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Title: The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, [Vol 3 of 3]
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, [Vol 3 of 3]" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


  This is Volume 3 of a 3-volume set. The other two volumes are also
  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  More detail can be found at the end of the book.


  VOL. 3.

  [Illustration: (Stalker Sculptor.)]


  for Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, Paternoster Row, London.












  Albany papers; containing, I. reasons and motives on which the
  plan of union for the colonies was formed;--II. reasons against
  partial unions;--III. and the plan of union drawn by B. F. and
  unanimously agreed to by the commissioners from New Hampshire,
  Massachusett's Bay, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland,
  and Pensylvania, met in congress at Albany, in July 1754, to consider
  of the best means of defending the king's dominions in America,
  &c. a war being then apprehended; with the reasons or
  motives for each article of the plan                                3

  Albany papers continued. I. letter to Governor Shirley, concerning
  the imposition of direct taxes upon the colonies, without their
  consent                                                            30

  II. Letter to the same; concerning direct taxes in the colonies imposed
  without consent, indirect taxes, and the Albany plan of
  union                                                              31

  III. Letter to the same, on the subject of uniting the colonies more
  intimately with Great Britain, by allowing them representatives
  in parliament                                                      37

  Plan for settling two Western colonies in North America, with reasons
  for the plan, 1754                                                 41

  Report of the committee of aggrievances of the assembly of Pensylvania,
  dated Feb. 22, 1757                                                50

  An historical review of the constitution and government of Pensylvania,
  from its origin; so far as regards the several points of controversy
  which have, from time to time, arisen between the several
  governors of that province, and their several assemblies. Founded
  on authentic documents                                             59

  The interest of Great Britain considered, with regard to her colonies,
  and the acquisitions of Canada and Guadaloupe                      89

  Remarks and facts relative to the American paper-money            144

  To the freemen of Pensylvania, on the subject of a particular
  militia-bill, rejected by the proprietor's deputy or governor     157

  Preface by a member of the Pensylvanian assembly (Dr. Franklin)
  to the speech of Joseph Galloway, Esq. one of the members for
  Philadelphia county; in answer to the speech of John Dickinson,
  Esq. delivered in the house of the assembly of the province of
  Pensylvania, May 24, 1764, on occasion of a petition drawn up
  by order, and then under the consideration of the house, praying
  his majesty for a royal, in lieu of a proprietary government      163

  Remarks on a late protest against the appointment of Mr. Franklin
  as agent for this province (of Pensylvania)                       203

  Remarks on a plan for the future management of Indian affairs     216


  Causes of the American discontents before 1768                    225

  Letter concerning the gratitude of America, and the probability and
  effects of an union with Great Britain; and concerning the repeal
  or suspension of the stamp act                                    239

  Letter from Governor Pownall to Dr. Franklin, concerning an equal
  communication of rights, privileges, &c. to America by Great
  Britain                                                           243

  Minutes to the foregoing, by Dr. Franklin                         244

  The examination of Dr. Franklin before the English house of commons,
  in February, 1766, relative to the repeal of the American
  stamp act                                                         245

  Attempts of Dr. Franklin for conciliation of Great Britain with the
  colonies                                                          286

  Queries from Mr. Strahan                                          287

  Answer to the preceding queries                                   290

  State of the constitution of the colonies, by Governor Pownall; with
  remarks by Dr. Franklin                                           299

  Concerning the dissentions between England and America            310

  A Prussian edict, assuming claims over Britain                    311

  Preface by the British editor (Dr. Franklin) to "The votes and
  proceedings of the freeholders, and other inhabitants of the town
  of Boston, in town-meeting assembled according to law (published
  by order of the town), &c."                                       317

  Account of governor Hutchinson's letters                          322

  Rules for reducing a great empire to a small one, presented to a late
  minister, when he entered upon his administration                 334

  State of America on Dr. Franklin's arrival there                  346

  Proposed vindication and offer from congress to parliament, in
  1775                                                              347

  Reprobation of Mr. Strahan's parliamentary conduct                354

  Conciliation hopeless from the conduct of Great Britain to
  America                                                           355

  Account of the first campaign made by the British forces in
  America                                                           357

  Probability of a separation                                       358

  Letter to Monsieur Dumas, urging him to sound the several courts
  of Europe, by means of their ambassadors at the Hague, as to any
  assistance they may be disposed to afford America in her struggle
  for independence                                                  360

  Letter from Lord Howe to Dr. Franklin                             365

  Dr. Franklin's answer to Lord Howe                                367

  Comparison of Great Britain and America as to credit, in 1777     372


  Remarks concerning the savages of North America                   383

  The internal state of America; being a true description of the interest
  and policy of that vast continent                                 391

  Information to those who would remove to America                  398

  Concerning new settlements in America                             409

  A comparison of the conduct of the ancient Jews, and of the
  Antifederalists in the United States of America                   410

  Final speech of Dr. Franklin in the late federal convention       416


  The busy-body                                                     421

  The way to wealth, as clearly shown in the preface of an old Pensylvania
  almanack, intitled, Poor Richard Improved                         453

  Advice to a young tradesman                                       463

  Necessary hints to those that would be rich                       466

  The way to make money plenty in every man's pocket                467

  New mode of lending money                                         468

  An economical project                                             469

  On early marriages                                                475

  Effect of early impressions on the mind                           478

  The whistle                                                       480

  A petition to those who have the superintendency of education     483

  The handsome and deformed leg                                     485

  Morals of chess                                                   488

  The art of procuring pleasant dreams                              493

  Dialogue between Franklin and the gout                            499

  On the death of relatives                                         507

  The ephemera an emblem of human life                              508


  Letter to Sir Hans Sloane                                         513

  Letter to Michael Collinson, Esq.                                 514

  Letter respecting captain Cook                                    515

  An address to the public, from the Pensylvania society for promoting
  the abolition of slavery, and the relief of free negroes, unlawfully
  held in bondage                                                   517

  Plan for improving the condition of the free blacks               519

  Paper: a poem                                                     523

  Plain truth; or, serious considerations on the present state of the
  city of Philadelphia, and province of Pensylvania                 524

  Four letters to Mr. Whetley                                      543*


  Letter from the late Dr. Price to a gentleman in America          543

  Letter from Mr. Thomas Jefferson to the late Dr. William Smith, of
  Philadelphia                                                      545

  Letter from the late Dr. Joseph Priestly                          547


  _Page._        _Line._
      24             8 from the bottom: for DAY, read LAY.
      39             6, for iuppose, read suppose.
      60             5 from the bottom: for Cruger, read Stuber.
     449             7 from the bottom: for PLEIADS, read PLEIADES.






[_The papers under the present head, of American Politics before the
Troubles, in the volume of Dr. Franklin's works, printed for Johnson
in 1799, from which they are nearly all taken, were divided into
two parts, as if distinct from each other, viz. Papers on American
Subjects before the Troubles; and Papers on Subjects of Provincial
Politics. As we can see no grounds for this distinction, we have
brought them together, and have placed them in the order of their
dates, conceiving such to be the natural order of papers furnishing
materials for history._]







  _Containing_, I. _Reasons and Motives on which the_ PLAN _of_
  UNION _for the_ COLONIES _was formed_;--II. _Reasons against
  partial Unions_;--III. _And the Plan of Union drawn by B. F. and
  unanimously agreed to by the Commissioners from New Hampshire,
  Massachusett's Bay, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, and
  Pensylvania[1], met in Congress at Albany, in July 1754, to
  consider of the best Means of defending the King's Dominions in
  America, &c. a War being then apprehended; with the Reasons or
  Motives for each Article of the Plan._

B. F. was one of the four commissioners from Pensylvania[2].

I. _Reasons and Motives on which the Plan of Union was formed._

The commissioners from a number of the northern colonies being
met at Albany, and considering the difficulties that have always
attended the most necessary general measures for the common defence,
or for the annoyance of the enemy, when they were to be carried
through the several particular assemblies of all the colonies;
some assemblies being before at variance with their governors or
councils, and the several branches of the government not on terms of
doing business with each other; others taking the opportunity, when
their concurrence is wanted, to push for favourite laws, powers,
or points, that they think could not at other times be obtained,
and so creating disputes and quarrels; one assembly waiting to see
what another will do, being afraid of doing more than its share, or
desirous of doing less; or refusing to do any thing, because its
country is not at present so much exposed as others, or because
another will reap more immediate advantage; from one or other of
which causes, the assemblies of six (out of seven) colonies applied
to, had granted no assistance to Virginia, when lately invaded by
the French, though purposely convened, and the importance of the
occasion earnestly urged upon them; considering moreover, that one
principal encouragement to the French, in invading and insulting the
British American dominions, was their knowledge of our disunited
state, and of our weakness arising from such want of union; and that
from hence different colonies were, at different times, extremely
harassed, and put to great expence both of blood and treasure, who
would have remained in peace, if the enemy had had cause to fear the
drawing on themselves the resentment and power of the whole; the
said commissioners, considering also the present incroachments of
the French, and the mischievous consequences that may be expected
from them, if not opposed with our force, came to an unanimous
resolution,--_That an union of the colonies is absolutely necessary
for their preservation_.

The manner of forming and establishing this union was the next point.
When it was considered, that the colonies were seldom all in equal
danger at the same time, or equally near the danger, or equally
sensible of it; that some of them had particular interests to manage,
with which an union might interfere; and that they were extremely
jealous of each other; it was thought impracticable to obtain a joint
agreement of all the colonies to an union, in which the expence and
burthen of defending any of them should be divided among them all;
and if ever acts of assembly in all the colonies could be obtained
for that purpose, yet as any colony, on the least dissatisfaction,
might repeal its own act and thereby withdraw itself from the union,
it would not be a stable one, or such as could be depended on: for if
only one colony should, on any disgust withdraw itself, others might
think it unjust and unequal that they, by continuing in the union,
should be at the expence of defending a colony, which refused to
bear its proportionable part, and would therefore one after another,
withdraw, till the whole crumbled into its original parts. Therefore
the commissioners came to another previous resolution, viz. _That it
was necessary the union should be established by act of parliament_.

They then proceeded to sketch out a _plan of union_, which they
did in a plain and concise manner, just sufficient to show
their sentiments of the kind of union that would best suit the
circumstances of the colonies, be most agreeable to the people,
and most effectually promote his majesty's service and the general
interest of the British empire. This was respectfully sent to the
assemblies of the several colonies for their consideration, and to
receive such alterations and improvements as they should think fit
and necessary; after which it was proposed to be transmitted to
England to be perfected, and the establishment of it there humbly

This was as much as the commissioners could do[3].

       *       *       *       *       *

II. _Reasons against partial Unions._

It was proposed by some of the commissioners, to form the colonies
into two or three distinct unions; but for these reasons that
proposal was dropped even by those that made it: [viz.]

1. In all cases where the strength of the whole was necessary to be
used against the enemy, there would be the same difficulty in degree,
to bring the several unions to unite together, as now the several
colonies; and consequently the same delays on our part and advantage
to the enemy.

2. Each union would separately be weaker than when joined by the
whole, obliged to exert more force, be oppressed by the expence, and
the enemy less deterred from attacking it.

3. Where particular colonies have _selfish views_, as New York with
regard to Indian trade and lands; or are less exposed, being covered
by others, as New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland; or
have particular whims and prejudices against warlike measures in
general, as Pensylvania, where the Quakers predominate; such colonies
would have more weight in a partial union, and be better able to
oppose and obstruct the measures necessary for the general good, than
where they are swallowed up in the general union.

4. The Indian trade would be better regulated by the union of the
whole than by partial unions. And as Canada is chiefly supported by
that trade, if it could be drawn into the hands of the English (as
it might be if the Indians were supplied on moderate terms, and by
honest traders appointed by and acting for the public) that alone
would contribute greatly to the weakening of our enemies.

5. The establishing of new colonies westward on the Ohio and the
lakes (a matter of considerable importance to the increase of British
trade and power, to the breaking that of the French, and to the
protection and security of our present colonies,) would best be
carried on by a joint union.

6. It was also thought, that by the frequent meetings-together
of commissioners or representatives from all the colonies, the
circumstances of the whole would be better known, and the good of
the whole better provided for; and that the colonies would by this
connection learn to consider themselves, not as so many independent
states, but as members of the same body; and thence be more ready to
afford assistance and support to each other, and to make diversions
in favour even of the most distant, and to join cordially in any
expedition for the benefit of all against the common enemy.

These were the principal reasons and motives for forming the plan of
union as it stands. To which may be added this, that as the union of
the *******

    The remainder of this article is lost.

III. _Plan of a proposed Union of the several Colonies of
Massachusett's Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New
York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
and South Carolina, for their mutual Defence and Security, and
for extending the British Settlements in North America, with the
Reasons and Motives for each Article of the Plan [as far as could be

It is proposed--That humble application be made for an act of
parliament of Great Britain, by virtue of which one general
government may be formed in America, including all the said colonies,
within and under which government each colony may retain its present
constitution, except in the particulars wherein a change may be
directed by the said act, as hereafter follows[4].


_That the said general government be administered by a president
general, to be appointed and supported by the crown; and a grand
council, to be chosen by the representatives of the people of the
several colonies met in their respective assemblies._

It was thought that it would be best the president general should be
supported as well as appointed by the crown; that so all disputes
between him and the grand council concerning his salary might be
prevented; as such disputes have been frequently of mischievous
consequence in particular colonies, especially in time of public
danger. The quit-rents of crown-lands in America might in a short
time be sufficient for this purpose.--The choice of members for the
grand council is placed in the house of representatives of each
government, in order to give the people a share in this new general
government, as the crown has its share by the appointment of the

But it being proposed by the gentlemen of the council of New York,
and some other counsellors among the Commissioners, to alter the
plan in this particular, and to give the governors and council of
the several provinces a share in the choice of the grand council, or
at least a power of approving and confirming or of disallowing the
choice made by the house of representatives, it was said:

"That the government or constitution proposed to be formed by the
plan, consists of two branches; a president general appointed by
the crown, and a council chosen by the people, or by the people's
representatives, which is the same thing.

"That by a subsequent article, the council chosen by the people can
effect nothing without the consent of the president general appointed
by the crown; the crown possesses therefore full one half of the
power of this constitution.

"That in the British constitution, the crown is supposed to possess
but one third, the lords having their share.

"That this constitution seemed rather more favorable for the crown.

"That it is essential, to English liberty, [that] the subject should
not be taxed but by his own consent, or the consent of his elected

"That taxes to be laid and levied by this proposed constitution will
be proposed and agreed to by the representatives of the people, if
the plan in this particular be preserved:

"But if the proposed alteration should take place, it seemed as if
matters may be so managed, as that the crown shall finally have the
appointment not only of the president general, but of a majority of
the grand council; for seven out of eleven governors and councils are
appointed by the crown:

"And so the people in all the colonies would in effect be taxed by
their governors.

"It was therefore apprehended, that such alterations of the plan
would give great dissatisfaction, and that the colonies could not be
easy under such a power in governors, and such an infringement of
what they take to be English liberty.

"Besides, the giving a share in the choice of the grand council would
not be equal with respect to all the colonies, as their constitutions
differ. In some, both governor and council are appointed by the
crown. In others, they are both appointed by the proprietors. In
some, the people have a share in the choice of the council; in
others, both government and council are wholly chosen by the people.
But the house of representatives is every where chosen by the people;
and therefore, placing the right of choosing the grand council in the
representatives is equal with respect to all.

"That the grand council is intended to represent all the several
houses of representatives of the colonies, as a house of
representatives doth the several towns or counties of a colony. Could
all the people of a colony be consulted and unite in public measures,
a house of representatives would be needless: and could all the
assemblies conveniently consult and unite in general measures, the
grand council would be unnecessary.

"That a house of commons or the house of representatives, and the
grand council, are thus alike in their nature and intention. And
as it would seem improper that the king or house of lords should
have a power of disallowing or appointing members of the house of
commons;--so likewise, that a governor and council appointed by
the crown should have a power of disallowing or appointing members
of the grand council (who, in this constitution, are to be the
representatives of the people.)

"If the governors and councils therefore were to have a share in the
choice of any that are to conduct this general government, it should
seem more proper that they chose the president-general. But this
being an office of great trust and importance to the nation, it was
thought better to be filled by the immediate appointment of the crown.

"The power proposed to be given by the plan to the grand council
is only a concentration of the powers of the several assemblies in
certain points for the general welfare; as the power of the president
general, is of the powers of the several governors in the same points.

"And as the choice therefore of the grand council by the
representatives of the people, neither gives the people any new
powers, nor diminishes the power of the crown, it was thought and
hoped the crown would not disapprove of it."

Upon the whole, the commissioners were of opinion, that the choice
was most properly placed in the representatives of the people.


_That within [___] months after the passing such act, the house of
representatives, that happen to be sitting within that time, or that
shall be especially for that purpose convened, may and shall choose
members for the grand council, in the following proportion, that is
to say,_

  Massachussett's Bay                                       7
  New Hampshire                                             2
  Connecticut                                               5
  Rhode Island                                              2
  New York                                                  4
  New Jerseys                                               3
  Pennsylvania                                              6
  Maryland                                                  4
  Virginia                                                  7
  North Carolina                                            4
  South Carolina                                            4

It was thought, that if the least colony was allowed two, and the
others in proportion, the number would be very great and the expence
heavy; and that less than two would not be convenient, as a single
person, being by any accident prevented appearing at the meeting, the
colony he ought to appear for would not be represented. That as the
choice was not immediately popular, they would be generally men of
good abilities for business, and men of reputation for integrity; and
that forty-eight such men might be a number sufficient. But, though
it was thought reasonable, that each colony should have a share in
the representative body in some degree, according to the proportion
it contributed to the general treasury: yet the proportion of wealth
or power of the colonies is not to be judged by the proportion here
fixed; because it was at first agreed, that the greatest colony
should not have more than seven members, nor the least less than two:
and the settling these proportions between these two extremes was not
nicely attended to, as it would find itself, after the first election
from the sums brought into the treasury, as by a subsequent article.


--_who shall meet for the first time at the city of Philadelphia
Pensylvania, being called by the president-general as soon as
conveniently may be after his appointment._

Philadelphia was named as being the nearer the centre of the
colonies, where the commissioners would be well and cheaply
accommodated. The high-roads, through the whole extent, are for
the most part very good, in which forty or fifty miles a day may
very well be and frequently are travelled. Great part of the way
may likewise he gone by water. In summer time, the passages are
frequently performed in a week from Charles Town to Philadelphia and
New York; and from Rhode Island to New York through the Sound, in two
or three days; and from New York to Philadelphia, by water and land,
in two days, by stage boats and wheel-carriages that set out every
other day. The journey from Charles Town to Philadelphia may likewise
be facilitated by boats running up Chesapeak Bay three hundred miles.
But if the whole journey be performed on horseback, the most distant
members (viz. the two from New Hampshire and from South Carolina) may
probably render themselves at Philadelphia in fifteen or twenty days;
the majority may be there in much less time.


_That there shall be a new election of the members of the grand
council every three years; and on the death or resignation of any
member, his place shall be supplied by a new choice at the next
silting of the assembly of the colony he represented._

Some colonies have annual assemblies, some continue during a
governor's pleasure; three years was thought a reasonable medium, as
affording a new member time to improve himself in the business, and
to act after such improvement; and yet giving opportunities, frequent
enough, to change him, if he has misbehaved.


_That after the first three years, when the proportion of money
arising out of each colony to the general treasury can be known, the
number of members to be chosen for each colony shall from time to
time, in all ensuing elections, be regulated by that proportion (yet
so as that the number to be chosen by any one province be not more
than seven, nor less than two.)_

By a subsequent article it is proposed, that the general council
shall lay and levy such general duties, as to them may appear most
equal and least burthensome, &c. Suppose, for instance, they lay a
small duty or excise on some commodity imported into or made in the
colonies, and pretty generally and equally used in all of them; as
rum perhaps, or wine; the yearly produce of this duty or excise, if
fairly collected, would be in some colonies greater, in others less,
as the colonies are greater or smaller. When the collector's accounts
are brought in, the proportions will appear; and from them it is
proposed to regulate the proportion of representatives to be chosen
at the next general election, within the limits however of seven and
two. These numbers may therefore vary in course of years, as the
colonies may in the growth and increase of people. And thus the quota
of tax from each colony would naturally vary with its circumstances;
thereby preventing all disputes and dissatisfactions about the just
proportions due from each; which might otherwise produce pernicious
consequences, and destroy the harmony and good agreement that ought
to subsist between the several parts of the union.


_That the grand council shall meet once in every year, and oftener if
occasion require, at such time and place as they shall adjourn to at
the last preceding meeting, or as they shall be called to meet at by
the president general on any emergency; he having first obtained in
writing the consent of seven of the members to such call, and sent
due and timely notice to the whole._

It was thought, in establishing and governing new colonies or
settlements, regulating Indian trade, Indian treaties, &c. there
would be every year sufficient business arise to require at least one
meeting, and at such meeting many things might be suggested for the
benefit of all the colonies. This annual meeting may either be at a
time or place certain, to be fixed by the president general and grand
council at their first meeting; or left at liberty, to be at such
time and place as they shall adjourn to, or be called to meet at by
the president general.

In time of war it seems convenient, that the meeting should be in
that colony, which is nearest the seat of action.

The power of calling them on any emergency seemed necessary to be
vested in the president general; but that such power might not be
wantonly used to harass the members, and oblige them to make frequent
long journies to little purpose, the consent of seven at least to
such call was supposed a convenient guard.


_That the grand council have power to choose their speaker; and
shall neither be dissolved, prorogued, nor continued sitting longer
than six weeks at one time, without their own consent or the special
command of the crown._

The speaker should be presented for approbation; it being convenient,
to prevent misunderstandings and disgusts, that the mouth of the
council should be a person agreeable, if possible, both to the
council and president general.

Governors have sometimes wantonly exercised the power of proroguing
or continuing the sessions of assemblies, merely to harass the
members and compel a compliance; and sometimes dissolve them on
slight disgusts. This it was feared might be done by the president
general, if not provided against: and the inconvenience and hardship
would be greater in the general government than in particular
colonies, in proportion to the distance the members must be from
home, during sittings, and the long journies some of them must
necessarily take.


_That the members of the grand council shall be allowed for their
service ten shillings sterling per diem, during their session and
journey to and from the place of meeting; twenty miles to be reckoned
a day's journey._

It was thought proper to allow _some_ wages, lest the expence might
deter some suitable persons from the service;--and not to allow _too
great_ wages, lest unsuitable persons should be tempted to cabal for
the employment, for the sake of gain. Twenty miles was set down as
a day's journey, to allow for accidental hinderances on the road,
and the greater expences of travelling than residing at the place of


_That the assent of the president general be requisite to all acts of
the grand council; and that it be his office and duty to cause them
to be carried into execution._

The assent of the president general, to all acts of the grand council
was made necessary, in order to give the crown its due share of
influence in this government, and connect it with that of Great
Britain. The president general, besides one half of the legislative
power, hath in his hands the whole executive power.


_That the president general, with the advice of the grand council,
hold or direct all Indian treaties in which the general interest of
the colonies may be concerned; and make peace or declare war with
Indian nations._

The power of making peace or war with Indian nations is at present
supposed to be in every colony, and is expressly granted to some
by charter, so that no new power is hereby intended to be granted
to the colonies. But as, in consequence of this power, one colony
might make peace with a nation that another was justly engaged in
war with; or make war on slight occasions without the concurrence or
approbation of neighbouring colonies, greatly endangered by it; or
make particular treaties of neutrality in case of a general war, to
their own private advantage in trade, by supplying the common enemy;
of all which there have been instances--it was thought better, to
have all treaties of a general nature under a general direction; that
so the good of the whole may be consulted and provided for.


_That they make such laws as they judge necessary for regulating all
Indian trade._

Many quarrels and wars have arisen between the colonies and Indian
nations, through the bad conduct of traders, who cheat the Indians
after making them drunk, &c. to the great expence of the colonies
both in blood and treasure. Particular colonies are so interested in
the trade as not to be willing to admit such a regulation as might be
best for the whole; and therefore it was thought best under a general


_That they make all purchases, from Indians for the crown, of lands
not now within the bounds of particular colonies, or that shall
not be within their bounds when some of them are reduced to more
convenient dimensions._

Purchases from the Indians, made by private persons, have been
attended with many inconveniences. They have frequently interfered,
and occasioned uncertainty of titles, many disputes and expensive
law-suits, and hindered the settlement of the land so disputed.
Then the Indians have been cheated by such private purchases, and
discontent and wars have been the consequence. These would be
prevented by public fair purchases.

Several of the colony charters in America extend their bounds to
the South Sea, which may be perhaps three or four thousand miles in
length to one or two hundred miles in breadth. It is supposed they
must in time be reduced to dimensions more convenient for the common
purposes of government[5].

Very little of the land in those grants is yet purchased of the

It is much cheaper to purchase of them, than to take and maintain the
possession by force: for they are generally very reasonable in their
demands for land[6]; and the expence of guarding a large frontier
against their incursions is vastly great; because all must be
guarded, and always guarded, as we know not where or when _to expect


_That they make new settlements on such purchases, by granting lands
in the king's name, reserving a quit-rent to the crown for the use of
the general treasury._

It is supposed better that there should be one purchaser than many;
and that the crown should be that purchaser, or the union in the name
of the crown. By this means the bargains may be more easily made, the
price not inhanced by numerous bidders, future disputes about private
Indian purchases, and monopolies of vast tracts to particular persons
(which are prejudicial to the settlement and peopling of country)
prevented; and the land being again granted in small tracts to the
settlers, the quit-rents reserved may in time become a fund for
support of government, for defence of the country, ease of taxes, &c.

Strong forts on the lakes, the Ohio, &c. may, at the same time they
secure our present frontiers, serve to defend new colonies settled
under their protection; and such colonies would also mutually defend
and support such forts, and better secure the friendship of the far

A particular colony has scarce strength enough to extend itself by
new settlements, at so great a distance from the old: but the joint
force of the union might suddenly establish a new colony or two in
those parts, or extend an old colony to particular passes, greatly to
the security of our present frontiers, increase of trade and people,
breaking off the French communication between Canada and Louisiana,
and speedy settlement of the intermediate lands.

The power of settling new colonies is therefore thought a valuable
part of the plan, and what cannot so well be executed by two unions
as by one.


_That they make laws for regulating and governing such new
settlements, till the crown shall think fit to form them into
particular governments._

The making of laws suitable for the new colonies, it was thought,
would be properly vested in the president general and grand council;
under whose protection they will at first necessarily be, and who
would be well acquainted with their circumstances, as having settled
them. When they are become sufficiently populous, they may by the
crown be formed into complete and distinct governments.

The appointment of a sub-president by the crown, to take place in
case of the death or absence of the president general, would perhaps
be an improvement of the plan; and if all the governors of particular
provinces were to be formed into a standing council of state, for the
advice and assistance of the president general, it might be another
considerable improvement.


_That they raise and pay soldiers and build forts for the defence of
any of the colonies, and equip vessels of force to guard the coasts
and protect the trade on the ocean, lakes[8], or great rivers; but
they shall not impress men in any colony, without the consent of the

It was thought, that quotas of men, to be raised and paid by the
several colonies, and joined for any public service, could not always
be got together with the necessary expedition. For instance, suppose
one thousand men should be wanted in New Hampshire on any emergency;
to fetch them by fifties and hundreds out of every colony, as far as
South Carolina, would be inconvenient, the transportation chargeable
and the occasion perhaps passed before they could be assembled;
and therefore, that it would be best to raise them (by offering
bounty-money and pay) near the place where they would be wanted, to
be discharged again when the service should be over.

Particular colonies are at present backward to build forts at
their own expence, which they say will be equally useful to their
neighbouring colonies; who refuse to join, on a presumption that such
forts _will_ be built and kept up, though they contribute nothing.
This unjust conduct weakens the whole; but the forts being for the
good of the whole, it was thought best they should be built and
maintained by the whole, out of the common treasury.

In the time of war, small vessels of force are sometimes necessary
in the colonies to scour the coast of small privateers. These being
provided by the union will be an advantage in turn to the colonies
which are situated on the sea, and whose frontiers on the land-side,
being covered by other colonies, reap but little immediate benefit
from the advanced forts.


_That for these purposes they have power to make laws, and lay
and levy such general duties, imports, or taxes, as to them shall
appear most equal and just (considering the ability and other
circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies,) and such
as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people;
rather discouraging luxury, than loading industry with unnecessary

The laws which the president general and grand council are impowered
to make _are such only_ as shall be necessary for the government of
the settlements; the raising, regulating, and paying soldiers for
the general service; the regulating of Indian trade; and laying and
collecting the general duties and taxes. (They should also have a
power to restrain the exportation of provisions to the enemy from
any of the colonies, on particular occasions, in time of war.) But
is it not intended that they may interfere with the constitution and
government of the particular colonies; who are to be left to their
own laws, and to lay, levy, and apply their own taxes as before.


_That they may appoint a general treasurer and particular treasurer
in each government when necessary; and from time to time may order
the sums in the treasuries of each government into the general
treasury; or draw on them for special payments, as they find most

The treasurers here meant are only for the general funds, and not for
the particular funds of each colony, which remain in the hands of
their own treasurers at their own disposal.


_Yet no money to issue but by joint orders of the president general
and grand council; except where sums have been appropriated to
particular purposes, and the president general is previously
impowered by an act to draw for such sums._

To prevent misapplication of the money, or even application that
might be dissatisfactory to the crown or the people, it was thought
necessary, to join the president general and grand council in all
issues of money.


_That the general accounts shall be yearly settled and reported to
the several assemblies._

By communicating the accounts yearly to each assembly, they will be
satisfied of the prudent and honest conduct of their representatives
in the grand council.


_That a quorum of the grand council, impowered to act with the
president general, do consist of twenty-five members; among whom
there shall be one or more from a majority of the colonies._

The quorum seems large, but it was thought it would not be
satisfactory to the colonies in general, to have matters of
importance to the whole transacted by a smaller number, or even by
this number of twenty-five, unless there were among them one at least
from a majority of the colonies; because otherwise, the whole quorum
being made up of members from three or four colonies at one end of
the union, something might be done that would not be equal with
respect to the rest, and thence dissatisfactions and discords might
rise to the prejudice of the whole.


