellwishers, think we have been hardly used, 
and apprehend ill consequences from a continuance of the 
measures that we complain of: and that if those measures 
are not changed, an American interest may be spirited up at 
the election against the present members who are in, or 
friends to administration. Our steady refusal to take tea 
from hence for several years past has made its impressions. 
The scheme for supplying us without repealing the act, by 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
P- 336. ED. 


a temporary license from the treasury to export tea to America, 
free of duty, you are before this time acquainted with. I 
much want to hear how that tea is received. If it is rejected, 
the act will undoubtedly be repealed, otherwise I suppose it 
will be continued ; and when we have got into the use of the 
Company's tea, and the foreign correspondences that supply 
us at present, are broken off, the licenses will be discontinued, 
and the act enforced. 

I apprehend the better understanding, that lately sub- 
sisted in our provincial administration will hardly be con- 
tinued with the new governor; but you will soon see. I 
wish for the full letter you promise me by the next packet, 
which is now daily expected. With unalterable esteem and 
attachment, I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 


London, Nov. 3, 1773. 


I wrote you pretty fully by the last packet, and having had 
no line from you of later date than the beginning of August, 
and little stirring here lately, I have now little to write. 

In that letter I mentioned my having written two papers, 
of which I preferred the first, but the public the last. It 
seems I was mistaken in judging of the public opinion; for 
the first was reprinted some weeks after in the same paper, 
the printer giving for reason, that he did it in compliance 
with the earnest request of many private persons, and some 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 337. ED. 


respectable societies; which is the more extraordinary, as 
it had been copied in several other papers, and in the Gentle- 
man 1 s Magazine. Such papers may seem to have a tendency 
to increase our divisions; but I intend a contrary effect, 
and hope by comprising in little room, and setting in a strong 
light the grievances of the colonies, more attention will be 
paid to them by our administration, and that when their un- 
reasonableness is generally seen, some of them will be removed 
to the restoration of harmony between us. 



London, November 7, 1773 


I thank you for the remarks of your learned friend 2 at 
Carlisle. I had, when a youth, read and smiled at Pliny's 
account of a practice among the seamen of his time, to still 
the waves in a storm by pouring oil into the sea ; which he 
mentions, as well as the use made of oil by the divers; but 
the stilling a tempest by throwing vinegar into the air had 
escaped me. I think with your friend, that it has been of 
late too much the mode to slight the learning of the ancients. 
The learned, too, are apt to slight too much the knowledge 

1 William Brownrigg (1711-1800), physician and chemist, born at High 
Close Hall, Cumberland, and died at Ormathwaite, near Keswick. This letter 
was read before the Royal Society, June 2, 1774, and published in Philo- 
sophical Transactions, LXIV, 445. ED. 

2 Rev. Mr. Farish who, in a letter to Dr. Brownrigg, quoted freely from 
Pliny. Mr. Farish was the father of William Farish (1759-1837), Jacksonian 
Professor of natural and experimental philosophy, at Cambridge University. 


of the vulgar. The cooling by evaporation was long an 
instance of the latter. This art of smoothing the waves by 
oil is an instance of both. 

Perhaps you may not dislike to have an account of all I 
have heard, and learnt, and done in this way. Take it if 
you please as follows. 

In 1757, being at sea in a fleet of ninety-six sail bound 
against Louisbourg, I observed the wakes of two of the ships 
to be remarkably smooth, while all the others were ruffled 
by the wind, which blew fresh. Being puzzled with the 
differing appearance, I at last pointed it out to our captain, 
and asked him the meaning of it. "The cooks," says he, 
"have, I suppose, been just emptying their greasy water 
through the scuppers, which has greased the sides of those 
ships a little;" and this answer he gave me with an air of 
some little contempt, as to a person ignorant of what every- 
body else knew. In my own mind I at first slighted his 
solution, though I was not able to think of another; but 
recollecting what I had formerly read in Pliny, I resolved 
to make some experiment of the effect of oil on water, when I 
should have opportunity. 

Afterwards being again at sea in 1762, I first observed 
the wonderful quietness of oil on agitated water, in the 
swinging glass lamp I made to hang up in the cabin, as 
described in my printed papers. 1 This I was continually 
looking at and considering, as an appearance to me inex- 
plicable. An old sea captain, then a passenger with me, 
thought little of it, supposing it an effect of the same kind 
with that of oil put on water to smooth it, which he said was 
a practice of the Bermudians when they would strike fish, 
1 See letter to Dr. John Pringle, dated December i, 1762. ED. 


which they could not see, if the surface of the water was 
ruffled by the wind. This practice I had never before heard 
of, and was obliged to him for the information; though I 
thought him mistaken as to the sameness of the experiment, 
the operations being different as well as the effects. In one 
case, the water is smooth till the oil is put on, and then be- 
comes agitated. In the other it is agitated before the oil is 
applied, and then becomes smooth. The same gentleman 
told me, he had heard it was a practice with the fishermen 
of Lisbon when about to return into the river (if they saw 
before them too great a surf upon the bar, which they appre- 
hended might fill their boats in passing) to empty a bottle or 
two of oil into the sea, which would suppress the breakers, 
and allow them to pass safely. A confirmation of this I 
have not since had an opportunity of obtaining; but dis- 
coursing of it with another person, who had often been in 
the Mediterranean, I was informed, that the divers there, 
who, when under water in their business, need light, which 
the curling of the surface interrupts by the refractions of so 
many little waves, let a small quantity of oil now and then 
out of their mouths, which rising to the surface smooths it, 
and permits the light to come down to them. All these 
informations I at times revolved in my mind, and wondered 
to find no mention of them in our books of experimental 

At length being at Clapham, where there is, on the com- 
mon, a large pond, which I observed one day to be very 
rough with the wind, I fetched out a cruet of oil, and dropped 
a little of it on the water. I saw it spread itself with sur- 
prising swiftness upon the surface ; but the effect of smooth- 
ing the waves was not produced; for I had applied it first 


on the leeward side of the pond, where the waves were largest, 
and the wind drove my oil back upon the shore. I then went 
to the windward side where they began to form; and there 
the oil, though not more than a tea spoonful, produced an 
instant calm over a space several yards square, which spread 
amazingly, and extended itself gradually till it reached the 
lee side, making all that quarter of the pond, perhaps half 
an acre, as smooth as a looking-glass. 

After this I contrived to take with me, whenever I went 
into the country, a little oil in the upper hollow joint of my 
bamboo cane, with which I might repeat the experiment as 
opportunity should offer, and I found it constantly to succeed. 

In these experiments, one circumstance struck me with 
particular surprise. This was the sudden, wide, and forcible 
spreading of a drop of oil on the face of the water, which I 
do not know that anybody has hitherto considered. If a 
drop of oil is put on a highly polished marble table, or on a 
looking-glass that lies horizontally, the drop remains in its 
place, spreading very little. But, when put on water, it 
spreads instantly, many feet round, becoming so thin as to 
produce the prismatic colors, for a considerable space, and 
beyond them so much thinner as to be invisible, except in 
its effect of smoothing the waves at a much greater distance. 
It seems as if a mutual repulsion between its particles took 
place as soon as it touched the water, and a repulsion so 
strong as to act on other bodies swimming on the surface, 
as straw, leaves, chips, &c. forcing them to recede every 
way from the drop, as from a centre, leaving a large, clear 
space. The quantity of this force, and the distance to which 
it will operate, I have not yet ascertained; but I think it a 
curious inquiry, and I wish to understand whence it arises. 


In our journey to the North, when we had the pleasure 
of seeing you at Ormathwaite, we visited the celebrated Mr. 
Smeaton, 1 near Leeds. Being about to show him the smooth- 
ing experiment on a little pond near his house, an ingenious 
pupil of his, Mr. Jessop, then present, told us of an odd 
appearance on that pond, which had lately occurred to him. 
He was about to clean a little cup in which he kept oil, and 
he threw upon the water some flies that had been drowned 
in the oil. These flies presently began to move, and turned 
round on the water very rapidly, as if they were vigorously 
alive, though on examination he found they were not so. 
I immediately concluded that the motion was occasioned by 
the power of the repulsion above mentioned, and that the 
oil issuing gradually from the spungy body of the fly continued 
the motion. He found some more flies drowned in oil, with 
which the experiment was repeated before us. To show that 
it was not any effect of life recovered by the flies, I imitated 
it by little bits of oiled chips and paper, cut in the form of a 
comma, of the size of a common fly; when the stream of 
repelling particles issuing from the point made the comma 
turn round the contrary way. This is not a chamber experi- 
ment; for it cannot be well repeated in a bowl or dish of 
water on a table. A considerable surface of water is neces- 
sary to give room for the expansion of a small quantity of 
oil. In a dish of water, if the smallest drop of oil be let fall 
in the middle, the whole surface is presently covered with a 
thin greasy film proceeding from the drop; but as soon as 
that film has reached the sides of the dish, no more will issue 
from the drop, but it remains in the form of oil, the sides of 

1 John Smeaton (1724-1792), civil engineer, builder of the Eddystone light- 
house. ED. 


the dish putting a stop to its dissipation by prohibiting the 
farther expansion of the film. 

Our friend Sir John Pringle, being soon after in Scotland, 
learned there, that those employed in the herring fishery 
could at a distance see where the shoals of herrings were, 
by the smoothness of the water over them, which might 
possibly be occasioned, he thought, by some oiliness pro- 
ceeding from their bodies. 

A gentleman from Rhode Island told me, it had been 
remarked, that the harbour of Newport was ever smooth 
while any whaling vessels were in it ; which probably arose 
from hence, that the blubber which they sometimes bring 
loose in the hold, or the leakage of their barrels, might afford 
some oil, to mix with that water, which from time to time 
they pump out, to keep their vessel free, and that some oil 
might spread over the surface of the water in the harbour, 
and prevent the forming of any waves. 

This prevention I would thus endeavour to explain. 

There seems to be no natural repulsion between water and 
air, such as to keep them from coming into contact with each 
other. Hence we find a quantity of air in water ; and if we 
extract it by means of the air-pump, the same water, again 
exposed to the air, will soon imbibe an equal quantity. 

Therefore air in motion, which is wind, in passing over 
the smooth surface of water, may rub, as it were, upon that 
surface, and raise it into wrinkles, which, if the wind con- 
tinues, are the elements of future waves. 

The smallest wave once raised does not immediately 
subside, and leave the neighbouring water quiet; but in 
subsiding raises nearly as much of the water next to it, the 
friction of the parts making little difference. Thus a stone 


dropped in a pool raises first a single wave round itself; 
and leaves it, by sinking to the bottom; but that first wave 
subsiding raises a second, a second a third, and so on in 
circles to a great extent. 

A small power continually operating will produce a great 
action. A finger applied to a weighty suspended bell can 
at first move it but little ; if repeatedly applied, though with 
no greater strength, the motion increases till the bell swings 
to its utmost height, and with a force that cannot be resisted 
by the whole strength of the arm and body. Thus the small 
first-raised waves, being continually acted upon by the wind, 
are, though the wind does not increase in strength, continu- 
ally increased in magnitude, rising higher and extending 
their basis, so as to include a vast mass of water in each wave, 
which in its motion acts with great violence. 

But if there be a mutual repulsion between the particles 
of oil, and no attraction between oil and water, oil dropped 
on water will not be held together by adhesion to the spot 
whereon it falls; it will not be imbibed by the water; it 
will be at liberty to expand itself ; and it will spread on a sur- 
face, that besides being smooth to the most perfect degree 
of polish, prevents, perhaps by repelling the oil, all imme- 
diate contact, keeping it at a minute distance from itself; 
and the expansion will continue till the mutual repulsion 
between the particles of the oil is weakened and reduced 
to nothing by their distance. 

Now I imagine that the wind, blowing over water thus 
covered with a film of oil, cannot easily catch upon it, so as 
to raise the first wrinkles, but slides over it, and leaves it 
smooth as it finds it. It moves a little the oil indeed, which 
being between it and the water, serves it to slide with, and 


prevents friction, as oil does between those parts of a machine, 
that would otherwise rub hard together. Hence the oil 
dropped on the windward side of a pond proceeds gradually 
to leeward, as may be seen by the smoothness it carries with 
it, quite to the opposite side. For the wind being thus pre- 
vented from raising the first wrinkles, that I call the elements 
of waves, cannot produce waves, which are to be made by 
continually acting upon, and enlarging those elements, and 
thus the whole pond is calmed. 

Totally therefore we might suppress the waves in any 
required place, if we could come at the windward place 
where they take their rise. This in the ocean can seldom 
if ever be done. But perhaps something may be done on 
particular occasions, to moderate the violence of the waves 
when we are in the midst of them, and prevent their breaking 
where that would be inconvenient. 

For, when the wind blows fresh, there are continually 
rising on the back of every great wave a number of small 
ones, which roughen its surface, and give the wind hold, as 
it were, to push it with greater force. This hold is dimin- 
ished, by preventing the generation of those small ones. 
And possibly too, when a wave's surface is oiled, the wind, 
in passing over it, may rather in some degree press it down, 
and contribute to prevent its rising again, instead of pro- 
moting it. 

This, as mere conjecture, would have little weight, if the 
apparent effects of pouring oil into the midst of waves were 
not considerable, and as yet not otherwise accounted for. 

When the wind blows so fresh, as that the waves are not 
sufficiently quick in obeying its impulse, their tops being 
thinner and lighter are pushed forward, broken, and turned 


over in a white foam. Common waves lift a vessel without 
entering it ; but these when large sometimes break above and 
pour over it, doing great damage. 

That this effect might in any degree be prevented, or the 
height and violence of waves in the sea moderated, we had no 
certain account; Pliny's authority for the practice of sea- 
men in his time being slighted. But discoursing lately on 
this subject with his Excellency Count Bentinck, of Holland, 
his son the Honourable Captain Bentinck, and the learned 
Professor Allemand, (to all whom I showed the experiment 
of smoothing in a windy day the large piece of water at the 
head of the Green Park,) a letter was mentioned, which had 
been received by the Count from Batavia, relative to the 
saving of a Dutch ship in a storm by pouring oil into the sea. 
I much desired to see that letter, and a copy of it was prom- 
ised me, which I afterward received. 

Extract of a Letter from Mr. Tengnagel to Count Bentinck, 
dated at Batavia, 5 January, 1770. 

"Near the islands Paul and Amsterdam, we met with a 
storm, which had nothing particular in it worthy of being 
communicated to you, except that the captain found himself 
obliged for greater safety in wearing the ship, to pour oil into 
the sea, to prevent the waves breaking over her, which had 
an excellent effect, and succeeded in preserving us. As he 
poured out but a little at a time, the East India Company 
owes perhaps its ship to only six demi-ames of oil-olive. I 
was present upon deck when this was done; and I should 
not have mentioned this circumstance to you, but that we have 
found people here so prejudiced against the experiment, 



as to make it necessary for the officers on board and myself 
to give a certificate of the truth on this head, of which we 
made no difficulty." 

On this occasion, I mentioned to Captain Bentinck a 
thought which had occurred to me in reading the voyages of 
our late circumnavigators, particularly where accounts are 
given of pleasant and fertile islands which they much de- 
sired to land upon, when sickness made it more necessary, 
but could not effect a landing through a violent surf break- 
ing on the shore, which rendered it impracticable. My idea 
was, that possibly by sailing to and fro at some distance from 
such lee-shore, continually pouring oil into the sea, the waves 
might be so much depressed, and lessened before they reached 
the shore, as to abate the height and violence of the surf, 
and permit a landing; which, in such circumstances, was a 
point of sufficient importance to justify the expense of the 
oil that might be requisite for the purpose. That gentleman, 
who is ever ready to promote what may be of public utility, 
though his own ingenious inventions have not always met 
with the countenance they merited, was so obliging as to 
invite me to Portsmouth, where an opportunity would prob- 
ably offer, in the course of a few days, of making the experi- 
ment on some of the shores about Spithead, in which he 
kindly proposed to accompany me, and to give assistance 
with such boats as might be necessary. Accordingly, about 
the middle of October last, I went with some friends to Ports- 
mouth; and a day of wind happening, which made a lee- 
shore between Haslar hospital and the point near Jillkecker, 
we went from the Centaur with the longboat and barge 
towards that shore. Our disposition was this ; the long-boat 


was anchored about a quarter of a mile from the shore; 
part of the company were landed behind the point (a place 
more sheltered from the sea) who came round and placed 
themselves opposite to the longboat, where they might ob- 
serve the surf, and note if any change occurred in it upon 
using the oil. Another party, in the barge, plied to wind- 
ward of the longboat, as far from her as she was from the 
shore, making trips of about half a mile each, pouring oil 
continually out of a large stone bottle, through a hole in 
the cork, somewhat bigger than a goose-quill. The ex- 
periment had not, in the main point, the success we wished, 
for no material difference was observed in the height or 
force of the surf upon the shore; but those who were in the 
longboat could observe a tract of smoothed water, the whole 
of the distance in which the barge poured the oil, and gradu- 
ally spreading in breadth towards the long-boat. I call it 
smoothed, not that it was laid level; but because, though 
the swell continued, its surface was not roughened by the 
wrinkles, or smaller waves, before mentioned; and none or 
very few white caps (or waves whose tops turn over in foam) 
appeared in that whole space, though to windward and lee- 
ward of it there were plenty ; and a wherry, that came round 
the point under sail, in her way to Portsmouth, seemed to 
turn into that tract of choice, and to use it from end to end, 
as a piece of turnpike road. 

It may be of use to relate the circumstances of an experi- 
ment that does not succeed, since they may give hints of 
amendment in future trials; it is therefore I have been thus 
particular. I shall only add what I apprehend may have 
been the reason of our disappointment. 

I conceive, that the operation of oil on water is, first, to 


prevent the raising of new waves by the wind ; and, secondly, 
to prevent its pushing those before raised with such force, 
and consequently their continuance of the same repeated 
height, as they would have done, if their surface were not 
oiled. But oil will not prevent waves being raised by another 
power, by a stone, for instance, falling into a still pool ; for 
they then rise by the mechanical impulse of the stone, which 
the greasiness on the surrounding water cannot lessen or 
prevent, as it can prevent the winds catching the surface and 
raising it into waves. Now waves once raised, whether by 
the wind or any other power, have the same mechanical 
operation, by which they continue to rise and fall, as a pen- 
dulum will continue to swing a long time after the force ceases 
to act by which the motion was first produced; that motion 
will, however, cease in time; but time is necessary. There- 
fore, though oil spread on an agitated sea may weaken the 
push of the wind on those waves whose surfaces are cov- 
ered by it, and so, by receiving less fresh impulse, they may 
gradually subside; yet a considerable time, or a distance 
through which they will take time to move, may be neces- 
sary to make the effect sensible on any shore in a diminution 
of the surf ; for we know, that, when wind ceases suddenly, 
the waves it has raised do not as suddenly subside, but 
settle gradually, and are not quite down till after the wind has 
ceased. So, though we should, by oiling them, take off the 
effect of wind on waves already raised, it is not to be ex- 
pected that those waves should be instantly levelled. The 
motion they have received will, for some time, continue; 
and, if the shore is not far distant, they arrive there so soon, 
that their effect upon it will not be visibly diminished. Pos- 
sibly, therefore, if we had begun our operations at a greater 


distance, the effect might have been more sensible. And 
perhaps we did not pour oil in sufficient quantity. Future 
experiments may determine this. 

I was, however, greatly obliged to Captain Bentinck, for 
the cheerful and ready aids he gave me; and I ought not 
to omit mentioning Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, General 
Carnoc, and Dr. Blagden, who all assisted at the experiment, 
during that blustering, unpleasant day, with a patience and 
activity that could only be inspired by a zeal for the improve- 
ment of knowledge, such especially as might possibly be of 
use to men in situations of distress. 

I would wish you to communicate this to your ingenious 
friend, Mr. Parish, with my respects; and believe me to be, 
with sincere esteem, dear Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 



The editor of the following abridgment of the Liturgy 
of the Church of England thinks it but decent and respectful 
to all, more particularly to the reverend body of clergy, who 

1 The book was entitled : " Abridgment of the Book of Common Prayer 
and Administration of the Sacraments, and Other Rites and Ceremonies of 
the Church, according to the Use of the Church of England; together with 
the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in the 
Churches. London. Printed in the Year MDCCLXXIII." 

The noble lord associated in the preparation of this abridgment was Lord 
Le Despencer, with whom, during the summer of 1773, Franklin passed some 
time at his country residence. The " preface " exists in Ms. in an incomplete 
draft in A. P. S. The part found in the draft is enclosed here in brackets. 


adorn the Protestant religion by their good works, preaching, 
and example, that he should humbly offer some reason for 
such an undertaking. He addresses himself to the serious 
and discerning. He professes himself to be a Protestant of 
the Church of England, and holds in the highest veneration 
the doctrines of Jesus Christ. He is a sincere lover of social 
worship, deeply sensible of its usefulness to society ; and he 
aims at doing some service to religion, by proposing such 
abbreviations and omissions in the forms of our Liturgy 
(retaining everything he thinks essential) as might, if adopted, 
procure a more general attendance. For, besides the differ- 
ing sentiments of many pious and well-disposed persons in 
some speculative points, who in general have a good opinion 
of our Church, it has often been observed and complained 
of, that the Morning and Evening Service, as practised in 
England and elsewhere, are so long, and filled with so many 
repetitions, that the continued attention suitable to so serious 
a duty becomes impracticable, the mind wanders, and the 
fervency of devotion is slackened. Also the propriety of 
saying the same prayer more than once in the same service 
is doubted, as the service is thereby lengthened without 
apparent necessity ; our Lord having given us a short prayer 
as an example, and censured the heathen for thinking to 
be heard because of much speaking. 

Moreover, many pious and devout persons, whose age or 
infirmities will not suffer them to remain for hours in a cold 
church, especially in the winter season, are obliged to forego 
the comfort and edification they would receive by their 
attendance at divine service. These, by shortening the time, 
would be relieved, and the younger sort, who have had some 
principles of religion instilled into them, and who have been 


educated in a belief of the necessity of adoring their Maker, 
would probably more frequently, as well as cheerfully, attend 
divine service, if they were not detained so long at any one 
time. Also many well disposed tradesmen, shopkeepers, 
artificers, and others, whose habitations are not remote from 
churches, could, and would, more frequently at least, find 
[time to attend divine service on other than Sundays, if the 
prayers were reduced to a much narrower compass. 

Formerly there were three services performed at different 
times of the day, which three services are now usually joined 
in one. This may suit the convenience of the person who 
officiates, but it is too often inconvenient and tiresome to 
the congregation. If this abridgment, therefore, should ever 
meet with acceptance, the well-disposed clergy who are 
laudably desirous to encourage the frequency of divine ser- 
vice, may promote so great and good a purpose by repeating 
it three times on a Sunday, without so much fatigue to 
themselves as at present. Suppose, at nine o'clock, at eleven, 
and at one in the evening; and by preaching no more ser- 
mons than usual of a moderate length; and thereby accom- 
modate a greater number of people with convenient hours. 

These were general reasons for wishing and proposing 
an abridgment. In attempting it we do not presume to 
dictate even to a single Christian. We are sensible there is 
a proper authority in the rulers of the Church for ordering 
such matters; and whenever the time shall come when it 
may be thought not unreasonable to revise our Liturgy, there 
is no doubt but every suitable improvement will be made, 
under the care and direction of so much learning, wisdom, 
and piety, in one body of men collected. Such a work as 
this must then be much better executed. In the meantime 


this humble performance may serve to show the practicability 
of shortening the service near one half, without the omission 
of what is essentially necessary; and we hope, moreover, 
that the book may be occasionally of some use to families, 
or private assemblies of Christians. 

To give now some account of particulars. We have pre- 
sumed upon this plan of abridgment to omit the First Lesson, 
which is taken from the Old Testament, and retain only the 
Second from the New Testament, which, we apprehend, 
is more suitable to teach the so-much-to-be-revered doctrine 
of Christ, and of more immediate importance to Christians ;] 
although the Old Testament is allowed by all to be an accu- 
rate and concise history, and, as such, may more properly 
be read at home. 

[We do not conceive it necessary for Christians to make use 
of more than one creed. Therefore, in this abridgment are 
omitted the Nicene Creed and that of St. Athanasius. Of 
the Apostle's Creed we have retained the parts that are most 
intelligible and most essential. And as the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost are there confessedly and avowedly a part of 
the belief, it does not appear necessary, after so solemn a 
confession, to repeat again, in the Litany, the Son and Holy 
Ghost, as that part of the service is otherwise very prolix. 

The Psalms being a collection of odes written by different 
persons, it hath happened that many of them are on the same 
subjects and repeat the same sentiments such as those 
that complain of enemies and persecutors, call upon God for 
protection, express a confidence therein, and thank him for 
it when afforded. A very great part of the book consists of 
repetitions of this kind, which may therefore well bear 
abridgment. Other parts are merely historical, repeating 


the mention of facts more fully narrated in the preceding 
books, and which, relating to the ancestors of the Jews, were 
more interesting to them than to us. Other parts are local y 
and allude to places of which we have no knowledge, and 
therefore do not affect us. Others are personal, relating to 
the particular circumstances of David or Solomon, as kings, 
and can therefore seldom be rehearsed with any propriety 
by private Christians. Others imprecate, in the most bitter 
terms, the vengeance of God on our adversaries, contrary to 
the spirit of Christianity, which commands us to love our 
enemies, and to pray for those that hate us and despitefully 
use us. For these reasons it is to be wished that the same 
liberty were by the governors of our Church allowed to the 
minister with regard to the reading Psalms, as is taken by 
the clerk with regard to those that are to be sung, in directing 
the parts that he may judge most suitable to be read at the 
time, from the present circumstances of the congregation, or 
the tenor of his sermon, by saying, "Let us read 1 ' such and 
such parts of the Psalms named. Until this is done our 
abridgment, it is hoped, will be found to contain what may 
be most generally proper to be joined in by an assembly of 
Christian people. The Psalms are still apportioned to the 
days of the month, as heretofore, though the several parts for 
each day are generally a full third shorter. 

We humbly suppose the same service contained in this 
abridgment might properly serve for all the saints' days, 
fasts, and feasts, reading only the Epistle and Gospel appro- 
priated to each day of the month. 

The Communion is greatly abridged, on account of its 
great length ; nevertheless, it is hoped and believed that all 
those parts are retained which are material and necessary. 


Infant Baptism in Churches being performed during 
divine service, would greatly add to the length of that ser- 
vice, if it were not abridged. We have ventured, therefore, 
to leave out the less material parts. 

The Catechism, as a compendium of systematic theology, 
which learned divines have written folio volumes to explain, 
and which, therefore, it may be presumed, they thought 
scarce intelligible without such expositions, is, perhaps, 
taken altogether, not so well adapted to the capacities of 
children as might be wished. Only those plain answers, 
therefore, which express our duty towards God, and our 
duty towards our neighbor, are retained here. The rest is 
recommended to their reading and serious consideration, 
when more years shall have ripened their understanding.] 

The Confirmation is here shortened. 

The Commination, and all cursing of mankind, is, we think, 
best omitted in this abridgment. 

The form of solemnization of Matrimony is often abbrevi- 
ated by the officiating minister at his discretion. We have 
selected what appears to us the material parts, and which 
we humbly hope, will be deemed sufficient. 

The long prayers in the service for the Visitation of the 
Sick seem not so proper, when the afflicted person is very 
weak and in distress. 

The Order for the Burial of the Dead is very solemn and 
moving ; nevertheless, to preserve the health and lives of the 
living, it appeared to us that this service ought particularly 
to be shortened. For numbers standing in the open air with 
their hats off, often in tempestuous weather, during the cele- 
bration, its great length is not only inconvenient, but may 
be dangerous to the attendants. We hope, therefore, that 


our abridgment of it will be approved by the rational and 

The Thanksgiving of women after childbirth being, when 
read, part of the service of the day, we have also, in some 
measure, abridged that. 

Having thus stated very briefly our motives and reasons, 
and our manner of proceeding in the prosecution of this work, 
we hope to be believed, when we declare the rectitude of our 
intentions. We mean not to lessen or prevent the practice 
of religion, but to honour and promote it. We acknowledge 
the excellency of our present Liturgy, and, though we have 
shortened it, we have not presumed to alter a word in the 
remaining text ; not even to substitute who for which in the 
Lord's Prayer, and elsewhere, although it would be more cor- 
rect. We respect the characters of bishops and other digni- 
taries of our Church, and, with regard to the inferior clergy 
we wish that they were more equally provided for, than by 
that odious and vexatious as well as unjust method of gather- 
ing tithes in kind, which creates animosities and litigations, 
to the interruption of the good harmony and respect which 
might otherwise subsist between the rectors and their parish- 

And thus, conscious of upright meaning, we submit this 
abridgment to the serious consideration of the prudent and 
dispassionate, and not to enthusiasts and bigots ; being con- 
vinced in our own breasts, that this shortened method, or 
one of the same kind better executed, would further religion, 
increase unanimity, and occasion a more frequent attendance 
on the worship of God. 


London, Jan. 5, 1774. 


I received the honour of yours dated October 28, with the 
Journals of the House and Mr. Turner's election sermon. I 
waited on Lord Dartmouth on his return to town, and learnt 
that he had presented to his majesty our petition for the re- 
moval of the governors. No subsequent step had yet been 
taken upon it : but his Lordship said the king would probably 
refer the consideration of it to a committee of council, and 
that I should have notice to be heard in support of it. By 
the turn of his conversation, though he was not explicit, I 
apprehend the petition is not likely to be complied with : but 
we shall see. His lordship expressed as usual much concern 
at the differences subsisting, and wished they would be ac- 
commodated. Perhaps his good wishes are all that is in his 

The famous letters having unfortunately engaged Mr. 
Temple and Mr. Wheatly in a duel, which being interrupted 
would probably be renewed, I thought it incumbent on me to 
prevent, as far as I could, any farther mischief, by declaring 
publicly the part I had in the affair of those letters, and thereby 
at the same time to rescue Mr. Temple's character from an 
undeserved and groundless imputation, that bore hard upon 
his honour, viz. that of taking the letters from Mr. Wheatly, 
and in breach of confidence. I did this with the more pleas- 
ure, as I believe him a sincere friend to our country. I am 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin " (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
p. 338. ED. 


told by some that it was imprudent in me to avow the obtain- 
ing and sending those letters, for that administration will 
resent it. I have not much apprehension of this, but if it 
happens, I must take the consequences. I only hope it will 
not affect any friend on your side of the water, for I have 
never mentioned to whom they were transmitted. 

A letter of mine to you, printed in one of the Boston papers, 
has lately been reprinted here, to show, as the publisher ex- 
presses it, that I am "one of the most determined enemies of 
the welfare and prosperity of Great Britain." In the opinion 
of some, every one who wishes the good of the whole empire 
may nevertheless be an enemy to the welfare of Great Britain, 
if he does not wish its good exclusively of every other part, 
and to see its welfare built on their servitude and wretched- 
ness. Such an enemy I certainly am. But methinks it is 
wrong to print letters of mine at Boston, which give occasion 
to these reflections. 

I shall continue to do all I possibly can this winter towards 
an accommodation of our differences; but my hopes are 
small. Divine Providence first infatuates the power it de- 
signs to ruin. With great esteem and respect, I have the 
honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 



London, Jan. 5, 1774. 


I received yours of October 29, and November 2. Your 
December packet is not yet arrived. 

1 From "The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin" (Duane), 1817, Vol. VI, 
P- 339- ED. 


No insinuations of the kind you mention, concerning Mr. 

G, * have reached me, and, if they had, it would have 

been without the least effect ; as I have always had the strong- 
est reliance on the steadiness of his friendship, and on the 
best grounds, the knowledge I have of his integrity, and the 
often repeated disinterested services he has rendered me. 
My return will interfere with nobody's interest or influence in 
public affairs, as my intention is to decline all interest in them, 
and every active part, except where it can serve a friend, and 
to content myself with communicating the knowledge of them 
which my situation may have furnished me with, and be con- 
tent with giving my advice for the public benefit, where it 
may be asked, or where I shall think it may be attended to ; 
for being now about entering my sixty-ninth year, and having 
lived so great a part of my life to the public, it seems but fair 
that I should be allowed to live the small remainder to myself 
and to my friends. 

If the honourable office you mention will be agreeable to 
him, I heartily wish it him. I only hope, that, if offered to 
him, he will insist on its being not during pleasure, but 
quamdiu se bene gesserit. 

Our friend Temple, as you will see by the papers, has been 
engaged in a duel, about an affair in which he had no concern. 
As the combat was interrupted, and understood to be un- 
finished, I thought it incumbent on me to do what I could 
for preventing further mischief, and so declared my having 
transmitted the letters in question. This has drawn some 
censure upon myself, but as I grow old, I grow less concerned 
about censure, when I am satisfied that I act rightly ; and I 
have the pleasure of having exculpated a friend, who lay 
undeservedly under an imputation much to his dishonour. 

1 Joseph Galloway. ED. 


I am now seriously preparing for my departure to America. 
I purpose sending my luggage, books, instruments, &c., by 
All or Falconer, and taking my passage to New York in one 
of the spring or summer packets, partly for settling some 
business with the Postoffice there, and partly that I may see 
you on my way to Philadelphia, and learn thereby more per- 
fectly the state of affairs there. Your affectionate father, 


717. TO SAMUEL RHOADS (P. H. s.) 
London, Jan. 5. 1774. 


I received your Favours of Oct. 29 and 31, inclosing the 
Votes, for which I thank you. 

I am much obliged to the Assembly for the repeated Marks 
of their Confidence in me. The Great Officers of State 
having generally been in the Country, no public Business of 
consequence has been for some time transacted here. But 
the Parliament meets next Week, when all will return again 
to their Stations and the Duty of their Offices, and the Boards 
resume Business. I do not find that your Laws of last 
Winter have yet been presented, and the time is now near 
for carrying your Paper money Act into Execution. At 
present I do not see any Difficulty likely to arise upon it, on 
the Part of the Board of Trade, unless one should be started 

on the , there being no mention of the Value or kind 

of the Money to be struck, whether Sterling or Proclama- 
tions, or any other. But it being an Act of Pennsylvania, I 
suppose it is to be understood that the Money will be of the 
Value of the present Currency of that Province. Virginia 
has lately had a Quantity of Copper Halfpence struck at the 


Mint here for their Province. Inclos'd I send you a Speci- 
men of theirs. They may serve to keep out the worthless 
counterfeit Trash of late so common. 
With great Esteem & Respect, I am ever 

Dear Friend 
Yours most affectionately 



London, February 2, 1774. 

DEAR SON : This Line is just to acquaint you that I am 
well, and that my Office of Deputy- Postmaster is taken from 
me. As there is no Prospect of your being ever promoted to 
a better Government, and that you hold has never defray'd 
its Expenses, I wish you were well settled in your farm. 'Tis 
an honester and a more honourable, because a more inde- 
pendent Employment. You will hear from others the Treat- 
ment I have received. I leave you to your own Reflections 
and Determinations upon it, and remain ever your affec- 
tionate Father, B. FRANKLIN. 


Boston, December 2ist, 1773. 

SIR: It has been the Expectation of many of the Colonists that the last 
Session of Parliament would have put a final end to those Grievances under 
which they had so long been oppressed, and against which they had so long 
in vain Remonstrated. They expected that the Revenue Acts would have 
been repealed and that they should no more have had reason to complain of 


the Unconstitutional exertions of Parliamentary Power; they were naturally 
led to form these expectations from the Conduct of Administration, who lately 
encouraged them with assurances that if all things remained quiet in America, 
these unhappy dissentions would soon terminate in a lasting Union : but how, 
sir, were they surprized to find they had been deceived; to find that the 
Parliament, at the very time they expected relief, pursued new measures for 
effectually securing and inhancing the oppressive Revenues, and with this 
View, by an Act passed the last Session, impowered the East India Company 
to Ship their Teas to America. From this Act they readily saw that they had 
nothing to hope from the favour of administration, but that they rather dis- 
covered an indisposition that the Parliament should grant them any relief. 
They considered the act as introductive to monopolies, which, besides the 
train of Evils that attend them in a Commercial View, are forever dangerous 
to Publick Liberty, more especially under the direction and Influence of 
Government. They also looked upon it pregnant with new Grievances, paving 
the way to further Impositions, and in its Consequences threatning the final 
destruction of American Liberties. Thrown by this Idea into State of 
Desperation, the United Voice of the People, not only in this Province, but in 
New York and Pensylvania, and as far as we can learn in all the Colonies, 
was, that they would never suffer the Tea to be landed, but would prefer any 
species of hazard and danger to a tame submission to measures which, if pur- 
sued, must reduce them to a state of abject Slavery. Administration could 
not have invented a method so effectual for raising the Spirit of the Colonies, 
or promoting among them an entire union of Sentiment. At the same time 
People on your side the Water have for several months been repeatedly 
Informing our Merchants of this manouver and advising them, as they 
regarded their Sacred Rights, to withstand the landing of the Teas by the 
most vigorous opposition. 

While the minds of the People were impressed with these Sentiments the 
Vessels arrived with the Teas, consigned to Messrs. Richard Clark & Sons, 
Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, Benjamin Faneuil and Joshua Winslow, 
Esqrs. Previous to this the Town of Boston had several meetings, in order to 
Induce the Consignees to resign their Trust, but to no purpose, and imme- 
diately upon the arrival of the Vessels aforesaid, that every measure possible 
might be taken to prevent Confusion and disorder, while the minds of all 
were in great agitation the People in this and many of the neighboring Towns 
assembled in the Old South Meeting House (Faneuil Hall not being capa- 
cious enough to contain the People that attended), to prevail with the 
Consignees to send back the Teas, and if possible to preserve it from that 
Destruction which the resentment of the People might justly lead them to 
expect. You will see by the inclosed papers the measures they took and the 
Resolves they passed, and will wonder, perhaps, that these resolves and 
measures were in vain. They not only treated with the Consignees, but with 
the owners and masters of these Vessels, but all without success. Despairing 
VOL. vi N 


to effectuate any method of accommodation, after having tried all that could 
be devised to no purpose, they Dissolved the meeting, which, agreable to 
their constant and declared design, had protected the Teas from destruction. 
Nigh twenty days were now passed since the arrival of one of the Tea 
Vessels, commanded by Capt. Hall, at which time, according to Act of Par- 
liament, it was in the Power of the Custom-House Officers to take the 
Teas into their own possession in order to secure the duties. There were just 
grounds to think that they intended to do it the minute the Twenty days 
were expired, and that they would attempt to Land them by force and over- 
bar any opposition that might be made by a second Effusion of Blood. 
Under these apprehensions the Teas, the Evening of the i6th Instant, were 
destroyed by a number of Persons unknown and in disguise. Such was the 
obstinacy of the Consignees, their Advisers and Coadjutors, such their Aver- 
sion to all Conciliating Measures, that they are almost universally condemned, 
and some even of the Court party among us acknowledge that the destruction 
of the Teas must be imputed to these obstinate enemies of our Liberties, who 
never would consent to any method proposed for its preservation, and who 
perhaps wished to irritate and inflame the minds of an injured, oppressed 
People to measures of violence, of which afterwards they hoped to make their 
own advantages. 

The House of Representatives, at the last Session, appointed us a Com- 
mittee to write to their Agent. In pursuance of this appointment we have 
given you this Information of the present state of our affairs, and doubt not 
you will make such an Improvement of this intelligence as shall be most for 
the Interest of this province in particular, and of the Colonies in general. 
We are, with respect, your most humble Servants 



London, Feb. 2. 1774. 


I received the Honour of your Letter dated Dec r 21. 
containing a distinct Account of the Proceedings at Boston 
relative to the Tea imported there, and of the Circumstances 


that occasioned its Destruction. I communicated the same 
to Lord Dartmouth, with some other Advices of the same 
Import. It is yet unknown what Measures will be taken here 
on the Occasion ; but the Clamour against the Proceeding is 
high and general. I am truly concern'd as I believe all con- 
siderate Men are with you, that there should seem to any 
a Necessity for carrying Matters to such Extremity, as, in a 
Dispute about Publick Rights, to destroy private Property. 
This (notwithstanding the Blame justly due to those who 
obstructed the Return of the Tea) it is impossible to justify 
with People so prejudiced in favour of the Power of Parlia- 
ment to tax America, as most are in this Country. As the 
India Company however are not our Adversaries, and the 
offensive Measure of sending their Teas did not take its Rise 
with them, but was an Expedient of the Ministry to serve 
them and yet avoid a Repeal of the old Act, I cannot but wish 
& hope that before any compulsive Measures are thought of 
here, our General Court will have shewn a Disposition to 
repair the Damage and make Compensation to the Company. 
This all our Friends here wish with me ; and that if War 
is finally to be made upon us, which some threaten, an Act of 
violent Injustice on our part, unrectified may not give a col- 
ourable Pretence for it. A speedy Reparation will imme- 
diately set us right in the Opinion of all Europe. And tho' 
the mischief was the Act of Persons unknown, yet as probably 
they cannot be found or brought to answer for it, there seems 
to be some reasonable Claim on the Society at large in which 
it happened. Making voluntarily such Reparation can be 
no Dishonour to us or Prejudice to our Claim of Rights, 
since Parliament here has frequently considered in the same 
Light similar Cases; and only a few Years since, when a 


valuable Saw-mill, which had been erected at a great Ex- 
pence was violently destroyed by a Number of Persons sup- 
posed to be Sawyers, but unknown, a Grant was made out 
of the Publick Treasury of Two Thousand Pounds to the 
owner as a Compensation. I hope in thus freely (and 
perhaps too forwardly) expressing my Sentiments & Wishes, 
I shall not give Offence to any. I am sure I mean well; 
being ever with sincere Affection to my native Country, and 
great Respect to the Assembly and yourselves, 


Your most obedient and 

most humble Servant 

Hon ble Thomas Gushing 

Sam 1 Adams 

T t. TT i Esquires 
John Hancock 

William Phillips 

721. TO JOSIAH TUCKER 1 (L. c.) 

London, Feb. 12, 1774. 

Being informed by a Friend, that some severe Strictures on 
my Conduct and Character had appeared in a new Book pub- 
lished under your respectable Name, I purchased and read 
it. After thanking you for those Parts of it that are so in- 
structive on Points of great Importance to the common Inter- 
ests of Mankind, permit me to complain, that, if by the 

1 Josiah Tucker (1712-1799), Dean of Gloucester, wrote several pamphlets 
upon the American troubles in which he maintained that a separation from 
the colonies was desirable. ED. 

1774] TO JOS I AH TUCKER 181 

Description you give in pages 180, 181, of a certain American 
Patriot, whom you say you need not name, you do, as is sup- 
posed, mean myself, nothing can be further from the Truth 
than your assertion, that I applied or used any interest, 
directly or indirectly, to be appointed one of the stamp 
Officers for America. I certainly never expressed a Wish of 
the kind to any Person whatever; much less was I, as you 
say, "more than ordinary assiduous on this Head." I have 
heretofore seen in the Newspapers Insinuations of the same 
Import, naming me expressly ; but, being without the name 
of the Writer, I took no Notice of them. 

I know not whether they were yours, or were only your 
Authority for your present charge; but now they have the 
Weight of your name and dignified Character, I am more 
sensible of the Injury; and I beg leave to request, that you 
will reconsider the Grounds on which you have ventured to 
publish an Accusation, that, if believed, must prejudice me 
extremely in the opinion of good men, especially in my own 
country, whence I was sent expressly to oppose the imposition 
of that tax. If on such reconsideration and enquiry you find, 
as I am persuaded you will, that you have been imposed upon 
by false Reports, or have too lightly given credit to Hearsays 
in a matter that concerns another's Reputation, I flatter 
myself that your Equity will induce you to do me Justice, 
by retracting that Accusation. In Confidence of this, I am, 
with great Esteem, Reverend Sir, your most obedient and 
most humble Servant, 

1 For Josiah Tucker's reply, see page 198. ED. 



London, February 15, 1774. 


I wrote a line to you by the last packet, just to acquaint you 
there had been a hearing on our petition. I shall now give 
you the history of it as succinctly as I can. 

We had long imagined, that the King would have consid- 
ered that petition, as he had done the preceding one, in his 
cabinet, and have given an answer without a hearing, since 
it did not pray punishments or disabilities on the governors. 
But on Saturday the 8th of January, in the afternoon, I re- 
ceived notice from the clerk of the Council, that the Lords 
of the Committee for Plantation Affairs, would, on the Tues- 
day following at twelve, meet at the Cockpit, to take into 
consideration the petition referred to them by his Majesty, 
and that my attendance was required. 

I sent directly to Mr. Arthur Lee, requesting a meeting, 
that we might consult upon it. He was not at his chambers, 
but my note was left for him. Sunday morning I went to 
Mr. Bollan, and communicated the affair to him. He had 
received a similar notice. We considered whether it was 
best to employ other counsel, since Mr. Lee, he said, could 
not be admitted as such, not being yet called to the bar. He 
thought it not advisable. He had sometimes done it in 
colony cases, and found lawyers of little service. Those who 
are eminent, and hope to rise in their profession, are unwilling 
to offend the court ; and its disposition on this occasion was 

1 First printed by Sparks. ED. 


well known. But he would move to be heard in behalf of 
the Council of the province, and thence take occasion to sup- 
port the petition himself. 

I went and sent again to Mr. Lee's chambers in the Temple, 
but could not meet with him ; and it was not till near the end 
of the week that I learnt he was at Bath. On Monday, very 
late in the afternoon, I received another notice, that Mr. 
Mauduit, agent for the governor and lieutenant-governor, 
had asked and obtained leave to be heard by counsel on 
the morrow in their behalf. This very short notice seemed 
intended to surprise us. On Tuesday, we attended at the 
Cockpit, and the petition being read, I was called upon for 
what I had to offer in support of it ; when, as had been con- 
certed between us, I acquainted their Lordships that Mr. 
Bollan, then present, in pursuance of their notice, would 
speak to it. 

He came forward and began to speak; but objection was 
immediately made by some of the Lords, that he, being only 
agent for the Council, which was not a party to this petition, 
could not properly be heard on it. He however repeatedly 
endeavoured to obtain leave to speak, but without effect; 
they would scarce hear out a sentence, and finally set him 
aside. I then said, that, with the petition of the House of 
Representatives, I had received their resolutions which pre- 
ceded it, and a copy of the letters on which those resolutions 
were founded, which I would lay before their Lordships in 
support of the petition. 

The resolutions were accordingly read; but, when the 
letters were taken up, Mr. Wedderburn, the solicitor-general, 
brought there as counsel for the governors, began to object, 
and inquire how they were authenticated, as did also some 


of the Lords. I said the authentications were annexed. 
They wanted to know the nature of them. I said that would 
appear, when they were read, and prayed they would hear 
them. Lord Chief Justice De Grey asked whom the letters 
were directed to ; and, taking them in his hand, observed there 
was no address prefixed to any of them. I said, that, though 
it did not appear to whom they were directed, it appeared 
who had written them; their names were subscribed; the 
originals had been shown to the gentlemen themselves, and 
they had not denied their handwriting ; and the testifications 
annexed proved these to be true copies. 

With difficulty I obtained leave to have the authentications 
read; and the solicitor-general proceeding to make observa- 
tions as counsel for the governors, I said to their Lordships, 
that it was some surprise to me to find counsel employed 
against the petition; that I had no notice of that intention, 
till late in the preceding day ; that I had not purposed troub- 
ling their Lordships with the hearing of counsel, because I did 
not conceive that any thing could possibly arise out of the 
petition, any point of law or of right, that might require the 
discussion of lawyers ; that I apprehended this matter before 
their Lordships was rather a question of civil or political pru- 
dence, whether, on the state of the fact that the governors had 
lost all trust and confidence with the people, and become 
universally obnoxious, it would be for the interest of his 
Majesty's service to continue them in those stations in that 
province; that I conceived this to be a question of which 
their Lordships were already perfect judges, and could receive 
no assistance in it from the arguments of counsel; but, if 
counsel was to be heard on the other side, I must then 
request leave to bring counsel in behalf of the Assembly, 


and that their Lordships would be pleased to appoint a 
further day for the hearing, to give time for preparing the 

Mr. Mauduit was then asked, if he would waive the leave 
he had of being heard by counsel, that their Lordships might 
proceed immediately to consider the petition. He said he 
was requested by the governors to defend them, and they had 
promised to defray the expense, by which he understood 
that they expected he should employ counsel; and then, 
making me some compliments, as if of superior abilities, said 
he should not against me hazard the defence of his friends by 
taking it upon himself. I said I had intended merely to lay 
the papers before their Lordships, without making a single 
comment on them. But this did not satisfy; he chose to be 
heard by counsel. So finally I had leave to be heard by 
counsel also in behalf of the petition. The solicitor-general, 
finding his cavils against the admission of the letters were not 
supportable, at last said, that, to save their Lordships' time, 
he would admit the copies to be true transcripts of the origi- 
nals, but he should reserve to himself a right, when the 
matter come on again, of asking certain questions, such as, 
How the Assembly came into possession of them, through 
what hands, and by what means they were procured ? "Cer- 
tainly," replied Lord Chief Justice De Grey, somewhat aus- 
terely, "and to whom they were directed; for the perfect un- 
derstanding of the passages may depend on that and other 
such circumstances. We can receive no charge against a man 
founded on letters directed to nobody, and perhaps received 
by nobody. The laws of this country have no such practice." 
Lord President, near whom I stood, as I was putting up my 
papers, asked me if I intended to answer such questions. In 


that, I said, I shall take counsel. The day appointed for the 
hearing was the 2pth of January. 

Several friends now came to me, and advised me to retain 
Mr. Dunning, formerly solicitor-general, and very able in his 
profession. I wished first to consult with Mr. Lee, supposing 
he might rather be for his friend, Mr. Sergeant Glynn. I 
found Mr. Lee was expected in town about the latter end of 
the week, and thought to wait his coming ; in the mean time I 
was urged to take Mr. Dunning's advice, as to my own conduct, 
if such questions should be asked me. I did so ; and he was 
clear, that I was not and could not be obliged to answer them, 
if I did not choose it, which I informed him was the case, 
being under a promise not to divulge from whom I received 
the letters. He said he would attend, however, if I desired it, 
and object in my behalf to their putting such questions. 

A report now prevailed through the town, that I had been 
grossly abused by the solicitor-general, at the Council Board. 
But this was premature. He had only intended it, and men- 
tioned that intention. I heard, too, from all quarters, that 
the ministry and all the courtiers were highly enraged against 
me for transmitting those letters. I was called an incendiary, 
and the papers were filled with invectives against me. Hints 
were given me, that there was some thoughts of apprehending 
me, seizing my papers, and sending me to Newgate. I was 
well informed, that a resolution was taken to deprive me of 
my place; it was only thought best to defer it till after the 
hearing ; I suppose, because I was there to be so blackened, 
that nobody should think it injustice. Many knew, too, 
how the petition was to be treated ; and I was told, even before 
the first hearing, that it was to be rejected with some epithets, 
the Assembly to be censured, and some honour done the gov- 


ernors. How this could be known, one cannot say. It might 
be only conjecture. 

The transactions relating to the tea had increased and 
strengthened the torrent of clamour against us. No one had 
the least expectation of success to the petition; and, though 
I had asked leave to use counsel, I was half inclined to waive 
it, and save you the expense ; but Mr. Bollan was now strongly 
for it, as they had refused to hear him. And, though fortified 
by his opinion, as he had long experience in your affairs, I 
would at first have ventured to deviate from the instructions 
you sent me in that particular, supposing you to allow some 
discretionary liberty to your agents ; yet, now that he urged 
it as necessary, I employed a solicitor, and furnished him with 
what materials I could for framing a brief; and Mr. Lee, 
coming to town, entered heartily into the business, and under- 
took to engage Sergeant Glynn, who would readily have 
served us, but, being in a fit of the gout, which made his 
attendance uncertain, the solicitor retained Mr. Dunning 
and Mr. John Lee, another able man of the profession. 

While my mind was taken up with this business, I was 
harassed with a subpoena from the Chancellor to attend his 
court the next day, at the suit of Mr. William Whately con- 
cerning the letters. This man was under personal obliga- 
tions to me, such as would have made it base in him to com- 
mence such a suit of his own motion against me, without any 
previous notice, claim, or demand; but, if he was capable 
of doing it at the instance of the ministry, whose banker he is 
for some pension money, he must be still baser. 

The briefs being prepared and perused by our counsel, 
we had a consultation at Mr. Dunning's chambers in Lin- 
coln's Inn. I introduced Mr. Arthur Lee, as my friend and 


successor in the agency. The brief, as you will see by a copy 
I send you, pointed out the passages of the letters, which were 
applicable in support of the particular charges contained in 
the resolutions and petition. But the counsel observed, we 
wanted evidence to prove those passages false; the counsel 
on the other side would say, they were true representations 
of the state of the country ; and, as to the political reflections 
of the writers, and their sentiments of government, their aims 
to extend and enforce the power of Parliament and diminish 
the privileges of their countrymen, though these might ap- 
pear in the letters and need no other proof, yet they would 
never be considered here as offences, but as virtues and merits. 
The counsel therefore thought it would answer no good end 
to insist on those particulars ; and that it was more advisable 
to state as facts the general discontent of the people, that the 
governors had lost all credit with them, and were become 
odious, &c. ; facts of which the petition was itself full proof, 
because otherwise it could not have existed ; and then show 
that it must in such a situation be necessary for his Majesty's 
service, as well as the peace of the province, to remove 
them. By this opinion, great part of the brief became un- 

Notwithstanding the intimations I had received, I could 
not believe that the solicitor-general would be permitted to 
wander from the question before their Lordships into a new 
case, the accusation of another person for another matter, 
not cognizable before them, who could not expect to be there 
so accused, and therefore could not be prepared for his 
defence. And yet all this happened, and in all probability 
was preconcerted; for all the courtiers were invited, as to 
an entertainment, and there never was such an appearance 


of privy counsellors on any occasion, not less than thirty- 
five, besides an immense crowd of other auditors. 

The hearing began by reading my letter to Lord Dart- 
mouth, enclosing the petition, then the petition itself, the 
resolves, and lastly the letters, the solicitor-general making 
no objections, nor asking any of the questions he had talked 
of at the preceding board. Our counsel then opened the 
matter, upon their general plan, and acquitted themselves 
very handsomely; only Mr. Dunning, having a disorder on 
his lungs that weakened his voice exceedingly, was not so 
perfectly heard as one could have wished. The solicitor- 
general then went into what he called a history of the prov- 
ince for the last ten years, and bestowed plenty of abuse upon 
it, mingled with encomium on the governors. But the favor- 
ite part of his discourse was levelled at your agent, who stood 
there the butt of his invective ribaldry for near an hour, not 
a single Lord adverting to the impropriety and indecency 
of treating a public messenger in so ignominious a manner, 
who was present only as the person delivering your petition, 
with the consideration of which no part of his conduct had 
any concern. If he had done a wrong, in obtaining and 
transmitting the letters, that was not the tribunal where he 
was to be accused and tried. The cause was already before 
the Chancellor. Not one of their Lordships checked and 
recalled the orator to the business before them, but, on the 
contrary, a very few excepted, they seemed to enjoy highly 
the entertainment, and frequently burst out in loud applauses. 
This part of his speech was thought so good, that they have 
since printed it, in order to defame me everywhere, and par- 
ticularly to destroy my reputation on your side of the water ; 
but the grosser parts of the abuse are omitted, appearing, 


I suppose, in their own eyes, too foul to be seen on paper 
so that the speech, compared to what it was, is now perfectly 
decent. I send you one of the copies. My friends advise 
me to write an answer, which I purpose immediately. 

The reply of Mr. Dunning concluded. Being very ill, 
and much incommoded by standing so long, his voice was 
so feeble, as to be scarce audible. What little I heard was 
very well said, but appeared to have little effect. 

Their Lordships' Report, which I send you, is dated the 
same day. It contains a severe censure, as you will see, on 
the petition and the petitioners; and, as I think, a very un- 
fair conclusion from my silence, that the charge of surrep- 
titiously obtaining the letters was a true one; though the 
solicitor, as appears in the printed speech, had acquainted 
them that the matter was before the Chancellor; and my 
counsel had stated the impropriety of my answering there 
to charges then trying in another court. In truth I came by 
them honourably, and my intention in sending them was 
virtuous, if an endeavour to lessen the breach between two 
states of the same empire be such, by showing that the in- 
juries complained of by one of them did not proceed from the 
other, but from traitors among themselves. 

It may be supposed, that I am very angry on this occasion, 
and therefore I did purpose to add no reflections of mine on 
the treatment the Assembly and their agent have received, 
lest they should be thought the effects of resentment and a 
desire of exasperating. But, indeed, what I feel on my own 
account is half lost in what I feel for the public. When I 
see, that all petitions and complaints of grievances are so 
odious to government, that even the mere pipe which con- 
veys them becomes obnoxious, I am at a loss to know how 


peace and union are to be maintained or restored between 
the different parts of the empire. Grievances cannot be 
redressed unless they are known ; and they cannot be known 
but through complaints and petitions. If these are deemed 
affronts, and the messengers punished as offenders, who will 
henceforth send petitions? And who will deliver them? 
It has been thought a dangerous thing in any state to stop 
up the vent of griefs. Wise governments have therefore 
generally received petitions with some indulgence, even when 
but slightly founded. Those, who think themselves injured 
by their rulers, are sometimes, by a mild and prudent answer, 
convinced of their error. But where complaining is a crime, 
hope becomes despair. 

The day following I received a written notice from the 
secretary of the general postoffice, that his Majesty's post- 
master-general found it necessary to dismiss me from my 
office of deputy postmaster-general in North America. The 
expression was well chosen, for in truth they were under a 
necessity of doing it; it was not their own inclination; they 
had no fault to find with my conduct in the office ; they knew 
my merit in it, and that, if it was now an office of value, it 
had become such chiefly through my care and good manage- 
ment; that it was worth nothing, when given to me; it 
would not then pay the salary allowed me, and, unless it did, 
I was not to expect it ; and that it now produces near three 
thousand pounds a year clear to the treasury here. They 
had beside a personal regard for me. But as the postoffices 
in all the principal towns are growing daily more and more 
valuable, by the increase of correspondence, the officers 
being paid commissions instead of salaries, the ministers 
seem to intend, by directing me to be displaced on this occa- 


sion, to hold out to them all an example that, if they are 
not corrupted by their office to promote the measures of 
administration, though against the interests and rights of the 
colonies, they must not expect to be continued. This is the 
first act for extending the influence of government in this 
branch. But as orders have been some time since given to 
the American postmaster-general, who used to have the dis- 
position of all places under him, not to fill vacancies of value, 
till notice of such vacancies had been sent hither, and instruc- 
tions thereupon received from hence, it is plain, that such 
influence is to be a part of the system; and probable, that 
those vacancies will for the future be filled by officers from 
this country. How safe the correspondence of your Assembly 
committees along the continent will be through the hands of 
such officers may now be worth consideration, especially as 
the postoffice act of Parliament allows a postmaster to open 
letters, if warranted so to do by the order of a secretary of 
state, and every provincial secretary may be deemed a sec- 
retary of state in his own province. 

It is not yet known what steps will be taken by govern- 
ment with regard to the colonies, or to our province in par- 
ticular. But, as inquiries are making of all who come from 
thence, concerning the late riot, and the meetings that pre- 
ceded it, and who were speakers and movers at these meet- 
ings, I suspect there is some intention of seizing persons, 
and perhaps of sending them hither. But of this I have no 
certainty. No motion has yet been made in the House of 
Commons concerning our affairs; and that made in the 
House of Lords was withdrawn for the present. It is not 
likely, however, that the session will pass over without some 
proceeding relating to us, though perhaps it is not yet settled 


what the measures shall be. With my best wishes for the 
prosperity of the province, I have the honour to be, Sir, &c. 


723. TO RICHARD BACHE (A. p. s.) 
London, Feb. 17. 1774 


I received yours of Nov. 20, 30, Dec. 28, & Jan y i. Before 
this gets to hand you will have heard that I am displac'd, 
and consequently have it no longer in my Power to assist 
you in your Views relating to the Post Office, and as things 
are I would not wish to see you concerned in it. For I con- 
ceive that the Dismissing me merely for not being corrupted 
by the Office to betray the Interests of my Country, will make 
it some Disgrace among us to hold such an Office. 