_That the laws made by them for the purposes aforesaid shall not be
repugnant, but, as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of England,
and shall be transmitted to the king in council for approbation as
soon as may be after their passing; and if not disapproved within
three years after presentation, to remain in force._

This was thought necessary for the satisfaction of the crown, to
preserve the connection of the parts of the British empire with the
whole, of the members with the head, and to induce greater care and
circumspection in making of the laws, that they be good in themselves
and for the general benefit.


_That in case of the death of the president general, the speaker of
the grand council for the time being shall succeed, and be vested
with the same powers and authorities, to continue till the king's
pleasure be known._

It might be better, perhaps, as was said before, if the crown
appointed a vice president, to take place on the death or absence of
the president general; for so we should be more sure of a suitable
person at the head of the colonies. On the death or absence of both,
the speaker to take place (or rather the eldest king's-governor) till
his majesty's pleasure be known.


_That all military commission officers, whether for land or
sea-service, to act under this general constitution, shall be
nominated by the president general; but the approbation of the grand
council is to be obtained, before they receive their commissions. And
all civil officers are to be nominated by the grand council, and to
receive the president general's approbation before they officiate._

It was thought it might be very prejudicial to the service, to have
officers appointed unknown to the people, or unacceptable, the
generality of Americans serving willingly under officers they know:
and not caring to engage in the service under strangers, or such as
are often appointed by governors through favour or interest. The
service here meant, is not the stated settled service in standing
troops; but any sudden and short service, either for defence of
our own colonies, or invading the enemies country; (such as, the
expedition to Cape Breton in the last war; in which many substantial
farmers and tradesmen engaged as common soldiers under officers of
their own country, for whom they had an esteem and affection; who
would not have engaged in a standing army, or under officers from
England.)--It was therefore thought best, to give the council the
power of approving the officers, which the people will look upon
as a great security of their being good men. And without some such
provision as this, it was thought the expence of engaging men in the
service on any emergency would be much greater, and the number who
could be induced to engage much less; and that therefore it would be
most for the king's service and general benefit of the nation, that
the prerogative should relax a little in this particular throughout
all the colonies in America; as it had already done much more in the
charters of some particular colonies, viz. Connecticut and Rhode

The civil officers will be chiefly treasurers and collectors of
taxes; and the suitable persons are most likely to be known by the


_But in case of vacancy by death, or removal of any officer civil
or military under this constitution, the governor of the province
in which such vacancy happens may appoint, till the pleasure of the
president general and grand council can be known._

The vacancies were thought best supplied by the governors in each
province, till a new appointment can be regularly made; otherwise the
service might suffer before the meeting of the president general and
grand council.


_That the particular military as well as civil establishments in
each colony remain in their present state, the general constitution
notwithstanding; and that on sudden emergencies any colony may
defend itself, and lay the accounts of expence thence arising before
the president general and general council, who may allow and order
payment of the same, as far as they judge such accounts just and

Otherwise the union of the whole would weaken the parts, contrary
to the design of the union. The accounts are to be judged of by the
president general and grand council, and allowed if found reasonable:
this was thought necessary to encourage colonies to defend
themselves, as the expence would be light when borne by the whole;
and also to check imprudent and lavish expence in such defences.[9]


[1] The reader must be informed here, that this plan was intended for
all the colonies; but, commissioners from some of them not attending
(from causes which I cannot specify) their consent to it was not,
in this respect, universally expressed. Governor Pownall, however,
says, "That he had an opportunity of conversing with, and knowing
the sentiments of the commissioners appointed by their respective
provinces, to attend this congress, to which they were called by the
crown; of learning from their experience and judgment, the actual
state of the American business and interest; and of hearing amongst
them, the grounds and reasons of that American union, which they then
had under deliberation, and transmitted the plan of to England;" and
he adds, in another place, "that the sentiments of our colonies were
collected in an authentic manner on this subject in the plan proposed
by Dr. Franklin, and unanimously agreed to in congress." See Governor
Pownall's Administration of the British Colonies. Vol. I. p. 13.
Edit. 4, 1774, and Vol. II. p. 86. B. V.

[2] "Mr. [since Governor] Hutchinson was one of the commissioners
for Massachusetts Bay." Governor Pownall as above, Vol. II. p. 144.
"Thomas Pownall, Esq.; brother to John Pownall, Esq.; one of the
secretaries to the board of trade, and afterwards Governor of the
Massachusetts, was upon the spot." History of the British Empire in
North America, p. 25. B. V.

[3] Dr. Davenant was so well convinced of the expediency of an union
of the colonies, that he recites, at full length, a plan contrived,
as he says, with good judgment for the purpose. Davenant, Vol. I. p.
40, 41, of Sir C. Whitworth's Edition. B. V.

[4] The reader may perceive, by the difference of the type, which is
the text of the plan, and which the _reasons and motives_ mentioned
in the title. They are thus consolidated for his convenience. The
editor has taken one or two farther liberties in _transposing_ these
Albany papers; but the sense remains as before. B. V.

[5] Mr. Baron M----, in page 200 of his account of the Proceedings at
Quebec, for obtaining an Assembly, has the following hint: "The vast
enlargement of the province of Quebec by adding to it a new territory
that contains, according to Lord Hillsborough's estimation, of it,
five hundred and eleven millions of acres (that is, more land than
Spain, Italy, France, and Germany put together, and most of it good
land) is a measure that would require an ample discussion."----That
the reader may not suspect that these dimensions were convenient
for uncommon purposes of government, I shall quote the motives
assigned upon this occasion by the act regulating the government
of Quebec. "By the arrangements made by the royal proclamation, a
very large extent of [outlying] country, within which there were
several colonies and settlements of the subjects of France, who
claimed to remain therein under the faith of the said treaty, was
left without any provision being made for the administration of civil
government therein:" _i. e._ a few Indian traders were a pretext for
this appropriation of a tract of country, which, according to the
minister's estimate, was more than thirteen times larger than England
and Wales united, nearly one hundred and twenty eight times larger
than Jamaica, almost one-eighth part of Europe, and considerably more
than one-thirty-eighth part of the whole habitable earth (comparing
it with the several calculations in The Political Survey of Great
Britain, by Dr. Campbell, and in that of Jamaica, by Mr. Long.) "Now
_all_ the inhabitants of the province of Quebec," says this very
act, "amounted at the conquest to above sixty-five thousand [only,]
professing the religion of the church of Rome, and enjoying an
established form of constitution and system of laws." B.V.

[6] "Dr. Franklin (says Mr. Kalm the Swede,) and several other
gentlemen, frequently told me, that a powerful Indian, who possessed
Rhode Island, had sold it to the English for a pair of spectacles:
it is large enough for a prince's domain, and makes a peculiar
government at present. This Indian knew how to set a true value upon
a pair of spectacles: for undoubtedly if those glasses were not so
plentiful, and only a few of them could be found, they would, on
account of their great use, bear the same price with diamonds."
See Kalm's Travels into North America, Vol. I. p. 386, 387. "At
the time when the Swedes first arrived, they bought land at a very
inconsiderable price. For a piece of baize, or a pot full of brandy,
or the like, they could get a piece of ground, which at present would
be worth more than 290_l._ sterling." Ib. Vol. II. p. 118.--The truth
is, that the Indians considered their lands as mere _hunting-manors_,
and not as farms. B. V.

[7] To guard against the incursions of the Indians, a plan was
sent over to America (and, as I think, by authority) suggesting
the expediency of clearing away the woods and bushes from a tract
of land, a mile in breadth, and extending along the back of
the colonies. Unfortunately, besides the large expence of this
undertaking (which, if one acre cost 2_l._ sterling, and six hundred
and forty acres make a square mile, is 128,000_l._ _first cost_ for
every 100 miles) it was forgotten, that the Indians, like other
people, knew the difference between day and night, and that a mile of
advance and another of retreat were nothing to the celerity of such
an enemy.--This plan, it is said, was the work of Dean Tucker; and
possibly might contain many other particulars. The plans of Doctor
Franklin and Governor Pownall appear much more feasible. B. V.

[8] "According to a plan which had been proposed by Governor Pownall,
and approved of by congress."--Administration of the Colonies, Vol.
II. p. 143. B. V.

[9] This plan of union, it will appear from the next page, was
rejected; and another proposed to be substituted by the English
minister, which had for its chief object, the taking power from the
_people_ in the colonies in order to give it to the _crown_. B. V.


  I. LETTER _to Governor Shirley, concerning the Imposition of direct
  Taxes upon the Colonies, without their Consent_.[10]

  _Tuesday Morning._


I return you the loose Sheets of the plan, with thanks to your
excellency for communicating them.

I apprehend, that excluding the people of the colonies from all share
in the choice of the grand council will give extreme dissatisfaction;
as well as the taxing them by act of parliament, where they have no
representation. It is very possible, that this general government
might be as well and faithfully administered without the people, as
with them; but where heavy burdens are to be laid upon them, it has
been found useful, to make it as much as possible their own act; for
they bear better, when they have, or think they have, some share in
the direction; and when any public measures are generally grievous,
or even distasteful, to the people, the wheels of government move
more heavily.


[10] These letters to Governor Shirley first appeared in the London
Chronicle for Feb. 6-8, 1766, with an introduction signed _A Lover of
Britain_. In the beginning of the year 1776, they were republished
in Almon's Remembrancer, with an additional prefatory piece, under
the signature of _A Mourner over our Calamities_.--I shall explain
the subject of them in the words of one of these writers. "The Albany
Plan of Union was sent to the government here for approbation: had
it been approved and established by authority from hence, English
America thought itself sufficiently able to cope with the French,
without other assistance; several of the colonies having alone, in
former wars, withstood the whole power of the enemy, unassisted
not only by the mother-country, but by any of the neighbouring
provinces.--The plan, however, was not approved here; but a _New
one_ was formed instead of it; by which it was proposed, that 'the
governors of all the colonies, attended by one or two members of
their respective councils, should assemble, and concert measures
for the defence of the whole, erect forts where they judged proper,
and raise what troops they thought necessary, with power to draw
on the treasury here for the sums that should be wanted, and the
treasury to be reimbursed by a _tax laid on the colonies by act of
parliament_.'--This _New plan_ being communicated by Governor Shirley
to a gentleman of Philadelphia (Dr. Franklin) then in Boston (who
hath very eminently distinguished himself, before and since that
time, in the literary world, and whose judgment, penetration, and
candor, as well as his readiness and ability to suggest, forward,
or carry into execution, every scheme of public utility, hath most
deservedly endeared him, not only to our fellow-subjects throughout
the continent of North America, but to his numberless friends on
this side the Atlantic) occasioned the following remarks from him,
which perhaps may contribute in some degree to its being laid aside.
As they very particularly show the then sentiments of the Americans
on the subject of a parliamentary tax, before the French power in
that country was subjected, and before the late restraints on their
commerce; they satisfy me, and I hope they will convince your readers
(contrary to what has been advanced by some of your correspondents)
that those particulars have had no share in producing the present
opposition to such a tax, nor in disturbances occasioned by it,
which these papers indeed do almost prophetically foretel. For
this purpose, having accidentally fallen into my hands, they are
communicated to you by one who is, not _partially_, but in the _most
enlarged sense_,


  II. LETTER _to the same; concerning direct Taxes in the Colonies
  imposed without Consent, indirect Taxes, and the Albany Plan of

  _Wednesday Morning._


I mentioned it yesterday to your excellency as my opinion, that
excluding the people of the colonies from all share in the choice
of the grand council would probably give extreme dissatisfaction,
as well as the taxing them by act of parliament, where they have
no representation. In matters of general concern to the people, and
especially where burdens are to be laid upon them; it is of use to
consider, as well what they will be apt to think and say, as what
they ought to think: I shall therefore, as your excellency requires
it of me, briefly mention what of either kind occurs to me on this

First, they will say, and perhaps with justice, that the body of the
people in the colonies are as loyal, and as firmly attached to the
present constitution, and reigning family, as any subjects in the
king's dominions.

That there is no reason to doubt the readiness and willingness of
the representatives they may choose, to grant from time to time
such supplies for the defence of the country, as shall be judged
necessary, so far as their abilities will allow.

That the people in the colonies, who are to feel the immediate
mischiefs of invasion and conquest by an enemy, in the loss of their
estates, lives, and liberties, are likely to be better judges of the
quantity of forces necessary to be raised and maintained, forts to be
built and supported, and of their own abilities to bear the expence
than the parliament of England, at so great a distance.

That governors often come to the colonies merely to make fortunes,
with which they intend to return to Britain; are not always men of
the best abilities or integrity; have many of them no estates here,
nor any natural connections with us, that should make them heartily
concerned for our welfare; and might possibly be fond of raising and
keeping up more forces than necessary, from the profits accruing to
themselves, and to make provision for their friends and dependents.

That the counsellors in most of the colonies, being appointed by
the crown, on the recommendation of governors, are often persons of
small estates, frequently dependent on the governors for offices, and
therefore too much under influence.

That there is therefore great reason to be jealous of a power, in
such governors and councils, to raise such sums as they shall judge
necessary, by drafts on the lords of the treasury, to be afterwards
laid on the colonies by act of parliament, and paid by the people
here; since they might abuse it, by projecting useless expeditions,
harassing the people, and taking them from their labour to execute
such projects, merely to create offices and employments, and gratify
their dependents, and divide profits.

That the parliament of England is at a great distance, subject to
be misinformed and misled by such governors and councils, whose
united interests might probably secure them against the effect of any
complaint from hence.

That it is supposed an undoubted right of Englishmen, not to be taxed
but by their own consent, given through their representatives:

That the colonies have no representatives in parliament.

That to propose taxing them by parliament, and refuse them the
liberty of choosing a representative council, to meet in the
colonies, and consider and judge of the necessity of any general tax,
and the quantum, shows a suspicion of their loyalty to the crown,
or of their regard for their country, or of their common sense and
understanding; which they have not deserved.

That compelling the colonies to pay money without their consent,
would be rather like raising contributions in an enemy's country,
than taxing of Englishmen for their own public benefit.

That it would be treating them as a conquered people, and not as true
British subjects.

That a tax laid by the representatives of the colonies might be
easily lessened as the occasions should lessen; but, being once laid
by parliament under the influence of the representations made by
governors, would probably be kept up, and continued for the benefit
of governors; to the grievous burthen and discontentment of the
colonies, and prevention of their growth and increase.

That a power in governors, to march the inhabitants from one end of
the British and French colonies to the other, being a country of at
least one thousand five hundred miles long, without the approbation
or the consent of their representatives first obtained to such
expeditions, might be grievous and ruinous to the people, and would
put them upon a footing with the subjects of France in Canada, that
now groan under such oppression from their governor, who for two
years past has harrassed them with long and destructive marches to

That if the colonies in a body may be well governed by governors and
councils appointed by the crown, without representatives; particular
colonies may as well, or better be so governed; a tax may be laid
upon them all by act of parliament for support of government;
and their assemblies may be dismissed as an useless part of the

That the powers proposed by the Albany plan of union, to be vested
in a grand council representative of the people, even with regard to
military matters, are not so great, as those which the colonies of
Rhode Island and Connecticut are entrusted with by their charters,
and have never abused; for by this plan, the president general is
appointed by the crown, and controls all by his negative; but in
those governments, the people choose the governor, and yet allow him
no negative.

That the British colonies bordering on the French are properly
frontiers of the British empire; and the frontiers of an empire are
properly defended at the joint expence of the body of the people in
such empire:--it would now be thought hard by act of parliament to
oblige the Cinque ports or sea coasts of Britain, to maintain the
whole navy, because they are more immediately defended by it, not
allowing them at the same time a vote in choosing members of the
parliament; and, as the frontiers of America bear the expence of
their own defence, it seems hard to allow them no share in voting the
money, judging of the necessity and sum, or advising the measures.

That besides the taxes necessary for the defence of the frontiers,
the colonies pay yearly great sums to the mother-country
unnoticed:--for 1. Taxes paid in Britain by the landholder or
artificer must enter into and increase the price of the produce of
land and manufactures made of it; and great part of this is paid by
consumers in the colonies, who thereby pay a considerable part of the
British taxes.

2. We are restrained in our trade with foreign nations; and where we
could be supplied with any manufacture cheaper from them, but must
buy the same dearer from Britain, the difference of price is a clear
tax to Britain.

3. We are obliged to carry a great part of our produce directly to
Britain; and where the duties laid upon it lessen its price to the
planter, or it sells for less than it would in foreign markets, the
difference is a tax paid to Britain.

4. Some manufactures we could make, but are forbidden, and must take
them of British merchants: the whole price is a tax paid to Britain.

5. By our greatly encreasing the demand and consumption of British
manufactures, their price is considerably raised of late years; the
advantage is clear profit to Britain, and enables its people better
to pay great taxes; and much of it being paid by us, is clear tax to

6. In short, as we are not suffered to regulate our trade, and
restrain the importation and consumption of British superfluities
(as Britain can the consumption of foreign superfluities) our whole
wealth centers finally amongst the merchants and inhabitants of
Britain; and if we make them richer, and enable them better to pay
their taxes, it is nearly the same as being taxed ourselves, and
equally beneficial to the crown.

These kind of secondary taxes, however, we do not complain of, though
we have no share in the laying or disposing of them: but to pay
immediate heavy taxes, in the laying, appropriation, and disposition
of which, we have no part, and which perhaps we may know to be as
unnecessary as grievous, must seem hard measure to Englishmen, who
cannot conceive, that by hazarding their lives and fortunes in
subduing and settling new countries, extending the dominion, and
increasing the commerce of the mother-nation, they have forfeited
the native rights of Britons; which they think ought rather to be
given to them, as due to such merit, if they had been before in a
state of slavery. -- -- --

These, and such kinds of things as these, I apprehend, will be
thought and said by the people, if the proposed alteration of the
Albany plan should take place. Then the administration of the board
of governors and council so appointed, not having the representative
body of the people to approve and unite in its measures, and
conciliate the minds of the people to them, will probably become
suspected and odious; dangerous animosities and feuds will arise
between the governors and governed; and every thing go into confusion.

Perhaps I am too apprehensive in this matter; but having freely given
my opinion and reasons, your excellency can judge better than I,
whether there be any weight in them, and the shortness of the time
allowed me will I hope in some degree excuse the imperfections of
this scrawl.

With the greatest respect and fidelity, I have the honour to be

  your excellency's most obedient,

  and most humble servant,


  III. LETTER _to the same, on the Subject of uniting the
  Colonies more intimately with Great Britain, by allowing them
  Representatives in Parliament_.

  _Boston, Dec. 22, 1754._


Since the conversation your excellency was pleased to honour me
with, on the subject of _uniting the colonies_ more intimately with
Great Britain, by allowing them _representatives in parliament_, I
have something further considered that matter, and am of opinion,
that such an union would be very acceptable to the colonies,
provided they had a reasonable number of representatives allowed
them; and that all the old acts of parliament restraining the trade
or cramping the manufactures of the colonies be at the same time
repealed, and the British subjects _on this side the water_ put, in
those respects, on the same footing with those in Great Britain,
till the new parliament, representing the whole, shall think it
for the interest of the whole to re-enact some or all of them: it
is not that I imagine so many representatives will be allowed the
colonies, as to have any great weight by their numbers; but I think
there might be sufficient to occasion those laws to be better and
more impartially considered, and perhaps to overcome the interest
of a petty corporation, or of any particular set of artificers or
traders in England, who heretofore seem, in some instances, to have
been more regarded than all the colonies, or than was consistent with
the general interest, or best natural good. I think too, that the
government of the colonies by a parliament, in which they are fairly
represented, would be vastly more agreeable to the people, than the
method lately attempted to be introduced by royal instruction; as
well as more agreeable to the nature of an English constitution, and
to English liberty; and that such laws, as now seem to bear hard on
the colonies, would (when judged by such a parliament for the best
interest of the whole) be more cheerfully submitted to, and more
easily executed.

I should hope too, that by such an union, the people of Great
Britain, and the people of the colonies, would learn to consider
themselves, as not belonging to different communities with different
interest, but to one community with one interest; which I imagine
would contribute to strengthen the whole, and greatly lessen the
danger of future separations.

It is, I suppose, agreed to be the general interest of any state,
that its people be numerous and rich; men enow to fight in its
defence, and enow to pay sufficient taxes to defray the charge;
for these circumstances tend to the security of the state, and
its protection from foreign power. But it seems not of so much
importance, whether the fighting be done by John or Thomas, or the
tax paid by William or Charles. The iron manufacture employs and
enriches British subjects, but is it of any importance to the state,
whether the manufacturer lives at Birmingham or Sheffield, or both;
since they are still within its bounds, and their wealth and persons
still at its command? Could the Goodwin Sands be laid dry by banks,
and land equal to a large country thereby gained to England, and
presently filled with English inhabitants, would it be right to
deprive such inhabitants of the common privileges enjoyed by other
Englishmen, the right of vending their produce in the same ports,
or of making their own shoes; because a merchant or a shoemaker,
living on the old land, might fancy it more for his advantage to
trade or make shoes for them? Would this be right, even if the land
were gained at the expence of the state? And would it not seem less
right, if the charge and labour of gaining the additional territory
to Britain had been borne by the settlers themselves? and would not
the hardship appear yet greater, if the people of the new country
should be allowed no representatives in the parliament enacting
such impositions? Now I look on the colonies as so many countries
gained to Great Britain, and more advantageous to it, than if they
had been gained out of the seas around its coasts, and joined to its
lands; for being in different climates, they afford greater variety
of produce, and materials for more manufactures; and being separated
by the ocean, they increase much more its shipping and seamen: and,
since they are all included in the British empire, which has only
extended itself by their means; and the strength and wealth of the
parts is the strength and wealth of the whole; what imports it to the
general state, whether a merchant, a smith, or a hatter, grow rich in
Old or New England? and if, through increase of people, two smiths
are wanted for one employed before, why may not the _new_ smith be
allowed to live and thrive in the _new_ country, as well as the _old_
one in the _old_? In fine, why should the countenance of a state be
_partially_ afforded to its people, unless it be most in favour of
those who have most merit? and if there be any difference, those
who have most contributed to enlarge Britain's empire and commerce,
increase her strength, her wealth, and the numbers of her people, at
the risque of their own lives and private fortunes in new and strange
countries, methinks ought rather to expect some preference. With the
greatest respect and esteem, I have the honour to be

  Your Excellency's most obedient

  and humble Servant,


  _Plan for settling two Western Colonies in North America, with
  Reasons for the Plan, 1754[11]._

The great country back of the Apalachian mountains, on both sides
the Ohio, and between that river and the lakes is now well known,
both to the English and French, to be one of the finest in North
America, for the extreme richness and fertility of the land; the
healthy temperature of the air, and mildness of the climate; the
plenty of hunting, fishing, and fowling; the facility of trade
with the Indians; and the vast convenience of inland navigation or
water-carriage by the lakes and great rivers, many hundred of leagues

From these natural advantages it must undoubtedly (perhaps in less
than another century) become a populous and powerful dominion; and a
great accession of power, either to England or France.

The French are now making open encroachments on these territories, in
defiance of our known rights; and, if we longer delay to settle that
country, and suffer them to possess it,--these _inconveniences and
mischiefs_ will probably follow:

1. Our people, being confined to the country between the sea and the
mountains, cannot much more increase in number; people increasing
in proportion to their room and means of subsistence. (See the
Observations on the Increase of Mankind, &c. Vol. II.)

2. The French will increase much more, by that acquired room and
plenty of subsistence, and become a great people behind us.

3. Many of our debtors, and loose English people, our German
servants, and slaves, will probably desert to them, and increase
their numbers and strength, to the lessening and weakening of ours.

4. They will cut us off from all commerce and alliance with the
western Indians, to the great prejudice of Britain, by preventing the
sale and consumption of its manufactures.

5. They will both in time of peace and war (as they have always done
against New England) set the Indians on to harrass our frontiers,
kill and scalp our people, and drive in the advanced settlers; and
so, in preventing our obtaining more subsistence by cultivating of
new lands, they discourage our marriages, and keep our people from
increasing; thus (if the expression may be allowed) killing thousands
of our children before they are born. -- -- --

If two strong colonies of English were settled between the Ohio and
lake Erie, in the places hereafter to be mentioned,--these advantages
might be expected:

1. They would be a great security to the frontiers of our other
colonies; by preventing the incursions of the French and French
Indians of Canada, on the back parts of Pensylvania, Maryland,
Virginia, and the Carolinas; and the frontiers of such new colonies
would be much more easily defended, than those of the colonies last
mentioned now can be, as will appear hereafter.

2. The dreaded junction of the French settlements in Canada with
those of Louisiana would be prevented.

3. In case of a war, it would be easy, from those new colonies, to
annoy Louisiana, by going down the Ohio and Mississippi; and the
southern part of Canada, by sailing over the lakes; and thereby
confine the French within narrower limits.

4. We should secure the friendship and trade of the Miamis or
Twigtwees (a numerous people, consisting of many tribes, inhabiting
the country between the west end of lake Erie, and the south end
of lake Hurons, and the Ohio) who are at present dissatisfied with
the French, and fond of the English, and would gladly encourage and
protect an infant English settlement in or near their country, as
some of their chiefs have declared to the writer of this memoir.
Further, by means of the lakes, the Ohio, and the Mississippi, our
trade might be extended through a vast country, among many numerous
and distant nations, greatly to the benefit of Britain.

5. The settlement of all the intermediate lands, between the present
frontiers of our colonies on one side, and the lakes and Mississippi
on the other, would be facilitated and speedily executed, to the
great increase of Englishmen, English trade, and English power.

The grants to most of the colonies are of long narrow slips of land,
extending west from the Atlantic to the South Sea. They are much too
long for their breadth; the extremes at too great a distance; and
therefore unfit to be continued under their present dimensions.

Several of the old colonies may conveniently be limited westward by
the Allegeny or Apalachian mountains; and new colonies formed west of
those mountains.

A single old colony does not seem strong enough to extend itself
otherwise than inch by inch: it cannot venture a settlement far
distant from the main body, being unable to support it: but if the
colonies were united under one governor-general and grand council,
agreeable to the Albany plan, they might easily, by their joint
force, establish one or more new colonies, whenever they should judge
it necessary or advantageous to the interest of the whole.

But if such union should not take place, it is proposed that two
charters be granted, _each_ for some considerable part of the lands
west of Pensylvania and the Virginian mountains, to a number of the
nobility and gentry of Britain; with such Americans as shall join
them in contributing to the settlement of those lands, either by
paying a proportion of the expence of making such settlements, or
by actually going thither in person, and settling themselves and

That by such charters it be granted, that every actual settler be
intitled to a tract of [___] acres for himself, and [___] acres
for every poll in the family he carries with him; and that every
contributor of [___] guineas be intitled to a quantity of acres,
equal to the share of a single settler, for every such sum of [___]
guineas contributed and paid to the colony treasurer; a contributor
for [___] shares to have an additional share _gratis_; that settlers
may likewise be contributors, and have right of land in both

That as many and as great privileges and powers of government be
granted to the contributors and settlers, as his majesty in his
wisdom shall think most fit for their benefit and encouragement,
consistent with the general good of the British empire; for
extraordinary privileges and liberties, with lands on easy terms,
are strong inducements to people to hazard their persons and
fortunes in settling new countries; and such powers of government as
(though suitable to the circumstances, and fit to be trusted with an
infant colony) might be judged unfit, when it becomes populous and
powerful; these might be granted for a term only; as the choice of
their own governor for ninety-nine years; the support of government
in the colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island (which _now_ enjoy
that and other like privileges) being much less expensive, than in
the colonies under the immediate government of the crown, and the
constitution more inviting.

That the first contributors to the amount of [___] guineas be
empowered to choose a treasurer to receive the contribution.

That no contributions be paid till the sum of [___] thousand guineas
be subscribed.

That the money thus raised be applied to the purchase of the lands
from the Six Nations and other Indians, and of provisions, stores,
arms, ammunition, carriages, &c. for the settlers; who, after having
entered their names with the treasurer, or person by him appointed
to receive and enter them, are, upon public notice given for that
purpose, to rendezvous at a place to be appointed, and march in a
body to the place destined for their settlement, under the [charge]
of the government to be established over them. Such rendezvous and
march however not to directed, till the number of names of settlers
entered, capable of bearing arms, amount at least to [___] thousand.
-- -- --

It is apprehended, that a great sum of money might be raised in
America on such a scheme as this; for there are many who would be
glad of any opportunity, by advancing a small sum at present, to
secure land for their children, which might in a few years become
very valuable; and a great number it is thought of actual settlers
might likewise be engaged (some from each of our present colonies)
sufficient to carry it into full execution by their strength and
numbers; provided only, that the crown would be at the expence
of removing the little forts the French have erected in their
incroachments on his majesty's territories, and supporting a strong
one near the falls of Niagara, with a few small armed vessels, or
half-galleys to cruize on the lakes. * * * * * -- -- --

For the security of this colony in its infancy, a small fort might
be erected and for some time maintained at Buffalonic on the Ohio,
above the settlement; and another at the mouth of the Hioaga, on
the south side of lake Erie, where a port should be formed, and a
town erected, for the trade of the lakes.--The colonists for _this
settlement_ might march by land through Pensylvania. -- -- --

The river Siotha, which runs into the Ohio about two hundred miles
below Logs Town, is supposed the fittest seat for the _other colony_;
there being for forty miles on each side of it and quite up to its
heads a body of all rich land; the finest spot of its bigness in
all North America, and has the particular advantage of sea-coal in
plenty (even above ground in two places) for fuel, when the woods
shall be destroyed. This colony would have the trade of the Miamis or
Twigtwees; and should, at first, have a small fort near Hock-kockin,
at the head of the river; and another near the mouth of Wabash.
Sandoski, a French fort near the lake Erie, should also be taken; and
all the little French forts south and west of the lakes, quite to the
Mississippi, be removed, or taken and garrisoned by the English.--The
colonists for this settlement might assemble near the heads of the
rivers in Virginia, and march over land to the navigable branches
of the Kanhawa, where they might embark with all their baggage and
provisions, and fall into the Ohio, not far above the mouth of
Siotha. Or they might rendezvous at Will's Creek, and go down the
Mohingahela to the Ohio.

The fort and armed vessels at the strait of Niagara would be a vast
security to the frontiers of these new colonies against any attempts
of the French from Canada. The fort at the mouth of the Wabash would
guard that river, the Ohio, and Cutava river, in case of any attempt
from the French of Mississippi. (Every fort should have a small
settlement round it; as the fort would protect the settlers, and the
settlers defend the fort and supply it with provisions.) -- -- --

The difficulty of settling the first English colonies in America,
at so great a distance from England, must have been vastly greater,
than the settling these proposed new colonies: for it would be the
interest and advantage of all the present colonies to support these
new ones; as they would cover their frontiers, and prevent the growth
of the French power behind or near their present settlements; and the
new country is nearly at equal distance from all the old colonies,
and could easily be assisted from all of them.

And as there are already in the old colonies many thousands of
families that are ready to swarm, wanting more land; the richness
and natural advantage of the Ohio country would draw most of them
thither, were there but a tolerable prospect of a safe settlement.
So that the new colonies would soon be full of people; and from
the advantage of their situation, become much more terrible to the
French settlements, than those are now to us. The gaining of the
back Indian trade from the French, by the navigation of the lakes,
&c. would of itself greatly weaken our enemies:--it being now their
principal support, it seems highly probable, that in time they must
be subjected to the British crown, or driven out of the country.

Such settlements may better be made now, than fifty years hence,
because it is easier to settle ourselves, and thereby prevent the
French settling there as they seem now to intend, than to remove them
when strongly settled.

If these settlements are postponed, then more forts and stronger,
and more numerous and expensive garrisons must be established, to
secure the country, prevent their settling, and secure our present
frontiers; the charge of which may probably exceed the charge of the
proposed settlements, and the advantage nothing near so great.

The fort at Oswego should likewise be strengthened, and some armed
half-gallies, or other small vessels, kept there to cruise on lake
Ontario, as proposed by Mr. Pownall in his paper laid before the
commissioners at the Albany treaty[12].

If a fort was also built at Tirondequat on lake Ontario and a
settlement made there near the lake side, where the lands are said to
be good, (much better than at Oswego;) the people of such settlements
would help to defend both forts on any emergency[13]


[11] For the occasion which produced this plan, see what follows. I
apprehend it was given to Governor Pownall, 1754, for the purpose of
being inserted in his memorial; but this point of anecdote I cannot
sufficiently ascertain.

"Extract of a Memorial drawn up by Order of, and presented to his
Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, 1756, by T. Pownall.

"In other parts of our frontier, that are not the immediate residence
and country of Indians, some other species of barrier should be
thought of, of which nothing can be more effectual than a barrier
colony: but even this cannot be carried ... into execution and
effect, without the previous measure of _entrepôts_ in the country
between us and the enemy.... All mankind must know, that no body of
men, whether as an army, or as an emigration of colonists, can march
from one country to another, through an inhospitable wilderness,
without magazines; nor with any safety, without posts communicating
among each other by practicable roads, to which to retire in case of
accidents, repulse, or delay.

"It is a fact, which experience evinces the truth of, that we have
always been able to outsettle the French; and have driven the Indians
out of the country more by settling than fighting; and that whenever
our settlements have been wisely and completely made, the French,
neither by themselves nor their dogs of war, the Indians, have been
able to remove us. It is upon this fact I found the propriety of the
measure of settling a barrier colony in those parts of our frontiers,
_which are not the immediate residence or hunting-grounds of our_
Indians. This is a measure that will be effectual; and will not only
in time pay its expence, but make as great returns as any of our
present colonies do; will give a strength and unity to our dominions
in North America; and give us possession of the country, as well as
settlement in it. But above all this, the state and circumstances of
our settlements render such a measure not only proper and eligible,
but absolutely necessary. The English settlements, as they are at
present circumstanced, are absolutely at a stand; they are settled
up to the mountains: and in the mountains there is no where together
land sufficient for a settlement large enough to subsist by itself,
and to defend itself, and preserve a communication with the present

"If the English would advance one step further, or cover themselves
where they are, it must be at once, by one large step over the
mountains, with a numerous and military colony. Where such should
be settled, I do not take upon me to say: at present I shall only
point out the measure and the nature of it, by inserting two schemes,
one of Mr. Franklin's, the other of your memorialist; and if I
might indulge myself with scheming, I should imagine that two such
were sufficient, and only requisite and proper: one at the back of
Virginia, filling up the vacant space between the five nations and
southern confederacy, and connecting, into one system, our barrier;
the other somewhere in the Cohass or Connecticut river, or wherever
best adapted to cover the New England colonies. These, with the
little settlements mentioned above in the Indian countries, complete
my idea of this branch." See Governor Pownall's Administration of the
Colonies. Vol. II. p. 228-231, 5th edition.

The reader must carry along with him a distinction between the plans
of Dr. Franklin and Governor Pownall here referred to. The first
(which is before him) is particular, and proposes a plan for _two_
settlements in the unlocated lands to the westward of Pensylvania
and the Virginian mountains, and is totally silent with respect to a
settlement in New England: the other treats of the mode of settling
new colonies in North America in general, leaving the precise
situation to be in some measure pointed out by the foregoing extract.

The copy from which this paper is printed, has appearances of being
rather incorrectly taken from the original. B. V.

[12] See his work above quoted, Vol. II. p. 234. _et seq._ and p.
179. _et seq._ B. V.

[13] This whole proposal was neglected, though the French thought
a considerable settlement very practicable, in order to get at the
Ohio. See Governor Pownall, Vol. II. p. 236.

Dr. Franklin also failed in another proposal for settling to the
south of the Ohio. B. V.

  _Report of the Committee of Aggrievances of the Assembly of
  Pensylvania, dated Feb. 22, 1757[14]._

In obedience to the order of the house, we have drawn up the heads
of the most important aggrievances that occur to us, which the
people of this province with great difficulty labour under; the many
infractions of the constitution (in manifest violation of the royal
grant, the proprietary charter, the laws of this province, and of the
laws, usages, and customs of our mother-country) and other matters;
which we apprehend call aloud for redress.

They are as follow:

_First_, By the royal charter (which has ever been, ought to be,
and truly is, the principal and invariable fundamental of this
constitution) King Charles the Second did give and grant unto William
Penn, his heirs and assigns, the province of Pensylvania; and also to
him and his heirs, and his or their _deputies_ or lieutenants, free,
full, and absolute power, for the good and happy government thereof,
to make and enact any laws, "according to their best discretion;
by and with the advice, assent, and approbation of the _freemen_
of the said country, or of their delegates or deputies;" for the
raising of money, or any other end appertaining to the public state,
peace, or safety of the said country. By the words of this grant,
it is evident, that full powers are granted to the _deputies_ and
lieutenants of William Penn and his heirs, to concur with the people
in framing laws for their protection and the safety of the province,
according to their best discretion; independent of any instructions
or directions they should receive from their _principals_. And it is
equally obvious to your committee, that the _people_ of this province
and their representatives were interested in this royal grant; and
by virtue thereof have an original right of legislation inherent in
them; which neither the proprietors nor any other person whatsoever
can divest them of, restrain, or abridge, without manifestly
violating and destroying the letter, spirit, and design of this grant.

Nevertheless we unfortunately find, that the proprietaries of this
province, regardless of this sacred fundamental of our rights and
liberties, have so abridged and restricted their late and present
_governor's_ discretion in matters of legislation, by their illegal,
impracticable, and unconstitutional instructions and prohibitions;
that no bill for granting aids and supplies to our most gracious
sovereign (be it ever so reasonable, expedient, and necessary for
the defence of this his majesty's colony, and safety of his people)
unless it be agreeable thereto, can meet with his approbation: by
means whereof the many considerable sums of money which have been
offered for those purposes, by the assemblies of this province (ever
anxious to maintain his honour and rights,) have been rejected; to
the great encouragement of his majesty's enemies, and the imminent
danger of the loss of this colony.

_Secondly_, The representatives of the people in general assembly
met, by virtue of the said royal grant, and the charter of privileges
granted by the said William Penn, and a law of this province, have
right to, and ought to enjoy all the powers and privileges of an
assembly, according to the rights of the free-born subjects of
England, and as is usual in any of the plantations in America: [also]
it is an indubitable and now an incontested right of the commons of
England, to _grant aids_ and supplies to his majesty in any manner
they think most easy to themselves and the people; and they [also]
are the sole judges of the _measure_, _manner and time_ of granting
and raising the same.

Nevertheless the proprietaries of this province, in contempt of the
said royal grant, proprietary charter, and law of their colony,
designing to subvert the fundamentals of this constitution, to
deprive the assembly and people of their rights and privileges, and
to assume an arbitrary and tyrannical power over the liberties and
properties of his majesty's liege subjects, have so restrained their
governors by the _despotic instructions_ (which are not to be varied
from, and are particularly directory in the framing and passing of
money-bills and supplies to his majesty, as to the mode, measure,
and time) that it is impossible for the assembly, should they lose
all sense of their most essential rights, and comply with those
instructions, to grant sufficient aids for the defence of this his
majesty's province from the common enemy.

_Thirdly_, In pursuance of sundry acts of general assembly, approved
of by the crown, [and] a natural right inherent in every man
antecedent to all laws, the assemblies of this province have had the
power of _disposing_ of the _public_ monies, that have been raised
for the encouragement of trade and support of government, by the
interest money arising by the loan of the bills of credit and the
excise. No part of these monies was ever paid by the _proprietaries_,
or ever raised on their estates; and therefore they can have no
pretence of right to a voice in the disposition of them. They
have ever been applied with prudent frugality to the honour and
advantage of the public, and the king's immediate service, to the
general approbation of the people: the credit of the government has
been preserved, and the debts of the public punctually discharged.
In short, no inconveniencies, but great and many advantages have
accrued, from the assembly's prudent care and management of these

Yet the proprietaries resolved to deprive the assemblies of the power
and means of _supporting an agent_ in England, and of prosecuting
their complaints and remonstrating their aggrievances, when injured
and oppressed, to his majesty and his parliament: and to rob them
of this natural right (which has been so often approved of by their
gracious sovereign) have, by their said instructions, prohibited
their governor from giving his assent to any laws emitting or
re-emitting any paper-currency or bills of credit, or for raising
money by excise or any other method; unless the governor or commander
in chief for the time being, by clauses to be inserted therein, has
_a negative in the disposition_ of the monies arising thereby; let
the languishing circumstances of our trade be ever so great, and a
further or greater medium be ever so necessary for its support.

_Fourthly_, By the laws and statutes of England, the chief rents,
honours, and castles of the crown are taxed, and _pay their
proportion_ to the supplies that are granted to the king for the
defence of the realm and support of government: his majesty,
the nobility of the realm, and all the British subjects, do now
actually contribute their proportion towards the defence of America
in general, and this province in particular: and it is in a more
especial manner the duty of the _proprietaries_ to pay their
proportion of a tax, for the immediate preservation of their own
estates, in this province. To exempt therefore any part of their
estates from their reasonable part of this necessary burthen, it is
unjust as it is illegal, and as new as it is arbitrary.

Yet the proprietaries, notwithstanding the general danger to which
the nation and its colonies are exposed, and great distress of this
province in particular, by their said instructions, have prohibited
their governors from passing laws for the raising supplies for its
defence; _unless_ all their located, unimproved, and unoccupied
lands, quit-rents, fines, and purchase monies on interest (the much
greater part of their enormous estates in this colony) are expressly
exempted from paying any part of the tax.

_Fifthly_, By virtue of the said royal charter, the proprietaries are
invested with a power of doing every thing "which unto a compleat
establishment of justice, unto courts and tribunals, forms of
judicature, and manner of proceedings, do belong." It was certainly
the import and design of this grant, that the courts of judicature
should be formed, and the _judges_ and officers thereof hold their
commissions, in a manner not repugnant, but agreeable to the laws
and customs of England: that thereby they might remain free from
the influence of persons in power, the rights of the people might
be preserved, and their properties effectually secured. That the
guarantee, William Penn (understanding the said grant in this light)
did, by his original frame of government, covenant and grant with
the people, that the judges and other officers should hold their
commissions during their _good behaviour, and no longer_.

Notwithstanding which, the governors of this province have, for
many years past, granted all the commissions to the judges of the
king's bench or supreme court of this province, and to the judges
of the court of common pleas of the several counties, to be held
during their _will and pleasure_; by means whereof, the said judges
being subject to the influence and directions of the proprietaries
and their governors, their favourites and creatures, the laws may
not be duly administered or executed, but often wrested from their
true sense; to serve particular purposes, the foundation of justice
may be liable to be destroyed; and the lives, laws, liberties,
privileges, and properties of the people thereby rendered precarious
and altogether insecure; to the great disgrace of our laws, and the
inconceivable injury of his majesty's subjects.

Your committee further beg leave to add, that besides these
aggrievances, there are other hardships the people of this province
have experienced, that call for redress.--The _inlistment of
servants, without the least satisfaction_ being made to the masters,
has not only prevented the cultivation of our lands, and diminished
the trade and commerce of the province, but is a burthen extremely
unequal and oppressive to individuals. And should the practice
continue, the consequence must prove very discouraging to the further
settlement of this colony, and prejudicial to his majesty's future
service.--Justice, therefore, demands, that satisfaction should be
made to the masters of such inlisted servants; and that the right of
masters to their servants be confirmed and settled.--But as those
servants have been inlisted into his majesty's service for the
general defence of America, and not of this province only, but all
the colonies, and the nation in general, have and will receive equal
benefit from their service; this satisfaction should be made at the
expence of the nation, and not of the province only.

That the people now labour under _a burthen of taxes_, almost
insupportable by so young a colony, for the defence of its
long-extended frontier, of about two hundred miles from New Jersey
to Maryland; without either of those colonies, or the three lower
counties on Delaware, contributing their proportion thereto; though
their frontiers are in a great measure covered and protected by our
forts. And should the war continue, and with it this unequal burthen,
many of his majesty's subjects in this province will be reduced to
want, and the province, if not lost to the enemy, involved in debt,
and sunk under its load.

That notwithstanding this weight of taxes, the assemblies of this
province _have given to the general service_ of the nation, five
thousand pounds to purchase provisions for the troops under General
Braddock; 2,985_l._ 0_s._ 11_d._ for clearing a road by his orders;
10,514_l._ 10_s._ 1_d._ to General Shirley, for the purchasing
provisions for the New England forces; and expended the sum of
2,385_l._ 0_s._ 2½_d._ in supporting the inhabitants of Nova Scotia;
which likewise we conceive ought to be a national expence.

And that his majesty's subjects, the merchants and insurers in
England, as well as the merchants here and elsewhere, did during
the last, and will during the present war, greatly suffer in their
property, trade, and commerce, by the _enemy's privateers_ on this
coast, and at our capes, unless some method be fallen on to prevent

Wherefore your committee are of opinion, That the commissioners
intended to be sent to England[15], to solicit a memorial and
redress of the many infractions and violations of the constitution;
should also have it in charge, and be instructed to represent
to our most gracious sovereign and his parliaments, the several
unequal burthens and hardships before-mentioned;--and endeavour to
procure satisfaction to the masters of such servants as have been
inlisted, and the right of masters to their servants established and
confirmed;--and obtain a repayment of the said several sums of money,
some assistance towards defending our extensive frontier, and a
vessel of war to protect the trade and commerce of this province.

  Submitted to the correction of the house.

  _Feb. 22, 1757._


[14] The English colony-governments seem to have been considered
as of three sorts. First, _provincial_ governments; where the
constitution originally depends on the king's commission, and
instructions given to his governors; and the assemblies, held under
that authority, have their share in making local ordinances not
repugnant to English law. Next, _proprietary_ governments; where a
district of country is given by the crown to individuals, attended
with certain legislative powers in the nature of a fief; with a
provision for the sovereignty at home, and also for the fulfilment
of the terms and end of the grant. Lastly, _charter_ governments,
where the fundamentals of the government are previously prescribed
and made known to the settlers, being in no degree left subject to a
governor's commission or proprietor's will. (See Blackstone, Vol. I.
Introd. § 4.)--Good faith however to mankind seemed to require, that
the constitutions, once begun under the provincial or proprietary
governments, should remain unaltered (except for improvement) to the
respective settlers, equally as in charter-governments. B. V.

[15] Dr. Franklin was afterwards appointed to present this address,
as agent for the province of Pensylvania, and departed from America
for the purpose in June 1757. See his life, Vol. I. p. 134. While in
England, the more effectually to accomplish the business upon which
he was sent, he wrote the article that follows in the next page,
entitled An historical Review, &c. _Editor._

  _An historical Review of the Constitution and Government of
  Pensylvania, from its Origin; so far as regards the several Points
  of Controversy which have, from Time to Time, arisen between the
  several Governors of that Province, and their several Assemblies.
  Founded on authentic Documents._

  Those who would give up _essential liberty_, to purchase a little
  _temporary safety_, deserve neither _liberty_ nor _safety_.

  Griffiths, 1759[16].


  To the right honourable Arthur Onslow, speaker of the honourable
  House of Commons.


The subject of the following sheets is an unhappy one: the
controversy between the proprietaries and successive assemblies of
Pensylvania: a controversy which has often embarrassed, if not
endangered the public service: a controversy which has been long
depending, and which still seems to be as far from an issue as ever.

Our blessed saviour reproaches the Pharisees with laying heavy
burdens on men's shoulders, which they themselves would not stir with
a single finger.

Our proprietaries, sir, have done the same; and, for the sake of the
commonwealth, the province has hitherto submitted to the imposition:
not indeed, without the most strenuous endeavours to lay the load
equally, the fullest manifestations, and the strongest protestations
against the violence put upon them.

Having been most injuriously misrepresented and traduced in print,
by the known agents and dependents of those gentlemen their fellow
subjects, they at last find themselves obliged to set forth an
historical state of their case, and to make their appeal to the
public upon it.

With the public opinion in their favour, they may with the more
confidence lift up their eyes to the wisdom of parliament and the
majesty of the crown, from whence alone they can derive an effectual

To your hands, sir, these papers are most humbly presented, for
considerations so obvious, that they scarce need any explanation.

The Roman provinces did not stand more in need of patronage than
ours: and such clients as we are would have preferred the integrity
of Cato to the fortune of Cæsar.

The cause we bring is in fact the cause of all the provinces in one:
it is the cause of every British subject in every part of the British
dominions: it is the cause of every man who deserves to be free every

The propriety, therefore, of addressing these papers to a gentleman,
who, for so many successive parliaments, with so much honour to
himself and satisfaction to the public, has been at the head of the
commons of Great Britain, cannot be called in question.

You will smile, sir, perhaps, as you read the references of a
provincial assembly to the rights and claims of parliament; but we
humbly conceive, it will be without the least mixture of resentment;
those assemblies having nothing more in view, than barely to
establish their privileges on the most rational and solid basis they
could find, for the security and service of their constituents.

And you are humbly besought, sir, not to think the worse of this
address, because it has been made without your permission or privity.

Nobody asks leave to pay a debt: every Briton is your debtor, sir:
and all we have said, or can say, is but a poor composition for what
we owe you.

You have conferred as much honour on the chair you fill, as the chair
has conferred on you.

Probity and dignity are your characteristics.

May that seat always derive the same lustre from the same qualities!

This at least ought to be our prayer, whether it is or not within our

For the province of Pensylvania, as well as in my own private
capacity, I have the honour to be, with the most profound respect,


  your most obedient humble servant,



To obtain an infinite variety of purposes by a few plain principles
is the characteristic of nature. As the eye is affected so is the
understanding: objects at distance strike it according to their
dimensions, or the quantity of light thrown upon them; near,
according to their novelty or familiarity as they are in motion or
at rest. It is the same with actions. A battle is all motion; a hero
all glare: while such images are before us, we can attend to nothing
else. Solon and Lycurgus would make no figure in the same scene with
the king of Prussia; and we are at present so lost in a military
scramble on the continent next us, in which it must be confessed we
are deeply interested, that we have scarce time to throw a glance
towards America, where we have also much at stake, and where, if any
where, our account must be made up at last.

We love to stare more than to reflect, and to be indolently amused
at our leisure, than to commit the smallest trespass on our patience
by winding a painful tedious maze, which would pay us in nothing but

But then as there are some eyes that can find nothing marvellous but
what is marvellously great, so there are others equally disposed to
marvel at what is marvellously little; and who can derive as much
entertainment from this microscope in examining a mite, as Dr. ----
in ascertaining the geography of the moon, or measuring the tail of a

Let this serve as an excuse for the author of these sheets, if he
needs any, for bestowing them on the transactions of a colony, till
of late hardly mentioned in our annals; in point of establishment
one of the last upon the British list, and in point of rank one of
the most subordinate, as being not only subject, in common with the
rest, to the crown, but also to the claims of a _proprietary_, who
thinks he does them _honour_ enough in governing them by _deputy_;
consequently so much further removed from the royal eye, and so much
the more exposed to the pressure of self-interested _instructions_.

Considerable, however, as most of them, for happiness of situation,
fertility of soil, product of valuable commodities, number of
inhabitants, shipping, amount of exportations, latitude of rights and
privileges, and every other requisite for the being and well-being of
society, and more considerable than any of them all for the celerity
of its growth, unassisted by any human help but the vigour and virtue
of its own excellent constitution.

A father and his family, the latter united by interest and affection,
the former to be revered for the wisdom of his institutions and
the indulgent use of his authority, was the form it was at first
presented in. Those who were only ambitious of repose found it
here; and as none returned with an evil report of the land, numbers
followed: all partook of the leaven they found: the community still
wore the same equal face: nobody aspired: nobody was oppressed:
industry was sure of profit, knowledge of esteem, and virtue of

An assuming _landlord_, strongly disposed to convert free tenants
into abject vassals, and to reap what he did not sow, countenanced
and abetted by a few desperate and designing dependents, on the one
side; and on the other, all who have sense enough to know their
rights, and spirit enough to defend them, combined as one man against
the said landlord and his encroachment in the form it has since

And surely a nation born to liberty like this, bound to leave it
unimpaired as they received it from their fathers in perpetuity
to their heirs, and interested in the conservation of it in every
appendix to the British empire, the particulars of such a contest
cannot be wholly indifferent.

On the contrary, it is reasonable to think, the first workings of
power against liberty, and the natural efforts of unbiassed men
to secure themselves against the first approaches of oppression,
must have a captivating power over every man of sensibility and
discernment amongst us.

Liberty it seems thrives best in the woods. America best cultivates
what Germany brought forth. And were it not for certain ugly
comparisons, hard to be suppressed, the pleasure arising from such a
research would be without alloy.

In the feuds of Florence recorded by Machiavel, we find more to
lament and less to praise. Scarce can we believe the first citizens
of the ancient republics had such pretensions to consideration,
though so highly celebrated in ancient story. As to ourselves, we
need no longer have recourse to the late glorious stand of the French
parliament to excite our emulation.

It is a known custom among farmers, to change their corn from season
to season, for the sake of filling the bushel: and in case the wisdom
of the age should condescend to make the like experiment in another
shape, from hence we may learn, whither to repair for the proper

It is not however to be presumed, that such as have long been
accustomed to consider the colonies in general as only so many
dependencies on the council board, the board of trade, and the board
of customs; or, as a hot-bed for causes, jobs and other pecuniary
emoluments, and as formed as effectually by _instructions_ as by
_laws_, can be prevailed on to consider those patriot rustics with
any degree of respect.

But how contemptibly soever these gentlemen may talk of the colonies,
how cheap soever they may hold their assemblies, or how insignificant
the planters and traders who compose them, truth will be truth, and
principle, principle, notwithstanding.

Courage, wisdom, integrity, and honour are not to be measured by the
place assigned them to act in, but by the trials they undergo and
the vouchers they furnish: and if so manifested, need neither robes
or titles to set them off.


List of governors of Pensylvania, and dates of the several charters,
&c. of that province.

Abstract of the charter granted to William Penn.

Certain conditions or concessions of Mr. Penn to the first
adventurers in, and settlers of, Pensylvania.

Mr. Penn's first frame of government.

His reservation of quit rents.

His second frame of government.

The province of Pensylvania and the territory of the three lower
counties united by his management.

Remonstrance of a subsequent assembly against the said union.

Motives of the planters, assigned by the said assembly, for accepting
the second frame of government.

Mr. Penn's return to England, and appointment of commissioners to
administer the government.

Disorders which ensued during his absence.

Captain Blackwell's government.

The government assumed into the lands of the crown in 1693, and
administered by colonel Fletcher, governor of New York.

He declares the constitution of Mr. Penn's government, and that of
their majesties, to be directly opposite to each other.

He menaces the assembly with an annexion of their province to that of
New York.

Protestation against passing of bills, amended by the governor
and council, without the previous assent of the assembly to those
amendments, and of money-bills before grievances have been redressed.

Remonstrance to Mr. Penn concerning this period.

The governor admits the principles of the quakers, not to carry arms,
or levy money to make war; and solicits a supply to feed the hungry
and clothe the naked (Indians).

The assembly insist on their right to appropriate as well as to raise

The government of William Markham, Esq.

A new act of settlement or frame of government.

The government resumed by Mr. Penn.

The province purged from the odium of favouring pirates, and carrying
on an illicit trade.

A new model of elections agreed to.

The assembly formed thereon dissolved.

Another assembly called upon another model, to meet at Newcastle
instead of Philadelphia.

Aids granted for the proprietary-governor, in exchange for a
conformation of property.

An aid of 350_l._ sterling to the crown on this account.

Mr. Penn's plausible speech to a new assembly.

Three of the requisitions they made to him, with his answers and
their replies.

A breach between the province and the territory.

The last charter of privileges, which, under the royal charter, is
_now_ the rule of government.

It is unanimously rejected by the freemen of the territory.

Mr. Penn's departure for England.

Andrew Hamilton, Esq. deputy-governor, in vain endeavours to unite
the territory with the province.

John Evans, Esq. succeeds Hamilton, and makes the like endeavour,
also in vain.

Controversy between him and the assembly concerning the bill to
confirm the charter.

Nine several heads of complaint entered in the minutes of the
assembly, as the ground of a representation to the proprietary; being
the representation several times before cited.

The remainder of that representation.

A copy of it demanded by the governor and refused by the assembly.

The latter make a merit of having forborne to make their
representation public.

The governor obtains an assembly to his wish, by undue practices.

Animosities between Lloyd, speaker of the assembly, and Logan,
secretary to the governor and council.

The governor censures the proprietary's charter of property.

The draughtman's defence of it.

The governor declares the proprietary's high resentment of the
assembly's representation.

The assembly's reply.

The governor refers to the charter of privileges as the only rule of

The assembly complains of infractions made in it.

Their representation to the proprietary against the governor.

Logan impeached by the assembly.

An unanimous vote of thanks to the proprietary for recalling Evans.

General view of Gookin's government.

Assembly's character of themselves.

A proprietary-governor a wretched thing.

Artful conduct of governor Keith.

Mr. Penn's death.

The province left in the hands of trustees.

Logan, one of those trustees, obtains a majority in the council
against the governor.

Logan makes a voyage to England, and returns with private
instructions to Keith, which Keith communicates to the assembly.

The governor and assembly in concert pay no regard to the said

A controversy in print, between the governor and Logan thereon.

A breach between the governor and speaker.

The province in a state of tranquillity for nine years under his

A pathetic reflection on the melancholy case of governors recalled.

Pensylvania easy to be governed, if well governed.

Private instructions from the proprietary in two several instances
declared void.

The proprietary of Pensylvania too inconsiderable here at home to be
a patron to the province, and too unsizeably great there.

The proprietaries the sole purchasers of Indian lands:--the people
at the sole expence of Indian affairs:--treaties and purchases

The quit-rents of Pensylvania, paid to the proprietary, first
demanded and granted to defray the charge of government.

Notwithstanding which the people now pay taxes for that purpose, and
the proprietaries insist on holding their estates tax-free.

Paper-money first issued in Pensylvania.

Precautions taken to secure it from depreciation.

Mr. Penn's trustees averse to the said issue, till a provision was
made, at the expence of the province, to render his heirs gainers by

Room left in the constitution of the province for self defence by
force of arms, though the use of arms was not consistent with the
principles of quakers.

In consequence of complaints to parliament, of the mischiefs arising
from excessive issues of paper-money by the eastern governments (that
is to say those of New England) a general instruction was sent to
_all_ the governors of North America, not to give their assent to any
farther bills of that nature, without a suspending clause, till his
majesty's pleasure should be known.

The assembly grants money in aid of the expedition against Carthagena.

The governor inlists indented servants upon that occasion; and the
assembly apply the money they had given to indemnify the masters.

They give 3,000_l._ towards the public service, to be applied as his
majesty should direct.

Also another sum of 4,000_l._ to furnish necessaries to the troops in

And yet another sum of 5,000_l._ towards the intended expedition
against Canada in the year 1746, by an addition of the like sum to
their paper currency, and notwithstanding the above instruction, the
governor gave his assent to the bill for that purpose.

The proprietaries of Pensylvania oppose the bill brought into
parliament for restraining the northern colonies from issuing paper
bills of credit, and make a merit of it in the province.

The assembly call upon the proprietaries to contribute to the expence
of Indian affairs, which they decline.

The assembly's representation thereon.

A bill for increasing the provincial paper-currency in proportion to
the increase of the province, by an addition of 20,000_l._ thereto.

Rejected by the governor for being unseasonably timed.

And petitioned by the inhabitants.

A message from the governor (Hamilton) preparing the house to expect
incursions from the French among the Indians in alliance with them,
and requiring assistance on their behalf.

The answer of the proprietaries to the representation of the assembly
concerning the expence of Indian affairs.