Inclos'd I send you the Bill I paid for you. There was no 

I am oblig'd by your Civilities to the People I recommend 
to you. In Capt. Falconer's ship there goes a young Man 
of good Character, William Brown, a Tanner, to whom I 
gave a Letter for you, and I wish you to assist him with 
your best Advice. With Capt. All there goes a Philip Adams 
with his Wife and Child. He is a Farmer, well recommended 
to me as a very honest Man. I shall give him likewise a 
Letter to you, and desire you would favour him too with your 
Counsel, and show them some Civility. 

I am glad my Countrymen Approve of the Papers you 
mention. The Ministry here do not like them at all. The 
General was a little mistaken. 

I received the Accounts from Mr T. Foxcroft. I wrote 
VOL. vi o 


by the Packet to desire that no more of those Payments 
should be receiv'd. 

I am now fix'd to return homewards in or about May 
next. I hope to have the great Pleasure of finding you all 
well and happy. It will not be worth while to write me any 
Letters that cannot be expected to arrive here before the 
middle of that Month. 

I forwarded your Letter to your good Mother. 

My love to Sally & the Children. I am ever 
Your affectionate Father 

B. F. 

I send with Capt. Falconer consign'd to you, a Number of 
Boxes of Printing Letters, which I purchas'd at an Auction 
extreamly cheap. Store them away somewhere without 
opening. When I return, I can either sell them or use them, 
as I may find Occasion. 


London, Feb. 18. 1774 
DEAR FRIEND, ...... 

The Acts of Feb y Session 1773, are at last presented, of 
which I have lately acquainted the Committee. 1 They are 
now before the Board of Trade. I do not yet hear of any 
Objection to the Paper Money Bill, and hope there can be 
none that we shall not get over. I observe there is no Decla- 
ration of the Value of the Bills, whether Proclamation or 
Sterling; possibly if this should be taken Notice of, it may 

1 The acts of the Pennsylvania Assembly, sent over to be approved by the 
King. ED. 


be thought too loose and uncertain; but it may escape their 
Observation, and if necessary, you can by a little Supplement 
ascertain it. 

The Treatment of the Tea in America has excited great 
Wrath here, but how that will vent itself is not yet known, 
except that some part of it has fallen upon me, perhaps from 
a Suspicion that I instigated the Opposition to its Importa- 
tion. This, however, is not the given Reason. My return- 
ing to Boston Hutchinson & Oliver's letters is held out to 
the Public as the great Offence for which I am deprived of 
my Office. I will explain to you my Conduct in that Matter. 

Those Letters, which had, at the time, been shown about 
here to several Persons, fell into the Hands of a Gentleman, 
who produc'd them to me, to convince me of the Truth of 
a Fact, the Possibility of which I had in Conversation deny'd, 
viz, that the sending Troops to Boston, and other Measures 
so offensive to the People of New England, did not arise 
from any inimical Disposition in this Country towards them, 
but were projected, propos'd & solicited by some of the prin- 
cipal & best esteemed of their own People. I was convinc'd 
accordingly, by perusing those Letters, and thought it might 
have a good effect, if I could convince the Leaders there of 
the same Truth, since it would remove much of their Re- 
sentment against Britain as a harsh, unkind l Mother, 

lay the Blame where it ought to lay, and by that means pro- 
mote a Reconciliation. I therefore obtain'd Leave to send 
over the Letters, but with a Promise that they should only 
be shown to a few Persons, not printed, nor any Copies 

1 The letter as known to Sparks and Bigelow ended here. The remainder 
of the letter by them believed to be lost is now printed from the draft found 
by me among the Franklin papers in A. P. S. ED. 


taken, and the Originals return'd. This Injunction I sent 
with the Letters to the Comm ee of Correspondence, but the 
Assembly found means to evade it, & printed them. They 
however took up the Matter as I intended it, and resolv'd 
that all their Grievances had originated from those Persons. 
If the Ministry here had been dispos'd to a Reconciliation, 
as they sometimes pretend to be, this was giving a fair Open- 
ing, which they might have thank'd me for; but they chose 
rather to abuse me, and at a Hearing before the Privy Coun- 
cil on an Address of the Massachusetts Assembly for the 
Removal of the Governor, indecently suffer'd the Solicitor 
General to wander from the Point before them into a long 
studied Invective ag* me who was there only as a publick 
Messenger charg'd with that Address to his Majesty. Wed- 
derburne's Speech is since printed; but as everybody except 
the Courtiers had exclaim'd at the Scurrility of it, they seem 
to have been asham'd of it, when in black & white, & have 
omitted much of it, so that compared to the Verbal Speech, 
the printed one is perfectly decent. I shall soon answer it 
& give this Court my Farewell. 

I wish most sincerely with you that a Constitution was 
form'd and settled for America, that we might know what 
we are & what we have, what our Rights and what our 
Duties in the Judgment of this Country as well as in our 
own. Till such a Constitution is settled, different Senti- 
ments will ever occasion Misunderstandings. 

But if 'tis to be settled, it must settle itself, no body here 
caring for the Trouble of thinking on't. 

I long to be with you & to converse with you on these 
important Heads. A few months I hope will bring us to- 
gether. In the calm Retirement of Trevose, perhaps we 

1774] TO JOHN FOX CROFT 197 

may spend some Hours usefully. I am sure they will be 
spent agreably to Dear Friend 

Yours most affectionately 

P. S. The Ship Ohio still aground. 


February 18, 1774 

Some tell me that it is determined to displace you likewise, 
but I do not know it as certain. I only give you the hint, as 
an Inducement to you to delay awhile your removal to Amboy, 
which in that Case would be an Expense and Trouble to no 
purpose. Perhaps they may expect that your Resentment 
of their Treatment of me may induce you to resign, and save 
them the shame of depriving you when they ought to pro- 
mote. But this I would not advise you to do. Let them 
take your place if they want it, tho in truth I think it scarce 
worth your Keeping, since it has not afforded you sufficient 
to prevent your running every year behindhand with me. 
But one may make something of an Injury, nothing of a 
Resignation. B. FRANKLIN. 

726. TO JOHN FOXCROFT (A. p. s.) 

London, Feb. 18. 1774. 


It is long since I have heard from you. I hope nothing 
I have written has occasion'd any Coolness. We are no 
longer Colleagues, but let us part as we have liv'd so long, 
in Friendship. 


I am displac'd unwillingly by our Masters, who were 
oblig'd to comply with the Orders of the Ministry. It 
seems I am too much of an American. Take care of your- 
self, for you are little less. 

I hope my Daughter continues well. My Blessing to her. 
I shall soon, God willing, have the Pleasure of seeing you, 
intending homewards in May next. I only wait the Ar- 
rival of the April Pacquet with the Accounts, that I may 
settle them here before I go. I beg you will not fail of for- 
warding them by that Opportunity, which will greatly oblige 
Dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately 



(A. p. s.) 

Monday, February 2ist, 1774. 

The letter which you did me the honour to send to Gloucester, I have just 
received in London, where I have resided many weeks, and am now return- 
ing to Gloucester. On inquiry, I find that I was mistaken in some circum- 
stances relating to your conduct about the Stamp Act, though right as to the 
substance. These errors shall be rectified the first opportunity. After having 
assured you, that I am no dealer in anonymous newspaper paragraphs, nor 
have a connexion with any who are, I have the honour to be, Sir, your 
humble servant, 


728. TO JOSIAH TUCKER (L. c.) 

London, Feb. 22. 1774 

I received your Favour of yesterday. If the Substance 
of what you have charged me with is right, I can have but 


little concern about any mistakes in the Circumstances: 
Whether they are rectified or not, will be immaterial. But, 
knowing the Substance to be wrong, and believing that you 
can have no desire of continuing in an Error, prejudicial 
to any Man's Reputation, I am persuaded you will not take 
it amiss, if I request you to communicate to me the Particu- 
lars of the Information you have received, that I may have 
an opportunity of examining them; and I flatter myself I 
shall be able to satisfy you that they are groundless. I pro- 
pose this Method as more decent than a public Altercation, 
and suiting better the respect due to your Character. With 
great Regard, I have the Honour to be, Reverend Sir, your 

most obedient humble servant, 



(A. P. s.) 

Glocester, Feb. 24, 1774. 

The Request made in your last letter is so very just and reasonable, that I 
shall comply with it very readily. It has long appeared to me, that you much 
exceeded the Bounds of Morality in the Methods you pursued for the advance- 
ment of the supposed Interest of America. If it can be proved, that I have 
unjustly suspected you, I shall acknowledge my Error with as much satisfac- 
tion as you can have in reading my Recantation of it. As to the Case more 
immediately referred to in your letters, I was repeatedly informed, that you 
had solicited the late Mr. George Grenville for a place or agency in the Dis- 
tribution of Stamps in America. From which Circumstance I myself con- 
cluded, that you had made interest for it on your own Account; whereas I 
am now informed, there are no positive Proofs of your having solicited to ob- 
tain such a Place for yourself, but that there is sufficient Evidence still exist- 
ing of your having applied for it in favour of another Person. If this latter 

1 The original letter is in A. P. S. A contemporary transcript is in L. C. 



should prove to be the Fact, as I am assured it will, I am willing to suppose, 
from several Expressions in both your letters, that you will readily acknowledge 
that the Difference in this Case between yourself and your Friend, is very im- 
material to the general Merits of the Question. But, if you should have 
Distinctions in this Case, which are above my Comprehension, I shall content 
myself with observing, that your great Abilities and happy Discoveries deserve 
universal Regard; and that, as on these accounts I respect and esteem you, 
so I have the Honour to be, Sir, your very humble Servant, 


730. TO JOSIAH TUCKER (L. c.) 

London, Feb. 26, 1774. 


I thank you for the Frankness with which you have com- 
municated to me the Particulars of the Information you had 
received, relating to my supposed Application to Mr. Gren- 
ville for a Place in the American Stamp- Office. As I deny 
that either your former or latter Informations are true, it 
seems incumbent on me, for your Satisfaction, to relate all 
the Circumstances fairly to you, that could possibly give rise 
to such Mistakes. 

Some Days after the Stamp Act was passed, to which I 
had given all the Opposition I could, with Mr Grenville, I 
received a Note from Mr. Wheatly, his Secretary, desiring to 
see me the next morning. I waited upon him accordingly, 
and found with him several other Colony Agents. He 
acquainted us, that Mr. Grenville was desirous to make the 
Execution of the Act as little inconvenient and disagreeable 
to the Americans as possible ; and therefore did not think of 
sending Stamp Officers from hence, but wished to have dis- 
creet and reputable Persons appointed in each Province 
from among the Inhabitants, such as would be acceptable 


to them ; for, as they were to pay the Tax, he thought Strangers 
should not have the Emoluments. Mr. Wheatly therefore 
wished us to name for our respective Colonies, informing us, 
that Mr. Grenville would be obliged to us for pointing out 
to him honest and responsible Men, and would pay great 
regard to our Nominations. By this plausible and apparently 
candid Declaration, we were drawn in to nominate; and I 
named for our Province Mr. Hughes, saying, at the same 
time, that I knew not whether he would accept of it, but, if 
he did, I was sure he would execute the office faithfully. 
I soon after had notice of his appointment. We none of us, 
I believe, foresaw or imagined, that this Compliance with 
the request of the Minister would or could have been called 
an Application of ours, and adduced as a proof of our Appro- 
bation of the Act we had been opposing; otherwise I think 
few of us would have named at all ; I am sure I should not. 
This, I assure you, and can prove to you by living Evidence, 
is a true account of the Transaction in question, which, if 
you compare with that you have been induced to give of it 
in your Book, I am persuaded you will see a difference that 
is far from being "a Distinction above your Comprehension." 
Permit me further to remark, that your Expression of 
there being "no positive Proofs of my having solicited to 
obtain such a place for myself," implies that there are never- 
theless some circumstantial Proofs sufficient at least to sup- 
port a Suspicion. The latter Part however of the same 
Sentence, which says, " there is sufficient Evidence still 
existing of my having applied for it in favour of another Per- 
son," must, I apprehend, if credited, destroy that Suspicion, 
and be considered as positive Proof of the contrary; for, if 
I had Interest enough with Mr. Grenville to obtain that 


Place for another, is it likely that it would have been refused 
me, had I asked it for myself? 

There is another Circumstance, which I would offer to 
your candid Consideration. You describe me as " changing 
sides, and appearing at the Bar of the House of Commons to 
cry down the very Measure I had espoused, and direct the 
Storm that was falling upon that Minister." As this must 
have been after my supposed solicitation of the Favour for 
myself or my Friend, and Mr. Grenville and Mr. Wheatly 
were both in the House at the Time, and both asked me Ques- 
tions, can it be conceived, that, offended as they must have 
been with such a Conduct in me, neither of them should put 
me in mind of this my sudden Changing of Sides, or remark 
it to the House, or reproach me with it, or require my Reasons 
for it ? And yet all the Members then present know, that not 
a Syllable of the kind fell from either of them, or from any of 
their Party. 

I persuade myself that by this time you begin to suspect 
you may have been misled by your Informers. I do not ask 
who they are, because I do not wish to have particular Motives 
for disliking People, who in general may deserve my Respect. 
They too may have drawn Consequences beyond the Infor- 
mation they received from others, and, hearing the Office 
had been given to a Person of my Nomination, might as 
naturally suppose / had sollicited it, as Dr. Tucker, hearing 
I had sollicited it, might "conclude" it was for myself. 

I desire you to believe, that I take kindly, as I ought, your 
freely mentioning to me, " that it has long appeared to you, 
that I much exceeded the Bounds of Morality in the Methods 
I pursued for the Advancement of the supposed Interests 
of America." I am sensible there is a good deal of Truth 


in the Adage, that our Sins and our Debts are always more 
than we take them to be; and tho' I cannot at present, on 
Examination of my Conscience, charge myself with any 
Immorality of that kind, it becomes me to suspect, that what 
has long appeared to you may have some Foundation. You 
are so good as to add, that, "if it can be proved you have un- 
justly suspected me, you shall have a satisfaction in acknowl- 
edging the Error." It is often a hard thing to prove that 
Suspicions are unjust, even when we know what they are ; 
and harder, when we are unacquainted with them. I must 
presume, therefore, that, in mentioning them, you had an 
Intention of communicating the Grounds of them to me, if 
I should request it, which I now do, and, I assure you, with 
a sincere Desire and Design of amending what you may 
show me to have been wrong in my conduct, and to thank 
you for the admonition. In your Writings I appear a bad 
Man ; but, if I am such, and you can thus help me to become 
in reality a good one, I shall esteem it more than a sufficient 
Reparation to, Reverend Sir, your most obedient humble 
servant, B. F. 1 


London, Feb. 25, 1774. 

I thank you much for your respected Favours of Nov. 10, 
Dec. 17, and 20, and for the satisfactory Intelligence they 
contained. I condole with you most sincerely on your great 

1 A memorandum was found appended to the rough draft of this letter, in 
the handwriting of the author, dated February yth, 1775, * n which he said: 
" No answer has yet been receiv'd to the above letter." ED. 


I have written a pretty full Account to the Speaker of the 
Treatment their Petition and their Agent have received here. 
My Letter went to Symes, and probably you may have seen 
it before this can reach you; therefore, and because I have 
a little Disorder in my Eyes at present, I do not repeat any 
part of it to you, nor can I well send a Copy to him. 

You can have no Conception of the Rage the ministerial 
People have been in with me, on ace* of my transmitting 
those Letters. 1 It is quite incomprehensible. If they had 
been wise, they might have made a good Use of the Discovery, 
by agreeing to lay the Blame of our Differences on those, 
from whom, by those Letters, it appear'd to have arisen, and 
by a Change of Measures, which would then have appear'd 
natural, and restor'd the Harmony between the two Countries. 

I send directed to you a Set of the late French Edition 
of my Philosophical Papers. 2 There are in it several Pieces 
not in the English. When you have look'd them over, please 
to give them to Mr. Winthrop for the College Library.* I 
am ever, dear Sir, yours most affectionately, 


1 Hutchinson's Letters. ED. 

2 Dubourg's edition, published in 1773. ED. 
Harvard College. ED. 


732. ON 





The enclos'd Paper was written just before Lord Hills- 
borough quitted the American Department. An Expec- 
tation then prevailing, from the good Character of the noble 
Lord who succeeded him, that the Grievances of the Colonies 
would, under his Administration, be redress'd, it was laid 
aside; but, as not a single Measure of his Predecessor has 
since been even attempted to be changed, and on the con- 
trary new ones have been continually added, farther to ex- 
asperate, render them desperate, and drive them, if possible, 
into open Rebellion, it may not be amiss now to give it the 
Public, as it shows in detail the rise and Progress of those 
differences, which are about to break the Empire into Pieces. 

I am, Sir, yours, &c., 

A. P. 

It is a bad Temper of Mind that takes a Delight in Oppo- 
sition, and is ever ready to Censure Ministry in the gross, 

1 An auto d. of the letter and a contemporary copy of the enclosure are in 
L. C. The exact date is unknown. W. T. F. supposed the article to have 
been written about the time F. departed for America. ED. 


without Discrimination. Charity should be willing to be- 
lieve, that we never had an Administration so bad, but there 
might be some good and some wise Men in it ; and that even 
such is our Case at present. The Scripture saith, "By their 
Works shall ye know them." By their Conduct, then, in 
their respective Departments, and not by their Company 
or their party Connections, should they be distinctly and 
separately judged. 

One of the most serious affairs to this Nation, that has of 
late required the Attention of Government, is our Misunder- 
standing with the Colonies. They are in the Department 
of Lord Hillsborough, and, from a prevailing Opinion of his 
Abilities, have been left by the other Ministers very much to 
his Management. If, then, our American Business has been 
conducted with Prudence, to him chiefly will be due the Repu- 
tation of it. 

Soon after the Conclusion of the last War, it became an 
Object with the Ministers of this Country to draw a Revenue 
from America. The first Attempt was by a Stamp Act. It 
soon appeared, that this Step had not been well considered; 
that the Rights, the Ability, the Opinions and Temper of that 
great People had not been sufficiently attended to. They 
complained, that the Tax was unnecessary, because their 
Assemblies had ever been ready to make voluntary Grants 
to the Crown in proportion to their Abilities, when duly 
required so to do; and unjust, because they had no Repre- 
sentative in the British Parliament, but had Parliaments 
of their own, wherein their Consent was given, as it ought to 
be, in Grants of their own money. I do not mean to enter 
into this Question. The Parliament repealed the Act as 
inexpedient, but in another Act asserted a Right of taxing 


America ; and in the following Year laid Duties on the Manu- 
factures of this Country exported thither. On the Repeal 
of the Stamp Act, the Americans had returned to their wonted 
Good-Humor and Commerce with Great Britain; but this 
new Act for laying Duties renewed their uneasiness. They 
were long since forbidden by the Navigation Act to purchase 
Manufactures of any other Nation ; and, supposing that Act 
well enforced, they saw, that by this indirect Mode it was in 
the Power of Great Britain to burden them as much as by 
any direct Tax, unless they could lay aside the Use of such 
Manufactures as they had been accustomed to purchase from 
Britain, or make the same themselves. 

In this Situation were Affairs, when my Lord H. 1 entred 
on the American Administration. Much was expected from 
his supposed Abilities, Application, and Knowledge of 
Business in that Department. The Newspapers were filled 
with his Panegyrics, and our Expectations raised perhaps 

The Americans determined to petition their Sovereign, 
praying his gracious Interposition in their favour with his 
Parliament, that the Imposition of these Duties, which they 
considered as an Infringement of their Rights, might be re- 
pealed. The Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay had voted 
that it should be proposed to the other Colonies to concur 
in that Measure. This, for what Reason I do not easily 
conceive, gave great offence to his Lordship ; and one of his 
first Steps was to prevent these concurring Petitions. To 
this End, he sent a Mandate to that Assembly (the Parlia- 
ment of that Country), requiring them to rescind that Vote, 
and desist from the Measure, threatening them with Dissolu- 

1 Hillsborough. ED. 


tion in case of Disobedience. The Governor communicated 
to them the Instructions he received to that purpose. They 
refused to obey, and were dissolved! Similar orders were 
sent at the same time to the Governors of the other Colonies, 
to dissolve their respective Parliaments if they presumed 
to accede to the Boston Proposition of Petitioning his Maj- 
esty, and several of them were accordingly dissolved. 

Bad Ministers have ever been averse to the Right Subjects 
claim of petitioning and remonstrating to their Sovereign; 
for thro' that Channel the Prince may be apprized of the Mai- 
Administration of his Servants; they may sometimes be 
thereby brought into Danger; at least such Petitions afford 
a Handle to their Adversaries, whereby to give them Trouble. 
But, as the Measure to be complained of was not his Lord- 
ship's, it is rather extraordinary that he should thus set his 
face against the intended Complaints. In his angry Letters 
to America, he called the Proposal of these Petitions "a 
Measure of most dangerous and factious Tendency, calculated 
to enflame the Minds of his Majesty's Subjects in the Colonies, 
to promote an unwarrantable Combination, and to excite 
and encourage an open Opposition to, and denial of, the 
Authority of the Parliament, and to subvert the true Spirit of 
the Constitution;" and directed the Governors, immediately 
on the Receipt of these Orders, to exert their utmost Influence 
to defeat this flagitious Attempt. 

Without entring into the particular Motives to this Piece 
of his Lordship's Conduct, let us consider a little the Wisdom 
of it. When Subjects conceive themselves oppressed or injured, 
laying their complaints before the Sovereign, or the governing 
Powers, is a kind of Vent to Griefs that gives some Ease to 
their Minds; the receiving with at least an Appearance of 


Regard their Petitions, and taking them into Consideration, 
gives present Hope, and affords time for the cooling of Re- 
sentment ; so that even the Refusal, when decently expressed 
and accompanied with Reasons, is made less unpleasant by 
the Manner, is half approved, and the rest submitted to with 
Patience. But when this Vent to popular Discontents is 
deny'd, and the Subjects are thereby driven to Desperation, 
infinite Mischiefs follow. Many Princes have lost Part, 
and some the whole of their Dominions, and some their 
Lives, by this very Conduct of their Servants. The Secre- 
tary for America, therefore, seems in this Instance not 
to have judged rightly for the Service of his excellent 

But supposing the Measure of discouraging and preventing 
Petitions a right one, were the Means of effecting this End 
judiciously chosen? I mean, the threatening with Dissolu- 
tion and the actual dissolving of the American Parliaments. 
His Lordship probably took up the Idea from what he knows 
of the State of Things in England and Ireland, where, to be 
re- chosen upon a Dissolution, often gives a Candidate great 
Trouble, and sometimes costs him a great deal of Money. A 
Dissolution may therefore be both Fine and Punishment to 
the Members, if they desire to be again returned. But, 
in most of the Colonies, there is no such thing as standing 
Candidate for Election. There is neither Treating nor Brib- 
ing. No Man even expresses the least Inclination to be 
chosen. Instead of humble Advertisements, intreating Votes 
and Interest, you see, before every new Election, Requests 
of former Members, acknowledging the Honour done them 
by preceding Elections, but setting forth their long Service 
and Attendance on the Public Business in that Station, and 



praying that, in Consideration thereof, some other Person may 
be chosen in their Room. 

Where this is the Case, where the same Representatives 
may be, and generally are, after a Dissolution, chosen, 
without asking a Vote or giving even a Glass of Cyder to 
an Elector, is it likely that such a Threat could contribute 
in the least to answer the End proposed? The Experience 
of former Governors might have instructed his Lordship, 
that this was a vain Expedient. Several of them, misled by 
their English Ideas, had tried this Practice to make Assem- 
blies submissive to their Measures, but never with Success. 
By the Influence of his Power in granting Offices, a Governor 
naturally has a Number of Friends in an Assembly; these, 
if suffered to continue, tho' a Minority, might frequently 
serve his Purposes, by promoting what he wishes, or obstruct- 
ing what he dislikes. But if, to punish the Majority, he in 
a Pet dissolves the House, and orders a new Election, he is 
sure not to see a single Friend in the new Assembly. The 
People are put into an ill Humour by the Trouble given them, 
they resent the Dissolution as an affront, and leave out every 
Man suspected of having the least Regard for the Governor. 
This was the very Effect of my Lord's Dissolutions in America, 
and the new Assemblies were all found more untractable than 
the old ones. 

But besides the Imprudence of this Measure, was it con- 
stitutional? The Crown has doubtless the Prerogative of 
dissolving Parliaments, a Prerogative lodged in its hands for 
the Publick Good, which may in various Instances require 
the Use of it. But should a King of Great Britain demand of 
his Parliament the Rescission of any Vote they had passed, 
or forbid them to petition the Throne, on pain of Dissolution, 


and actually dissolve them accordingly, I humbly conceive 
the Minister who advised it would run some hazard of Cen- 
sure at least, for thus using the Prerogative to the Violation 
of common Right, and Breach of the Constitution. The 
American Assemblies have no Means of impeaching such a 
Minister ; but there is an Assembly, the Parliament of Eng- 
land, that has that Power, and in a former Instance exercised 
it well, by impeaching as great a Man, (Lord Clarendon,) 
for having (tho* in one Instance only,) endeavoured to intro- 
duce arbitrary Government into the Colonies. 

The Effect this Operation of the American Secretary had 
in America, was not a Prevention of those Petitions, as he 
intended, but a Despair in the People of any Success from 
them, since they could not pass to the Throne but thro' the 
Hands of one, who showed himself so extremely averse to 
the Existence of them. Thence arose the Design of inter- 
esting the British Merchants and Manufacturers in the Event 
of their Petitions, by Agreements not to import Goods from 
Great Britain till their Grievances were redressed. Universal 
Resentment occasioned these Agreements to be more generally 
entred into, and the sending Troops to Boston, who daily 
insulted the Assembly * and Townsmen, instead of terrifying 
into a Compliance with his Measures, served only to exas- 
perate and sour the Minds of the People throughout the Con- 
tinent, make Frugality fashionable, when the Consumption 
of British Goods was the Question, and determine the In- 
habitants to exert every Nerve in establishing Manufactures 
among themselves. 

1 They mounted a numerous Guard daily round the Parliament-House, 
with Drums beating and fifes playing, while the Members were in their De- 
bates, and had Cannon planted and pointed at the Building. F. 


Boston having grievously offended his Lordship, by the 
refractory Spirit they had shown in re-chusing those Repre- 
sentatives, whom he esteemed Leaders of the Opposition 
there, he resolved to punish that Town by removing the 
Assembly from thence to Cambridge, a Country Place about 
four Miles distant. Here too his Lordship's English and 
Irish Ideas seem to have misled him. Removing a Parlia- 
ment from London or Dublin, where so many of the Inhabit- 
ants are supported by the Expence of such a number of 
wealthy Lords and Commoners, and have a Dependance on 
that Support, may be a considerable Prejudice to a City 
deprived of such Advantage ; but the Removal of the Assem- 
bly, consisting of frugal, honest Farmers, from Boston, could 
only affect the Interest of a few poor Widows, who kept 
Lodging-houses there. Whatever Manufactures the Members 
might want, were still purchased at Boston. They them- 
selves, indeed, suffered some Inconvenience, in being perhaps 
less commodiously lodged, and being at a Distance from the 
Records ; but this, and the keeping them before so long pro- 
rogued, when the Publick Affairs required their Meeting, 
could never reconcile them to Ministerial Measures ; it could 
serve only to put them more out of Humour with Britain 
and its Government so wantonly exercised, and to so little 
purpose. Ignorance alone of the true State of that Country 
can excuse (if it may be excused) these frivolous Proceedings. 

To have good ends in view, and to use proper Means to 
obtain them, shows the Minister to be both good and wise. 
To pursue good Ends by improper Means argues him, tho' 
good, to be but weak. To pursue bad Ends, by artful Means, 
shows him to be wicked, tho' able. But when his Ends are 
bad, and the Means he uses improper to obtain those ends, 


what shall we say of such a Minister ? Every Step taken for 
some time past in our Treatment of America, the suspending 
their Legislative Powers for not making Laws by Direction 
from hence ; the countenancing their Adversaries by Rewards 
and Pensions, paid out of the Revenues extorted from them 
by Laws to which they have not given their Assent ; the send- 
ing over a set of rash, indiscreet Commissioners to collect 
that Revenue, who by insolence of Behaviour, harassing Com- 
merce, and perpetually accusing the good People (out of 
whose Substance they are supported) to Government here, 
as Rebels and Traitors, have made themselves universally 
odious there, but here are caressed and encouraged ; together 
with the arbitrary Dissolution of Assemblies, and the quar- 
tering Troops among the People, to menace and insult them ; 
all these Steps, if intended to provoke them to Rebellion, 
that we might take their Lives and confiscate their Estates, 
are proper Means to obtain a bad End. But, if they are 
intended to conciliate the Americans to our Government, 
restore our Commerce with them, and secure the Friendship 
and Assistance which their growing Strength, Wealth, and 
Power may, in a few years, render extremely valuable to us, 
can any thing be conceived more injudicious, more absurd ! 
His Lordship may have in general a good Understanding ; his 
Friends say he has ; but in the Political Part of it, there must 
surely be some Twistj some extreme Obliquity. 

A Well-wisher to the King and all his Dominions. 


Your correspondent Britannicus inveighs violently against 
Dr. Franklin, for his Ingratitude to the Ministry of this Na- 


tion, who have conferred upon him so many Favours. They 
gave him the Post- Office of America; they made his Son a 
Governor ; and they offer'd him a Post of five hundred a Year 
in the Salt- Office, if he would relinquish the Interests of his 
Country ; but he has had the Wickedness to continue true to 
it, and is as much an American as ever. As it is a settled 
Point in Government here, that every Man has his Price, 
'tis plain they are Bunglers in their Business, and have not 
given him enough. Their Master has as much reason to be 
angry with them, as Rodrigue in the Play with his Apothe- 
cary, for not effectually poisoning Pandolpho, and they 
must probably make use of the Apothecary's Justification, viz. 

" SCENE IV. Rodrigue and Fell, the Apothecary. 

"Rodrigue. You promised to have this Pandolpho upon 
his Bier in less than a Week ; 'tis more than a Month since, 
and he still walks and stares me in the Face. 

"Fell. True; and yet I have done my best Endeavours. 
In various ways I have given the Miscreant as much Poison 
as would have kill'd an Elephant. He has swallow'd Dose 
after Dose ; far from hurting him, he seems the better for it. 
He hath a wonderfully strong Constitution. I find I cannot 
kill him but by cutting his Throat, and that, as I take it, is 
not my Business. 

"Rodrigue. Then it must be mine." 



Nothing can equal the present Rage of our ministerial 
Writers against our Brethren in America, who have the Mis- 

1 Original draft in A. P. S. ED. 


fortune to be Whigs in a Reign when Whiggism is out of 
Fashion, who are besides Protestant Dissenters and Lovers 
of Liberty. One may easily see from what Quarter comes the 
Abuse of those People in the Papers ; their Struggle for their 
Rights is called REBELLION, and the People REBELS; while 
those who really rebelled in Scotland (1745) for the Expul- 
sion of the present reigning Family, and the Establishment 
of Popery and arbitrary Power, on the Ruins of Liberty and 
Protestantism, who enter'd England and trampled on its 
Belly as far as Derby, to the Astonishment of this great City, 
and, shaking the Publick Credit of the Nation, have now 
all their Sins forgiven on Account of their Modish Principles, 
and are called, not Rebels, but by the softer Appellation of 
Insurgents ! 

These angry writers use their utmost Efforts to persuade us, 
that this War with the Colonies (for a War it will be) is a 
National Cause, when in fact it is merely a ministerial one. 
Administration wants an American Revenue to dissipate in 
corruption. The Quarrel is about a paltry three- penny 
Duty on Tea. There is no real Clashing of Interests be- 
tween Britain and America. Their Commerce is to their 
mutual Advantage, or rather most to the Advantage of Britain, 
which finds a vast Market in America for its Manufactures ; 
and as good Pay, I speak from Knowledge, as in any country 
she trades to upon the Face of the Globe. But the Fact needs 
not my Testimony ; it speaks for itself ; for if we could else- 
where get better Pay and better Prices, we should not send our 
Goods to America. 

The gross Calumniators of that People, who want us to 
imbrue our Hands in Brothers' Blood, have the Effrontery 
to tell the World, that the Americans Associated in Resolu- 


tions not to pay us what they owed us, unless we repeal'd 
the Stamp Act. This is an INFAMOUS FALSHOOD; they 
know it to be Such. I call upon the Incendiaries, who have 
advanced it, to produce their Proofs. Let them name any 
two that enter'd into such an Association, or any one that 
made such a Declaration. Absurdity marks the very Face 
of this Lie. Every one acquainted with Trade knows, that 
a credited Merchant, daring to be concern 'd in such an Asso- 
ciation, could never expect to be trusted again. His Char- 
acter on the Exchange of London would be ruin'd for ever. 
The great Credit given them since that time, nay, the present 
Debt due from them, is itself a Proof of the Confidence we 
have in their Probity. 

Another villainous falshood ad vane 'd against the Ameri- 
cans is, that, though we have been at such Expence in pro- 
tecting them, they refuse to contribute their Part to the Pub- 
lick general Expence of the Empire. The Fact is, that they 
never did refuse a Requisition of that kind. A Writer, who calls 
himself Sagittarius (I suppose from his flinging about, like 
Solomon's Fool, Firebrands, Arrows, and Death), in the 
LEDGER of March pth, asserts, that the "Experiment has been 
tried, and that they did not think it expedient to return even 
an Answer." How does he prove this? Why, "the Colony 
Agents were told by Mr. Grenville, that a Revenue would be 
requir'd from them to defray the Expences of their Protec- 
tion." But was the Requisition ever made? Were Circu- 
lar Letters ever sent, by his Majesty's Command, from the 
Secretary of State to the several Colony Governments, accord- 
ing to the establish'd Custom, stating the Occasion and re- 
quiring such Supplies as were suitable to their Abilities and 
Loyalty? And did they then refuse, not only Compliance, 


but an Answer? No such Matter; Agents are not the 
Channel thro' which Requisitions are made. If they were 
told by Mr. Grenville, that "a Revenue would be required, 
and yet the Colonies made no Offer, no Grant, nor laid any 
Tax," does it follow they would not have done it, if they had 
been requir'd? Probably they thought it time enough when 
the Requisition should come, and in fact it never appear'd 
there to this Day. In the last War they all gave so liberally, 
that we thought ourselves bound in honour to return them a 
Million. But we are disgusted with their free gifts ; we want 
to have something that is obtain 'd by force, like a mad 
Landlord who should refuse the willing payment of his full 
Rents, and chuse to take less by way of Robbery. 

This Shameless Writer would cajole the People of England 
with the Fancy of their being Kings of America, and that their 
Honour is at Stake by the Americans disputing their Gov- 
ernment. He thrusts us into the throne cheek-by-jole with 
Majesty, and would have us talk, as he writes, of our Sub- 
jects in America, and our Sovereignty over America; for- 
getting that the Americans are Subjects of the King, not our 
Subjects, but our Fellow Subjects; and that they have Parlia- 
ments of their own, with the Right of granting their own 
Money by their own Representatives, which we cannot de- 
prive them of but by Violence and Injustice. 

Having by a series of iniquitous and irritating Measures 
provok'd a loyal People almost to Desperation, we now 
magnify every act of an American Mob into REBELLION, 
tho' the Government there disapprove it and order Prosecu- 
tion, as is now the case with regard to the tea destroy'd. And 
we talk of nothing but Troops and Fleets, and Force, of block- 
ing up Ports, destroying Fisheries, abolishing Charters, &c. 


&c. Here Mobs of English Sawyers can burn Saw-Mills; 
Mobs of English Labourers destroy or plunder Magazines of 
Corn ; Mobs of English Coal-heavers attack Houses with Fire- 
arms ; English Smugglers can fight regularly the King's cruiz- 
ing Vessels, drive them ashore, and burn them, as lately on the 
Coast of Wales, and on the Coast of Cornwall ; but upon these 
Accounts we hear no Talk of England's being in rebellion; 
no Threats of taking away its Magna Charta, or repealing 
its Bill of Rights ; for we well know, that the operations of a 
Mob are often unexpected, sudden, and soon over, so that 
the Civil Power can seldom prevent or suppress them, not 
being able to come in before they have dispers'd themselves ; 
and therefore it is not always accountable for their Mischiefs. 

Surely the great Commerce of this Nation with the Ameri- 
cans is of too much Importance to be risk'd in a Quarrel, 
which has no Foundation but ministerial Pique and Ob- 
stinacy ! 

To us in the Way of Trade comes now, and has long come, 
all the super-lucration arising from their Labours. But 
will our reviling them as Cheats, Hypocrites, Scoundrels, 
Traitors, Cowards, Tyrants, &c. &c., according to the 
present Court Mode in all our Papers, make them more our 
Friends, more fond of our Merchandise? Did ever any 
Tradesman succeed, who attempted to drub Customers into 
his Shop? And will honest JOHN BULL, the Farmer, be long 
sattisfied with Servants, that before his Face attempt to kill 
his Plow Horses? 




London, March 18, 1774. 

DEAR FRIEND : I am very sensible of your kindness in 
the concern you express on account of the late attack on my 
character before the Privy Council and in the papers. Be 
assured, my good friend, that I have done nothing unjustifi- 
able, nothing but what is consistent with the man of honour 
and with my duty to my king and country, and this will soon 
be apparent to the public as it is now to all here who know me. 
I do not find that I have lost a single friend on the occasion. 
All have visited me repeatedly with affectionate assurances of 
their unaltered respect and affection, and many of distinction, 
with whom I had before but slight acquaintance. You 
know that in England there is every day, in almost every 
paper, some abuse on public persons of all parties, the king 
himself does not always escape, and the populace who are 
used to it, love to have a good character cut up now and then 
for their entertainment. On this occasion it suited the pur- 
pose of the ministry to have me abused, as it often suits the 
purpose of their opposers to abuse them. And having my- 
self been long engaged in public business, this treatment is 
not new to me. I am almost as much used to it as they are 
themselves, and perhaps can bear it better. I have indeed 
lost a little place that was in their power, but I can do very 
well without it. It will not be long before I publish my vin- 
dication, which some circumstances keep back at present. 

1 From John Bigelow, "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin," 
Vol. X, p. 337.- ED. 


Sir John Pringle continues well. His speech in giving the 
last medal, on the subject of the discoveries relating to the air, 
did him great honour. Dr. Priestley goes on rapidly with 
new and curious experiments on that subject. He is about 
printing a new 8vo book full of them. . . .* 



London, March 20. 1774. 

I have receiv'd several of your Favours lately, relating to the 
Edition of your Book in English, which I have put into the 
Hands of the Translator, who will observe your Directions. 
The Work is now in the Press, and goes on pretty fast. I 
am much oblig'd by your kind Assistance in procuring the 
Impressions from the Plates. They are not yet arriv'd here ; 
but the Money, which I find by a Note from you to Dr. Priestly 
amounts to 143 livres of Piemont, will be paid by the Book- 
seller, Mr. Nourse, in my Absence, to any Person you may 
order to receive it. 

Mr. Walsh, the same ingenious Member of our Society 
who went to France to make Experiments on the Torpedo, 
has lately hit on a new Discovery in Electricity, which sur- 
prizes us a little. You know that finding Air, made rarer by 
the Pump or by Heat, gave less Obstruction to the Passage 
of Electricity, than when in its denser State, we were apt to 

1 Here a paragraph is omitted relating to Walsh's experiment which is 
repeated almost verbatim in the next letter. ED. 

2 This letter is printed in Italian in " Memorie Istoriche intorno gli studi 
del Padre Giambatista Beccaria" (Turin, 1783), p. 150. In the book it is 
dated March 25, 1774. ED. 


think a perfect Vacuum would give it no Resistance at all. 
But he, having by boiling the Mercury made a perfect 
Vacuum in a long bent Torricellian Tube, has found that 
Vacuum to resist absolutely the Passage of the Electric 
Fluid during two or three Days, or till some quantity of Air, 
the smallest imaginable, is admitted into it. This, if verify'd 
by future Experiments, may afford some new Light to the 

Doctrine * of the science of atmospheric electricity, and 

of the aurora borealis. I have the honour to be with in- 
alterable Respect and Esteem Rev. Sir, etc. 



(A. P. s.) 

London, March 20, 1774. 


I am ashamed that my late continued Embarras in public 
Affairs should have so long prevented my answering the 
Letter you honoured me with, of the 2d Dec 1 last. 

I transmitted your Queries to our Society at Philadelphia, 
where they will be well considered, and full Answers will be 
sent you. On my Return thither, which I am now preparing 
for, I shall take care, if not done, to urge the doing it as soon 
as possible. 

In the mean time, I can inform you, as to Qu. i, that, 
tho there is in Pensilvania abundance of Limestone and 
Marble, no Flint has yet been found there by the English; 

1 Here the rough draft (A. P. S.) abruptly ends. The editors have noted 
that " the remainder of the letter is lost." The concluding words in the text 
are from Prospero Balbo's translation of the original letter (Turin, 1783). 


yet it is supposed, that Flint is to be met with in some Part 
of the Country, since Heads of Arrows made of it by the 
ancient Inhabitants are sometimes found in Ploughing the 
Fields. That, small Sea Shells are found intermix'd with 
the Substance of Rock- Stone in some of our highest Moun- 
tains, and such I think as are not now to be met with on our 
Coasts. Several Skeletons, supposed by their Tusks etc. to 
be of Elephants, have been found near the Ohio, an Acc fc of 
which may be found in the English Philos. Transactions. 

As to Qu. 2, Observations have been made in America of 
the Variation of the Needle, and, as well as I can remember, 
it is found to differ a Degree in about 20 Years. 

As to Qu. 3; the Height of the Barometer, by many 
Years' Observation, is said to vary between 28 -59 and 30 -78. 
The Conjectures from those Changes are still uncertain. 

As to Qu. 4. The Negroes, who are free, live among the 
White People, but are generally improvident and poor. I 
think they are not deficient in natural Understanding, but 
they have not the Advantage of Education. They make 
good Musicians. 

As to Qu. 5 ; I do not know that any Marks of Volcanos, 
any Lava, or Pomice-Stone, have been met with in North 
America. Pit-Coal is found in many Places, and very good, 
but little used, there being plenty of Wood. 

These Answers are very short. I hope to procure you 
such as shall be more full and satisfactory. 

With great Respect, I have the Honour to be, Sir, &c. 



736. TO THOMAS GUSHING (P. R. o.) 

London, March 22, 1774. 

SIR: I received your Favour of Jan. 23d. I suppose 
we never had since we were a People so few Friends in 
Britain. The violent Destruction of the Tea seems to have 
united all Parties here against our Province, so that the Bill 
now brought into Parliament for shutting up Boston as a 
Port till Satisfaction is made, meets with no Opposition. An 
Alteration in our Charter relating to the Choice of the Council 
is also talked of, but it is not certain that it will be propos'd 
at present. I cannot but hope that the Affair of the Tea will 
have been considered in the Assembly before this time, and 
Satisfaction proposed if not made; for such a Step will re- 
move much of the Prejudice now entertain'd against us, and 
put us again on a fair Footing in contending for our old 
Privileges as Occasion may require. I am not well enough 
to bustle or to write much, and can only add my best Wishes 
for the Prosperity of my Country. 

With great Respect and Esteem, I have the Honour to be, 

Your most obed*. humb le Servt. 


P.S. By the Enquiries that I hear are made, I suspect 
there may be a Design to seize some Persons who are sup- 
posed to be the Ringleaders, and bring them here for Trial. 

It is talk'd here that authentic Advices are received assur- 
ing Government that Messrs. Hancock and Adams were seen 
at the Head of the Mob that destroy'd the Tea, openly en- 


couraging them. I oppose this Report by alledging the 
Improbability that, when the lower Actors tho't it prudent 
to disguise themselves, any of the principal Inhabitants 
should appear in the Affair. 

737. TO THOMAS GUSHING (P. R. o.) 

London, April 2, 1774. 


My last was of the 22d past, since which I have received 
none of your favours. I mentioned that the bill brought into 
Parliament for punishing Boston met with no opposition. 
It did, however, meet with a little before it got through, some 
few of the members speaking against it in the House of 
Commons, and more in the House of Lords. It passed, 
however, by a very great majority in both, and received the 
royal assent on Thursday the 3ist past. You will have a 
copy of it from Mr. Lee. 

In mine of February 2d, I informed you, that, after the 
treatment I had received at the Council Board, it was not 
possible for me to act longer as your agent, apprehending I 
could as such be of no further use to the province. I have 
nevertheless given what assistance I could, as a private man, 
by speaking to members of both Houses, and by joining in the 
petitions of the natives of America now happening to be in 
London, which were ably drawn by Mr. Lee, to be presented 
separately to the several branches of the legislature. They 
serve, though without other effect, to show our sentiments, 
and that we did not look on and let the act pass without bear- 
ing our testimony against it. And, indeed, though called 


petitions (for under another name they would not have been 
received) they are rather remonstrances and protests. 

By the enclosed extract of a letter from Wakefield in York- 
shire to a friend of mine, you will see that the manufacturers 
begin to take the alarm. Another general non-importation 
agreement is apprehended by them, which would complete 
their ruin. But great pains are taken to quiet them with the 
idea, that Boston must immediately submit, and acknowl- 
edge the claims of Parliament, for that none of the other colo- 
nies will adhere to them. A number of the principal manu- 
facturers from different parts of the kingdom are now in 
town, to oppose the new duty on foreign linens, which they 
fear may provoke the Germans to lay discouragements on 
British manufactures. They have desired me to meet and 
dine with them on Wednesday next, where I shall have an 
opportunity of learning their sentiments more fully, and com- 
municating my own. 

Some alterations of the constitution of the Massachusetts 
are now hotly talked of; though what they are to be, seems 
hardly yet settled. One thing mentioned is the appointment 
of the Council by mandamus. Another, giving power to the 
governor to appoint magistrates without consent of Council. 
Another, the abolishing of town meetings, or making it un- 
lawful to hold them, till the business to be proposed has been 
certified to the governor, and his permission obtained. A 
motion has also been made in the House of Commons, with 
a view to conciliate, as is said ; that all the duty acts should 
be revised, and, in the revision and reenacting, without for- 
mally or expressly repealing the tea duty (which would hurt 
the dignity of Parliament), sink or omit it, and add an equal 
value in some of the coasting port duties ; and the tea duty, 



being thus taken out of the way, it is supposed will have the 
salutary effect of preventing the other colonies from making 
a common cause with ours. Some advantages in trade are 
at the same time to be given to America for the same purpose, 
such as carrying wine and fruit directly from Spain and Por- 
tugal, without touching in England. 

I send enclosed the proceedings of the Lords on Wednes- 
day, which show their zeal in the business, by appointing a 
committee to sit during the recess in the Easter holidays. 

With great esteem, I am, Sir, &c. 



Craven Street, April 10, 1774. 


In compliance with your request, I have endeavoured to 
recollect the circumstances of the American experiments I 
formerly mentioned to you, of raising a flame on the surface 
of some waters there. 

When I passed through New Jersey in 1764, I heard it 
several times mentioned, that, by applying a lighted candle 
near the surface of some of their rivers, a sudden flame would 
catch and spread on the water, continuing to burn for near 
half a minute. But the accounts I received were so imperfect, 
that I could form no guess at the cause of such an effect, and 
rather doubted the truth of it. I had no opportunity of see- 
ing the experiment; but, calling to see a friend who hap- 
pened to be just returning home from making it himself, I 

1 From Priestley's " Experiments on Air " (Vol. I, p. 321), 3d Edition. 


learned from him the manner of it ; which was to choose a 
shallow place, where the bottom could be reached by a 
walking-stick, and was muddy ; the mud was first to be stirred 
with the stick, and, when a number of small bubbles began to 
arise from it, the candle was applied. The flame was so 
sudden and so strong, that it catched his ruffle and spoiled 
it, as I saw. New Jersey having many pine-trees in many 
parts of it, I then imagined that something like a volatile 
oil of turpentine might be mixed with the waters from a pine- 
swamp, but this supposition did not quite satisfy me. I 
mentioned the fact to some philosophical friends on my re- 
turn to England, but it was not much attended to. I suppose 
I was thought a little too credulous. 

In 1765, the Reverend Dr. Chandler received a letter from 
Dr. Finley, 1 President of the College in that province, re- 
lating the same experiment. It was read at the Royal So- 
ciety, November 2ist of that year, but not printed in the 
Transactions; perhaps because it was thought too strange 
to be true, and some ridicule might be apprehended, if any 
member should attempt to repeat it, in order to ascertain, or 
refute it. The following is a copy of that account. 

"A worthy gentleman, who lives at a few miles distance, 
informed me, that in a certain small cove of a mill-pond, near 
his house, he was surprised to see the surface of the water 
blaze like inflamed spirits. I soon after went to the place, and 
made the experiment with the same success. The bottom of 
the creek was muddy, and when stirred up, so as to cause a 
considerable curl on the surface, and a lighted candle held 
within two or three inches of it, the whole surface was in a 

1 Samuel Finley (1715-1766) succeeded Samuel Davies as President of 
Princeton in July, 1761. ED. 


blaze, as instantly as the vapour of warm inflammable spirits, 
and continued, when strongly agitated, for the space of 
several seconds. It was at first imagined to be peculiar to 
that place; but upon trial it was soon found, that such a 
bottom in other places exhibited the same phenomenon. 
The discovery was accidentally made by one belonging to 
the mill." 

I have tried the experiment twice here in England, but 
without success. The first was in a slow running water with 
a muddy bottom. The second in a stagnant water at the 
bottom of a deep ditch. Being some time employed in stir- 
ring this water, I ascribed an intermitting fever, which 
seized me a few days after, to my breathing too much of that 
foul air, which I stirred up from the bottom, and which I 
could not avoid while I stooped, endeavouring to kindle it. 
The discoveries you have lately made, of the manner in which 
inflammable air is in some cases produced, may throw light 
on this experiment, and explain its succeeding in some cases, 
and not in others. 

With the highest esteem, and respect 

I am, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 


739. TO THOMAS GUSHING (P. R. o.) 

London, April 16, 1774. 

SIR: The above are Copies of my two last. The Tor- 
rent is still violent against America. A Bill is brought in to 
alter the Charter appointing the Council by the Crown, giving 
Power to the Governors to nominate and commission Magis- 


trates without Consent of Council, and Forbidding any Town 
Meeting to be held in the Province (except the annual one 
for chusing Town Officers) without the Permission of the 
Governor, and for that Business only for which such Per- 
mission shall be requested. The Manner of appointing 
Jurors is likewise to be altered. And another Bill is to pro- 
vide for the Security of Persons who may be concerned in 
executing or enforcing Acts of Parliament there, by direct- 
ing their Trials for any thing done by them to be in some 
neighbouring Province or in Great Britain at the Discretion 
of the Governor. I hope to get the Breviates of these Bills 
in time to send by this Ship. They will meet with Opposition 
in both Houses; but there is little Hope that they will not 
pass, we having very few Friends in Parliament at present. 
The House will probably sit 'till some time in June, perhaps 
longer, and till they hear the Effect of these Measures in 
America. I think to stay here as long as they sit, Mr Lee 
being about to go abroad for a few Months. General Gage 
has been hastily commission'd and sent away to be your 
Governor. It is given out that Copies of several Letters of 
mine to you are sent over here to the Ministers, and that their 
Contents are treasonable, for which I should be prosecuted 
if Copies could be made Evidence. I am not conscious of 
any treasonable Intention, and I know that much Violence 
must be us'd with my Letters before they can be construed 
into Treason, yet having lately seen two of my Actions, one 
my Endeavour to lessen the Differences between the two 
Countries, the other to stop a dangerous Quarrel between 
Individuals, and which I should have thought and still think 
to be good Actions, condemn'd as bad ones by high Au- 
thority, I am not to wonder if less than a small Lump in my 


Forehead is voted a Horn. And you will not wonder if my 
future Letters contain mere Relations of Facts, without any 
of my Sentiments upon them, which perhaps I have been 
too forward in offering. With the greatest Respect I have 
the Honour to be, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble serv*, 



London, April 28, 1774. 

I hoped to have been on the sea in my return by this time; 
but I find I must stay a few weeks longer, perhaps for the 
summer ships. Thanks to God, I continue well and hearty ; 
and I hope to find you so, when I have the happiness once 
more of seeing you. 

Your goddaughter, Amelia Evans that was, (now Mrs. 
Barry,) is gone again with her husband and children to Tunis, 
where she is to live some time, while her husband, who is 
captain of a ship, trades in those seas. Enclosed I send the 
affectionate, sensible, letter she wrote to me on taking leave. 

My blessing to the children. Mrs. Hewson's have lately 
had the smallpox; the eldest in the common way very full, 
the youngest by inoculation lightly, and both are now well. 
But Mr. Hewson is down with a terrible fever, and till yes- 
terday his life was despaired of. We now begin to hope his 
recovery. 2 I shall give you another line by the packet of 

1 First printed by Sparks. 

2 Dr. William Hewson wounded himself in making a dissection. He died 
on Sunday morning, May I (1774), three days after the writing of this letter. 
In a letter dated May 5, Franklin wrote of Hewson, " He was an excellent 


next week, and am, as ever, dear Debby, your affectionate 
husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

741. TO THOMAS CUSHING (A. p. s.) 

London, June i. 1774. 


I received your respected Favour of March 31, with an- 
other of the same Date from the Committee. The latest 
of my Letters, which had then come to your hands, was of 
Jan. 7, since which I have written several, viz. of Feb. 2 to your- 
self, and one of the same Date to the Committee. Of Feb. 15 
containing a full Account of the Hearing on the Petition, of 
March 22 with some Ace* of the intended Acts against our 
Province, of April 2 with an Ace* of the Petition presented by 
the Natives of America at this time residing here. Of April 
1 6 containing an Ace* of the Appointment of General Gage 
as Governor and more Particulars of the intended Acts. And 
in the Course of last Month I sent you, by various Convey- 
ances, under Covers, with only a Line or two, Copies of the 
Acts themselves, and other publick Papers and Pamphlets. 
I mention these Dates and Particulars that you may know if 
any of my Letters are missing. With this I enclose a List of 
your new Council, the Quebec Bill, an Abstract of the Reso- 
lutions for laying Duties in that province, and some Papers 
containing the two Protests of the Lords, and a List of those 
who have voted against the Bills. 

young man, ingenious, industrious, useful and beloved by all that knew him. 
He was just established in a profitable, growing business, with the best pros- 
pects of bringing up his young family advantageously. They were a happy 
couple." ED. 


Lord Chatham, being ill at the Time, could not be present, 
or he would probably have voted on the same side. He has 
since appeared in the House, and delivered his Sentiments 
fully on the American Measures, blam'd us for destroying 
the Tea, and our Declarations of Independence on the Par- 
liament; but condemn'd strongly the Measures taking here 
in consequence, and spoke honourably of our Province and 
People, & of their Conduct in the late War. 

Mr. Lee is gone to make the Tour of France and Italy, and 
probably will be absent near a Year. Just before his De- 
parture he drew up, at my Instance, a kind of Answer to the 
Lords' Committee's Report, for which I furnish'd him with 
most of the Materials. I enclose a Copy of it. I had resign'd 
your Agency to him, expecting to leave England about the 
end of this Month ; but on his Departure he has return 'd me 
all the Papers, and I feel myself now under a kind of Neces- 
sity of Continuing, till you can be acquainted with this Cir- 
cumstance, and have time to give further Orders. 

I shall apply to Lord Dartmouth, agreable to the Direc- 
tions of the hon ble Committee, and write to them fully, as soon 
as I have his Lordship's Answer. 

Your friendly Concern on my Account, lest the Project for 
a Subscription PostOffice in America should prove preju- 
dicial to me, is very obliging; but you must have learnt 
before this time, that it was then superfluous, my Place 
having been taken from me on the 3ist of January. As the 
Salary I received in that Office is now ceas'd, and I have 
been lately at near 200 Expence, on the Province Ace* in 
various Ways, I am now oblig'd to request, that some Means 
may be fallen upon of making me a Remittance here ; for I 
have little Expectation that the Instruction will be recall'd 


on my Application. With great esteem, I have the honour 
to be, Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 

742. TO REV. THOMAS COOMBE (A. P. s.) 

London, July 22, 1774. 

I received with great Pleasure yours of May 15, as it in- 
form'd me of your Health & Happiness. I thank you for 
your Sermon, which I read with Satisfaction. I am glad 
that of my good Bishop * pleas'd you. I enclose a Speech 
of his on the same subject. It is deem'd here a Masterpiece 
of Eloquence. I send also the last Edition of some Lines 
of your friend Goldsmith, with the Addition of my friend 
Whitefoord's Epitaph, whom you may remember. Also 
the Heroic Postscript, the author of which is yet unknown. 2 
He may be fond of Fame as a Poet ; but, if he is, his Prudence 
predominates at present, and prevails with him to shun it. 

That which you are acquiring, as an Orator, gives me 
Pleasure as your Friend; and it will give you yourself the 
most solid Satisfaction, if you find that by your Eloquence 
you can turn many to Righteousness. Without that effect, 
the Preacher or the Priest, in my Opinion, is not merely 
sounding Brass or a tinkling Cymbal, which are innocent 
Things ; he is rather like the Cunning Man in the Old Baily, 
who conjures and tells Fools their Fortunes to cheat them 
out of their Money. 

Mrs. Stevenson and Mrs. Hewson return your Compli- 

1 Bishop of St. Asaph. ED. 

2 It was written by William Mason (1724-1797). ED. 


ments, with their best Wishes. We have lost Mr. Hewson, 
and a great Loss it was. My respects to your good Father. 
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours most 
affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 


London, July 22, 1774. 


I have had no Line from you by several late Opportunities. 
I flatter myself it is owing not to Indisposition, but to the 
Opinion of my having left England, which indeed I hope 
soon to do. Mr. Dillwyn tells me he never saw so fine a 
Child as your youngest Grandson: Has he eclips'd poor 
Ben ? of whose pretty History I us'd to receive so many folio 
Pages in your Letters. 

I enclose a Letter I have just received from your God- 
Daughter, Amelia Evans that was (now Barry). I wrote to 
you before, that she had marry'd the Captain of a Ship in the 
Levant Trade. She is now again at Tunis, where you will 
see she has lately lain in of her third Child. Her Father, 
you know, was a geographer, 1 and his daughter has some 
connection, I think, with the whole Globe; being born her- 
self in America, and having her first Child in Asia, her second 
in Europe, and now her third in Africa. 

Mrs. Stevenson presents her best Respects. She too is 
very happy in her two Grandsons. Her Daughter, our poor 
Polly, who lately lost her good Husband, is become rich by 

1 Lewis Evans of Philadelphia, a surveyor, and author of maps and geo- 
graphical writings. ED. 


the Death of her Aunt. I am ever, my dear Debby, your 
affectionate husband, B. FRANKLIN. 

744. TO BENJAMIN RUSH (A. p. s.) 

London, July 22, 1774. 


I receiv'd your Favour of May 14. with the very ingenious 
Oration 1 you delivered at the Society, for which I thank you. 
The Bookseller you had likewise sent it to, M r Dilly, being 
desirous of D r Huck's Opinion & mine as to its Publication, 
we had a little Consultation upon it; the Result of which 
was, that tho' the Piece had in many Respects a great deal 
of Merit, yet as there were some Particulars that would be 
excepted to by the medical People here, many of whom are in 
the Royal Society & have great Weight there; and as the 
Society generally is of late grown more difficult in the Admis- 
sion of new Members, several Candidates being this last year 
rejected, and a Criticism to the Disadvantage of your Piece 
in the Reviews or otherways might prejudice some Votes 
against you; we thought it best the Publication should be 
postponed till after the Ballot for your Election; it being 
intended by us to put you up as a Candidate at the next 
meeting of the Society, which will be in November, and we 
were unwilling to hazard your being refus'd, as it would be 
better not to propose you, than to do it without a moral 
Certainty of Success. We therefore advis'd the Booksel- 
ler not to print it till Winter, which he the more readily 
agreed to, as that is the best Season for publishing. You 

1 " Natural History of Medicine among the Indians of North America." 


compliment me too highly in supposing a Preface of mine 
would be of any Advantage to it 

Wishing you all sorts of Happiness, I am ever, 

Dear Sir, 

Your affectionate Friend 

& most obed* Servant 


745. TO BENJAMIN RUSH (A. p. s.) 

London July 25. 1774 


I have already written to you as a Friend by this Con- 
veyance. I now write to you as one of the Secretaries of our 
Philosophical Society, who understands French, to request 
your Attention to the enclos'd Papers and that you would 
translate them for the Use of the Society. 