The assembly's message sent to the governor, together with the
currency-bill he had before rejected.

Another message to him concerning Indian affairs, and notifying a
present of condolence to the Twigtwee tribe.

Governor's message, importing his assent to the currency-bill, with a
suspending clause.

Resolution of the assembly not to accept this clause, with their

A note of regret, that some temperament had not been found out at
home, to prevent the controversy, which was now on the point of
breaking out.

Remonstrance of the assembly against the said clause.

The governor's message of adherence thereto.

The assembly's reply.

Their reply to the proprietary's answer to the representation on
Indian expences.

Unanimous resolution of the assembly concerning the necessity of a
remission of their paper-currency.

Lord Holdernesse's letter and other papers laid before them, together
with a written message from the governor thereon.

The assembly's answer, accompanied with their currency-bill.

The governor rejects it; but offers to pass a bill for striking a
farther sum on a proper fund for sinking the same in a few years.

The assembly prudently avail themselves of the cautions in lord
Holdernesse's letter concerning _undoubted limits_, to decline taking
any part in the broil, till the government of Virginia, as first
concerned, should set the first example.

The governor revives the old controversy concerning the paper-money

Declares in another paper he had _undoubted assurance_, that part
of his majesty's dominions _within_ his government was at that time
invaded, and demands supplies to arm the province, &c.

The assembly demur, and desire a short adjournment.

The governor not only persists in his former declaration, but
maintains, that the case was the same, whether the invasion of the
enemy was made in Virginia or Pensylvania.

The assembly adjourn to May 6, and are assembled by the governor
April 2, in order to lay before them papers from governor Dinwiddie;
and demand a supply.

Debates in the assembly on the _quantum_, and a new adjournment.

Another session, and a message from the governor, accompanied with
intelligence, that the French were before the fort built by the
Virginians on the Ohio; with dispatches and a proposition from the
governors of Boston and New York, for an union of the colonies, &c.

A joint bill for granting an aid of 10,000_l._ to the king, and
20,000_l._ for replacing torn and ragged bills, offered.

Amendments proposed by the governor.

Unanimously rejected by the assembly, and for what reasons.

The governor's reply.

A reflection thereon.

Resolutions of the assembly.

And message to the governor before their adjournment.

They are re-convened by special summons on the occasion of
Washington's defeat, and required to form chearful and vigorous
resolutions for dislodging the enemy, in concurrence with Virginia.

The proceedings of the commissioners at Albany laid before them.

They prepare and present a bill for striking 35,000_l._ in bills of
credit, and the rest for replacing defective bills.

Which the governor evades for want of sufficient powers to pass it.

Governor Morris's arrival at Philadelphia, and first speech to a new

The assembly's answer and adjournment.

Being assembled again, a letter from Sir Thomas Robinson, secretary
of state, is laid before them; and the governor in his speech
requires them to raise and keep up a considerable body of troops.

They present a bill for raising 40,000_l._ on the former plan; half
of this sum for the public service; with a message, expressing their
concern at a paragraph in the secretary of state's letter, by which
it appeared their conduct had not been fairly represented at home.

The old instruction, and an opinion of the attorney-general's,
pleaded by the governor in bar of his assent, unless the money was
raised in a five-years fund.

A letter from Sir Thomas Robinson to the governor of Pensylvania,
dispatched at the same time with others of similar tendency to the
other governors of the northern colonies.

Which the governor, in his comment upon it, endeavours to narrow the
application of, to Pensylvania only.

A message from the assembly, fully demonstrating, that Pensylvania
was not comprehended in the instruction insisted upon; and that in
case it was, the present emergency was one of those, which, according
to the very letter of that instruction, might be provided for
notwithstanding: also desiring a sight of the instructions he himself
had received from his principals.

A second message, in which they call upon the governor to give his
assent to the bill, as what would answer all the purposes recommended
to them in Sir Thomas Robinson's letter.

The governor's reply, declining the bill as before; because the
supply might be otherwise raised, and evading the communication of
his instructions.

The assembly's rejoinder, justifying the requisition they made of his
instructions; and intimating, that an appeal to the crown was the
only method left them of being continued in the use and benefit of
their birthright, and charter liberties.

The governor questions their right to have these instructions laid
before them, and endeavours to put them beside their point, by
magnifying the preparations of the French, &c.

The assembly order the papers which had passed between the
proprietaries and them to be printed, which till then they had

Their unanimous resolutions concerning the proprietary instructions,
in which they declare it as their opinion, that the said instructions
were the principal if not the sole obstruction to their bill: also
the most essential points contained in their reply to the governor's
charges against them.

A brief of the governor's sur-rejoinder.

Some general remarks.

The assembly make their appeal to the crown, inform the governor
thereof, signify their inclination to adjourn till May, and give his
instructions the _coup de grace_.

The governor's expostulatory message thereon.

He demands a copy of their minutes; they order him one when the
printed copies were _finished_, and adjourn.

Upon Braddock's arrival in Virginia, they are re-assembled by special
summons: the demands made by message on that occasion.

The governor reprimands them for having published Sir Thomas
Robinson's letter in their minutes, and for not delivering him a copy
of those minutes so soon as he had required them.

The assembly's answer thereto.

Orders and counter-orders to the printer of these minutes.

Two messages from the governor; one communicating a design of
general Shirley to build a fort _within the limits_ of his majesty's
territories near _Crown Point_, to which the assembly is required
to contribute; and the other, notifying first the arrival of
Braddock's forces, and then the expectations entertained at home,
that the colonies would raise an additional number of forces,
furnish provisions, &c. all terminated with a kind of menace of
the resentment of his majesty and the parliament, in case of a

_Twenty five thousand pounds_ granted to the king's use, to be raised
by an emission of paper-bills to the same amount, and to be sunk by
an extension of the excise for ten years.

Refused by the governor, on the old pretence of a contrary

A provision demanded for the expence of an Indian treaty.

A memorial to the assembly from Mr. Quincy, a commissioner from the
government of Massachusett's Bay, expressing both his concern, that
the governor could not be induced to pass the said money-bill, and
his acknowledgments of the _chearfulness_ shown by them in granting
10,000_l._ for victualling the forces to be employed in New England;
being part of the money so granted; and urging them to find out some
other means of rendering their purpose effectual.

The assembly resolve to raise the said sum on the credit of the

Another paper of acknowledgment from the said Mr. Quincy.

The governor refuses to return the said bill to the assembly; informs
them the French had fitted out fifteen sail of the line, with six
thousand land forces, and calls upon them to put the province into a
state of defence, as the enemy could not be ignorant how plentiful
and defenceless it was; yet advises a short adjournment.

They meet again, and a squabble arising between them about a bill
merely provincial, he revives the former controversy.

The assembly's spirited answer to this captious message.

A remark thereon.

They are re-assembled.

A hardy assertion, concerning the paper-money act passed by governor
Thomas, refuted by a fact.

An acknowledgment from the officers of the regular forces of certain
presents made to them by the assembly.

The governor's message to the assembly, said to be founded on a
representation of general Braddock's, requiring them to enable him to
furnish the said general with provisions under proper convoys, &c. &c.

The assembly desire to have the general's letter laid before them,
which the governor declines, and thereby occasions a new controversy.

The assembly send up two other bills; one of 10,000_l._ for
exchanging old bills, and one of 15,000_l._ for the king's use, on
the model of that formerly passed by governor Thomas, and confirmed
at home by the royal authority, since the instruction so often cited
had been sent to the said governor.

Such amendments offered to it by the governor, as he could not but be
pre-convinced would not be allowed.

The assembly adjourn till September; but are again convoked in July,
on occasion of Braddock's defeat.

The governor's speech.

The assembly vote an aid of 50,000_l._ by a tax on all real and
personal estates.

The governor makes a pompous offer in the proprietary's name, of
certain lands west of Allegheny mountains, to such adventurers as
would fight for them, and calls upon the assembly to afford some
assistance to such as should accept the same.

A remonstrance which certain inhabitants of certain places were
induced to present to the assembly.

The address of the assembly to the governor.

Their 50,000_l._ money-bill returned, with an amendment, by which the
WHOLE _proprietary estate_ was to be _exempted_ from tax.

The message of the assembly to the governor on that occasion,
desiring his reasons for that exemption.

The governor's reply, containing four curious reasons.

The assembly's rejoinder, refuting those reasons.

Other papers which passed between them at the same crisis.

The residue of Braddock's troops being recalled from the frontiers,
notwithstanding an application of the assembly to the governor
requesting their continuance, he calls upon the house to provide for
the security of the Back-inhabitants.

A remark thereon.

The governor alarms and embarrasses them with petitions from certain
persons requiring to be armed; _intelligence_ of Indians actually
set out, to fall upon their frontiers; recommendations to provide
by law against exporting provisions to the enemy, as a requisite to
facilitate the reduction of Louisburgh; and _demands_ of all manner
of _things_ for the assistance of colonel Dunbar, who, by orders from
general Shirley, was again to proceed towards Fort Duquesne.

A proposal from certain gentlemen of Philadelphia to subscribe
500_l._ in lieu of the proprietary proportion of the tax in question,
and upon a presumption that the proprietaries would honourably
reimburse them.

The assembly send up their bill to the governor again, together with
the said proposal, as containing by implication an acknowledgment
that the tax was founded in equity, and also a farther security to
the governor, in case he should give his assent to the bill.

Their message to the governor, correcting his manner of stating the
Louisburgh point, and observing, that all required of them from New
England was to prolong the excellent laws they had already made.

Some seasonable remarks.

The governor's verbal answer to the assembly's message concerning the
money-bill, adhering to his amendment.

He contends for a militia.

The assembly order 1,000_l._ if so much remain in their treasury, to
arm the Back-inhabitants.

They signify their purpose to adjourn, and refer the affair of a
militia-bill to a new assembly.

Their proceedings at the next meeting: the governor demands an
additional supply of provision to be sent to Albany, at the
requisition of governor Phipps, for the use of the forces of
Massachusett's Bay: and another supply for the provisional troops of
Connecticut and Rhode Island, which he was _informed_ were raised in
addition to those already employed in the reduction of Crown-Point.

The assembly apply for a sight of Phipps's letter, which is refused.

The old controversy renewed.

A new one concerning the roads opened at the expence of the province
for the convenience of the king's forces, which is carried on with
much acrimony on both sides.

As a last effort for the public service the assembly authorize by
vote a loan, or voluntary subscription, of 10,000_l._ to be raised in
a fortnight, and refer the lenders to the next assembly for payment.

An apology for the length of this treatise; and a brief state of the
province at this period.

The new assembly, after a session of four days, suffered to adjourn
themselves without proceeding to business, for want of having the
intelligence then in the governor's hands in due form imparted to

Being re-convoked, the governor informs them, that a party of French
and Indians had passed the mountains, and were encamped within
eight miles of the capital, and, after a liberal intermixture of
upbraidings and self-sufficiencies, demands a supply; premising, that
it might be raised by an emission of any sum in paper, provided funds
were found for sinking it in five years, &c.

A reference to the only act of parliament extant, and that an
ineffectual one, to prevent the oppressions practised by provincial

Politics of various kinds, and from various quarters, presented to
the assembly.

The assembly reduce and rectify the matter of alarm communicated by
the governor; and advise such measures as might reclaim the Indians,

A new message concerning the depredations of the Indians.

_Sixty thousand pounds_ granted, to be struck in bills of credit,
which were to be sunk by a tax of _six-pence_ in the pound; and a
poll-tax of _ten shillings_ a head, yearly, for four years; which the
governor refuses, and talks of _setting off_ for the back counties.

A new message, reporting, that the Susquehanna Indians had offered
their service to the province, provided it was accepted without delay.

Two messages from the assembly to the governor; the first concerning
peace with the Indians, and the money bill; the other an answer to
his concerning the Susquehanna Indians.

They send up a bill for regulating the Indian trade.

The famous Kentish petition to the house of commons, in 1701, outdone
by the mayor of Philadelphia, and one hundred and thirty three other
inconsiderates, in a demand on their assembly to constitute a militia

A petition of certain of the people called Quakers, for peaceable

Progress of the controversy concerning the bill, which the governor
offers to pass with a suspending clause.

Resolutions of the assembly hereupon.

Message from the governor concerning another Indian massacre, and
demanding an immediate supply, &c.

Another from the assembly to him, justifying their bill both in
matter and manner.

They send him up a militia bill.

The governor's invective against their whole conduct.

He passes the militia bill, under the specific declaration that it
was an improper one.

He communicates to the assembly a discussion of Indian affairs, as
prepared by his council; calls upon them to provide for a swarm
of French banished out of Nova Scotia; and signifies, that the
proprietaries had sent an order upon their receiver-general, for
5000_l._ as a free gift to the public.

Another remonstrance from the mayor of Philadelphia and his posse.

The assembly's reply to the governor's invective, which for the
present they declined making use of.

The answer they did make use of.

Parley between the speaker and twenty-nine petitioners, or rather
prescribers to the assembly.

Unanimous resolutions concerning the right of granting supplies to
the crown; and a new money bill, out of which the proprietary estate
was excepted, in consideration of the late grant of 5000_l._

The assembly's message to the governor, explaining the use and
pressing the dispatch of the Indian trade bill.

The governor's evasive answer.

His message desiring the advice of the house.

The assembly's answer.

Their message relative to the complaint of the Shawanese Indians.

Their resolution concerning the Indian trade bill; also concerning
irregular and improper petitions.

They adjourn; and two months after re-assemble by special summons.

The governor's message on that occasion.

The message of the assembly in regard to the inlisting purchased

General Shirley's letter of acknowledgment for a voluntary present of
clothing sent by the province to his troops.

The assembly remind the governor of the Indian trade bill.

He returns it with amendments; as also their bill for extending the

They adhere to their bills and assign their reasons.

The governor goes to Newcastle and the assembly adjourn.

Sir William Johnson's treaty with the six nations laid before them at
their next meeting.

The governor appearing strongly inclined to involve the province in
a war with the Delawares and Shawanese, some of the people called
Quakers petition for specific measures.

The governor on the other hand alarms the house with an account of a
number of people coming in a body to make _demands_ upon them.

Their unanimity on that occasion.

The governor takes advantage of this incident to declare war against
the said two Indian nations.

He also demands farther supplies, and intimates, that certain
Indians, long subsisted by the province, were retiring in discontent,

The assembly's answer.

The return made by the governor.

The resolutions of the assembly concerning a plan of military
operations communicated to them by the governor.

They adjourn and are re-assembled.

The governor's message to them from a place called _Harris's Ferry_.

A petition of the association companies in Philadelphia, concerning
the insufficiency of the militia law.

The reply of the assembly to the governor's message, accompanied with
a bill for prohibiting provisions.

Another session, and two other messages from the governor, who was
still posted at Harris's Ferry.

A money bill ordered, but postponed on the receipt of intelligence
from Sir Charles Hardy and Sir William Johnson, that the Delawares
and Shawanese were disposed to renew their alliance.

The governor proclaims a suspension of arms.

The assemblies' message to him, in which they again press him to pass
the Indian trade bill; he promises to reconsider it; and a second
time calls upon them to make some (additional) provision for his

Six members desire leave upon the adjournment to quit their seats,
and at the next session present a written paper to the house as a
testimonial thereof.

The resignation accepted and new writs issued.

The governor's message notifying the appointment of Lord Loudoun to
be commander in chief in America; as also the act of parliament for
raising a regiment of foreigners; recommending particularly, that the
masters of such indented servants as should engage in the service
might be indemnified; and that, as by the expiration of an act passed
in the Lower Counties, the Pensylvanian act, lately passed, would
expire also, they would prepare a proper bill for continuing the
embargo, &c.

The assembly's reply; in which they show, the governor had
invalidated the acts of all the other colonies by the law he had
passed in the Lower Counties.

Their message concerning the excise and Indian trade bills; and his
answer, that he would not recede from his amendments because of his
proprietary instruction.

The instruction itself.

A remark; and the resolution of the house on the said instruction.

An act for emitting 4000_l._ in bills of credit, on behalf of the
proprietaries, to supply so far the public occasions, till their
receiver-general should be enabled by his receipts to make good their

An act, for striking and issuing the sum of 40,000_l._ for the king's
use, sent up to the governor.

His message concerning an attack to be apprehended from the Indians
about harvest time.

The assembly's answer.

A bill to permit the exportation of provisions for the king's
service, notwithstanding the act of prohibition.

The governor's evasive conduct in relation thereto.

The assembly apprise him, July 5, of their intention to adjourn till
August 2; and are told that he has no objection.

Notwithstanding which, he re-assembles them a fortnight afterwards,
in the midst of their harvest, under the pretence of continuing the
prohibition act.

Petition of the merchants in relation to the embargo.

The assembly's answer to the governor's message.

Another message to him concerning the preamble to the 4000_l._ bill
on behalf of the proprietaries.

The governor's answer.

He sends down another preamble, which is not relished; refuses to
pass the excise bill, and expunges the clause in the 40,000_l._ bill
for taxing the proprietary estate.

His message concerning Indian affairs, and the expence of conducting

The assembly's answer.

The governor's reply.

A parting compliment from general Shirley to the province.

A new session, and the governor's message thereon.

The assembly's answer.

Governor Morris is superseded by governor Denny.

The governor complimented on his arrival.

The first speech a continuation of the old system.

The business of the assembly at a stand for a few days.

Their address; and message, requesting copies of his proprietary

Certain of the said instructions communicated.

A short comment upon them.

A message to the governor.

The governor's answer.

A bill prepared for striking the sum of 60,000_l._ for the king's
use, to be sunk by an excise.

A conference on the said bill.

The assembly's answer to the governor's objections.

The governor's answer, signifying, that he _would not_ give his
assent to it.

Resolutions of the assembly after a _protest_ against the
_instructions_, and a _salvo_ for their own _rights_, to prepare a
new bill.

A new bill prepared and passed.

A brief apology for the conduct of the assembly on this occasion.

A remonstrance voted.

Conclusion; with a testimonial of commodore Sprag in behalf of the

AN APPENDIX, containing sundry original papers relative to the
several points in controversy between the governors and assemblies of
Pensylvania, viz.

1. The representation of the assembly to the proprietaries,
requesting them to bear a proportionable part of Indian expences.

2. The proprietaries' answer; and assembly's remarks thereon.

3. A message from governor Morris, containing his additional
arguments to show the _unreasonableness_ of taxing the proprietary
estate for its defence, and in support of the restrictions he was
under in that respect.

4. The assembly's answer thereto.

5. The governor's reply.

6. The assembly's rejoinder.

  [Note. _In the above four messages great part of the points in
  dispute between the proprietaries and people of the province are
  fully litigated; and the perusal of them is necessary to those who
  would have a thorough knowledge of the controversy._]

7. The speaker of the Pensylvanian assembly's paper of authorities
relating to the rights of the commons over money-bills, and in
support of the 50,000_l._ bills passed by the assembly, so far as it
relates to the taxing the proprietary estate within that province.

8. Report of a committee of assembly on the proprietary
_instructions_ relative to _money-bills_; clearly demonstrating, that
though the proprietaries would at length appear to be willing to
have their estates taxed in common with other estates, yet that were
laws passed pursuant to these instructions, much the greatest part
of their estate would be exempted, and that the sums necessary to be
granted for his majesty's service in that province could not possibly
be raised thereby, &c. &c. _A paper of importance._

9. Mr. Thomas Penn's estimate of the _value_ of the proprietary
estate in Pensylvania, upwards of twenty years ago; with remarks
thereon, showing its prodigious increase since that time, the profits
arising to the HOUSE OF PENN from their Indian purchases, and the
huckstering manner in which they dispose of lands to the king's
subjects in that province.

10. A specimen of the anonymous abuses continually published against
the inhabitants of Pensylvania, by the proprietaries and their
agents, with Mr. W. Franklin's refutation thereof.

11. Some remarks on the conduct of the last and present governor,
with regard to their employing the provincial forces as _regulars_,
rather than as _rangers_; and showing the secret reason why that
province is at present without a _militia-law_, notwithstanding the
several bills which have been lately passed by the assembly for that

12. An account of sundry sums of money paid by the province for his
majesty's service, _since the commencement of the present troubles in

13. An extract from an original letter of Mr. Logan, containing,
among other things, his opinion of the proprietary right to the
government of the three Delaware counties; and which serves to
account for the particular favour shown that government from time to


[16] This is the title of an octavo volume, consisting of nearly
five hundred pages closely printed. It was written, as mentioned in
the preceding note, while Dr. Franklin was in England as agent for
the province of Pensylvania, to further the ends of his mission, by
removing the unfavourable impressions which had taken place to the
prejudice of the Pensylvanians: and "it must be confessed," as a
reviewer of the work observes, "they had in our author a most zealous
and able advocate. His sentiments are manly, liberal, and spirited;
his style close, nervous, and rhetorical. By a forcible display of
the oppressions his clients have sustained, he inclines us to pity
their condition; by an enumeration of their virtues he endeavours to
remove the idea, which many have entertained, of their unimportance,
and, abstracted from their consideration in a political light, they
claim our regard by reason of their own personal merits." Interesting
however as the controversy between the governors and the assembly
of Pensylvania may have been at the time, it is too little so now
to justify the insertion of so voluminous an account of it in the
present collection, and we shall content ourselves therefore with
extracting the dedication, preface, and contents. It is singular,
that neither the editor of Dr. Franklin's works, whom we have
designated by the letters B. V.; nor Dr. Stuber, the continuator of
his life, should have mentioned this publication. The work is indeed
anonymous, but it is so well known to have been Dr. Franklin's, that
in the common library catalogue of the British Museum it is ranked
under his name. _Editor._

  _The Interest of Great Britain considered, with Regard to her
  Colonies, and the Acquisitions of Canada and Guadaloupe[17]._

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

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

The author of the Letter, who must be every way best able to support
his own sentiments, will, I hope, excuse me, if I seem officiously
to interfere; when he considers, that the spirit of patriotism, like
other qualities good and bad, is catching; and that his long silence
since the Remarks appeared has made us despair of seeing the subject
farther discussed by his masterly hand. The ingenious and candid
remarker, too, who must have been misled himself before he employed
his skill and address to mislead others, will certainly, since he
declares he _aims at no seduction_[18], be disposed to excuse even
the weakest effort to prevent it.

And surely, if the general opinions that possess the minds of the
people may possibly be of consequence in public affairs, it must be
fit to set those opinions right. If there is danger, as the remarker
supposes, that "extravagant expectations" may embarrass "a virtuous
and able ministry," and "render the negotiation for peace a work of
infinite difficulty[19];" there is no less danger that expectations
too low, through want of proper information, may have a contrary
effect, may make even a virtuous and able ministry less anxious,
and less attentive to the obtaining points, in which the honour and
interest of the nation are essentially concerned; and the people less
hearty in supporting such a ministry and its measures.

The people of this nation are indeed respectable, not for their
numbers only, but for their understanding and their public spirit:
they manifest the first, by their universal approbation of the
late prudent and vigorous measures, and the confidence they so
justly repose in a wise and good prince, and an honest and able
administration; the latter they have demonstrated by the immense
supplies granted in parliament unanimously, and paid through the
whole kingdom with chearfulness. And since to this spirit and
these supplies our "victories and successes[20]" have in great
measure been owing, is it quite right, is it generous to say, with
the remarker, that the people "had no share in acquiring them?"
The mere mob he cannot mean, even where he speaks of the madness
of the people; for the madness of the mob must be too feeble and
impotent, armed as the government of this country at present is, to
"overrule[21]," even in the slightest instances, the virtue "and
moderation" of a firm and steady ministry.

While the war continues, its final event is quite uncertain. The
victorious of this year may be the vanquished of the next. It may
therefore be too early to say, what advantages we ought absolutely
to insist on, and make the _sine quibus non_ of a peace. If the
necessity of our affairs should oblige us to accept of terms less
advantageous than our present successes seem to promise us; an
intelligent people, as ours is, must see that necessity, and will
acquiesce. But as a peace, when it is made, may be made hastily; and
as the unhappy continuance of the war affords us time to consider,
among several advantages gained or to be gained, which of them may
be most for our interest to retain, if some and not all may possibly
be retained; I do not blame the public disquisition of these points,
as premature or useless. Light often arises from a collision of
opinions, as fire from flint and steel; and if we can obtain the
benefit of the _light_, without danger from the _heat_ sometimes
produced by controversy, why should we discourage it?

Supposing then, that heaven may still continue to bless his majesty's
arms, and that the event of this just war may put it in our power
to retain some of our conquests at the making of a peace; let us

  [1. _The security of a dominion, a justifiable and prudent ground
  upon which to demand cessions from an enemy._]

_Whether we are_ to confine ourselves to those possessions only
_that were "the objects for which we began the war[22]."_ This the
remarker seems to think right, when the question relates to "_Canada,
properly so called_; it having never been mentioned as one of those
objects, in any of our memorials or declarations, or in any national
or public act whatsoever." But the gentleman himself will probably
agree, that if the cession of Canada would be a real advantage to
us; we may demand it under his second head, as an "_indemnification_
for the charges incurred" in recovering our just rights; otherwise,
according to his own principles, the demand of Guadaloupe can have no
foundation.--That "our claims before the war were large enough for
possession and for security too[23]," though it seems a clear point
with the ingenious remarker, is, I own, not so with me. I am rather
of the contrary opinion, and shall presently give my reasons.

But first let me observe, that we did not make those claims
because they were large enough for security, but because we could
rightfully claim no more. Advantages gained in the course of this
war may increase the extent of our rights. Our claims before
the war contained _some_ security; but that is no reason why we
should neglect acquiring _more_, when the demand of more is become
reasonable. It may be reasonable in the case of America, to ask for
the security recommended by the author of the Letter[24], though it
would be preposterous to do it in many other cases. His proposed
demand is founded on the little value of Canada to the French;
the right we have to ask, and the power we may have to insist on
an indemnification for our expences; the difficulty the French
themselves will be under of restraining their restless subjects in
America from encroaching on our limits and disturbing our trade; and
the difficulty on our parts of preventing encroachments, that may
possibly exist many years without coming to our knowledge.

But the remarker "does not see why the arguments, employed concerning
a security for a peaceable behaviour in Canada, would not be equally
cogent for calling for the same security in Europe[25]." On a
little farther reflection, he must I think be sensible, that the
circumstances of the two cases are widely different.--_Here_ we are
separated by the best and clearest of boundaries, the ocean, and we
have people in or near every part of our territory. Any attempt to
encroach upon us, by building a fort even in the obscurest corner of
these islands, must therefore be known and prevented immediately.
The aggressors also must be known, and the nation they belong to
would be accountable for their aggression. In America it is quite
otherwise. A vast wilderness, thinly or scarce at all peopled,
conceals with ease the march of troops and workmen. Important passes
may be seized within our limits, and forts built in a month, at a
small expence, that may cost us an age, and a million, to remove.
Dear experience has taught this. But what is still _worse_, the wide
extended forests between our settlements and theirs, are inhabited
by barbarous tribes of savages, that delight in war, and take pride
in murder; subjects properly neither of the French nor English,
but strongly attached to the former by the art and indefatigable
industry of priests, similarity of superstitions, and frequent family
alliances. These are easily, and have been continually, instigated
to fall upon and massacre our planters, even in times of full peace
between the two crowns; to the certain diminution of our people and
the contraction of our settlements[26]. And though it is known they
are supplied by the French, and carry their prisoners to them, we
can, by complaining, obtain no redress; as the governors of Canada
have a ready excuse, that the Indians are an independent people, over
whom they have no power, and for whose actions they are therefore not
accountable. Surely circumstances so widely different may reasonably
authorise different demands of security in America, from such as are
usual or necessary in Europe.

The remarker however thinks, that our real dependance for keeping
"France or any other nation true to her engagements, must not be in
demanding securities which no nation whilst _independent_ can give;
but on our own strength and our own vigilance[27]." No nation that
has carried on a war with disadvantage, and is unable to continue
it, can be said, under such circumstances, to be _independent_;
and while either side thinks itself in a condition to demand an
indemnification, there is no man in his senses, but will, cæteris
paribus, prefer an indemnification, that is a cheaper and more
effectual security than any other he can think of. Nations in this
situation demand and cede countries by almost every treaty of peace
that is made. The French part of the island of St. Christophers was
added to Great Britain in circumstances altogether similar to those
in which a few months may probably place the country of Canada.
Farther security has always been deemed a motive with a conqueror to
be less moderate; and even the _vanquished_ insist upon security as a
reason for demanding what they acknowledge they could not otherwise
properly ask. The security of the frontier of France _on the side
of the Netherlands_ was always considered in the negotiation, that
began at Gertrudenburgh, and ended with that war. For the same
reason they demanded and had Cape Breton. But a war, concluded to
the advantage of France, has always added something to the power,
either of France, or the house of Bourbon. Even that of 1733, which
she commenced with declarations of her having no ambitious views,
and which finished by a treaty, at which the ministers of France
repeatedly declared, that she desired nothing for herself, in effect
gained for her Lorrain, an indemnification ten times the value of
all her North American possessions. In short, security and quiet of
princes and states have ever been deemed sufficient reasons, when
supported by power, for disposing of rights; and such disposition
has never been looked on as want of moderation. It has always been
the foundation of the most general treaties. The security of Germany
was the argument for yielding considerable possessions there to the
Swedes: and the security of Europe divided the Spanish monarchy by
the partition-treaty, made between powers who had no other right
to dispose of any part of it. There can be no cession that is not
supposed at least, to increase the power of the party to whom it is
made. It is enough that he has a right to ask it, and that he does
it not merely to serve the purposes of a dangerous ambition.

Canada, in the hands of Britain, will endanger the kingdom of
France as little as any other cession; and from its situation and
circumstances cannot be hurtful to any other state. Rather, if
peace be an advantage, this cession may be such to all Europe. The
present war teaches us, that disputes arising in America may be an
occasion of embroiling nations; who have no concerns there. If the
French remain in Canada and Louisiana, fix the boundaries as you
will between us and them, we must border on each other for more
than fifteen hundred miles. The people that inhabit the frontiers
are generally the refuse of both nations, often of the worst morals
and the least discretion; remote from the eye, the prudence, and
the restraint of government. Injuries are therefore frequently, in
some part or other of so long a frontier, committed on both sides,
resentment provoked, the colonies first engaged, and then the mother
countries. And two great nations can scarce be at war in Europe,
but some other prince or state thinks it a convenient opportunity
to revive some ancient claim, seize some advantage, obtain some
territory, or enlarge some power at the expence of a neighbour. The
flames of war, once kindled, often spread far and wide, and the
mischief is infinite. Happy it proved to both nations, that the
Dutch were prevailed on finally to cede the New Netherlands (now
the province of New York) to us at the peace of 1674; a peace that
has ever since continued between us, but must have been frequently
disturbed, if they had retained the possession of that country,
bordering several hundred miles on our colonies of Pensylvania
westward, Connecticut and the Massachusetts eastward. Nor is it
to be wondered at, that people of different language, religion,
and manners, should in those remote parts engage in frequent
quarrels; when we find, that even the people of our _own colonies_
have frequently been so exasperated against _each other_, in their
disputes about boundaries, as to proceed to open violence and

  [2. _Erecting forts in the back settlements, almost in no instance
  a sufficient security against the Indians and the French; but the
  possession of Canada implies every security, and ought to be had,
  while in our power._]

But the remarker thinks _we shall be_ sufficiently _secure in
America, if we "raise English forts at such passes as may at once
make us respectable to the French and to the Indian nations[28]."_
The security desirable in America may be considered as of three
kinds. 1. A security of possession, that the French shall not drive
us out of the country. 2. A security of our planters from the inroads
of savages, and the murders committed by them. 3. A security that
the British nation shall not be obliged, on every new war, to repeat
the immense expence occasioned by this, to defend its possessions in
America. Forts, in the most important passes, may, I acknowledge,
be of use to obtain the _first_ kind of security: but as those
situations are far advanced beyond the inhabitants, the expence of
maintaining and supplying the garrisons will be very great even in
time of full peace, and immense on every interruption of it; as it is
easy for skulking-parties of the enemy, in such long roads through
the woods, to intercept and cut off our convoys, unless guarded
continually by great bodies of men.--The _second_ kind of security
will not be obtained by such forts, unless they were connected by
a wall like that of China, from one end of our settlements to the
other. If the Indians, when at war, marched like the Europeans,
with great armies, heavy cannon, baggage, and carriages; the passes
through which alone such armies could penetrate our country, or
receive their supplies, being secured, all might be sufficiently
secure; but the case is widely different. They go to war, as they
call it, in small parties; from fifty men down to five. Their hunting
life has made them acquainted with the whole country, and scarce any
part of it is impracticable to such a party. They can travel through
the woods even by night, and know how to conceal their tracks. They
pass easily between your forts undiscovered; and privately approach
the settlements of your frontier inhabitants. They need no convoys
of provisions to follow them; for whether they are shifting from
place to place in the woods, or lying in wait for an opportunity to
strike a blow, every thicket and every stream furnishes so small
a number with sufficient subsistence. When they have surprised
separately, and murdered and scalped a dozen families, they are gone
with inconceivable expedition through unknown ways; and it is very
rare that pursuers have any chance of coming up with them[29]. In
short, long experience has taught our planters, that they cannot
rely upon forts as a security against Indians: the inhabitants of
Hackney might as well rely upon the tower of London, to secure them
against highwaymen and housebreakers.--As to the _third_ kind of
security, that we shall not, in a few years, have all we have now
done, to do over again in America, and be obliged to employ the same
number of troops, and ships, at the same immense expence, to defend
our possessions there, while we are in proportion weakened here: such
forts I think, cannot prevent this. During a peace, it is not to be
doubted the French, who are adroit at fortifying, will likewise erect
forts in the most advantageous places of the country we leave them;
which will make it more difficult than ever to be reduced in case of
another war. We know by the experience of this war, how extremely
difficult it is to march an army through the American woods, with its
necessary cannon and stores, sufficient to reduce a very slight fort.
The accounts at the treasury will tell you, what amazing sums we have
necessarily spent in the expeditions against two very trifling forts,
Duquesne, and Crown Point. While the French retain their influence
over the Indians, they can easily keep our long extended frontier
in continual alarm, by a very few of those people; and with a small
number of regulars and militia, in such a country, we find they can
keep an army of ours in full employ for several years. We therefore
shall not need to be told by our colonies, that if we leave Canada,
however circumscribed, to the French, "we have done nothing[30];" we
shall soon be made sensible _ourselves_ of this truth, and to our

I would not be understood to deny, that even if we subdue and
retain Canada, some _few forts_ may be of use to secure the goods
of the traders, and protect the commerce, in case of any sudden
misunderstanding with any tribe of Indians: but these forts will be
best under the care of the colonies interested in the Indian trade,
and garrisoned by their provincial forces, and at their own expence.
Their own interest will then induce the American governments to
take care of such forts in proportion to their importance, and see
that the officers keep their corps full, and mind their duty. But
any troops of ours placed there, and accountable here, would, in
such remote and obscure places, and at so great a distance from the
eye and inspection of superiors, soon become of little consequence,
even though the French were left in possession of Canada. If the
four independent companies, maintained by the crown in New York
more than forty years, at a great expence, consisted, for most part
of the time, of faggots chiefly; if their officers enjoyed their
places as sinecures, and were only, as a writer[31] of that country
styles them, a kind of military monks; if this was the state of
troops posted in a populous country, where the imposition could
not be so well concealed; what may we expect will be the case of
those, that shall be posted two, three, or four hundred miles from
the inhabitants, in such obscure and remote places as Crown Point,
Oswego, Duquesne, or Niagara? they would scarce be even faggots; they
would dwindle to mere names upon paper, and appear no where but upon
the muster-rolls.

Now _all the kinds_ of security we have mentioned are obtained
by subduing and _retaining_ Canada. Our present possessions in
America are secured; our planters will no longer be massacred by the
Indians, who, depending absolutely on us for what are now become the
necessaries of life to them (guns, powder, hatchets, knives, and
clothing) and having no other Europeans near, that can either supply
them, or instigate them against us; there is no doubt of their being
always disposed, if we treat them with common justice, to live in
perpetual peace with us. And with regard to France, she cannot, in
case of another war, put us to the immense expence of defending that
long extended frontier; we shall then, as it were, have our backs
against a wall in America; the sea coast will be easily protected by
our superior naval power: and here "our own watchfulness and our own
strength" will be properly, and cannot but be successfully employed.
In this situation, the force, now employed in that part of the world,
may be spared for any other service here or elsewhere; so that both
the offensive and defensive strength of the British empire, on the
whole, will be greatly increased.

But to leave the French in possession of Canada, _when it is in our
power to remove them, and depend_ (as the remarker proposes) _on
our own_ "strength and watchfulness[32]" _to prevent the mischiefs
that may attend it, seems neither safe nor prudent_. Happy as we now
are, under the best of kings, and in the prospect of a succession
promising every felicity a nation was ever blessed with; happy too in
the wisdom and vigour of every part of the administration; we cannot,
we ought not to promise ourselves the uninterrupted continuance of
those blessings. The safety of a considerable part of the state, and
the interest of the whole, are not to be trusted to the wisdom and
vigour of _future administrations_; when a security is to be had
more effectual, more constant, and much less expensive. They, who
can be moved by the apprehension of dangers so remote, as that of
the future independence of our colonies (a point I shall hereafter
consider) seem scarcely consistent with themselves, when they
suppose we may rely on the wisdom and vigour of an administration
for their safety.--I should indeed think it less material whether
Canada were ceded to us or not, if I had in view only the security
of _possession_ in our colonies. I entirely agree with the remarker,
that we are in North America "a far greater continental as well
as naval power;" and that only cowardice or ignorance can subject
our colonies there to a French conquest. But for the same reason I
disagree with him widely upon another point.

  [3. _The blood and treasure spent in the American wars, not spent
  in the cause of the colonies alone._]

I do not think, that our "blood and treasure has been expended," as
he intimates, "_in the cause of the colonies_," and that we are
"making conquests for _them_[33];" yet I believe this is too common
an error. I do not say, they are altogether unconcerned in the event.
The inhabitants of them are, in common with the other subjects of
Great Britain, anxious for the glory of her crown, the extent of
her power and commerce, the welfare and future repose of the whole
British people. They could not therefore but take a large share in
the affronts offered to Britain; and have been animated with a truly
British spirit to exert themselves beyond their strength, and against
their evident interest. Yet so unfortunate have they been, that their
virtue has made against them; for upon no better foundation than this
have they been supposed the authors of a war, carried on for their
advantage only. It is a great mistake to imagine, that the American
country in question between Great Britain and France is claimed as
the property of any _individuals or public body in America_; or that
the possession of it by Great Britain is likely, in any lucrative
view, to redound at all to the advantage of any person there.
On the other hand, the bulk of the inhabitants of North America
are _land-owners_, whose lands are inferior in value to those of
Britain, only by the want of an equal number of people. It is true,
the accession of the large territory claimed before the war began
(especially if that be secured by the possession of Canada) will
tend to the increase of the British subjects faster, than if they
had been confined within the mountains: yet the increase within the
mountains only would evidently make the comparative population equal
to that of Great Britain much sooner than it can be expected, when
our people are spread over a country six times as large. I think this
is the only point of light in which this question is to be viewed,
and is the only one in which any of the colonies are concerned.--No
colony, no possessor of lands in any colony, therefore wishes for
conquests, or can be benefitted by them, otherwise than as they may
be a means of _securing peace on their borders_. No considerable
advantage has resulted to the colonies by the conquests of this
war, or can result from confirming them by the peace, but what they
must enjoy in common with the rest of the British people; with this
evident drawback from their share of these advantages, that they will
necessarily lessen, or at least prevent the increase of the value of
what makes the principal part of their private property [their land].
A people, spread through the whole tract of country on this side
the Mississippi, and secured by Canada in our hands, would probably
for some centuries find employment in agriculture, and thereby free
us at home effectually from our fears of American manufactures.
Unprejudiced men well know, that all the penal and prohibitory
laws that ever were thought on will not be sufficient to prevent
manufactures in a country, whose inhabitants surpass the number that
can subsist by the husbandry of it. That this will be the case in
America soon, if our people remain confined within the mountains, and
almost as soon should it be unsafe for them to live beyond, though
the country be ceded to us, no man acquainted with political and
commercial history can doubt. Manufactures are founded in poverty:
it is the multitude of poor without land in a country, and who must
work for others at low wages or starve, that enables undertakers to
carry on a manufacture, and afford it cheap enough to prevent the
importation of the same kind from abroad, and to bear the expence of
its own exportation.--But no man, who can have a piece of land of
his own, sufficient by his labour to subsist his family in plenty,
is poor enough to be a manufacturer, and work for a master. Hence,
while there is land enough in America for our people, there can never
be manufactures to any amount or value. It is a striking observation
of a very _able pen_[34], that the natural livelihood of the thin
inhabitants of a forest country is hunting; that of a greater number,
pasturage: that of a middling population, agriculture; and that of
the greatest, manufactures; which last must subsist the bulk of the
people in a full country, or they must be subsisted by charity, or
perish. The extended population, therefore, that is most advantageous
to Great Britain, will be best effected, because only effectually
secured, by our possession of Canada.

So far as the _being_ of our present colonies in North America is
concerned, I think indeed with the remarker, that the French there
are not _"an enemy to be apprehended[35];"_--but the expression is
too vague to be applicable to the present, or indeed to any other
case. Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, unequal as they are to this nation
in power and numbers of people, are enemies to be still apprehended;
and the Highlanders of Scotland have been so for many ages, by the
greatest princes of Scotland and Britain. The wild Irish were able
to give a great deal of disturbance even to Queen Elizabeth, and
cost her more blood and treasure than her war with Spain. Canada, in
the hands of France, has always stinted the growth of our colonies,
in the course of this war, and indeed before it, has disturbed
and vexed even the best and strongest of them; has found means to
murder thousands of their people, and unsettle a great part of their
country. Much more able will it be to starve the growth of an infant
settlement. Canada has also found means to make this nation spend two
or three millions a year in America; and a people, how small soever,
that in their present situation, can do this as often as we have a
war with them, is, methinks, "an enemy to be apprehended."

Our North American colonies are to be considered as the _frontier
of the British empire_ on that side. The frontier of any dominion
being attacked, it becomes not merely "the cause" of the people
immediately attacked (the inhabitants of that frontier) but properly
"the cause" of the whole body. Where the frontier people owe and
pay obedience, there they have a right to look for protection:
no political proposition is better established than this. It is
therefore invidious, to represent the "blood and treasure" spent in
this war, as spent in "the cause of the colonies" only; and that they
are "absurd and ungrateful," if they think we have done nothing,
unless we "make conquests for them," and reduce Canada to gratify
their "vain ambition," &c. It will not be a conquest for _them_,
nor gratify any vain ambition of theirs. It will be a conquest for
the _whole_; and all our people will, in the increase of trade, and
the ease of taxes, find the advantage of it. Should we be obliged
at any time, to make a war for the protection of our commerce, and
to secure the exportation of our manufactures, would it be fair to
represent such a war, merely as blood and treasure spent in the
cause of the weavers of Yorkshire, Norwich, or the West; the cutlers
of Sheffield, or the button-makers of Birmingham? I hope it will
appear before I end these sheets, that if ever there was a national
war, this is truly such a one: a war in which the interest of the
whole nation is directly and fundamentally concerned. Those, who
would be thought deeply skilled in human nature, affect to discover
self-interested views every where at the bottom of the fairest, the
most generous conduct. Suspicions and charges of this kind meet
with ready reception and belief in the minds even of the multitude,
and therefore less acuteness and address, than the remarker is
possessed of, would be sufficient to persuade the nation generally,
that all the zeal and spirit, manifested and exerted by the colonies
in this war, was only in "their own cause," to "make conquests for
themselves," to engage us to make more for them, to gratify their own
"vain ambition."

But should they now humbly address the mother-country in the terms
and the sentiments of the remarker; return her their grateful
acknowledgments for the blood and treasure she had spent in "their
cause;" confess that enough had not been done "for them;" allow that
"English forts, raised in proper passes, will, with the wisdom and
vigour of her administration," be a sufficient future protection;
express their desires that their people may be confined within
the mountains, lest [if] they are suffered to spread and extend
themselves in the fertile and pleasant country on the other side,
they should "increase infinitely from all causes," "live wholly
on their own labour" and become independent; beg therefore that
the French may be suffered to remain in possession of Canada, as
their neighbourhood may be useful to prevent our increase, and the
removing them may "in its consequences be even dangerous[36]:"--I
say, should such an address from the colonies make its appearance
here (though, according to the remarker, it would be a most just
and reasonable one) would it not, might it not with more justice
be answered:--We understand you, gentlemen, perfectly well: you
have only your own interest in view: you want to have the people
confined within your present limits, that in a few years the lands
you are possessed of may increase tenfold in value! you want to
reduce the price of labour, by increasing numbers on the same
territory, that you may be able to set up manufactures and vie with
your mother-country! you would have your people kept in a body,
that you may be more able to dispute the commands of the crown, and
obtain an independency. You would have the French left in Canada, to
exercise your military virtue, and make you a warlike people, that
you may have more confidence to embark in schemes of disobedience,
and greater ability to support them! You have tasted too, the sweets
of TWO OR THREE MILLIONS sterling per annum spent among you by our
fleets and forces, and you are unwilling to be without a pretence
for kindling up another war, and thereby occasioning a repetition of
the same delightful doses! But, gentlemen, allow us to understand
_our_ interest a little likewise: we shall remove the French from
Canada, that you may live in peace, and we be no more drained by your
quarrels. You shall have land enough to cultivate, that you may have
neither necessity nor inclination to go into manufactures; and we
will manufacture for you, and govern you.

A reader of the Remarks may be apt to say, if this writer would
have us restore Canada, on principles of moderation, how can we,
consistent with those principles, retain Guadaloupe, which he
represents of so much greater value!--I will endeavour to explain
this, because by doing it I shall have an opportunity of showing the
truth and good sense of the answer to the interested application I
have just supposed: The author then is only apparently and not really
inconsistent with himself. If we can obtain the credit of moderation
by restoring Canada, it is well: but we should, however, restore it
at _all events_; because it would not only be of no use to us; but
"the possession of it (in his opinion) may in its consequences be
dangerous[37]." As how? Why, plainly, (at length it comes out) if the
French are not left there to check the growth of our colonies, "they
will extend themselves almost without bounds into the inland parts,
and increase infinitely from all causes; becoming a numerous, hardy,
independent people; possessed of a strong country, communicating
little or not at all with England, living wholly on their own labour,
and in process of time knowing little and enquiring little about the
mother-country." In short, according to this writer, our present
colonies are large enough and numerous enough; and the French ought
to be left in North America to prevent their increase, lest they
become not only useless, but dangerous to Britain. I agree with the
Gentleman, that with Canada in our possession, our people in America
will increase amazingly. I know, that their common rate of increase,
where they are not molested by the enemy, is doubling their numbers
every twenty-five years, by natural generation only; exclusive of the
accession of foreigners[38]. I think this increase continuing would
probably, in a century more, make the number of British subjects on
that side the water more numerous than they now are on this; But,

  [4. _Not necessary that the American colonies should_ cease being
  useful to the _mother-country_. _Their_ preference _over the
  West-Indian colonies stated_.]

_I am far from entertaining on that account, any fears of their
becoming either useless or dangerous to us; and I look on those fears
to be merely imaginary, and without any probable foundation._--The
remarker is reserved in giving his reasons; as in his opinion this
"is not a fit subject for discussion."--I shall give mine, because
I conceive it a subject necessary to be discussed; and the rather,
as those fears, how groundless and chimerical soever, may, by
possessing the multitude, possibly induce the ablest ministry to
conform to them against their own judgment; and thereby prevent the
assuring to the British name and nation a stability and permanency,
that no man acquainted with history durst have hoped for, till our
American possessions opened the pleasing prospect. The remarker
thinks, that our people in America, "finding no check from Canada,
would extend themselves almost without bounds into the inland parts,
and increase infinitely from all causes." The very reason he assigns
for their so extending, and which is indeed the true one (their
being "invited to it by the pleasantness, fertility, and plenty of
the country,") may satisfy us, that this extension will continue to
proceed, as long as there remains any pleasant fertile country within
their reach. And if we even suppose them confined by the waters
of the Mississippi westward, and by those of St. Laurence and the
lakes to the northward; yet still we shall leave them room enough
to increase, even in the manner of settling now practised there,
till they amount to perhaps a hundred millions of souls. This must
take some centuries to fulfil: and in the _mean time_, this nation
must necessarily supply them with the manufactures they consume;
because the new settlers will be employed in agriculture; and the
new settlements will so continually draw off the spare hands from
the old, that our present colonies will not, during the period we
have mentioned, find themselves in a condition to manufacture, even
for their own inhabitants, to any considerable degree, much less for
those who are settling behind them.

Thus our trade must, till that country becomes as fully peopled as
England (that is for centuries to come) be continually increasing,
and with it our naval power; because the ocean is between us
and them, and our ships and seamen must increase as that trade
increases.--The human body and the political differ in this;
that the first is limited by nature to a certain stature, which,
when attained, it cannot ordinarily exceed: the other, by better
government and more prudent police, as well as by change of manners
and other circumstances, often takes fresh starts of growth, after
being long at a stand; and may add tenfold to the dimensions it
had for ages been confined to. The mother, being of full stature,
is in a few years equalled by a growing daughter: but in the case
of a mother-country and her colonies, it is quite different. The
growth of the children tends to increase the growth of the mother,
and so the difference and superiority is longer preserved. Were the
inhabitants of this island limited to their present number by any
thing in nature, or by unchangeable circumstances, the equality
of population between the two countries might indeed sooner come
to pass: but sure experience, in those parts of the island where
manufactures have been introduced, teaches us; that people increase
and multiply in proportion as the means and facility of gaining a
livelihood increase; and that this island, if they could be employed,
is capable of supporting ten times its present number of people. In
proportion, therefore, as the demand increases for the manufactures
of Britain, by the increase of people in her colonies, the number
of her people at home will increase; and with them, the strength as
well as the wealth of the nation. For satisfaction in this point, let
the reader compare in his mind the number and force of our present
fleets, with our fleet in Queen Elizabeth's time[39], before we had
colonies. Let him compare the ancient, with the present state of our
towns on or near our western coast (Manchester, Liverpool, Kendal,
Lancaster, Glasgow, and the countries round them) that trade with
any manufacture for our colonies (not to mention Leeds, Halifax,
Sheffield, and Birmingham,) and consider what a difference there is
in the numbers of people, buildings, rents, and the value of land
and of the produce of land; even if he goes back no farther than is
within man's memory. Let him compare those countries with others on
the same island, where manufactures have not yet extended themselves;
observe the present difference, and reflect how much greater our
strength may be (if numbers give strength) when our manufacturers
shall occupy every part of the island where they can possibly be

But, say the objectors, "there is a _certain distance from the
sea_, in America, beyond which the expence of carriage will put a
stop to the sale and consumption of your manufactures; and this,
with the difficulty of making returns for them, will oblige the
inhabitants to manufacture for themselves; of course, if you suffer
your people to extend their settlements beyond that distance, your
people become useless to you:" and this distance is limited by some
to two hundred miles, by others to the Apalachian mountains.--Not
to insist on a very plain truth, that no part of a dominion, from
whence a government may on occasion draw supplies and aids both of
men and money (though at too great a distance to be supplied with
manufactures from some other part) is therefore to be deemed useless
to the whole; I shall endeavour to show, that these imaginary limits
of utility, even in point of commerce, are much too narrow. The
inland parts of the continent of Europe are farther from the sea,
than the limits of settlement proposed for America. Germany is full
of tradesmen and artificers of all kinds, and the governments there
are not all of them always favourable to the commerce of Britain; yet
it is a well-known fact, that our manufactures find their way even
into the heart of Germany. Ask the great manufacturers and merchants
of the Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, and Norwich
goods; and they will tell you, that some of them send their riders
frequently through France or Spain, and Italy, up to Vienna, and back
through the middle and northern parts of Germany, to show samples of
their wares, and collect orders, which they receive by almost every
mail, to a vast amount. Whatever charges arise on the carriage of
goods are added to the value, and all paid by the consumer. If these
nations, over whom we have no government, over whose consumption
we can have no influence, but what arises from the cheapness and
goodness of our wares, whose trade, manufactures, or commercial
connections are not subject to the control of our laws, as those of
our colonies certainly are in some degree; I say, if these nations
purchase and consume such quantities of our goods, notwithstanding
the remoteness of their situation from the sea; how much less likely
is it, that the settlers in America, who must for ages be employed
in agriculture chiefly, should make cheaper for themselves the goods
our manufacturers at present supply them with: even if we suppose the
carriage five, six, or seven hundred miles from the sea as difficult
and expensive, as the like distance into Germany: whereas in the
latter, the natural distances are frequently doubled by political
obstructions; I mean the intermixed territories and clashing
interests of princes[40]. But when we consider, that the inland
parts of America are penetrated by great navigable rivers; that
there are a number of great lakes, communicating with each other,
with those rivers, and with the sea, very small portages here and
there excepted[41]; that the sea-coasts (if one may be allowed the
expression) of those lakes only amount at least to two thousand seven
hundred miles, exclusive of the rivers running into them (many of
which are navigable to a great extent for boats and canoes, through
vast tracts of country); how little likely is it that the expence on
the carriage of our goods into those countries should prevent the
use of them. If the poor Indians in those remote parts are now able
to pay for the linen, woollen, and iron wares they are at present
furnished with by the French and English traders (though Indians have
nothing but what they get by hunting, and the goods are loaded with
all the impositions fraud and knavery can contrive to inhance their
value) will not industrious English farmers, hereafter settled in
those countries, be much better able to pay for what shall be brought
them in the way of fair commerce?

If it is asked, _What_ can such farmers raise, wherewith to pay
for the manufactures they may want from us? I answer, that the
inland parts of America in question are well known to be fitted for
the production of hemp, flax, pot-ash, and above all, silk; the
southern parts may produce olive-oil, raisins, currants, indigo, and
cochineal. Not to mention horses and black cattle, which may easily
be driven to the maritime markets, and at the same time assist in
conveying other commodities. That the commodities first mentioned
may easily, by water and land-carriage, be brought to the sea-ports
from interior America, will not seem incredible, when we reflect,
that _hemp_ formerly came from the Ukraine and most southern parts of
Russia to Wologda, and down the Dwina to Archangel; and thence, by a
perilous navigation, round the North Cape to England, and other parts
of Europe. It now comes from the same country up the Dnieper, and
down the Duna[42], with much land-carriage. Great part of the Russia
_iron_, no high-priced commodity, is brought three hundred miles by
land and water from the heart of Siberia. _Furs_ [the produce too of
America] are brought to Amsterdam from all parts of Siberia, even
the most remote, Kamstchatka. The same country furnishes me with
another instance of extended inland commerce. It is found worth while
to keep up a mercantile communication between Pekin in China, and
Petersburgh. And none of these instances of inland commerce _exceed_
those of the courses by which, at several periods, _the whole trade
of the East_ was carried on. Before the prosperity of the Mameluke
dominion in Egypt fixed the staple for the riches of the East at
Cairo and Alexandria (whither they were brought from the Red Sea)
great part of those commodities were carried to the cities of Cashgar
and Balk. (This gave birth to those towns, that still subsist upon
the remains of their ancient opulence, amidst a people and country
equally wild.) From thence those goods were carried down the Amû (the
ancient Oxus) to the Caspian Sea, and up the Wolga to Astrachan; from
whence they were carried over to, and down the Don, to the mouth of
that river; and thence again the Venetians directly, and the Genoese
and Venetians indirectly (by way of Kaffa and Trebisonde) dispersed
them through the Mediterranean and some other parts of Europe.
Another part of those goods was carried over-land from the Wolga to
the rivers Duna and Neva; from both they were carried to the city
of Wisbuy in the Baltic (so eminent for its sea-laws); and from the
city of Ladoga on the Neva, we are told they were even carried by the
Dwina to Archangel; and from thence round the North Cape.--If iron
and hemp will bear the charge of carriage from this inland country,
_other metals_ will, as well as iron; and certainly _silk_, since
3_d._ per _lb._ is not above 1 per cent on the value, and amounts to
28_l._ per ton. If the _growths_ of a country find their way out of
it; the _manufactures_ of the country where they go will infallibly
find their way into it.

They, who understand the economy and principles of manufactures,
know, that it is impossible to establish them in places not populous:
and even in those that are populous, hardly possible to establish
them to the prejudices of the places _already in possession of them_.
Several attempts have been made in France and Spain, countenanced by
the government, to draw from us, and establish in those countries,
our hard-ware and woollen manufactures; but without success. The
reasons are various. A manufacture is part of a great system of
commerce, which takes in conveniencies of various kinds; methods
of providing materials of all sorts, machines for expediting and
facilitating labour, all the channels of correspondence for vending
the wares, the credit and confidence necessary to found and support
this correspondence, the mutual aid of different artizans, and a
thousand other particulars, which time and long experience have
_gradually_ established. A part of such a system cannot support
itself without the whole: and before the whole can be obtained the
part perishes. Manufactures, where they are in perfection, are
carried on by a multiplicity of hands, each of which is expert only
in his own part; no one of them a master of the whole; and, if by
any means spirited away to a foreign country, he is lost without his
fellows. Then it is a matter of the extremest difficulty to persuade
a complete set of workmen, skilled in all parts of a manufactory,
to leave their country together, and settle in a foreign land.
Some of the idle and drunken may be enticed away; but these only
disappoint their employers, and serve to discourage the undertaking.
If by royal munificence, and an expence that the profits of the
trade alone would not bear, a complete set of good and skilful
hands are collected and carried over, they find so much of the
system imperfect, so many things wanting to carry on the trade to
advantage, so many difficulties to overcome, and the knot of hands
so easily broken by death, dissatisfaction, and desertion; that
they and their employers are discouraged together, and the project
vanishes into smoke. Hence it happens, that established manufactures
are hardly ever lost, but by foreign conquest, or by some eminent
interior fault in manners or government; a bad police oppressing and
discouraging the workmen, or religious persecutions driving the sober
and industrious out of the country. There is, in short, scarce a
single instance in history of the contrary, where manufactures have
once taken firm root. They sometimes start up in a new place; but
are generally supported, like exotic plants, at more expence than
they are worth for any thing but curiosity; until these new seats
become the refuge of the manufacturers driven from the old ones.
The conquest of Constantinople, and final reduction of the Greek
empire, dispersed many curious manufacturers into different parts
of Christendom. The former conquests of its provinces, had _before_
done the same. The loss of liberty in Verona, Milan, Florence, Pisa,
Pistoia, and other great cities of Italy, drove the manufacturers
of woollen cloths into Spain and Flanders. The latter first lost
their trade and manufactures to Antwerp and the cities of Brabant;
from whence, by persecution for religion, they were sent into
Holland and England: [while] the civil wars, during the minority of
Charles the First of Spain, which ended in the loss of the liberty
of their great towns, ended too in the loss of the manufactures of
Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Medina del campo, &c. The revocation of
the _edict of Nantes_ communicated, to all the protestant part of
Europe, the paper, silk, and other valuable manufacturers of France;
almost peculiar at that time to that country, and till then in
vain attempted elsewhere. To be convinced, that it is not soil and
climate, or even freedom from taxes, that determines the residence
of manufacturers, we need only turn our eyes on Holland; where a
multitude of manufactures are still carried on (perhaps more than on
the same extent of territory any where in Europe) and sold on terms
upon which they cannot be had in any other part of the world. And
this too is true of those _growths_, which, by their nature and the
labour required to raise them, come the nearest to manufactures.