In this Ship, Capt. Falconer, I send a Box, containing a 
Number of Presents for the Society, from different Hands, 
in Books and Pamphlets on Philosophical Subjects. The 
most magnificent is that from M. Buffon, being his Natural 
History of Birds, as far as published. The whole was in 
Sheets. The Letter-Press part is not yet finished of all of 
them: So I have bound Compleatly only the two first Vol- 
umes. The others being Plates, I thought it best to keep 
them together by a half-binding till the descriptive Part 
should be obtained. With this Present came the enclosed 
Directions for preserving Subjects of Natural History ; from 
whence I conclude some Returns in that way may be ex- 
pected and I believe it will be thought proper to attend to it. 

1774] TO BENJAMIN- RUSH 237 

There is a Volume of their Memoirs from the Prussian 
Academy of Sciences. And some of the Transactions from 
the Royal Society here, who have directed them to be con- 
stantly sent you from the time you first sent them yours. 
Let me know if these are regular. I suspect that one Vol- 
ume is sent twice, and that one is omitted. 

Methinks a Line or two of Thanks would be proper from 
the Society to each Benefactor. 

I wish to procure Answers to as many of the Marquis de 
Condorcet's Questions as may be. He is a very respectable 
Man, and one of the Secretaries of the Academy of Sciences 
at Paris. 

I took the Liberty last Year of recommending to the Society 
for Election as a Member, our Friend (and a Zealous Friend 
of America) M. Barbeu Dubourg of Paris. I have never 
heard whether it was done or not. You know his Merit in 
Science to be such as would do honour to any Society in 
Europe. Is it possible there could arise any Objection to his 
Admission ? 

By some Proposals I put into the Box, you will see that an 
Edition of the English Philosophical Transactions at large, 
and from the Beginning, is printing by Subscription in Ger- 
many. A Proof, this, of the growing Acquaintance with our 
Language among the foreign Literati. Nine Volumes are 
already printed, and sold at half the Price of the English Edi- 
tion, which is indeed hard to be got. 

Present my Respects to the Society, and best Wishes for 
their Success ; and believe me, with sincere Esteem 
Dear Sir 

Your most obedient humble Servant 



746. TO THOMAS GUSHING (P. R. o.) 

London, July 27, 1774. 

SIR: The last Line I have been favour'd with from you 
is of the 3oth of April. I have since written to you several 
times. I hope our Correspondence is not intercepted. 

This serves to cover a Pamphlet or two just published here, 
of which I shall send you a Number, as I think it may be of 
Use in America to see what Sentiments are entertain 'd here ; 
and believing they may be of Use here, I have been at some 
Expence in promoting the Publication. With great Re- 
spect, I am, Sir 

Your most obedient 

humble Servant 



London, Sept. 3. 1774 


It is a long time since I have been favoured by a Line from 
you. I suppose you thought me on my return to America, 
& that your Letters would probably not reach me here: 
But I have been advised by our Friends to stay till the Result 
of your Congress should arrive. The Coolness, Temper, & 
Firmness of the American Proceedings; the Unanimity of 
all the Colonies, in the same Sentiments of their Rights, & 
of the Injustice offered to Boston; and the Patience with 
which those Injuries are at Present borne, without the least 
Appearance of Submission ; have a good deal surprized and 


disappointed our Enemies, and the Tone of Publick Con- 
versation, which has been violently against us, begins evi- 
dently to turne; so that I make no doubt that before the 
meeting of Parliament it will be as general in our Favour. 
All who know well the State of things here, agree, that if the 
Non Consumption Agreement should become general, and 
be firmly adhered to, this Ministry must be ruined, and our 
Friends succeed them, from whom we may hope a great 
Constitutional Charter to be confirmed by King, Lords, & 
Commons, whereby our Liberties shall be recognized and 
established, as the only sure Foundation of that Union so 
necessary for our Common welfare. You will see a stronger 
Opposition in our Favour at the next Meeting of Parliament 
than appeared in the last: But as I have said in former 
Letters, we should depend chiefly upon ourselves. The 
Uncertainty of safe Conveyance prevents my being more 
particular or adding more at present, than that I am, with 

the sincerest Esteem & Respect 


Your most obedient 
humble Servant 



London, Sept. 7, 1774. 


I received yours of July 3, from New York, with the Bill 
of Exchange for Forty Pounds, Cobham on Bond & Ryland, 
which is carried to the Credit of your Account. 

1 Sparks printed this letter from an imperfect and fragmentary draft in 
A. P. S. ED. 


I have spoken in Mr. Antill's Favour; but there seems to 
have been a previous Disposition of those Places. 

At the Time of making up the Mail for the August Packet 
I was down at Lord Le Despencer's, and wrote the above 
Letter to you from thence, frank'd by his Lordship. A week 
after the Packet had saiPd my Letter was returned to me, 
having been, by a Blunder at the Office, sent to Burlington, 
in Yorkshire. I have now open'd it to add this, and send it 
re-seal'd to have the Benefit of the same Frank. 

I am glad you have met with my Friend Barrow. I wish 
you to cultivate his Acquaintance, and Mrs. Barrow ; s, who 
is a good and amiable Woman. 

I am much oblig'd to Mr. Panton for his Information re- 
lating to Mr. Parker's Affairs. Cousin Jonathan Williams, 
an expert and accurate Accomptant, is now with me, and 
engag'd in posting and settling my Accounts, which will be 
done before the next Packet, when I shall send what con- 
cern'd Parker's. In the meantime I think it cannot be amiss 
for you or Mr. Bache to accept any Security Mrs. Parker is 
willing to give. (You mention some Lands.) I think I 
gave a power to Mr. Bache. 

You say my Presence is wish'd for at the Congress, but no 
Person besides in America has given me the least Intimation 
of such a Desire ; and it is thought by the great Friends of the 
Colonies here, that I ought to stay till the Result of the Con- 
gress arrives, when my Presence here may be of Use. In my 
Opinion all depends on the Americans themselves. If they 
make, & keep firm Resolutions not to consume British 
Manufactures till their Grievances are redress 'd and their 
Rights acknowledged, this Ministry must fall, and the 
aggrieving Laws be repeaPd. This is the Opinion of all 
wise men here. 


I hear nothing of the Proposal you have made for a Con- 
gress of Governors etc. I do not so much as you do wonder 
that the Massachusetts have not offered Payment for the 
Tea: i. Because of the uncertainty of the Act, which gives 
them no surety that the Port shall be opened on their making 
that Payment. 2, no specific Sum is demanded. 3, no one 
knows what will satisfy the Custom-house Officers, nor who 
the "others" are, that must be satisfied ; nor what will satisfy 
them. And 4, after all they are in the King's Power, how 
much of the Port shall be opened. As to "doing Justice 
before they ask it," that should have been thought of by the 
Legislature here, before they demanded it of the Bostonians. 
They have extorted many Thousand Pounds from America 
unconstitutionally, under Colour of Acts of Parliament, and 
with an armed Force. Of this Money they ought to make 
Restitution. They might first have taken out Payment 
for the Tea, &c. and return'd the Rest. But you, who 
are a thorough Courtier, see every thing with Government 

I am sorry for the loss of Sir W. Johnson, especially at this 
time of danger from an Indian War. 1 I see by the Papers 
that you were with him at the time. Mr. Parker of Amboy, 
has written to Mr. Wilmot that the King's Approbation of 
the Boundary Act is not arriv'd. I sent Duplicates of it last 
Winter to Messrs Kinsey & Hewlings: one by the Packet, 
the other by a Philadelphia Ship. As you know they have 
receiv'd them, may request Mr. Kinsey to acknowledge the 
Receipt of them to Mr. Parker. 

A fresh Memorial has lately been presented on the Ohio 

1 Sir William Johnson died at the place of his residence, near the Mohawk 
River, on the nth of July, 1774. S. 
VOL. vi R 


Affair. The Event still uncertain, But Mr. Walpole con- 
tinues confident that sooner or later it must succeed. 

A Spanish War is now seriously apprehended here, and the 
Stocks of course are falling. The Aug. Packet is hourly ex- 
pected, when I hope to hear of your safe Return & Health. 
With love to Betsey I am ever 

Your affectionate Father, 



(A. P. S.) 
London, Sept. 7. 1774. 


I have just received two of your Favours of July 26. 
requiring my attention to the Several Acts of your Assembly 
passed the last Session, & Endeavours to obtain the Royal 
Approbation of them. This Instruction I shall most cer- 
tainly observe, and it will be a great pleasure to me if I meet 
with the Success you wish. 

I hope to receive by the next Ship printed Copies of the 
Acts. It is well always to furnish your Agent with them 
early ; and also with the votes, as they are sometimes of Ser- 
vice in explaining an Act & removing Objections. The 
votes of the last Session I have been favour'd with by Mr. 

I shall also endeavour to give you the earliest Intelligence 
of every publick Measure here that may any way affect the 
Liberties of America. Probably nothing of the kind will 
occur till the Meeting of Parliament, but that it is said will 

1 Addressed to Samuel Tucker, Jon* Mehelm, Robert Friend Price, Henry 
Paxson and Jo. Kinsey. ED. 


be early in November. The result of your Congress is im- 
patiently waited for here. Unanimity and firmness will do 
everything for you. 

The kind & friendly Sentiments you express towards me 
are extreamly obliging. Accept my thankful Acknowledg- 
ments, & be assured of my faithful Attachment to the public 
Interests of your Province, and of the Sincere Respect with 
which I am, 


Your most obedient 

humble Servant, 

B. F. 
A speedy War with Spain is expected. 

750. TO PETER TIMOTHY J (A. p. s.) 

London, Sept. 7. 1774 


I received your Favour of May 26, and am much obliged by 
your kind Invitation to your House, which I should certainly 
accept with Pleasure, if I should ever go to Carolina. 

You wish me to correspond with you on publick Affairs. 
Those relating to America have been, and still continue, in 
so disagreable a Situation, that I cannot write upon them 
with Pleasure. Much depends on yourselves. If at the 
intended congress your Deputies are nearly unanimous in 
declaring your Rights, and in resolving firmly against all Im- 
portations from hence till those Rights are acknowledged here, 
you cannot well fail of carrying your Point. This Ministry 

1 A printer of Charleston, South Carolina, who from 1768 corresponded 
with Franklin upon topics of politics and commerce. ED. 


must go out, and give Place to Men of juster and more 
generous Principles. If you divide, you are lost. 

I believe I shall stay here another Winter, and shall be glad 
to hear of the Welfare of you and yours. My Love and 
Blessing to my little Namesake. If you send me any of your 
papers per Packet, I shall receive them free of Expence ; for, 
tho' I now pay for my Letters, they do not charge me for 
Newspapers. I am ever, dear Sir, 

Your affectionate humble Serv* 


751. TO THOMAS GUSHING (P. R. o.) 

London, September 15 1774 

SIR: I received last week only, your Favour of June 27, 
and I have received no other from you since that of April 30. 
You complain of hearing seldom from me, and yet I have 
written oftener this year than ever before. I apprehend 
our Letters are intercepted. I hope you have received mine 
of June i, for in that you will find the Dates of many of the 
Letters I had written before that time; and I wish that for 
the future you would be so good as to mention the Dates of 
those you receive, as I shall always do for your Satisfaction 
of those I receive from you. 

I rejoice to find that the whole Continent have so justly, 
wisely and unanimously taken up our Cause as their own. 
This is an unexpected Blow to the Ministry, who rely'd on 
our being neglected by every other Colony; this they de- 
pended on as another Circumstance that must force our 
immediate Submission, of which they were likewise perfectly 


sure. They are now a little disconcerted, but I hear yet 
from that Quarter no talk of retreating or changing of Meas- 
ures. The Language of those about the Court rather is that 
the King must now go on, whatever may be the Consequence. 
On the other hand, our Friends are increasing and endeavour- 
ing to unite. I have been taking pains among them, to show 
the Mischief that must arise to the Whole from a Dismem- 
bring of the Empire, which all the Measures of the present 
mad Administration have a Tendency to accomplish, and 
which can only be prevented by such a Union of the Friends 
of Liberty in both Houses as will compell a Change of that 
Administration and those Measures. I must not now relate 
to you with whom I have conferr'd, nor the Conversations I 
have had on this Subject, lest my Letter fall into wrong 
Hands ; but I may say I have reason to think a strong Push 
will be made at the very beginning of the Session to have all 
the late Acts revers'd, and a solemn Assurance given America 
that no future Attempts shall be made to tax us without our 
Consent. Much depends on the Proceedings of the Con- 
gress. All sides are Enquiring when an Account of them 
may be expected. And I am advis'd by no means to leave 
England till they arrive. Their Unanimity and Firmness 
will have great Weight here, and probably unhorse the present 
wild Riders. 

I inclose a Copy of mine mention'd above. Since that 
Date I have written several short Letters to you, including 
the Bishop of St. Asaph's Speech (which is admired here as a 
Masterpiece of Eloquence and Wisdom), an Address to Prot- 
estant Dissenters, and sundry other Pieces and Papers that I 
have been instrumental in Writing, Printing, or Publishing 
here. It would encourage me, if you could find time to ac- 


knowledge the Receipt of such things, and let me know how 
they were approved. Nothing material has pass'd here in 
publick Affairs since the Rising of Parliament. Great 
Preparations are now making for the Election of a new One ; 
and a War with Spain is apprehended, but will be avoided if 
I am, Sir, with great Esteem and Respect, your most 

obedient humble Servant, 


P. S. The Bishop's Speech has had four Editions, the 
last of 5,000 Number. 


London, September 26, 1774. 

I hope you continue in health, as I do, thanks to God. 
But I wish to know how you fare in the present distress of 
our dear country. I am apprehensive, that the letters be- 
tween us, though very innocent ones, are intercepted. They 
might restore to me yours at least, after reading them; es- 
pecially as I never complain of broken, patched-up seals (of 
late very common), because I know not on whom to fix the 

I see in a Boston paper of August i8th, an article express- 
ing, "that it is generally believed Dr. Franklin has received 
a promise of being restored to the royal favour, and promoted 
to an office superior to that which he resigned." I have 
made no public answer to any of the abuses I have received 

1 From " A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of 
Benjamin Franklin" (Sparks), 1833, p. 150. ED. 


in the papers here, nor shall I to this. But as I am anxious to 
preserve your good opinion, and as I know your sentiments, 
and that you must be much afflicted yourself, and even de- 
spise me, if you thought me capable of accepting any office 
from this government, while it is acting with so much hostility 
towards my native country, I cannot miss this first opportunity 
of assuring you, that there is not the least foundation for 
such a report ; that, so far from having any promise of royal 
favour, I hear of nothing but royal and ministerial displeasure ; 
which, indeed, as things at present stand, I consider as an 
honour. I have seen no minister since January, nor had the 
least communication with them. The generous and noble 
friends of America in both Houses do indeed favour me with 
their notice and regard; but they are in disgrace at court, 
as well as myself. Be satisfied, that I shall do nothing to 
lessen me in your esteem, or my own. I shall not, by the 
least concurrence with the present measures, merit any 
court favour, nor accept of any, if it were offered me, which, 
however, is not at all likely to happen. 

As those here, who most interest themselves in behalf of 
America, conceive, that my being present at the arrival of 
the proceedings of the Congress and the meeting of Parlia- 
ment may be of use, I submit to their judgment, and think 
it now likely, that I shall not return till spring. I am 
ever, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 

753. TO THOMAS GUSHING (p. R. o.) 
London, September 27. 1774 

SIR : I wrote to you lately by the Boston Packet, Capt. 
Shepherd, and by several preceding Conveyances. I should 


be glad to hear from you what Letters of mine came to your 
hands, as I suspect they are often intercepted. 

The Ministers have for some time been out of town, as 
well as those of both Houses who are Friends of America. 
But the latter have frequent Communications, for the pur- 
pose of dropping their private Misunderstandings, and uniting 
in the public Cause, which at present needs all their joint 
Assistance, since a Breach with America, hazarded by the 
late harsh Measures, may be ruinous to the general Welfare 
of the British Empire. In forwarding this good Work 
among them, as far as my little Endeavours may amount to, 
I have been for sometime industriously engaged. I see some 
Letters in your Newspapers, said to be written from hence, 
which represent Lord Chatham as having deserted your 
cause. I can of my own certain Knowledge assure you of 
the contrary, and that his Sentiments are such as you could 
wish. It was thought the Parliament would meet in Novem- 
ber; but the Talk now is, that it will be further prorogu'd 
till January, that Government may be in full Possession of 
the Proceedings of the Congress, and the Views of the Ameri- 
cans. With great Respect, I am, Sir, your most obedient 
humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 


London, September 30, 1774 


The bearer, Mr. Thomas Paine, is very well recommended 
to me, as an ingenious, worthy young man. He goes to 
Pennsylvania with a view of settling there. I request you 

1 First printed by Sparks. 


to give him your best advice and countenance, as he is quite 
a stranger there. If you can put him in a way of obtaining 
employment as a clerk, or assistant tutor in a school, or as- 
sistant surveyor, (of all which I think him very capable,) 
so that he may procure a subsistence at least, till he can make 
acquaintance and obtain a knowledge of the country, you 
will do well, and much oblige your affectionate father. My 

love to Sally and the boys. 



London, Oct. 6. 1774 


Since my last to you which went per Capt. Foulger, the 
Parliament by a sudden & unexpected Resolution in the 
Cabinet, has been dissolved. Various are the Conjectures 
as to the Motives; among which one is that some Advices 
from Boston, importing the Impossibility of carrying on 
Government there under the late Acts of Parliament, have 
made it appear necessary that a new Election should be got 
through before any Ferment arises here among the Manu- 
facturers, which if it happen'd during the Election (as might 
be expected if the old Parliament had gone on to finish its 
Term) would probably have been a means of Outing many 
of the Court Candidates. As yet it does not appear that there 
is any Intention of Changing Measures: But all intelligent 
Men are of Opinion, that if the American Congress should 
resolve on the Non-consumption of the Manufactures of 
Britain this Ministry must go out, and their late Measures be 
all reversed. As such a resolution, firmly adher'd to, would 


in a peaceable and justifiable Way do every thing for us that 
we can wish, I am griev'd to hear of Mobs & Violence, and 
the pulling down the Houses, which our Friends cannot 
justify, and which give great Advantage against us to our 

The Electors of the Cities of London & Westminster, the 
Borough of Southwark, the County of Middlesex, and some 
other Places, have exacted of their Candidates Engagements 
under their Hands that they will among other things endeav- 
our a Repeal of the late iniquitous Acts against America, 
and tis suppos'd the Example of the Metropolis will be fol- 
low'd in other Places, and would have been nearly general 
if the Election had not been thus precipitated. The Bishop 
of St. Asaph's intended speech, several Copies of which I 
send you, and of which many Thousands have been printed 
and distributed here has had an extraordinary Effect, in 
changing the Sentiments of Multitudes with regard to America. 
And when the Result of the Congress arrives, and the 
Measures they resolve to pursue (which I confide will be wise 
& good, enter'd into with Unanimity, and persisted in with 
Firmness) come to be known and considered here, I am 
persuaded our Friends will be multiplied, and our Enemies 
diminished so as to bring on an Accommodation in which our 
undoubted Rights shall be acknowledged and established. 
This, for the common Welfare of the British Empire, I most 
ardently wish. But I am in perpetual Anxiety lest the mad 
Measure of mixing Soldiers among a People whose Minds are 
in such a State of Irritation, may be attended with some 
sudden Mischief; For an accidental Quarrel, a personal 
Insult, an imprudent Order, an insolent Execution of even 
a prudent one, or 20 other things, may produce a Tumult, 


unforeseen, and therefore impossible to be prevented, in 
which such a Carnage may ensue, as to make a Breach that 
can never afterwards be healed. 

I pray God to Govern everything for the best, and am 
with the greatest Esteem & Respect, 

Your (and the Committee's) 

most obedient 
and most humble Servant 



London, Oct. 10. 1774 


I wrote to you a few Days since, and have little to add. 
The Election for Lord Mayor ended on Saturday, when 
Wilkes was chosen by a great Majority both of the Livery & 
of the Aldermen ; and 'tis thought he will carry the Elections 
of 4 Members for the City, 2 for the Borough of Southwark, 
2 for Westminster, and 2 for the County of Middlesex, 
himself one of the latter; all of whom have subscrib'd an 
Engagement to endeavour a Repeal of the late Acts against 
America. But still if the Temper of the Court continues, 
there will doubtless be a Majority in the new Parliament for 
its Measures, whatever they are: For as most of the Mem- 
bers are bribing or purchasing to get in, there is little doubt 
of selling their votes to the Minister for the time being, to 
reimburse themselves. Luxury introduces necessity even 
among those that make the most splendid Figures here; 
this brings most of the Commons as well as Lords to Market ; 


and if America would save for 3 or 4 Years the Money she 
spends in Fashions & Fineries & Fopperies of this Country, 
she might buy the whole Parliament, Minister and all. 

It is said 3 ships of the Line are fitting out to join the 
Fleet at Boston; for what purpose I cannot imagine, since 
it does not appear that those already there are insufficient to 
block up that Port. 

Some of the ministerial People seeing things turn out in 
America contrary to what they had been made to expect, 
begin to blame Hutchinson for misleading them. And Gen. 
Gage, who when going was talk'd of as a cool prudent Man, 
& therefore fit for that Service; is now spoken of as peevish, 
passionate & indiscreet ; for which indeed several particulars 
of his Conduct appear to afford good Grounds. 

All here are impatient to know the Result of your Congress. 
The two last Letters I have received from you, are of April 30, 
and June 27. I suppose the Expectation of my being on 
my Way to America has prevented your Writing. 

With great Respect, I have the honour to be Sir, 
Your most obedient 
and most humble Servant 


757. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY (A. p. s.) 
[London,] Oct. 12. 1774. 


I wrote to you on the ist Inst. by Capt Cook, acquainting 
you with the Disposition of the Parliament, since which the 
Elections are going on briskly everywhere for a new one. 
The Electors of London, Westminster, the Borough of 


Southwark, & the County of Middlesex, have obliged their 
Candidates to sign a written Engagement, that they will 
endeavour a Repeal of the late oppressive and unconstitu- 
tional American Laws, & promote a Reconciliation between 
the two Countries. Their Example will be followed in some 
other Places, and 'tis thought would have been pretty general 
in the trading and manufacturing Towns, if the suddenness 
of the Dissolution had not hurried things too much. 

It being objected to one of the Candidates set up for 
Westminster, viz Lord Percy, that he is absent on the wicked 
Business of cutting the Throats of our American Brethren, 
his Friends have thought it necessary this Morning to publish 
a Letter of his, expressing that he is upon good Terms with 
the People of Boston, and much respected by them. These 
Circumstances show, that the American Cause begins to be 
more popular here. Yet the Court talk boldly of persisting 
in their Measures, and 3 Ships of the Line are fitting out for 
America, which are to be over-mann'd, to have a Double 
Number of Marines, and several arm'd Tenders. It is 
rumoured they are to stop all the ports of America. 

Many think the new Parliament will be for reversing the 
late proceedings; but that depends en the Court, on which 
every Parliament seems to be dependent; so much so, that 
I begin to think a Parliament here of little Use to the People : 
For since a Parliament is always to do as a ministry would 
have it, why should we not be governed by the Ministry in 
the first Instance? They could afford to govern us cheaper, 
the Parliament being a very expensive Machine, that re- 
quires a vast deal of oiling and greasing at the People's 
Charge; for they finally pay all the enormous Salaries of 
Places, the Pensions, and the Bribes, now by Custom become 


necessary to induce the Members to vote according to their 

My Situation here is thought by many to be a little hazard- 
ous ; for that if by some Accident, the Troops and People of 
N. E. 1 should come to Blows, I should probably be taken up ; 
the ministerial People affecting everywhere to represent me 
as the Cause of all the Misunderstanding; and I have been 
frequently caution'd to secure my Papers, and by some 
advis'd to withdraw. But I venture to stay, in compliance 
with the Wish of others, till the Result of the Congress ar- 
rives, since they suppose my being here might on that Oc- 
casion be of Use; and I confide in my Innocence, that the 
worst which can happen to me will be an Imprisonment on 
Suspicion, tho* that is a thing I should much desire to avoid, 
as it may be expensive and vexatious, as well as dangerous 
to my Health. With great respect and esteem, I am ever, 
dear Sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 


1. And it came to pass after these things, that Abraham 
sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun. 

2. And behold a man, bent with age, coming from the way 
of the wilderness, leaning on a staff. 

3. And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him, 
Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, 
and thou shalt arise early in the morning, and go on thy way. 

4. But the man said, Nay, for I will abide under this tree. 

1 New England. ED. 

2 See Volume I, p. 179. The parable is printed here from Vaughan's 
text. ED. 


5. And Abraham pressed him greatly ; so he turned, and 
they went into the tent; and Abraham baked unleavened 
bread, and they did eat. 

6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, 
he said unto him, Wherefore dost thou not worship the most 
high God, Creator of heaven and earth ? 

7. And the man answered and said, I do not worship 
thy God, neither do I call upon his name ; for I have made 
to myself a god, which abideth always in mine house, and 
provideth me with all things. 

8. And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and 
he arose and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows 
into the wilderness. 

9. And God called unto Abraham, saying, Abraham, 
where is the stranger? 

10. And Abraham answered and said, Lord, he would 
not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; 
therefore have I driven him out from before my face into 
the wilderness. 

11. And God said, Have I borne with him these hundred 
and ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and cloathed 
him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst 
not thou, who art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night ? 

12. And Abraham said, Let not the anger of the Lord 
wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned; lo, I have 
sinned; forgive me, I pray thee. 

13. And Abraham arose, and went forth into the wilder- 
ness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and 
returned with him to the tent; and when he had entreated 
him kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts. 

14. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, For 


this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in 
a strange land; 

15. But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they 
shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, 
and with much substance. 1 


1. IN those days there was no worker of iron in all the 
land. And the merchants of Midian passed by with their 
camels, bearing spices, and myrrh, and balm, and wares of 

2. And Reuben bought an axe of the Ishmaelite merchants, 
which he prized highly, for there was none in his father's 

3. And Simeon said unto Reuben his brother, "Lend me, 
I pray thee, thine axe." But he refused, and would not. 

4. And Levi also said unto him, "My brother, lend me, 
I pray thee, thine axe;" and he refused him also. 

5. Then came Judah unto Reuben, and entreated him, 
saying, "Lo, thou lovest me, and I have always loved thee; 
do not refuse me the use of thine axe." 

6. But Reuben turned from him, and refused him likewise. 

7. Now it came to pass, that Reuben hewed timber on 
the bank of the river, and his axe fell therein, and he could 
by no means find it. 

8. But Simeon, Levi, and Judah had sent a messenger 
after the Ishmaelites with money, and had bought for them- 
selves each an axe. 

1 On the subject of this Parable see also a letter from Dr. Franklin to Mr. 
Vaughan, dated November ad, 1789. ED. 


9. Then came Reuben unto Simeon, and said, "Lo, I 
have lost mine axe, and my work is unfinished; lend me 
thine, I pray thee." 

10. And Simeon answered him, saying, "Thou wouldest 
not lend me thine axe, therefore will I not lend thee 

11. Then went he unto Levi, and said unto him, "My 
brother, thou knowest my loss and my necessity; lend me, 
I pray thee, thine axe." 

12. And Levi reproached him, saying, "Thou wouldest 
not lend me thine axe when I desired it, but I will be better 
than thou, and will lend thee mine." 

13. And Reuben was grieved at the rebuke of Levi and 
being ashamed, turned from him, and took not the axe, but 
sought his brother Judah. 

14. And as he drew near, Judah beheld his countenance 
as it were covered with grief and shame; and he prevented 
him, saying, "My brother, I know thy loss; but why should 
it trouble thee ? Lo, have I not an axe that will serve both 
thee and me? Take it, I pray thee, and use it as thine own." 

15. And Reuben fell on his neck, and kissed him, with 
tears, saying, "Thy kindness is great, but thy goodness in 
forgiving me is greater. Thou are indeed my brother, and 
whilst I live, will I surely love thee." 

1 6. And Judah said, "Let us also love our other brethren; 
behold, are we not all of one blood?" 

17. And Joseph saw these things, and reported them to 
his father Jacob. 

1 8. And Jacob said, "Reuben did wrong, but he repented. 
Simeon also did wrong ; and Levi was not altogether blame- 



19. "But the heart of Judah is princely. Judah hath 
the soul of a king. His father's children shall bow down 
before him, and he shall rule over his brethren." 


HAVING been from my Youth more or lest engag'd in 
publick Affairs, it has often happened to me in the Course 
of my Life to be censured sharply for the Part I took in them. 
Such Censures I have generally passed over in Silence, 
conceiving, when they were just, that I ought rather to 
amend than defend; and when they were undeserved, that 
a little Time would justify me. Splashes of Dirt thrown 
upon my Character, I suffered while fresh to remain : I did 
not chuse to spread by endeavouring to remove them, but 
rely'd on the vulgar Adage that they would all rub off when 
they were dry. Much Experience has confirmed my Opinion 
of the Propriety of this Conduct; for notwithstanding the 
frequent, and sometimes the virulent Attacks which the 
Jostlings of Party Interests have drawn upon me, I have 
had the Felicity of bringing down to a good old Age as fair 
a Reputation (may I be permitted to say it?) as most publick 
Men that I have known, and have never had reason to re- 
pent my neglecting to defend it. 

I should therefore (persisting, as old Men are apt to do, 

1 For the history of the Hutchinson letters, see the Life of Franklin in 
Volume X of this edition. This paper was written in 1 774, but was not pub- 
lished until it appeared in W. T. F.'s edition of the works in 1817. A draft 
and trans, of it exist in L. C. ED. 


in old Habits) have taken no Notice of the late Invective of 
the Sollicitor- General, nor of the abundant Abuse in the 
Papers, were I not urg'd to it by my Friends, who say, that 
the first being delivered by a publick Officer of Government 
before a high and most respectable Court, the Privy Council, 
and countenanc'd by its Report, and the latter having that 
for its Foundation, it behoves me, more especially as I am 
about leaving this Country, to furnish them with the Knowl- 
edge of such Facts as may enable them to justify to others 
their good Opinion of me. This compells me to the present 
Writing : for otherwise, having for some time past been grad- 
ually loosning all publick Connections, declining my Agencies, 
determin'd on retiring to my little Family, that I might 
enjoy the Remainder of Life in private Repose, indifferent 
to the Opinion of Courtiers, as having nothing to seek or 
wish among them, and being secure that Time would soon 
lay the Dust which Prejudice and Party have so lately rais'd, 
I should not think of giving myself the Trouble of Writing, 
and my Friends of reading an Apology for my political 

That this conduct may be better understood, and its Con- 
sistency more apparent, it seems necessary that I should 
first explain the Principles on which I have acted. It has 
long appeared to me, that the only true British Politicks were 
those which aim'd at the Good of the Whole British Empire, 
not that which sought the Advantage of one Part in the Dis- 
advantage of the others ; therefore all Measures of procuring 
Gain to the Mother Country arising from Loss to her Colo- 
nies, and all of Gain to the Colonies arising from or occasion- 
ing Loss to Britain, especially where the Gain was small and 
the Loss great, every Abridgment of the Power of the Mother 


Country, where that Power was not prejudicial to the Liber- 
ties of the Colonists, and every Diminution of the Privileges 
of the Colonists, where they were not prejudicial to the Wel- 
fare of the Mo. Country, I, in my own Mind, condemned as 
improper, partial, unjust, and mischievous ; tending to create 
Dissensions, and weaken that Union, on which the Strength, 
Solidity, and Duration of the Empire greatly depended; 
and I opposed, as far as my little Powers went, all Proceed- 
ings, either here or in America, that in my Opinion had such 
Tendency. Hence it has often happened to me, that while 
I have been thought here too much of an American, I have 
in America been deem'd too much of an Englishman. 

From a thorough Enquiry (on Occasion of the Stamp Act) 
into the Nature of the Connection between Britain and the 
Colonies, I became convinced, that the Bond of their Union 
is not the Parliament, but the King. That in removing to 
America, a Country out of the Realm, they did not carry 
with them the Statutes then existing; for, if they did, the 
Puritans must have been subject there to the same grievous 
Acts of Conformity, Tithes, Spiritual Courts, &c., which 
they meant to be free from by going thither; and in vain 
would they have left their native Country, and all the Con- 
veniencies and Comforts of its improved State, to combat 
the Hardships of a new Settlement in a distant Wilderness, 
if they had taken with them what they meant to fly from, 
or if they had left a Power behind them capable of sending 
the same Chains after them, to bind them in America : 
They took with them, however, by Compact, their Allegiance 
to the King, and a Legislative Power for the making a new 
Body of Laws with his Assent, by which they were to be gov- 
erned. Hence they became distinct States, under the same 


Prince, as Scotland and England were before the Union, as 
Ireland is, as Jersey, Guernsey and Hanover are, governed 
each by its own Laws, and by the same Sovereign; having 
each the Power of granting their own Money to that Sover- 
eign. And the Privilege of not being taxed but by their 
own Representatives. 

At the same time, I considered the King's Supreme Au- 
thority over all the Colonies as of the greatest importance to 
them, affording a Dernier Resort for settling all their Disputes, 
a Means of preserving Peace among them with each other, 
and a Center in which their Common Force might be united 
against a common Enemy. This Authority I therefore 
thought, when acting within its due Limits, should be ever 
as carefully supported by the Colonists as by the Inhabitants 
of Britain. 

In Conformity with these Principles, and as Agent for the 
Colonies, I opposed the Stamp Act, and endeavoured to 
obtain its Repeal, as an Infringement of the Rights of the 
Colonists, of no real Advantage to Britain, since she might 
ever be sure of greater Aids from our voluntary Grants than 
she could expect from arbitrary Taxes, as by losing our 
Respect and Affection, on which much of her Commerce 
with us depended, she would lose more in that Commerce 
than she could possibly gain by such Taxes, and as it was 
detrimental to the Harmony which had till then so happily 
subsisted, and which was so essential to the Welfare of the 
whole. And to keep up, as much as in me lay, a Reverence 
for the King and a Respect for the British Nation on that side 
the Water, and on this some Regard for the Colonies, (both 
tending to promote that Harmony,) I industriously, on all 
Occasions, in my Letters to America, represented the Meas- 


ures that were grievous to them, as being neither royal nor 
National Measures, but the Schemes of an Administration, 
which wished to recommend itself for its Ingenuity in Finance, 
or to avail itself of new Revenues in creating, by Places and 
Pensions, new Dependencies; for that the King was a good 
and gracious Prince, and the People of Britain their real 
Friends. And on this Side the Water, I represented the 
People of America as fond of Britain, concern 'd for its Inter- 
ests and its Glory, and without the least Desire of a Separation 
from it. In both Cases I thought, and still think, I did not 
exceed the Bounds of Truth, and I have the heartfelt Satis- 
faction attending good Intentions, even when they are not 

With these Sentiments I could not but see with Concern 
the Sending of Troops to Boston; and their Behaviour to 
the People there gave me infinite Uneasiness, as I appre- 
hended from that Measure the worst of Consequences, a 
Breach between the two Countries. And I was the more 
concern'd when I found, that it was considered there as a 
National Measure (since none here oppos'd it), and as a 
Proof that Britain had no longer a Parental Regard for them. 
I myself in Conversation sometimes spoke of it in this Light, 
and I own with some Resentment (being myself a Native of 
that Country), till I was, to my great Surprise, assured by a 
Gentleman of Character and Distinction (whom I am not at 
present permitted to name), that not only the Measure I par- 
ticularly censur'd so warmly, but all the other Grievances 
we complain 'd of, took their Rise, not from Government 
here, but were projected, proposed to Administration, sol- 
licited, and obtained by some of the most respectable among 
the Americans themselves, as necessary Measures for the wel- 


fare of that Country. As I could not readily assent to the 
Probability of this, he undertook to convince me, and he 
hoped thro' me (as their Agent here) my Countrymen. Ac- 
cordingly he call'd on me some Days after, and produc'd to 
me these very Letters from Lieut-Gov r Hutchinson, Secr F 
Oliver, and others, w ch have since been the Subject of so much 

Tho' astonished, I could not but confess myself convinced, 
and I was ready as he desired to convince my Countrymen; 
for I saw, I felt indeed by its Effect upon myself, the Tendency 
it must have towards a Reconciliation, which for the common 
Good I earnestly wished; it appear 'd moreover, my Duty 
to give my Constituents an Intelligence of such Importance 
to their Affairs ; but there was some Difficulty, as the Gentle- 
man would not permit Copies to be taken of the Letters; 
and, if that could have been done, the Authenticity of those 
Copies might have been doubted and disputed. My simple 
Account of them as Papers I had seen, would have been still 
less certain ; I therefore wish'd to have the Use of the Origi- 
nals for that Purpose, which I at length obtained, on these 
express Conditions, that they should not be printed ; that no 
Copies should be taken of them ; that they should be shown 
only to a few of the leading People of the Government; 
and that they should be carefully returned. 

I accepted these Conditions, and under the same trans- 
mitted the original Letters to the Committee of Correspond- 
ence at Boston, without taking or reserving any Copy of 
them for myself. 1 I agreed the more willingly to the Restraint 
from an Apprehension, that a Publication might, considering 
the State of Irritation in which the Minds of People there had 

1 See letter in Volume V, to Thomas Gushing, dated December 2, 1772. 


long been kept, occasion some Riot of mischievous conse- 
quence. I had no other Scruple in sending them, for as they 
had been handed about here to prejudice that People, why 
not to them for their Advantage ? The writers too had taken 
the same Liberty with the Letters of others, transmitting 
hither those of Rosne and Auchmuty in Confirmation of their 
own Calumnies against the Americans; Copies of some of 
mine too had been return 'd here by Officers of Government. 
Why, then, should theirs be exempt from the same Treat- 
ment? To whom they had been directed here I could only 
conjecture ; for I was not inform'd, and there was no address 
upon them when I receiv'd them. My Letter in which I 
enclos'd them, expressed more fully the Motives above men- 
tion'd for sending them, and I shall presently give an Extract 
of so much of it as related to them. 

But as it has, on the contrary, been roundly asserted that 
I did not, as Agent, transmit those Letters to the Assembly's 
Committee of Correspondence ; that I sent them to a Junto, 
my peculiar Correspondents; that fearing to be known as 
the Person who sent them, I had insisted on the keeping that 
Circumstance a Secret: that I had "shown the utmost 
Solicitude to have that Secret kept " ; and this has been urged 
as a demonstrative Proof, that I was conscious of Guilt in 
the Manner of obtaining them; and therefore fear'd a Dis- 
covery so much as not to dare putting my Name to the Letter 
in which I enclos'd them, and which only appear'd to be mine 
by my well-known Handwriting; I would here, previous to 
that Extract, observe, that on the same Paper was first written 
the Copy of a preceding Letter, which had been sent sign'd 
by me as usual ; and accordingly the Letter now in question 
began with these Words, " The above is a Copy 0} my last;" 


and all the first Part of it was on Business transacted by me 
relating to the Affairs of the Province, and particularly to 
two Petitions sent to me as Agent by the Assembly, to be 
presented to the King. These Circumstances must to every 
Person there have as clearly shown me to be the Writer of 
that Letter, as my well-known Hand must have done to those 
peculiar Correspondents of my own, to whom it is said I sent 
it. If then I hoped to be conceal'd by not signing my Name 
to such a Letter, I must have been as silly as that Bird, which 
is suppos'd to think itself unseen when it has hid only its 
Head. And, if I could depend on my Correspondents' keep- 
ing secret a Letter and a Transaction, which they must needs 
know were mine, I might as well have trusted them with my 
Name, and could have had no Motive for omitting it. In 
truth, all I insisted on was (in pursuance of my Engagement), 
that the Letters should not be printed or copied ; but I had not 
at the time the least Thought or Desire of keeping my Part 
in that Transaction a Secret; and, therefore, so far from 
requesting it, I did not so much as give the smallest Intima- 
tion, even that it would be agreable to me not to be men- 
tioned on the Occasion. And if I had had that Inclination, 
I must have been very weak indeed to fancy, that the Person 
I wrote to, all the rest of the Committee of Correspondence, 
Five other Persons named, and "such others as the Committee 
might think fit to show them to," with three Gentlemen here 
to whom I had communicated the matter, should all keep 
as a Secret on my Account what I did not state as a Secret, 
or request should be concealed. 

So much of the Letter as relates to the Governor's Letters 
is as follows. 

"On this Occasion I think it fit to acquaint you, that there 


has lately fallen into my Hands part of a Correspondence, 
that I have reason to believe laid the Foundation of most 
if not all our present grievances. I am not at Liberty to 
tell thro* what Channel I receiv'd it; and I have engag'd 
that it shall not be printed, nor Copies taken of the whole, 
or any Part of it ; but I am allow'd to let it be seen by some 
Men of Worth in the Province, for their Satisfaction only. 
In confidence of your preserving inviolably my Engagement, 
I send you inclosed the original Letters, to obviate every 
Pretence of Unfairness in Copying, Interpolation, or Omis- 
sion. The Hands of the Gentlemen will be well known. 
Possibly they may not like such an Exposal of their Conduct, 
however tenderly and privately it may be managed. But 
if they are good Men, or pretend to be such, and agree that 
all good Men wish a good Understanding and Harmony to 
subsist between the Colonies and their Mother Country, they 
ought the less to regret, that, at the small Expence of their 
Reputation for Sincerity and Publick Spirit among their 
Compatriots, so desirable an Event may in some degree be 
forwarded. For my own Part, I cannot but acknowledge, 
that my Resentment against this Country, for its arbitrary 
Measures in governing us, conducted by the late Minister, 
has, since my Conviction by these Papers that those Measures 
were projected, advised, and called for by Men of Character 
among ourselves, and whose Advice must therefore be at- 
tended with all the Weight that was proper to mislead, 
and which could therefore scarce fail of Misleading; my 
own Resentment, I say, has by this Means been exceedingly 
abated. / think they must have the same Effect with you; 
but I am not, as I have said, at Liberty to make the Letters 
publick. I can only allow them to be seen by yourself, by 


the other Gentlemen of the Committee of Correspondence, 
by Messrs. Bowdoin and Pitts of the Council, and Drs. 
Chauncey, Cooper, and Winthrop, with a few such other Gen- 
tlemen as you may think fit to show them to. After being some 
Months in your Possession, you are requested to return them 
to me. 

"As to the writers, I can easily as well as charitably con- 
ceive it possible, that a Man educated in Prepossessions of the 
unbounded Authority of Parliament, &c. may think unjus- 
tifiable every Opposition even to its unconstitutional Exac- 
tions, and imagine it their Duty to suppress, as much as in 
them lies, such Opposition. But when I find them bartering 
away the Liberties of their native Country for Posts, and ne- 
gotiating for Salaries and Pensions extorted from the People ; 
and, conscious of the Odium these might be attended with, 
calling for Troops to protect and secure the Enjoyment of 
them: When I see them exciting Jealousies in the Crown, 
and provoking it to Wrath against so great a Part of its most 
faithful Subjects; creating Enmities between the different 
Countries of which the Empire consists ; occasioning a great 
Expence to the Old Country for Suppressing or Preventing 
imaginary Rebellions in the New, and to the new Country 
for the Payment of needless Gratifications to useless Officers 
and Enemies ; I cannot but doubt their Sincerity even in the 
political Principles they profess, and deem them mere Time- 
servers, seeking their own private Emolument, thro' any 
Quantity of Publick Mischief; Betrayers of the Interest, 
not of their native Country only, but of the Govern- 
ment they pretend to serve, and of the whole English 

"With the greatest Esteem and Respect, I have the honour 


to be, Sir, your and the Committee's most obedient humble 
Servant, "B. FRANKLIN." 

The next letter is of Jan. 5, 1773, to the same Gentleman, 1 
beginning with these Words," I did myself the Honour of writ- 
ing to you on the 2d of December past, enclosing some origi- 
nal Letters from Persons in Boston, which I hope got safe to 
hand;" and then it goes on with other Business transacted 
by B. F. as Agent and is signed with his Name as usual. 
In Truth he never sent an anonymous Letter to any Person 
in America, since his Residence here, unless where two or 
more Letters happen 'd to be on the same Paper, the first a 
Copy of a preceding Letter, and the subsequent Referring 
to the preceding ; in that Case he may possibly have omitted 
signing more than one of them, as unnecessary. 

The first Letter, acknowledging the Receipt of the Papers, 
is dated "Boston, March 24, 1773," and begins thus; "I 
have just received your Favour of the 2d December last, 
with the several Papers enclos'd, for which I am much oblig'd 
to you. I have communicated them to some of the Gentle- 
men you mentioned. They are of Opinion, that tho' it might 
be inconvenient to publish them, yet it might be expedient 
to have Copies taken and left on this Side the Water, as there 
may be a Necessity to make some Use of them hereafter: 
However I read to them what you had wrote to me upon the 
Occasion, and told them I could by no means consent Copies 
of them or any Part of them should be taken without your 
express Leave ; that I would write to you upon the Subject ; 
and should strictly conform to your Directions." 

1 Thomas Cushing, Speaker of the House of Representatives in Massa- 
chusetts. ED. 


The next Letter, dated April 20, 1773, begins thus; "I 
wrote you in my last, that the Gentlemen, to whom I had com- 
municated the Papers you sent me under Cover of yours of 
the 2d of December last, were of Opinion that they ought to 
be retained on this side the Water to be hereafter imployed 
as the Exigency of our Affairs may require, or at least that 
authenticated Copies ought to be taken before they are 
returned : I shall have, I find, a very difficult Task properly 
to conduct this Matter, unless you obtain leave for their being 
retained or Copied. I shall wait your Directions on this 
Head, and hope they will be such as will be agreable to all 
the Gentlemen, who unanimously are of Opinion, that it 
can by no means answer any valuable Purpose to send them 
here for the Inspection of a few Persons, barely to satisfy 
their Curiosity." 

On the Qth of March, I wrote to the same Person, not having 
then receiv'd the preceding Letters, and mention'd my having 
written to him of the 2d of December and 5th of January; 
and knowing what Use was made against the People there, 
of every trifling Mob, and fearing lest if the Letters should 
contrary to my Directions be made publick something more 
serious of the kind might happen, I concluded that Letter 
thus; "I must hope that great Care will be taken to keep our 
People quiet, since nothing is more wish'd for by our Enemies, 
than that by Insurrections we should give a good Pretence 
for increasing the Military among us, and putting us under 
more severe Restraints. And it must be evident to all, that 
by our rapidly increasing Strength we shall soon become of 
so much Importance, that none of our just Claims of Privilege 
will be as heretofore unattended to, nor any Security we can 
wish for our Rights be deny'd us." 


Mine of May 6 begins thus ; "I have received none of your 
Favours, since that of Nov. 28. I have since written to you 
of the following Dates, Dec. 2, Jan. 5, March 9, and April 3, 
which I hope got safe to hand." Thus in two out of three 
Letters, subsequent to that of Dec. 2, which enclos'd the 
Governor's Letters, I mention'd my Writing that Letter, 
which shows I could have no Intention of concealing my 
having written it; and that therefore the Assertion of my 
sending it anonymous is without Probability. 

In mine of June 2, 1773, I acknowledge the Receipt of his 
[Letter] of Mar. 24, and not being able to answer immediately 
his Request of leave to copy the Letters, I said nothing of 
them then, postponing that Subject to an Opportunity which 
was expected two days after, viz. June 4th, when my Letter 
of that Date concludes thus; "As to the Letters I communi- 
cated to you, tho' I have not been able to obtain Leave to 
take Copies or publish them, I have Permission to let the 
Originals remain with you, as long as you may think it of any 
Use to have the Originals in Possession." 

In mine of July 7. 1773, I answer the above of April 20 
as follows. "The Letters communicated to you were not 
merely to satisfy the Curiosity of any, but it was thought there 
might be a Use in showing them to some Friends of the 
Province, and even to some of the Governor's Party, for their 
more certain Information concerning his Conduct and Poli- 
ticks, tho' the Letters were not made quite publick. I believe 
I have since wrote to you, that there was no Occasion to re- 
turn them speedily; and, tho' I cannot obtain Leave as yet 
to suffer Copies to be taken of them, I am allowed to say, 
that they may be shewn and read to whom and as many as 
you think proper." 


The same Person writes to me of June 14, 1773, in these 
Terms; "I have endeavoured inviolably to keep to your 
Injunctions with respect to the Papers you sent me; I have 
shown them only to such Persons as you directed; no one 
person, except Dr. Cooper and one of the Committee, know 
from whom they came or to whom they were sent. I have 
constantly avoided mentioning your Name upon the Occasion, 
so that it never need be known (if you incline to keep it a 
Secret) who they came from, and to whom they were sent; 
and / desire, so far as I am concerned, my Name may not be 
mentioned; for it may be a Damage to me. I thought it, how- 
ever, my Duty to communicate them as permitted, as they 
contained Matters of Importance that very nearly affected 
the Government. And notwithstanding all my Care and 
Precaution, it is now publickly known that such Letters are 
here. Considering the Number of Persons who were to see 
them, (not less than Ten or Fifteen,) it is astonishing they did 
not get Air before." Then he goes on to relate how the 
Assembly, having heard of them, oblig'd him to produce Jhem, 
but engag'd not to print them ; and that they afterwards did 
nevertheless print them, having got over that Engagement by 
the Appearance of Copies in the House, produc'd by a Mem- 
ber, who it was reported had just receiv'd them from England. 
This letter concludes; "I have done all in my Power strictly 
to conform to your Restrictions ; but, from the Circumstances 
above related, you must be sensible it was impossible to pre- 
vent the Letters being made publick and therefore hope I 
shall be free from all Blame respecting this Matter." 

This Letter accounts for its being, unexpectedly to me, 
made a Secret in Boston, that I had sent the Letters. The 
Gent, to whom I sent them had his Reasons for desiring not 


to be known as the Person who received and communicated 
them; but as this would have been suspected, if it were 
known that I sent them, that Circumstance was to be kept a 
Secret. Accordingly they were given to another, to be by 
him produc'd to the committee. 

My answer to this was of July 25, 1773, as follows: [See 
letter to Thomas Gushing, July 25, 1773, supra, p. 109. ED.] 

With the abovemention'd Letter of the i4th June, I re- 
ceived one from another of the Gentlemen 1 to whom the 
Papers had been communicated, which says, "By whom and 
to whom they were sent is still a Secret, known only to three 
Persons here, and may still remain so, if you desire it." My 
Answer to him of July 25, was; "I accompany 'd them with 
no Restriction relating to myself: My Duty to the Province 
as their Agent I thought requir'd the Communication of them 
so far as I could. I was sensible I should make enemies 
there, and perhaps might offend Governm* here; but these 
Apprehensions I disregarded. I did not expect, and hardly 
still expect, that my sending them could be kept a Secret. 
But since it is such hitherto, I now wish it may continue so, 
because the Publication of the Letters, contrary to my 
Engagement, has changed the Circumstances." His Reply 
to this, of the loth of November, is ; "After all the solicitous 
Enquiries of the Governor and his Friends respecting his 
Letters, it still remains a Secret from and to whom they were 
sent here. This is known, among us, to two only besides my- 
self ; and will remain undiscovered, unless farther Intelligence 
should come from your Side the Water, than I have reason 
to think has yet been obtain'd. I cannot, however, but admire 
your honest Openness in this Affair, and noble Negligence 

1 Rev. Samuel Cooper, of Boston. ED. 


of any Inconveniencies that might arise to yourself in this 
essential Service to our injur'd Country." 

To another Friend l I wrote of the same Date, July 25, 
what will show the Apprehensions I was constantly under, 
of the Mischiefs that might attend a Breach from the exas- 
perated State of Things, and the Arguments I used to prevent 
it ; viz. " I am glad to see that you are elected into the Council, 
and are about to take Part in our Publick Affairs. Your 
Abilities, Integrity, and sober Attachment to the Liberties 
of our Country, will be of great Use at this tempestuous Time, 
in conducting our little Bark into safe Harbour. By the 
Boston Newspapers there seem to be among us some violent 
Spirits, who are for an immediate Rupture. But, I trust, 
the general Prudence of our Countrymen will see, that by 
our growing Strength we advance fast to a Situation in which 
our Claims must be allow'd; that by a premature Struggle 
we may be crippled and kept down another Age; that as 
between Friends every Affront is not worth a Duel, between 
Nations every Injury not worth a War, so between the Gov- 
erned and the Governing, every Mistake in Government, 
every Incroachment on Rights, is not worth a Rebellion. 
'Tis in my Opinion, sufficient for the present that we hold 
them forth on all Occasions, not giving up any of them; 
using at the same time, every Means to make them gen- 
erally understood and valued by the People; cultivating a 
Harmony among the Colonies, that their Union in the same 
Sentiments may give them greater Weight; remembring 
withal that this Protestant Country (our Mother, tho' of late 
an unkind one,) is worth preserving, and that her Weight in 

1 Professor Winthrop, of Harvard College, a member of his Majesty's 
Council in Massachusetts. See this letter, p. 106. ED. 
VOL. vi T 


the Scale of Europe, her Safety in a great Degree, may depend 
on our Union with her. Thus conducting, I am confident, 
we may within a few Years obtain every Allowance of, and 
every Security for, our inestimable Privileges, that we can 
wish or desire." 

His Answer of Dec. 31, is; "I concur perfectly with you 
in the Sentiments expressed in your last. No considerate 
Person, I should think, can approve of desperate Remedies, 
except in desperate Cases. The People of America are 
extreamly agitated by the repeated Efforts of Administration 
to subject them to absolute Power. They have been amused 
with Accounts of the pacific Disposition of the Ministry, 
and flattered with Assurances, that upon their humble Peti- 
tions, all their Grievances should be redressed. They have 
petitioned from time to time ; but their Petitions have had no 
other Effect than to make them feel more sensibly their own 
Slavery. Instead of Redress, every Year has produced some 
new Manoeuvre, which could have no Tendency but to irritate 
them more and more. The last Measure of the East India 
Company's sending their Tea here, subject to a Duty, seems 
to have given the finishing Stroke to their Patience. You 
will have heard of the Steps taken at Boston, New York, 
and Philadelphia, to prevent the Payment of this Duty, by 
sending the Tea back to its Owners. But, as this was found 
impossible at Boston, the Destruction of the Tea was the Con- 
sequence. What the Event of these Commotions will be, 
God only knows. The People thro' the Colonies appear 
immoveably fix'd in their Resolution, that the Tea Duty 
shall never be paid; and, if the Ministry are determin'd 
to inforce these Measures, I dread the Consequences: I 
verily fear they will turn America into a field of Blood. But 
I will hope for the best." 


I am told, that Administration is possess'd of most of my 
Letters sent or received on Publick Affairs for some Years 
past; Copies of them having been obtain'd from the Files 
of the several Assemblies, or as they pass'd thro' the Post- 
Office. I do not condemn their ministerial Industry or com- 
plain of it. The foregoing Extracts may be compared with 
those Copies; and I can appeal to them with Confidence, 
that upon such Comparison, these Extracts will be found 
faithfully made. And that the whole Tenor of my Letters 
has been, to persuade Patience and a careful guarding against 
all Violence, under the Grievances complained of, and this 
from various Considerations, such as, that the Welfare 
of the Empire depended upon the Union of its Parts; that 
the Sovereign was well dispos'd towards us, and the Body 
of this Nation our Friends and Well- Wishers ; that it was the 
Ministry only who were prejudic'd against us ; that the Sen- 
timents of Ministers might in time be changed, or the Min- 
isters themselves be changed ; or that, if those Chances fail'd, 
at least Time would infallibly bring Redress, since the 
Strength, Weight, and Importance of America were con- 
tinually and rapidly increasing, and its Friendship of course 
daily becoming more valuable and more likely to be culti- 
vated by an Attention to its Rights. The NewsPapers have 
announc'd, that Treason is found in some of my Letters. It 
must then be of some new Species. The Invention of Court 
Lawyers has always been fruitful in the Discovery of new 
Treasons ; and perhaps it is now become Treason to censure 
the Conduct of Ministers. None of any other kind, I am 
sure, can be found in my Correspondence. 

The Effect of the Governor's Letters on the Minds of the 
People in New England, when they came to be read there, 


was precisely what had been expected, and proposed by send- 
ing them over. It was now seen, that the Grievances, which 
had been so deeply resented as Measures of the Mother 
Country, were in fact the Measures of two or three of their 
own People; of course all that Resentment was withdrawn 
from her, and fell where it was proper it should fall on the 
Heads of those Caitiffs, who were the Authors of the Mischief. 
Both Houses * took up the Matter in this Light ; [and the 
House of Representatives agreed to the following resolves, 
reported by the committee appointed to consider the letters ; 

"The Committee appointed to consider certain Letters laid before the 
House of Representatives, reported the following Resolves. 

"Tuesday, June I5th, 1773. 

" Resolved, That the letters signed Tho. Hutchinson and Andw. Oliver, 
now under the consideration of this House, appear to be the genuine letters 
of the present governor and lieutenant-governor of this province, whose hand- 
writing and signatures are well known to many of the members of this House; 
and that they contain aggravated accounts of facts and misrepresentations; 
and that one manifest design of them was to represent the matters they treat 
of in a light highly injurious to this province, and the persons against whom 
they were written. 

"Resolved, That, though the letters aforesaid, signed Tho. Hutchinson, 
are said by the governor in his message to this House of June gth, to be 
'private letters written to a gentleman in London, since deceased,' and 'that 
all except the last were written many months before he came to the chair ' ; 
yet that they were written by the present governor, when he was lieutenant- 
governor and chief justice of this province; who has been represented abroad 
as eminent for his abilities,*.* for his exalted station; and was under no 
official obligation to transmit private intelligence; and that they therefore 
must be considered by the person to whom they were sent, as documents of 
solid intelligence ; and that this gentleman in London, to whom they were 
written, was then a member of the British Parliament, and one who was very 
active in American affairs; and therefore that these letters, however secretly 
written, must naturally be supposed to have, and really had, a public operation. 

" Resolved, That these ' private letters ' being written ' with express confi- 

1 That is, the Council and House of Representatives of Massachusetts. S. 


dence of secrecy ' was only to prevent the contents of them being known 
here, as appears by said letters ; and this rendered them the more injurious 
in their tendency, and really insidious. 

" Resolved, That the letters signed Tho. Hutchinson, considering the 
person by whom they were written, the matters they expressly contain, the 
express reference in some of them for ' full intelligence ' to Mr. Hallowell, a 
person deeply interested in the measures so much complained of, and recom- 
mendatory notices of divers other persons, whose emoluments arising from 
our public burdens must excite them to unfavourable representations of us, the 
measures they suggest, the temper in which they were written, the manner in 
which they were sent, and the person to whom they were addressed, had a 
natural and efficacious tendency to interrupt and alienate the affections of our 
most gracious sovereign King George the Third, from this his loyal and 
affectionate province ; to destroy that harmony and good-will between Great 
Britain and this colony, which every friend to either would wish to establish ; 
to excite the resentment of the British administration against this province ; 
to defeat the endeavours of our agents and friends to serve us by a fair repre- 
sentation of our state of grievances ; to prevent our humble and repeated 
petitions from reaching the royal ear of our common sovereign ; and to pro- 
duce the severe and destructive measures, which have been taken against this 
province, and others still more so, which have been threatened. 

" Resolved, As the opinion of this House, that it clearly appears from the 
letters aforesaid, signed Tho. Hutchinson and Andw. Oliver, that it was the 
desire and endeavour of the writers of them, that certain acts of the British 
Parliament for raising a revenue in America, might be carried into effect by 
military force ; and, by introducing a fleet and army into this his Majesty's 
loyal province, to intimidate the minds of his subjects here, and prevent 
every constitutional measure to obtain the repeal of those acts, so justly 
esteemed a grievance to us, and to suppress the very spirit of freedom. 

" Resolved, That it is the opinion of this House, that, as the salaries 
lately appointed for the governor, lieutenant-governor and judges of this 
province, directly repugnant to the charter, and subversive of justice, are 
founded on this revenue ; and as these letters were written with a design, and 
had a tendency, to promote and support that revenue, therefore there is great 
reason to suppose the writers of those letters were well knowing to, suggested, 
and promoted the enacting said revenue acts, and the establishments founded 
on the same. 