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

If I have been successful in proving that a considerable commerce may
and will subsist between us and our future most inland settlements
in North America, notwithstanding their distance; I have more than
half proved no _other inconveniency will arise_ from their distance.
Many men in such a country must "know," must "think," and must "care"
about the country they chiefly trade with. The juridical and other
connections of government are yet a faster hold than even commercial
ties, and spread, directly and indirectly, far and wide. Business to
be solicited and causes depending create a great intercourse, even
where private property is _not_ divided in different countries;--yet
this division _will_ always subsist, where different countries are
ruled by the same government. Where a man has landed property both
in the mother country and a province, he will almost always live
in the mother country: this, though there were no trade, is singly
a sufficient gain. It is said, that Ireland pays near a million
sterling annually to its absentees in England: the balance of trade
from Spain, or even Portugal, is scarcely equal to this.

Let it not be said we have _no absentees_ from North America. There
are many, to the writer's knowledge; and if there are at present but
few of them, that distinguish themselves here by great expence, it
is owing to the mediocrity of fortune among the inhabitants of the
Northern colonies, and a more equal division of landed property,
than in the West India islands, so that there are as yet but few
large estates. But if those, who have such estates, reside upon
and take care of them themselves, are they worse subjects than they
would be if they lived idly in England?--Great merit is assumed for
the gentlemen of the West Indies,[43] on the score of their residing
and spending their money in England. I would not depreciate that
merit; it is considerable; for they might, if they pleased, spend
their money in France: but the difference between their spending it
here and at home is not so great. What do they spend it in when they
are here, but the produce and manufactures of this country;--and
would they not do the same if they were at home? Is it of any great
importance to the English farmer, whether the West India gentleman
comes to London and eats his beef, pork, and tongues, fresh; or has
them brought to him in the West Indies salted? whether he eats his
English cheese and butter, or drinks his English ale, at London or
in Barbadoes? Is the clothier's, or the mercer's, or the cutler's,
or the toyman's profit less, for their goods being worn and consumed
by the same persons residing on the other side of the ocean? Would
not the profits of the merchant and mariner be rather greater, and
some addition made to our navigation, ships and seamen? If the North
American gentleman stays in his own country, and lives there in
that degree of luxury and expence with regard to the use of British
manufactures, that his fortune entitles him to; may not his example
(from the imitation of superiors, so natural to mankind) spread the
use of those manufactures among hundreds of families around him, and
occasion a much greater demand for them, than it would do if he
should remove and live in London?--However this may be, if in our
views of immediate advantage, it seems preferable, that the gentlemen
of large fortunes in North America should reside much in England; it
is what may surely be expected, as fast as such fortunes are acquired
there. Their having "colleges of their own for the education of their
youth," will not prevent it: a little knowledge and learning acquired
increases the appetite for more, and will make the conversation of
the learned on this side the water more strongly desired. Ireland
has its university likewise; yet this does not prevent the immense
pecuniary benefit we receive from that kingdom. And there will always
be, in the conveniencies of life, the politeness, the pleasures, the
magnificence of the reigning country, many other attractions besides
those of learning, to draw men of substance there, where they can
(apparently at least) have the best bargain of happiness for their

Our _trade to the West India islands_ is undoubtedly a valuable one:
but whatever is the amount of it, it _has long been at a stand_.
Limited as our sugar planters are by the scantiness of territory,
they cannot increase much beyond their present number; and this is
an evil, as I shall show hereafter, that will be little helped by
our keeping Guadaloupe.--The trade to our Northern Colonies is not
only greater, but yearly increasing with the increase of people: and
even in a greater proportion, as the people increase in wealth and
the ability of spending, as well as in numbers.[44]--I have already
said, that _our people in the northern colonies_ double in about 25
years, exclusive of the accession of strangers. That I speak within
bounds, I appeal to the authentic accounts frequently required by
the board of trade, and transmitted to that board by the respective
governors; of which accounts I shall select one as a sample, being
that from the colony of Rhode-Island;[45] a colony that of all the
others receives the least addition from strangers.--For the increase
of our _trade to those colonies_, I refer to the accounts frequently
laid before Parliament, by the officers of the customs, and to the
custom-house books: from which I have also selected one account, that
of the trade from England (exclusive of Scotland) to Pensylvania[46];
a colony most remarkable for the plain frugal manner of living of
its inhabitants, and the most suspected of carrying on manufactures,
on account of the number of German artizans, who are known to have
transplanted themselves into that country; though even these,
in truth, when they come there, generally apply themselves to
agriculture, as the surest support and most advantageous employment.
By this account it appears, that the exports to that province have in
28 years, increased nearly in the proportion of 17 to 1; whereas the
people themselves, who by other authentic accounts appear to double
their numbers (the strangers who settle there included) in about 16
years, cannot in the 28 years have increased in a greater proportion
than as 4 to 1. The additional demand then, and consumption of goods
from England, of 13 parts in 17 more than the additional number
would require, must be owing to this; that the people having by
their industry mended their circumstances, are enabled to indulge
themselves in finer clothes, better furniture, and a more general use
of all our manufactures than heretofore.

In fact, the occasion for English goods in North America, and the
inclination to have and use them, is, and must be for ages to come,
much greater than the ability of the people to pay for them; they
must therefore, as they now do, deny themselves many things they
would otherwise chuse to have, or increase their industry to obtain
them. And thus, if they should at any time manufacture some coarse
article, which on account of its bulk or some other circumstance,
cannot so well be brought to them from Britain; it only enables them
the better to pay for finer goods, that _otherwise_ they could not
indulge themselves in: so that the exports thither are not diminished
by such manufacture, but rather increased. The single article of
manufacture in these colonies, mentioned by the remarker, is _hats_
made in New-England. It is true, there have been, ever since the
first settlement of that country, a few hatters there; drawn thither
probably at first by the facility of getting beaver, while the woods
were but little cleared, and there was plenty of those animals. The
case is greatly altered now. The beaver skins are not now to be had
in New-England, but from very remote places and at great prices. The
trade is accordingly declining there; so that, far from being able
to make hats in any quantity for exportation, they cannot supply
their home demand; and it is well known, that some thousand dozens
are sent thither yearly from London, Bristol, and Liverpool, and sold
there cheaper than the inhabitants can make them of equal goodness.
In fact, the colonies are so little suited for establishing of
manufactures, that they are continually losing the few branches they
accidentally gain. The working brasiers, cutlers, and pewterers, as
well as hatters, who have happened to go over from time to time and
settle in the colonies, gradually drop the working part of their
business, and import their respective goods from England, whence
they can have them cheaper and better than they can make them. They
continue their shops indeed, in the same way of dealing; but become
_sellers_ of brasiery, cutlery, pewter, hats, &c. brought from
England, instead of being _makers_ of those goods.

  [5. _The American colonies_ not dangerous _in their nature to Great

Thus much to the apprehension of our colonies becoming useless to
us. I shall next consider the other supposition, that their growth
may render them _dangerous_.--Of this, I own, I have not the least
conception, when I consider that we have already _fourteen separate
governments_ on the maritime coast of the continent; and, if we
extend our settlements, shall probably have as many more behind them
on the inland side. Those we now have are not only under different
governors, but have different forms of government, different laws,
different interests, and some of them different religious persuasions
and different manners.--Their jealousy of each other is so great,
that however necessary an union of the colonies has long been, for
their common defence and security against their enemies, and how
sensible soever each colony has been of that necessity; yet they
have never been able to effect such an union among themselves; nor
even to agree in requesting the mother country to establish it for
them. Nothing but the immediate command of the crown has been able
to produce even the imperfect union, but lately seen there, of
the forces of some colonies. If they could not agree to unite for
their defence against the French and Indians, who were perpetually
harassing their settlements, burning their villages, and murdering
their people; can it reasonably be supposed there is any danger of
their uniting against their own nation, which protects and encourages
them, with which they have so many connections and ties of blood,
interest and affection, and which, it is well known, they all love
much more than they love one another?

In short, there are so many causes that must operate to prevent
it, that I will venture to say, an union amongst them for such a
purpose is not merely improbable, it is impossible. And if the
union of the whole is impossible, the attempt of a part must be
madness; as those colonies that did not join the rebellion would
join the mother-country in suppressing it. When I say such an
union is impossible, I mean, without the most grievous tyranny and
oppression. People who have property in a country which they may
lose, and privileges which they may endanger, are generally disposed
to be quiet, and even to bear much, rather than hazard all. While
the government is mild and just, while important civil and religious
rights are secure, such subjects will be dutiful and obedient. The
waves do not rise but when the winds blow.

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

And let it not be said, that the neighbourhood of these to the seat
of government has prevented a separation. While our strength at sea
continues, the banks of the Ohio (in point of easy and expeditious
conveyance of troops) are nearer to London, than the remote parts of
France and Spain to their respective capitals; and much nearer than
Connaught and Ulster were in the days of Queen Elizabeth. No body
foretels the dissolution of the Russian monarchy from its extent; yet
I will venture to say, the eastern parts of it are already much more
inaccessible from Petersburgh, than the country on the Mississippi is
from London; I mean, more men, in less time, might be conveyed the
latter than the former distance. The rivers Oby, Jenesea, and Lena,
do not facilitate the communication half so well by their course,
nor are they half so practicable as the American rivers. To this I
shall only add the observation of Machiavel, in his Prince; that a
government seldom long preserves its dominion over those who are
foreigners to it; who, on the other hand, fall with great ease, and
continue inseparably annexed to the government of their own nation:
which he proves by the fate of the English conquests in France. Yet
with all these disadvantages, so difficult is it to overturn an
established government, that it was not without the assistance of
France and England, that the United Provinces supported themselves:
which teaches us, that

  [6. _The French remaining in Canada, an encouragement to
  disaffections in the British Colonies_.--_If they prove a_ check,
  _that check of the most barbarous nature_.]

_If the visionary danger of independence in our colonies is to be
feared; nothing is more likely to render it substantial, than the
neighbourhood of foreigners at enmity with the sovereign governments,
capable of giving either_ aid[47], _or an_ asylum, _as the event
shall require_. Yet against even these disadvantages, did Spain
preserve almost ten provinces, merely through their want of union;
which indeed could never have taken place among the others, but for
causes, some of which are in our case impossible, and others it is
impious to suppose possible.

The Romans well understood that policy, which teaches the security
arising to the chief government from separate states among the
governed; when they restored the liberties of the states of Greece
(oppressed but united under Macedon) by an edict, that every state
should live under its own laws. They did not even name a governor.
Independence of each other, and separate interests (though among a
people united by common manners, language, and I may say religion;
inferior neither in wisdom, bravery, nor their love of liberty, to
the Romans themselves;) was all the security the sovereigns wished
for their sovereignty. It is true, they did not call themselves
sovereigns; they set no value on the title; they were contented
with possessing the thing. And possess it they did, even without
a standing army: (what can be a stronger proof of the security of
their possession?) And yet by a policy, similar to this throughout,
was the Roman world subdued and held: a world composed of above an
hundred languages, and sets of manners, different from those of their
masters. Yet this dominion was unshakeable, till the loss of liberty
and corruption of manners in the sovereign state overturned it.

_But what is the prudent policy, inculcated by the remarker to obtain
this end, security of dominion over our colonies? It is_, to leave
the French _in_ Canada, to "check" their growth; _for otherwise,
our people may "increase infinitely from all causes[48]."_ We have
already seen in what manner the French and their Indians check the
growth of our colonies. It is a modest word, this _check_, for
massacring men, women, and children. The writer would, if he could,
hide from himself as well as from the public, the horror arising from
such a proposal, by couching it in general terms: it is no wonder
he thought it a "subject not fit for discussion" in his letter;
though he recommends it as "a point that should be the constant
object of the minister's attention!" But if Canada is restored on
this principle, will not Britain be guilty of all the blood to be
shed, all the murders to be committed, in order to check this dreaded
growth of our own people? Will not this be telling the French in
plain terms, that the horrid barbarities they perpetrate with their
Indians on our colonists are agreeable to us; and that they need not
apprehend the resentment of a government, with whose views they so
happily concur? Will not the colonies view it in this light? Will
they have reason to consider themselves any longer as subjects and
children, when they find their cruel enemies hallooed upon them
by the country from whence they sprung; the government that owes
them protection, as it requires their obedience? Is not this the
most likely means of driving them into the arms of the French, who
can invite them by an offer of that security, their own government
chuses not to afford them? I would not be thought to insinuate, that
the remarker wants humanity. I know how little many good-natured
persons are affected by the distresses of people at a distance, and
whom they do not know. There are even those, who, being present, can
sympathize sincerely with the grief of a lady on the sudden death of
a favourite bird; and yet can read of the sinking of a city in Syria
with very little concern. If it be, after all, thought necessary to
check the growth of our colonies, give me leave to propose a method
less cruel. It is a method of which we have an example in scripture.
The murder of husbands, of wives, of brothers, sisters and children,
whose pleasing society has been for some time enjoyed, affects deeply
the respective surviving relations; but grief for the death of a
child just born is short, and easily supported. The method I mean is
that which was dictated by the Egyptian policy, when the "infinite
increase" of the children of Israel was apprehended as dangerous to
the state[49]. Let an act of parliament then be made, enjoining the
colony midwives to stifle in the birth every third or fourth child.
By this means you may keep the colonies to their present size. And
if they were under the hard alternative of submitting to one or the
other of these schemes for checking their growth, I dare answer for
them, they would prefer the latter.

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

  [7. _Canada easily peopled_, without draining Great Britain _of any
  of its inhabitants_.]

_The objection I have often heard, that if we had Canada we could not
people it, without draining Britain of its inhabitants, is founded
on ignorance of the nature of population in new countries._ When we
first began to colonize in America, it was necessary to send people,
and to send seed-corn; but it is not now necessary that we should
furnish, for a new colony, either one or the other. The annual
increment alone of our present colonies, without diminishing their
numbers, or requiring a man from hence, is sufficient in ten years
to fill Canada with double the number of English that it now has of
French inhabitants[50]. Those who are protestants among the French
will probably choose to remain under the English government; many
will choose to remove, if they can be allowed to sell their lands,
improvements, and effects: the rest in that thin-settled country will
in less than half a century, from the crowds of English settling
round and among them, be blended and incorporated with our people
both in language and manners.

  [8. _The merits of Guadaloupe to Great Britain_ over-valued; _yet
  likely to be paid_ much dearer for, _than Canada_.]

_In Guadaloupe the case is somewhat different_; and though I am far
from thinking[51] we have sugar-land enough[52], I cannot think
Guadaloupe is so desirable an increase of it, as other objects
the enemy would probably be infinitely more ready to part with. A
country, _fully inhabited_ by any nation, is no proper possession
for another of different languages, manners, and religion. It is
hardly ever tenable at less expence than it is worth. But the isle
of _Cayenne, and its appendix, Equinoctial-France_, having but very
few inhabitants, and these therefore easily removed, would indeed
be an acquisition every way suitable to our situation and desires.
This would hold all that migrate from Barbadoes, the Leeward Islands,
or Jamaica. It would certainly recal into an English government (in
which there would be room for millions) all who have before settled
or purchased in Martinico, Guadaloupe, Santa-Cruz, or St. John's;
except such as know not the value of an English government, and such
I am sure are not worth recalling.

But should we keep Guadaloupe, we are told it would _enable us to
export 300,000_l._ in sugars_. Admit it to be true, though perhaps
the amazing increase of English consumption might stop most of
it here,--to whose profit is this to redound? To the profit of
the French inhabitants of the island: except a small part, that
should fall to the share of the English purchasers, but whose whole
purchase-money must first be added to the wealth and circulation of
France. I grant, however, much of this 300,000_l._ would be expended
in British manufactures. Perhaps too, a few of the land-owners of
Guadaloupe might dwell and spend their fortunes in Britain (though
probably much fewer than of the inhabitants of North America.) I
admit the advantage arising to us from these circumstances (as far
as they go) in the case of Guadaloupe, as well as in that of our
other West-India settlements. Yet even this consumption is little
better than that of an allied nation would be, who should take our
manufactures and supply us with sugar, and put us to no great expence
in defending the place of growth. But though our own colonies expend
among us almost the whole produce of our sugar[53], _can we, or ought
we_ to promise ourselves this will be the case of Guadaloupe? One
100,000_l._ will supply them with British manufactures; and supposing
we can effectually prevent the introduction of those of France
(which is morally impossible in a country used to them) the other
200,000_l._ will still be spent in France, in the education of their
children and support of themselves; or else be laid up there, where
they will always think their home to be.

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

Yet, upon the whole, I suppose it to be a doubtful point, and
well worth consideration, whether our obtaining possession of all
the Caribbees would be more than a temporary benefit; as it would
necessarily soon fill the French part of Hispaniola with French
inhabitants, and thereby render it five times more valuable in time
of peace, and little less than impregnable in time of war, and
would probably end in a few years in the uniting the whole of that
great and fertile island under a French government. It is agreed
on all hands, that our conquest of St. Christopher's, and driving
the French from thence, first furnished Hispaniola with skilful and
substantial planters, and was consequently the first occasion of
its present opulence. On the other hand, I will hazard an opinion,
that valuable as the French possessions in the West Indies are, and
undeniable the advantages they derive from them, there is somewhat
to be weighed in the opposite scale. They cannot at present make war
with England, without exposing those advantages, while divided among
the numerous islands they now have, much more than they would, were
they possessed of St. Domingo only; their own share of which would,
if well cultivated, grow more sugar, than is now grown in all their
West-India islands.

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

There is a great deal more to be said on all the parts of these
subjects; but as it would carry me into a detail, that I fear
would tire the patience of my readers, and which I am not without
apprehensions I have done already, I shall reserve what remains till
I dare venture again on the indulgence of the public[54].


[17] In the year 1760, upon the prospect of a peace with France,
the late Earl of Bath addressed a Letter to Two Great Men (Mr. Pitt
and the Duke of Newcastle) on the terms necessary to be insisted
upon in the negociation. He preferred the acquisition of Canada, to
acquisitions in the West Indies. In the same year there appeared
Remarks on the letter addressed to two great men, containing opposite
opinions on this and other subjects. At this moment a philosopher
stepped into the controversy, and wrote a pamphlet entitled, The
Interest of Great Britain considered, with Regard to her Colonies,
&c. The arguments he used, appear to have carried weight with them at
the courts of London and Paris, for Canada was kept by the peace.

The editor thinks it necessary to add the following further
explanations.--The above piece (which first came to his hands in the
shape of a pamphlet, printed for Becket, 1761, 2d edit.) has none
of the eight subdivisions it is now thrown into, marked out by the
author. He conceived however that they might be useful, and has taken
the liberty of making them, but guards it with this apology. The
better to suit his purpose, the division of the paragraphs, &c. and
the italics of the original, are not accurately adhered to. It was
impossible for him however to alter one word in the sense, style, or
disposition, of his author: this was a liberty for which he could
make no apology.

In the original, the author has added his observations concerning
the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, &c. [printed in the
2d Vol. of this work] and introduced it with the following note.
"In confirmation of the writer's opinion concerning population,
manufactures, &c. he has thought it not amiss to add an extract from
a piece written some years since in America, where the facts must
be well known, on which the reasonings are founded. It is entitled,
Observations, &c."

With respect to the arguments used by the authors of the Letter, and
of the Remarks, it is useless to repeat them here. As far as they
are necessary for the understanding of Dr. Franklin, they are to be
collected from his own work. B. V.

[18] Remarks, p. 6.

[19] Ibid. p. 7.

[20] Remarks, p. 7.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Remarks, p. 19.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Page 30, of the Letter, and p. 21, of the Remarks.

[25] Remarks, p. 28.

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

"The Indians in the French interest are, upon all proper
opportunities, _instigated by their priests_ (who have generally
the chief management of their public councils) to acts of hostility
against the English, even in time of profound peace between the two
crowns. Of this there are many undeniable instances: the war between
the Indians and the colonies of the Massachusett's Bay and New
Hampshire, in 1723, by which those colonies suffered so much damage,
was begun by the instigation of the French: their supplies were from
them; and there are now original letters of several Jesuits to be
produced, whereby it evidently appears, that they were continually
animating the Indians, when almost tired with the war, to a farther
prosecution of it. The French not only excited the Indians, and
supported them, but joined their own forces with them in all the late
hostilities that have been committed within his majesty's province
of Nova Scotia. And from an intercepted letter this year from the
Jesuits at Penobscot, and from other information, it is certain,
that they have been using their utmost endeavours to excite the
Indians to new acts of hostility against his majesty's colony of
the Massachusett's Bay; and some have been committed. The French
not only excite the Indians to acts of hostility, but reward them
for it, by _buying the English prisoners of them_: for the ransom
of each of which they afterwards demand of us the price that is
usually given for a slave in these colonies. They do this under the
specious pretence of rescuing the poor prisoners from the cruelties
and barbarities of the savages; but in reality to encourage them to
continue their depredations, as they can by this means get more by
hunting the English, than by hunting wild-beasts; and the French at
the same time are thereby enabled to keep up a large body of Indians,
entirely at _the expence of the English_."

[27] Remarks, p. 25.

[28] Remarks, p. 25.

[29] "Although the Indians live scattered, as a hunter's life
requires, they may be collected together from almost any distance; as
they can find their subsistence from their gun in their travelling.
But let the number of the Indians be what it will, they are not
formidable merely on account of their numbers; there are many other
circumstances that give them a great advantage over the English.
The English inhabitants, though numerous, are extended over a large
tract of land, five hundred leagues in length on the sea shore;
and although some of their trading towns are thick settled, their
settlements in the country towns must be at a distance from each
other: besides, that in a new country where lands are cheap, people
are fond of acquiring large tracts to themselves; and therefore in
the out-settlements, they must be more remote: and as the people that
move out are generally poor, they sit down either where they can
easiest procure land, or soonest raise a subsistence. Add to this,
that the English have fixed settled habitations, the easiest and
shortest passages to which the Indians, by constantly hunting in the
woods, are perfectly well acquainted with; whereas the English know
little or nothing of the Indian country, nor of the passages through
the woods that lead to it. The Indian way of making war is by sudden
attack upon exposed places; and as soon as they have done mischief,
they retire, and either go home by the same or some different route,
as they think safest; or go to some other place at a distance, to
renew their stroke. If a sufficient party should happily be ready to
pursue them, it is a great chance, whether in a country consisting
of woods and swamps, which the English are not acquainted with, the
enemy do not lie in ambush for them in some convenient place, and
from thence destroy them. If this should not be the case, but the
English should pursue them, as soon as they have gained the rivers,
by means of their canoes (to the use of which they are brought up
from their infancy) they presently get out of their reach: further,
if a body of men were to march into their country, to the place where
they are settled, they can, upon the least notice, without great
disadvantage, quit their present habitation, and betake themselves to
new ones." _Clark's Observations_, p. 13.

"It has been already remarked, that the tribes of the Indians, living
upon the lakes and rivers that run upon the back of the English
settlements in North America, are very numerous, and can furnish a
great number of fighting men, all perfectly well acquainted with the
use of arms as soon as capable of carrying them, as they get the
whole of their subsistence from hunting; and that this army, large
as it may be, can be maintained by the French without any expence.
From their numbers, their situation, and the rivers that run into the
English settlements, it is easy to conceive, that they can at any
time make an attack upon, and constantly annoy as many of the exposed
English settlements as they please, and those at any distance from
each other. The effects of such incursions have been too severely
felt by many of the British colonies, not to be very well known. The
entire breaking up places, that had been for a considerable time
settled at a great expence both of labour and money; burning the
houses, destroying the flock, killing and making prisoners great
numbers of the inhabitants, with all the cruel usage they meet with
in their captivity, is only a part of the scene. All other places
that are exposed are kept in continual terror; the lands lie waste
and uncultivated, from the danger that attends those that shall
presume to work upon them: besides the immense charge the governments
must be at in a very ineffectual manner to defend their extended
frontiers; and all this from the influence the French have had over,
but comparatively, a few of the Indians. To the same or greater evils
still will every one of the colonies be exposed, whenever the same
influence shall be extended to the whole body of them." Ibid. p. 20.

[30] Remarks, p. 26.

[31] Douglass.

[32] Remarks, p. 25.

[33] Remarks, p. 26.

[34] This I believe is meant for Dr. Adam Smith, who seems not at
this time to have printed any of his political pieces. B. V.

[35] Remarks, p. 27.

[36] Remarks, p. 50, 51.

[37] Remarks, p. 50, 51.

[38] The reason of this greater increase in America than in Europe
is, that in old settled countries, all trades, farms, offices, and
employments are full; and many people refrain marrying till they see
an opening, in which they can settle themselves, with a reasonable
prospect of maintaining a family: but in America, it being easy to
obtain land, which, with moderate labour will afford subsistence and
something to spare, people marry more readily and earlier in life,
whence arises a numerous offspring and the swift population of those
countries. It is a common error, that we cannot fill our provinces
or increase the number of them, without draining this nation of its
people. The increment alone of our present colonies is sufficient for
both those purposes. [Written in 1760.]

[39] Viz. forty sail, none of more than forty guns.

[40] Sir C. Whitworth has the following assertion: "Each state
in Germany is jealous of its neighbours; and hence, rather than
facilitate the export or transit of its neighbours' products or
manufactures, they have all recourse to strangers." State of Trade,
p. xxiv. B. V.

[41] From New York into lake Ontario, the land-carriage of the
several portages altogether, amounts to but about twenty-seven miles.
From lake Ontario into lake Erie, the land-carriage at Niagara is
but about twelve miles. All the lakes above Niagara communicate by
navigable straits, so that no land-carriage is necessary, to go out
of one into another. From Presqu'isle on lake Erie, there are but
fifteen miles land-carriage, and that a good waggon-road, to Beef
River, a branch of the Ohio; which brings you into a navigation
of many thousand miles inland, if you take together the Ohio, the
Mississippi, and all the great rivers and branches that run into them.

[42] I beg pardon for attempting to remind the reader that he must
not confound the river Duna, with the river Dwina.--The fork of the
Ohio is about four hundred miles distant from the sea, and the fork
of the Mississippi about nine hundred: it is four hundred miles from
Petersburgh to Moscow, and very considerably more than four thousand
from Petersburgh to Pekin. This is enough to justify Dr. Franklin's
positions in the page above, without going into farther particulars.
B. V.

[43] Remarks, p. 47, 48, &c.

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

_First term, from 1744 to 1748, inclusive._

     _Northern Colonies._         _West India Islands._

    1744     £.640,114 12  4          £.796,112 17  9

    1745       534,316  2  5            503,669 19  9

    1746       754,945  4  3            472,994 19  7

    1747       726,648  5  5            856,463 18  6

    1748       830,243 16  9            734,095 15  3
             ---------------          ---------------
  Total,   £.3,486,261  1  2   Tot. £.3,363,337 10 10

                            Difference, 122,930 10  4
                                    £.3,486,268  1  2

_Second term, from 1754 to 1758, inclusive._

     _Northern Colonies._           _West India Islands._

    1754     1,246,615  1 11            685,675  3  0

    1755     1,177,848  6 10            694,667 13  3

    1756     1,428,720 18 10            733,458 16  3

    1757     1,727,924  2 10            776,488  0  6

    1758     1,832,948 13 10            877,571 19 11
             ---------------           ---------------
  Total,   £.7,414,057  4  3   Tot. £.3,767,841 12 11

                          Difference, 3,646,215 11  4
                                    £.7,414,057  4  3

  In the first term, total of West India islands, 3,363,337 10 10

  In the second term, ditto                       3,767,841 12 11
                                 Increase, only £.0,404,504  2  1

  In the first term, total for Northern Colonies, 3,486,268  1  2

  In the second term, ditto                       7,414,057  4  3
                                      Increase, £.3,927,789  3  1

By these accounts it appears, that the exports to the West India
islands, and to the northern colonies, were in the first term
nearly equal (the difference being only 122,936_l._ 10s. 4d.) and in
the second term, the exports to those islands had only increased
404,504_l._ 2s. 1d.--Whereas the increase to the northern colonies is
3,927,789_l._ 3s. 1d. almost _four millions_.

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

N. B. These accounts do not include any exports from Scotland to
America, which are doubtless proportionally considerable; nor the
exports from Ireland.

[I shall carry on this calculation where Dr. Franklin left it. For
four years, from 1770 to 1773 inclusively, the same average _annual_
exports to the same ports of the West Indies is 994,463_l._, and to
the same ports of the North American plantations 2,919,669_l._ But the
annual averages of the first and second terms of the former were
672,668_l._ and 753,568_l._: of the latter, 697,254_l._ and 1,482,811_l._

In ten years therefore (taking the middle years of the terms) the
North American trade is found to have _doubled_ the West Indian: in
the next sixteen years it becomes greater by _three-fold_.--With
respect to itself, the North American trade in 32 years (taking the
extremes of the terms) has quadrupled; while the West Indian trade
increased only one half; of which increase I apprehend Jamaica has
given more than one-third, chiefly in consequence of the quiet
produced by the peace with the maroon negroes.--Had the West Indian
trade continued stationary, the North American trade would have
quadrupled with respect to it, in 26 years; and this, notwithstanding
the checks given to the latter, by their non-importation agreements
and the encouragement of their own manufactures.

There has been an accession to both these trades, produced by the
cessions at the treaty of Paris, not touched upon by Dr. Franklin.
The average _annual_ export-trade, from 1770 to 1773 inclusively, to
the ceded West India islands, amounted to 258,299_l._: to the ceded
North American territory it has been 280,423_l._ See Sir Charles
Whitworth's State of Trade. B. V.]

[45] _Copy of the Report of Governor Hopkins to the Board of Trade,
on the Numbers of People in Rhode-Island._

In obedience to your lordships' commands, I have caused the within
account to be taken by officers under oath. By it there appears to be
in this colony at this time 35,939 white persons, and 4697 blacks,
chiefly negroes.

In the year 1730, by order of the then lords commissioners of trade
and plantations, an account was taken of the number of people in this
colony, and then there appeared to be 15,302 white persons, and 2633

Again in the year 1748, by like order, an account was taken of the
number of people in this colony, by which it appears there were at
that time 29,755 white persons, and 4373 blacks.