" Resolved, That, while the writer of these letters, signed Tho. Hutchinson, 
has been thus exerting himself, by his ' secret confidential correspondence,' to 
introduce measures destructive of our constitutional liberty, he has been prac- 
tising every method among the people of this province, to fix in their minds 
an exalted opinion of his warmest affection for them, and his unremitted 
endeavours to promote their best interests at the court of Great Britain. 

" Resolved, as the opinion of this House, That, by comparing these letters, 


signed Tho. Hutchinson, with those signed Andiv. Oliver, Cha. Paxton, and 
Nath. Rogers, and considering what has since in fact taken place conformable 
thereto, that there have been for many years past measures contemplated, and 
a plan formed, by a set of men born and educated among us, to raise their own 
fortunes, and advance themselves to posts of honour and profit, not only to the 
destruction of the charter and constitution of this province, but at the 
expense of the rights and liberties of the American colonies. And it is 
further the opinion of this House, that the said persons have been some of 
the chief instruments in the introduction of a military force into the province, 
to carry their plans into execution ; and, therefore, they have been not only 
greatly instrumental in disturbing the peace and harmony of the government, 
and causing and promoting great discord and animosities, but are justly 
chargeable with the great corruption of morals, and all that confusion, misery, 
and bloodshed, which have been the natural effects of the introduction of troops. 

" Whereas, for many years past, measures have been taken by the British 
administration, very grievous to the good people of this province, which this 
House have now reason to suppose were promoted, if not originally sug- 
gested, by the writers of these letters ; and many efforts have been made by 
the people to obtain the redress of their grievances ; 

" Resolved, That it appears to this House, that the writers of these letters 
have availed themselves of disorders that naturally arise in a free government 
under such oppressions, as arguments to prove, that it was originally neces- 
sary such measures should have been taken, and that they should now be 
continued and increased. 

" Whereas, in the letter signed Cha. Paxton, dated Boston Harbour, June 
2Oth, 1 768, it is expressly declared, that ' unless we have immediately two or 
three regiments, it is the opinion of all the friends of government, that Boston 
will be in open rebellion ; ' 

" Resolved, That this is a most wicked and injurious representation, de- 
signed to inflame the minds of his Majesty's ministers and the nation; and to 
excite in the breast of our sovereign a jealousy of his loyal subjects of said 
town, without the least grounds therefor, as enemies of his Majesty's person 
and government. 

" Whereas, certain letters by two private persons, signed T. Moffat and 
G. Rome, have been laid before the House, which letters contain many matters 
highly injurious to government, and to the national peace; 

" Resolved, That it has been the misfortune of their government, from the 
earliest period of it, from time to time, to be secretly traduced and maliciously 
represented to the British ministry, by persons who were neither friendly to 
this colony nor to the English constitution. 

" Resolved, That this House have just reason to complain of it as a very 
great grievance, that the humble petitions and remonstrances of the commons 
of this province are not allowed to reach the hands of our most gracious 
sovereign, merely because they are presented by an agent, to whose appoint- 


ment the governor, with whom our chief dispute may subsist, doth not con- 
sent; while the partial and inflammatory letters of individuals, who are 
greatly interested in the revenue acts, and the measures taken to carry them 
into execution, have been laid before administration, attended to, and deter- 
mined upon, not only to the injury of the reputation of the people, but to the 
depriving them of their invaluable rights and liberties. 

" Whereas, this House are humbly of opinion, that his Majesty will judge 
it to be incompatible with the interest of his crown, and the peace and safety 
of the good people of this his loyal province, that persons should be contin- 
ued in places of high trust and authority in it, who are known to have with 
great industry, though secretly, endeavoured to undermine, alter, and over- 
throw the constitution of the province; therefore, 

" Resolved, That this House is bound, in duty to the King and their con- 
stituents, humbly to remonstrate to his Majesty the conduct of his Excellency 
Thomas Hutchinson, Esquire, Governor, and the Honourable Andrew Oliver, 
Esquire, Lieutenant-Governor, of this province ; and to pray that his Majesty 
would be pleased to remove them for ever from the government thereof." 1 

Upon these Resolutions was founded the following Peti- 
tion, transmitted to me to be presented to his Majesty. 



"We, your Majesty's loyal subjects, the representatives of your ancient 
colony of Massachusetts Bay, in General Court legally assembled, by virtue of 
your Majesty's writ under the hand and seal of the Governor, beg leave to 
lay this our humble petition before your Majesty. 

" Nothing but the sense of duty we owe to our sovereign, and the obliga- 
tion we are under to consult the peace and safety of the province, could in- 
duce us to remonstrate to your Majesty concerning the mal-conduct of persons, 
who have heretofore had the confidence and esteem of this people; and whom 
your Majesty has been pleased, from the purest motives of rendering your 
subjects happy, to advance to the highest places of trust and authority in the 

" Your Majesty's humble petitioners, with the deepest concern and anxiety, 
have seen the discords and animosities which have too long subsisted between 
your subjects of the parent state and those of the American colonies. And 
we have trembled with apprehensions, that the consequences, naturally arising 
therefrom, would at length prove fatal to both countries. 

1 The House of Representatives adopted these Resolves, as here reported, 
by a large majority. The Council almost unanimously passed a series of 
Resolves, on the 25th of June, embodying similar sentiments. ED. 


"Permit us humbly to suggest to your Majesty, that your subjects here 
have been inclined to believe, that the grievances which they have suffered, 
and still continue to suffer, have been occasioned by your Majesty's ministers 
and principal servants being, unfortunately for us, misinformed in certain facts 
of very interesting importance to us. It is for this reason, that former assem- 
blies have, from time to time, prepared a true state of facts to be laid before 
your Majesty; but their humble remonstrances and petitions, it is presumed, 
have by some means been prevented from reaching your royal hand. 

" Your Majesty's petitioners have very lately had before them certain papers, 
from which they humbly conceive it is most reasonable to suppose, that there 
has been long a conspiracy of evil men in this province, who have contem- 
plated measures, and formed a plan, to advance themselves to power, and 
raise their own fortunes, by means destructive of the charter of the province, 
at the expense of the quiet of the nation, and to the annihilating of the rights 
and liberties of the American colonies. 

" And we do, with all due submission to your Majesty, beg leave particu- 
larly to complain of the conduct of his Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, 
Esquire, Governor, and the Honourable Andrew Oliver, Esquire, Lieutenant- 
Govern or of this your Majesty's province, as having a natural and efficacious 
tendency to interrupt and alienate the affections of your Majesty, our rightful 
sovereign, from this your loyal province; to destroy that harmony and good- 
will between Great Britain and this colony, which every honest subject should 
strive to establish; to excite the resentment of the British administration 
against this province; to defeat the endeavours of our agents and friends to 
serve us by a fair representation of our state of facts; to prevent our humble 
and repeated petitions from reaching the ear of your Majesty, or having their 
desired effect. And, finally, that the said Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew 
Oliver have been among the chief instruments in introducing a fleet and army 
into this province, to establish and perpetuate their plans, whereby they have 
been, not only greatly instrumental in disturbing the peace and harmony of 
the government, and causing unnatural and hateful discords and animosities 
between the several parts of your Majesty's extensive dominions, but are justly 
chargeable with all that corruption of morals, and all that confusion, misery, 
and bloodshed, which have been the natural effects of posting an army in a 
populous town. 

" Wherefore we most humbly pray, that your Majesty would be pleased to 
remove from their posts in this government the said Thomas Hutchinson, 
Esquire, and Andrew Oliver, Esquire ; who have, by their abovementioned 
conduct, and otherwise, rendered themselves justly obnoxious to your loving 
subjects, and entirely lost their confidence; and place such good and faithful 
men in their stead, as your Majesty in your wisdom shall think fit. 

" In the name and by order of the House of Representatives. 

" THOMAS GUSHING, Speaker?' 


Lord Dartmouth, Secretary of State for the Colonies, being 
in the Country when I receiv'd this Petition, I transmitted it to 
his Lordship, inclos'd in the following Letter to which Letter 
his Lordship was pleased to return me the following Answer. 


"London, August 2ist, 1773. 

" I have just received, from the House of Representatives of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay, their address to the King, which I now enclose, and send to 
your Lordship, with my humble request in their behalf, that you would be 
pleased to present it to his Majesty the first convenient opportunity. 

" I have the pleasure of hearing from that province by my late letters, 
that a sincere disposition prevails in the people there to be on good terms 
with the mother country ; that the Assembly have declared their desire only 
to be put into the situation they were in before the Stamp Act. They aim at 
no novelties. And it is said, that, having lately discovered, as they think, the 
authors of their grievances to be some of their own people, their resentment 
against Britain is thence much abated. 

" This good disposition of theirs (will your Lordship permit me to say) 
may be cultivated by a favourable answer to this address, which I therefore 
hope your goodness will endeavour to obtain. With the greatest respect, I 
have the honour to be, my Lord, &c., " B. FRANKLIN," 

" Agent for the House of Representatives" 


"Sandwell, 25 August, 1773. 
" SIR, 

" I have received your Letter of the 2ist Instant, together with an Address 
of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, which I shall not 
fail to lay before the King the next time I shall have the honour of being ad- 
mitted into his presence. I cannot help expressing to you the pleasure it gives 
me to hear, that a sincere disposition prevails in the People of that Province 
to be on good terms with the Mother Country, and my earnest hope that the 
time is at no great distance, when every ground of uneasiness will cease, and 
the most perfect tranquillity and happiness be restored to the breasts of that 

" I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 


1 The original letter is in L. C. ED. 


Both Houses at the same time join'd in a Letter to Lord 
Dartmouth on this Subject, of which the following is a true 
Copy. It came thro' my Hands and I transmitted it to his 
L p . [Here insert the Letter of June 29, from the True State.] 

No one, who knows Lord D., can doubt the Sincerity of 
the good Wishes expressed in his Letter to me; and if his 
Majesty's other Servants had fortunately been possess'd 
of the same benevolent Dispositions, with as much of that 
Attention to the publick Interest, and Dexterity in Managing 
it, as Statesmen of this Country generally show in obtaining 
and securing their Places, here was a fine Opportunity put 
into their Hands of "reestablishing the Union and Harmony 
that formerly subsisted between Great Britain and her Colo- 
nies," so necessary to the Welfare of both, and upon the easy 
Condition of only "restoring Things to the State they were 
in at the Conclusion of the late War." This was a solemn 
Declaration sent over from the Province most aggrieved, 
with which they acquitted Britain of their Grievances, and 
charg'd them all upon a few Individuals of their own Country. 
Upon the Heads of these very mischievous Men they depre- 
cated no Vengeance, tho' that of the whole Nation was justly 
merited; they considered it as an hard thing for an Admin- 
istration to punish a Governor who had acted from Orders, 
tho' the Orders had been procured by his Misrepresentations 
and Calumnies ; they therefore only petitioned, " that his Maj- 
esty would be pleased to remove T. H., Esq., and A. O., Esq., 1 
from their Posts in that Government, and place good and faith- 
ful Men in their stead." These Men might have been plac'd 
or pension'd elsewhere, as others have been ; or like the Scape- 
Goats of old, they might have carried away into the Wilder- 

1 Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew Oliver. ED. 


ness all the Offences which have arisen between the two 
Countries, with the burthens of which, they, having been the 
Authors of those Mischiefs, were most justly chargeable. 

But this Opportunity our Ministers had not the Wisdom 
to embrace ; they chose rather to reject it, and to abuse and 
punish me for giving it. A Court Clamour was rais'd against 
me as an incendiary; and the very Action upon which I 
valued myself, as it appear' d to me a Means of lessening our 
Differences, I was unlucky enough to find charg'd upon me, 
as a wicked Attempt to increase them. Strange Perversion. 

I was, it seems, equally unlucky in another Action, which 
I also intended for a good One; and which brought on the 
abovemention'd Clamour. The News being arriv'd here of 
the divulging of those Letters in America, great Enquiry 
was made, who had transmitted them. Mr. Temple, a 
Gentleman of the Customs, was accus'd of it in the Papers. 
He vindicated himself. A publick Altercation ensu'd upon 
it between him and a Mr. Wheatley, Brother and Executor 
to the Person to whom it was supposed the Letters had been 
originally written, and who was suspected by some of com- 
municating them, on the Supposition that by his Brother's 
Death they might have fallen into his Hands. As the Gen- 
tleman, to whom I sent them, had in his Letter to me above 
recited, given an important Reason for his desiring it should 
be conceal'd, that he was the Person who receiv'd them, and 
had for the same Reason chosen not to let it be known I 
sent them, I suffer'd that Altercation to go on without inter- 
fering, supposing it would end, as other Newspaper Debates 
usually do, when the Parties and the Publick should be tired 
of them. But this Debate unexpectedly, produc'd a Duel. 
The Gentlemen were parted ; Mr. Wheately was hurt, but not 


dangerously. This, however, alarm'd me, and made me wish 
I had prevented it ; but imagining all now over between them, 
I still kept Silence, till I heard that the Duel was understood 
to be unfinish'd, as having been interrupted by Persons ac- 
cidentally near, and that it would probably be repeated as 
soon as Mr. Wheately, who was mending daily, had recov- 
er' d his Strength. I then thought it high time to interpose. 
And as the Quarrel was for the publick Opinion, I took what 
I thought the shortest way to settle that Opinion, with regard 
to the Parties, by publishing what follows, viz. 


" SIR, 

" Finding that two gentlemen have been unfortunately engaged in a duel, 
about a transaction and its circumstances, of which both of them are totally 
ignorant and innocent ; I think it incumbent upon me to declare (for the 
prevention of farther mischief, as far as such a declaration may contribute to 
prevent it), that I alone am the person who obtained and transmitted to Bos- 
ton the letters in question. Mr. W. could not communicate them, because 
they were never in his possession ; and, for the same reason, they could not 
be taken from him by Mr. T. They were not of the nature of private letters 
between friends. They were written by public officers to persons in public 
stations, on public affairs, and intended to procure public measures ; they 
were therefore handed to other public persons, who might be influenced by 
them to produce those measures. Their tendency was to incense the mother 
country against her colonies, and, by the steps recommended, to widen the 
breach ; which they effected. The chief caution expressed with regard to 
privacy was, to keep their contents from the colony agents, who, the writers 
apprehended, might return them, or copies of them to America. That appre- 
hension was, it seems, well founded ; for the first agent who laid his hands 
on them, thought it his duty l to transmit them to his constituents. 

" Agent for the House of Representatives 

of Massachusetts Bay. 
" Craven Street, December 2$th, 1773." 

1 In remarking on this word as here used, Dr. Franklin said, in a note 
found in his handwriting; "Governor Hutchinson, as appears by his letters, 
since found and published in New England, had the same idea of duty, when 
he procured copies of Dr. Franklin's letters to the Assembly, and sent them 
to the ministry of England." S. 


This Declaration of mine was at first generally approv'd, 
except that some blam'd me for not having made it sooner, 
so as to prevent the Duel ; but I had not the Gift of Prophecy ; 
I could not foresee that the Gentlemen would fight ; I did not 
even foresee that either of them could possibly take it ill of 
me. I imagin'd I was doing them a good Office, in clearing 
both of them from Suspicion, and removing the Cause of 
their Difference. I should have thought it natural for them 
both to have thank'd me; but I was mistaken as to one of 
them. His Wounds perhaps at first prevented him; and 
afterwards he was tutor'd probably to another kind of Be- 
haviour by his Court Connections. 

My only Acquaintance with this Gentleman, Mr. [William] 
Wheat ely, was from an Application he made to me to do him 
the favour of enquiring after some Land in Pennsylvania, 
suppos'd to have been purchas'd anciently from the first 
Proprietor, by a Major Thomson, his Grandfather, of which 
they had some imperfect Memorandums in the Family, but 
knew not whether it might not have been sold or convey'd 
away by him in his Lifetime, as there was no Mention of it 
in his Will. I took the Trouble of Writing accordingly to 
a Friend of Mine, an eminent Lawyer there, well acquainted 
with such Business, desiring him to make the Enquiry. He 
took some Pains in it at my Request, and succeeded; and 
in a Letter inform 'd me, that he had found the Land ; that 
the Proprietary claimed it, but he thought the Title was clear 
to the Heir of Thomson ; that he could easily recover it for 
him, and would undertake it, if Mr. Wheately should think 
fit to imploy him ; or, if he should rather chuse to sell it, 
my Friend impower'd me to make him an Offer of 5ooo 
Sterling for it. With this Letter I waited upon him about a 


Month before the Duel, at his House in Lombard Street, 
the first time I had ever been in it. He was pleas 'd with the 
Intelligence, and call'd upon me once or twice afterwards 
to concert the Means of making out his Title. 

I mention some of these Circumstances to show that it 
was not thro' any previous Acquaintance with him that I 
came to the Knowledge of the famous Letters : for they had 
been in America near a Year before I so much as knew where 
he liv'd ; and the others I mention to show his Gratitude. I 
could have excused his not thanking me for sparing him a 
second Hazard of his Life: For tho' he might feel himself 
serv'd, he might also apprehend, that to seem pleas'd would 
look as if he was afraid of fighting again ; or perhaps he did 
not value his Life at any thing. But the Addition to his 
Fortune one would think of some Value to a Banker; and 
yet the Return this worthy Gentleman made me for both 
Favours was, without the smallest previous Notice, Warning, 
Complaint, or Request to me, directly or indirectly or exprest 
in any Manner whatsoever, to clap upon my Back a Chancery 

His Bill set forth, "That he was Administrator of the 
Goods and Chattels of his late Brother Thomas Wheately; 
that some Letters had been written to his said Brother by 
the Governors Hutchinson and Oliver, that those Letters 
had been in the Custody of his said Brother at the time of his 
Death, or had been by him delivered to some other Person for 
Perusal, and to be by such Person safely kept and returned 
to said Thomas Wheately ; that the same had by some means 
come into my Hands; that to prevent a Discovery, I, or 
some Person by my Order, had erased the Address of the 
Letters to the said T. Wheately ; that carrying on the Trade 


of a Printer, I had, by my Agents or Confederates, printed 
and published the same Letters in America, and disposed 
of great Numbers; that I threat 'ned to print and sell the 
same in England; and that he had applied to me to deliver 
up to him the said Letters, and all Copies thereof, and desist 
from printing and publishing the same, and account with 
him for the Profits thereof; and he was in hopes I would have 
complied with such Request, but so it was that I had refused, 
&c., contrary to Equity and good Conscience, and to the mani- 
fest Injury and Oppression of him, the Complainant; and 
praying my Lord Chancellor, that I might be obliged to dis- 
cover how I came by the Letters, what Number of Copies I 
had printed and sold, and to account with him for the Profits, 1 ' 
&c. &c. The Gentleman himself must have known, that 
every Circumstance of this was totally false; that of his 
Brother's having delivered the Letters to some other Person 
for Perusal excepted. Those as little acquainted with Law 
as I was, (who indeed never before had a Suit of any kind,) 
may wonder at this as much as I did. But I have now 
learnt that in chancery, tho' the Defendant must swear to the 
Truth of every Point in his Answer, the Plaintiff is not put 
to his Oath, or obliged to have the least Regard to Truth in 
his Bill, but is allowed to lie as much as he pleases. I do 
not understand this, unless it be for the Encouragement of 

My Answer upon Oath was, "That the Letters in question 
were given to me, and came into my Hands, as Agent for the 
House of Representatives of the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay ; that, when given to me, I did not know to whom they 
had been addressed, no Address appearing upon them; 
nor did I know before that any such Letters existed ; that I 


had not been for many Years concern'd in Printing; that I 
did not cause the Letters to be printed, nor direct the doing 
it; that I did not eraze any Address that might have been 
on the Letters, nor did I know that any other Person had 
made such Erazure; that I did, as Agent to the Province, 
transmit (as I apprehended it my Duty to do) the said Letters 
to one of the committee, with whom I had been directed 
to correspond, inasmuch as in my Judgment they related to 
Matters of great publick Importance to that Province, and 
were put into my Hands for that Purpose ; that I had never 
been applied to by the Complainant, as asserted in his Bill, 
and had made no Profits of the Letters, nor intended to make 
any," &c. 

It was about this time become evident, that all Thoughts 
of Reconciliation with the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, 
by Attention to their Petitions, and a Redress of their Griev- 
ances, was laid aside; that Severity was resolv'd; and that 
the decrying and vilifying the People of that Country, and 
me their Agent, among the rest, was quite a Court Measure. 
It was the Ton with all the ministerial Folks to abuse them 
and me, in every Company, and in every Newspaper ; and it 
was intimated to me, as a thing settled, long before it hap- 
pened, that the Petition for Removal of the Governors was to 
be rejected, the Assembly censur'd, and myself, who had 
presented it, was to be punished by the Loss of my Place in 
the Post- Office. For all this I was therefore prepared; but 
the Attack from Mr. Wheately was, I own, a Surprize to me. 
Under the abovementioned Circumstances of Obligation, and 
without the sightest Provocation, I could not have imagined 
any Man base enough to commence, of his own Motion, such 
a vexatious Suit against me. But a little accidental Infor- 


mation serv'd to throw some Light upon the Business. An 
Acquaintance * calling on me, after having just been at 
the Treasury, show'd me what he stil'd a pretty Thing, for 
a Friend of his; it was an Order for 150^, payable to Dr. 
[Samuel] Johnson, said to be one Half of his Yearly Pension, 
and drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury on this same 
Mr. Wheately. I then consider'd him as a Banker to the 
Treasury for the Pension Money, and thence as having an 
interested Connection with Administration, that might in- 
duce him to act by Direction of others in harassing me with 
this Suit, which gave me if possible a still meaner Opinion of 
him, than if he had done it of his own Accord. 

What further Steps he or his Confederates, the M rs, 2 will 
take in this Cause, I know not. I do not indeed believe the 
Banker himself, finding there are no Profits to be shar'd, 
would willingly lay out a Sixpence more upon the Suit ; but 
then my Finances are not sufficient to cope at Law with 
the Treasury here ; especially when Administration has taken 
Care to prevent my Constituents of N. England from paying 
me any Salary, or reimbursing me any Expences, by a special 
Instruction to the Governor, not to sign any Warrant for that 
purpose on the Treasury there. 

The Injustice of thus depriving the People there of the Use 
of their own Money, to pay an Agent acting in their Defence, 
while the Governor, with a large Salary out of the Money 
extorted from them by Act of Parliament, was enabled to 
pay plentifully Maudit and Wedderburn to abuse and de- 
fame them and their Agent, is so evident as to need no Com- 
ment. But this they call GOVERNMENT! 

1 William Strahan, member of Parliament, and King's Printer. W. T. F. 

2 Ministers. ED. 

VOL. vi u 




GREAT BRITAIN is supposed to have been placed upon the 
globe; but the colonies, (that is, her limbs,) being severed 
from her, she is seen lifting her eyes and mangled stumps 
to Heaven ; her shield, which she is unable to wield, lies use- 
less by her side; her lance has pierced New England; the 
laurel branch has fallen from the hand of Pennsylvania; 
the English oak has lost its head, and stands a bare trunk, 
with a few withered branches ; briers and thorns are on the 
ground beneath it; the British ships have brooms at their 
topmast heads, denoting their being on sale ; and BRITANNIA 
herself is seen sliding off the world (no longer able to hold 
its balance), her fragments overspread with the label, DATE 


History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, 
by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and 
genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favour of one 

1 " During the disputes between the two countries, Dr. Franklin invented 
a little emblematical design, intended to represent the supposed state of 
Great Britain and her colonies, should the former persist in her oppressive 
measures, restraining the latter's trade, and taxing their people by laws made 
by a legislature in which they were not represented. It was engraved on a 
copper plate. Dr. Franklin had many of them struck off on cards, on the 
back of which he occasionally wrote his notes. It was also printed on a half- 
sheet of paper, with the explanation and moral. " W. T. F. 


part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, 
is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal 
dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, 
is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy ; it being 
a matter of no moment to the state, whether a subject grows 
rich and flourishing on the Thames or the Ohio, in Edin- 
burgh or Dublin. These measures never fail to create 
great and violent jealousies and animosities between the 
people favoured and the people oppressed; whence a total 
separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and 
all manner of connexions, necessarily ensue, by which the 
whole state is weakened, and perhaps ruined for ever ! 

762. ON 



You give us in your paper of Tuesday, the i6th of Novem- 
ber, what is called "The Plan of an Act to be proposed at 
the next Meeting of Parliament to prevent the Emigration 
of our People." I know not from what authority it comes; 
but, as it is very circumstantial, I suppose some such plan 
may be really under consideration, and that this is thrown 

1 A contemporary copy is in L. C., signed by Franklin : " A Friend to the 
Poor," and endorsed by him " Paper Written in England by B. F. to discour- 
age the intended Act for preventing Emigration." ED. 


out to feel the pulse of the public. I shall therefore, with 
your leave, give my sentiments of it in your paper. 

During a century and a half that Englishmen have been 
at liberty to remove if they pleased to America, we have 
heard of no law to restrain that liberty, and confine them as 
prisoners in this Island. Nor do we perceive any ill effects 
produced by their emigration. Our estates, far from dimin- 
ishing in value through a want* of tenants, have been in that 
period more than doubled; the lands in general are better 
cultivated; their increased produce finds a ready sale at an 
advanced price, and the complaint has for some time been, 
not that we want mouths to consume our meat, but that we 
want meat for our number of mouths. 

Why then is such a restraining law now thought necessary ? 
A paragraph in the same paper from the Edinburgh Courant, 
may perhaps throw some light upon this question. We are 
there told, "that one thousand five hundred people have 
emigrated to America from the shire of Sutherland within 
these two years, and carried with .them seven thousand five 
hundred pounds sterling, which exceeds a year's rent of 
the whole county ; that the single consideration of the misery 
which most of these people must suffer in America, indepen- 
dent of the loss of men and money to the mother country, 
should engage the attention, not only of the landed interest, 
but oj administration." The humane writer of this para- 
graph may, I fancy, console himself with the reflection, that 
perhaps the apprehended future sufferings of those emigrants 
will never exist; for that it was probably the authentic 
accounts they had received from friends already settled 
there, of the felicity to be enjoyed in that country, with a 
thorough knowledge of their own misery at home, which 


induced their removal. And, as a politician, he may be 
comforted by assuring himself, that, if they really meet with 
greater misery in America, their future letters lamenting it, 
will be more credited than the Edinburgh Courant, and 
effectually, without a law, put a stop to the emigration. It 
seems some of the Scottish chiefs, who delight no longer to 
live upon their estates in the honourable independence they 
were born to, among their respecting tenants, but choose 
rather a life of luxury, though among the dependents of a 
court, have lately raised their rents most grievously, to sup- 
port the expense. The consuming of those rents in London, 
though equally prejudicial to the poor county of Sutherland, 
no Edinburgh news paper complains of; but now, that the 
oppressed tenants take flight, and carry with them what 
might have supported the landlord's London magnificence, 
he begins to }eel for the MOTHER COUNTRY, and its enormous 
loss of seven thousand five hundred pounds carried to her 
colonies ! Administration is called upon to remedy the evil, 
by another abridgment of ENGLISH LIBERTY. And surely 
administration should do something for these gentry, as they 
do any thing for administration. 

But is there not an easier remedy? Let them return to 
their family seats, live among their people, and, instead of 
fleecing and skinning, patronize and cherish them ; promote 
their interest, encourage their industry, and make their situ- 
ation comfortable. If the poor folks are happier at home 
than they can be abroad, they will not lightly be prevailed 
with to cross the ocean. But can their lord blame them for 
leaving home in search of better living, when he first set 
them the example? 

I would consider the proposed law, 


i st. As to the NECESSITY of it. 
3dly. The POLICY, if practicable. 
And, 4thly. The JUSTICE of it. 

Pray spare me room for a few words on each of these 

ist. As to the NECESSITY of it. 

If any country has more people than can be comfortably 
subsisted in it, some of those who are incommoded may be 
induced to emigrate. As long as the new situation shall be 
far preferable to the old, the emigration may possibly con- 
tinue. But when many of those, who at home interfered 
with others of the same rank (in the competition for farms, 
shops, business, offices, and other means of subsistence), 
are gradually withdrawn, the inconvenience of that competi- 
tion ceases; the number remaining no longer half starve 
each other ; they find they can now subsist comfortably, and 
though perhaps not quite so well as those who have left them, 
yet, the inbred attachment to a native country is sufficient 
to overbalance a moderate difference; and thus the emigra- 
tion ceases naturally. The waters of the ocean may move in 
currents from one quarter of the globe to another, as they 
happen in some places to be accumulated, and in others 
diminished ; but no law, beyond the law of gravity, is neces- 
sary to prevent their abandoning any coast entirely. Thus the 
different degrees of happiness of different countries and situa- 
tions find, or rather make, their level by the flowing of people 
from one to another ; and where that level is once found, the 
removals cease. Add to this, that even a real deficiency of 
people in any country, occasioned by a wasting war or pes- 


tilence, is speedily supplied by earlier and more prolific 
marriages, encouraged by the greater facility of obtaining 
the means of subsistence. So that a country half depopu- 
lated would soon be repeopled, till the means of subsist- 
ence were equalled by the population. All increase beyond 
that point must perish, or flow off into more favourable situ- 
ations. Such overflowings there have been of mankind in 
all ages, or we should not now have had so many nations. 
But to apprehend absolute depopulation from that cause, 
and call for a law to prevent it, is calling for a law to stop the 
Thames, lest its waters, by what leave it daily at Gravesend, 
should be quite exhausted. Such a law, therefore, I do not 
conceive to be NECESSARY. 

2dly. As to the PRACTICABILITY. 

When I consider the attempts of this kind that have been 
made, first in the time of Archbishop Laud, by orders of 
Council, to stop the Puritans, who were flying from his per- 
secutions into New England, and next by Louis the Four- 
teenth, to retain in his kingdom the persecuted Huguenots; 
and how ineffectual all the power of our crown, with which 
the Archbishop armed himself, and all the more absolute 
power of that great French monarch, were, to obtain the end 
for which they were exerted; and when I consider, too, the 
extent of coast to be guarded, and the multitude of cruisers 
necessary effectually to make a prison of the Island for this 
confinement of free Englishmen, who naturally love liberty, 
and would probably by the very restraint be more stimulated 
to break through it ; I cannot but think such a law IMPRAC- 
TICABLE. The offices would not be applied to for licenses, 


the ports would not be used for embarkation. And yet the 
people disposed to leave us would, as the Puritans did, get 
away by shipfuls. 

3dly. As to the POLICY of the Law. 

Since I have shown there is no danger of depopulating 
Britain, but that the place of those that depart will soon be 
filled up equal to the means of obtaining a livelihood, let us 
see whether there are not some general advantages to be 
expected from the present emigration. The new settlers 
in America, finding plenty of subsistence, and land easily 
acquired whereon to seat their children, seldom postpone 
marriage through fear of poverty. Their natural increase 
is therefore in proportion far beyond what it would have been, 
if they had remained here. New farms are daily everywhere 
forming in those immense forests; new towns and villages 
rising; hence a growing demand for our merchandise, to 
the greater employment of our manufacturers, and the en- 
riching of our merchants. By this natural increase of people, 
the strength of the empire is increased ; men are multiplied, 
out of whom new armies may be formed on occasion, or the 
old recruited. The long-extended seacoast, too, of that 
vast country, the great maritime commerce of its ports with 
each olher, its many navigable rivers and lakes, and its plenti- 
ful fisheries, breed multitudes of seamen, besides those created 
and supported by its voyages to Europe ; a thriving nursery 
this, for the manning of our fleets in time of war, and main- 
taining our importance among foreign nations by that navy, 
which is also our best security against invasions from our 
enemies. An extension of empire by conquest of inhabited 


countries is not so easily obtained, it is not so easily secured ; 
it alarms more the neighbouring states; it is more subject 
to revolts, and more apt to occasion new wars. 

The increase of dominion by colonies proceeding from 
yourselves, and by the natural growth of your own people, 
cannot be complained of by your neighbours as an injury; 
none have a right to be offended with it. Your new posses- 
sions are therefore more secure, they are more cheaply gained, 
they are attached to your nation by natural alliance and affec- 
tion; and thus they afford an additional strength more 
certainly to be depended on, than any that can be acquired 
by a conquering power, though at an immense expense of 
blood and treasure. These, methinks, are national advan- 
tages, that more than equiponderate with the inconveniences 
suffered by a few Scotch or Irish landlords, who perhaps may 
find it necessary to abate a little of their present luxury, or 
of those advanced rents they now so unfeelingly demand. 
From these considerations, I think I may conclude, that the 
restraining law proposed would, if practicable, be IMPOLITIC. 

4thly. As to the JUSTICE of it. 

I apprehend that every Briton, who is made unhappy at 
home, has a right to remove from any part of his King's 
dominions into those of any other prince, where he can be 
happier. If this should be denied me, at least it will be 
allowed, that he has a right to remove into any other part 
of the same dominions. For by this right so many Scotch- 
men remove into England, easing their own country of its 
supernumeraries, and benefiting ours by their industry. And 
this is the case with those who go to America. Will not 


these Scottish lairds be satisfied unless a law passes to pin 
down all tenants to the estate they are born on, (adscripti 
gleba,) to be bought and sold with it ? God has given to the 
beasts of the forest, and to the birds of the air, a right, when 
their subsistence fails in one country, to migrate to another, 
where they can get a more comfortable living; and shall 
man be denied a privilege enjoyed by brutes, merely to gratify 
a few avaricious landlords? Must misery be made per- 
manent, and suffered by many for the emolument of one; 
while the increase of human beings is prevented, and thou- 
sands of their offsprings stifled, as it were, in the birth, that 
this petty Pharaoh may enjoy an excess of opulence? God 
commands to increase and replenish the earth ; the proposed 
law would forbid increasing, and confine Britons to their 
present number, keeping half that number too in wretched- 
ness. The common people of Britain and of Ireland con- 
ributed by the taxes they paid, and by the blood they lost, 
to the success of that war, which brought into our hands 
the vast unpeopled territories of North America ; a country 
favored by Heaven with all the advantages of climate and 
soil. Germans are now pouring into it, to take possession of 
it, and fill it with their posterity; and shall Britons and 
Irelanders, who have a much better right to it, be forbidden 
a share of it, and, instead of enjoying there the plenty and 
happiness that might reward their industry, be compelled to 
remain here in poverty and misery? Considerations such 
as these persuade me, that the proposed law would be both 

If then it is unnecessary, impracticable, impolitic, and un- 
just, I hope our Parliament will never receive the bill, but 
leave landlords to their own remedy, an abatement of rents, 


and frugality of living ; and leave the liberties of Britons and 
Irishmen at least as extensive as it found them. I am, Sir, 

yours, &c. 




It gives me much concern that I am obliged at the open- 
ing of this Parliament to inform you that none of the meas- 
ures w ch I adopted upon the advice of my late Parl'* in 
respect to the disturbances of my American colonies have 
produced those salutary effects, w ch relying upon the sup- 
posed wisdom of their deliberations I had been induced to 
expect. I therefore sent that Parl' 4 apacking rather abruptly, 
& have called you in their place to pick a little advice out 
of your wise heads upon some matters of the greatest weight 
& importance relating to a sort of Crusade that I have 
upon my hands. I must needs tell you that the business if 
you choose to undertake it for me will be a seven or ten 
years job at least. You must know then that my ministers 
have put me upon a project to undertake the reduction of 
the whole continent of North America to unconditional 

1 This extraordinary prophecy and satire is found in Volume 44 of the 
Franklin papers in A. P. S. It was evidently written by Franklin in 1774 
and given by him to David Hartley, who, happening upon it among his 
private papers after the conclusion of the war, sent a copy of it to Franklin 
endorsed with name and date as above. ED. 


submission. They w d have persuaded me to coax you into 
this project by representing it to you as a matter very 
easily to be done in a twinkling, and to make you believe 
that my subjects in America whom you have always hitherto 
considered as brave men are no better than a wretched 
pack of cowardly run a ways, & that 500 men with whips 
w d make them all dance to the tune of Yankee Doodle ; but 
I w d tell you no such thing because I am very sure if you 
meddle with it that you will find it a very different sort of 

Now Gentlemen of the House of Commons I give you 
this fair notice for yourselves & your Constituents. If you 
undertake this job, it will cost you at the least farthing a 
good round sum of 40 or 50 millions; 40 or 50 thousands 
of your Constituents will get knocked on the head and then 
you are to consider what the rest of you will be gainers by 
the bargain even if you succeed. The trade of a ruined & 
desolated Country is always inconsiderable, its revenues tri- 
fling ; the expence of subjecting & retaining it in subjection 
certain & inevitable. On the other side sh d you prove un- 
successfull, sh d that connection w ch we wish most ardently 
to maintain be dissolved, sh d my ministers exhaust your 
treasures & waste the blood of your Countrymen hi vain 
will they not deliver you weak & defenceless to your 
natural enemies. 

You must know this is not the first time that the 
Serpent has been whispering into my ear, Tax America. 
Cost what it will, make them your heavers of wood & 
drawers of water. Let them feel that your little finger is 
thicker than the loins of all your ancestors. But I was 
wiser than all that, I sent to L d Rockingham & the advice 

i 7 75] TO THOMAS CUSHING 301 

that he gave me was this, not to burn my fingers in the 
business, that it was ten to one against our making any 
hand of it at all, that they were not worth shearing & at 
best that we sh d raise a cursed outcry & get but little wool. 
I shall remember his last advice to me as long as I live. 
Speak good words to them and they will be thy servants 
for ever. 

And now my Lords and Gentlemen 

I have stated the whole matter fairly & squarely before 
you. It is your own business, and if you are not content 
as you are, look to the rest for yourselves. But if I were 
to give you a word of advice it should be to remind you 
of the Italian epitaph upon a poor fool that kill'd himself 
with quacking 

Stava ben, por star meglio, sto qui. 

that is to say. I was well, I would be better, I took Phys- 

ick and died. 


Marked on the reverse side of the last sheet : 

October 3, '86. 

764. TO THOMAS GUSHING (A. p. s.) 

London, Jan. 28, 1775. 


I have been favour'd with yours of Sept. 24 & Oct. 26, 
from Philad* Nov. 14 and Dec. 5 from Boston, and thank 
you for the Information communicated. It gives my Mind 
some Ease to learn, that such good Care is taken both by 
the General and the Town to prevent Mischief. I hope 


that Care will continue, and be effectual. And that people 
will be persuaded to wait with Patience the Event of the Ap- 
plication of the Congress to the King, and the subsequent 
Result of the ensuing Congress thereupon. 

Lord Chatham mov'd last Week in the House of Lords, 
that an Address be presented to his Majesty humbly be- 
seeching him to withdraw the Troops from Boston, as a 
Step towards opening the way to Conciliatory Measures; 
but, after a long and warm Debate, the Motion was rejected 
by a majority of 77 to 18 ; and open Declarations were made, 
by the ministerial Side, of the Intention to enforce the late 
Acts. To this End, three more Regiments of Foot and one 
of Dragoons, seven hundred Marines, Six Sloops of War, 
and two Frigates, are now under Orders for America. 

Petitions, however are thronging into the House from all 
Quarters, praying that healing Measures may be taken to 
restore the Commerce. The Petition from the Congress 
was brought into each House among other Papers by the 
Ministers, without any particular Recommendation of its 
Consideration of the House from his Majesty. 

General Gage's Letters being read in the House of Com- 
mons, it appears from one of them, that it had been recom- 
mended to him by Lord Dartmouth to disarm some of the 
Colonies; which he seems to approve, if it had been prac- 
ticable, but says it is not, till he is Master of the Country. 

It is impossible to say what Turn the Parliament may 
take before the Session is over. All depends on the Minis- 
ters, who possibly may change their Minds, when they find 
the Merchants and Manufacturers universally dissatisfied 
with their present Conduct ; but you cannot rely upon this, 
and your chief Dependence must be on your own Virtue 


and Unanimity, which, under God, will in time bring you 
thro' all Difficulties. I am with great respect, Sir, &c, 



London, Feby 5, 1775. 


I received duly your Favours of Nov. i, by Capt Falconer, 
and afterwards that of Oct. 26, both inclosing the Letter from 
the Congress, and the Petition to the King. Immediately 
on Receipt of the first, I wrote to every one of the other 
Gentlemen nominated, and desired a meeting to consult 
on the mode of presenting the Petition committed to our 
Care. Three of them, viz.* Mr. Burke, 2 Mr. Wentworth, 
and Mr. Life, declined being concerned in it, and without 
consulting each other gave the same reason, viz.* that they 
had no Instructions relating to it from their Constituents. 
Mr. Garth was out of Town; so it rested on Mr. Bollan, 
Mr. Lee, and myself. We took Council with our best 
Friends, and were advised to present it through Lord Dart- 
mouth, that being the regular official method, and the only 
one in which we might on occasion call for an Answer. 3 

We accordingly waited on his Lordship with it, who 
would not immediately undertake to deliver it, but requested 
it might be left with him to peruse, which was done. He 

1 From the original in the New York Historical Society. ED. 

2 Mr. Burke was at this time agent for New York. ED. 

3 It was resolved in Congress, October 25th, 1774, "That the Address to 
the King be enclosed in a letter to the several colony agents, in order that 
the same may be by them presented to his Majesty; and that the agents be 
requested to call in the aid of such noblemen and gentlemen as are esteemed 
firm friends to American liberty." S. 


found nothing in it improper for him to present, and, after- 
wards sending for us, he informed us, that he had presented 
the Petition to his Majesty, who had been pleased to re- 
ceive it very graciously, and to command him to tell us it 
contained Matters of such Importance, that, as soon as they 
met, he would lay it before his two Houses of Parliament. 

We then consulted on the publication, and were advised 
by wise and able men, Friends of America, whose names it 
will not be proper to mention, by no means to publish it 
till it should be before Parliament, as it would be deemed 
disrespectful to the King. We nattered ourselves, from the 
answer given by Lord D. that the King would have been 
pleased to recommend it to the Consideration of Parliament 
by some message; but we were mistaken. It came down 
among a great Heap of Letters of Intelligence from Govern- 
ors and officers in America, Newspapers, Pamphlets, Hand- 
bills, &c., from that Country, the last in the List, and was 
laid upon the Table with them, undistinguished by any 
particular Recommendation of it to the Notice of either 
House ; and I do not find, that it has had any further notice 
taken of it as yet, than that it has been read as well as the 
other Papers. 

To draw it into the attention of the House, we petitioned 
to be heard upon it, but were not permitted; and, by the 
Resolution of the Committee of the whole House, which I 
enclose, you will see that it has made little Impression; 
and, from the constant Refusal, Neglect, or Discourage- 
ment of American Petitions, these many years past, our 
Country will at last be convinced, that Petitions are odious 
here, and that Petitioning is far from being a probable means 
of obtaining Redress. A firm, steady, and faithful adherence 


to the Non-Consumption Agreement, is the only thing to be 
depended on; it begins already to work, (as you will see in 
the votes of the House), by producing applications from the 
merchants and manufacturers, and it must finally lead 
Parliament into reasonable Measures. 

At present, the ministers are encouraged to proceed by 
the Assurances they receive from America, that the people 
are not unanimous ; that a very great part of them disapprove 
the proceedings of the Congress, and would break thro' 
them, if there was in the Country an Army sufficient to 
support these Friends, as they are called, of Government. 
They rely, too, on being able to divide us still farther by 
various means ; for they seem to have no conception that such 
a thing as public Spirit or public Virtue anywhere exists. 
I trust they will find themselves totally mistaken. The 
Congress is in high Esteem here among all the Friends of 
Liberty, and their Papers much admir'd; perhaps nothing 
of the kind has been more thoroughly published, or more 
universally read. Lord Camden spoke highly of the Ameri- 
cans in general, and of the Congress particularly, in the 
House of Lords. Lord Chatham said, that, taking the whole 
together, and considering the members of the Congress as 
the unsolicited, and unbiased Choice of a great, free, and 
enlightened People ; their Unanimity, their Moderation, and 
their Wisdom, he thought it the most honourable Assembly 
of men, that had ever been known; that the Histories of 
Greece and Rome gave us nothing equal to it. Lord Shel- 
burne would not admit, that the Parliament of Britain could 
be comparable with it, a Parliament obeying the Dictates 
of a Ministry, who in nine cases out of ten were governed 
by their under Secretaries. 



You will see, among the papers herewith sent the motion 
made by Lord Chatham, as preparatory to his plan, viz: 
that the Troops should be removed from Boston. I send 
also a Copy of the Plan itself, which you may be assured is 
genuine. The Speeches hitherto published as his, during 
the Session, are spurious. The Duke of Richmond and the 
Duke of Manchester appeared for us also in the debate, and 
spoke extremely well. Lord Chatham's Bill, tho' on so 
important a Subject, and offered by so great a Character, 
and supported by such able and learned speakers as Camden, 
&c. &c., was treated with as much contempt as they could 
have shown to a Ballad offered by a drunken Porter. It 
was rejected on a slight reading, without being suffered even 
to lie on the Table for the perusal of the members. 

The House of Commons, too, have shown an equal Rash- 
ness and Precipitation in matters that required the most 
weighty deliberation, refusing to hear, and entering hastily 
into violent Measures; and yet this is the Government, by 
whose Supreme Authority, we are to have our Throats cut, 
if we do not acknowledge, and whose dictates we are implicitly 
to obey, while their conduct hardly entitles them to Common 

The agents have not time to make so many Copies of the 
papers sent with this, nor, indeed, of our Letters to the 
Speakers of the several Assemblies, as would be necessary to 
send one for each; we therefore send only two, one per 
Falconer, and the other per Lawrence to New York, re- 
questing, that you would get them copied at Philadelphia, 
and forward them northward and southward, one to each 
Speaker, by the earliest Conveyance. It is thought by our 
Friends, that Lord Chatham's Plan, if it had been enacted 


here, would have prevented present mischief, and might 
have been the foundation of a lasting good agreement; for, 
tho' in some Points it might not perfectly coincide with our 
Ideas and Wishes, we might have proposed Modifications 
or Variations where we should judge them necessary; and 
in fine, the two Countries might have met in perfect union. 
I hope, therefore, it will be treated with respect by our 
writers, and its author honoured for the Attempt ; for though 
he has put some particulars into it, as I think merely by way 
of complying a little with the general prejudices here, and to 
make more material Parts go better down, yet I am persuaded 
he would not otherwise be tenacious of those Parts, meaning 
sincerely to make us contented and happy, as far as consistent 
with the general welfare. 

I need not caution you to let no part of this Letter be 
copied or printed. With great Esteem, I am, Sir, your 

Affectionate Friend and humble servant. 

[B. F.I 


London, Feb. 14. 1775. 

In my last I informed you of my Attendance on the Board 
of Trade upon your Acts passed in March last, the Objections 
made to some of them particularly the Paper Money Act 
with the Answers I gave to those Objections; and that all 
were likely to pass, except those for lowering the Interest 
of Money, and for the Relief of an insolvent Debtor. 
Petitions are come up to Parliament from all the Trading 


Ports, and manufacturing Towns, concern 'd in the American 
Commerce, setting forth the Loss & Ruin they are likely 
to suffer by the Stop put to that Commerce, & praying that 
lenient Measures may be adopted for restoring it. The 
N. American & W. India Merchants in London have also 
petitioned to the same Purpose : But little Notice has hitherto 
been taken of those Petitions, and both Houses have ad- 
dress 'd the King declaring a Rebellion to be in Massachusetts 
Bay, in consequence whereof more Troops are about to be 
sent thither, & Administration seems determin'd on reducing 
the Colonies by Force to a solemn Acknowledgment of the 
Power claim'd by Parliament of mak? Laws to bind the 
Colonies in all Cases whatsoever: A Bill is preparing to 
deprive the four New England Colonies of their Fishery, 
& other Severities are threatened. Yet many here are 
confident, that if the Non- Consumption of British Manu- 
factures in America, is soberly and steadily adher'd to an- 
other Year, those Measures will all be revers'd, and our 
Rights acknowledg'd. 

I inclose Lord Chatham's propos'd Plan of Conciliation, 
which was hastily & harshly rejected by the Lords. The 
Friends of America generally wish it had been accepted; 
because tho' some Exceptions might probably be made 
there to Parts of it, and certain Explanations or Modifications 
required or propos'd, yet it would have serv'd as the Basis 
of a Treaty for Agreement, and in the meantime have pre- 
vented Mischief & Bloodshed. 

With great Respect, I am, Gentlemen 

Your most obed* hum e Serv* 




London, February 25, 1775. 


I received your kind letter of September 6th by Mr. Quincy. 
I thought it might be of use to publish a part of it, which 
was done accordingly. But the measures it so justly censures 
are still persisted in, and will, I trust, continue to produce 
effects directly contrary to those intended. They will unite, 
instead of dividing us, strengthen and make us more resolute, 
instead of intimidating us, and work our honour and ad- 
vantage, instead of the disgrace and ruin designed for us. 

A bill is now in hand to confine the trade of the four New 
England colonies to Britain and the West Indies only, and 
to prohibit their fishery. Other provinces have done as 
offensive things, but Whiggism is thought to be more thor- 
oughly the principle in New England, and that is now an 
unpardonable sin. The rest, however, are to have their 
punishment in their turn, though perhaps less severe. That 
is, if this Tory ministry continues in power ; but, though they 
have by the late deceptive motion, amused many people 
here, so as to give an appearance as if they intended pacific 
measures, on which the stocks, which were falling apace, 
have risen again; yet, when this deceit is understood, and 
time proves the intended offer to America futile and in- 
effectual, the redoubled clamour of the trading, manufactur- 
ing, and Whig interests here will infallibly overthrow all the 
enemies of America, and produce an acknowledgment of 
her rights and satisfaction for her injuries. 

1 First printed by Sparks. 


If we continue firm and united, and resolutely persist in 
the non- consumption agreement, this adverse ministry can- 
not possibly stand another year. And surely the great body 
of our people, the farmers and artificers, will not find it hard 
to keep an agreement by which they both save and gain. 
The traders only can suffer, and, where they do really suffer, 
some compensation should if possible be made them. Hither- 
to the conduct of the colonies has given them great reputa- 
tion all over Europe. By a brave perseverance, with pru- 
dence and moderation, not forward in acting offensively, but 
resolute in defence when necessary, they will establish a 
respectable character both for wisdom and courage ; and then 
they will find friends everywhere. The eyes of all Christen- 
dom are now upon us, and our honour as a people is become 
a matter of the utmost consequence to be taken care of. If 
we tamely give up our rights in this contest, a century to 
come will not restore us in the opinion of the world; we 
shall be stamped with the character of dastards, poltrons, 
and fools; and be despised and trampled upon, not by this 
haughty, insolent nation only, but by all mankind. Present 
inconveniences are, therefore, to be borne with fortitude, and 
better times expected. 

" Informes hyemes reducit 

Jupiter; idem 

Summovet. Non si male nunc, et olim 
Sic erit." 

I am much pleased with Mr. Quincy. It is a thousand 
pities his strength of body is not equal to his strength of 
mind. His zeal for the public, like that of David for God's 
house, will, I fear, eat him up. 

I hope Mrs. Bowdoin's health is fully established. Make 


my respectful compliments acceptable to her; and believe 
me ever, with sincere and great esteem, Dear Sir, &c. 


P. S. I never could learn the cause of Mr. Temple's being 
displaced. The ministry refused to give any reason for it. 
I have imagined, that it was a suspicion of his being the 
author of some pieces in the papers reflecting on their meas- 

768. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY (A. p. s.) 

London, Feb. 25, 1775. 


In my last per Falconer I mention'd to you my showing 
your Plan of Union to Lords Chatham and Camden. I now 
hear, that you had sent it to Lord Dartmouth. Lord Gower 
I believe alluded to it, when in the House he censur'd the 
Congress severely, as first resolving to receive a Plan for 
uniting the Colonies to the Mother Country, and afterwards 
rejecting it, and ordering their first Resolution to be eras'd 
out of their Minutes. Permit me to hint to you, that it is 
whisper'd here by ministerial People, that yourself and Mr. 
Jay of New York are Friends to their Measures, and give 
them private Intelligence of the Views of the Popular or 
Country Party in America. I do not believe this; but I 
thought it a Duty of Friendship to acquaint you with the 

I have not heard what Objections were made to the Plan 
in the Congress, nor would I make more than this one, 
that, when I consider the extream Corruption prevalent 


among all Orders of Men in this old rotten State, and the 
glorious publick Virtue so predominant in our rising Country, 
I cannot but apprehend more Mischief than Benefit from a 
closer Union. I fear they will drag us after them in all the 
plundering Wars, which their desperate Circumstances, In- 
justice, and Rapacity, may prompt them to undertake ; and 
their wide-wasting Prodigality and Profusion is a Gulph 
that will swallow up every Aid we may distress ourselves to 
afford them. 

Here Numberless and needless Places, enormous Salaries, 
Pensions, Perquisites, Bribes, groundless Quarrels, foolish 
Expeditions, false Accounts or no Accounts, Contracts and 
Jobbs, devour all Revenue, and produce continual Necessity 
in the Midst of natural Plenty. I apprehend, therefore, 
that to unite us intimately will only be to corrupt and poison 
us also. It seems like Mezentius's coupling and binding 
together the dead and the living, 

" Torment! genus, et sanie taboque fluentes, 
Complexu in misero, longa sic morte necabat." 

However, I would try any thing, and bear any thing that 
can be borne with Safety to our just Liberties, rather than 
engage in a War with such near relations, unless compelled 
to it by dire Necessity in our own Defence. 

But, should that Plan be again brought forward, I imagine, 
that, before establishing the Union, it would be necessary 
to agree on the following preliminary Articles. 

1. The Declaratory Act of Parliament to be repeaFd. 

2. All Acts of Parl*, or Parts of Acts, laying Duties on the 
Colonies to be repeaPd. 

3. All Acts of Parl* altering the Charters, or Constitutions, 
or Laws of any Colony, to be repeal'd. 


4. All Acts of Parl* restraining Manufactures to be repeal'd. 

5. Those Parts of the Navigation Acts, which are for the 
Good of the whole Empire, such as require that Ships in the 
Trade should be British or Plantation built, and navigated 
by f British Subjects, with the Duties necessary for regulat- 
ing Commerce, to be reenacted by both Parliaments. 

6. Then, to induce the Americans to see the regulating 
Acts faithfully executed, it would be well to give the Duties 
collected in each Colony to the Treasury of that Colony, 
and let the Gov* and Assembly appoint the Officers to collect 
them, and proportion their Salaries. Thus the Business 
will be cheaper and better done, and the Misunderstandings 
between the two Countries, now created and fomented by the 
unprincipled Wretches, generally appointed from England, 
be entirely prevented. 

These are hasty Thoughts submitted to your Consideration. 

You will see the new Proposal of Lord North, made on 

Monday last, which I have sent to the Committee. 1 Those 

1 This proposal, which was introduced into Parliament by Lord North on 
the 2Oth of February, is as follows : " That, when the Governor, Council, and 
Assembly, or General Court of his Majesty's provinces, or colonies, shall pro- 
pose to make provision according to their respective conditions, circumstances, 
and situations, for contributing their proportion to the common defence; such 
proportion to be raised under the authorities of the General Court, or General 
Assembly, of such province or colony, and disposable by Parliament; and 
shall engage to make provision also for the support of the civil government, 
and the administration of justice in such province or colony; it will be proper, 
if such proposal shall be approved by his Majesty in Parliament, and for so 
long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear in respect of such 
province or colony, to levy any duties, tax, or assessment, or to impose any 
further duty, tax, or assessment, except only such duties as it may be expe- 
dient to impose for the regulation of commerce; the net produce of the 
duties last mentioned, to be carried to the account of such province, colony, 
or plantation respectively." " Almon's Parliamentary Register," Vol. I, p. 196. 


in Administration, who are for violent Measures, are said to 
dislike it. The others rely upon it as a means of dividing, 
and by that means subduing us. But I cannot conceive 
that any Colony will undertake to grant a Revenue to a 
Government, that holds a Sword over their Heads with a 
Threat to strike the moment they cease to give, or do not 
give so much as it is pleas 'd to expect. In such a Situation, 
where is the Right of giving our own Property freely, or the 
Right to judge of our own Ability to give ? It seems to me 
the Language of a Highwayman, who, with a Pistol in your 
Face, says, "Give me your Purse, and then I will not put my 
Hand into your Pocket. But give me all your Money, or 
I will shoot you through the Head." With great and sincere 
Esteem, I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 


London, February 26, 1775. 


I received, and perused with great pleasure, the letter 
you honoured me with, by your amiable and valuable son. 
I thank you for introducing me to the acquaintance of a 
person so deserving of esteem for his public and private 
virtues. I hope for your sake, and that of his friends and 
country, that his present indisposition may wear off, and his 
health be established. His coming over has been of great 
service to our cause, and would have been much greater, if 
his constitution would have borne the fatigues of being 
more frequently in company. He can acquaint you so fully 
with the state of things here, that my enlarging upon them 

1 Sparks was the first editor to include this letter. ED. 


will be unnecessary. I most sincerely wish him a prosperous 
voyage, and a happy meeting with his friends and family; 
and to you, my old dear friend, and the rest of those you love, 
every kind of felicity; being, with the truest esteem and affec- 
tion, yours, B. FRANKLIN. 

770. TO CHARLES THOMSON 1 (L. c.) 

London, March 13, 1775. 


I have some Thoughts of going with Osborne; but as I 
may be disappointed in that, I write a few Lines, to acquaint 
you, that the Petition of the Congress has lain upon the Table 
of both Houses ever since it was sent down to them among 
the Papers that accompany'd it from above, and has had no 
particular Notice taken of it; our Petition to be heard in 
support of it, having been, as I wrote you before, rejected 
with Scorn in the Commons; which must satisfy the future 
Congress that nothing is to be expected here from that Mode 
of Application. 

Nearly all the manufacturing and trading Towns that are 
concern'd with America have now petition'd Parliament to 

J This letter was discovered by Mr. Worthington C. Ford in a volume of the 
Continental Congress Papers containing " Letters of John Hancock and Mis- 
cellaneous Papers." Franklin had acknowledged the receipt of the Petition 
to the King in a letter to Thomson, dated February 5, 1775. "This second 
letter on the Petition, also unsigned, has escaped notice, although it is wholly 
in Franklin's well-known writing. Even the clerk in the Secretary's office 
who at a later day indorsed or docketed the paper was strangely ignorant of 
its origin, for he wrote: ' Letter, March 19, 1775. Anonymous from London 
to C : Thomson, Esq.' Indeed the year of the indorsement looks more like 
1795 than 1775. The original is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, 
Volume 58, folio 343, now in the Library of Congress." W. C. FORD. 


do something for healing the Differences that threaten Ruin 
to their Commerce. Administration, which has appeared 
to stagger several times within these two Months, must have 
given way before this time ; but have been supported chiefly 
by Accounts from America that all was fluctuating there, 
and that a little longer Perseverance would triumph over the 
Factions, as they are called, and bring the whole Continent 
to full and unconditional Submission. A Bill has therefore 
pass'd the Commons, to deprive New England of its Fishery, 
as well as its Trade, and a new Bill is order'd in, to extend the 
Restraints on Trade to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
Virginia, and South Carolina. Of New York they have 
great Hopes, and some of North Carolina, which Colonies 
are therefore omitted. All the Colonies, but those of New 
England, it is given out, may still make Peace for themselves, 
by acknowledging the Supreme unlimited Power of Parlia- 
ment: But those are absolutely to be conquered: After 
which possibly they may obtain a Quebec Constitution. 
More Troops are accordingly preparing to go over. And yet 
with all this Face of Resolution, it is certain that the Ministers 
are far from being cordially united in these Measures; that 
some of them tremble for their Places, and all for the Events 
as it relates to the Publick. While wise Observers are con- 
fident, that if America can hold strictly to its Non- Consump- 
tion Agreement another Year, it is impossible they can stand 
the universal Clamour which begins to thicken round their 
Heads, and that they must therefore be overthrown, and 
routed ; and the Friends of America come into Administra- 
tion. It is indeed evident that the present Set are apprehen- 
sive of this, since to secure themselves against the Danger of 
Impeachment, they take care in every Step to get Parliament 


to lead and advise the Measures to be taken: Contrary to 
the ancient Practice of the Executive Power in taking its 
Measures as Occasion required, and depending on their Recti- 
tude for the future Approbation of Parliament. 

I flatter myself that neither New York nor any other Colony 
will be cajoPd into a Separation from the common Interest. 
Our only Safety is in the firmest Union, and keeping strict 
Faith with each other. If any Colony suffers itself to be 
detach'd from the common Cause by the artful Management 
of Ministers, that Colony will first incur the Detestation of the 
rest ; and when that is become the Case, and none can be con- 
cern'd at any ill Usage it may receive, it will on some Pretence 
or other be treated just as roughly as the others whom it 
had so basely abandoned. 

With great Esteem, I am, Sir, Your Most 

obedient humble Servant 






(D. s. w.) 

On board the Pensylvania Packet, Captain Osborne, 
bound to Philad a , March 22, 1775. 


Having now a little Leisure for Writing, I will endeavour, 
as I promised you, to recollect what Particulars I can of the 
Negociations I have lately been concern'd in, with regard 
to the Misunderstandings between Great Britain and America. 

During the Recess of the last Parliament, which had pass'd 
the severe Acts against the Province of the Massachusetts 
Bay, the Minority having been sensible of their Weakness, 
as an Effect of their Want of Union among themselves, began 
to think seriously of a Coalition. For they saw in the Violence 
of these American Measures, if persisted in, a Hazard of 
Dismembring, Weakning, and perhaps Ruining the British 
Empire. This inclined some of them to propose such an 
Union with each other, as might be more respectable in the 

1 This "Account" exists in two Mss. in the Stevens Collection: I. an 
original draft in the author's handwriting ; 2. a transcript corrected by 
Franklin. It was written during the author's passage to America. It was 
not published until 1817, when it was included in W. T. Franklin's edition of 
his grandfather's works. It is here printed from the original Ms. ED. 


ensuing Session, have more Weight in Opposition, and be a 
Body out of which a new Ministry might easily be formed, 
should the ill Success of the late Measures, and the Firmness 
of the Colonies in resisting them, make a Change appear 
necessary to the King. 

I took some Pains to promote this Disposition, in Con- 
versations with several of the principal among the Minority 
of both Houses, whom I beseech'd and conjur'd most earnestly 
not to suffer, by their little Misunderstandings, so glorious 
a Fabric as the present British Empire to be demolished by 
these Blunderers; and for their Encouragement assur'd 
them, as far as my Opinions could give any Assurance, of 
the Firmness and Unanimity of America, the Continuance 
of which was what they had frequent Doubts of, and 
appeared extreamly apprehensive and anxious concerning 

From the Time of the Affront given me at the Council 
Board in January 1774, I had never attended the Levee of 
any Minister. I made no Justification of myself from the 
Charges brought against me : I made no Return of the Injury 
by abusing my Adversaries; but held a cool, sullen silence, 
reserving myself to some future Opportunity; for which 
Conduct I had several Reasons not necessary here to specify. 
Now and then I heard it said, that the Reasonable Part of 
the Administration were asham'd of the Treatment they had 
given me. I suspected that some who told me this, did it 
to draw from me my Sentiments concerning it, and perhaps 
my Purposes : But I said little or nothing upon the Subject. 
In the mean time their Measures with regard to New England 
failing of the Success that had been confidently expected, and 
finding themselves more and more embarrass'd, they began, 


(as it seems,) to think of making use of me, if they could, to 
assist in disengaging them. But it was too humiliating to 
think of applying to me openly and directly; and therefore 
it was contrived to obtain what they could of my Sentiments 
thro' others. 

The Accounts from America during the Recess all mani- 
fested that the Measures of Administration had neither 
divided nor intimidated the People there; that, on the con- 
trary they were more and more united and determined ; and 
that a non-importation Agreement was likely to take place. 
The Ministry thence apprehending that this, by distressing 
the trading and manufacturing Towns, might influence Votes 
against the Court in the Elections for a new Parliament, 
which were in course to come on the succeeding Year, sud- 
denly and unexpectedly dissolv'd the old one, and ordered the 
Choice of a new one within the shortest time admitted by 
Law, before the Inconveniences of that Agreement could 
begin to be felt, or produce any such Effect. 

When I came to England in 1757, you may remember I 
made several Attempts to be introduc'd to Lord Chatham 
(at that time first Minister), on account of my Pensilvania 
Business, but without Success. He was then too great a 
Man, or too much occupy'd in Affairs of greater Moment. 
I was therefore oblig'd to content myself with a kind of non- 
apparent and unacknowledg'd Communication thro' Mr. 
Potter and Mr. Wood, his Secretaries, who seem'd to culti- 
vate an Acquaintance with me by their Civilities, and drew 
from me what Information I could give relative to the Ameri- 
can War, with my Sentiments occasionally on Measures 
that were proposed or advised by others, [which gave me the 
Opportunity of recommending and enforcing the Utility 


of conquering Canada.] * I afterwards considered Mr. Pitt 
as an Inaccessible. I admired him at a distance, and made no 
more Attempts for a nearer Acquaintance. I had only once 
or twice the Satisfaction of hearing thro' Lord Shelb ne , and 
I think Lord Stanhope, that he did me the Honour of mention- 
ing me sometimes as a Person of respectable Character. 

But towards the End of August last, returning from Bright- 
helmstone, I called to visit my Friend Mr. Sargent at his 
seat, Halsted, in Kent, agreable to a former Engagement. 
He let me know, that he had promised to conduct me to 
Lord Stanhope's at Cheven g , who expected I would call 
on him when I came into that Neighbourhood. We accord- 
ingly waited on Lord Stanhope that Evening, who told me 
Lord Chatham desired to see me; and that Mr. Sargent's 
House, where I was to lodge, being in the way, he would call 
for me there the next morning and carry me to Hayes. This 
was done accord 5 ". That truly great Man receiv'd me with 
abundance of Civility, enquired particularly into the Situa- 
tion of Affairs in America, spoke feelingly of the Severity 
of the late Laws against the Massachusetts, gave me some 
Ace* of his Speech in opposing them, and express'd great 
Regard and Esteem for the People of that Country, who he 
hop'd would continue firm and united in defending by all 
peaceable and legal Means their constitutional Rights. I 
assur'd him, that I made no doubt they would do so ; which 
he said he was pleas'd to hear from me, as he was sensible 
I must be well acquainted with them. 

I then took Occasion to remark to him, that in former 
Cases great Empires had crumbled first at their Extremities, 

1 Passages enclosed in brackets are corrections made by F. in the tran- 
script. ED. 

VOL. vi Y 


from this Cause, that Countries remote from the Seat and Eye 
of Government which therefore could not well understand 
their Affairs for want of full and true Information, had never 
been well governed but had been oppress'd by bad Governors, 
on Presumption that Complaint was difficult to be made and 
supported against them at such a Distance. Hence such 
gov had been encouraged to go on, till their Oppressions 
became intolerable. But that this Empire had happily 
found and long been in the Practice of a Method, whereby 
every Province was well governed, being trusted in a great 
Measure with the Government of itself, and that hence had 
arisen such Satisfaction in the Subjects, and such encourage- 
ment to new Settlements, that had it not been for the late 
wrong Politicks, (which would have Parliament to be om- 
nipotent^ tho' it ought not to be so unless it could at the same 
time be omniscient,) we might have gone on extending our 
Western Empire, adding Province to Province, as far as the 
South Sea. That I lamented the Ruin which seemed im- 
pending over so fine a Plan, so well adapted to make all the 
Subjects of the greatest Empire happy; and I hoped that, 
if his Lordship with the other great and wise Men of this Na- 
tion would unite and exert themselves, it might yet be rescu'd 
out of the mangling Hands of the present Set of Blundering 
Ministers, and that the Union and Harmony between Britain 
and her Colonies, so necessary to the Welfare of both might be 

He replied with great Politeness, that my Idea of extend- 
ing our Empire in that Manner, was a sound one, worthy 
of a great, benevolent and comprehensive Mind. He wish'd 
with me for a good Understanding among the different Parts 
of the Opposition here, as a Means of restoring the ancient 


Harmony of the two Countries, which he most earnestly 
desir'd; but he spoke of the Coalition of our domestick 
Parties as attended with Difficulty, and rather to be desired 
than expected. He mention'd an Opinion prevailing here 
that America aim'd at setting up for itself as an independent 
State; or at least to get rid of the Navigation Acts. I assur'd 
him, that, having more than once travelled almost from one 
end of the Continent to the other and kept a great Variety 
of Company, eating, drinking, and conversing with them 
freely, I never had heard in any Conversation from any Per- 
son drunk or sober, the least Expression of a wish for a Sepa- 
ration, or Hint that such a Thing would be advantageous 
to America. And as to the Navigation Act, the main material 
Part of it, that of carrying on Trade in British or Planta- 
tion Bottoms, excluding foreign Ships from our Ports, and 
navigating with f British Seamen, was as acceptable to us 
as it could be to Britain. That we were even not against 
Regulations of the General Commerce by Parliament pro- 
vided such Reg" 8 were bond fide for the Benefit of the whole 
Empire, not for the small Advantage of one Part to the great 
Injury of another, such as the obliging our Ships to call in 
England with our Wine and Fruit, from Portugal or Spain;; 
the restraints on our Manufactures, in the Woollen and Hat- 
making Branches, the Prohibiting of Slitting- Mills, Steel- 
works, &c. He allow'd, that some Amendment might be 
made in those Acts; but said those relating to the Slitting- 
Mills, trip Hammers, and Steel- Works, were agreed to by our 
Agents, in a Compromise on the Opposition made here to 
abating the Duty. 

In fine, he expressed much Satisfaction in my having calPd 
upon him, and particularly in the Assurances I had given 


him, that Am. did not aim at Independence; adding that he 
should be glad to see me again as often as might be ; I said 
I should not fail to avail myself of the Permission he was 
pleas'd to give me of waiting upon his Lordship occasionally, 
being very sensible of the Honour, and of the great Advan- 
tages and Improvement I should reap, from his instructive 
Conversation; which indeed was not a meer Compliment. 
The new Parliament was to meet the 2pth of November, 
(1774.) About the Beginning of that Month, being at the 
Royal Society, Mr. Raper, one of our Members, told me there 
was a certain Lady who had a desire of playing with me at 
Chess, fancying she could beat me, and had requested him 
to bring me to her: it was, he said, a Lady with whose Ac- 
quaintance he was sure I should be pleas'd, a Sister of Lord 
Howe's, and he hop'd I would not refuse the Challenge. 
I said I had been long out of Practice, but would wait upon 
the Lady when he and she should think fit. He told me where 
her House was, and would have me call soon, and without 
farther Introduction, which I undertook to do ; but, thinking 
it a little awkward, I postpon'd it ; and on the 3oth meeting 
him again at the Feast of the Society Election, being the Day 
after the Parliament met, he put me in Mind of my Promise, 
and that I had not kept it, and would have me name a Day 
when he said he would call for me, and conduct me. I 
nam'd the Friday following. He call'd accordingly. I went 
with him, play'd a few games with the Lady, whom I found 
of very sensible Conversation and pleasing Behaviour, 
which induc'd me to agree most readily to an Appointment 
for another Meeting a few Days after ; tho* I had not the least 
Apprehension that any political Business could have any 
Connection with this new Acquaintance. 


On the Thursday preceding this Chess Party, Mr. David 
Barclay call'd on me to have some Discourse concerning the 
Meeting of Merchants to petition Parliament. When that 
was over, he spoke of the dangerous Situation of American 
Affairs, the Hazard that a Civil War might be bro't on by 
the present Measures, and the great Merit that Person would 
have, who could contrive some Means of preventing so terri- 
ble a Calamity, and bring about a Reconciliation. He was 
then pleas'd to add, that he was persuaded, from my Knowl- 
edge of both Countries, my Character and Influence in one 
of them, and my Abilities in Business, no Man had it so much 
hi his Power as myself. I naturally answer'd, that I should 
certainly be very happy if I could in any degree be instru- 
mental in so good a Work, but that I saw no Prospect of it ; 
For that tho* I was sure the Americans were always willing 
and ready to agree upon any equitable Terms, yet I thought 
an Accommodation impracticable, unless both sides wish'd 
it ; and, by what I could judge from the Proceedings of the 
Ministry, I did not believe they had the least Disposition 
towards it; that they rather wish'd to provoke the North 
American People into an open Rebellion, which might justify 
a military Execution, and thereby gratify a grounded Malice, 
which I conceiv'd to exist here against the Whigs and Dissen- 
ters of that Country. Mr. Barclay apprehended I judg'd 
too hardly of the Ministers ; he was persuaded they were not 
all of that Temper, and he fancy'd they would be very glad 
to get out of their present Embarrassment on any Terms, 
only saving the Honour and Dignity of Government. He 
wish'd therefore that I would think of the Matter, and he 
would call again and converse with me farther upon it. I 
said I would do so, as he requested it, but I had no Opinion 


of its Answering any Purpose. We parted upon this. But 
two Days after I receivM a Letter from him, inclos'd in a Note 
from Dr. Fothergfll, both which follow. 

Youngsbury, near Ware, jd 12 Mcv, 1774. 
u Esteemed Friend, 

" After we parted on Thursday last, I accidentally met oar mutual Friend, 
Dr. Fothergill, in my way home, and intimated to him the subject of our dis- 
course; in consequence of which, I have received from him an Invitation to 
a further Conference on this momentous Affair, and I intend to be in Town 
to-morrow accordingly, to meet at his House between four and five o'clock; 
and we unite in the request of thy Company. We are neither of us insensible, 
that the Affair is of that Magnitude as should almost deter private persons 
from meddling with it ; at the same time we are respectively such Well-wish- 
ers to the Cause, that nothing in our power ought to be left undone, tho' the 
utmost of our Efforts may be unavailable. I am thy respectful Friend, 

u DR. FRANKLIN, Craven Street." 

" DR. FOTHRRGILL presents his respects to Dr. Franklin, and hopes for the 
favour of his Company in Harper Street to-morrow Evening, to meet their 
mutual Friend, David Barclay, to confer on American Affairs. As near 5 
o'clock as may be convenient 
" Harper Street t jd Inst." 

The Time thus appointed was the Evening of the Day 
on which I was to have my second Chess Party with the agre- 
able Mrs. Howe, whom I met accordingly. After Playing 
as long as we lik'd, we fell into a little Chat, partly on a 
Mathematical Problem, 1 and partly about the new Parlia- 
ment then just met, when she said, "And what is to be done 
with this Dispute between Great Britain and the Colonies? 
I hope we are not to have a Civil War." "They should kiss 
and be Friends," says I ; "what can they do better? Quar- 
relling can be of service to neither, but is Ruin to both." 
"I have often said," says she, "that I wish'd Government 
would employ you to settle the Dispute for 'em; I am sure 

1 This Lady (which is a little unusual in Ladies) has a good deal of 
mathematical Knowledge. F. 


nobody could do it so well. Don't you think that the thing is 
practicable?" "Undoubtedly, Madam, if the Parties are dis- 
pos'd to Reconciliation ; for the two Countries have really no 
clashing Interests to differ about. It is rather a Matter of 
Punctilio, which Two or three reasonable People might settle 
in half an Hour. I thank you for the good Opinion you are 
pleas 'd to express of me ; But the Ministers will never think of 
employing me in that good Work ; they chuse rather to abuse 
me." "Ay," says she, "they have behav'd shamefully to you. 
And indeed some of them are now asham'd of it themselves." 
I look'd upon this as accidental Conversation, thought no 
more of it, and went in the Evening to the appointed Meeting 
at Dr. Fothergill's, where I found Mr. Barclay with him. 

The Doctor expatiated feelingly on the Mischiefs likely to 
ensue from the present Difference, the Necessity of accom- 
modating it, and the great Merit of being instrumental in 
so good a Work ; concluding with some Compliments to me ; 
that nobody understood the Subject so thoroughly, and had 
a better Head for Business of the kind ; that it seem'd there- 
fore a Duty incumbent on me, to do every thing I could to 
accomplish a Reconciliation. And that, as he had with 
Pleasure heard from D[avid] Barclay that I had promised 
to think of it, he hop'd I had put Pen to Paper, and form'd 
some Plan for Consideration, and brought it with me. I 
answer'd, that I had form'd no Plan ; as, the more I thought 
of the Proceedings against the Colonies, the more satisfy'd 
I was, that there did not exist the least Disposition in the 
Ministry to an Accommodation ; that therefore all Plans must 
be useless. He said I might be mistaken; That whatever 
was the Violence of some, he had reason, good reason, to be- 
lieve others were differently dispos'd; and that if I would 


draw a Plan, which we three upon considering should judge 
reasonable, it might be made use of, and answer some good 
Purpose, since he believ'd that either himself or D. Barclay 
could get it communicated to some of the most moderate 
among the Ministers, who would consider it with Attention ; 
and what appear'd reasonable to us, two of us being English- 
men might appear so to them. 

As they both urg'd this with great Earnestness, and, 
when I mentioned the Impropriety of my doing any thing of 
the kind at the time we were in daily expectation of hearing 
from the Congress, who undoubtedly would be explicit on 
the Means of Restoring a good Understanding, they seem'd 
impatient, alledging that it was uncertain when we should 
receive the Result of the Congress, and what it would be; 
that the least Delay might be dangerous, that additional 
Punishments for New England were in Contemplation, and 
Accidents might widen the Breach, and make it irreparable; 
therefore, something preventive could not be too soon thought 
of and apply'd. I was therefore finally prevail'd with to 
promise Doing what they desir'd, and to meet them again on 
Tuesday Evening at the same Place, and bring with me some- 
thing for their Consideration. 

Accordingly, at the Time, I met with them, and produced 
the following Paper. 

"HINTS FOR CONVERSATION upon the Subject of Terms 
that might probably produce a durable Union between Britain 
and the Colonies. 

"i. The Tea destroy'd to be paid for. 
11 2. The Tea- Duty Act to be repeaPd, and all the Duties 
that have been receiv'd upon it to be repaid into the Treasu- 


ries of the several Provinces from which they have been col- 

"3. The Acts of Navigation to be all reenacted in the 

"4. A Naval Officer, appointed by the Crown, to reside 
in each Colony, to see that those Acts are observed. 

"5. All the Acts restraining Manufactures in the Colonies 
to be reconsidered. 

"6. All Duties arising on the Acts for regulating Trade 
with the Colonies, to be for the public Use of the respective 
Colonies, and paid into their Treasuries. The Collectors 
and Custom-house Officers to be appointed by each Gov- 
ernor, and not sent from England. 

"7. In Consideration of the Americans maintaining their 
own Peace Establishment, and the Monopoly Britain is to 
have of their Commerce, no Requisition to be made from 
them in time of Peace. 

"8. No Troops to enter and quarter in any Colony, but 
with the Consent of its Legislature. 

"9. In time of War, on Requisition made by the King, 
with Consent of Parliament, every Colony shall raise Money 
by the following Rules or Proportions, viz. If Britain, on 
Ace* of the War raises 3/ in the Pound to its land tax, then the 
Colonies to add to their last general Provincial Peace Tax 
a Sum equal to [J] thereof; and if Britain, on the same 
Account, pays 4/ in the Pound, then the Colonies to add to 
their said last Peace Tax a Sum equal to [J] thereof, which 
additional Tax is to be granted to his Majesty, and to be em- 
ploy'd in raising and paying Men for Land or Sea Service, 
furnishing Provisions, Transports, or for such other Purposes 
as the King shall require and direct. And tho' no Colony 


may contribute less, each may add as much by voluntary 
Grant as they shall think proper. 

" 10. Castle William to be restor'd to the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, and no Fortress built by the Crown in 
any Province, but with the Consent of its Legislature. 

"n. The late Massachusetts and Quebec Acts to be re- 
peal'd, and a free Government granted to Canada. 

"12. All Judges to be appointed during good Behaviour, 
with equally permanent Salaries, to be paid out of the Prov- 
ince Revenues by Appointment of the Assemblies. Or, 
if the Judges are to be appointed during the Pleasure of the 
Crown, let the Salaries be during the Pleasure of the Assem- 
blies, as heretofore. 

"13. Governors to be supported by the Assemblies of each 

"14. If Britain will give up its Monopoly of the Ameri- 
can Commerce, then the Aid above mentioned to be given 
by America in time of Peace as well as in time of War. 

"15. The Extension of the Act of Henry the Eighth, con- 
cerning Treasons to the Colonies, to be formally disown 'd by 

" 16. The American Admiralty Courts reduced to the same 
Powers they have in England, and the Acts establishing them 
to be redacted in America. 

"17. All Powers of Internal Legislation in the Colonies 
to be disclaimed by Parliament." 

In reading this Paper a second time, I gave my Reasons 
at length for each Article. 

On the first I observ'd, that, when the Injury was done, 
Britain had a Right to Reparation, and would certainly have 


had it on Demand, as was the Case when Injury was done by 
Mobs in the time of the Stamp Act ; or she might have a Right 
to return an equal Injury if she rather chose to do that; 
but she could not have a Right both to Reparation and to 
return an equal Injury; much less had she a Right to return 
the Injury ten or twenty fold, as she had done by blocking 
up the Port of Boston. All which extra Injury ought in my 
judgm*, to be repaired by Britain. That therefore if paying 
for the Tea was agreed to by me, as an Article fit to be pro- 
pos'd, it was merely from a Desire of Peace, and in Com- 
pliance with their Opinion express'd at our first Meeting, 
that this was a sine qua non, that the Dignity of Britain re- 
quir'd it, and that if this was agreed to, every thing else would 
be easy. This Reasoning was allow'd to be just; but still 
the Article was thought necessary to stand as it did. 

On the 2d, That the Act should be repeal 'd, as having 
never answered any good Purpose, as having been the Cause 
of the present Mischief, and never likely to be executed. 
That the Act being considered as unconstitutional by the 
Americans, and what the Parliament had no Right to make, 
they must consider all the Money extorted by it, as so much 
wrongfully taken, and of which therefore Restitution ought 
to be made ; and the rather as it would furnish a Fund out of 
which the Payment for the Tea destroy 'd might best be de- 
frayed. The Gentlemen were of Opinion, that the first 
Part of this Article, viz. the Repeal, might be obtain 'd, but 
not the refunding Part, and therefore ad vis 'd striking that out : 
But as I thought it just and right, I insisted on its standing. 

On the 3d and 4th Articles I observ'd, we were frequently 
charg'd with Views of abolishing the Navigation Act. That 
in truth, those Parts of it which were of most Importance to 


Britain, as tending to increase its naval Strength, viz. those re- 
straining the Trade, to be carried on only in Ships belonging 
to British Subjects, navigated by at least f British or Colony 
Seamen, &c., were as acceptable to us as they could be to 
Britain, since we wished to employ our own Ships in preference 
to Foreigners, and had no Desire to see foreign Ships enter 
our Ports. That indeed the obliging us to land some of our 
Commodities in England before we could carry them to 
foreign Markets, and forbidding our Importation of some 
Goods directly from foreign Countries, we thought a Hard- 
ship, and a greater Loss to us than Gain to Britain, and there- 
fore proper to be repeal'd: But as Britain had deem'd it 
an equivalent for her Protection, we had never apply'd, or 
propos'd to apply for such Repeal. And if they must be con- 
tinu'd, I thought it best (since the Power of Parliament 
to make them was now disputed), that they should be re- 
enacted in all the Colonies, which would demonstrate their 
Consent to them. And then, if, as in the 6th Article, all the 
Duties arising on them were to be collected by Officers 
appointed and salaried in the respective Governments, 
and the Produce paid into their Treasuries, I was sure the 
Acts would be better and more faithfully executed, and at 
much less Expence, and one great Source of Misunderstanding 
removed between the two Countries, viz. the Calumnies of 
low Officers appointed from home, who were for ever abus- 
ing the People of the Country to Government, to magnify 
their own Zeal, and recommend themselves to Promotion. 
That the Extension of the Admiralty Jurisdiction, so much 
complain 'd of would then no longer be necessary. And that 
besides its being the Interest of the Colonies to execute those 
Acts, which is the best Security, Government might be satis- 


fy'd of its being done, from Accounts to be sent home by the 
Naval Officers of the 4th Article. The Gentlemen were 
satisfy'd with these Reasons, and approv'd the 3d and 4th 
Articles ; so they were to stand. 

The 5th they apprehended would meet with Difficulty. 
They said, that restraining Manufactures in the Colonies 
was a favorite Idea here; and therefore they wish'd that 
Article to be omitted, as the proposing it would alarm, and 
hinder perhaps the considering and granting others of more 
Importance: But as I insisted on the Equity of allowing 
all Subjects in every Country to make the most of their natu- 
ral Advantages, they desired I would at least alter the last 
Word from repealed to reconsidered, which I comply'd with. 

In maintaining the yth Article (which was at first objected 
to, on the Principle that all under the Care of Government 
should pay towards the Support of it,) my Reasons were, that 
if every distinct Part of the King's Dominions supported its 
own Government in time of Peace, it was all that could justly 
be required of it; that all the old or confederated Colonies 
had done so from their beginning ; that their Taxes for that 
Purpose were very considerable; that new Countries had 
many public Expences, which old ones were free from, the 
Works being done to their Hands by their Ancestors, such as 
making Roads and Bridges, erecting Churches, Court-houses, 
Forts, Quays, and other Publick Buildings, founding Schools 
and Places of Education, Hospitals and Alms-houses, &c. 
&c. ; that the voluntary and the legal Subscriptions and 
Taxes for such Purposes, taken together amounted to more 
than was paid by equal Estates in Britain. That it would be 
best for Britain, on two Accounts, not to take Money from us 
as Contribution to its public Expence, in time of Peace, 


first, for that just so much less would be got from us in Com- 
merce, since all we could spare was already gain'd from us 
by Britain in that Way ; and secondly that, coming into the 
Hands of British Ministers, accustomed to Prodigality of 
Publick Money, it would be squandered and dissipated, 
answering no good general Purpose. That if we were to be 
taxed towards the Support of Government in Britain, as Scot- 
land has been since the Union, we ought then to be allow'd 
the same Privileges in Trade as she has been allow'd. That 
if we are call'd upon to give to the Sinking Fund, or for 
lessening the National Debt, Ireland ought to be likewise 
called upon ; and both they and we, if we gave, ought to have 
some Means established of enquiring into the Application 
and securing a Compliance with the Terms on which we 
should grant. That British Ministers would perhaps not 
like our meddling with such Matters ; and that hence might 
arise new Causes of Misunderstanding. That upon the 
whole therefore I thought it best on all Sides, that no Aids 
shall be asked or expected from the Colonies in Time of Peace ; 
that it would then be their interest to grant bountifully and 
exert themselves vigorously in time of War, the sooner to 
put an End to it. That Specie was not to be had to send to 
England in Supplies, but the Colonies could carry on War 
with their own Paper Money, which would pay Troops, and 
for Provisions, Transports, Carriages, Clothing, Arms, &c. 
So this yth Article was at length agreed to without farther 

The 8th the Gentlemen were confident would never be 
granted. For the whole World would be of Opinion, that 
the King who is to defend all Parts of his Dominions, should 
have of course a Right to place his Troops where they might 


best answer that purpose. I supported the Article upon 
Principles equally important in my Opinion to Britain as to 
the Colonies : For that if the King could bring into one part 
of his Dominions Troops rais'd in any other Part of them, 
without the Consent of the Legislature of the Part to which 
they were brought, he might bring Armies rais'd in America 
into England without Consent of Parliament, which probably 
would not like it, as a few Years since they had not liked 
the Introduction of the Hessians and Hanoverians, tho' 
justified by the Supposition of its being a Time of Danger. 
That if there should be at any time real Occasion for British 
Troops in America, there was no doubt of obtaining the Con- 
sent of the Assemblies there; and I was so far from being 
willing to drop this Article, that I thought I ought to add 
another, requiring all the present Troops to be withdrawn, 
before America could be expected to treat or agree upon any 
Terms of Accommodation; as what they should now do of 
that kind might be deem'd the Effect of Compulsion, the 
Appearance of which ought as much as possible to be avoided, 
since those reasonable things might be agreed to where the 
Parties seem'd at least to act freely, which would be strongly 
refus'd under Threats or the semblance of Force. That 
the withdrawing the Troops was therefore necessary to make 
any Treaty or Agreement durably binding on the Part of the 
Americans, since Proof of having acted under Force would 
invalidate any Agreement. And it could be no Wonder that 
we should insist on the Crown's having no Right to bring a 
standing Army among us in time of Peace, when we saw 
now before our Eyes a striking Instance of the 111 Use to be 
made of it, viz. to distress the King's Subjects in different 
Parts of his Dominions, one Part after the other, into a Sub- 


mission to arbitrary Power, which was the avowed Design 
of the Army and Fleet now plac'd at Boston. Finding me 
obstinate, the Gentlemen consented to let this stand, but did 
not seem quite to approve of it. They wish'd they said to 
have this Paper or Plan that they might show, as containing 
the Sentiments of considerate, Impartial Persons, and such 
as they might as Englishmen support, which they thought 
could not well be the case with this Article. 

The Qth Article was so drawn in Compliance with an Idea 
of Dr. FothergilPs started at our first Meeting, viz. that Gov- 
ernment here would .probably not be satisfied with the Prom- 
ise of voluntary Grants in time of War from the Assemblies, 
of which the Quantity must be uncertain; that, therefore, 
it would be best to proportion them in some Way to the Shil- 
lings in the Pound rais'd in England ; but how such Propor- 
tion could be ascertained he was at a loss to contrive. I 
was desired to consider it. It had been said, too, that Par- 
liament was become jealous of the Right claimed and hereto- 
fore used by the Crown, of raising Money in the Colonies 
without Parliamentary Consent; and, therefore, since we 
would not pay Parliamentary Taxes, future Requisitions 
must be made with Consent of Parliament, and not otherwise. 
I wondered that the Crown should be willing to give up that 
separate Right, but had no Objection to its limiting itself, 
if it thought proper : so I drew the Article accordingly, and 
contrived to proportion the Aid by the Tax of the last Year 
of Peace. And since it was thought that the Method I 
should have liked best, would never be agreed to, viz. a 
Continental Congress to be call'd by the Crown, for answering 
Requisitions and proportioning Aids ; I chose to leave Room 
for voluntary Additions by the separate Assemblies, that the 


Crown might have some Motive for calling them together, 
and Cultivating their Good Will, and they have some Satis- 
faction in showing their Loyalty and their Zeal in the common 
Cause, and an Opportunity of manifesting their ^Disapproba- 
tion of a War, if they did not think it a just one. This article 
therefore met with no Objection from them; and I had another 
Reason for liking it, viz. that the View of the Proportion to 
be given in time of War, might make us the more frugal in 
time of Peace. 

For the loth Article, I urg'd the Injustice of seizing that 
Fortress, (which had been built at an immense Charge by the 
Province, for the Defence of their Port against national Ene- 
mies,) and turning it into a Citadel for awing the Town, re- 
straining their Trade, blocking up their Port, and depriving 
them of their Privileges. That a great deal had been said of 
their Injustice in destroying the Tea ; but here was a much 
greater Injustice uncompensated, that Castle having cost the 
Province 300,000^. And that such a Use made of a Fortress 
they had built, would not only effectually discourage every 
Colony from ever building another, and thereby leave them 
more expos'd to foreign Enemies, but was a good Reason for 
their insisting that the Crown should never erect any here- 
after in their Limits without the Consent of the Legislature. 
The Gentlemen had not much to say against this Article, 
but thought it would hardly be admitted. 

The nth Article it was thought would be strongly objected 
to; that it would be urged the old Colonists could have 
nothing to do with the Affairs of Canada, whatever we had 
with those of the Massachusetts ; that it would be considered 
as an officious Meddling merely to disturb Government; 
and that some even of the Massachusetts acts were tho't by 



Administration to be Improvements of that Government, 
viz. those altering the Appointment of Counsellors, the 
Choice of Jurymen, and the Forbidding of Town Meetings. 
I reply'd, that we having assisted in the Conquest of Canada, 
at a great Expence of Blood and Treasure, had some Right 
to be considered in the Settlement of it. That the Estab- 
lishing an arbitrary Government on the back of our Settle- 
ments might be dangerous to us all ; and that loving Liberty 
ourselves, we wish'd it to be extended among Mankind, and 
to have no Foundation for future Slavery laid in America. 
That as to Amending the Massachusetts Government, tho' 
it might be shown that every one of these pretended Amend- 
ments were real Mischiefs, yet that Charters being Compacts 
between two Parties, the King and the People, no Alteration 
could be made in them, even for the better, but by the Con- 
sent of both Parties. That the Parliament's Claim and Exer- 
cise of a Power to alter our Charters, which had always been 
deem'd irrevocable l but for Forfeiture, and to alter Laws 
made in pursuance of those Charters, which had received the 
Royal Approbation, and thenceforth deemed fix'd and un- 
changeable but by the Powers that made them, had render'd 
all our Constitutions uncertain, and set us quite afloat. 
That as by claiming a Right to tax us ad libitum, they de- 
priv'd us of all Property; so, by this Claim of altering our 
Laws and Charters at will, they depriv'd us of all Privilege 
and Right whatever, but what we should hold at their Pleas- 
ure. That this was a Situation we could not be in, and must 
risque Life and every thing rather than submit to it. So 
this Article remained. 

The 1 2th article I explain'd, by acquainting the Gentlemen 
1 "inviolable" in Transcript, altered by F. to "irrevocable." ED. 


with the former Situation of the Judges in most Colonies, viz. 
that they were appointed by the Crown, and paid by the As- 
semblies. That the Appointment being during the Pleasure 
of the Crown, the Salary had been during the pleasure of the 
Assembly. That when it has been urg'd against the Assem- 
blies, that their making Judges dependent on them for their 
Salaries, was aiming at an undue Influence over the Courts 
of Justice ; the Assemblies usually reply'd, that making them 
dependent on the Crown for Continuance in their Places, 
was also retaining an Undue Influence over those Courts; 
and that one undue Influence was a proper Balance for the 
other; but that whenever the Crown would consent to Acts 
making the Judges during good Behaviour, the Assemblies 
would at the same time grant their Salaries to be permanent 
during their Continuance in Office. This the Crown has 
however constantly refused. And this equitable Offer is 
now again here proposed ; the Colonies not being able to con- 
ceive why their Judges should not be rendered as independent 
as those in England. That on the contrary the Crown now 
claim'd to make the Judges in the Colonies dependent on its 
Favour for both Place and Salary, both to be continu'd at its 
Pleasure. This the Colonies must oppose as inequitable, 
as putting both the Weights into one of the Scales of Justice. 
If therefore the Crown does not chuse to commission the 
Judges during good Behaviour, with equally permanent 
Salaries, the Alternative is propos'd that the Salaries continue 
to be paid during the Pleasure of the Assemblies as heretofore. 
The Gentlemen allow'd this Article to be reasonable. 

The 1 3th was objected to, as nothing was generally tho't 
more reasonable here, than that the King should pay his own 
Governor, in order to render him independent of the People, 


who otherwise might aim at influencing him against his Duty, 
by occasionally withholding his Salary. To this I answer'd, 
that Governors sent to the Colonies were often Men of no 
Estate or Principle, who came merely to make Fortunes, and 
had no natural Regard for the Country they were to govern. 
That to make them quite independ* of the People, was to 
make them careless of their Conduct whether it was bene- 
ficial or mischievous to the Publick, and giving a Loose to 
their Rapacious and oppressive Dispositions. That the In- 
fluence supposed could never extend to operate any thing 
prejudicial to the King's Service, or the Interest of Britain; 
since the Governor was bound by a Set of particular Instruc- 
tions, which he had given Surety to observe ; and all the Laws 
he assented to were subject to be repeal'd by the Crown, if 
found improper. That the Payment of the Salaries by the 
People was more satisfactory to them, as it was productive of 
a good Understanding and mutual good Offices between 
Governor and Governed, and therefore the Innovation lately 
made in that respect at Boston and New York had in my 
Opinion better be laid aside. So this Article was suffered 
to remain. 

But the 1 4th was thought totally inadmissible. The 
Monopoly of the American Commerce could never be given 
up, and the Proposing it would only give Offence without 
answering any good Purpose. I was therefore prevailed on 
to strike it wholly out. 

The 1 5th was readily agreed to. 

The 1 6th it was thought would be of little consequence, if 
the Duties were given to the Colony Treasuries. 

The 1 7th it was thought could hardly be obtained, but 
might be try'd. 


Thus having gone thro' the whole, I was desired to make a 
fair Copy for Dr. Fothergill, who now inform'd us, that 
having an Opportunity of seeing daily Lord Dartmouth, of 
whose good Disposition he had a high Opinion, he would 
communicate the Paper to him, as the Sentiments of con- 
siderate Persons, who wish'd the welfare of both Countries. 
"Suppose," says Mr. B[arclay], "I were to show this Paper 
to Lord Hyde ; would there be any thing amiss in so doing ? 
He is a very knowing Man, and tho' not in the Ministry 
properly speaking, he is a good deal attended to by them. I 
have some Acquaintance with him; we converse freely 
sometimes; and perhaps, if he and I were to talk these 
Articles over, and I should communicate to him our Con- 
versation upon them, some good might arise out of it." Dr. 
Fothergil had no objection; and I said I could have none. 
I knew Lord Hyde a little, and had an Esteem for him. I 
had drawn the Paper at their Request, and it was now theirs 
to do with it what they pleas'd. Mr. B. then proposed that I 
should send the fair Copy to him, which after making one 
for Dr. F. and one for himself, he would return me. Another 
Question then arose, whether I had any Objection to their 
mentioning that I had been consulted. I said, none that 
related to myself ; but it was my Opinion, if they wish'd any 
Attention paid to the Propositions, it would be better not to 
mention me; the Ministry having, as I conceiv'd, a Preju- 
dice against me, and every thing that came from me. They 
said, on that Consideration it might be best not to mention 
me, and so it was concluded. For my own part, I kept this 
whole Proceeding a dead Secret. But I soon after found, 
that it had taken Air by some means or other. 

Being much interrupted the Day following, I did not copy 


and send the Paper. The next Morning l I received a Note 
from Mr. B, pressing to have it before 12 o'Clock. I ac- 
cordingly sent it to him. Three Days 2 after, I received the 
following Note from him. 

" D. BARCLAY presents his respects, and acquaints Dr. Franklin, that, being 
inform'd a pamphlet, entituled A FRIENDLY ADDRESS, has been dispersed to 
the disadvantage of America, (in particular by the Dean of Norwich) he de- 
sires Dr. F. will peruse the inclosed, just come to hand from America; and if 
he approves of it republish it, as D. B. wishes something might be properly 
spread at Norwich. D. B. saw to-Day a Person, with whom he had been yes- 
terday (before he call'd on Dr. F.), and had the satisfaction of walking part 
of the Way with him to another Noble Person's house, to meet on the business, 
and he told him, that he could say, that he saw some light. 

"Cheapsidc, nth Inst." 

The Person so met and accompany'd by Mr. B, I under- 
stood to be Lord Hyde, going either to Lord Dartmouth's or 
Lord North's ; I knew not which. 

In the Week following arriv'd the Proceedings of the Con- 
gress, which had been long and anxiously expected, both by 
the Friends and Adversaries of America. 

[The Petition of Congress to the King was inclosed to me, 
and accompanied by the following Letter from their President, 
address'd to the American Agents in London, as follows. 

THOMAS LIFE, Esquire, 

" Philadelphia, October 26th, 1774. 

" We give you the strongest proof of our reliance on your zeal and attach- 
ment to the happiness of America, and the cause of liberty, when we commit 
the enclosed papers to your care. 

1 December 8th. ED. * December I ith. ED. 


"We desire you will deliver the Petition into the hands of his Majesty; 
and, after it has been presented, we wish it may be made public through the 
press, together with the list of grievances. And as we hope for great assist- 
ance from the spirit, virtue, and justice of the nation, it is our earnest desire, 
that the most effectual care be taken, as early as possible, to furnish the trad- 
ing cities and manufacturing towns throughout the united kingdom with our 
Memorial to the People of Great Britain. 

" We doubt not but that your good sense and discernment will lead you 
to avail yourselves of every assistance, that may be derived from the advice 
and friendship of all great and good men, who may incline to aid the cause of 
liberty and mankind. 

" The gratitude of America, expressed in the enclosed vote of thanks, we 
desire may be conveyed to the deserving objects of it, in the manner that you 
think will be most acceptable to them. 1 

" It is proposed that another Congress be held on the loth of May next, at 
this place; but in the mean time we beg the favour of you, Gentlemen, to 
transmit to the Speakers of the several Assemblies, the earliest information of 
the most authentic accounts you can collect, of all such conduct and designs 
of ministry or Parliament, as it may concern America to know. We are, with 
unfeigned esteem and regard, Gentlemen, &c. 
" By order of the Congress. 

" HENRY MIDDLETON, President"] 

The first Impression made by them [the proceedings of the 
American Congress] 2 on People in general was greatly in our 
favour. Administration seem'd to be stagger'd, were im- 
patient to know whether the Petition mentioned in the Pro- 
ceedings was come to my Hands, and took a roundabout 
Method of obtaining that Information, by getting a minis- 
terial Merchant a known Intimate of the Soll r Gen 1 , to write 
me a Letter importing that he heard I had receiv'd such a 
Petition, that I was to be attended in presenting it by the 

1 This vote of thanks was as follows: "October 2$tA, 1774. Resolved, 
That this Congress, in their own names, and in the behalf of all those whom 
they represent, do present their most grateful acknowledgments to those 
truly noble, honourable, and patriotic advocates of civil and religious 'liberty, 
who have so generously and powerfully, though unsuccessfully, espoused and 
defended the cause of America, both in and out of Parliament." S. 

2 The passages in brackets are found only in the Trans. ED. 


Merchants, and begging to know the Time, that he might 
attend "on so important an Occasion, and give his Testimony 
to so good a Work." Before these Proceedings arriv'd, it 
had been given out that no Petition from the Congress could 
be receiv'd, as they were an illegal Body : But the Secretary 
of State, after a Day's Perusal (during which a Council was 
held), told us it was a decent and proper Petition, and chear- 
fully undertook to present it to his Majesty, who, he after- 
wards assur'd us, was pleas'd to receive it very graciously, 
and to promise to lay it, as soon as they met, before his two 
Houses of Parliament ; and we had reason to believe that at 
that time, the Petition was intended to be made the Founda- 
tion of some Change of Measures ; but that purpose, if such 
there were, did not long continue. 

About this time, I received a Letter from Mr. Barclay, then 
at Norwich, dated Dec 18, expressing his Opinion, that it 
might be best to postpone taking any further Steps in the 
Affair of procuring a Meeting and Petition of the Merchants, 
(on which we had had several Consultations,) till after the 
Holidays, thereby to give the Proceedings of Congress more 
time to work upon Men's Minds; adding, "I likewise con- 
sider, that our Superiors will have some little time for Re- 
flection, and perhaps may contemplate on the Propriety of 
the 'HINTS' in their Possession. By a few Lines I have 
received from Lord H., he intimates his hearty Wish that they 
may be productive of what may be practicable and advan- 
tageous for the Mother Country and the Colonies." 

On the 22d, Mr. B. was come to town, when I din'd with 
him, and learnt that Lord H. tho't the Propositions too hard. 

On the 24th, I receiv'd the following Note from a consider- 
able Merchant in the City, viz. 


" MR. WILLIAM NEATE presents his most respectfull Compliments to Dr. 
Franklin, and as a report prevailed yesterday Evening, that all the disputes 
between Great Britain and the American Colonies were thro' his application 
and influence with Lord North amicably settled, conformable to the wish and 
desire of the late Congress, W. N. desires the favour of Dr. Franklin to inform 
him by a line per the bearer, whether there is any credit to be given to the 

"St. Mary Hill, 24/6 Dcccm r , 1774." 

My Answer was to this Effect, that I should be very happy 
to be able to inform him that the Report he had heard had 
some Truth in it ; but I could only assure him, that I knew 
nothing of the Matter. Such Reports however were confi- 
dently circulated, and had some Effect in recovering the 
Stocks, which had fallen 3 or 4 per Cent. 

On Christmas-Day Evening, visiting Mrs. Howe, she told 
me as soon as I came in, that her Brother, Lord Howe, 
wish'd to be acquainted with me; that he was a very good 
Man, and she was sure we should like each other. I said I 
had always heard a good Character of Lord Howe, and should 
be proud of the Honour of being known to him. "He is but 
just by," says she ; " will you give me Leave to send for him ? " 
" By all means, Madam, if you think proper." She rang for a 
Servant, wrote a Note, and Lord H. came in a few Minutes. 

After some extreamly polite Compliments, as to the gen- 
eral Motives for his desiring an Acquaintance with me, he 
said he had a particular one at this time, viz. the alarming 
Situation of our Affairs with America, which no one, he was 
persuaded understood better than myself; that it was the 
Opinion of some Friends of his, that no Man could do more 
towards reconciling our Differences than I could, if I would 
undertake it ; that he was sensible I had been very ill treated 
by the Ministry, but he hop'd that would not be considered 


by me in the present case : that he himself, tho' not in Oppo- 
sition, had much disapproved of their Conduct towards me ; 
that some of them he was sure were asham'd of it, and sorry 
it had happen'd ; which he suppos'd must be sufficient to 
abate Resentment in a great and generous Mind ; that if he 
were himself in Administration, he should be ready to make 
me ample Satisfaction, which he was persuaded would one 
day or other be done; that he was unconnected with the 
Ministry, except by some personal Friendships, wish'd well 
however to Governm 4 , was anxious for the general Welfare 
of the whole Empire, and had a particular Regard for New 
England, which had shewn a very endearing Respect to his 
Family; That he was merely an independent Member of 
Parliament, desirous of doing what Good he could, agreeable 
to his Duty in that Station ; that he therefore had wish'd for 
an Opportunity of obtaining my Sentiments on the Means of 
reconciling our Differences, which he saw must be attended 
with the most mischievous Consequences, if not speedily 
accommodated; that he hop'd his Zeal for the public Wel- 
fare would with me excuse the Impertinence of a mere 
Stranger, who could have otherwise no reason to expect, or 
right to request, me to open my Mind to him on these Topics ; 
but he did conceive that if I would indulge him with my Ideas 
of the Means proper to bring about a Reconciliation, it might 
be of some Use ; that perhaps I might not be willing myself 
to have any direct Communication with this Ministry on this 
Occasion; that I might likewise not care to have it known, 
that I had any indirect Communication with them, till I could 
be well assur'd of their good Dispositions ; that, being him- 
self upon no ill Terms with them, he thought it not impos- 
sible that he might by conveying my Sentiments to them 


and theirs to me, be a Means of bringing on a good Under- 
standing, without committing either them or me, if his Ne- 
gotiation should not succeed. And that I might rely on his 
keeping perfectly secret every thing I should wish to remain so. 

Mrs. Howe here offering to withdraw, whether of herself, 
or from any sign from him, I know not, I begg'd she might 
stay, as I should have no Secrets in a Business of this Nature 
that I could not freely confide to her Prudence. Which was 
Truth; for I had never conceived a higher Opinion of the 
Discretion and excellent Understanding of any Woman on 
so short an Acquaintance. I added that tho' I had never 
before the Honour of being in his Lordship's Company, his 
Manner was such as had already engaged my Confidence, 
and would make me perfectly easy and free in communicating 
myself to him. 

I begg'd him, in the first Place, to give me Credit for a 
sincere Desire of healing the Breach between the two Coun- 
tries; that I would chearfully and heartily do every thing in 
my small Power to accomplish it; but that I apprehended 
from the King's Speech, and from the Measures talk'd of, 
as well as those already determin'd on, no Intention or Dis- 
position of the kind existed in the present Ministry, and 
therefore no Accommodation could be expected till we saw 
a Change. That as to what his Lordship mentioned of the 
personal Injuries done me, those done my Country were so 
much greater, that I did not think the other, at this time, 
worth mentioning ; that, besides it was a fix'd Rule with me, 
not to mix my private Affairs with those of the publick; 
that I could join with my personal Enemy in serving the pub- 
lic, or, when it was for its Interest, with the Publick in serving 
that Enemy. These being my Sentiments, his Lordship 


might be assur'd that no private Considerations of the kind 
should prevent my being as useful in the present Case as my 
small Ability would permit. 

He appeared satisfy'd and pleased with these Declarations, 
and gave it me as his sincere Opinion, that some of the Min y 
were extreamly well dispos'd to any reasonable Accommoda- 
tion, preserving only the Dignity of Governm* ; he wish'd me 
to draw up in Writing some Propositions containing the 
Terms on which I conceived a good Understanding might 
be obtained and established, and the Mode of Proceeding 
to accomplish it; which Propositions, as soon as prepared, 
we might meet to consider, either at his House, or at mine, 
or where I pleas'd ; but, as his being seen at my House, or me 
at his, might, he thought, occasion some Speculation, it was 
concluded to be best to meet at his Sister's, who readily 
offered her House for the purpose, and where there was a 
good Pretence with her Family and Friends for my being 
often seen, as it was known we play'd together at Chess. I 
undertook accordingly to draw up something of the kind, 
and so for that time we parted, agreeing to meet at the same 
place again on the Wednesday following. 

I din'd about this time by Invitation with Governor 
Pownall. There was no Company but the Family ; and after 
Dinner we had a ttte-h-tUe. He had been in the Opposition ; 
but was now about making his Peace, in order to come into 
Parliament upon ministerial Interest, which I did not then 
know. He told me what I had before been told by several of 
Lord North's Friends, that the American Measures were not 
the Measures of that Minister, nor approved by him; that 
on the contrary, he was well dispos'd to promote a Recon- 
ciliation upon any Terms honourable to Government; that 


I had been look'd upon as the great Fomenterof the Oppo- 
sition in America, and as great an Adversary to any Accom- 
modation ; that he, Gov 1 " P. had given a different Account of 
me, and had told his Lord p that I was certainly much mis- 
understood: From the Gov farther Discourse I collected 
that he wish'd to be employ'd as an Envoy or Commissioner 
to America, to settle the Differences, and to have me with 
him; but as I apprehended there was little Likelihood that 
either of us should be so employ'd by Government, I did not 
give much Attention to that Part of his Discourse. 

I should have mention'd in its place (but one cannot recol- 
lect every thing in order) that declining at first to draw up 
the Propositions desired by Lord Howe, I alledg'd its being 
unnecessary, since the Congress in their Petition to the King, 
just then received and presented thro' Lord Dartmouth, had 
stated their Grievances, and pointed out very explicitly what 
would restore the ancient Harmony; and I read a Part of 
the Petition to show their good Dispositions, which, being 
very pathetically express'd, seem'd to affect both the Brother 
and Sister. But still I was desired to give my Ideas of the 
Steps to be taken, in case some of the Propositions in the 
Petition should not be thought admissible. And this, as I 
said before, I undertook to do. 

I had promised Lord Chatham to communicate to him the 
first important News I should receive from America. I 
therefore sent him the Proceedings of the Congress as soon 
as I receiv'd them. But a whole Week pass'd after I receiv'd 
the Petition, before I could, as I wish'd to do, wait upon him 
with it, in order to obtain his Sentiments on the whole; for 
my time was taken up in Meetings with the other Agents to 
consult about presenting the Petition, in waiting three dif- 


ferent Days with them on Lord Dartmouth, in consulting 
upon and writing Letters to the Speakers of Assemblies, and 
other Business, w 611 did not allow me a Day to go to Hayes. 
At last on Monday the 26th, I got out, and was there about 
One o'Clock. He received me with an affectionate kind of 
Respect, that from so great a Man was extreamly engaging; 
but the Opinion he express'd of the Congress was still more 
so. They had acted, he said, with so much Temper, Modera- 
tion and Wisdom, that he thought it the most honourable 
Assembly of Statesmen since those of the ancient Greeks and 
Romans, in the most virtuous Times. That there were not 
in their whole Proceedings above one or two things he could 
have wish'd otherwise ; perhaps but one, and that was, their 
Assertion, that the keeping up a standing Army in the Colo- 
nies in time of Peace without Consent of their Legislatures 
was against Law ; he doubted that was not well founded, and 
that the Law alluded to did not extend to the Colonies: 
The rest he admired and honoured. He thought the Petition 
decent, manly, and properly express'd. He enquired much 
and particularly concerning the State of America, the Proba- 
bility of their Perseverance, the Difficultys they must meet 
with in Adhering for any long time to their Resolutions, the 
Resources they might have to supply the Deficiency of Com- 
merce ; to all which I gave him Answers with which he seemed 
well satisfy'd. He express'd a great Regard and warm Affec- 
tion for that Country, with hearty Wishes for their Prosperity ; 
and that Government here might soon come to see its Mis- 
takes, and rectify them ; and intimated that possibly he might, 
if his Health permitted, prepare something for its Considera- 
tion, when the Parliament should meet after the Holidays, on 
which he should wish to have previously my Sentiments. 


I mentioned to him the very hazardous State I conceiv'd 
we were in, by the Continuance of the Army in Boston ; that 
whatever Disposition there might be in the Inhabitants to 
give no just Cause of Offence to the Troops, or in the General 
to preserve Order among them, an unpremeditated unfore- 
seen Quarrel might happen between perhaps a drunken 
Porter and a Soldier, that might bring on a Riot, Tumult, and 
Bloodshed, and in its Consequences produce a Breach im- 
possible to be healed: that the Army could not possibly 
answer any good purpose there; and might be infinitely 
mischievous: that no Accommodation could properly be 
proposed and entred into by the Americans while the Bayonet 
was at their Breasts : that to have any Agreement binding all 
Force should be withdrawn. His Lordship seem'd to think 
these Sentiments had something in them that was reasonable. 

From Hayes I went to Halsted, Mr. Sargent's [place,] to 
dine, intending thence a Visit to Lord Stanhope at Cheven- 
ing ; but, hearing there that his Lordship and the Family were 
in town, I staid at Halsted all Night, and the next Morning 
went to Chislehurst to call upon Lord Camden, it being in 
my way to town. I met his Lordship and Family in two Car- 
riages just without his Gate going on a Visit of Congratula- 
tion to Lord Chatham and his Lady, on the late Marriage of 
their Daughter to Lord Mahon, Son of Lord Stanhope. 
They were to be back at Dinner. So I agreed to go in, stay 
Dinner, and spend the Evening there, and not return to Town 
till next Morning. We had that Afternoon and Evening a 
great deal of Conversation on American Affairs, concerning 
which he was very inquisitive, and I gave him the best Infor- 
mation in my Power. I was charm'd with his generous and 
noble Sentiments ; and had the great Pleasure of hearing his 


full Approbation of the Proceedings of the Congress, the 
Petition, &c. &c., of which, at his Request, I afterwards sent 
him a Copy. He seem'd anxious that the Americans should 
continue to act with the same Temper, Coolness, and Wisdom, 
with which they had hitherto proceeded in most of their 
publick Assemblies, in which case he did not doubt they would 
succeed in establishing their Rights, and obtain a solid and 
durable Agreement with the Mother Country ; of the Neces- 
sity and great Importance of which Agreement, he seemed 
to have the strongest Impressions. 

I return'd to town the next Morning, in time to meet, at the 
Hour appointed, Lord Howe. I apologiz'd for my not being 
ready with the Paper I had promised, by my having been kept 
longer than I intended in the Country. We had however a 
good deal of Conversation on the Subject, and his L p told me 
he could now assure me of a Certainty that there was a sincere 
Disposition in Lord North and Lord Dartmouth to accommo- 
date the Differences with America, and to listen favourably 
to any Propositions that might have a probable tendency to 
answer that salutary Purpose. He then ask'd me what I 
thought of sending some Person or Persons over, commission 'd 
to enquire into the Grievances of America upon the Spot, con- 
verse with the leading People, and endeavour with them to 
agree upon some Means of composing our Differences? I 
said that a Person of Rank and Dignity, who had a Character 
of Candour, Integrity and Wisdom, might possibly, if em- 
ployed in that Service be of great Use. 

He seem'd to be of the same Opinion, and that whoever 
was employ'd should go with a hearty Desire of promoting a 
sincere Reconciliation, on the Foundation of mutual Interests 
and mutual Good- Will; that he should endeavour not only 


to remove their Prejudices against Government, but equally 
the Prejudices of Gov* against them, and bring on a perfect 
good Understanding, &c. Mrs. Howe said, "I wish Brother 
you were to be sent thither on such a Service; I should 
like that much better than General Howe's going to command 
the Army there." "I think, Madam," says I, "they ought to 
provide for General Howe some more honourable Employ- 
ment." Lord Howe here took out of his Pocket a Paper, 
and offering it to me said, smiling, "If it is not an unfair 
Question, may I ask whether you know any thing of this 
Paper?" Upon looking at it, I saw it was a Copy in D. 
Barclay's Hand, of the " HINTS" before recited: and said, 
that I had seen it ; adding a little after, that, since I perceived 
his Lordship was acquainted with a Transaction my Con- 
cern in which I had understood was to have been kept a 
Secret, I should make no Difficulty in owning to him, that I 
had been consulted on the Subject, and had drawn up that 
Paper. He said he was rather sorry to find that the Senti- 
ments express'd in it were mine, as it gave him less hopes of 
promoting by my Assistance, the wished-for Reconciliation, 
since he had reason to think there was no likelyhood of the 
Admission of those Propositions. He hop'd however that I 
would reconsider the Subject, and form some Plan that would 
be acceptable here. He expatiated on the infinite Service 
it would be to the nation, and the great Merit in being instru- 
mental in so good a Work ; that he should not think of influ- 
encing me by any selfish Motive, but certainly I might with 
reason expect any Reward in the Power of Government to 

This to me was what the French call Spitting in the Soup. 
However, I promis'd to draw some Sketch of a Plan, at his 

VOL. VI 2 A 


Request, tho' I much doubted, I said, whether it would be 
thought preferable to that he had in his Hand. But he was 
willing to hope that it would; and, as he considered my 
Situation, that I had Friends here and Constituents in America 
to keep well with, that I might possibly propose something 
improper to be seen in my Handwriting; therefore it would 
be best to send it to Mrs. Howe, who would copy it, send the 
Copy to him to be communicated to the Ministry, and return 
me the original. This I agreed to, tho' I did not apprehend 
the Inconvenience he mention'd. In general I lik'd much 
his Manner, and found myself disposed to place great Con- 
fidence in him on Occasion ; but in this particular the Secrecy 
he proposed seem'd not of much Importance. 

In a Day or two, I sent the following Paper, inclos'd in a 
Cover, directed to the honourable Mrs. Howe. 

"It is suppos'd to be the Wish on both sides, not merely 
to put a Stop to the Mischief at present threatning the gen- 
eral Welfare, but to cement a cordial Union, and remove, 
not only every real Grievance, but every Cause of Jealousy 
and Suspicion. 

"With this View, the first thing necessary is, to know what 
is, by the different Parties in the Dispute, thought essentially 
necessary for the obtaining such an Union. 

"The American Congress, in their Petition to the King, 
have been explicit, declaring, that by a Repeal of the op- 
pressive Acts therein complain'd of, l the Harmony between 
Great Britain and the Colonies, so necessary to the Happiness 
oj both, and so ardently desired by them, will, with the usual 
Intercourse, be immediately restor'd.' 

"If it has been thought reasonable here, to expect that, 


previous to an Alteration of Measures, the Colonies should 
make some Declaration respecting their future Conduct, 
they have also done that, by adding, * That, when the Causes 
of their Apprehensions are removed, their future Conduct will 
prove them not unworthy of the Regard they have been ac- 
customed in their happier Days to enjoy. J 

"For their Sincerity in these Declarations, they solemnly 
call to Witness the Searcher of all Hearts. 

"If Britain can have any Reliance on these Declarations, 
(and perhaps none to be extorted by Force can be more 
rely'd on than these which are thus freely made,) she may, 
without Hazard to herself, try the Expedient propos'd, 
since, if it fails, she has it in her power at any time to resume 
her present Measures. 

"It is then proposed; That Britain should show some 
Confidence in these Declarations, by repealing all the Laws 
or Parts of Laws, that are requested to be repeal'd in the 
Petition of the Congress to the King ; 

"And that at the same time Orders should be given to 
withdraw the Fleet from Boston, and remove all the Troops 
to Quebec, or the Floridas, that the Colonies may be left at 
perfect Liberty in their future Stipulations. 

"That this may, for the Honour of Britain, appear not the 
Effect of any Apprehension from the Measures entred into 
and recommended to the People by the Congress, but from 
Good-Will, and a Change of Disposition towards the Colonies, 
with a sincere Desire of Reconciliation, let some of their 
other Grievances, which in their Petition they have left to 
the Magnanimity and Justice of the King and Parliament, 
be at the same time removed, such as those relating to the 
Payment of Governors' and Judges' Salaries, and the In- 


structions for Dissolving Assemblies, &c., with the Declara- 
tions concerning the Statute of Hen. VIII. 