  _Colony of Rhode Island, Dec. 24, 1755._

[46] _An Account of the Value of the Exports from England to
Pensylvania, in one Year, taken at different Periods, viz._

  In 1723 they amounted only to  £. 15,992 19  4
     1730 they were                 48,592  7  5
     1737                           56,690  6  7
     1742                           75,295  3  4
     1747                           82,404 17  7
     1752                          201,666 19 11
     1757                          268,426  6  6

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

[47] The _aid_ Dr. Franklin alludes to must probably have consisted
in early and full supplies of arms, officers, intelligence, and trade
of export and of import, through the river St. Lawrence, on risques
both public and private; in the encouragement of splendid promises
and a great ally; in the passage from Canada to the back settlements,
being _shut_ to the British _forces_; in the quiet of the _great
body_ of Indians; in the support of emissaries and discontented
citizens; in loans and subsidies to congress, in ways _profitable to
France_; in a refuge to be granted them in case of defeat, in vacant
lands, as settlers; in the probability of war commencing earlier
between England and France, at the gulph of St. Lawrence (when the
shipping taken, were _rightfully_ addressed to Frenchmen) than in
the present case. All this might have happened, as soon as America's
distaste of the sovereign had exceeded the fear of the foreigner;
a circumstance frequently seen possible in history, and which our
ministers took care should not be wanting.

This explanation would have required apology for its insertion, were
not the opinion pretty common in England, that _had not the French
been removed from Canada, the revolt of America never would have
taken place_. Why then were the French _not left_ in Canada, at the
peace of 1763? Or, since they _were not_ left there, why was the
American dispute begun? Yet in one sense, perhaps this opinion is
true; for _had_ the French been left in Canada, ministers would not
only have _sooner_ felt, but _sooner_ have seen, the strange fatality
of their plans. B. V.

[48] Remarks, p. 50, 51.

[49] And Pharoah said unto his people, behold the people of the
children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come on, let us
deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that
when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies and
fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. And the king
spake to the Hebrew midwives, &c. Exodus, chap. 1.

[50] In fact, there have not gone from Britain [itself] to our
colonies these twenty years past to settle there, so many as ten
families a year; the new settlers are either the offspring of the
old, or emigrants from Germany, or the north of Ireland.

[51] Remarks, p. 30, 34.

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

[53] Remarks, p. 47.

[54] Dr. Franklin has often been heard to say, that in writing this
pamphlet he received considerable assistance from a learned friend,
who was not willing to be named. B. V.

  _Remarks and Facts relative to the American Paper-money._[55]

In the Report of the Board of Trade, dated Feb. 9, 1764, the
following reasons are given for _restraining the emission_ of
paper-bills of credit in America, as _a legal tender_.

1. "That it _carries the gold and silver out_ of the province, and so
ruins the country; as _experience has shewn_, in every colony where
it has been practised in any great degree.

2. "That the _merchants_ trading to America _have suffered_ and lost
by it.

3. "That the restriction [of it] _has had a beneficial effect_ in New

4. "That every _medium of trade should have an intrinsic value_,
which paper-money has not. Gold and silver are therefore the fittest
for this medium, as they are an equivalent; which paper never can be.

5. "That _debtors_ in the assemblies make paper-money with
_fraudulent views_.

6. "That in the middle colonies, where the credit of the paper-money
has been best supported, the bills have _never kept to their nominal
value_ in circulation; but have constantly depreciated to a certain
degree, whenever the quantity has been increased."

To consider these reasons in their order; the first is,

1. "_That paper-money_ carries the gold and silver out _of the
province, and so ruins the country; as_ experience has shewn, _in
every colony where it has been practised in any great degree_."--This
opinion, of its ruining the country, seems to be merely speculative,
or not otherwise founded than upon misinformation in the matter of
fact. The truth is, that the balance of their trade with Britain
being greatly against them, the gold and silver are drawn out to
pay that balance; and then the necessity of some medium of trade
has induced the making of paper-money, which could _not_ be carried
away. Thus, if carrying out all the gold and silver ruins a country,
every colony was ruined before it made paper-money.--But, far from
being ruined by it, the colonies that have made use of paper-money
have been, and are all, in a thriving condition. The debt indeed to
Britain has increased, because their numbers, and of course their
trade, have increased; for all trade having always a proportion
of debt outstanding, which is paid in its turn, while fresh debt
is contracted, the proportion of debt naturally increases as the
trade increases; but the improvement and increase of estates in
the colonies have been in a greater proportion than their debt.
New England, particularly in 1696 (about the time they began the
use of paper-money) had in all its four provinces but 180 churches
or congregations; in 1760 they were 530. The number of farms and
buildings there is increased in proportion to the numbers of people;
and the goods exported to them from England in 1750, before the
restraint took place, were near five times as much as before they
had paper-money. Pensylvania, before it made any paper-money, was
totally stript of its gold and silver; though they had from time to
time, like the neighbouring colonies, agreed to take gold and silver
coins at higher nominal values, in hopes of drawing money into, and
retaining it, for the internal uses of the province. During that
weak practice, silver got up by degrees to 8s. 9d. per ounce, and
English crowns were called six, seven, and eight-shilling pieces,
long before paper-money was made. But this practice of increasing
the denomination was found not to answer the end. The balance of
trade carried out the gold and silver as fast as they were brought
in; the merchants raising the price of their goods in proportion
to the increased denomination of the money. The difficulties for
want of cash were accordingly very great, the chief part of the
trade being carried on by the extremely inconvenient method of
barter; when in 1723 paper-money was first made there; which gave
new life to business, promoted greatly the settlement of new lands
(by lending small sums to beginners on easy interest, to be repaid
by instalments) whereby the province has so greatly increased in
inhabitants, that the export from hence thither is now more than
tenfold what it then was; and by their trade with foreign colonies,
they have been able to obtain great quantities of gold and silver to
remit hither in return for the manufactures of this country. New York
and New Jersey have also increased greatly during the same period,
with the use of paper-money; so that it does not appear to be of
the ruinous nature ascribed to it. And if the inhabitants of those
countries are glad to have the use of paper among themselves, that
they may thereby be enabled to spare, for remittances hither, the
gold and silver they obtain by their commerce with foreigners; one
would expect, that no objection against their parting with it could
arise here, in the country that receives it.

The 2d reason is, "_That the_ merchants _trading to America have_
suffered _and lost by the paper-money_."--This may have been the case
in particular instances, at particular times and places: as in South
Carolina, about 58 years since; when the colony was thought in danger
of being destroyed by the Indians and Spaniards; and the British
merchants, in fear of losing their whole effects there, called
precipitately for remittances; and the inhabitants, to get something
lodged in safe countries, gave any price in paper-money for bills of
exchange; whereby the paper, as compared with bills, or with produce,
or other effects fit for exportation, was suddenly and greatly
depreciated. The unsettled state of government for a long time in
that province had also its share in depreciating its bills. But
since that danger blew over, and the colony has been in the hands of
the crown; their currency became fixed, and has so remained to this
day. Also in New England, when much greater quantities were issued
than were necessary for a medium of trade, to defray the expedition
against Louisbourg; and, during the last war in Virginia and North
Carolina, when great sums were issued to pay the colony troops, and
the war made tobacco a poorer remittance, from the higher price of
freight and insurance: in these cases, the merchants trading to those
colonies may sometimes have suffered by the sudden and unforeseen
rise of exchange. By slow and gradual rises, they seldom suffer;
the goods being sold at proportionable prices. But war is a common
calamity in all countries, and the merchants that deal with them
cannot expect to avoid a share of the losses it sometimes occasions,
by affecting public credit. It is hoped, however, that the profits of
their subsequent commerce with those colonies may have made them some
reparation. And the merchants trading to the middle colonies (New
York, New Jersey, and Pensylvania) have never suffered by any rise
of exchange; it having ever been a constant rule there, to consider
British debts as payable in Britain, and not to be discharged but
by as much paper (whatever might be the rate of exchange) as would
purchase a bill for the full sterling sum. On the contrary, the
merchants have been great gainers by the use of paper-money in
those colonies; as it enabled them to send much greater quantities
of goods, and the purchasers to pay more punctually for them. And
the people there make no complaint of any injury done them by
paper-money, with a legal tender; they are sensible of its benefits;
and petition to have it so allowed.

The 3d reason is, "_That the_ restriction _has had a_ beneficial
effect _in New England_." Particular circumstances in the New England
colonies made paper-money less necessary and less convenient to them.
They have great and valuable fisheries of whale and cod, by which
large remittances can be made. They are four distinct governments;
but having much mutual intercourse of dealings, the money of each
used to pass current in all: but the whole of this common currency
not being under one common direction, was not so easily kept within
due bounds; the prudent reserve of one colony in its emissions being
rendered useless by excess in another. The Massachusets, therefore,
were not dissatisfied with the restraint, as it restrained their
neighbours as well as themselves; and perhaps _they_ do not desire to
have the act repealed. They have not yet felt much inconvenience from
it; as they were enabled to abolish their paper-currency, by a large
sum in silver from Britain to reimburse their expences in taking
Louisbourg, which, with the gold brought from Portugal, by means of
their fish, kept them supplied with a currency; till the late war
furnished them and all America with bills of exchange; so that little
cash was needed for remittance. Their fisheries too furnish them
with remittance through Spain and Portugal to England; which enables
them the more easily to retain gold and silver in their country. The
middle colonies have not this advantage; nor have they tobacco; which
in Virginia and Maryland answers the same purpose. When colonies
are so different in their circumstances, a regulation, that is not
inconvenient to one or a few, may be very much so to the rest. But
the pay is now become so indifferent in New England, at least in
some of its provinces, through the want of currency, that the trade
thither is at present under great discouragement.

The 4th reason is, "_That every_ medium of trade _should have an_
intrinsic value; _which paper-money has not_. _Gold and silver are
therefore the fittest for this medium, as they are an equivalent;
which paper never can be."_ However fit a particular thing may be
for a particular purpose; wherever that thing is not to be had,
or not to be had in sufficient quantity; it becomes necessary to
use something else, the fittest that can be got, in lieu of it.
Gold and silver are not the produce of North America, which has no
mines; and that which is brought thither cannot be kept there in
sufficient quantity for a currency. Britain, an independent great
state, when its inhabitants grow too fond of the expensive luxuries
of foreign countries, that draw away its money, can, and frequently
does, make laws to discourage or prohibit such importations; and
by that means can retain its cash. The _colonies_ are dependent
governments; and their people having naturally great respect for
the sovereign country, and being thence immoderately fond of its
modes, manufactures, and superfluities, cannot be restrained from
purchasing them by any province law; because such law, if made,
would immediately be repealed here, as prejudicial to the trade and
interest of Britain. It seems hard therefore, to draw all, their
real money from them, and then refuse them the poor privilege of
using paper instead of it. Bank bills and bankers notes are daily
used _here_ as a medium of trade, and in large dealings perhaps the
greater part is transacted by their means; and yet _they_ have no
intrinsic value, but rest on the credit of those that issue them;
as paper-bills in the colonies do on the credit of the respective
governments there. Their being payable in cash upon sight by the
drawer is indeed a circumstance that cannot attend the colony bills;
for the reasons just above-mentioned; their cash being drawn from
them by the British trade; but the legal tender being substituted in
its place is rather a greater advantage to the possessor; since he
need not be at the trouble of going to a _particular bank_ or banker
to demand the money, finding (wherever he has occasion to lay out
money in the province) a person that is obliged to take the bills.
So that even out of the province, the knowledge, that every man
within that province is obliged to take its money, gives the bills a
credit among its neighbours, nearly equal to what they have at home.

And were it not for the laws _here_, that restrain or prohibit as
much as possible all losing trades, the cash of _this_ country would
soon be exported: every merchant, who had occasion to remit it,
would run to the bank with all its bills, that came into his hands,
and take out his part of its treasure for that purpose; so that in
a short time, it would be no more able to pay bills in money upon
sight, than it is now in the power of a colony treasury so to do. And
if government afterwards should have occasion for the credit of the
bank, it must of necessity make its bills a legal tender; funding
them however on taxes by which they may in time be paid off; as
has been the general practice in the colonies.--At this very time,
even the silver-money in England is obliged to the legal tender for
part of its value; that part which is the difference between its
real weight and its denomination. Great part of the shillings and
sixpences now current are, by wearing, become five, ten, twenty,
and some of the sixpences even fifty per cent. too light. For
this difference between the _real_ and the _nominal_, you have no
_intrinsic_ value; you have not so much as paper, you have nothing.
It is the legal tender, with the knowledge that it can easily be
repassed for the same value, that makes three-pennyworth of silver
pass for sixpence. Gold and silver have undoubtedly _some_ properties
that give them a fitness above paper, as a medium of exchange;
particularly their _universal estimation_; especially in cases where
a country has occasion to carry its money abroad, either as a stock
to trade with, or to purchase _allies_ and _foreign succours_.
Otherwise, that very universal estimation is an inconvenience, which
paper-money is free from; since it tends to deprive a country of
even the quantity of currency that should be retained as a necessary
instrument of its internal commerce, and obliges it to be continually
on its guard in making and executing, at a great expence, the
laws that are to prevent the trade which exports it. Paper-money
well funded has another great advantage over gold and silver; its
lightness of carriage, and the little room that is occupied by a
great sum; whereby it is capable of being more easily, and more
safely, because more privately, conveyed from place to place. Gold
and silver are not _intrinsically_ of equal value with iron, a metal
in itself capable of many more beneficial uses to mankind. Their
value rests chiefly in the estimation they happen to be in among the
generality of nations, and the credit given to the opinion, that that
estimation will continue. Otherwise a pound of gold would not be a
real equivalent for even a bushel of wheat. Any other well-founded
credit, is as much an equivalent as gold and silver; and in some
cases more so, or it would not be preferred by commercial people
in different countries. Not to mention again our own bank bills;
Holland, which understands the value of cash as well as any people in
the world, would never part with gold and silver for credit (as they
do when they put it into their bank, from whence little of it is ever
afterwards drawn out) if they did not think and find the credit a
full equivalent.

The 5th reason is, "_That_ debtors _in the assemblies make
paper-money_ with fraudulent views." This is often said by the
adversaries of paper-money, and if it has been the case in any
particular colony, that colony should, on proof of the fact, be duly
punished. This, however, would be no reason for punishing other
colonies, who have _not_ so abused their legislative powers. To
deprive all the colonies of the convenience of paper-money, because
it has been charged on some of them, that they have made it an
instrument of fraud, is as if all the India, Bank, and other stocks
and trading companies were to be abolished, because there have been,
once in an age, Mississippi and South-Sea schemes and bubbles.

The 6th and last reason is, "_That in the middle colonies, where the
paper-money has been best supported, the bills have_ never kept to
their nominal value _in circulation; but have constantly depreciated
to a certain degree, whenever the quantity has been increased_."
If the rising of the value of any particular commodity wanted for
exportation, is to be considered as a depreciation of the values of
_whatever remains_ in the country; then the rising of silver above
paper to that height of additional value, which its capability of
exportation only gave it, may be called a depreciation of the paper.
Even here, as bullion has been wanted or not wanted for exportation,
its price has varied from 5_s._ 2_d._ to 5_s._ 8_d._ per ounce. This
is near 10 per cent. But was it ever said or thought on such an
occasion, that all the bank bills, and all the coined silver, and
all the gold in the kingdom, were depreciated 10 per cent? Coined
silver is now wanted here for change, and 1 per cent is given for
it by some bankers: are gold and bank notes therefore depreciated 1
per cent.? The fact in the middle colonies is really this: on the
emission of the first paper-money, a difference soon arose between
that and silver; the latter having a property the former had not,
a property always in demand in the colonies; to wit, its being fit
for a remittance. This property having soon found its value, by
the merchants bidding on one another for it, and a dollar thereby
coming to be rated at 8_s._ in paper-money of New York, and 7_s._
6_d._ in paper of Pensylvania, it has continued uniformly at those
rates in both provinces now near forty years, without any variation
upon new emissions; though, in Pensylvania, the paper-currency has
at times increased from 15,000_l._ the first sum, to 600,000_l._ or
near it. Nor has any alteration been occasioned by the paper-money,
in the price of the necessaries of life, when compared with silver:
they have been for the greatest part of the time no higher than
before it was emitted; varying only by plenty and scarcity, or by a
less or greater foreign demand. It has indeed been usual with the
adversaries of a paper-currency, to call every rise of exchange with
London, a depreciation of the paper: but this notion appears to be by
no means just: for if the paper purchases every thing but bills of
exchange, at the former rate, and these bills are not above one-tenth
of what is employed in purchases; then it may be more properly and
truly said, that the exchange has risen, than that the paper has
depreciated. And as a proof of this, it is a certain fact, that
whenever in those colonies bills of exchange have been dearer, the
purchaser has been constantly obliged to give more in silver, as well
as in paper, for them; the silver having gone hand in hand with the
paper at the rate above-mentioned; and therefore it might as well
have been said, that the silver was depreciated.

There have been several different schemes for furnishing the
colonies with paper-money, that should _not_ be a legal tender, viz.

1. _To form a bank, in imitation of the bank of England, with a
sufficient stock of cash_ to pay the bills on sight.

This has been often proposed, but appears impracticable, under the
present circumstances of the colony-trade; which, as is said above,
draws all the cash to Britain, and would soon strip the bank.

2. _To raise a fund by some yearly tax, securely lodged in the bank
of England as it arises, which should_ (during the term of years
_for which the paper-bills are to be current_) _accumulate to a sum
sufficient to discharge them all at their_ original value.

This has been tried in Maryland: and the bills so funded were
issued without being made a general legal tender. The event was,
that as notes payable in time are naturally subject to a discount
proportioned to the time: so these bills fell at the beginning of
the term so low, as that twenty pounds of them became worth no more
than twelve pounds in Pensylvania, the next neighbouring province;
though both had been struck near the same time at the same nominal
value, but the latter was supported by the general legal tender.
The Maryland bills however began to rise as the term shortened, and
towards the end recovered their full value. But, as a depreciating
currency injures creditors, _this_ injured debtors; and by its
continually changing value, appears unfit for the purpose of money,
which should be as fixed as possible in its own value; because it is
to be the measure of the value of other things.

3. _To make the bills_ carry an interest _sufficient to support their

This too has been tried in some of the New England colonies; but
great inconveniencies were found to attend it. The bills, to fit them
for a currency, are made of various denominations, and some very
low, for the sake of change; there are of them from 10_l._ down to
3_d._ When they first come abroad, they pass easily, and answer the
purpose well enough for a few months; but as soon as the interest
becomes worth computing, the calculation of it on every little bill
in a sum between the dealer and his customers, in shops, warehouses
and markets, takes up much time, to the great hindrance of business.
This evil, however, soon gave place to a worse; for the bills were
in a short time gathered up and hoarded; it being a very tempting
advantage to have money bearing interest, and the principal all the
while in a man's power, ready for bargains that may offer; which
money out on mortgage is not. By this means numbers of people became
usurers with small sums, who could not have found persons to take
such sums of them upon interest, giving good security; and would
therefore not have thought of it; but would rather have employed the
money in some business, if it had been money of the common kind.
Thus trade, instead of being increased by such bills, is diminished;
and by their being shut up in chests, the very end of making them
(viz. to furnish a medium of commerce) is in a great measure, if not
totally defeated.

On the whole, no method has hitherto been formed to establish a
medium of trade, in lieu of money, equal in all its advantages, to
bills of credit--funded on sufficient taxes for discharging it, or
on land-security of double the value for repaying it at the end of
the term; and in the mean time, made a GENERAL LEGAL TENDER. The
experience of now near half a century in the middle colonies has
convinced them of it among themselves; by the great increase of their
settlements, numbers, buildings, improvements, agriculture, shipping,
and commerce. And the same experience has satisfied the British
merchants, who trade thither, that it has been greatly useful to
them, and not in a single instance prejudicial.

It is therefore hoped, that securing the full discharge of British
debts, which are payable here, and in all justice and reason ought
to be fully discharged here in sterling money; the restraint on the
legal tender within the colonies will be taken off; at least for
those colonies that desire it, and where the merchants trading to
them make no objection to it[56].


[55] The best account I can give of the occasion of the Report, to
which this paper is a reply, is as follows. During the war there had
been a considerable and unusual trade to America, in consequence
of the great fleets and armies on foot there, and the clandestine
dealings with the enemy, who were cut off from their own supplies.
This made great debts. The briskness of the trade ceasing with the
war, the merchants were anxious for payment, which occasioned some
confusion in the colonies, and stirred up a clamour here against
paper-money. The board of trade, of which lord Hilsborough was the
chief, joined in this opposition to paper-money, as appears by the
report. Dr. Franklin being asked to draw up an answer to their
report, wrote the paper given above. B. V.

[56] I understand that Dr. Franklin is the friend who assisted
governor Pownall in drawing up a plan for a general paper-currency
for America, to be established by the British government. See
Governor Pownall's Administration of the Colonies, 5th Edition, p.
199, and 208. B. V.

  _To the Freemen of Pensylvania, on the Subject of a particular
  Militia-Bill, rejected by the Proprietor's Deputy or Governor._

  _Philadelphia, Sept. 28, 1764._


Your desire of knowing how the militia-bill came to fail in the last
assembly shall immediately be complied with.

As the governor pressed hard for a militia-law to secure the internal
peace of the province, and the people of this country had not been
accustomed to militia service; the house, to make it more generally
agreeable to the freeholders, formed the bill so as that they might
have some share in the election of the officers; to secure them
from having absolute strangers set over them, or persons generally

This was no more, than that every company should choose, and
recommend to the governor, three persons for each office of captain,
lieutenant, and ensign; _out of which three_, the governor was to
commission _one_, that he thought most proper, or which he pleased,
to be the officer. And that the captains, lieutenants, and ensigns,
so commissioned by the governor, should, in their respective
regiments, choose and recommend three persons for each office of
colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major; out of which three the
governor was to commission _one_, whichever he pleased, to each of
the said offices.

The governor's amendment to the bill in this particular was, to
strike out wholly this privilege of the people, and take to himself
the _sole_ appointment of all the officers.

The next amendment was to aggravate and _enhance all the fines_. A
fine, that the assembly had made one hundred pounds, and thought
heavy enough, the governor required to be three hundred pounds. What
they had made fifty pounds, he required to be one hundred and fifty.
These were fines on the commissioned officers for disobedience to
his commands; but the non-commissioned officers, or common soldiers,
whom, for the same offence, the assembly proposed to fine at ten
pounds, the governor insisted should be fined fifty pounds.

These fines, and some others to be mentioned hereafter, the assembly
thought ruinously high: but when, in a subsequent amendment, the
governor would, for offences among the militia, take away the _trial
by jury_ in the common courts; and required, that the trial should be
by a court-martial, composed of officers of his own sole appointing,
who should have power of sentencing even to death; the house could by
no means consent thus to give up their constituents' liberty, estate,
and life itself, into the absolute power of a proprietary governor;
and so the bill failed.

That you may be assured I do not misrepresent this matter, I shall
give you the last-mentioned amendment (so called) at full length; and
for the truth and exactness of my copy I dare appeal to Mr. Secretary

The words of the bill, p. 43, were, "Every such person, so offending,
being legally convicted thereof, &c." By the words _legally
convicted_, was intended a conviction after legal trial, in the
common course of the laws of the land. But the governor required this
addition immediately to follow the words ["convicted thereof"] viz.
'by a court-martial, shall suffer DEATH, or such other punishment
as such court, by their sentence or decree, shall think proper to
inflict and pronounce. And be it farther enacted by the authority
aforesaid, That when and so often as it may be necessary, the
governor and commander in chief for the time being shall appoint
and commissionate, under the great seal of this province, sixteen
commissioned officers in each regiment; with authority and power to
them, or any thirteen of them, to hold courts-martial, of whom a
field-officer shall always be one, and president of the said court;
and such courts-martial shall, and are hereby impowered to administer
an oath to any witness, in order to the examination or trial of any
of the offences which by this act are made cognizable in such courts,
and shall come before them. Provided always, that in all trials by
a court-martial by virtue of this act, every officer present at
such trial, before any proceedings be had therein, shall take an
_oath_ upon the holy evangelists, before one justice of the peace
in the county where such court is held, who are hereby authorized
to administer the same, in the following words, that is to say, "I
A. B. do swear, that I will duly administer justice according to
evidence, and to the directions of an act, entitled, An act for
forming and regulating the militia of the province of Pensylvania,
without partiality, favour, or affection; and that I will not divulge
the sentence of the court, until it shall be approved of by the
governor or commander in chief of this province for the time being;
neither will I, upon any account, at any time whatsoever, disclose
or _discover the vote or opinion_ of any particular member of the
court-martial. So help me God."--And no sentence of death, or other
sentence shall be given against any offender but by the concurrence
of nine of the officers so sworn. And no sentence, passed against
any offender by such court-martial, shall be put in execution, until
report be made of the whole proceedings to the governor or commander
in chief of this province for the time being, and his directions
signified thereupon.'

It is observable here, that by the common course of justice, a man is
to be tried by a jury of his neighbours and fellows; impannelled by a
sheriff, in whose appointment the people have a choice: the prisoner
too has a right to challenge twenty of the pannel, without giving a
reason, and as many more as he can give reasons for challenging; and
before he can be convicted, the jury are to be unanimous; they are
all to agree that he is guilty, and are therefore all accountable
for their verdict. But by this amendment, the jury (if they may be
so called) are all officers of the governor's sole appointing, and
not one of them can be challenged; and though a common militia-man
is to be tried, no common militia-man shall be of that Jury; and so
far from requiring all to agree, a bare majority shall be sufficient
to condemn you. And lest that majority should be under any check or
restraint, from an apprehension of what the world might think or say
of the severity or injustice of their sentence, an oath is to be
taken, never to discover the vote or opinion of any particular member!

These are some of the chains attempted to be forged for you by the
proprietary faction! Who advised the g----r is not difficult to
know. They are the very men, who now clamour at the assembly for a
proposal of bringing the trial of a particular murder to this county,
from another, where it was not thought safe for any man to be either
juryman or witness; and call it disfranchising the people! who are
now bawling about the constitution, and pretending vast concern for
your liberties! In refusing you the least means of recommending or
expressing your regard for persons to be placed over you as officers,
and who were thus to be made your judges in life and estate; they
have not regarded the example of the king, our wise, as well as
kind master, who, in all his requisitions made to the colonies,
of raising troops for their defence, directed, that "the better to
facilitate the important service, the commissions should be given
to such as from their weight and credit with the people may be best
enabled to effectuate the levies[57]." In establishing a militia
for the defence of the province, how could the "weight and credit"
of men with the people be better discovered, than by the mode that
bill directed; viz. by a majority of those that were to be commanded
nominating three for each office to the governor, of which three he
might take the one he liked best?

However, the courts-martial being established, and all of us thus put
into his honour's absolute power, the governor goes on to enhance
the fines and penalties; thus, in page 49 of the bill, where the
assembly had proposed the fine to be ten shillings, the governor
required it to be ten pounds: in page 50, where a fine of five pounds
was mentioned, the governor's amendment required it to be made fifty
pounds. And in page 44, where the assembly had said, "shall forfeit
and pay any sum not exceeding five pounds," the governor's amendment
says, "shall suffer DEATH, or such other punishment, as shall,
according to the nature of the offence, be inflicted by the sentence
of a court-martial!"

The assembly's refusing to admit of these amendments in that bill
is one of their offences against the Lord Proprietary; for which
that faction are now abusing them in both the languages[58] of the
province, with all the virulence that reverend malice can dictate;
enforced by numberless barefaced falshoods, that only the most
dishonest and base would dare to invent, and none but the most weak
and credulous can possibly believe.



[57] See Secretary of State's Letters in the printed Votes.

[58] It is hardly necessary to mention here, that Pensylvania was
settled by a mixture of German and English. B. V.

  _Preface by a Member of the Pensylvanian Assembly (Dr. Franklin)
  to the Speech of Joseph Galloway, Esq. one of the Members for
  Philadelphia County; in Answer to the Speech of John Dickinson,
  Esq.; delivered in the House of the Assembly of the Province of
  Pensylvania, May 24, 1764, on Occasion of a Petition drawn up by
  Order, and then under the Consideration of the House, praying his
  Majesty for a Royal, in lieu of a Proprietary, Government_[59].

It is not merely because Mr. Dickinson's speech was ushered into
the world by a preface, that one is made to this of Mr. Galloway.
But as, in that preface, a number of aspersions were thrown on
our assemblies, and their proceedings grossly misrepresented, it
was thought necessary to wipe those aspersions off by some proper
animadversions, and by a true state of facts, to rectify those

The preface begins with saying, "That governor Denny (whose
administration will never be mentioned but with disgrace in the
annals of this province) was induced, by considerations to which the
world is now no stranger, to pass sundry acts," &c. thus insinuating,
that by some unusual base bargain, secretly made, but afterwards
discovered, he was induced to pass them.