"And to give the Colonies an immediate Opportunity of 
demonstrating the Reality of their Professions, let their 
propos'd ensuing Congress be authoriz'd by Government, 
(as was that held at Albany in 1754,) and a Person of Weight 
and Dignity of Character be appointed to preside at it on 
Behalf of the Crown. 

"And then let Requisition be made to the Congress, of 
such Points as Government wishes to obtain, for its future 
Security, for Aids, for the Advantage of general Commerce, 
for Reparation to the India Company, &c. &c. 

"A generous Confidence thus plac'd in the Colonies, will 
give Ground to the Friends of Government there, in their 
Endeavours to procure from America every reasonable Con- 
cession, or Engagement, and every substantial Aid, that can 
fairly be desired." 

On the Saturday Evening, I saw Mrs. Howe, who inform'd 
me she had transcrib'd and sent the Paper to Lord Howe in 
the Country, and she returned me the Original. On the 
following Tuesday, Jan. 3, I received a Note from her, (en- 
closing a Letter she had receiv'd from Lord Howe the last 
Night,) w 611 follows in these Words. 

"MRS. HOWE'S Compliments to Dr. Franklin, she en- 
closes him a Letter she received last night, and returns him 
many thanks for his very obliging present, 1 which has already 
given her great entertainment. If the Doctor has any spare 
time for Chess, she will be exceedingly glad to see him any 
morning this week, and as often as will be agreeable to him, 

1 His Philosophical Writings. F. 


and rejoices in having so good an excuse for asking the favour 
of his Company. 
" Tuesday." 


" Porter's Lodge, Jany 2d, 1775. 

"I have received your packet ; and it is with much concern 
that I collect, from sentiments of such authority as those of 
our worthy friend, that the desired accommodation threatens 
to be attended with much greater difficulty than I had 
flattered myself in the progress of our intercourse, there would 
be reason to apprehend. 

"I shall forward the propositions as intended, not desirous 
of trespassing further on our friend's indulgence; but re- 
taining sentiments of regard, which his candid and obliging 
attention to my troublesome inquiries will render ever per- 
manent in the memory of your affectionate, &c. 


"I ought to make excuses likewise to you." 

His Lordship had, in his last Conversation with me, ac- 
knowledged a Communication between him and the Ministry, 
to whom he wish'd to make my Sentiments known. In this 
Letter from the Country he owns the Receipt of them, and 
mentions his Intention of forwarding them, that is, as I 
understood it, to the Ministers ; but expresses his Apprehen- 
sions that such Propositions were not likely to produce any 
good Effect. Some time after, perhaps a Week, I received 
a Note from Mrs. Howe desiring to see me. I waited upon 
her immediately, when she show'd me a Letter from her 
Brother, of which having no Copy, I can only give from the 


best of my Recollection the Purport of it, which I think was 
this, that he desired to know from their Friend, meaning me, 
thro* her means, whether it might not be expected, that if 
that Friend would engage for their Payment of the Tea as 
a Preliminary, relying on a promised Redress of their Griev- 
ances on future Petitions from their Assembly, they would 
approve of his making such Engagement; and whether 
the Proposition in the former Paper, (the " HINTS,") relating 
to Aids, was still in Contemplation of the Author. As Mrs. 
Howe proposed sending to her Brother that Evening, I 
wrote immediately the following Answer, which she tran- 
scrib'd and forwarded. 

"The Proposition in the former Paper relating to Aids, is 
still in Contemplation of the Author, and, as he thinks, is 
included in the last Article of the present Paper. 

"The People of America conceiving that Parliament has 
no Right to tax them, and that therefore all that has been 
extorted from them by the Operation of the Duty Acts, with 
the Assistance of an armed Force, preceding the Destruction 
of the Tea, is so much Injury, which ought in order of time 
to be first repair'd, before a Demand on the Tea Account 
can be justly made of them ; are not, he thinks, likely to ap- 
prove of the Measure proposed, and pay in the first place 
the Value demanded, especially as 20 times as much Injury 
has since been done them by blocking up their Port, and their 
Castle, also seiz'd before by the Crown has not been restored, 
nor any Satisfaction offered them for the same." 

At the Meeting of Parliament after the Holidays, which 
was on the [igth] of Jan y , [1775,] Lord Howe return'd to 
Town, when we had another Meeting, at which he lamented 


that my Propositions were not such as probably could be 
accepted; intimated that it was thought I had Powers or 
Instructions from the Congress to make Concessions on 
Occasion, that would be more satisfactory. I disclaim'd 
the having any of any kind, but what related to the present- 
ing of their Petition. We talk'd over all the Particulars in 
my Paper, which I supported with Reasons; and finally 
said that if what I had proposed would not do, I should be 
glad to hear what would do ; I wish'd to see some Proposi- 
tions from the Ministers themselves. His Lord p was not, 
he said, as yet fully acquainted with their Sentiments, but 
should learn more in a few Days. It was however some weeks 
before I heard any thing further from him. 

In the mean while, Mr. Barclay and I were frequently 
together on the Affair of preparing the Merchants' Petition, 
which took up so much of his time that he could not con- 
veniently see Lord Hyde, so he had no Information to give 
me concerning the "HINTS," and I wonder'd I heard nothing 
of them from Dr. Fothergill. At length however, but I 
cannot recollect about what time, the D r called on me, and 
told me he had communicated them, and with them had 
verbally given my Arguments in support of them, to Lord 
Dartmouth, who, after consideration, had told him, some of 
them appear'd reasonable, but others were inadmissible or 
impracticable. That having occasion to see frequently the 
Speaker, 1 he had also communicated them to him, as he 
found him very anxious for a Reconciliation. That the 
Speaker had said it would be very humiliating to Britain to 
be oblig'd to submit to such Terms : But the Doctor told him 
she had been unjust, and ought to bear the Consequences, 

1 Sir Fletcher Norton. ED. 


and alter her Conduct; that the Pill might be bitter, but it 
would be salutary, and must be swallow'd. That these 
were the Sentiments of impartial Men, after thorough Con- 
sideration and full Information of all Circumstances, and 
that sooner or later these or similar Measures must be fol- 
low'd, or the Empire would be divided and ruined. The 
Doctor on the whole hop'd some Good would be effected by 
our Endeavours. 

On the iQth of Jan y , I received a Card from Lord Stanhope, 
acquainting me, that Lord Chatham, having a Motion to 
make on the Morrow in the House of Lords, concerning 
America, greatly desired that I might be in the House, into 
which Lord S. would endeavour to procure me Admittance. 
At this time it was a Rule of the House, that no Peer could 
introduce more than one Friend. The next Morning his 
Lordship let me know by another Card, that if I attended 
at two o'Clock in the Lobby, Lord Chatham would be there 
about that time, and would himself introduce me. I attended, 
and met him there accordingly. On my mentioning to him 
what Lord Stanhope had written to me, he said, "Certainly; 
and I shall do it with the more Pleasure, as I am sure your 
being present at this Day's Debate will be of more Service 
to America than mine;" and so taking me by the Arm was 
leading me along the Passage to the Door that enters near 
the Throne, when one of the Door-keepers followed, and ac- 
quainted him, that by the Order, none were to be carried 
in at that Door but the eldest Sons or Brothers of Peers ; on 
which he limped back with me to the Door near the Bar, 
where were standing a Number of Gentlemen, waiting for 
the Peers who were to introduce them, and some Peers wait- 
ing for Friends they expected to introduce; among whom 


he delivered me to the Door-keepers, saying aloud, "This is 
Dr. Franklin, whom I would have admitted into the House;" 
when they readily open'd the Door for me accordingly. 

As it had not been publickly known, that there was any 
Communication between his Lordship and me, this I found 
occasioned some Speculation. His Appearance in the House 
I observed caus'd a kind of Bustle among the Officers, who 
were hurried in sending Messengers for Members, I suppose 
those in Connection with the Ministry, something of Im- 
portance being expected when that great Man appears, it 
being but seldom that his infirmities permit his Attendance. 
I had great Satisfaction in hearing his Motion and the Debate 
upon it, which I shall not attempt to give here an Account of, 
as you may find a better in the Papers of the time. It was 
his Motion for withdrawing the Troops from Boston, as the 
first Step towards an Accommodation. 

The Day following, I received a Note from Lord Stanhope 
expressing, that, "at the Desire of Lord Chatham, was sent 
me inclosed the Motion he made in the House of Lords, 
that I might be possessed of it in the most authentic Manner, 
by the Communication of the individual Paper, which was 
read to the House by the Mover himself." I sent Copies of 
this Motion to America, and was the more pleased with it, 
as I conceived it had partly taken its Rise from a Hint I had 
given his L p in a former Conversation. The Motion was in 
these Words, viz. 


"That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, 
most humbly to advise and beseech his Majesty, that, in 


order to open the Way towards a happy Settlement of the 
dangerous Troubles in America, by beginning to allay 
Ferments and soften Animosities there; and above all, for 
preventing in the mean time any sudden and fatal Catastrophe 
at Boston, now suffering under the daily Irritation of an 
Army before their Eyes, posted in their Town, it may gra- 
ciously please his Majesty, that immediate Orders may be 
dispatched to General Gage for removing his Majesty's 
Forces from the Town of Boston, as soon as the Rigour of 
the Season and other Circumstances indispensable to the 
Safety and Accommodation of the said Troops, may render 
the same practicable." 

I was quite charm'd with Lord Chatham's Speech in Sup- 
port of his Motion. He impressed me with the highest Idea 
of him, as a great and most able Statesman. 1 Lord Camden, 
another wonderfully good Speaker and clear close Reasoner, 
join'd him in the same Argument, as did several other Lords, 
who spoke excellently well ; but all avail'd no more than the 
whistling of the winds. The Motion was rejected. Sixteen 
Scotch Peers, and twenty-four Bishops, with all the Lords 
in possession or Expectation of Places when they vote together 
unanimously, as they generally do for Ministerial Measures, 
make a dead Majority that renders all Debating ridiculous 
in itself, since it can answer no End. Full of the high Es- 
teem I had imbib'd for Lord Chatham, I wrote back to Lord 
Stanhope the following Note, viz. 

1 It was reported at the time, that his Lordship had concluded his speech 
with the following remarkable words ; " If the ministers thus persevere in 
misadvising and misleading the King, I will not say, that they can alienate 
the affections of his subjects from his crown, but I will affirm, that they will 
make the crown not worth his "wearing. I will not say, that the King is 
betrayed, but I will pronounce that the kingdom is undone" W. T. F. 


"Dr. Franklin presents his best Respects to Lord Stan- 
hope, with many Thanks to his Lordship and Lord Chatham 
for the Communication of so authentic a copy of the motion. 
Dr. F. is filPd with admiration of that truly great Man. 
He has seen, in the course of Life, sometimes Eloquence 
without Wisdom, and often Wisdom without Eloquence; 
in the present Instance he sees both united ; and both, as he 
thinks, in the highest Degree possible. 1 

"Craven Street, Jan. 2$d, 1775." 

As in the Course of the Debate some Lords in the Ad- 
ministration had observed, that it was common and easy to 
censure their Measures, but those who did so propos'd noth- 
ing better, Lord Chatham mentioned, that he should not be 
one of those idle Censurers; that he had thought long and 
closely upon the Subject, and purposed soon to lay before 
their Lordships the Result of his Meditation, in a Plan for 
healing our Differences, and restoring Peace to the Empire, 
to which his present Motion was preparatory: I much de- 
sir'd to know what his Plan was, and intended waiting on 
him to see if he would communicate it to me; but he went 
the next Morning to Hayes, and I was so much taken up 
with Daily Business and Company, that I could not easily 
get out to him. A few Days after, however, Lord Mahon 
call'd on me, and told me Lord Chatham was very desirous 
of seeing me; when I promis'd to be with him the Friday 
following several Engagements preventing my going sooner. 

On Friday the 27th, I took a Post-Chaise about 9 o'Clock, 
and got to Hayes about 1 1 ; but my Attention being engag'd 
in Reading a new Pamphlet, the Post boy drove me a Mile 

1 The original letter is at Chevening. ED. 


or two beyond the Gate. His Lordship, being out on an 
Airing in his Chariot, had met me before I reached Hayes, 
unobserv'd by me, turn'd and followed me, and not finding 
me there, concluded, as he had seen me reading, that I had 
pass'd by mistake, and sent a Servant after me. He ex- 
press'd great Pleasure at my Coming, and acquainted me 
in a long Conversation with the Outlines of his Plan, parts 
of which he read to me. He said he had communicated it 
only to Lord Camden, whose Advice he much rely'd on, 
particularly in the Law Part ; and, that he would as soon as 
he could get it transcribed, put it into my Hands for my 
Opinion and Advice, but should show it to no other Person 
before he presented it to the House; and he requested me 
to make no mention of it, otherwise Parts might be misunder- 
stood and blown upon beforehand, and others perhaps 
adopted and produc'd by Ministers as their own. I prom- 
is'd the closest Secrecy, and kept my Word, not even men- 
tioning to any one that I had seen him. I din'd with him, 
his Family only present, and returned to town in the evening. 
On the Sunday following, being the 29th, his Lordship 
came to Town, and calPd upon me in Craven Street. He 
brought with him his Plan transcrib'd, in the form of an Act 
of Parliament, which he put into my Hands, requesting me 
to consider it carefully, and communicate to him such Re- 
marks upon it as should occur to me. His Reason for de- 
siring to give me that Trouble was, as he was pleas'd to say, 
that he knew no Man so thoroughly acquainted with the 
Subject, or so capable of giving Advice upon it; that he 
thought the Errors of Ministers in American Affairs had 
been often owing to their not obtaining the best Information : 
that therefore tho' he had considered the Business thoroughly 


in all its Parts, he was not so confident of his own Judgment, 
but that he came to set it right by mine, as Men set their 
Watches by a Regulator. He had not determined when he 
should produce it in the House of Lords ; but in the Course 
of our Conversation, considering the precarious Situation 
of his Health, and that if presenting it was delay'd, some 
Intelligence might arrive which would make it seem less 
seasonable, or in all parts not so proper; or the Ministry 
might engage in different Measures, and then say, "If you 
had produced your Plan sooner, we might have attended to 
it;" he concluded to offer it the Wednesday following; and 
therefore wish'd to see me upon it the preceding Tuesday, 
when he would again call upon me, unless I could conven- 
iently come to Hayes. I chose the latter, in respect to his 
Lordship, and because there was less likelihood of interrup- 
tions; and I promis'd to be with him early, that we might 
have more time. He staid with me near two Hours, his 
Equipage waiting at the Door, and being there while People 
were coming from Church, it was much taken notice of, 
and talk'd of, as at that time was every little Circumstance 
that men thought might possibly any way affect American 
Affairs. Such a Visit from so great a Man, on so important 
a Business, flattered not a little my Vanity ; and the Honour 
of it gave me the more Pleasure, as it happened on the very 
Day 12 month that the Ministry had taken so much pains to 
disgrace me before the Privy Council. 1 

I apply'd myself immediately to the reading and consider- 
ing the Plan of which when it was afterwards published, I 
sent you a Copy, and therefore need not insert it here. I 
put down upon Paper, as I went along, some short Memoran- 
1 In the affair of Hutchinson's Letters. ED. 


dums for my future Discourse with him upon it, which 
follow, that you may, if you please, compare them with the 
Plan ; and, if you do so, you will see their Drift and Purpose 
which otherwise would take me much Writing to explain. 

"Tuesday, Jan. 31, 75. 
"NOTES for Discourse with L d C. on his Plan 

"Voluntary Grants and forced Taxes not to be expected 
of the same People at the same time. 

"Permanent Revenue will be objected to. Would not a 
Temporary Agreement be best, suppose for 100 Years? 

"Does the whole of the Rights claimed in the Petition of 
Rights relate to England only? 

"The American Naturalization Act gives all the Rights 
of natural-born Subjects to Foreigners residing there 7 
Years. Can it be supposed, that the Natives there have 
them not? 

"If the King should raise Armies in America, would 
Britain like their being brought hither as the King might 
bring them when he pleased. 

"An Act of Parliament requires the Colonies to furnish 
sundry Articles of Provision and Accommodation to Troops 
quartered among them ; this may be made very burthensome 
to Colonies that are out of favour. 

"If a permanent Revenue, why not the same Privileges in 
Trade with Scotland? 

"Should not the Lands conquer'd by Britain and the 
Colonies in Conjunction be given them, (reserving a Quit 
rent,) from whence they might form Funds to enable them to 


"Instructions about Agents to be withdrawn. 

" Grants to be for three Years, at the End of which a new 
Congress ; and so from 3 to 3 Years. 

"Congress to have the general Defence of the Frontiers, 
making and regulating new Settlements. 

"Protection mutual. 

"We go into all your Wars. 

"Our Settlements cost you nothing. 

"Take the Plan of Union. 

"'Defence, Extension, and Prosperity of.' The late 
Canada Act prevents their Extension, and may check their 

"Laws should be secure as well as Charters. 

"Perhaps if the legislative Power of Parl* is own'd in the 
Colonies, they may make a Law to forbid the Meeting of 
any Congress, &c." 

I was at Hayes early on Tuesday, agreeable to my Promise, 
when we enter'd into Consideration of the Plan; but, tho' 
I stay'd near 4 Hours, his L p in the manner of I think all 
eloquent Persons, was so full and diffuse in Supporting 
every particular I questioned, that there was not time to go 
thro' half my Memorandums. He is not easily interrupted ; 
and I had such Pleasure in hearing him, that I found little 
Inclination to interrupt him. Therefore, considering that 
neither of us had much Expectation, that the Plan would be 
adopted entirely as it stood ; that, in the Course of its Con- 
sideration, if it should be receiv'd, proper Alterations might 
be introduc'd ; that, before it could be settled America should 
have Opportunity to make her Objections and Propositions 
of Amendment ; that, to have it receiv'd at all here, it must 


seem to comply a little with some of the prevailing Prejudices 
of the Legislature ; that, if it was not so perfect as might be 
wish'd, it would at least serve as a Basis for Treaty, and in 
the mean time prevent Mischiefs; and that, as his Lord p 
had determined to offer it the next Day, there was not time 
to make Changes and another fair Copy ; I therefore ceas'd 
my Querying; and tho' afterwards many People were 
pleas'd to do me the Honour of Supposing I had a consider- 
able Share in Composing it, I assure you, that the Addition 
of a single Word only was made at my Instance, viz. "Con- 
stitutions" after " Charters" ; for my filling up at his Request, 
a Blank with the Titles of Acts proper to be repeal'd, which 
I took from the Proceedings of the Congress, was no more 
than might have been done by any Copying Clerk. 

On Wednesday, Lord Stanhope, at Lord Chatham's 
Request, call'd upon me, and carry'd me down to the House 
of Lords, which was soon very full. Lord Chatham, in a 
most excellent Speech, introduced, explained, and supported 
his Plan. When he sat down, Lord Dartmouth rose, and 
very properly said, it contained Matter of such Weight and 
Magnitude, as to require much Consideration, and he there- 
fore hoped the noble Earl did not expect their Lordships to 
decide upon it by an immediate Vote, but would be willing 
it should lie upon the Table for Consideration. Lord 
Chatham answered readily, that he expected nothing more. 

But Lord Sandwich rose, and in a petulant, vehement 
Speech, opposed its being received at all, and gave his Opinion, 
that it ought to be immediately rejected, with the Contempt 
it deserved. That he could never believe it to be the Pro- 
duction of any British Peer. That it appear'd to him rather 
the Work of some American ; and turning his Face towards 


me, who was leaning on the Bar, said, he fancied he had in 
his Eye the Person who drew it up, one of the bitterest and 
most mischievous Enemies this Country had ever known. 
This drew the Eyes of many Lords upon me ; but as I had 
no Inducement to take it to myself, I kept my Countenance 
as immoveable as if my Features had been made of Wood. 
Then several other Lords of the Administration gave their 
Sentiments also for rejecting it, of which Opinion also was 
strongly the wise Lord Hillsborough. But the Dukes of 
Richm d and Manchester, Lord Shelburne, Lord Camden, 
Lord Temple, Lord Lyttleton, and others, were for receiv- 
ing it, some thro' Approbation, and others for the Character 
and Dignity of the House. One Lord mentioning with 
Applause, the candid Proposal of one of the Ministers, Lord 
Dartmouth, his Lord p rose again, and said, that having 
since heard the Opinions of so many Lords against receiving 
it to lie upon the Table for Consideration, he had alter'd 
his Mind, could not accept the Praise offer'd him for a Can- 
dour of which he was now asham'd, and should therefore 
give his Voice for rejecting the Plan immediately. 

I am the more particular in this, as it is a Trait of that 
Nobleman's Character, who from his Office is supposed to 
have so great a Share in American Affairs, but who has in 
reality no Will or Judgment of his own, being with Disposi- 
tions for the best Measures, easily prevail'd with to join in 
the worst. 

Lord Chatham, in his Reply to Lord Sandwich, took 
notice of his illiberal Insinuation, that the Plan was not the 
Person's who proposed it; declar'd that it was intirely his 
own; a Declaration he thought himself the more oblig'd 
to make, as many of their Lords appeared to have so mean 



an Opinion of it ; for if it was so weak or so bad a Thing, it 
was proper in him to take care that no other Person should 
unjustly share in the Censure it deserved. That it had 
been heretofore reckon'd his Vice, not to be apt to take 
Advice; but he made no Scruple to declare, that if he were 
the first Minister of this Country and had the Care of Set- 
tling this momentous Business, he should not be asham'd of 
publickly calling to his Assistance a Person so perfectly ac- 
quainted with the whole of American Affairs as the Gentle- 
man alluded to, and so injuriously reflected on ; one, he was 
pleas'd to say, whom all Europe held in high Estimation for 
his Knowledge and Wisdom, and rank'd with our Boyles 
and Newtons; who was an Honour, not to the English 
Nation only, but to Human Nature. I found it harder to 
stand this extravagant Compliment than the preceding 
equally extravagant Abuse ; but kept as well as I could an 
unconcern'd Countenance, as not conceiving it to relate to 

To hear so many of these Hereditary Legislators declaim- 
ing so vehemently against, not the Adopting merely, but 
even the Consideration of a Proposal so important in its 
Nature, offered by a Person of so weighty a Character, one 
of the first Statesmen of the Age, who had taken up this 
Country when in the lowest Despondency, and conducted it 
to Victory and Glory, thro' a War with two of the mightiest 
Kingdoms in Europe ; to hear them censuring his Plan, not 
only for their own Misunderstandings of what was in it, but 
for their Imaginations of what was not in it, which they 
would not give themselves an Opportunity of rectifying by 
a second Reading; to perceive the total Ignorance of the 
Subject in some, the Prejudice and Passion of others, and the 


wilful Perversion of Plain Truth in several of the Ministers ; 
and upon the whole to see it so ignominiously rejected by 
so great a Majority, and so hastily too, in Breach of all 
Decency, and prudent Regard to the Character and Dignity 
of their Body, as a third Part of the National Legislature, 
gave me an exceeding mean Opinion of their Abilities, and 
made their Claim of Sovereignty over three Millions of 
virtuous, sensible People in America seem the greatest of 
Absurdities, since they appeared to have scarce Discretion 
enough to govern a Herd of Swine. Hereditary Legislators! 
thought I. There would be more Propriety, because less 
Hazard of Mischief, in having (as in some University of 
Germany) Hereditary Professors of Mathematicksl But this 
was a hasty Reflection : For the elected House of Commons 
is no better, nor ever will be while the Electors receive Money 
for their Votes, and pay Money wherewith Ministers may 
bribe their Representatives when chosen. 

After this Proceeding I expected to hear no more of any 
Negociation for settling our Difference amicably. Yet in a 
Day or two I had a Note from Mr. Barclay, requesting 
a Meeting at Dr. FothergiU's, the 4th of February, in the 
Evening. I attended accordingly, and was surprized by being 
told that a very good Disposition appeared in Administra- 
tion; that the " HINTS" had been considered, and several 
of them thought reasonable, and that others might be ad- 
mitted with small Amendments. The good Doctor, with his 
usual Philanthropy, expatiated on the Miseries of War; 
that even a bad Peace was preferable to the most successful 
War ; that America was growing in Strength ; and whatever 
she might be oblig'd to submit to at present, she would in a 
few Years be in a Condition to make her own Terms. 


Mr. B. hinted how much it was in my Power to promote 
an Agreement ; how much it would be to my Honour to effect 
it ; and that I might .expect not only Restoration of my old 
Place, but almost any other I could wish for, &c. I need 
not tell you, who know me so well, how improper and dis- 
gusting this Language was to me. The Doctor's was more 
suitable. Him I answer'd, that we did not wish for War, 
and desir'd nothing but what was reasonable and necessary 
for our Security and Well-being. To Mr. Barclay I reply'd 
that the Ministry, I was sure, would rather give me a Place 
in a Cart to Tyburn, than any other Place whatever. And 
to both, that I sincerely wish'd to be serviceable; that I 
needed no other Inducement than to be shown how I might 
be so ; but saw they imagined more to be in my Power than 
really was. I was then told again, that Conferences had been 
held upon the " HINTS"; and the Paper being produced 
was read ; that I might hear the Observations that had been 
made upon them separately, which were as follows. 

1. The first Article was approved. 

2. The Second agreed to, so far as related to the Repeal 
of the Tea Act. But Repayment of the Duties that had been 
collected was refused. 

3. The third not approved, as it implied a Deficiency of 
Power in the Parliament that made those Acts. 

4. The fourth approved. 

5. The fifth agreed to, but with a Reserve, that no Change 
prejudicial to Britain was to be expected. 

6. The sixth agreed to, so far as related to the Appropria- 
tion of the Duties : but the Appointment of the Officers and 
their Salaries to remain as at present. 


7. The seventh, relating to Aids in Time of Peace, agreed 

8. The eighth, relating to the Troops, was inadmissible. 

9. The ninth could be agreed to, with this Difference, 
that no Proportion should be observ'd with regard to preced- 
ing Taxes, but each Colony should give at pleasure. 

10. The tenth agreed to, as to the Restitution of Castle 
William; but the Restriction on the Crown in building 
Fortresses refused. 

11. The eleventh refused absolutely, except as to the 
Boston Port Bill, which would be repeal'd ; and the Quebec 
Act might be so far amended, as to reduce that Province 
to its ancient Limits. The other Massachusetts Acts, being 
real Amendments of their Constitution, must for that reason 
be continued, as well as to be a standing Example of the 
Power of Parliament. 

12. The twelfth agreed to, that the Judges should be ap- 
pointed during good Behaviour, on the Assemblies providing 
permanent Salaries, such as the Crown should approve of. 

13. The thirteenth agreed to, provided the Assemblies 
make Provision as in the preceding Article. 

15. The fifteenth agreed to. 

1 6. The sixteenth agreed to, supposing the Duties paid 
to the Colony Treasuries. 

17. The seventeenth inadmissible. 

We had not at this Time a great deal of Conversation upon 
these Points ; for I short'ned it by observing, that while the 
Parliament claim'd and exercis'd a Power of altering our 
Constitutions at pleasure, there could be no Agreement; for 
we were render'd unsafe in every Privilege we had a Right 


to, and were secure in nothing. And it being hinted how 
necessary an Agreement was for America, since it was so 
easy for Britain to burn all our Seaport Towns, I grew 
warm, said that the chief Part of my little Property consisted 
of Houses in those Towns; that they might make Bonfires 
of them whenever they pleased; that the Fear of losing 
them would never alter my Resolution to resist to the last 
that Claim of Parliament; and that it behov'd this Country 
to take Care what Mischief it did us ; for that sooner or later 
it would certainly be obliged to make good all Damages 
with Interest ! The Doctor smiFd, as I thought, with some 
Approbation of my Discourse, passionate as it was, and said, 
he would certainly repeat it to-morrow to Lord Dartmouth. 

In the Discourse concerning the "HINTS," Mr. Barclay 
happened to mention that going to Lord Hyde's, he found 
Lord Howe with him ; and that Lord Hyde had said to him, 
"You may speak any thing before Lord Howe, that you have 
to say to me, for he is a Friend in whom I confide;" upon 
which he accordingly had spoken with the same Freedom 
as usual. By this I collected how Lord Howe came by the 
paper of " HINTS," which he had shown me. And it being 
mentioned as a Measure thought of, to send over a Com- 
missioner with Powers to enquire into Grievances, and give 
Redress on certain Conditions, but that it was difficult to find 
a proper Person; I said "Why not Lord Hyde? He is a 
man of Prudence and Temper, a Person of Dignity, and, I 
should think, very suitable for such an Employment; or, if 
he would not go, there is the other Person you just mentioned, 
Lord Howe, who would, in my Opinion, do excellently well." 
This passed as mere Conversation, and we parted. 

Lord Chatham's rejected Plan being printed, for the 


Publick Judgment, I received 6 Copies from Lord Mahon, 
his Son-in-law, which I sent to different Persons in America. 

A Week and more pass'd in which I heard nothing further 
of any Negociation, and my time was much taken up among 
the Members of Parliament, when Mr. Barclay sent me a 
Note to say, that he was indispos'd, but desirous of seeing 
me, and should be glad if I would call on him. I waited upon 
him the next Morning, when he told me, that he had seen 
Lord Hyde, and had some farther Discourse with him on 
the ARTICLES; that he thought himself now fully possessed 
of what would do in this Business ; that he therefore wish'd 
another Meeting with me and Dr. Fothergill, when he would 
endeavour to bring prepared a Draft conformable chiefly 
to what had been proposed and conceded on both sides, 
with some Propositions of his own. I readily agreed to 
the Meeting, which was to be on Thursday Evening, the 
i6th Feb y . 

We met accordingly, when Mr. Barclay produced the 
following Paper, viz. 

"A PLAN, which, its believed, would produce a permanent 
Union between Great Britain and her Colonies. 

"i rt . The tea destroyed to be paid for: And in order 
that no time may be lost, to begin the desireable Work of 
Conciliation, it is proposed, that the Agent or Agents, in a 
petition to the King, should engage that the Tea destroyed 
shall be paid for; and, in consequence of that engagement, 
a Commissioner to have authority by a Clause in an Act of 
Parliament, to open the Port (by a suspension of the Boston 
Port Act) when that Engagement shall be complied with. 


" 2 d . The Tea-Duty Act to be repealed, as well for the 
Advantage of Great Britain as the Colonies. 

"3 d . Castle William to be restored to the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, as formerly, before it was delivered up 
by Gov* Hutchinson. 

"4 th . As it is believed, that the Commencement of con- 
ciliatory measures will in a considerable degree, quiet the 
Minds of the Subjects in America, it is proposed that the 
Inhabitants of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay should 
petition the King, and state their objections to the said Act. 1 
And it is to be understood, that the said Act shall be repealed. 
In the Interim, the Commissioner to have power to suspend 
the Act in order to enable the Inhabitants to petition. 

"5 th . The several Provinces, who may think themselves 
aggrieved by the Quebec Bill, to petition in their legislative 
Capacities : And its to be understood, that so far of the Act, 
as extends the limits of Quebec beyond its ancient Bounds, 
is to be repealed. 

"6 th . The act of Henry 8 th to be formally disclaimed by 

"7 th . In Time of Peace, the Americans to raise within 
their respective Provinces, by Acts of their own Legislatures, 
a certain sum or sums, such as may be thought necessary for 
a peace establishment, to pay Governors, Judges, &c. Vide 
Laws of Jamaica. 

"8 th . In time of War, on requisition made by the King, 
with Consent of Parliament, every Colony shall raise such 
sums of Money as their Legislatures may think suitable to 
their Abilities and the public Exigency, to be laid out in 
raising and paying Men for land or sea service, furnishing 

1 Supposed to mean the Boston Port Act. F. 


Provisions, Transports, or such other purposes as the King 
shall require and direct. 

"9 th . The Acts of Navigation to be reexamined, in order 
to see whether some Alterations might not be made therein, 
as much for the Advantage of Great Britain as the Ease of 
the Colonies. 

"10 th . A naval Officer to be appointed by the Crown to 
reside in each Colony, to see those Acts observed. 

"N. B. In some Colonies they are not appointed by the 

1 " i2 th . All Duties arising on the Acts for regulating Trade 
with the Colonies to be for the public Use of the respective 
Colonies, and paid into their Treasuries, and an Officer of 
the Crown to see it done. 

" i3 th . The Admiralty Courts to be reduced to the same 
Powers as they have hi England. 

"i4 tb . All Judges in the King's Colony Governments 
to be appointed during good Behaviour, and to be paid by 
the Province, agreeable to Article 7. 

"N. B. If the King chuses to add to their Salaries, the 
same to be sent from England. 

"i5 th . The Governors to be supported in the same 

Our Conversation turn'd chiefly upon the first Article. 
It was said that the Ministry only wanted some Opening to 
be given them, some Ground on which to found the com- 
mencement of conciliating Measures, that a Petition con- 
taining such an Engagement as mentioned in this Article 
would answer that purpose. That Preparations were making 
1 The eleventh clause was stricken out. ED. 


to send over more Troops and Ships; that such a Petition 
might prevent their going, especially if a Commissioner were 
proposed. I was therefore urg'd to engage the Colony 
Agents to join with me in such a Petition. My Answer was, 
that no Agent had any thing to do with the Tea Business, 
but those for Massachusetts Bay, who were Mr. Bollan for 
the Council, myself for the Assembly, and Mr. Lee appointed 
to succeed me when I should leave England ; that the latter 
therefore could hardly yet be considered as an Agent; and 
that the former was a cautious, exact Man, and not easily 
persuaded to take Steps of such Importance without In- 
structions or Authority; that therefore if such a Step were 
to be taken, it would lie chiefly upon me to take it; that 
indeed, if there were, as they suppos'd, a clear Probability 
of Good to be done by it, I should make no Scruple of hazard- 
ing myself in it ; but I thought the empowering a Commis- 
sioner to suspend the Boston Port Act was a Method too 
dilatory, and a mere Suspension would not be satisfactory. 
That if such an Engagement were entred into, all the Massa- 
chusetts Acts should be immediately repealed. 

They laid hold of the Readiness I had express'd to peti- 
tion on a Probability of doing good, applauded it, and urg'd 
me to draw up a Petition immediately. I said it was a 
Matter of Importance, and with their Leave I would take 
home the Paper, consider the Propositions as they stood, 
and give them my Opinion to-morrow Evening. This was 
agreed to, and for that time we parted. 

Weighing now the present dangerous Situation of Affairs 
in America, and the daily Hazard of widening the Breach 
there irreparably, I embraced the Idea proposed in the Paper 
of sending over a Commissioner, as it might be a Means of 


suspending military Operations, and bring on a Treaty ^ 
whereby Mischief would be prevented, and an Agreement 
by degrees be form'd and established; I also concluded to 
do what had been desired of me as to the Engagement, and 
essay'd a Draft of a Memorial to Lord Dartmouth for that 
purpose simply, to be sign'd only by myself. As to the 
sending of a Commissioner, a Measure which I was desired 
likewise to propose, and express my Sentiments of its Utility, 
I apprehended my Colleagues in the Agency might be justly 
displeas'd if I took a Step of such Importance without con- 
sulting them, and therefore I sketched a joint Petition to that 
purpose, for them to sign with me if they pleas'd; but, 
apprehending that would meet with Difficulty, I drew a 
Letter to Lord Dartmouth, containing the same Proposition, 
with the Reasons for it, to be sent as from me only. I made 
also upon Paper some Remarks on the Propositions; with 
some Hints on a separate Paper, of farther Remarks to be 
made in Conversation, when we should meet in the Evening 
of the i yth. Copies of these Papers (except the first, which 
I do not find with me on Shipboard,) are here plac'd as 
follows, viz. 


"The PETITION and MEMORIAL of W. B[ollan,] B. F[ranklin,] 
and A[rthur] Lee, 

"Most humbly sheweth; 

"That your Petitioners, being Agents for several Colonies, 
and deeply affected with the Apprehension of impending 
Calamities, that now threaten your Majesty's Subjects in 
America, beg leave to approach your Throne, and to suggest 


with all humility their Opinion, formed on much attentive 
Consideration, that if it should please your Majesty to per- 
mit and authorize a Meeting of Delegates from the different 
Provinces, and appoint some Person or Persons of Dignity and 
Wisdom from hence to preside in that Meeting, or to confer 
with the said Delegates, acquaint themselves fully with the 
true Grievances of the Colonies, and settle the Means of 
composing all Dissensions, such Means to be afterwards 
ratify'd by your Majesty, if found just and suitable; your 
Petitioners are persuaded, from their thorough Knowledge 
of that Country and People, that such a Measure might be 
attended with the most salutary Effects, prevent much Mis- 
chief, and restore the Harmony which so long subsisted, and 
is so necessary to the Prosperity and Happiness of all your 
Majesty's Subjects in every Part of your extensive Dominions. 
Which that Heaven may preserve entire to your Majesty and 
your Descendants, is the sincere Prayer of your Majesty's 
most dutiful Subjects and Servants." 


"My LORD, 

"Being deeply apprehensive of the impending Calamities, 
that threaten the Nation and its Colonies thro* the present 
unhappy Dissensions, I have attentively considered by what 
possible means those Calamities may be prevented. The 
great Importance of a Business which concerns us all, will I 
hope in some Degree excuse me to your L p , if I presume un- 
ask'd to offer my humble Opinion, that should his Majesty 
think fit to authorize Delegates from the several Provinces 
to meet at such convenient time and Place, as in his Wisdom 
shall seem meet, then and there to confer with a Commissioner 


or Commissioners to be appointed and empowered by his 
Majesty, on the Means of establishing a firm and lasting 
Union between Britain and the American Provinces, such a 
Measure might be effectual for that purpose. I cannot there- 
fore but wish it may be adopted, as no one can more ardently 
and sincerely desire the general Prosperity of the British 
Dominions, than, my Lord, your Lordship's most obed 4 , etc. 



["Art. i.] In consequence of that Engagement, all the 
Boston and Massachusetts Acts to be suspended, and on 
compliance with that Engagement, to be totally repeal'd. 

"By this Amendment article 4th will become unnecessary. 

"Art. 4 and 5. The numerous Petitions heretofore sent 
home by the Colony Assemblies, and either refused to be 
received, or received and neglected, or answered harshly 
and the Petitioners rebuk'd for making them, have I conceive 
totally discourag'd that Method of Application ; and, if even 
their Friends were now to propose to them the recurring 
again to Petitioning, such Friends would be thought to 
trifle with them. Besides, all they desire is now before 
Government in the Petition of the Congress, and the whole 
or Parts may be granted or refused at Pleasure. The Sense 
of the Colonies cannot be better obtained by Petitions from 
different Colonies, than it is by that general Petition. 

"Art. 7. Read, such as they may think necessary. 

"Art. ii. As it stands, of little Importance. The first 
Proposition was that they should be repealed as unjust. 
But they may remain, for they will probably not be executed. 


"Even with the Amendment propos'd above to Article i, 
I cannot think it stands as it should do. If the Object be 
merely the preventing present Bloodshed, and the other 
Mischiefs to fall on that Country in War, it may possibly 
answer that End; but if a thorough, hearty Reconciliation 
is wish'd for, all Cause of Heart-burning should be remov'd, 
and strict Justice be done on both Sides. Thus the Tea 
should not only be paid for on the Side of Boston, but the 
Damage done to Boston by the Port Act should be repaired, 
because it was done contrary to the Custom of all Nations, 
Savage as well as civiliz'd, of first demanding Satisfaction. 

"Art. 14. The Judges should receive nothing from the 

"As to the other two Acts, the Massachusetts must suffer 
all the Hazards and Mischiefs of War, rather than admit 
the Alteration of their Charters and Laws by Parliament. 
'They, who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little 
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety/ 



"I doubt the Regulating Duties will not be accepted, 
without enacting them, and having the Power of appoint- 
ing the Collectors, in the Colonies. 

"If we mean a hearty Reconciliation, we must deal can- 
didly, and use no Tricks. 

"The Assemblies are many of them in a State of Dissolu- 
tion. It will require Time to make new Elections; then to 
meet and chuse Delegates, supposing all could meet. But 
the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay cannot act under the 
new Constitution, nor meet the new Council for that pur- 


pose, without acknowledging the Power of Parliament to 
alter their Charter, which they never will do. The language 
of the Proposal is, Try on your Fetters first, and then, if you 
don't like 'em, petition and we will consider. 

"Establishing Salaries for Judges may be a general Law. 
For Governors not so, the Constitutions of Colonies differing. 
It is possible Troops may be sent to particular Provinces, to 
burthen them when they are out of favour. 

" Canada. We cannot endure despotism over any of 
our Fellow Subjects. We must all be free, or none." 

That afternoon I received the following Note from Mrs. 
Howe, enclosing another from Lord Howe, viz. 

" MRS. HOWE'S compliments to Dr. Franklin ; she has just received the 
enclosed note from Lord Howe, and hopes it will be convenient to him to 
come to her, either to-morrow or Sunday any hour most convenient to 
him, which she begs he will be so good to name. 

" Grafton Street, Friday Feb. 17. 

[Enclosed in the foregoing '.] 

" I wish you to procure me an opportunity to see Dr. Franklin at your 
House to-morrow or on Sunday morning for an essential purpose. 
" Grafton Street, Friday, four o'clock." l 

I had not heard from his Lordship for some time, and 
readily answer'd, that I would do myself the Honour of 
waiting upon him at her House to-morrow at n o' Clock. 

Mr. Barclay, Dr. Fothergill and myself, met according to 
Appointment at the Doctor's House. I deliver'd to them the 
"REMARKS" I had made on the Paper, and we talk'd them 
over. I read also the Sketches I had made of the Petitions 
and Memorials ; but they being of Opinion, that the Repeal 
1 Endorsed by F. " rec'd Friday 5 o'clock, Feb. 17. 1775." ED. 


of none of the Massachusetts Acts could be obtain'd by my 
Engaging to pay for the Tea, the Boston Port Act excepted, 
and I insisting on a Repeal of all, otherwise declining to 
make the Offer, that Measure was deferr'd for the present, 
and I pocketed my Drafts. They concluded however to 
report my Sentiments, and see if any farther Concession 
could be obtained. They observed too that I had sign'd 
my "Remarks"; on which I said, that understanding by 
other means as well as from them, that the Ministers had been 
acquainted with my being consulted in this Business, I saw 
no occasion for farther Mystery; and since in conveying 
and receiving thro* second Hands their Sentiments and mine 
occasioned Delay, and might be attended with Misappre- 
hension, something being lost, or changed by Mistake, in 
the Conveyance, I did not see why we should not meet and 
discuss the Points together at once ; that, if this was thought 
proper, I should be willing and ready to attend them to the 
Ministerial Persons they confer'd with. They seem'd to 
approve the Proposal, and said they would mention it. 

The next Morning I met Lord Howe, according to Ap- 
pointment. He seem'd very chearful, having as I imagine, 
heard from Lord Hyde what that Lord might have had from 
Mr. Barclay the ev g of the i6th, viz. that I had consented 
to petition, and engage Payment for the Tea ; from whence 
it was hoped, the ministerial Terms of Accommodation 
might take place. He let me know that he was thought of 
to be sent Commissioner for settling the Differences in 
America ; adding, with an Excess of Politeness, that sensible 
of his own Unacquaintedness with the Business, and of my 
Knowledge and Abilities, he could not think of undertaking 
it without me; but, with me, he should do it most readily; 


for he should found his Expectations of Success on my 
Assistance. He therefore had desired this Meeting, to 
know my Mind upon a Proposition of my going with him 
in some Shape or other, as a Friend, an Assistant, or Secre- 
tary: That he was very sensible if he should be so happy 
as to effect any thing valuable, it must be wholly owing to 
the Advice and Assistance I should afford him ; that he should 
therefore make no Scruple of giving me upon all Occasions 
the full Honour of it ; that he had declar'd his Opinion of 
my good Dispositions towards Peace, and what he now 
wish'd was to be authoriz'd by me to say, that I consented 
to accompany him, and would cooperate with him in the 
great Work of Reconciliation. That the Influence I had 
over the Minds of People in America was known to be very 
extensive; and that I could, if any man could, prevail with 
them to comply with reasonable Propositions. 

I reply'd, that I was obliged to his Lordship for the fa- 
vourable Opinion he had of me, and for the Honour he did 
me in proposing to make Use of my Assistance; that I 
wish'd to know what Propositions were intended for America ; 
that, if they were reasonable ones in themselves, possibly 
I might be able to make them appear such to my Country- 
men; but, if they were otherwise, I doubted whether that 
could be done by any Man, and certainly I should not under- 
take it. His Lordship then said, that he should not expect 
my Assistance without a proper Consideration. That the 
Business was of great Importance; and if he undertook it, 
he should insist on being enabled to make generous and 
ample Appointments for those he took with him, particularly 
for me; as well as a firm Promise of subsequent Rewards. 
"And," says he, "that the Ministry may have an Oppor- 

VOL. VI 2 C 


tunity of showing their good Disposition towards yourself, 
will you give me leave, Mr. Franklin, to procure for you 
previously some Mark of it, suppose the Payment here of the 
Arrears of your Salary, as Agent for New England, which I 
understand they have stop* for some time past?" "My 
Lord," says I, "I shall deem it a great Honour to be in any 
shape join'd with your Lordship in so good a Work; but 
if you hope Service from any Influence I may be supposed 
to have, drop all Thoughts of procuring me any previous 
Favour from Ministers; my accepting them, would destroy 
the very Influence you propose to make use of ; they would be 
considered as so many Bribes to betray the Interest of my 
Country : Only let me see the Propositions, and if I approve 
of them, I shall not hesitate a Moment, but will hold myself 
ready to accompany your Lordship at an hour's Warning." 
He then said, he wish'd I would discourse with Lord Hyde 
upon the Business, and ask'd if I had any Objection to meet 
his Lordship. I answered, none, not the least. That I 
had a great respect for Lord Hyde, and would wait upon 
him whenever he should please to permit it. He said he 
would speak to Lord Hyde, and send me Word. 

On the Monday following, I receiv'd a Letter from Lord 
Howe. To understand it better, it is necessary to reflect, that 
in the Interim, there was Opportunity for Mr. Barclay to 
communicate to that Nobleman the "REMARKS" I had made 
on the Plan, the Sight of which had probably changed the 
Purpose of making any Use of me on the Occasion. The 
letter follows. 

"Grafton Street, Feby 2Oth, 1775. (P. R. O.) 

" Not having had a convenient opportunity to talk with Lord Hyde until 
this morning, on the subject I mentioned when I had, my worthy friend, the 


pleasure to see you last, I now give you the earliest information of his Lord- 
ship's sentiments upon my proposition. 

" He declares he has no personal objections, and that he is always desirous 
of the conversation of men of knowledge, consequently, in that respect, would 
have a pleasure in yours. But he apprehends, that on the present American 
contest your principles and his, or rather those of Parliament, are as yet so 
wide from each other, that a meeting merely to discuss them might give you 
unnecessary trouble. Should you think otherwise, or should any propitious 
circumstances approximate such distant sentiments, he would be happy to be 
used as a channel to convey what might tend to harmony from a Person of 
credit to those in Power. And I will venture to advance, from my knowledge 
of his Lordship's opinion of men and things, that nothing of that nature would 
suffer in the passage. 

" I am, with a sincere regard, your most obed* serv*, 



As I had no desire of obtruding myself upon Lord Hyde, 
tho' a little piqu'd at his declining to see me, I thought it best 
to show a decent Indifference, which I endeavoured in the 
following Answer. 

"Craven Street, Feb. 2Oth, 1775. 

"Having nothing to offer on the American Business in 
addition to what Lord Hyde is already acquainted with 
from the Papers that have passed, it seems most respectfull 
not to give his Lordship the Trouble of a Visit ; since a mere 
Discussion of the Sentiments contained in those Papers is 
not, in his opinion, likely to produce any good Effect. I am 
thankful, however, to his Lordship for the Permission of 
waiting on him, which I shall use if any thing occurs, that 
may give a Chance of Utility in such an Interview. 

"With sincere Esteem and Respect, I have the honour 
to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obed* hum serv*, 




On the Morning of the same Day, Feb. 20, it was currently 
and industriously reported all over the Town, that Lord 
North would that day, make a pacific Motion in the House 
for healing all Differences between Britain and America. 
The House was accordingly very full, and the Members full 
of Expectation. The Bedford Party inimical to America, 
and who had urg'd severe Measures, were alarm'd, and 
began to exclaim against the Minister for his Timidity, and 
the Fluctuation of his Politicks; they even began to count 
Voices, to see if they could not, by negativing his Motion, 
at once unhorse him, and throw him out of Administration. 
His Friends were therefore alarm'd for him ; and there was 
much Caballing and Whispering. At length a Motion, as 
one had been promis'd, was made, but whether that origi- 
nally intended is with me very doubtful. I suspect, from 
its imperfect Composition, from its Inadequateness to answer 
the purpose previously profess'd, and from some other Cir- 
cumstances, that when first drawn it contained more of Mr. 
Barclay's Plan, but was curtail'd by Advice, just before it 
was delivered. My old Proposition of giving up the Regu- 
lating Duties to the Colonies was in part to be found in it, 
and many who knew nothing of that Transaction said it 
was the best Part of the Motion. It was as follows. 


"That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that when the 
Governor, Council, and Assembly, or General Court of his 
Majesty's Provinces or Colonies shall propose to make Pro- 
vision according to their respective Conditions, Circum- 
stances and Situations, for contributing their Proportion to 
the common Defence, such Proportion to be raised under 


the Authority of the General Court or General Assembly 
of such Province or Colony, and disposable by Parliament; 
and shall engage to make Provision also for the Support of 
the Civil Government and the Administration of Justice in 
such Province or Colony, it will be proper, if such Proposal 
shall be approved by his Majesty in Parliament, and for so 
long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, 
in respect of such Province or Colony, to levy any Duties, 
Tax or Assessment, or to impose any further Duty, Tax or 
Assessment, except only such Duties as it may be expedient 
to impose for the Regulation of Commerce ; the nett Prod- 
uce of the Duties last mentioned to be carried to the Ac- 
count of such Province, Colony or Plantation, respectively." 

After a good deal of wild Debate, in which this Motion 
was supported upon various and inconsistent Principles by 
the ministerial People, and even met with an Opposition 
from some of them, which show'd a want of Concert, prob- 
ably from the suddenness of the Alterations above supposed, 
they all agreed at length, as usual, in Voting it by a large 

Hearing nothing during all the following Week from Messrs. 
Barclay and Fothergill, (except that Lord Hyde, when ac- 
quainted with my Willingness to engage for the Payment of 
the Tea, had said it gave him new Life,) nor any thing from 
Lord Howe, I mention'd his Silence occasionally to his 
Sister, adding that I suppos'd it owing to his finding what he 
had proposed to me was not likely to take place; and I 
wish'd her to desire him, if that was the Case, to let me know 
it by a Line, that I might be at Liberty to take other Measures. 
She did so as soon as he returned from the Country, where he 


had been for a day or two; and I received from her the 
following note. 

" Mrs. HOWE'S compliments to Dr. Franklin ; Lord Howe not quite under- 
standing the message received from her, will be very glad to have the pleasure 
of seeing him, either between twelve and one this morning, (the only hour he 
is at liberty this day,) at her House, or at any hour to-morrow most conven- 
ient to him. 

"Grafton Street, Tuesday. n 

I met his Lordship at the Hour appointed. He said, that 
he had not seen me lately, as he expected daily to have some- 
thing more material to say to me than had yet occurr'd; 
and hop'd that I would have call'd on Lord Hyde, as I had 
intimated I should do when I apprehended it might be use- 
ful, which he was sorry to find I had not done. That there 
was something in my verbal Message by Mrs. Howe, which 
perhaps she had apprehended imperfectly ; it was the Hint 
of my Purpose to take other Measures. I answered that 
having since I had last seen his Lordship, heard of the Death 
of my Wife at Philadelphia, in whose Hands I had left the 
Care of my Affairs there, it was become necessary for me to 
return thither as soon as conveniently might be; that what 
his Lordship had propos'd of my accompanying him to 
America might, if likely to take place, postpone my Voyage 
to suit his Conveniency; otherwise I should proceed by the 
first Ship. That I did suppose by not hearing from him, 
and by Lord North's Motion, all Thoughts of that kind were 
laid aside, which was what I only desir'd to know from him. 

He said, my last Paper of "REMARKS" by Mr. Barclay, 
wherein I had made the Indemnification of Boston, for the 
Injury of Stopping its Port, a Condition of my engaging to 
pay for the Tea; a Condition impossible to be comply'd 
with, had discourag'd farther Proceeding on that Idea. 


Having a Copy of that Paper in my Pocket, I show'd his 
Lordship that I had propos'd no such Condition of my En- 
gagement, nor any other than the Repeal of all the Massa- 
chusetts Acts. That what follow'd relating to the Indemni- 
fication was only expressing my private Opinion, that it 
would be just, but by no means insisting upon it. He said 
the Arrangements were not yet determin'd on; that as I 
now explain 'd myself, it appeared I had been much mis- 
apprehended ; and he wish'd of all things I would see Lord 
Hyde, and ask'd if I would chuse to meet him there (at Mrs. 
Howe's), or that he should call upon me. I said that I 
would by no means give Lord Hyde that Trouble. That 
since he (Lord Howe) seem'd to think it might be of use, 
and wished it done soon, I would wait upon Lord Hyde. 
I knew him to be an early Riser, and would be with him at 
8 the next Morning; which Lord Howe undertook to ac- 
quaint him with. But I added, that from what Circumstances 
I could collect of the Disposition of Ministry, I apprehended 
my Visit would answer no material Purpose. He was of 
a different Opinion; to which I submitted. 

The next Morning, (March i,) I accordingly was early 
with Lord Hyde, who received me with his usual Politeness. 
We talk'd over a great part of the Dispute between the 
Countries. I found him ready with all the NewsPaper 
and Pamphlet Topics, of the Expence of Settling our Colo- 
nies, the Protection afforded them, the heavy Debt under 
which Britain laboured, the Equity of our Contributing to 
its Alleviation; that many People in England were no more 
represented than we were, yet all were tax'd and governed 
by Parliament, &c. &c. I answered all, but with little 
Effect ; for though his Lordship seemed civilly to hear what 


I said, I had reason to believe he attended very little to the 
purport of it, his Mind being employ'd the while in thinking 
on what he himself purpos'd to say next. 

He had hop'd, he said, that Lord North's Motion would 
have been satisfactory ; and ask'd what could be objected to 
it. I reply'd, the terms of it were that we should grant 
Money till Parliament agreed we had given enough, without 
our knowing beforehand what was expected from us, or 
what would be deem'd enough, without having the least 
share in judging of the Propriety of the Measures for which it 
was to be granted, or of our own Abilities to grant ; that these 
Grants were also to be made under a Threat of exercising 
a claimed Right of Taxing us at Pleasure, and compelling 
such Taxes by an armed Force, if we did not give till it 
should be thought we had given enough; that the Proposi- 
tion was similar to no mode of obtaining Aids that ever 
existed, except that of a Highwayman, who presents his 
Pistol and Hat at a Coach Window, demanding no specific 
Sum, but if you will give all your Money or what he is pleas'd 
to think sufficient, he will civilly omit putting his own Hands 
into your Pockets; if not, there is his Pistol. That the 
Mode of raising Contributions in an Enemy's Country was 
fairer than this, since there an explicit Sum was demanded, 
and the People who were raising it knew what they were 
about, and when they should have done; and that in short 
no free People could ever think of beginning to grant upon 
such Terms. That, besides, a new Dispute had now been 
rais'd by the Parliament's pretending to a Power of altering 
our Charters and establish'd Laws, which was of still more 
importance to us than their Claim of Taxation, as it set us 
all adrift, and left us without a privilege we could depend 


upon, but at their Pleasure; this was a situation we could 
not possibly be in ; and as Lord North's Proposition had no 
Relation to this Matter, if the other had been such as we 
could have agreed to, we should still be far from a Recon- 

His Lordship thought I misunderstood the Proposition; 
on which I took it out and read it. He then wav'd that 
Point, and said he should be glad to know from me, what 
would produce a Reconciliation. I said that his Lordship 
I imagin'd, had seen several Proposals of mine for that pur- 
pose. He said he had ; but some of my Articles were such as 
could never be agreed to. That it was apprehended I had 
several Instructions and Powers to offer more acceptable 
Terms, but was extreamly reserved, and perhaps from a 
Desire he did not blame, of doing better for my Constituents ; 
but my Expectations might deceive me; and he did think I 
might be assured I should never obtain better Terms than 
what were now offered by Lord North. That Administ. had 
a sincere desire of restoring Harmony with America, and it 
was thought, if I would cooperate with them, the Business 
would be easy. That he hoped I was above retaining Re- 
sentment against them, for what nobody now approv'd, 
and for which Satisfaction might be made me : That I was 
as he understood in high Esteem among the Americans; 
that if I would bring about a Reconciliation on Terms suit- 
able to the Dignity of Government, I might be as highly and 
generally esteemed here, and be honoured and rewarded 
perhaps, beyond my Expectation. 

I reply'd, that I thought I had given a convincing Proof 
of my sincere Desire of promoting Peace, when, on being 
informed that all wanted for the Honour of Government, 


was to obtain Payment for the Tea, I offer'd, without any 
Instruction to warrant my so doing, or Assurance that I 
should be reimburs'd, or my Conduct approved, to engage 
for that Payment, if the Massachusetts Acts were to be re- 
peal'd; an Engagement in which I must have risqu'd my 
whole Fortune, which I thought few besides me would have 
done. That in truth private Resentments had no Weight 
with me in publick Business: That I was not the reserved 
Man imagin'd, having really no secret Instructions to act 
upon. That I was certainly willing to do every thing that 
could reasonably be expected of me. But if any supposed 
I could prevail with my Countrymen to take black for white, 
and Wrong for Right, it was not knowing either them or me ; 
they were not capable of being so imposed on, nor was I 
capable of attempting it. 

He then ask'd my Opinion of sending over a Commissioner 
for the purpose mentioned in a preceding Part of this Account, 
and my Answer was to the same effect. By the Way, I appre- 
hend, that to give me an Opportunity of Discoursing with 
Lord Hyde on that Point, was a principal Motive with Lord 
Howe for urging me to make this Visit. His Lordship did 
not express his own Sentiments upon it. And thus ended 
this Conversation. 

Three or four Days after, I receiv'd the following note 
from Mrs. Howe. 

" Mrs. HOWE'S compliments to Dr. Franklin; Lord Howe begs to have the 
pleasure of meeting him once more before he goes, at her house; he is at 
present out of town, but returns on Monday, and any day or hour after that, 
that the Doctor will name, he will be very glad to attend him. 

"Grafton Street, Saturday," \_March 4.] 

I answer'd that I would do myself the honour of waiting 
on Lord Howe, at her House, the Tuesday following, at u 


o'Clock. We met accordingly. He began by saying, that 
I had been a better Prophet than himself, in foreseeing that 
my Interview with Lord Hyde would be of no great Use; 
and then said, that he hoped I would excuse the Trouble 
he had given me, as his Intentions had been good both to- 
wards me and the Publick. He was sorry, that at present 
there was no Appearance of Things going into the Train he 
had wished, but that possibly they might yet take a more 
favourable Turn; and as he understood I was going soon 
to America, if he should chance to be sent thither on 
that important Business, he hop'd he might still expect my 
Assistance. I assur'd him of my Readiness at all times of 
cooperating with him in so good a Work ; and so, taking my 
Leave, and receiving his good Wishes, ended the Negociation 
with Lord Howe. And I heard no more of that with Messrs. 
Fothergill and Barclay. I could only gather from some 
Hints in their Conversation, that neither of them were well 
pleas'd with the Conduct of the Ministers respecting these 
Transactions. And a few Days before I left London, I 
met them by their Desire at the Doctor's House, when they 
desired me to assure their Friends from them, that it was 
now their fix'd Opinion, that nothing could secure the Privi- 
leges of America, but a firm, sober Adherence to the Terms 
of the Association made at the Congress, and that the Sal- 
vation of English Liberty depended now on the Persever- 
ance and Virtue of America. 

During the whole my Time was otherwise much taken up, 
by Friends calling continually to enquire News from America ; 
Members of both Houses of Parliament to inform me what 
passed in the Houses, and discourse with me on the Debates, 
and on Motions made, or to be made ; Merchants of London 


and of the Manufacturing and Port Towns, on their Petitions ; 
the Quakers, upon theirs, &c. &c. ; so that I had no time to 
take Notes of almost any thing. This Account is therefore 
chiefly from Recollection, in which doubtless much must have 
been omitted, from deficiency of Memory; but what there 
is, I believe to be pretty exact; except that discoursing with 
so many different Persons about the same time, on the same 
Subject, I may possibly have put down some things as said 
by or to one Person, which pass'd in Conversation with 

A little before I left London, being at the House of Lords, 
to hear a debate in which Lord Camden was to speak, and 
who indeed spoke admirably on American Affairs, I was much 
disgusted, from the Ministerial Side, by many base Reflec- 
tions on American Courage, Religion, Understanding, &c., 
in which we were treated with the utmost Contempt, as the 
lowest of Mankind, and almost of a different Species from 
the English of Britain; but particularly the American 
Honesty was abused by some of the Lords, who asserted 
that we were all Knaves, and wanted only by this Dispute 
to avoid paying our Debts; that, if we had any Sense of 
Equity or Justice, we should offer Payment of the Tea, &c. 
I went home somewhat irritated and heated; and, partly 
to retort upon this Nation, on the Article of Equity, drew 
up a Memorial to present to Lord Dartmouth, before my 
Departure; but, consulting my Friend Mr. [Thomas] Wai- 
pole upon it, who is a Member of the House of Commons, he 
lookt at it and at me several Times alternately, as if he appre- 
hended me a little out of my Senses. As I was in the Hurry 
of Packing up, I requested him to take the Trouble of show- 
ing it to his Neighbour, Lord Camden, and ask his advice 


upon it, which he kindly undertook to do; and return 'd it 
me with a Note, which here follows the Memorial. 

"To the R* Hon. the E. of Dartmouth, [one of his Majesty's 
principal Secretaries of State;] (A. P. S.) 

"A Memorial from Benjamin Franklin, Agent to the Prov- 
ince of Massachusetts Bay. 

"Whereas an injury done can only give the Party injured 
a right to full reparation ; or in case that be refused, a right 
to return an Equal injury; and whereas the Blockade of 
Boston, now continued 9 months, hath every week of its 
Continuance done damage to that Town, equal to what was 
suffered there by the India Company; it follows that such 
exceeding damage is an injury done by this gov* for which 
reparation ought to be made ; and whereas Reparation of In- 
juries ought always (agreable to the Custom of all nations, 
savage as well as civilized,) to be first required, before sat- 
isfaction is taken by a return of Damage to the Aggressors ; 
which was not done by Great Britain in the instance above 
mentioned ; I the underwritten do therefore, as their Agent, 
in the behalf of my Country, and the said Town of Boston, 
Protest against the Continuance of the said Blockade; and 
I do hereby solemnly demand satisfaction for the accumu- 
lated injury done them, beyond the value of the India Com- 
pany's Tea destroyed. 

"And whereas the conquest of the Gulph of St. Lawrence, 
the Coasts of Labrador and Nova Scotia, and the Fisheries 
possessed by the French there and on the Banks of New- 
foundland, so far as they were more extended than at Pres- 
ent, was made by the pint Forces of Britain and the Colonies, 
the latter having nearly an Equal number of men in that 


service with the former ; it follows, that the Colonies have an 
equitable and just right to participate in the advantage of 
those Fisheries ; I do, therefore, in the behalf of the Colony 
of the Massachusetts Bay, Protest against the Act now under 
consideration in Parliament, for depriving that Province, 
with others, of that Fishery, (on pretence of their refusing to 
purchase British Commodities,) as an act highly unjust and 
injurious; and I give notice, that Satisfaction will probably 
one day be demanded for all the injury that may be done and 
suffered by the execution of such Act ; and that the injustice 
of the Proceeding is likely to give such umbrage to all the 
Colonies, that in no future War, wherein other Conquests 
may be meditated, either a man or a shilling will probably 
be obtained from any of them to aid such Conquests, till full 

satisfaction be made as aforesaid. 

"Given in London, March 1775." 



" I return you the memorial, which it is thought might be attended with 
dangerous consequences to your person, and contribute to exasperate the 

" I heartily wish you a prosperous voyage, a long health, and am, with the 
sincerest regard, your most faithful and obed* Servant, 

"Lincoln's Inn Fields, 16 March, 1775." 

Mr. Walpole call'd at my house the next day, and, hearing 
I was gone to the House of Lords, came there to me, and 
repeated more fully what was in his Note; adding, that it 
was thought my having no Instructions directing me to 
deliver such a Protest, would make it appear still more un- 
justifiable, and be deem'd a National Affront. I had no 


desire to make Matters worse, and being grown cooler took 
the Advice so kindly given me. 

The Evening before I left London, I received a Note from 
Dr. Fothergill, with some Letters to his Friends in Phila- 
delphia. In that Note he desires me to get those Friends 
"and two or three more together, and inform them, that, 
whatever specious Pretences are offered, they are all hollow ; 
and that to get a larger Field on which to fatten a Herd of 
worthless Parasites, is all that is regarded. Perhaps it may 
be proper to acquaint them with D. B.'s and our united 
Endeavours, and the Effects. They will stun at least, if 
not convince, the most worthy, that nothing very favourable 
is intended, if more unfavourable Articles cannot be ob- 
tained." The Doctor, in the Course of his daily Visits 
among the Great, in the Practice of his Profession, had full 
Opportunity of being acquainted with their Sentiments, the 
Conversation everywhere at this time turning upon the Sub- 
ject of America. 


May 7, 1775. 

I don't understand it as any favour to me or to you, the 
being continued in an office by which, with all your prudence, 
you cannot avoid running behindhand, if you live suitably to 
your Station. While you are in it I know you will execute 
it with fidelity to your master, but I think independence 
more honourable than any service, and that in the state of 
American Affairs which, from the present arbitrary meas- 
ures is likely soon to take place, you will find yourself in no 
comfortable Situation, and perhaps wish you had soon dis- 
engaged yourself. B. FRANKLIN. 


Philadelphia, May 16. 1775 


You will have heard, before this reaches you, of a march 
stolen by the regulars into the country by night, and of their 
expedition back again. They retreated twenty miles in [six] 
hours. 2 The governor had called the Assembly to propose 
Lord North's pacific plan, but, before the time of their 
meeting, began cutting of throats. You know it was said 
he carried the sword in one hand, and the olive branch in 
the other; and it seems he chose to give them a taste of the 
sword first. 

He is doubling his fortifications at Boston, and hopes to 
secure his troops till succour arrives. The place indeed is 
naturally so defensible, that I think them in no danger. All 
America is exasperated by his conduct, and more firmly united 
than ever. The breach between the two countries is grown 
wider, and in danger of becoming irreparable. 

I had a passage of six weeks, the weather constantly so 
moderate that a London wherry might have accompanied 
us all the way. I got home in the evening, and the next 
morning was unanimously chosen by the Assembly of Penn- 
sylvania, a delegate to the Congress now sitting. 

In coming over, I made a valuable philosophical discovery, 
which I shall communicate to you when I can get a little 
time. 3 At present, am extremely hurried. Yours most 
affectionately, B. F[RANKLIN.] 

1 One page of print, with Ms. notes by W. T. F. in L. C. ED. 
a Alluding to the affair at Lexington and Concord. S. 
8 Alluding to his experiments with a thermometer in crossing the Gulf 
Stream. S. 


B. FRANKLIN 1 (P. c.) 

Savanah, May 16, 1775 

The frequent accounts of your Intentions of leaving England, also un- 
willing to intrude on time taken up with Matters of Consiquence prevented 
my Writing as often as I otherwise should have done however constrained by 
a real Esteem for a Gentleman so great a friend of Mankind in general & of 
America in particular will I trust plead my Excuse for thus troubling you 
concern'd at the loss this Province sustain' d thro I am pretty confident thro' 
the 111 conduct of our Assembly's Nominating another Person I am positive 
your feelings for America must be great The present Sittuation is truely 
Alarming, but late Accounts from Bost there has been some Lives lost both 
on the side of the Soldiers & Americans but as you will have a more perfect 
Account before this can reach you I forbear mention'g our acct". tis said the 
Americans had the best of it but bad is the best in Wars between Fathers, 
Sons Bretheren etc as both lose let which will conquer, therefore the Vile 
advisers of such a Plan as has been adopted have the more to Answer for God 
only know where such Matters may end especially in which our Lives Liber- 
ties & all that is dear to us depends, tho' our Province has not appeared 
outwardly forward in the Matter thro' Influence of some Tools of Administra- 
tion, yet am of oppinion a large Majority do heartily Join in sentiment with 
the other Colonies perhaps 9, out of ten or more, God send that our Sovereign 
may those base men that advise such Measures that may prove destructive to 
his whole Dominion and consider his Subjects in America with the same 
Affection as those nearer to him and that they naturally must be entitled to 
the like Rights and Priveledges in one part of his kindom as in the other, 
And then am in my own mind Confident all disputes would subside I conclude 
with best Respects that you may Enjoy Life & Health to see these troubles 
all at an happy End And am D r Sir 

Your most sincere and 
Obedt. Hble. Serv'. 


M' Banks the Gentleman I trust you will receive this by has been in this 
Province some years (and probably with some other business) goes to see his 
Father & other relations in England of Charracter as I chose to send it by a 
Private Hand at this time he has promised if he can conveniently to deliver it 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. W. J. DeRenne. ED. 

VOL. VI 2 D 


775. TO THOMAS BRADFORD 1 (A. P. s.) 

Philad. May 16. 75 


I have just now been requested to apply to you in behalf 
of a Stranger who is supposed to have spoken some dis- 
respectful Words of you, and who is apprehensive of the 
Resentment of your Company, as he is told they are exceed- 
ingly exasperated against him. He declares that the Words 
ascribed to him, are much misrepresented, and that if he 
had an Opportunity of giving you a true Account of them, 
you would be satisfy'd they were merely jocular without the 
least Intention of offending you or any one of your Corps. 
I do not presume tg have any Influence with you, intitling 
me to mediate in any Affair that concerns you. I only beg 
leave to mention, that as he is a Clergyman of the Church 
of England, and some pains has been lately taken in Eng- 
land to represent the Colonies as inimical to that Church, 
I hope you & the Company will on Enquiry find that the 
Offence is not so great as to require such Marks of Resent- 
ment as may be misconstrued there, and deemed the Effects 
of a Spirit of Intolerance and Enmity to the Clergy ; because 
at this Juncture it might create us some powerful Enemies, 
encrease their Number, and diminish that of our Friends. 
Be so good as to excuse my giving you this Trouble, and 
believe me to be with sincere Esteem, Sir, 

Your most obed* Serv* 

B. F. 

1 T. Bradford (1745-1838), printer, partner with his father (Col. William 
Bradford) in the publication of the Pennsylvania Journal. He was captain 
of a military company in Philadelphia. ED. 


DEAR SISTER, Philadelphia, May 26, 1775. 

I have just now heard by Mr. Adams, that you are come 
out of Boston, 2 and are at Warwic, in Rhode Island. I sup- 
pose it must be at good Mr. and Mrs. Greene's, to whom 
present my affectionate respects. I write this line just to 
let you know, that I am returned well from England, and 
that I found my family well ; but have not found the repose 
I wished for, being the next morning after my arrival dele- 
gated to the Congress by our Assembly. 

I wish to hear from you, and to know how you have left 
your affairs in Boston ; and whether it would be inconvenient 
for you to come hither, or you wish rather that I should come 
to see you, if the business I am engaged in will permit. Let 
me know if you want any assistance, and what is become of 
cousin Williams and his family, and other friends. Jonathan 
was at Paris when I left England, but to return in a week 
or two. I am ever, my dear sister, your very loving brother, 


Philadelphia, June 2, 1775 

REVEREND AND DEAR SIR : I am much obliged to your 
kind Congratulations on my Return; and I rejoice to hear 

1 First printed by Sparks. 

2 Boston was then in a state of siege. ED. 

3 Nathaniel Seidel (1718-1782), a bishop of the Moravian Church at Beth- 
lehem, Pennsylvania. The original of this letter and a copy of Bishop Seidel's 
letter to which it replies are preserved in the Moravian Archives at Bethlehem. 


that the Brethren are well and prosper. I am persuaded 
that the Congress will give no Encouragement to any to 
molest your People on Account of their Religious Principles ; 
and tho much is not in my Power, I shall on every Occasion 
exert myself to discountenance and prevent such infamous 
Practices. I remember that you put yourselves into a good 
Posture of Defence at the Beginning of the last war when I 
was at Bethlehem; and I then understood from my much 
respected Friend Bp. Spangenberg, that there were among 
the Brethren many who did not hold it unlawful to arm in 
defensive War. If there be still any such among your young 
Men perhaps it would not be amiss to permit them to learn 
the Military Dicipline among their Neighbors, as this might 
conciliate those who at present express some Resentment; 
and having Arms in Readiness for all who may be able and 
willing to use them, will be a general Means of Protection 
against Enemies of all kinds. 

But a Declaration of your Society, that tho they can not 
in conscience compel their young Men to learn the Use of 
Arms, yet they do not restrain such as are disposed, will 
operate in the Minds of People very greatly in your Favour. 
Excuse my Presumption in offering Advice, which indeed 
may be of little Value, but proceeds from a Heart fill'd with 
Affection and Respect for a Society I have long highly 
esteemed, and among whom I have many valuable Friends. 
I am with great Regard, 

& Veneration 

Rev'd Sir 
Your most obediant 

humble Servant, 


17753 TO W. T. FRANKLIN" 405 

778. TO W. T. FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

Philad a , June 13, 1775. 

I wonder'd it was so long before I heard from you. The 
Packet it seems was brought down to Philadelphia, and 
carry'd back to Burlington before it came hither. I am 
glad to learn by your Letters that you are happy in your 
new Situation, and that tho* you ride out sometimes, you 
do not neglect your Studies. You are now in that time of 
Life which is the properest to store your Mind with such 
Knowledge as is hereafter to be ornamental and useful to 
you. I confide that you have too much Sense to let the 
Season slip. The Ancients painted Opportunity as an old 
Man with Wings to his Feet & Shoulders, a great Lock 
of Hair on the forepart of his Head, but bald behind ; whence 
comes our old Saying, Take Time by the Forelock; as much 
as to say, when it is past, there is no means of pulling it 
back again ; as there is no Lock behind to take hold of for 
that purpose. 

I am sorry your Things have suffered so much Damage 
in their Way to you; and I fear if I send the Glass you 
write for, it may likewise be hurt in the Carriage, as I have 
no Convenience at present of packing it safely, and the 
Boatmen and Waggoners are very careless People. If you 
want to use a Glass, your Father has a better, which he will 
lend you. But a Perspective Glass is not so good as the 
Eye for Prospects, because it takes in too small a Field. It 
is only useful to discern better some particular Objects. So, 
as I expect you here after the Vacation, to go to the College, 


I think it best to keep the Glass for you till you come, when 
you will find it in your Desk and Book Case with your little 
Beginning of a Library; and I hope about the same time 
your Books and Things from London will be arrived. 

I have received a long Letter from Mrs. Stevenson. It 
is a kind of Journal for a Month after our Departure, written 
on different Days, & of different Dates, acquainting me 
who has call'd, and what is done, with all the small News. 
In four or five Places, she sends her Love to her dear Boy, 
hopes he was not very sick at Sea, &c., &c. Mrs. Hewson 
and the Children were well. She was afraid, she says, to 
see some of your Friends, not knowing how to excuse your 
not taking leave of them. 

Your Shirts will go by to-morrow's Stage. They are in a 
little Trunk, and I hope will get safe to hand. 

Mr & Mrs Bache send their Love to you. The young 
Gentlemen are well and pleas'd with your remembring them. 
Will has got a little Gun, marches with it, and whistles at 

the same time by way of Fife. 

I am ever, 

Your affectionate Grandfather 


779. TO JOHN SARGENT 1 (A. P. s.) 
Philad*. June 27. 1775 


I have written to Messrs. Browns and Collinson to pay 
the Ballance of my Acct. to you ; and I beg you to take the 
Trouble of receiving & keeping it for me, or my Children. 

1 John Sargent, M.P., for Seaford. ED. 


It may possibly soon be all I shall have left : as my Ameri- 
can Property consists chiefly of Houses in our Seaport Towns, 
which your Ministry have begun to burn, and I suppose are 
wicked enough to burn them all. It now requires great 
Wisdom on your Side the Water to prevent a total Separa- 
tion; I hope it will be found among you. We shall give 
you one Opportunity more of recovering our Affections and 
retaining the Connection; and that I fear will be the last. 
My Love to Mrs. Sargent and your Sons. My best Wishes 
attend you all; being ever, with sincere Esteem, and the 
most grateful Sense of your long continued Friendship, Dear 

Your affectionate hum 6 Servt 


780. TO WILLIAM STRAHAN 1 (L. c.) 

Philad* July 5, 1775 

You are a Member of Parliament, and one of that Ma- 
jority which has doomed my Country to Destruction. You 
have begun to burn our Towns, and murder our People. 
Look upon your Hands! They are stained with the Blood 
of your Relations ! You and I were long Friends : You 
are now my Enemy, and I am 



1 This letter was written but was never sent. ED. 



Philadelphia, July 7, 1775. 


The Congress met at a time when all minds were so ex- 
asperated by the perfidy of General Gage, and his attack on 
the country people, that propositions of attempting an ac- 
commodation were not much relished ; and it has been with 
difficulty that we have carried another humble petition to 
the crown, to give Britain one more chance, one oppor- 
tunity more, of recovering the friendship of the colonies; 
which, however, I think she has not sense enough to embrace, 
and so I conclude she has lost them for ever. 

She has begun to burn our seaport towns; secure, I sup- 
pose, that we shall never be able to return the outrage in 
kind. She may doubtless destroy them all; but, if she 
wishes to recover our commerce, are these the probable 
means? She must certainly be distracted; for no trades- 
man out of Bedlam ever thought of encreasing the number 
of his customers, by knocking them on the head; or of 
enabling them to pay their debts, by burning their houses. 
If she wishes to have us subjects, and that we should sub- 
mit to her as our compound sovereign, she is now giving us 
such miserable specimens of her government, that we shall 
ever detest and avoid it, as a complication of robbery, mur- 
der, famine, fire, and pestilence. 

You will have heard, before this reaches you, of the treacher- 
ous conduct [of General Gage] to the remaining people in 
Boston, in detaining their goods, after stipulating to let them 
go out with their effects, on pretence that merchants' goods 


were not effects ; the defeat of a great body of his troops by 
the country people at Lexington; some other small advan- 
tages gained in skirmishes with their troops ; and the action 
at Bunker's Hill, in which they were twice repulsed, and the 
third time gained a dear victory. Enough has happened, 
one would think, to convince your ministers, that the Ameri- 
cans will fight, and that this is a harder nut to crack than 
they imagined. 

We have not yet applied to any foreign power for assist- 
ance, nor offered our commerce for their friendship. Per- 
haps we never may; yet it is natural to think of it, if we 
are pressed. We have now an army on our establishment, 
which still holds yours besieged. My time was never more 
fully employed. In the morning at six, I am at the Com- 
mittee of Safety, appointed by the Assembly to put the 
province in a state of defence; which committee holds till 
near nine, when I am at the Congress, and that sits till after 
four in the afternoon. Both these bodies proceed with the 
greatest unanimity, and their meetings are well attended. 
It will scarce be credited in Britain, that men can be as 
diligent with us from zeal for the public good, as with you 
for thousands per annum. Such is the difference between 
uncorrupted new states, and corrupted old ones. 

Great frugality and great industry are now become fashion- 
able here. Gentlemen, who used to entertain with two or 
three courses, pride themselves now in treating with simple 
beef and pudding. By these means, and the stoppage of 
our consumptive trade with Britain, we shall be better able 
to pay our voluntary taxes for the support of our troops. 
Our savings in the article of trade amount to near five 
millions sterling per annum. 


I shall communicate your letter to Mr. Winthrop; but 
the camp is at Cambridge, and he has as little leisure for 
philosophy as myself. Believe me ever with sincere esteem, 

my dear friend, yours most affectionately, 



Philad*, July 8 1775. 

I thank you for your kind Letter of April nth. It grieves 
me, that the present Situation of publick Affairs makes it not 
eligible for you to come hither with your Family, because 
I am sure you would otherwise like this Country, and might 
provide better here for your Children, at the same time that 
I should be made more happy by your Neighbourhood and 
Company. I flatter myself, that this may yet happen, and 
that our public Disputes may be ended by the time your 
private Business is settled to your mind, and then we may 
be all happy together. 

The Debt you mention of mine to Bolton remains unpaid 
through his own Neglect. I was charged by Matthews 10 
for the Tea-Kitchen, but Bolton told me I ought not to pay 
so much; that he would see what it should be when he got 
home, and send me word, which he never did. I dunn'd 
him for it by Letters, as often as Matthews sent to me, but 
received no answer. 

I take it kindly of my Godson, that he should remember 
me ; my Love to him. I am glad to hear the dear Children 
are all well through the Measles. I have much delight in 
my Grandsons. Mr. and Mrs. Bache join in Love to you 
and yours. Ben, 1 when I delivered him your Blessing, 

1 Benjamin Franklin Bache, grandson of Dr. Franklin. ED. 


inquired the Age of Elizabeth, and thought her yet too young 
for him ; but, as he made no other Objection, and that will 
lessen every day, I have only to wish being alive to dance 
with your Mother at the Wedding. Temple was much 
obliged by your kind Remembrance of him. He is now very 
happy with his Father at Amboy, near New York, but re- 
turns to me in September, to prosecute his Studies in our 

I am much pleased with the Contribution Letter, and 
thank you for your Share in it. I am still well and hearty, 
and never went thro' more Business than I do at present. 
God knows when I shall be permitted to enjoy the Repose 
I wish. Adieu, my very dear Friend. Continue your 
pleasing Correspondence, and believe me ever yours most 




Philad* July 17. 1775. 

All Trade and Business, Building, Improving, &c., being 
at a Stand here, and nothing thought of but Arms, I find no 
Convenience at present of putting out your Money in this 
Country, and therefore have concluded not to draw it over, 
but return it into your Hands; and, accordingly inclose an 
Order for it on Mess John and Robert Barclay, Cheapside, 
with whom I left it. I send you also inclos'd an Order on 
Browns and Collinson for 26oj more, supposing by the 
Sketch Mr. Williams made of our Accts. that I may owe you 
about that Sum: When they are finally settled we shall see 


where the Ballance lies, and easily rectify it. In the mean 
time you will be in Possession of a compleat iooo; which 
as a Friend I would not advise you to trust in your Stocks; 
for Britain having begun a War with us, which I apprehend 
is not likely soon to be ended, and may possibly draw on one 
with some European Power, there is great Probability of 
those Stocks falling headlong, as you remember the India 
did. You had better therefore, I think, put your Money 
out on a good Mortgage of Land. 

I received what you sent me per Major Trent and since 
your kind Letter of April 24. I rejoice to hear you are well 
and happy. I am well, and as happy as I can be under the 
Fatigue of more Business than is suitable to my Age and 
Inclination. But it follows me everywhere, and I submit. 
I am delighted with my little Family. Temple is with his 
Father. He has written to you, & to his other Friends. 
My Respects to Mr. & Mrs. Elphinstone when you see 
them. I shall write to them when I can, for I think we are 
much indebted to them for the Improvement of that fine 
Boy. My Love to dear Polly & Dolly. I shall write to 
them by next Opportunity. I pray God to bless & preserve 
you, being ever, my dear Friend, 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. F. 


Immediately after Dr. Franklin's return to America, he was chosen one of 
the delegates in Congress from Pennsylvania, and was present at the opening 
of the Congress in May, 1775. Mr. Vaughan says of the following paper ; 
"It was drawn up in a Committee of Congress, June 25th, 1775, but does not 


appear on their Minutes; a severe act of Parliament, which arrived about that 
time, having determined them not to give the sum proposed. It was first 
printed in the Public Advertiser for July i8th, 1777." At the time mentioned 
above, that is, June 25th, 1 775, Dr. Franklin was on a Committee for report- 
ing to Congress a declaration to be published by General Washington, on his 
arrival in camp at Cambridge. The discussion of that subject in the Commit- 
tee may have suggested these remarks. S. 

FORASMUCH as the enemies of America in the Parliament 
of Great Britain, to render us odious to the nation, and give 
an ill impression of us in the minds of other European powers, 
have represented us as unjust and ungrateful in the highest 
degree; asserting, on every occasion, that the colonies were 
settled at the expense of Britain; that they were, at the 
expense of the same, protected in their infancy; that they 
now ungratefully and unjustly refuse to contribute to their 
own protection, and the common defence of the nation; 
that they aim at independence; that they intend an aboli- 
tion of the Navigation Acts; and that they are fraudulent 
in their commercial dealings, and purpose to cheat their 
creditors in Britain, by avoiding the payment of their just 

And, as by frequent repetition these groundless assertions 
and malicious calumnies may, if not contradicted and refuted, 
obtain further credit, and be injurious throughout Europe to 
the reputation and interest of the confederate colonies, it 
seems proper and necessary to examine them in our own just 

With regard to the first, that the colonies were settled, at the 
expense of Britain, it is a known fact, that none of the twelve 
united colonies were settled, or even discovered, at the ex- 
pense of England. Henry the Seventh, indeed, granted a 
commission to Sebastian Cabot, a Venetian, and his sons, to 


sail into the western seas for the discovery of new countries ; 
but it was to be " suis eorum propriis sumptibus et expensis" 
at their own costs and charges. They discovered, but soon 
slighted and neglected these northern territories ; which were, 
after more than a hundred years' dereliction, purchased of 
the natives, and settled at the charge and by the labour of pri- 
vate men and bodies of men, our ancestors, who came over 
hither for that purpose. But our adversaries have never been 
able to produce any record, that ever the Parliament or gov- 
ernment of England was at the smallest expense on these 
accounts; on the contrary, there exists on the journals of 
Parliament a solemn declaration in 1642, (only twenty- two 
years after the first settlement of the Massachusetts, when, 
if such expense had ever been incurred, some of the members 
must have known and remembered it,) "That these colonies 
had been planted and established without any expense to the 
state." l 

New York is the only colony in the founding of which Eng- 
land can pretend to have been at any expense ; and that was 
only the charge of a small armament to take it from the 
Dutch, who planted it. But to retain this colony at the 
peace, another at that time full as valuable, planted by pri- 
vate countrymen of ours, was given up by the crown to the 
Dutch in exchange, viz. Surinam, now a wealthy sugar colony 
in Guiana, and which, but for that cession, might still have 
remained in our possession. Of late, indeed, Britain has 

1 " Veneris, March loth, 1642. Whereas, the plantations in New England 
have, by the blessing of the Almighty, had good and prosperous success, with- 
out any public charge to this state, and are now likely to prove very happy for 
the propagation of the Gospel in those parts, and very beneficial and com- 
modious to this kingdom and nation; the Commons now assembled in Parlia- 
ment, &c. &c. &c." 


been at some expense in planting two colonies, Georgia and 
Nova Scotia ; but those are not in our confederacy ; l and 
the expense she has been at in their name has chiefly been in 
grants of sums unnecessarily large, by way of salaries to offi- 
cers sent from England, and in jobs to friends, whereby de- 
pendants might be provided for; those excessive grants not 
being requisite to the welfare and good government of the 
colonies, which good government (as experience in many 
instances of other colonies has taught us) may be much more 
frugally, and full as effectually, provided for and supported. 
With regard to the second assertion, that these colonies were 
protected in their infant state by England, it is a notorious fact, 
that, in none of the many wars with the Indian natives, sus- 
tained by our infant settlements for a century after our first 
arrival, were ever any troops or forces of any kind sent from 
England to assist us ; nor were any forts built at her expense, 
to secure our seaports from foreign invaders; nor any ships 
of war sent to protect our trade, till many years after our first 
settlement, when our commerce became an object of revenue, 
or of advantage to British merchants ; and then it was thought 
necessary to have a frigate in some of our ports, during peace, 
to give weight to the authority of custom-house officers, who 
were to restrain that commerce for the benefit of England. 
Our own arms, with our poverty, and the care of a kind 
Providence, were all this time our only protection ; while we 
were neglected by the English government; which either 
thought us not worth its care, or, having no good will to 

1 Georgia joined the other colonies soon afterwards. On the 2Oth of July, 
1775, a letter was read in Congress from the convention of Georgia, giving 
notice that delegates had been appointed in that colony to attend the Conti- 
nental Congress. S. 


some of us, on account of our different sentiments in religion 
and politics, was indifferent what became of us. 

On the other hand, the colonies have not been wanting to 
do what they could in every war for annoying the enemies of 
Britain. They formerly assisted her in the conquest of Nova 
Scotia. In the war before last they took Louisburg, and put 
it into her hands. She made her peace with that strong for- 
tress, by restoring it to France, greatly to their detriment. In 
the last war, it is true, Britain sent a fleet and army, who 
acted with an equal army of ours, in the reduction of Canada ; 
and perhaps thereby did more for us, than we in the preced- 
ing wars had done for her. Let it be remembered, however, 
that she rejected the plan we formed in the Congress at 
Albany, in 1754, for our own defence, by a union of the colo- 
nies ; a union she was jealous of, and therefore chose to send 
her own forces; otherwise her aid to protect us was not 
wanted. And from our first settlement to that time, her 
military operations in our favour were small, compared with 
the advantages she drew from her exclusive commerce with 
us. We are, however, willing to give full weight to this obli- 
gation ; and, as we are daily growing stronger, and our assist- 
ance to her becomes of more importance, we should with 
pleasure embrace the first opportunity of showing our grati- 
tude by returning the favour in kind. 

But, when Britain values herself as affording us protection, 
we desire it may be considered, that we have followed 
her in all her wars, and joined with her at our own expense 
against all she thought fit to quarrel with. This she has re- 
quired of us ; and would never permit us to keep peace with 
any power she declared her enemy; though by separate 
treaties we might well have done it. Under such circum- 


stances, when at her instance we made nations our enemies, 
whom we might otherwise have retained our friends, we sub- 
mit it to the common sense of mankind, whether her protec- 
tion of us in these wars was not our just due, and to be claimed 
of right, instead of being received as a favour? And whether, 
when all the parts of an empire exert themselves to the ut- 
most in their common defence and in annoying the common 
enemy, it is not as well the parts that protect the whole, as 
the whole that protects the parts ? The protection then has 
been proportionably mutual. And, whenever the time shall 
come, that our abilities may as far exceed hers, as hers have 
exceeded ours, we hope we shall be reasonable enough to rest 
satisfied with her proportionable exertions, and not think we 
do too much for a part of the empire, when that part does as 
much as it can for the whole. 

The charge against us, that we refuse to contribute to our 
own protection, appears from the above to be groundless; 
but we farther declare it to be absolutely false ; for it is well 
known, that we ever held it as our duty to grant aids to the 
crown, upon requisition, towards carrying on its wars ; which 
duty we have cheerfully complied with, to the utmost of our 
abilities; insomuch that frequent and grateful acknowledg- 
ments thereof, by King and Parliament, appear on the rec- 
ords. 1 But, as Britain has enjoyed a most gainful monopoly 
of our commerce ; the same, with our maintaining the dignity 
of the King's representative in each colony, and all our own 

1 Supposed to allude to certain passages in the journals of the House of 
Commons on the 4th of April, 1748; 28th of January, 1756; 3d of February, 
1756; i6th and igth of May, 1757; ist of June, 1758; a6th and 3oth of 
April, 1759; 26th and 3ist of March, and 28th of April, 1760; 9th and 2Oth 
of January, 1761; 22d and 26th of January, 1762; and I4th and I7th of 
March, 1763. V. 

VOL. VI 2 E 


separate establishments of government, civil and military; 
has ever hitherto been deemed an equivalent for such aids 
as might otherwise be expected from us in time of peace. 
And we hereby declare, that on a reconciliation with Britain, 
we shall not only continue to grant aids in time of war, as 
aforesaid; but, whenever she shall think fit to abolish her 
monopoly, and give us the same privileges of trade as Scot- 
land received at the union, and allow us a free commerce 
with all the rest of the world ; we shall willingly agree (and 
we doubt not it will be ratified by our constituents) to give 
and pay into the sinking fund [one hundred thousand pounds] 
sterling per annum for the term of one hundred years ; which 
duly, faithfully, and inviolably applied to that purpose, is 
demonstrably more than sufficient to extinguish all her pres- 
ent national debt ; since it will in that time amount, at legal 
British interest, to more than [two hundred and thirty mil- 
lions of pounds.] * 

But if Britain does not think fit to accept this proposition, 
we, in order to remove her groundless jealousies, that we aim 
at independence, and an abolition of the Navigation Act, 
(which hath in truth never been our intention,) and to avoid 
all future disputes about the right of making that and other 
acts for regulating our commerce, do hereby declare our- 
selves ready and willing to enter into a covenant with Britain^ 
that she shall fully possess, enjoy, and exercise that right, for 
an hundred years to come ; the same being bond fide used for 
the common benefit; and, in case of such agreement, that 
every Assembly be advised by us to confirm it solemnly by 
laws of their own, which, once made, cannot be repealed 
without the assent of the crown. 

1 See Dr. Price's "Appeal on the National Debt." V. 


The last charge, that we are dishonest traders, and aim at 
defrauding our creditors in Britain, is sufficiently and authen- 
tically refuted by the solemn declarations of the British mer- 
chants to Parliament, (both at the time of the Stamp Act and 
in the last session,) who bore ample testimony to the general 
good faith and fair dealing of the Americans, and declared 
their confidence in our integrity ; for which we refer to their 
petitions on the journals of the House of Commons. And 
we presume we may safely call on the body of the British 
tradesmen, who have had experience of both, to say, whether 
they have not received much more punctual payment from 
us, than they generally have from the members of their own 
two Houses of Parliament. 

On the whole of the above it appears, that the charge of 
ingratitude towards the mother country, brought with so 
much confidence against the colonies, is totally without foun- 
dation; and that there is much more reason for retorting 
that charge on Britain, who, not only never contributes any 
aid, nor affords by an exclusive commerce, any advantages 
to Saxony, her mother country ; but no longer since than in 
the last war, without the least provocation, subsidized the 
Bong of Prussia while he ravaged that mother country, and 
carried fire and sword into its capital, the fine city of Dresden I 
An example we hope no provocation will induce us to imitate. 1 

1 The following preamble to a proposed resolution of Congress (not passed) 
was drawn up by Dr. Franklin, about the time that the above Vindication 
was written. S. 

" Whereas the British nation, through great corruption of manners and 
extreme dissipation and profusion, both private and public, have found all 
honest resources insufficient to supply their excessive luxury and prodigality, 
and thereby have been driven to the practice of every injustice, which avarice 
could dictate or rapacity execute; And whereas, not satisfied with the im- 
mense plunder of the East, obtained by sacrificing millions of the human 



CONGRESS. 1 (L. c.) 

Met at Philadelphia May 10. 1775. 

ART. I. 

THE Name of this Confederacy shall henceforth be THE 

species, they have lately turned their eyes to the West, and, grudging us the 
peaceable enjoyment of the fruits of our hard labour and virtuous industry, 
have for years past been endeavouring to extort the same from us, under colour 
of laws regulating trade, and have thereby actually succeeded in draining us 
of large sums, to our great loss and detriment; And whereas, impatient to 
seize the whole, they have at length proceeded to open robbery, declaring by 
a solemn act of Parliament, that all our estates are theirs, and all our property 
found upon the sea divisible among such of their armed plunderers as shall 
take the same; and have even dared in the same act to declare, that all the 
spoilings, thefts, burnings of houses and towns, and murders of innocent peo- 
ple, perpetrated by their wicked and inhuman corsairs on our coasts, previous 
to any war declared against us, were just actions, and shall be so deemed, 
contrary to several of the commandments of God (which by this act they pre- 
sume to repeal), and to all the principles of right, and all the ideas of justice, 
entertained heretofore by every other nation, savage as well as civilized; 
thereby manifesting themselves to be hastes humani generis ; And whereas it 
is not possible for the people of America to subsist under such continual 
ravages without making some reprisals; Therefore, Resolved, &c." 

1 A contemporary copy exists among the papers of the Continental Con- 
gress (vol. 47, folios 1-7), L. C. It is endorsed by Franklin: "Sketch of 
Articles of Confederation," and, in a different hand, " Read before Congress 
July 21, 1775." ED. 



The said United Colonies hereby severally enter into a firm 
League of Friendship with each other, binding [on] them- 
selves and their Posterity, for [their common] Defence against 
their Enemies, for the Security of their Liberties and Proper- 
ties, the Safety of their Persons and Families, and their mu- 
tual and general Welfare. 

ART. m. 

That each Colony shall enjoy and retain as much as it may 
think fit of its own present Laws, Customs, Rights, Privileges, 
and peculiar jurisdictions within its own Limits; and may 
amend its own Constitution, as shall seem best to its own 
Assembly or Convention. 


That for the more convenient Management of general In- 
terests, Delegates shall be annually elected in each Colony, 
to meet in General Congress at such Time and Place as shall 
be agreed on in the next preceding Congress. Only, where 
particular Circumstances do not make a Duration necessary, 
it is understood to be a Rule, that each succeeding Congress 
be held in a different Colony, till the whole Number be gone 
through ; and so in perpetual Rotation ; and that accordingly 
the next [Congress] after the present shall be held at Annapo- 
lis, in Maryland. 

ART. V. 

That the Power and Duty of the Congress shall extend to 
the Determining on War and Peace; the entring into Alli- 
ances, [sending and receiving ambassadors] (the reconcilia- 


tion with Great Britain) ; the settling all Disputes and Dif- 
ferences between Colony and Colony, [about Limits or any 
other cause,] if such should arise; and the Planting of new 
Colonies ; when proper. The Congress shall also make such 
general [ordinances] as, tho* necessary to the General Wel- 
fare, particular Assemblies cannot be competent to, viz. 
[those that may relate to our general] Commerce, or general 
Currency ; the establishment of Posts ; [and] the Regulation 
of [our common] Forces. The Congress shall also have the 
appointment of all General Officers, civil and military, ap- 
pertaining to the general Confederacy, such as General 
Treasurer, Secretary, &c. 


All Charges of Wars, and all other general Expences [to 
be] incurr'd for the common Welfare, shall be defray'd out 
of a common Treasury, which is to be supply'd by each 
Colony in proportion to its Number of Male Polls between 16 
and 60 Years of Age ; the Taxes for paying that Proportion 
[are] to be laid and levied by [the] Laws of each Colony. 


The Number of Delegates to be elected and sent to the 
Congress by each Colony shall be regulated, from time to 
time, by the Number of [such] Polls return 'd ; so as that one 
Delegate be allowed for every 50x30 Polls. And the Dele- 
gates are to bring with them to every Congress an authenti- 
cated return of the number of Polls in their respective Prov- 
inces, [which is] to be taken for the Purposes 


above mentioned. 



At every Meeting of the Congress, one half of the Mem- 
bers returned, exclusive of Proxies, be necessary to make a 
Quorum; and each Delegate at the Congress shall have a 
Vote in all Cases, and, if necessarily absent, shall be allow'd 
to appoint [any other Delegate from the same Colony to be 
his] Proxy, who may vote for him. 


An executive Council shall be appointed by the Congress 
[out of their own Body,] consisting of 12 Persons; of whom, 
in the first appointment, [one third, viz.] (four,) shall be for 
one Year, (four) for two Years, and (four) for three Years ; 
and as the said terms expire, the Vacancies shall be filled by 
appointments for three Years; whereby one Third of the 
Members will be changed annually. And each Person who 
has served the said Term [of three Years] as Counsellor, 
shall have a Respite of three Years, before he can be elected 
again. This Council, [of whom two thirds shall be a Quo- 
rum] in the Recess of Congress, is to execute what shall have 
been enjoin'd thereby ; [to] manage the general [Continental] 
Business and Interests; to receive applications from foreign 
Countries ; [to] prepare Matters for the Consideration of the 
Congress; to fill up, [pro tempore,] [continental] offices, that 
fall vacant ; and to draw on the General Treasurer for such 
Monies as may be necessary for general Services, and appro- 
priated by the Congress to such Services. 

ART. x. 

No Colony shall engage in an offensive War with any Na- 
tion of Indians without the Consent of the Congress, or great 


Council above mentioned, who are first to consider the Jus- 
tice and Necessity of such War. 


A perpetual Alliance, offensive and defensive, is to be 
entred into as soon as may be with the Six Nations; their 
Limits to be ascertained and secured to them ; their Land not 
to be encroached on, nor any private [or Colony] Purchases 
made of them hereafter to be held good ; nor any [Contract 
for Lands] to be made, but between the Great Council [of 
the Indians] at Onondaga and the General Congress. The 
Boundaries and Lands of all the other Indians shall also be 
[ascertain'd and] secur'd to them [in the same manner,] and 
Persons appointed to reside among them in proper Districts ; 
who shall take care to prevent Injustice in the Trade with 
them; [and be enabled at our general Expence,] by occa- 
sional small supplies, to relieve their personal Wants and 
Distresses. And all Purchases from them shall be by the 
Congress, for the General Advantage and Benefit of the 
United Colonies. 


As all new Institutions may have Imperfections, which only 
Time and Experience can discover, it is agreed, that the 
General Congress, from time [to time,] shall propose such 
amendments of the Constitution as may be found necessary ; 
which, being approv'd by a Majority of the Colony Assem- 
blies, shall be equally binding with the rest of the Articles of 
this Confederation. 


Any and every Colony from Great Britain [upon the con- 
tinent of North America,] not at present engag'd in our Asso- 


elation, may, upon application [and joining the said Asso- 
ciation,] be receiv'd into the Confederation, viz. [Ireland,] 
the West India Islands, Quebec, St. John's, Nova Scotia, 
Bermudas, and the East and West Floridas; and shall 
[thereupon] be entitled to all the advantages of our Union, 
mutual Assistance, and Commerce. 

These Articles shall be proposed to the several Provincial 
Conventions or Assemblies, to be by them considered; and 
if approved, they are advis'd to impower their Delegates to 
agree to and ratify the same in the ensuing Congress. After 
which the Union thereby establish'd is to continue firm, till 
the Terms of Reconciliation proposed in the Petition of the 
last Congress to the King are agreed to ; till the Acts since 
made, restraining the American Commerce [and Fisheries,] 
are repeal'd ; till Reparation is made for the Injury done to 
Boston, by shutting up its Port, for the Burning of Charles- 
town, and for the Expence of this unjust War; and till all 
the British Troops are withdrawn from America. On the 
Arrival of these Events, the Colonies return to their former 
Connection and Friendship with Britain: But on Failure 
thereof, this Confederation is to be perpetual. 


Whereas. 1 It hath pleased God to bless these countries 
with a most plentiful harvest, whereby much corn 

1 The Resolutions which follow were printed by Mr. Bigelow ("The Com- 
plete Works of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. V, p. 554) from the original Ms. in 
D. S. W. They had been earlier printed in the Archives of New Jersey, Vol. 
X, p. 691. The use of brackets, etc., in the following text is thus explained 
by Mr. Worthington C. Ford. "As I find some differences between the 
articles as printed in the New Jersey Archives, 1 have taken the original on 
the enclosed sheets, giving the parts erased, and also distinguishing the 
carets or interlinear words thus []. The 'free-trade' resolutions were 


and other provisions can be spared to foreign nations who 
may want the same, Resolved, That [after the expiration of 
Six Months] from (and after) * the [2oth of July Instant,] 
(being one full year after) * [being] the Day appointed by a 
late Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, for restraining 
the Trade of the Confederate Colonies, all Custom-Houses 
[therein] (if the Act be not first rescinded) shall be shut up, 
and all officers of the same discharged from the Execution 
of their several Functions, and all the Ports of the said Colo- 
nies are hereby declared to be thenceforth open to the Ships 
of every State in Europe that will admit of our Commerce and 
protect it; who may [torn off] and expose to sale free of all 
Duties their respective Produce and Manufactures, and every 
kind of Merchandize, excepting Teas, and the Merchandize 
of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British West India Islands. 

Resolved, That we will to the utmost of our Power, main- 
tain and support this Freedom of Commerce for [two] years 
certain after its Commencement, any reconciliation between 
us and Britain notwithstanding; and as much longer be- 
yond that term, as the late Acts of Parliament for restoring 
the Restraining the Commerce and fisheries, and altering 
the Laws and Charters of any of the Colonies, shall continue 

ENDORSED No 2. (Articles of Confederation) A proposal 
for opening the ports of N. A. bro* in by committee read July 
21, 1775 on motion postponed for future consideration. 

brought in on the same day as the articles, are written on the same paper, 
and all in B. F.'s Ms. I am quite sure they originally formed a part of the 
articles (although not numbered and placed in a different volume in the rec- 
ords of the Continental Congress). They were even endorsed 'Articles of Con- 
federation,' though a pen was afterwards run through the endorsement." ED. 
1 The words in italics show the erasures in the original Ms. B. 



Perth Amboy, August 29, 1775. 


The Committee of Safety acquainted you by a letter, dated 
the 26th instant, that we had ordered a ton of gunpowder to 
be sent to you, agreeably to your request. It left Philadel- 
phia early on Sunday morning, and yesterday I overtook the 
waggon on the road at Trenton, and left it proceeding on the 
journey. But, being informed this morning at Brunswick, that 
four waggon loads of powder had passed through that place on 
Friday evening for your city, and supposing it to be the pow- 
der, which you mentioned as having been expected, but not 
arrived, which occasioned your sending to us, and, as we 
have still too little at Philadelphia, I thought it best to stop 
that powder, and send it back again, and wrote accordingly 
to the waggoner by a person just setting out for Trenton. I 
write this, therefore, that you may not expect it at New York 
in consequence of our letter. With great respect and esteem, 
I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN 

787. TO ROBERT MORRIS 2 (P. c.) 

Brunswick, Aug* 29, 1775 


Understanding Since I came hither that 4 Waggon Loads 
of Gunpowder for New York, which had been landed at the 

1 Chairman of the Committee of Safety in New York. Dr. Franklin was 
chairman of a similar committee in Philadelphia. When this letter was 
written, he was on a visit to his son, the governor of New Jersey, who then 
resided at Perth Amboy. S. This letter was first published by Sparks. ED. 

2 From the private collection of Mr. Simon Gratz. ED. 


Neversinks, pass'd thro' here last Friday, I have dispatch'd 
an Order to our Waggoner, whom I pass'd yesterday at 
Trenton, to return back with the Ton we spar'd, since it will 
not be wanted at New York, and may be wanted with us. I 
hope our Committee will approve of this. If not I ought to 
pay the Expence. With great Esteem, I am Sir, 

Your most obed* Serv* 


788. TO JONATHAN WILLIAMS ' (p. c.) 

Philad* Sept. 12. 1775 

I this Day receiv'd yours per Capt. Falconer and am 
vastly oblig'd by your Industry in Packing and Dispatching 
my Things. Their Arrival makes me very happy ; tho' they 
are not yet come on Shore. I have not before written to you 
imagining you would hardly be found there : but now I find 
by Mr. Alex Letter (to whom my best Respects) that he 
advises you to stay for the Chance of something turning up 
to your Advantage. 

I have lately heard from your Father. He has made a 
temporary exchange of Houses and Furniture with a Mr. 
Putnam of Worcester, who now resides at your House in 
Boston, and your Family at his House in Worcester where 
they were all well about two Weeks since. My Sister is at 
Warwick with Mrs. Greene. She left her House lock'd up 
with the Furniture in it but knows not whether she shall ever 
see it again. I like your Conduct with respect to the Jersey 
Petition. The first Copy had indeed been presented before 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Louis A. Biddle. 


by Mr. Lee but that you could not know. If you determine 
to stay in England I shall do what I can to throw Business in 
your Way. But whether America is ever again to have any 
Connection with Britain either Commercial or Political is at 
present uncertain. All depends upon that Nation's coming 
to its Senses. Here we are preparing and determining to 
run all Risques rather than comply with her mad Demands. 

Mr. Ferguson who will deliver this is a Gentleman of ami- 
able Character in this Country, who visits England on some 
Business of his own. If you can do him any Service you will 
oblige me by it. I recommend him warmly to your Civili- 
ties, and likewise Mr. Stockton who goes over with him in- 
tending to study Law in the Temple. 

I desire to be affectionately and respectfully remembered 
to Mrs. Hewson, Miss Dolly Blunt, Mrs. Falconer, Mrs. 
Barwell, and all our other Female Friends. I am hurried, 
and can now only add that I am ever 

Your affectionate Friend and Uncle 


Philadelphia, Octob. 3, 1775. 


I am to set out to-morrow for the camp, and, having but 
just heard of this opportunity, can only write a line to say 
that I am well, and hearty. 1 Tell our dear good friend, [Dr. 

1 On the 30th of September, Congress appointed Dr. Franklin, Mr. Lynch, 
and Mr. Harrison, as a committee to confer with General Washington, con- 
cerning the best mode of supporting and regulating the Continental army. 
The committee proceeded to the camp at Cambridge, and the conference was 
held on the i8th of October. S. 


Price,] who sometimes has his doubts and despondencies 
about our firmness, that America is determined and unani- 
mous; a very few Tories and placemen excepted, who will 
probably soon export themselves. Britain, at the expense 
of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankees 
this campaign, which is twenty thousand pounds a head ; and 
at Bunker's Hill she gained a mile of ground, half of which 
she lost again by our taking post on Ploughed Hill. During 
the same time sixty thousand children have been born in 
America. From these data his mathematical head will easily 
calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us all, and 

conquer our whole territory. My sincere respects to , 

and to the club of honest whigs at .* Adieu. I am ever 

yours most affectionately, 


790. TO A FRIEND IN ENGLAND 2 (L. c.) 

Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775. 


I wish as ardently as you can do for peace, and should 
rejoice exceedingly in cooperating with you to that end. But 
every ship from Britain brings some intelligence of new 
measures that tend more and more to exasperate; and it 
seems to me, that until you have found by dear experience the 

1 The London Coffee House. ED. 

2 This letter was first printed in Mr. Vaughan's edition, but without the 
name of the person to whom it was written ; and it has never since been made 
public. Probably it was David Hartley. S. It is here printed from the 
printed copy in L. C. ED. 


reducing us by force impracticable, you will think of nothing 
fair and reasonable. 

We have as yet resolved only on defensive measures. If 
you would recall your forces and stay at home, we should 
meditate nothing to injure you. A little time so given for 
cooling on both sides would have excellent effects. But you 
will goad and provoke us. You despise us too much; 
and you are insensible of the Italian adage, that there is no 
little enemy. I am persuaded that the body of the British 
people are our friends ; but they are changeable, and by your 
lying Gazettes may soon be made our enemies. Our respect 
for them will proportionably diminish, and I see clearly we 
are on the high road to mutual Enmity hatred and detestation. 
A separation of course will be inevitable. 'Tis a million of 
pities so fair a plan as we have hitherto been engaged in, for 
increasing strength and empire with public felicity, should be 
destroyed by the mangling hands of a few blundering ministers. 
It will not be destroyed; God will protect and prosper it, 
you will only exclude yourselves from any share in it. We 
hear, that more ships and troops are coming out. We know, 
that you may do us a great deal of mischief, and are 
determined to bear it patiently as long as we can. But, if 
you flatter yourselves with beating us into submission, you 
know neither the people nor the country. The Congress are 
still sitting, and will wait the result of their last petition. 
Yours, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 



Philadelphia, December 9, 1775. 


I received your several Favours, of May i8th, June 30, 
and July 8, by Messrs. Vaillant and Pochard, whom, if I 
could serve upon your recommendation, it would give me 
great pleasure. Their total want of English is at present an 
obstruction to their getting any employment among us; but 
I hope they will soon obtain some knowledge of it. This is 
a good country for artificers or farmers; but gentlemen of 
mere science in Us belles lettres cannot so easily subsist here, 
there being little demand for their assistance among an indus- 
trious people, who, as yet, have not much leisure for studies 
of that kind. 

I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us 
of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when 
the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary fre- 
quently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly, that copy 
which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library 
here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts 
Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of 
the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much 
pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained 
a high and just esteem for their author. Your manuscript, 
"Idee sur le Gouvernement et la Roy ante" is also well relished, 
and may, in time, have its effect. I thank you, likewise, 
for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied Vattel. "Le 
court Expose" de ce qui est passe 1 entre la Cour Britanique et 

1 This letter appeared in Port Folio, July 31, 1802. ED. 

1775] TO CHARLES W. F. DUMAS 433 

Us Colonies" &c. being a very concise and clear statement 
of facts, will be reprinted here for the use of our new friends 
in Canada. The translations of the proceedings of our Con- 
gress are very acceptable. I send you herewith what of them 
has been further published here, together with a few news- 
papers, containing accounts of some of the successes Provi- 
dence has favoured us with. We are threatened from England 
with a very powerful force, to come next year against us. We 
are making all the provision in our power here to prevent that 
force, and we hope we shall be able to defend ourselves. 
But as the events of war are always uncertain, possibly, after 
another campaign, we may find it necessary to ask the aid of 
some foreign power. 

It gives us great pleasure to learn from you, that toute 
V Europe nous souhaite le plus heureux succes pour le maintien 
de nos libertes. But we wish to know, whether any one of 
them, from principles of humanity, is disposed magnanimously 
to step in for the relief of an oppressed people ; or whether, 
if, as it seems likely to happen, we should be obliged to break 
off all connexion with Britain, and declare ourselves an in- 
dependent people, there is any state or power in Europe, 
who would be willing to enter into an alliance with us for the 
benefit of our commerce, which amounted, before the war, 
to near seven millions sterling per annum, and must contin- 
ually increase, as our people increase most rapidly. Con- 
fiding, my dear friend, in your good will to us and our cause, 
and in your sagacity and abilities for business, the committee 
of Congress, appointed for the purpose of establishing and 
conducting a correspondence with our friends in Europe, 
of which committee I have the honour to be a member, have 
directed me to request of you, that, as you are situated at the 

VOL. VI 2 F 


Hague, where ambassadors from all the courts reside, you 
would make use of the opportunity that situation affords you, 
of discovering, if possible, the disposition of the several courts 
with respect to such assistance or alliance, if we should apply 
for the one, or propose the other. As it may possibly be 
necessary, in particular instances, that you should, for this 
purpose, confer directly with some great ministers, and show 
them this letter as your credential, we only recommend it to 
your discretion, that you proceed therein with such caution, 
as to keep the same from the knowledge of the English am- 
bassador, and prevent any public appearance, at present, 
of your being employed in any such business ; as thereby we 
imagine many inconveniences may be avoided, and your 
means of rendering us service increased. 

That you may be better able to answer some questions, 
which will probably be put to you, concerning our present 
situation, we inform you, that the whole continent is very 
firmly united, the party for the measures of the British min- 
istry being very small, and much dispersed ; that we have had 
on foot, the last campaign, an army of near twenty-five thou- 
sand men, wherewith we have been able, not only to block 
up the King's army in Boston, but to spare considerable 
detachments for the invasion of Canada, where we have met 
with great success, as the printed papers sent herewith will 
inform you, and have now reason to expect that whole prov- 
ince may be soon in our possession ; that we purpose greatly 
to increase our force for the ensuing year, and thereby we 
hope, with the assistance of a well disciplined militia, to be 
able to defend our coast, notwithstanding its great extent; 
that we have already a small squadron of armed vessels 
to protect our coasting trade, which have had some success 

1775] TO CHARLES W. F. DUMAS 435 

in taking several of the enemy's cruisers, and some of their 
transport vessels and store ships. This little naval force 
we are about to augment, and expect it may be more con- 
siderable in the next summer. 

We have hitherto applied to no foreign power. We are 
using the utmost industry in endeavouring to make saltpetre, 
Our artificers are also everywhere busy in fabricating small 
arms, casting cannon, &c. ; yet both arms and ammunition 
are much wanted. Any merchants, who would venture to 
send ships laden with those articles, might make great profit ; 
such is the demand in every colony, and such generous prices 
are and will be given ; of which, and of the manner of con- 
ducting such a voyage, the bearer, Mr. Story, can more fully 
inform you ; and whoever brings in those articles is allowed 
to carry off the value in provisions, to our West Indies, where 
they will fetch a very high price, the general exportation from 
North America being stopped. This you will see more par- 
ticularly in a printed resolution of the Congress. 

We are in great want of good engineers, and wish you could 
engage and send us two able ones, in time for the next cam- 
paign, one acquainted with field service, sieges, &c., and the 
other with fortifying seaports. They will, if well recom- 
mended, be made very welcome, and have honourable appoint- 
ments, besides the expenses of their voyage hither, in which 
Mr. Story can also advise them. As what we now request 
of you, besides taking up your tune, may put you to some 
expense, we send you for the present, enclosed, a bill for one 
hundred pounds sterling, to defray such expenses, and desire 
you to be assured that your services will be considered, and 
honourably rewarded, by the Congress. 

We desire, also, that you would take the trouble of receiv- 


ing from Arthur Lee, agent for the Congress in England, such 
letters as may be sent by him to your care, and of forwarding 
them to us with your despatches. When you have occasion 
to write to him to inform him of any thing, which it may be 
of importance that our friends there should be acquainted 
with, please to send your letters to him, under cover, directed 
to Mr. Alderman Lee, merchant, on Tower Hill, London; 
and do not send it by post, but by some trusty shipper, or 
other prudent person, who will deliver it with his own hand. 
And when you send to us, if you have not a direct safe oppor- 
tunity, we recommend sending by way of St. Eustatia, to the 
care of Messrs. Robert and Cornelius Stevens, merchants 
there, who will forward your despatches to me. With sincere 
and great esteem and respect, I am, Sir, &c. 



Philadelphia, Dec r 12, 1775 

I have just received, thro' the Hands of the Embassador of 
Spain, the much esteemed present your most Serene Highness 
hath so kindly sent me, of your excellent version of Salust. 1 

I am extreamly sensible of this Honour done me, and beg 
you would accept my thankful Acknowledgments. I wish 

1 The famous Latin and Spanish edition of Sallust, printed in 1 772, by 
Ibarra, at the Royal Press in Madrid. This edition, which is an imperial 
quarto, is considered by bibliographers as a masterpiece of typography. 
Dibden remarks, that it " is very rare, as the Prince, Don Gabriel, reserved all 
the copies for presents." S. 


I could send from hence any American literary Production 
worthy of your Perusal ; but as yet the Muses have scarcely 
visited these remote Regions. Perhaps, however, the late 
Proceedings of our American Congress, just published, may 
be a subject of some Curiosity at your Court. I therefore 
take the Liberty of sending your Highness a Copy, with some 
other Papers, which contain Accounts of the successes where- 
with Providence has lately favoured us. Therein your wise 
Politicians may contemplate the first Efforts of a rising State, 
which seems likely soon to act a Part of some Importance on 
the Stage of Human Affairs, and furnish materials for a 
future Salust. I am very old, and can scarcely hope to see 
the event of this great Contest ; but, looking forward, I think 
I see a powerful Dominion growing up here, whose Interest 
it will be, to form a close and firm Alliance with Spain, (their 
Territories bordering,) and who, being united, will be able, 
not only to preserve their own people in Peace, but to repel 
the force of all the other Powers in Europe. It seems, there- 
fore, prudent on both sides to cultivate a good Understanding, 
that may hereafter be so useful to both; towards which a 
fair Foundation is already laid in our minds, by the well 
founded Popular Opinion entertained here of Spanish Integ- 
rity and Honour. I hope my Presumption in hinting this 
will be pardoned. If in any thing on this side the globe I 
can render either service or pleasure to your Royal Highness, 
your Commands will make me happy. With the utmost 
Esteem and Veneration, I have the Honour to be your Serene 
Highness's most obedient and most humble Servant, 




Philadelphia, February n, 1776. 


The bearer, M. Arundel, is directed by the Congress to 
repair to General Schuyler, in order to be employed by him 
in the artillery service. He proposes to wait on you in his 
way, and has requested me to introduce him by a line to you. 
He has been an officer in the French service, as you will see 
by his commissions ; and, professing a good will to our cause, 
I hope he may be useful in instructing our gunners and ma- 
trosses. Perhaps he may advise in opening the nailed cannon. 
I received the inclosed, the other day, from an officer, Mr. 
Newland, who served in the two last wars, and was known by 
General Gates, who spoke well of him to me when I was at 
Cambridge. He is desirous now of entering into your ser- 
vice. I have advised him to wait upon you at New York. 

They still talk big in England and threaten hard; but 
their language is somewhat civiler, at least not quite so dis- 
respectful to us. By degrees they come to their senses, but 
too late, I fancy, for their interest. 

We have got a large quantity of saltpetre, one hundred 
and twenty tons, and thirty more expected. Powder-mills 
are now wanting. I believe we must set to work and make it 
by hand. But I still wish, with you, that pikes could be in- 
troduced, and I would add bows and arrows. These were 
good weapons, not wisely laid aside; 

1 Sparks was the first editor to include this letter. General Charles Lee 
(1731-1782) was at this time in command in New York, and was en- 
gaged in constructing works of defence. ED. 

1776] TO CHARLES LEE 439 

i st. Because a man may shoot as truly with a bow as 
with a common musket. 

2dly. He can discharge four arrows in the tune of charg- 
ing and discharging one bullet. 

3dly. His object is not taken from his view by the smoke 
of his own side. 

4thly. A flight of arrows, seen coming upon them, terrifies 
and disturbs the enemies' attention to their business. 

5thly. An arrow striking in any part of a man puts him 
hors du combat till it is extracted. 

6thly. Bows and arrows are more easily provided every- 
where than muskets and ammunition. 

Polydore Virgil, speaking of one of our battles against the 
French in Edward the Third's reign, mentions the great con- 
fusion the enemy was thrown into, sagittarum nube, from the 
English; and concludes, Est res profecto dictu mirabilis, ut 
tanlus ac potens exercitus a soils jere Anglicis sagittariis mctus 
juerit; adeo Anglus est sagittipotens, et id genus armorum 
valet. If so much execution was done by arrows when men 
wore some defensive armour, how much more might be done 
now that it is out of use. 

I am glad you are come to New York, but I also wish 
you could be in Canada. There is a kind of suspense in 
men's minds here at present, waiting to see what terms will 
be offered from England. I expect none that we can accept ; 
and, when that is generally seen, we shall be more unanimous 
and more decisive. Then your proposed solemn league and 
covenant will go better down, and perhaps most of your other 
strong measures will be adopted. I am always glad to hear 
from you, but I do not deserve your favours, being so bad a 
correspondent. My eyes will now hardly serve me to write 


by night, and these short days have been all taken up by such 
a variety of business, that I seldom can sit down ten minutes 
without interruption. God give you success. I am, with 
the greatest esteem, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 


Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1776. 


I rejoice that you are going to Canada. I hope the gout 
will not have the courage to follow you into that severe climate. 
I believe you will have the number of men you wish for. I 
am told there will be two thousand more, but there are always 

The bearer, Mr. Paine, has requested a line of introduction 
to you, which I give the more willingly, as I know his senti- 
ments are not very different from yours. He is the reputed, 
and, I think, the real author of Common Sense, a pamphlet 
that has made great impression here. I do not enlarge, 
both because he waits, and because I hope for the pleasure of 
conferring with you face to face in Canada. I will only add, 
that we are assured here on the part of France, that the 
troops sent to the West Indies have no inimical views to us 
or our cause. It is thought they intend a war without a pre- 
vious declaration. God prosper all your undertakings, and 
return you with health, honour and happiness. Yours most 
affectionately, B. FRANKLIN. 

1 Sparks was the first editor to publish this letter. ED. 



(A. P. s.) 

Lond, Feb. 24, 1776 

It is so long since I have had the pleasure of hearing from you, that I fear 
the administration has but too effectually stopt the channel of Communication 
between this Country and its Colonies. I have allways dreaded this event as 
fatal & final to the prospect of national reconciliation. When in any conten- 
tion the parties are not only studiously kept asunder, but mischief-making 
go-betweens exert every art, and practise every fraud, to inflame jealousies, 
animosities and resentments between them, it is but too obvious to fear that 
your own prophetic words sh'd be accomplished, that instead of that cordial 
affection, that once and so long existed, & that harmony so suitable to the 
happiness, safety, strength and wellfare of both countries, an implacable 
malice and mutual hatred such as we see subsisting between the Spaniards 
and Portuguese, the Genoese and Corsicans, sh'd fatally take root between the 
parent state and its Colonies. 

These fears are not abated by the Consideration of the incessant injuries 
w h have been, and w ch continue to be heapt upon our unhappy fellow sub- 
jects in America. These injuries are indeed brought upon them by the 
administration, who usurp the personality and authority, which they pretend 
to derive from the people, but from the distance between us and our Ameri- 
can brethren, and the false evidence transmitted from one to the other by a 
treacherous Administration, I greatly fear that national resentments will 
become indiscriminate. It is inseparable from human nature, that the mind, 
under any grievous suffering, especially injury, will be distracted and broken 
from its nearest and most affectionate connexions, w ch may happen to be but 
accidentally and collaterally involved. The affection of States to each other 
consists of the combination of personal affections, parentage and intercourse. 
When blood is shed, and the parent weeps for his son, the widow for her hus- 
band, brother for brother, an inextinguishable resentment arises, the appeal 

1 The original of this letter is in the handwriting of David Hartley, but 
signed " G. B," a signature which Mr. Hartley affixed to many of his letters 
to Dr. Franklin, written during the Revolution. Mr. Hartley was a member 
of Parliament, and opposed to the ministerial measures in regard to America. 
He made several attempts, at the beginning of the troubles, to effect a recon- 
ciliation between the two countries; and was not less active afterwards in 
endeavouring to procure a peace. He was likewise unwearied in his benevo- 
lent exertions for the relief of the American prisoners in England during the 
war. S. 


for blood ; Those unfortunates, who have lost their relations and friends, 
become furious ; and in those who have them yet to lose, horrors and fears 
take place of and drive out affection, the bonds of attachment are let loose, 
and all the tumultuous passions are set afloat. 

I know that you are as sensible of these consequences as any one can be. 
You have foreseen them afar off. You have predicted them ; you have done 
every thing in your power to soften animosities, and to put off the evil day. 
I hope still that you will not despair. Your age, experience, character, 
humanity and example of moderation in disregarding those injuries and 
insults, w ch have been offered to yourself, give you the best title to plead with 
your countrymen, to suspend their resentments, to discriminate those who 
have not injured them, and to remember the ties of affection between them- 
selves and their fellow-subjects in England. I see the influence of your Coun- 
sels in the Congress. I see the distinction clearly made between the ministry 
and the people of England ; but I fear that, at the same time, the seeds of 
jealousy are struggling to break out. 

The address from the Congress to the Assembly of Jamaica, speaks of the 
people of England as dissipated and corrupt. The people of England are far 
otherwise. They are just and generous; and, if it were put to the sense of 
the people of England, you would not be left in any doubt whether it was 
want of will or want of power, to do you justice : You know the blot of our 
constitution, by w h , to our disgrace, and to your misfortune, a corrupt min- 
istry, sheltered by Parliamentary influence, are out of our immediate Controll : 
A day of account may come, when the justice of the nation may prevail, and 
if it comes not too late, it may prove a day of reconciliation and cordial re- 
union between us and America. The trial is with you, to suspend your resent- 
ments from becoming indiscriminate, and a great trial it is [requiring] the 
assistance and guidance of good men like yourself to abate popular fury, but 
unexampled as the forbearance of America has hitherto been, believe me 
when the fury which among nations is inseparable from accumulated injury is 
rising, you must exert all your discretion to take at least the chance of keep- 
ing it till the fiery trial may abate. I cannot tell you what efforts the ministry 
have in their malicious purpose to try. I am amazed at their desperate and 
headstrong hardiness to proceed in an undertaking, which gives them so little 
prospect of success, and such certainty of the severest responsibility to the 
Country when they rouse themselves to the enquiry. 

The only machinery of the administration w 6 * 1 is to be feared, is, least the 
course of their injustice and tyranny in America, sh'd throw your Countrymen 
into fury beyond the bounds of forbearance, by cruelties exciting an implac- 
able hatred, and upon that hatred so raised by themselves, to attack the [?] 
of the people of England thereby to keep off enquiry from themselves. They 
are masters of all communication, & consequently of the representation of [ ?] 
to their own purposes. They will send false accounts to you of the disposi- 
tion of the people here towards you, and if they can drive you by any means 


to acts of irreconciliation they will endeavour to raise that implacable disposi- 
tion on this side of the water, upon the false suggestion of w ch they are now 
endeavouring to urge you on. We who are friends to both countries wish to 
prevent such fatal jealousies and misunderstandings. 

Many of your best friends in England regret the Congress has not made 
some specific and definite proposition, upon w ch the sense of the people of 
England might have been consulted. A people at large cannot enter into 
historical details, especially when facts are so studiously confounded and mis- 
represented, but still they c 4 judge of a simple proposition if any such had 
been made. I think it w* have been the most likely method to have capti- 
vated the good will of the nation. While the propositions of the Congress 
are generall and indefinite, the Ministry treat them as general words mean- 
ing little or nothing in fact. But I think, the further prosecution of hostile 
measures c'd not be supported by the ministry, if they were to refuse any defi- 
nite and equitable offer of accommodation made on the part of America. If 
it be possible, let the two countries be once more reunited in affection. It is 
not simply peace that we ought to strive for, but reconciliation w h is more 
than peace. We may have peace with foreign states, but it must be recon- 
ciliation alone that can reunite us as one people. However forlorn the pros- 
pect may be, let not the common friends slacken their endeavours. Constancy 
is our only hope. All is lost if we despair. I am dear Sir with the greatest 
regard and esteem, very affectionately yours, 

G. B. 

Q Philadelphia, March n, 1776. 

The Congress have appointed three Commissioners to go 
to Canada, of which number I have the honour to be one. 2 We 

1 First published by Sparks. General Schuyler had at this time the com- 
mand of the northern department and of the army operating in Canada. ED. 

2 The other commissioners were Samuel Chase and Charles Carroll. They 
were appointed on the I5th of February. To these were joined the Reverend 
John Carroll, a Catholic clergyman, afterwards Archbishop of Baltimore. He 
was not officially one of the Commissioners, but was requested to accompany 
them, it being supposed, that, from his religious sentiments, character, and 
knowledge of the French language, his presence and councils might be useful 
in promoting the objects of the mission with the Canadians. An American 
army was at that time in Canada, under the command of General Wooster, 
who was shortly after succeeded by General Thomas. S. 


purpose setting out some day this week. I take the liberty 
of mentioning this, as, possibly, a little previous notice may 
enable you more easily to make any preparation you shall 
judge necessary to facilitate and expedite our journey, which, 
I am sure, you will be kindly disposed to do for us. A friend 
with us will make our company four, besides our servants. 
We shall either go in carriages directly to Albany, or by 
water, if the river is open, from New York. Hoping soon for 
the pleasure of seeing you, I now only add, that I am, with 
the sincerest respect and esteem, Sir, &c. 


P. S. The bearer, M. La Jeunesse, has been considered 
by the Congress as a friend to the American cause, and he is 
recommended to your protection on his return to Canada. 


Brunswic, March 27, 1776. 

I received your obliging letter some days since at Phila- 
delphia; but, our departure from thence being uncertain, I 
could not till now acquaint your Lordship when we expected 
to be at New York. We move but slowly, and I think we 
shall scarce reach Newark before to-morrow, so that we can- 
not have the pleasure of seeing you before Friday. Being 
myself, from long absence, as much a stranger in New York 

1 William Alexander (1776-1783), called "Lord Stirling" (he claimed to 
be the sixth earl of Stirling), became a brigadier-general in the American 
army, and was stationed at New York, where, for a short time, he had the 
chief command after the departure of General Lee. The letter was first 
printed by Sparks. ED. 


as the other gentlemen, we join in requesting you would be so 
good as to cause lodgings to be provided for us, and a sloop 
engaged to carry us to Albany. There are five of us, and we 
propose staying in New York two nights at least. With 
great and sincere esteem and respect, I have the honour to be, 



Saratoga, April 15, 1776. 


I am here on my way to Canada, detained by the present 
state of the Lakes, in which the unthawed ice obstructs navi- 
gation. I begin to apprehend that I have undertaken a 
fatigue, that, at my time of life, may prove too much for me ; 
so I sit down to write to a few friends by way of farewell. 

I congratulate you on the departure of your late trouble- 
some neighbours. I hope your country will now for some 
time have rest, and that care will be taken so to fortify Bos- 
ton, as that no force shall be able again to get footing there. 
Your very kind letter of November i3th, enclosing Lord 
Chatham's and Lord Camden's speeches, I duly received. I 
think no one can be more sensible than I am of the favours 
of corresponding friends, but I find it impossible to answer 
as I ought. At present I think you will deem me inexcusable, 
and therefore I will not attempt an apology. But if you 
should ever happen to be at the same time oppressed with 
years and business, you may then extenuate a little for your 
old friend. 

1 Sparks was the first editor to publish this letter. ED. 


The notes of the speeches taken by your son, whose loss I 
shall ever deplore with you, are exceedingly valuable, as 
being by much the best account preserved of that day's 
debate. 1 

You ask, "When is the Continental Congress by general 
consent to be formed into a supreme legislature; alliances, 
defensive and offensive, formed; our ports opened; and a 
formidable naval force established at the public charge?" 
I can only answer at present, that nothing seems wanting but 
that "general consent." The novelty of the thing deters 
some, the doubt of success, others, the vain hope of recon- 
ciliation, many. But our enemies take continually every 
proper measure to remove these obstacles, and their endeav- 
ours are attended with success, since every day furnishes us 
with new causes of increasing enmity, and new reasons for 
wishing an eternal separation; so that there is a rapid in- 
crease of the formerly small party, who were for an indepen- 
dent government. 

Your epigram on Lord Chatham's remark has amply 
repaid me for the song. Accept my thanks for it, and for the 
charming extract of a lady's letter, contained in your favour 
of January 22d. I thought, when I sat down, to have 
written by this opportunity to Dr. Cooper, Mr. Bowdoin, and 
Dr. Winthrop, but I am interrupted. Be so good as to pre- 
sent my affectionate respects to them, and to your family. 
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours most 


1 Notes of Speeches made by Lord Chatham, Lord Camden, and others, in 
the British House of Lords, January 2Oth, 1775. See" Life of Josiah Quincy, 
Junior," pp. 318, 335- S. 



New York, May 27, 1776. 


We arrived here safe yesterday evening, in your post- 
chaise driven by Lewis. I was unwilling to give so much 
trouble, and would have borrowed your sulky, and driven 
myself ; but good Mrs. Schuyler insisted on a full compliance 
with your pleasure, as signified in your letter, and I was 
obliged to submit, which I was afterwards very glad of, part of 
the road being very stony and much gullied, where I should, 
probably, have overset and broken my own bones, all the 
skill and dexterity of Lewis being no more than sufficient. 
Through the influence of your kind recommendation to the 
innkeepers on the road, we found a great readiness to supply 
us with a change of horses. Accept our thankful acknowl- 
edgements ; they are all we can at present make. 

We congratulate you on the very valuable prize made at 
Boston. They threaten us with a mighty force from England 
and Germany. I trust that, before the end of the campaign, 
its inefficacy will be apparent to all the world, our enemies 
become sick of their projects, and the freedom of America be 
established on the surest foundation, its own ability to defend 
it. May God bless, and preserve you, for all our sakes as 
well as for that of your dear family. Mr. Carroll joins me in 
every hearty wish for prosperity and felicity to you and yours. 
With the highest esteem and respect, I am, dear Sir, &c. 


i First printed by Sparks. Philip John Schuyler (1733-1804) organized 
in 1776 an army for the invasion of Canada. ED. 


New York, May 27, 1776. 


We arrived here safe yesterday Evening, having left Mrs. 
Walker with her Husband at Albany, from whence we came 
down by Land. We pass'd him on Lake Champlain; but 
he returning overtook us at Saratoga, where they both took 
such Liberties, hi taunting at our Conduct in Canada, that 
it came almost to a Quarrel. We continued our Care of her, 
however, and landed her safe hi Albany with her three 
Wagon Loads of baggage, brought thither without putting 
her to any Expence, and parted civilly, though coldly. I 
think they both have an excellent Talent at making themselves 
Enemies, and, I believe, live where they will, they will never 
be long without them. 

We met yesterday two Officers from Philadelphia, with a 
Letter from the Congress to the Commissioners, and a Sum 
of hard Money. I opened the letter, and seal'd it again, 
directing them to carry it forward to you. I congratulate 
you on the great Prize carry'd into Boston. Seventy-five 
Tons of Gunpowder are an excellent Supply, and the 1000 
Carbines with Bayonets, another fine Article. The German 
Auxiliaries are certainly coming. It is our Business to pre- 
vent their Returning. The Congress have advised the 
erecting new governments, which has occasioned some Dis- 
sension in Philadelphia, but I hope it will soon be composed. 2 

1 Dr. Franklin's ill state of health compelled him to leave Canada before 
the other commissioners, and he returned in company with the Rev. Mr. 
Carroll. ED. 

2 It was resolved in Congress, "That it be recommended to the respective 


I shall be glad to hear of your Welfare. As to myself, I 
find I grow daily more feeble, and think I could hardly have 
got along so far, but for Mr. Carroll's friendly Assistance 
and tender Care of me. Some Symptoms of the gout now 
appear, which makes me think my Indisposition has been a 
smother'd Fit of that Disorder, which my Constitution 
wanted Strength to form completely. I have had several 
Fits of it formerly. 

God bless you and prosper your Councels, and bring you 
safe again to your Friends and Families. With the greatest 
Esteem and Respect, I am, &c. 



Philadelphia, June 21. 76 


I am much obliged by your kind Care of my unfortunate 
Letter, which at last came safe to Hand. I see in it a De- 
tail of the Mighty Force we are threatened with ; which how- 
ever I think is not certain will ever arrive; and I see more 
certainly the Ruin of Britain if she persists in such expensive 
distant Expeditions, which will probably prove more disas- 
trous to her than anciently her Wars in the Holy Land. 

I return Gen. Sulivan's Letter enclosed : Am glad to find 
him in such Spirits. and that the Canadians are returning 
to their regard for us. I am just recovering from a severe 

Assemblies and Conventions of the United Colonies, where no government 
sufficient for the exigencies of their affairs has been hitherto established, to 
adopt such form of government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives 
of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents 
in particular, and America in general." Journals^ May loth. 
VOL. VI 2 G 


Fit of the Gout, which has kept me from Congress & Com- 
pany almost ever since you left us, so that I know little of 
what has pass'd there, except that a Declaration of Inde- 
pendence is preparing. With the greatest Esteem and 
Respect, I am, 

D r Sir, 

Your most obedt. 

& most hum 6 Serv*. 

B F. 


Philadelphia, July 22, 1776. 

The bearer, Mr. Joseph Belton, some time since petitioned 
the Congress for encouragement to destroy the enemy's ships 
of war by some contrivances of his invention. They came 
to no resolution on his petition ; and, as they appear to have 
no great opinion of such proposals, it is not easy, in the mul- 
tiplicity of business before them, to get them to bestow any 
part of their attention on his request. He is now desirous 
of trying his hand on the ships that are gone up the North 
River; and, as he proposes to work entirely at his own ex- 
pense, and only desires your countenance and permission, I 
could not refuse his desire of a line of introduction to you, the 
trouble of which I beg you to excuse. As he appears to be a 
very ingenious man, I hope his project may be attended 
with success. With the sincerest esteem and respect, I have 

the honour to be, &c. 


1 First printed by Sparks. 



Philadelphia, August 28, 1776. 


The Congress being advised, that there was a probability 
that the Hessians might be induced to quit the British service 
by offers of land, came to two resolves for this purpose, which, 
being translated into German and printed, are sent to Staten 
Island to be distributed, if practicable, among those people. 
Some of them have tobacco marks on the back, that so 
tobacco being put up in them in small quantities, as the tobac- 
conists use, and suffered to fall into the hands of these people, 
they might divide the papers as plunder, before their officers 
could come to the knowledge of the contents, and prevent their 
being read by the men. That was the first resolve. A second 
has since been made for the officers themselves. I am de- 
sired to send some of both sorts to you, that, if you find it 
practicable, you may convey them among the Germans that 
shall come against you. 

The Congress continue firmly united, and we begin to 
distress the enemy's trade very much ; many valuable prizes 
being continually brought in. Arms and ammunition are 
also continually arriving, the French having resolved to per- 
mit the exportation to us, as they heartily wish us success; 
so that in another year we shall be well provided. 

As you may not have seen Dr. Price's excellent pamphlet, 
for writing which the city of London presented him a free- 

1 First printed by Sparks. Horatio Gates (1728-1806) was appointed in 
1776 to the command of that post of the Northern army which had been pre- 
viously commanded by General Sullivan. ED. 


dom in a gold box of fifty pounds' value, I send you one of 
them. 1 

My last advices from England say, that the ministry have 
done their utmost in fitting out this armament ; and that, if 
it fails, they cannot find means next year to go on with the 
war. While I am writing comes an account, that the armies 
were engaged on Long Island, the event unknown, which 
throws us into anxious suspense. God grant success. I 

am, &c. 


804. SKETCH 



THERE shall be a perpetual peace between Great Britain 
and the United States of America, on the following conditions. 

Great Britain shall renounce and disclaim all pretence of 
right or authority to govern in any of the United States of 

To prevent those occasions of misunderstanding, which are 
apt to arise where the territories of different powers border on 
each other, through the bad conduct of frontier inhabitants 
on both sides, Britain shall cede to the United States the 

1 Observations on Civil Liberty and the Justice and Policy of the War 
with America," 1776. ED. 

2 On the 26th of September, 1776, Dr. Franklin was appointed one of the 
Commissioners from Congress to the Court of France. Before his departure 
he sketched a brief outline of the terms upon which he supposed a peace 
might be made with Great Britain, in case an opportunity for a negotiation 
should offer. His propositions were submitted to the secret committee of 
Congress, but no occasion presented itself for using them. S. 


provinces or colonies of Quebec, St. John's, Nova Scotia, 
Bermuda, East and West Florida, and the Bahama Islands, 
with all their adjoining and intermediate territories now 
claimed by her. 

In return for this cession, the United States shall pay to 
Great Britain the sum of sterling, in annual 

payments ; that is to say, per annum, for and during 

the term of years. 

And shall, moreover, grant a free trade to all British sub- 
jects throughout the United States and the ceded colonies, 
and shall guaranty to Great Britain the possession of her 
islands in the West Indies. 


1. The having such propositions in charge will, by the law 
of nations, be some protection to the commissioners or am- 
bassadors, if they should be taken. 

2. As the news of our declared independence will tend to 
unite in Britain all parties against us, so our offering peace, 
with commerce and payments of money, will tend to divide 
them again. For peace is as necessary to them as to us; 
our commerce is wanted by their merchants and manufac- 
turers, who will therefore incline to the accommodation, even 
though the monopoly is not continued, since it can be easily 
made to appear their share of our growing trade will soon be 
greater than the whole has been heretofore. Then, for the 
landed interest, who wish an alleviation of taxes, it is demon- 
strable by figures, that, if we should agree to pay, suppose 
ten millions in one hundred years, viz. one hundred thousand 
pounds per annum for that term, it would, being faithfully 


employed as a sinking fund, more than pay off all their pres- 
ent national debt. It is, besides, a prevailing opinion in 
England, that they must in the nature of things sooner or 
later lose the colonies, and many think they had better be 
without the government of them; so that the proposi- 
tion will, on that account, have more supporters and fewer 

3. As the having such propositions to make, or any powers 
to treat of peace, will furnish a pretence for B. F.'s going to 
England, where he has many friends and acquaintance, 
particularly among the best writers and ablest speakers in 
both Houses of Parliament, he thinks he shall be able when 
there, if the terms are not accepted, to work up such a divi- 
sion of sentiments in the nation, as greatly to weaken its 
exertions against the United States, and lessen its credit in 
foreign countries. 

4. The knowledge of there being powers given to the 
commissioners to treat with England, may have some effect in 
facilitating and expediting the proposed treaty with France. 

5. It is worth our while to offer such a sum for the coun- 
tries to be ceded, since the vacant lands will in time sell for a 
great part of what we shall give, if not more ; and, if we are to 
obtain them by conquest, after perhaps a long war, they will 
probably cost us more than that sum. It is absolutely neces- 
sary for us to have them for our own security ; and, though 
the sum may seem large to the present generation, in less than 
half the term it will be to the whole United States a mere 

1 776] TO PHILIP MAZZEI 455 


Philadelphia. [Date uncertain.] 


It was with great pleasure, that I learned from Mr. Jeffer- 
son that you were settled in America; and, from the letter 
you favoured me with, that you liked the country, and have 
reason to expect success in your laudable and meritorious en- 
deavours to introduce new products. I heartily wish you all 
the success you can desire in that, and every other laudable 
undertaking, that may conduce to your comfortable establish- 
ment in your present situation. I know not how it has hap- 
pened, that you have not received an answer from the secre- 
tary of our Society. I suppose they must have written, and 
that it has miscarried. If you have not yet sent the books, 
which the Academy of Turin have done us the honour to 
present us with, we must, I fear, wait for more quiet times 
before we can have the pleasure of receiving them, the com- 
munication being now very difficult. 

All America is obliged to the Grand Duke for his benevo- 
lence to it, and for the protection he afforded you, and his 
encouragement of your undertaking. We have experienced, 
that silk may be produced to great advantage. While in 
London, I had some trunks full sent to me from hence, three 
years successively ; and it sold by auction for nineteen shill- 

1 This letter is reprinted from the PORT FOLIO (Vol. IV, p. 94). It is 
there dated "Philadelphia, December 3d, 1775." The mention of the Dec- 
laration of Independence in the letter proves this date to be wrong. It was 
probably written a short time before Dr. Franklin's departure for France. 
Philip Mazzei (1730-1816) came to Virginia to introduce the cultivation of 
the grape and the olive. He is best known as a correspondent of Thomas 
Jefferson. ED. 


ings and sixpence the small pound, which was not much below 
the silk of Italy. 

The Congress have not yet extended their views much 
towards foreign powers. They are nevertheless obliged by 
your kind offers of your service, which perhaps in a year or 
two more may become very useful to them. I am myself 
much pleased, that you have sent a translation of our Declara- 
tion of Independence to the Grand Duke ; because, having 
high esteem for the character of that prince, and of the whole 
imperial family, from the accounts given me of them by my 
friend, Dr. Ingenhousz, and yourself, I should be happy to 
find, that we stood well in the opinion of that court. 

Mr. Tromond of Milan, with whom I had the pleasure of 
being acquainted in London, spoke to me of a plant much 
used in Italy, and which he thought might be useful in Amer- 
ica. He promised, at my request, to find me some of the 
seeds, which he has accordingly done. I have unfortunately 
forgotten the use, and know nothing of the culture. In both 
these particulars I must beg information and advice from 
you. It is called ravizzoni. I send specimens of the seed 
enclosed. I received from the same Mr. Tromond four 
copies of a translation of some of my pieces into the fine 
language of your native country. I beg your acceptance of 
one of them, and of my best wishes for your health and pros- 
perity. With great esteem, I have the honour to be, &c. 




Near the beginning of the year 1776, Lord Howe was appointed to com- 
mand the British fleet in North America, and on the 3d of May was declared 
joint commissioner with his brother, General William Howe, for the purpose 
of endeavouring to effect a reconciliation with the colonies, conformable to 
the terms of an act of Parliament. In the first part of July, Lord Howe 
arrived at Staten Island, where he found his brother with the British army- 
He had previously prepared a Declaration, announcing the object of his mis- 
sion, which he designed for distribution in the colonies, accompanied with 
circular letters to the royal governors. Copies of these papers were forwarded 
to Congress, by whose order they were immediately published. Lord Howe 
likewise wrote a private letter to Dr. Franklin, then a member of Congress, 
which he answered. 

Meantime, as Congress took no steps to meet the advances of the British 
commissioners, in their proposals for a reconciliation, they commenced mili- 
tary operations, and the battle of Long Island was fought. General Sullivan 
was taken prisoner in this action, and conducted on board Lord Howe's ship. 
At his request, General Sullivan went to Philadelphia on parole, having in 
charge certain verbal communications to Congress, tending to open the way 
to some method of effecting the objects of the commissioners. After 
maturely considering the subject, Congress resolved to send a committee of 
their members to hold a conference with Lord Howe. The persons selected 
for this mission were Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge. 

In regard to the previous correspondence mentioned above, the following 
memorandum was afterwards written by Dr. Franklin. 

"These letters were published in London, to show the insolence of the 
insurgents, in refusing the offer of pardon upon submission, made to them by 
the British plenipotentiaries. They undoubtedly deserve the attention of the 
public for another reason, the proof they afford that the commerce of America 
is deemed by the ministry themselves of such vast importance as to justify 
the horrid and expensive war they are now waging to maintain the monopoly 
of it; that being the principal cause stated by Lord Howe; though their 
pensioned writers and speakers in Parliament have affected to treat that com- 
merce as a trifle. And they demonstrate further, of how much importance it 
is to the rest of Europe, that the continuance of that monopoly should be 
obstructed, and the general freedom of trade, now offered by the Americans, 
prevented ; since by no other means the enormous growing power of Britain 
both by sea and land, so formidable to their neighbours, and which must follow 
her success, can possibly be prevented." S. 



Eagle, June 2oth, 1776. 

I cannot, my worthy Friend, permit the Letters and Parcels, which I have 
sent in the state I received them, to be landed, without adding a word upon 
the subject of the injurious Extremities in which our unhappy disputes have 
engaged us. 

You will learn the Nature of my Mission, from the official Dispatches, 
which I have recommended to be forwarded by the same Conveyance. Re- 
taining all the Earnestness I ever express'd to see our Differences accommo- 
dated, I shall conceive, if I meet with the Disposition in the Colonies I was 
once taught to expect, the most flattering Hopes of proving serviceable in the 
Objects of the King's paternal Solicitude, by promoting the Establishment of 
lasting Peace and union with the Colonies. But, if the deep-rooted Prejudices 
of America, and the Necessity for preventing her Trade from passing into 
foreign Channels, must keep us still a divided People, I shall, from every 
private as well as public Motive, most heartily lament, that this is not the 
Moment wherein those great Objects of my Ambition are to be attained; and 
that I am to be longer deprived of an Opportunity to assure you personally 
of the Regard with which I am your sincere and faithful humble Servant, 


P.S. I was disappointed of the Opportunity I expected for sending this 
Letter at the Time it was dated, and have ever since been prevented by Calms 
and contrary Winds from getting here, to inform General Howe of the Com- 
mission with which I have the Satisfaction to be charged, and of his being 
joined in it. 

Off Sandy Hook, izth of July. 


Philadelphia, July 3oth, 1776. 


I received safe the Letters your Lordship so kindly for- 
warded to me, and beg you to accept my thanks. 
The official dispatches, to which you refer me, contain 

1 A copy also exists in the Auckland MSS. at Cambridge. ED. 

2 Several copies of this letter exist. It is dated July 2Oth in the trans, in 
L. C. (which Sparks and Bigelow followed). I have printed from the Auck- 
land MSS. ED. 


nothing more than what we had seen in the Act of Parlia- 
ment, viz. Offers of Pardon upon Submission, which I was 
sorry to find, as it must give your Lordship Pain to be sent 
upon so fruitless a Business. 

Directing Pardons to be offered to the Colonies, who are 
the very Parties injured, expresses indeed that Opinion of 
our Ignorance, Baseness, and Insensibility, which your 
uninform'd and proud Nation has long been pleased to enter- 
tain of us; but it can have no other effect than that of in- 
creasing our Resentments. It is impossible we should think 
of Submission to a Government, that has with the most wanton 
Barbarity and Cruelty burnt our defenceless Towns in the 
midst of Winter, excited the Savages to massacre our Peacefull 
Farmers, and our Slaves to murder their Masters, and is even 
now bringing foreign Mercenaries to deluge our Settlements 
with Blood. These atrocious Injuries have extinguished 
every remaining Spark of Affection for that Parent Country 
we once held so dear; but, were it possible for us to forget 
and forgive them, it is not possible for you (I mean the 
British Nation) to forgive the People you have so heavily 
injured. You can never confide again in those as Fellow 
Subjects, and permit them to enjoy equal Freedom, to whom 
you know you have given such just Cause of lasting Enmity. 
And this must impel you, were we again under your Govern- 
ment, to endeavour the breaking our Spirit by the severest 
Tyranny, and obstructing, by every Means in your Power, 
our growing Strength and Prosperity. 

But your Lordship mentions "the King's paternal solici- 
tude for promoting the Establishment of lasting Peace and 
Union with the Colonies." If by Peace is here meant a 
Peace to be entered into between Britain and America, as 


distinct States now at War, and his Majesty has given your 
Lordship Powers to treat with us of such a Peace, I may 
venture to say, though without Authority, that I think a 
Treaty for that purpose not yet quite impracticable, before we 
enter into foreign Alliances. But I am persuaded you have 
no such Powers. Your nation, though, by punishing those 
American Governors, who have fomented the Discord, 
rebuilding our burnt Towns, and repairing as far as possible 
the mischiefs done us, might yet recover a great Share of our 
Regard, and the greatest Part of our growing Commerce, 
with all the Advantage of that additional Strength to be 
derived from a Friendship with us ; but I know too well her 
abounding Pride and deficient Wisdom, to believe she will 
ever take such salutary Measures. Her Fondness for Con- 
quest, as a warlike Nation, her lust of Dominion, as an am- 
bitious one, and her wish for a gainful Monopoly, as a 
commercial One, (none of them legitimate Causes of war,) 
will all join to hide from her Eyes every view of her true 
Interests, and continually goad her on in those ruinous dis- 
tant Expeditions, so destructive both of Lives and Treasure, 
that must prove as pernicious to her in the End, as the 
Crusades formerly were to most of the Nations in Europe. 

I have not the Vanity, my Lord, to think of intimidating by 
thus predicting the Effects of this War ; for I know it will in 
England have the Fate of all my former Predictions, not to be 
believed till the Event shall verify it. 

Long did I endeavour, with unfeigned and unwearied 
Zeal, to preserve from breaking that fine and noble China 
Vase, the British Empire ; for I knew, that, being once broken, 
the separate Parts could not retain even their Shares of the 
Strength and Value that existed in the Whole, and that a per- 


feet Reunion of those Parts could scarce ever be hoped for. 
Your Lordship may possibly remember the tears of Joy 
that wet my Cheek, when, at your good Sister's in London, 
you once gave me Expectations that a Reconciliation might 
soon take Place. I had the Misfortune to find those Expec- 
tations disappointed, and to be treated as the Cause of the 
Mischief I was laboring to prevent. My Consolation under 
that groundless and malevolent Treatment was, that I re- 
tained the Friendship of many wise and good Men in that 
country, and, among the rest, some Share in the Regard of 
Lord Howe. 

The well-founded Esteem, and, permit me to say, Affection, 
which I shall always have for your Lordship, makes it Pain- 
ful to me to see you engaged in conducting a War, the great 
Ground of which, as expressed in your Letter, is "the neces- 
sity of preventing the American trade from passing into 
foreign Channels." To me it seems, that neither the Ob- 
taining or Retaining of any trade, how valuable soever, is 
an Object for which men may justly spill each other's Blood ; 
that the true and sure Means of extending and securing Com- 
merce is the goodness and Cheapness of Commodities; and 
that the profit of no trade can ever be equal to the Expence 
of compelling it, and of holding it, by Fleets and Armies. 

I consider this War against us, therefore, as both unjust 
and unwise; and I am persuaded, that cool, dispassionate 
Posterity will condemn to Infamy those who advised it; 
and that even Success will not save from some Degree of 
Dishonor those, who voluntarily engaged to Conduct it. I 
know your great motive in coming hither was the hope of 
being Instrumental in a Reconciliation ; and I believe, when 
you find thai to be impossible on any Terms given you to 


propose, you will relinquish so odious a Command, and re- 
turn to a more honourable private Station. 

With the greatest and most sincere Respect, I have the 
Honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient 
humble Servant, B. FRANKLIN. 


Eagle, off Staten Island, Aug* the i6th, 1776. 

I am sorry, my worthy friend, that it is only on the assurances you give me 
of my having still preserved a place in your esteem, that I can now found a 
pretension to trouble you with a reply to your favour of the 2ist past. 

I can have no difficulty to acknowledge, that the powers I am invested 
with were never calculated to negotiate a reunion with America, under any 
other description than as subject to the crown of Great Britain. But I do 
esteem those powers competent, not only to confer and negotiate with any 
gentlemen of influence in the colonies upon the terms, but also to effect a 
lasting peace and reunion between the two countries, were the temper of the 
colonies such as professed in the last petition of the Congress to the King. 
America would have judged in the discussion how far the means were ade- 
quate to the end, both for engaging her confidence and proving our integrity. 
Nor did I think it necessary to say more in my public declaration; not con- 
ceiving it could be understood to refer to peace on any other conditions but 
those of mutual interest to both countries, which could alone render it per- 

But, as I perceive, from the tenour of your letter, how little I am to reckon 
upon the advantage of your assistance, for restoring that permanent union 
which has long been the object of my endeavours, and which, I flattered my- 
self when I left England, would be in the compass of my power; I will only 
add, that, as the dishonour, to which you deem me exposed by my military 
situation in this country, has effected no change in your sentiments of per- 
sonal regard towards me, so shall no difference in political points alter my 
desire of proving how much I am your sincere and obedient humble servant, 



MY LORD, Philadelphia, September 8, 1776- 

I received your favour of the i6th past. I did not immedi- 
ately answer it, because I found that my corresponding with 

1 First printed by Sparks. 


your Lordship was disliked by some members of Congress. 
I hope now soon to have an opportunity of discussing with 
you, vivd voce, the matters mentioned in it; as I am, with 
Mr. Adams and Mr. E. Rutledge, appointed to wait on your 
Lordship, in consequence of a desire you expressed in some 
conversation with General Sullivan, and of a resolution of 
Congress made thereupon, which that gentleman has prob- 
ably before this time communicated to you. 

We propose to set out on our journey to-morrow morning, 
and to be at Amboy on Wednesday about nine o'clock, 
where we should be glad to meet a line from your Lordship, 
appointing the time and place of meeting. If it would be 
agreeable to your Lordship, we apprehend, that, either at 
the house on Staten Island opposite to Amboy, or at the 
governor's house in Amboy, we might be accommodated 
with a room for the purpose. With the greatest esteem and 
respect, I have the honour to be, my Lord, &c. 


"In Congress, 7*?* 2d t 1776. Congress being informed that General Sulli- 
van, who was taken prisoner on Long Island, was come to Philadelphia with 
a message from Lord Howe, 

" Ordered, that he be admitted, and heard before Congress. 

" General Sullivan being admitted, delivered the verbal message he had in 
charge from Lord Howe, which he was desired to reduce to writing, and 

" 7 1 ?' $d. General Sullivan having reduced to writing the verbal message 
from Lord Howe, the same was laid before Congress and read as follows." 

The following is the purport of the message sent from Lord Howe to Con- 
gress by General Sullivan. 

" ' That, though he could not at present treat with Congress, as such, yet 
he was very desirous of having a conference with some of the members, whom 
he would consider for the present only as private gentlemen, and meet them 
himself as such, at such place as they should appoint. 

" ' That he, in conjunction with General Howe, had full powers to com- 
promise the disputes between Great Britain and America on terms advan- 


tageous to both, the obtaining of which delayed him near two months in 
England, and prevented his arrival at this place before the declaration of 
independence took place. 

" * That he wished a compact might be settled at this time, when no decisive 
blow was struck, and neither party could say they were compelled to enter 
into such agreement. 

*' ' That, in case Congress were disposed to treat, many things, which they 
had not as yet asked, might and ought to be granted to them ; and that, if, 
upon the conference, they found any probable ground for an accommodation, 
the authority of Congress must be afterwards acknowledged, otherwise the 
compact could not be complete.' 

" 7 b ? r $*& Resolved, that General Sullivan be requested to inform Lord 
Howe, that this Congress, being the representatives of the free and independ- 
ent States of America, cannot, with propriety, send any of its members to 
confer with his Lordship in their private characters, but that, ever desirous of 
establishing peace on reasonable terms, they will send a committee of their 
body to know whether he has any authority to treat with persons authorized 
by Congress for that purpose on behalf of America, and what that authority 
is, and to hear such propositions as he shall think fit to make respecting the 

" Ordered, that a copy of the foregoing resolution be delivered to General 
Sullivan, and that he be directed immediately to repair to Lord Howe. 

" 7 b f r 6th. Resolved, that the committee ' to be sent to know whether 
Lord Howe has any authority to treat with persons authorized by Congress 
for that purpose, on behalf of America, and what that authority is, and to hear 
such propositions as he shall think fit to make respecting the same/ consist 
of three. 

" The members chosen Mr. Franklin, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Rutledge." 


Eagle, off Bedlow's Island, September loth, 1776. 

LORD HOWE presents his compliments to Dr. Franklin, and according to 
the tenour of his favour of the 8th, will attend to have the pleasure of meeting 
him and Messrs. Adams and Rutledge to-morrow morning, at the house on 
Staten Island opposite to Amboy, as early as the few conveniences for travel- 
ling by land on Staten Island will admit. Lord Howe, upon his arrival at the 
place appointed, will send a boat (if he can procure it in time), with a flag of 
truce, over to Amboy; and requests the Doctor and the other gentlemen will 
postpone their intended favour of passing over to meet him, until they are 
informed as above of his arrival to attend them there. 

In case the weather should prove unfavourable for Lord Howe to pass in 
his boat to Staten Island to-morrow, as from the present appearance there is 


some reason to suspect, he will take the next earliest opportunity that offers 
for that purpose. In this intention he may be further retarded, having been 
an invalid lately; but will certainly give the most timely notice of that in- 
ability. He, however, flatters himself he shall not have occasion to make 
further excuses on that account. 1 

"In Congress, 7 b f \"$th. The committee appointed to confer with Lord 
Howe, having returned, made a verbal report. 

"Ordered, that they make a report in writing, as soon as conveniently 
they can. 

" 7 1 ?* 17^. The committee appointed to confer with Lord Howe, agreable 
to the order of Congress, brought in a report in writing, which was read as 

" ' In obedience to the orders of Congress, we have had a meeting with 
Lord Howe. It was on Wednesday last, upon Staten Island, opposite to 
Amboy, where his Lordship received and entertained us with the utmost 

" ' His Lordship opened the conversation by acquainting us, that, though 
he could not treat with us as a committee of Congress, yet, as his powers en- 
abled him to confer and consult with any private gentlemen of influence in 
the colonies, on the means of restoring peace between the two countries, he 
was glad of this opportunity of conferring with us on that subject, if we 
thought ourselves at liberty to enter into a conference with him in that char- 

" ' We observed to his Lordship, that, as our business was to hear, he 
might consider us in what light he pleased, and communicate to us any 
proposition he might be authorized to make for the purpose mentioned; but 
that we could consider ourselves in no other character, than that in which we 
were placed by order of Congress. 

" ' His Lordship then entered into a discourse of considerable length, 
which contained no explicit proposition of peace except one, namely, that the 
colonies should return to their allegiance and obedience to the government of 
Great Britain. The rest consisted principally of assurances, that there was 
an exceeding good disposition in the King and his ministers to make that 
government easy to us, with intimations, that, in case of our submission, they 
would cause the offensive acts of Parliament to be revised, and the instruc- 

1 The committee being arrived at Amboy, opposite to the Island, and in 
possession of the Americans, the admiral sent over his barge to receive and 
bring them to him, and to leave one of his principal officers as a hostage for 
their safe return. The committee of Congress had not desired a hostage, and 
they therefore took the officer back with them. The admiral met them at 
their landing, and conducted them through his guards to a convenient room 
for conference. W. T. F. 
VOL. vi 2 H 


tions to governors to be reconsidered ; that so, if any just causes of complaint 
were found in the acts, or any errors in government were perceived to have 
crept into the instructions, they might be amended or withdrawn. 

" We gave it as our opinion to his Lordship, that a return to the domina- 
tion of Great Britain was not now to be expected. We mentioned the 
repeated humble petitions of the colonies to the King and Parliament, which 
had been treated with contempt, and answered only by additional injuries ; 
the unexampled patience we had shown under their tyrannical government; 
and that it was not till the last act of Parliament, which denounced war 
against us, and put us out of the King's protection, that we declared our inde- 
pendence ; that this declaration had been called for by the people of the 
colonies in general ; that every colony had approved of it, when made ; and 
all now considered themselves as independent States, and were settling or 
had settled their governments accordingly ; so that it was not in the power of 
Congress to agree for them, that they should return to their former depend- 
ent state ; that there was no doubt of their inclination to peace, and their 
willingness to enter into a treaty with Britain, that might be advantageous to 
both countries ; that, though his Lordship had at present no power to treat 
with them as independent States, he might, if there was the same good dispo- 
sition in Britain, much sooner obtain fresh powers from thence, than powers 
could be obtained by Congress from the several colonies to consent to a 

** ' His Lordship then saying, that he was sorry to find that no accommo- 
dation was likely to take place, put an end to the conference. 

" ' Upon the whole, it did not appear to your committee, that his Lord- 
ship's commission contained any other authority of importance than what is 
expressed in the act of Parliament, namely, that of granting pardons, with 
such exceptions as the commissioners shall think proper to make, and of 
declaring America, or any part of it, to be in the King's peace, upon submis- 
sion ; for, as to the power of inquiring into the state of America, which his 
Lordship mentioned to us, and of conferring and consulting with any persons 
the commissioners might think proper, and representing the result of such 
conversation to the ministry, who, provided the colonies would subject them- 
selves, might, after all, or might not, at their pleasure, make any alterations 
in the former instructions to governors, or propose in Parliament any amend- 
ment of the acts complained of, we apprehended any expectation from the 
effect of such a power would have been too uncertain and precarious to be 
relied on by America, had she still continued in her state of dependence.' 

"Ordered, that the foregoing report, and also the message from Lord 
Howe, as delivered by General Sullivan, and the resolution of Congress in 
consequence thereof, be published by the committee who brought in the fore- 
going report." 


Attest, CHAS. THOMSON, Sec r . 

1776] TO W. T. FRANKLIN 467 

807. TO W. T. FRANKLIN 1 (A. p. s.) 

Philad* Sept. 19. 1776 

I received yours of the i6th, in which you propose going 
to your Father, if I have no Objection. I have considered 
the matter, and cannot approve of your taking such a Journey 
at this time, especially alone, for many Reasons which I 
have not time to write. I am persuaded, that if your mother 
should write a sealed Letter to her Husband, and enclose it 
under cover to Gov*. Trumbull of Connecticut, acquainting 
him that it contains nothing but what relates to her private 
Family Concerns, and requesting him to forward or deliver 
it, (opening it first if he should think fit) he would cause it 
to be deliver'd safe without opening. I hope you do not 
feel any Reluctance in returning to your Studies. This is 
the Time of Life in which you are to lay the Foundations of 
your future Improvements, and of your Importance among 
Men. If this Season is neglected, it will be like cutting off 
the Spring from the Year. 

Your Aunt had the Carelessness to send the Bundle con- 
taining your Waistcoat, undirected, by Prichard. He forgot 
where he was to leave it, & with his usual Stupidity carried 
it to your House & brought it away again without asking 
a Question about it till he came home. He has also brought 
away the Razor Case you lent to Mr Adams. We shall 
send both when there is another Opportunity; for one has 
since been miss'd, that of Mr. Bache, who intended calling 
to see Mrs Franklin. There seems to be a kind of Fatality 

1 Son of William Franklin, Governor of New Jersey. ED. 


attending the Conveyance of your Things between Amboy 
& Philadelphia. Benny had written as I told you, but his 
Letter it seems was not sent. It was thought to be too full 
of Pothooks & Hangers, and so unintelligible by the divid- 
ing Words in the Middle and joining Ends of some to Begin- 
nings of others, that if it had fallen into the Hands of some 
Committee it might have given them too much Trouble to 
decypher it, on a Suspicion of its containing Treason, es- 
pecially as directed to a Tory House. He is now diligent in 
learning to write better, that he may arrive at the Honour 
of Corresponding with his Aunt after you leave her. Mr. 
& Mrs. Green went from hence on Monday, on their Return. 
I wish they may be in time to cross the North River safely 
at some of the upper Ferries. My Love to your good 
Mama, & Respects to her Friends in the Family. Your 
Aunts join in best Wishes, with 

Your affectionate Grandfather 


They desire I would express more particularly their Love 
to Mrs Franklin. 

808. TO W. T. FRANKLIN (A. p. s.) 

Philad* Sept. 22. 1776 


You are mistaken in imagining that I am apprehensive 
of your carrying dangerous Intelligence to your Father; for 
while he remains where he is, he could make no use of it 
were you to know & acquaint him with all that passes. 
You would have been more in the right if you could have 


suspected me of a little tender Concern for your Welfare, 
on Acct of the Length of the Journey, your Youth and In- 
experience, the Number of Sick returning on that Road with 
the Infectious Camp Distemper, which makes the Beds 
unsafe, together with the Loss of Time in your Studies, of 
which I fear you begin to grow tired. To send you on such 
a Journey merely to avoid the being obliged to Gov* Trum- 
bull for so small a Favour as the forwarding a Letter, seems 
to me inconsistent with your Mothers usual Prudence. I 
rather think the Project takes its rise from your own Inclina- 
tion to a Ramble, & Disinclination for Returning to College, 
join'd with a Desire I do not blame of seeing a Father you 
have so much Reason to love, They send to me from 
the Office for my Letter, so I cannot add more than to ac- 
quaint you, I shall by next post if desired send several Frank'd 
Covers directed to Gov* Trumbull, for Mrs F. to use as she 
has occasion. I write to him in the first now sent, to in- 
troduce her Request. She may desire her Husband to send 
his Letters to her under Cover to me. It will make but 2 
Days odds. The Family is well & join in Love to her & 


Your affectionate Grandfather 



Auray in Brittany, December 4, 1776 

I ARRIVED here on board the Reprisal, Capt. Wickes, now 
at anchor in Quiberon Bay, where she is waiting for wind to 

1 Translated from the French. Thomas Morris was a brother of Robert 
Morris. ED. 


get up to Nantes. I have many letters and large packages 
for you, and as I count upon leaving Nantes by post, I hope 
to have the pleasure of delivering them to you. I only send 
one of them now, not being sure that the others will not be 
opened at the post. Besides, they will cost you very dear. 
If our friends at Nantes think proper, I will send your pack- 
ages, and those for Mr. Deane, by express, so that you will 
have them almost as soon as if sent by post. 

When I left, our armies were very near each other, about 
1 8 miles from New York. There has been no general action, 
though one was expected every day. In various skirmishes 
our forces had beaten the enemy of equal or superior force, 
and our army is full of courage. There are daily arrivals 
in our ports of captures made from the enemy. We made 

two on our passage over of twenty days. 

[B. F.] 

Auray in Brittany, December 4, 1776. 

I HAVE just arrived on board the Reprisal, Captain Wickes, 
a small vessel of war belonging to Congress. We are in 
Quiberon Bay, awaiting a favourable wind to go on to Nantes. 
We left the Cape the 2gth of October, and have been about 
30 days from land to land. I remained on board three days 
after we dropped anchor, hoping to be able to go up to Nantes 
in our ship, but the wind continuing unfavourable, I came 
here to go on by land to Nantes. 

Congress in September named you, Mr. Jefferson, and 
myself to negotiate a treaty of commerce and friendship 

1776] TO SILAS DEANE 47* 

with the court of France. Mr. Jefferson, then in Virginia, 
declined. Thereupon Mr. Arthur Lee, at present in London, 
was named in his place. Our vessel has brought indigo for 
the account of Congress, to the value of about 3,000 ster- 
ling, subject to our order, to meet our expenses. Congress 
has appropriated, in addition, 7,000 for the same object, 
which the committee will transmit as soon as possible. 

I find myself here as near to Paris as I shall be at Nantes, 
but I am obliged to go there to provide myself with money 
for my journey, and to get my baggage, which was left on 
the ship. I shall endeavor to join you as soon as possible. 
I propose to retain my incognito until I ascertain whether 
the court will receive ministers from the United States. I 
have several letters for you from the committee, which I do 
not send forward because I know they contain matter of 
consequence, and I am not certain of their safety in that way. 
Besides, as I intend to take the post at Nantes, I imagine it 
will make but three or four days difference. We fell in with 
two brigantines at sea, one Irish and the other English 
which we captured and brought into Nantes. I do not 
know that the Captain can get permission to sell them here, 
as that would be in contradiction of the treaties between the 
two crowns. They are worth about 4,000. We have had 
a tedious passage, and I am weak but hope that the good air 
which I breathe on land will soon reestablish me, that I may 
travel with speed to join you in Paris, and there find you in 
good health. 

P. S. If you could find some means to notify Mr. 
Lee of his nomination, it would be well to do so. Perhaps 
the best way would be through the Department of Foreign 


affairs and the French Ambassador. The regular post 
would not be safe. 
I beg you to procure lodgings for me. 

Auray in Brittany, December 4, 1776. 

MY dear good friend will be much surprised to receive a 
letter from me dated in France, when neither of us had been 
expecting such a thing. I left Philadelphia the 26th of 
October, on a vessel of war, belonging to Congress, and in 
thirty days dropped anchor in Quiberon Bay. On our 
voyage we captured two British vessels and brought them 
with us. Our ship is destined for Nantes, but the wind 
being unfavourable to entering the Loire, we waited some 
days in Quiberon Bay, until becoming impatient to put my 
feet on land, I availed myself of a boat to get here, whence I 
shall go by land to Nantes, where I shall probably rest for 
a few days. Learning that the post leaves here this evening, 
I seize the opportunity to salute you, as well as my dear 
Madame Dubourg and Mesdlles. Prehesson and Basseport, 
whom I hope soon to have the pleasure of finding in good 

I suppose that Messrs. Deane and Morris have the honour 
of being known to you, and as I do not know their address, 
I take the liberty of addressing each of them a word under 
your cover, and beg you to transmit it to them. I shall see 
to the reimbursement of your expenses. 

I see that you have had bad news of our affairs in America, 

1776] TO JOHN HANCOCK 473 

but they are not true. The British, with the assistance of 
their ships, have gained a footing in two islands, but they 
have not extended their foothold on the continent, where we 
hold them at a respectful distance. Our armies were one or 
two miles apart when I left, and both entrenched. In differ- 
ent skirmishes which had occurred lately between parties 
of five hundred and a thousand men on each side, we have 
always had the advantage, and have driven them from the 
field with loss, our fire being more destructive than theirs. 
On the sea we have seriously molested their commerce, tak- 
ing large numbers of their ships in the West Indies, which are 
daily brought to our ports. But I do not care to dwell upon 
these subjects until I shall have the pleasure of seeing you. 



Nantes, December 8, 1776. 

In thirty days after we left the Capes of Delaware, we 
came to an anchor in Quiberon Bay. I remained on board 
four days, expecting a change of wind proper to carry the 
ship into the river Loire; but the wind seemed fixed in an 
opposite quarter. I landed at Auray, and with some diffi- 
culty got hither, the road not being well supplied with means 
of conveyance. Two days before we saw land, we met a 
brigantine from Bordeaux belonging to Cork, and another 
from Rochefort belonging to Hull, both of which were taken. 
The first had on board staves, tar, turpentine, and claret; 
the other cognac brandy and flaxseed. There is some 

1 At that time President of Congress. ED. 


difficulty in determining what to do with them; as they are 
scarce worth sending to America, and the mind of the French 
court, with regard to prizes brought into their ports, is not 
yet known. It is certainly contrary to their treaties with 
Britain to permit the sale of them, and we have no regular 
means of trying and condemning them. There are, however, 
many here, who would purchase prizes; we having already 
had several offers from persons who are willing to take upon 
themselves all consequences as to the illegality. Captain 
Wickes, as soon as he can get his refreshment, intends to 
cruise in the Channel. 

Our friends in France have been a good deal dejected with 
the Gazette accounts of advantages obtained against us by 
the British troops. I have helped them here to recover their 
spirits a little, by assuring them, that we still face the enemy, 
and were under no apprehension of their armies being able 
to complete their junction. I understand that Mr. Lee has 
lately been at Paris, that Mr. Deane is still there, and that 
an underhand supply is obtained from the government of 
two hundred brass fieldpieces, thirty thousand firelocks, 
and some other military stores, which are now shipping for 
America, and will be convoyed by a ship of war. The court 
of England (M. Penet tells me, from whom I have the above 
intelligence,) had the folly to demand Mr. Deane to be de- 
livered up, but were refused. 

Our voyage, though not long, was rough, and I feel myself 
weakened by it; but I now recover strength daily, and hi a 
few days shall be able to undertake the journey to Paris. I 
have not yet taken any public character, thinking it prudent 
first to know whether the court is ready and willing to re- 
ceive ministers publicly from the Congress; that we may 

1776] TO JOHN HANCOCK 475 

neither embarrass her on the one hand, nor subject ourselves 
to the hazard of a disgraceful refusal on the other. I have 
despatched an express to Mr. Deane, with the letters that I 
had for him from the Committee, and a copy of our commis- 
sion, that he may immediately make the proper inquiries, 
and give me information. In the mean time I find it generally 
supposed here, that I am sent to negotiate ; and that opinion 
appears to give great pleasure, if I can judge by the extreme 
civilities I meet with from numbers of the principal people 
who have done me the honour to visit me. 

I have desired Mr. Deane, by some speedy and safe means, 
to give Mr. Lee notice of his appointment. I find several 
vessels here laden with military stores for America, just 
ready to sail. On the whole, there is the greatest prospect 
that we shall be well provided for another campaign, and 
much stronger than we were last. A Spanish fleet has sailed 
with seven thousand land forces foot, and some horse. Their 
destination is unknown, but supposed against the Portu- 
guese hi Brazil. Both France and England are preparing 
strong fleets, and it is said, that all the powers of Europe 
are preparing for war, apprehending that a general one 
cannot be very far distant. When I arrive at Paris, I shall 
be able to write with more certainty. I beg you to present 
my duty to Congress, and assure them of my most faithful 
endeavours in their service. With the sincerest esteem and 
respect, I have the honour to be, &c. 




Nantes, Decembers. 1776. 


After a short but rough passage of thirty days, we an- 
chored in Quiberon Bay, the wind not suiting to enter the 
Loire. Captain Wickes did every thing in his power to make 
the voyage comfortable to me ; and I was much pleased with 
what I saw of his conduct as an officer, when on supposed 
occasions we made preparation for engagement, the good 
order and readiness, with which it was done, being far be- 
yond my expectations, and I believe equal to any thing of 
the kind in the best ships of the King's fleet. He seems to 
have also a very good set of officers under him. I hope they 
will all in good time be promoted. He met and took two 
prizes, brigantines, one belonging to Cork, laden with staves, 
pitch, tar, turpentine, and claret; the other to Hull, with a 
cargo of flaxseed and brandy. The captains have made 
some propositions of ransom, which, perhaps, may be ac- 
cepted, as there is yet no means of condemning them here, 
and they are scarce worth sending to America. The ship is 
yet in Quiberon Bay, with her prizes. I came hither from 
thence, seventy miles, by land. I am made extremely wel- 
come here, where America has many friends. As soon as I 
have recovered strength enough for the journey, which I 
hope will be in a very few days, I shall set out for Paris. My 
letter to the President will inform you of some other particu- 
lars. With great esteem, I have the honour to be, &c. 



P. S. December loth. I have just learned that eighty 
pieces of cannon, all brass, with carriages, braces, and every 
thing fit for immediate service, were embarked hi a frigate 
from Havre, which is sailed; the rest were to go in another 
frigate of thirty-six guns. 


Paris, December 23, 1776. 

Sm: I beg leave to acquaint your Excellency that we 
are appointed and fully empowered by the Congress of the 
United States of America to propose and negotiate a treaty 
of amity and commerce between France and the United States. 
The just and generous treatment their trading ships have 
received by a free admission into the ports of this kingdom, 
with other considerations of respect, has induced the Congress 
to make this offer first to France. We request an audience 
of your Excellency, wherein we may have an opportunity 
of presenting our credentials, and we flatter ourselves that 
the propositions we are authorized to make are such as will 
not be found unacceptable. 

With the greatest regard, we have the honour to be, 
Your Excellency's most obedient 

and most humble servants, 



University of Toroito 








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