It is fit therefore, without undertaking to justify all that
governor's administration, to show _what_ those considerations
were. Ever since the revenue of the quit-rents first, and after
that, the revenue of tavern-licences, were settled irrevocably on
our proprietors and governors, they have looked on those incomes as
their proper estate, for which they were under no obligations to the
people: and when they afterwards concurred in passing any useful
laws, they considered them as so many jobs, for which they ought to
be particularly paid. Hence arose the custom of _presents_ twice a
year to the governors, at the close of each session in which laws
were passed, given at the time of passing: they usually amounted to
a thousand pounds per annum. But when the governors and assemblies
disagreed, so that laws were not passed, the presents were withheld.
When a disposition to agree ensued, there sometimes still remained
some _diffidence_. The governors would not pass the laws that were
wanted, without being sure of the money, even all that they called
their arrears; nor the assemblies give the money, without being
sure of the laws. Thence the necessity of some private conference,
in which mutual assurances of good faith might be received and
given, that the transactions should go hand in hand. What name
the impartial reader will give to this kind of commerce, I cannot
say: to me it appears an extortion of more money from the people,
for that to which they had before an undoubted right, both by the
constitution and by purchase; but there was no other shop they could
go to for the commodity they wanted, and they were obliged to comply.
Time established the custom, and made it seem honest; so that our
governors, even those of the most undoubted honour, have practised
it. Governor Thomas, after a long misunderstanding with the assembly,
went more openly to work with them in managing this commerce, and
they with him. The fact is curious, as it stands recorded in the
votes of 1742-3. Sundry bills, sent up to the governor for his
assent, had lain long in his hands, without any answer. Jan. 4, the
house "ordered, that Thomas Leech and Edward Warner wait upon the
governor, and acquaint him, that the house had long waited for his
result on the bills that lie before him, and desire to know, when
they may expect it:" the gentlemen return, and report, "that they
waited upon the governor, and delivered the message of the house
according to order; and that the governor was pleased to say, he had
had the bills long under consideration, and _waited the result_ of
the _house_." The house well understood this hint; and immediately
resolved into a committee of the whole house, to take what was
called _the governor's support_ into consideration; in which they
made (the minutes say) _some progress_; and the next morning it
appears, that that _progress_, whatever it was, had been communicated
to him; for he sent them down this message by his secretary: "Mr.
Speaker, the governor commands me to acquaint you, that as he has
received assurances of a _good disposition_ in the house, he thinks
it incumbent on him to show _the like_ on his part; and therefore
sends down the bills which lay before him, without any amendment." As
this message only showed a good disposition, but contained no promise
to pass the bills, the house seem to have had their doubts; and
therefore, February 2, when they came to resolve, on the report of
the grand committee, to give the money, they guarded their resolves
very cautiously, viz. "Resolved, that _on the passage_ of such bills
as now lie before the governor, (the naturalization bill, and such
other bills as may be presented to him during this sitting) there
be PAID him the sum of _five hundred pounds_. Resolved also, that
on the passage of such bills as now lie before the governor (the
naturalization bill, and such other bills as may be presented to him
this sitting) there be PAID to the governor the _further_ sum of _one
thousand pounds_, for the current year's support; and that orders be
drawn on the treasurer and trustees of the loan-office, pursuant to
these resolves." The orders were accordingly drawn; with which being
acquainted, he appointed a time to pass the bills; which was done
with one hand, while he received the orders in the other: and then
with the utmost politeness [he] thanked the house for the fifteen
hundred pounds, as if it had been a pure free gift, and a mere mark
of their respect and affection. "I _thank you_, gentlemen (says he)
for this instance of _your regard_; which I am the more pleased with,
as it gives an agreeable prospect of _future harmony_ between me
and the representatives of the people." This, reader, is an exact
_counterpart_ of the transaction with governor Denny; except that
Denny sent word to the house, that he would pass the bills _before_
they voted the support. And yet _here_ was no proprietary clamour
about bribery, &c. And why so? Why at that time the proprietary
family, by virtue of a _secret bond_ they had obtained of the
governor at his appointment, were to _share with_ him the sums so
obtained of the people!

This reservation of the proprietaries they were at that time a little
ashamed of; and therefore such bonds were then to be secrets. But
as, in every kind of sinning, frequent repetition lessens shame, and
increases boldness, we find the proprietaries ten years afterwards
openly insisting on these advantages to themselves, _over and above_
what was paid to their deputy: "Wherefore (say they) on this occasion
it is necessary that we should inform the people, through yourselves
their representatives, that as by the constitution _our consent
is necessary_ to their _laws_, at the same time that they have an
_undoubted right_ to such as are necessary for the defence and real
service of the country; so it will tend the better to facilitate
the several matters which must be transacted with us, for their
representatives to show a regard _to us_ and our _interest_." This
was in their answer to the representation of the assembly [Votes,
December, 1754, p. 48.] on the justice of their contributing to
Indian expences, which they had refused. And on this clause the
committee make the following remark: "They tell us their consent
is necessary to our laws, and that it will tend the better to
facilitate the matters which must be transacted with them, for the
representatives to show a regard to their _interest_: that is (as we
understand it) though the proprietaries have a deputy here, supported
by the province, who is, or ought to be, fully impowered to pass all
laws necessary for the service of the country; yet, before we can
obtain such laws, we must facilitate their passage by paying money
for the proprietaries, which they ought to pay; or in some shape make
it their particular _interest_ to pass them. We hope, however, that
if this practice has ever been begun, it will never be continued in
this province; and that since, as this very paragraph allows, we have
an undoubted right to such laws, we shall always be able to obtain
them from the goodness of our sovereign, without going to market
for them to a subject." Time has shown, that those hopes were vain;
they have been obliged to go to that market ever since, directly or
indirectly, or go without their laws. The practice has continued,
and will continue, as long as the proprietary government subsists,
intervening between the crown and the people.

Do not, my courteous reader, take pet at our proprietary
constitution, for these our bargain and sale proceedings in
legislation. It is a happy country where justice, and what was your
own before, can be had for ready money. It is another addition to the
value of money, and of course another spur to industry. Every land
is not so blessed. There are countries where the princely proprietor
claims to be lord of all property; where what is your own shall not
only be wrested from you, but the money you give to have it restored
shall be kept with it; and your offering so much, being a sign of
your being too rich, you shall be plundered of every thing that
remained. These times are not come here yet: your present proprietors
have never been more unreasonable hitherto, than barely to insist on
your fighting in defence of _their_ property, and paying the expence
yourselves; or if their estates must [ah! _must_] be taxed towards
it, that the _best_ of their lands shall be taxed no higher than the
_worst_ of yours.

Pardon this digression, and I return to governor Denny; but first let
me do governor Hamilton the justice to observe, that whether from
the uprightness of his own disposition, or from the odious light the
practice had been set in on Denny's account, or from both; he did not
attempt these bargains, but passed such laws as he thought fit to
pass, without any _previous_ stipulation of pay for them. But then,
when he saw the assembly tardy in the payment he expected, and yet
calling upon him still to pass more laws; he openly put them in mind
of the money, as a _debt_ due to him from custom. "In the course of
the present year (says he, in his message of July 8, 1763) a great
deal of public business hath been transacted by me, and I believe as
many useful laws enacted, as by any of my predecessors in the same
space of time: yet I have not understood that any allowance hath
hitherto been made to me for my support, as hath been customary in
this province." The house having then some bills in hand, took the
matter into immediate consideration, and voted him five hundred
pounds, for which an order or certificate was accordingly drawn:
and on the same day the speaker, after the house had been with the
governor, reported, "That his honour had been pleased to give his
assent to the bills, by enacting the same into laws. And Mr. Speaker
farther reported, That he had then, in behalf of the house, presented
their certificate of five hundred pounds to the governor, who was
pleased to say, he was obliged to the house for the same." Thus we
see the practice of purchasing and paying for laws is interwoven
with our proprietary constitution, used in the best times, and under
the best governors. And yet, alas! poor assembly! how will you steer
your brittle bark between these rocks? If you pay _ready money_ for
your laws, and those laws are not liked by the proprietaries, you are
charged with bribery and corruption: if you wait a while before you
pay, you are accused of detaining the governor's customary right, and
dunned as a negligent or dishonest debtor, that refuses to discharge
a just debt!

But governor Denny's case, I shall be told, differs from all these;
for the acts he was induced to pass were, as the prefacer tell us,
"_contrary to his duty, and to every tie of honour and justice_."
Such is the imperfection of our language, and perhaps of all other
languages, that, notwithstanding we are furnished with dictionaries
innumerable, we cannot precisely know the import of words, unless
we know of what party the man is that uses them. In the mouth of an
assembly-man, or true Pensylvanian, "contrary to his duty and to
every tie of honour and justice" would mean, the governor's long
refusal to pass laws, however just and necessary, for taxing the
proprietary estate: a refusal, contrary to the trust reposed in
the lieutenant-governor by the royal charter, to the rights of the
people, whose welfare it was his duty to promote, and to the nature
of the contract made between the governor and the governed, when the
quit-rents and licence-fees were established, which confirmed what
the proprietaries call our "undoubted right" to necessary laws. But
in the mouth of the proprietaries, or their creatures, "contrary to
his duty, and to every tie of justice and honour" means, his passing
laws contrary to proprietary instructions, and contrary to the bonds
he had previously given to observe those instructions: instructions
however, that were unjust and unconstitutional; and bonds, that were
illegal and void from the beginning.

Much has been said of the wickedness of governor Denny in passing,
and of the assembly in prevailing with him to pass, those acts.
By the prefacer's account of them, you would think the laws, so
obtained, were _all_ bad; for he speaks of but _seven_, of which,
six, he says, were repealed, and the seventh reported to be
"fundamentally _wrong_ and _unjust_," "and ought to be repealed,
_unless_ six certain amendments were made therein[60]." Whereas
in fact there were _nineteen_ of them, and several of those must
have been good laws, for even the proprietaries did not object to
them. Of the eleven that they opposed, only six were repealed; so
that it seems, these good gentlemen may themselves be sometimes as
wrong in opposing, as the assembly in enacting laws. But the words,
"fundamentally _wrong_ and _unjust_," are the great fund of triumph
to the proprietaries and their partizans. These, their subsequent
governors have unmercifully dinned in the ears of the assembly on all
occasions ever since; for they make a part of near a dozen of their
messages. They have rung the changes on those words, till they worked
them up to say, that the law was fundamentally wrong and unjust in
_six several articles_ (Governor's Message, May 17, 1764) instead
of "ought to be repealed, _unless_ six alterations or amendments
could be made therein." A law, unjust in six several articles, must
be an unjust law indeed. Let us therefore, once for all, _examine_
this unjust law, article by article, in order to see, whether our
assemblies have been such villains as they have been represented.

The _first_ particular in which their lordships proposed the act
should be amended was, "That the real estates to be taxed, be
_defined with precision_; so as not to include the unsurveyed waste
land belonging to the proprietaries." This was at most but an
_obscurity_ to be cleared up. And though the law might well appear
to their lordships uncertain in that particular, with us, who better
know our own customs, and that the proprietaries waste unsurveyed
land was never here considered among estates real, subject to
taxation; there was not the least doubt or supposition, that such
lands were included in the words "all estates, real and personal."
The agents therefore, knowing that the assembly had no intention
to tax those lands, might well suppose they would readily agree to
remove the obscurity. Before we go farther, let it be observed, that
the main design of the proprietaries in opposing this act was, to
_prevent their estates being taxed at all_. But as they knew, that
the doctrine of proprietary exemption, which they had endeavoured to
enforce here, could not be supported there[61], they bent their whole
strength against the act on _other_ principles to procure its repeal,
pretending great willingness to submit to an equitable tax; but that
the assembly (out of mere malice, because they had conscientiously
quitted quakerism for the church!) were wickedly determined to ruin
them, to tax all their unsurveyed wilderness-lands, and at the
highest rates: and by that means exempt themselves and the people,
and throw the whole burden of the war on the proprietary family. How
foreign these charges were from the truth, need not be told to any
man in Pensylvania. And as the proprietors knew, that the hundred
thousand pounds of paper-money, struck for the defence of _their_
enormous estates, with others, was actually issued, spread through
the country, and in the hands of thousands of poor people, who had
given their labour for it; how base, cruel, and inhuman it was to
endeavour, by a repeal of the act, to strike the money dead in those
hands at one blow, and reduce it all to waste paper, to the utter
confusion of all trade and dealings, and the ruin of multitudes,
merely to avoid paying their own just tax--Words may be wanting
to express,--but minds will easily conceive,--and never without

The _second_ amendment proposed by their lordships was, "That the
located uncultivated lands, belonging to the proprietaries, shall
not be assessed higher than the _lowest_ rate, at which any located
uncultivated lands belonging to the inhabitants shall be assessed."
Had there been any provision in the act, that the proprietaries'
lands, and those of the people, of the same value, should be taxed
differently, the one high, and the other low; the act might well have
been called in this particular fundamentally wrong and unjust. But
as there is no such clause, this cannot be one of the particulars
on which the charge is founded; but, like the first, is merely a
requisition to make the act _clear_, by express directions therein,
that the proprietaries' estate should not be, as they pretended to
believe it would be, taxed higher in proportion to its value than
the estates of others. As to their present claim, founded on that
article, "that the best and most valuable of their lands, should be
taxed no higher than the worst and least valuable of the people's,"
it was not _then_ thought of; they made no such demand; nor did any
one dream that so iniquitous a claim would ever be made by men, who
had the least pretence to the characters of honourable and honest.

The _third_ particular was, "That all lands, _not granted_ by
the proprietaries _within boroughs and towns_, be deemed located
uncultivated lands, and rated accordingly; and not as lots." The
clause in the act that this relates to is, "And whereas many valuable
lots of ground within the city of Philadelphia, and the several
boroughs and towns within this province, remain unimproved; Be it
enacted, &c. That _all_ such unimproved lots of ground within the
city and boroughs aforesaid, shall be rated and assessed according to
their situation and value for, and towards raising the money hereby
granted." The reader will observe, that the word is, _all_ unimproved
lots; and that _all_ comprehends the lots belonging to the people,
as well as those of the proprietary. There were many of the former;
and a number belonging even to members of the then assembly; and
considering the value, the tax must be proportionably as grievous to
them, as the proprietary's to him. Is there among us a single man,
even a proprietary relation, officer, or dependant, so insensible of
the differences of right and wrong, and so confused in his notions of
just and unjust, as to think and say, that the act in this particular
was fundamentally wrong and unjust? I believe not one. What then
could their lordships mean by the proposed amendment? Their meaning
is easily explained. The proprietaries have considerable tracts of
land within the bounds of boroughs and towns, that have not yet been
divided into lots: they pretended to believe, that by virtue of this
clause an imaginary division would be made of _those_ lands into
lots, and an extravagant value set on such imaginary lots, greatly
to their prejudice. It was answered, that no such thing was intended
by the act: and that by lots was meant only such ground as _had_
been surveyed and divided into lots, and not the open undivided
lands. If this only is intended, say their lordships, then let the
act be amended, so as _clearly_ to express what is intended. This is
the full amount of the third particular. How the act was understood
here, is well known by the execution of it before the dispute came
on in England, and therefore before their lordships' opinion on the
point could be given, of which full proof shall presently be made.
In the mean time it appears, that the act was not on _this_ account
fundamentally wrong and unjust.

The _fourth_ particular is, "That the _governor's consent_ and
approbation be made necessary to every issue and application of the
money, to be raised by virtue of such act." The assembly intended
this, and thought they had done it in the act. The words of the
clause being, "That [the commissioners named] or the major part of
them, or of the survivors of them, _with the consent_ or approbation
of the governor or commander in chief of this province for the time
being, shall order and appoint _the disposition of the monies_
arising by virtue of this act, for and towards paying and clothing
two thousand seven hundred effective men," &c. It was understood
here, that as the power of disposing was expressly to be with the
consent and approbation of the governor, the commissioners had no
power to dispose of the money without that approbation: but their
lordships, jealous (as their station requires) of this prerogative of
the crown, and being better acquainted with the force and weakness
of law expression, did not think the clause explicit enough, unless
the words, "_and not otherwise_," were added, or some other words
equivalent. This particular, therefore, was no more than another
requisition of greater _clearness_ and precision; and by no means a
foundation for the charge of fundamentally wrong and unjust.

The _fifth_ particular was, "That _provincial_ commissioners be
named, to hear and _determine appeals_, brought on the part of
the inhabitants, as well as the proprietaries." There was already
subsisting a provision for the appointment of _county_ commissioners
of appeal; by whom the act might be, and actually has been (as we
shall presently show) justly and impartially executed with regard to
the proprietaries; but _provincial_ commissioners appointed in the
act it was thought might be of use, in regulating and equalizing the
modes of assessment of different counties, where they were unequal;
and by affording a second appeal, tend more to the satisfaction both
of the proprietaries and the people.--This particular was therefore
a mere proposed improvement of the act, which could not be, and was
not, in this respect, denominated fundamentally wrong and unjust.

We have now gone through five of the six proposed amendments, without
discovering any thing on which that censure could be founded; but the
_sixth_ remains; which points at a part of the act wherein we must
candidly acknowledge there is something, that, in their lordships'
view of it, must justify their judgment. The words of the _sixth_
article are, "That the payments by the tenants to the proprietaries
of their rents, shall be according to the terms of their respective
grants, as if such act had never been passed." This relates to that
clause of the act by which the _paper-money_ was made a _legal
tender_ in "discharge of all manner of debts, rents, sum and sums
of money whatsoever, &c. at the rates ascertained in the act of
parliament made in the sixth of Queen Anne." From the great injustice
frequently done to creditors, and complained of from the colonies, by
the vast depreciation of paper bills, it was become a general fixed
principle with the ministry, that such bills (whose value, though
fixed in the act, could not be kept fixed by the act) ought _not_ to
be made a legal tender in any colony at those rates. The parliament
had before passed an act, to take that tender away in the four New
England colonies, and have since made the act general. This was what
their lordships would therefore have proposed for the amendment. But
it being represented, That the chief support of the credit of the
bills was the legal tender; and that without it they would become
of no value, it was allowed generally to remain; with an exception
to the proprietaries' rents, where[62] there was a special contract
for payment in another coin. It cannot be denied but that _this_ was
doing justice to the proprietaries; and that, had the requisition
been in favour of _all other_ creditors also, the justice had been
equal, as being general. We do not therefore presume to impeach their
lordships' judgment, that the act, as it enforced the acceptance of
bills for money at a value which they had only nominally, and not
really, was in that respect fundamentally wrong and unjust. And yet
we believe the reader will not think the assembly so much to blame,
when he considers, that the making paper-bills a legal tender had
been the universal mode in America for more than threescore years;
that there was scarce a colony that had not practised that mode
more or less; that it had always been thought absolutely necessary,
in order to give the bills a credit, and thereby obtain from them
the uses of money; that the inconveniences were therefore submitted
to, for the sake of the greater conveniences; that acts innumerable
of the like kind had been approved by the crown; and that if the
assembly made the bills a legal tender at those rates to the
proprietaries, they made them also a legal tender to themselves and
all their constituents, many of whom might suffer in their rents,
&c. as much in proportion to their estates as the proprietaries. But
if he cannot, on these considerations, quite excuse the assembly,
what will he think of those honourable proprietaries, who, when
paper-money was issued in their colony, for the common defence of
their vast estates, with those of the people, and who must therefore
reap at least equal advantages from those bills with the people,
could nevertheless wish to be exempted from their share of the
unavoidable disadvantages. Is there upon earth a man besides, with
any conception of what is honest, with any notion of honour, with
the least tincture in his veins of the gentleman, but would have
blushed at the thought; but would have rejected with disdain such
undue preference, if it had been offered him? Much less would he have
struggled for it, moved heaven and earth to obtain it, resolved to
ruin thousands of his tenants by a repeal of the act, rather than
miss of it[63]; and enforce it afterwards by an audaciously wicked
instruction; forbidding aids to his king, and exposing the province
to destruction, unless it was complied with. And yet,--These are
_honourable_ men[64].

Here then we have a full view of the assembly's injustice; about
which there has been so much insolent triumph! But let the
proprietaries and their discreet deputies hereafter recollect
and remember, that the same august tribunal, which censured some
of the modes and circumstances of that act, did at the same time
establish and confirm the grand principle of the act, viz. "That
the proprietary estate ought, with other estates, to be taxed:" and
thereby did in effect determine and pronounce, that the opposition
so long made in various shapes to that just principle, by the
proprietaries, was fundamentally _wrong_ and _unjust_. An injustice
they were not, like the assembly, under any necessity of committing
for the public good, or any other necessity but what was imposed on
them by those base passions, that act the tyrant in bad minds; their
selfishness, their pride, and their avarice.

I have frequently mentioned the _equitable intentions_ of the house
in those parts of the act, that were supposed obscure, and how they
were understood here. A clear proof thereof is found, as I have
already said, in the actual execution of the act; in the execution
of it before the contest about it in England; and therefore before
their lordships' objections to it had a being. When the report came
over, and was laid before the house, one year's tax had been levied:
and the assembly, conscious that no injustice had been intended to
the proprietaries, and willing to rectify it if any should appear,
appointed a _committee_ of members from the several counties to
examine into the state of the proprietaries' taxes through the
province, and nominated on that committee a gentleman of known
attachment to the proprietaries, and their chief justice, Mr. Allen;
to the end that the strictest inquiry might be made. _Their report_
was as follows: "We, the committee appointed to inquire into, and
consider the state of the proprietary taxation through the several
counties, and report the same to the house, have, in pursuance of
the said appointment, carefully examined the returns of property,
and compared them with the respective assessments thereon made
through the whole province; and find, _first_, That no part of the
_unsurveyed_ waste lands belonging to the proprietaries have, in any
instance, been included in the estates taxed. _Secondly_, That some
of the _located uncultivated_ lands belonging to the proprietaries
in several counties _remain unassessed_; and are not in any county
assessed higher, than the lands under like circumstances belonging
to the inhabitants. _Thirdly_, That all _lands_; _not_ granted by
the proprietaries, _within boroughs_ and towns, remain _untaxed_;
excepting in a few instances, and in those they are rated as _low_,
as the lands which are granted in the said boroughs and towns. The
whole of the proprietary tax of eighteen pence in the pound amounts
to 566_l._ 4_s._ 10_d._ And the sum of the tax on the inhabitants for
the same year amounts, through the several counties, to 27,103_l._
12_s._ 8_d._ And it is the opinion of your committee, that there has
not been any injustice done to the proprietaries, or attempts made to
rate or assess any part of their estates higher than the estates of
the like kind belonging to the inhabitants are rated and assessed;
but, on the contrary, we find that their estates are rated, in many
instances, below others.

  Thomas Leech,      George Ashbridge,
  Joseph Fox,        Emanuel Carpenter,
  Samuel Rhoads,     John Blackburn,
  Abraham Chapman,   William Allen."

The house communicated this report to governor Hamilton, when he
afterwards pressed them to make the stipulated act of amendment;
acquainting him at the same time, that as in the execution of the act
no injustice _had_ hitherto been done to the proprietary, so, by a
yearly inspection of the assessments, they would take care that none
_should_ be done him; for that if any should appear, or the governor
could at any time point out to them any that had been done, they
would immediately rectify it; and therefore, as the act was shortly
to expire, they did not think the amendments necessary. Thus that
matter ended during that administration.

And had his successor, governor Penn, permitted it still to sleep,
we are of opinion it had been more to the honour of the family, and
of his own discretion. But he was pleased to found upon it a _claim_
manifestly unjust, and which he was totally destitute of reason to
support. A claim, that the proprietaries best and most valuable
located uncultivated lands, should be taxed no _higher_ than the
worst and least valuable of those belonging to the inhabitants: to
enforce which, as he thought the words of one of the stipulations
seemed to give some countenance to it, he insisted on using those
very words as sacred; from which he could "neither in decency or in
duty," deviate; though he had agreed to deviate from words [in] the
same report, and therefore equally sacred in every other instance. A
conduct which will (as the prefacer says in governor Denny's case)
for ever disgrace the annals of _his_ administration[65]. Never did
any administration open with a more _promising_ prospect [than this
of governor Penn]. He assured the people, in his first speeches,
of the proprietaries' paternal regard for them, and their sincere
disposition to do every thing that might promote their happiness. As
the proprietaries had been pleased to appoint a son of the family
to the government, it was thought not unlikely, that there might be
something in these professions; for that they would probably choose
to have his administration made easy and agreeable; and to that
end might think it prudent to withdraw those harsh, disagreeable,
and unjust instructions with which most of his predecessors had
been hampered: the assembly therefore believed fully, and rejoiced
sincerely. They showed the new governor every mark of respect and
regard that was in their power. They readily and cheerfully went into
every thing he recommended to them. And when he and his authority
were insulted and endangered by a lawless murdering mob, they and
their friends took arms at his call, and formed themselves round him
for his defence, and the support of his government. But when it was
found, that those mischievous instructions still subsisted, and were
even farther extended; when the governor began, unprovoked, to send
the house affronting messages, seizing every imaginary occasion of
reflecting on their conduct; when every other symptom appeared of
fixed deep-rooted family malice, which could but a little while bear
the unnatural covering that had been thrown over it, what wonder
is it, if all the old wounds broke out and bled afresh? if all the
old grievances, still unredressed, were recollected; if despair
succeeded of [seeing] any peace with a family, that could make such
returns to all their overtures of kindness! And when in the very
proprietary council, composed of staunch friends of the family, and
chosen for their attachment to it, it was observed, that the _old
men_ (1 Kings, chap. xii.) withdrew themselves, finding their opinion
slighted, and that all measures were taken by the advice of two or
three _young men_ (one of whom too denies his share in them) is it
any wonder, since like causes produce like effects, if the assembly,
notwithstanding all their veneration for the first proprietor, should
say, with the children of Israel, under the same circumstances, "What
portion have we in David, or inheritance in the son of Jesse? To your
tents, O Israel!"

Under these circumstances, and a conviction that while so many
natural sources of difference subsisted between proprietaries and
people, no harmony in government long subsist (without which neither
the commands of the crown could be executed, nor the public good
promoted) the house resumed the consideration of a measure that had
often been proposed in former assemblies; a measure, that every
_proprietary province in_ America had, from the same causes, found
themselves obliged to take, and had actually taken, or were about
to take; and a measure, that had happily succeeded, wherever it was
taken; I mean the recourse to an immediate _royal government_.

They therefore, after a thorough debate, and making no less than
twenty-five unanimous resolves, expressing the many grievances
this province had long laboured under, through the proprietary
government, came to the following resolution, viz. "Resolved, nemine
contradicente, That this house will adjourn, in order to _consult
their constituents_, whether an humble _address_ should be drawn
up and transmitted to _his Majesty_; praying that he would be
graciously pleased to take the people of this province under his
immediate protection and government, by completing the agreement
heretofore made with the first proprietary for the sale of the
government to the crown, or otherwise as to his wisdom and goodness
shall seem meet[66]."

This they ordered to be made public; and it was published accordingly
in all the newspapers: the house then adjourned for no less than
_seven weeks_, to give their constituents time to consider the
matter, and themselves an opportunity of taking their opinion and
advice. Could any thing be more deliberate, more fair and open, or
more respectful to the people that chose them?--During this recess,
the people, in many places, held little meetings with each other;
the result of which was, that they would manifest their sentiments
to their representatives, by petitioning the crown directly of
themselves, and requesting the assembly to transmit and support
those petitions. At the next meeting many of these petitions were
delivered to the house with that request; they were signed by a very
great[67] number of the most substantial inhabitants; and not the
least intimation was received by the assembly from any other of their
constituents, that the method was _disapproved_; except in a petition
from an obscure town-ship in Lancaster county, to which there were
about forty names indeed, but all evidently signed by three hands
only. What could the assembly infer from the expressed willingness of
a part, and silence of the rest; but that the measure was universally
agreeable! They accordingly resumed the consideration of it; and
though a small, very small opposition then appeared to it in the
house; yet as even that was founded not on the impropriety of the
thing; but on supposed unsuitableness of the time or the manner, and
a majority of nine tenths being still for it; a petition was drawn
agreeable to the former resolve, and ordered to be transmitted to his

But the preface tells us, that these _petitioners_ for a change were
a "number of rash, ignorant, and inconsiderate people," and generally
of a _low rank_. To be sure they were not of the proprietary
officers, dependents, or expectants; and those are chiefly the people
of high rank among us; but they were otherwise generally men of the
best estates in the province, and men of reputation. The assembly,
who come from all parts of the country, and therefore may be supposed
to know them, at least as well as the prefacer, have given that
testimony of them. But what is the testimony of the assembly; who
in his opinion are equally rash, ignorant, and inconsiderate with
the petitioners? And if his judgment is right, how imprudently and
contrary to their charter, have his _three hundred thousand souls_
acted in their elections of assembly-men these twenty years past; for
the charter requires them to choose men of _most note_ for _virtue_,
_wisdom_ and _ability_!

But these are qualities engrossed, it seems, by the _proprietary_
party. For they say, "the _wiser_ and _better_ part of the province
had far different notions of this measure: they considered, that
the moment they put their hands to these petitions they might be
surrendering up their birthright." I felicitate them on the _honour_
they have thus bestowed upon themselves; on the _sincere_ compliments
thus given and accepted; and on their having with such noble freedom
discarded the snivelling pretence to modesty, couched in that
threadbare form of words, "though we say it, that should not say
it." But is it not surprising, that, during the seven weeks recess
of the assembly, expressly to consult their constituents on the
expediency of this measure, and during the fourteen days the house
sat deliberating on it after they met again, these their wisdoms and
betternesses should never be so kind as to communicate the least
scrap of their prudence, their knowledge, or their consideration, to
their rash, ignorant, and inconsiderate representatives? Wisdom in
the mind is not like money in the purse, diminished by communication
to others: they might have lighted up our farthing candles for
us, without lessening the blaze of their own flambeaux. But they
suffered our representatives to go on in the dark till the fatal
deed was done; and the petition sent to the king, praying him to
take the government of this province into his immediate care:
whereby, if it succeeds, "our glorious plan of public liberty and
charter of privileges is to be bartered away," and we are to be made
slaves for ever! Cruel parsimony! to refuse the charity of a little
understanding, when God had given you so much, and the assembly
begged it as an alms! O that you had but for once remembered and
observed the counsel of that wise poet Pope, where he says,

    Be niggards of advice on no pretence;
    For the worst avarice is that of sense.

In the constitution of our government, and in that of one more,
there still remains a particular thing that none of the other
American governments have; to wit, the appointment of a governor by
the _proprietors_, instead of an appointment by the _crown_. This
particular in government has been found inconvenient; attended with
contentions and confusions wherever it existed; and has therefore
been gradually taken away from colony after colony, and every where
greatly to the satisfaction and happiness of the people. Our wise
first proprietor and founder was fully sensible of this; and being
desirous of leaving his people happy, and preventing the mischiefs
that he foresaw must in time arise from that circumstance if it
was continued, he determined to take it away, if possible, during
his own lifetime. They accordingly entered into a contract for
the sale of the proprietary right of government to the crown, and
actually received a sum in part of the consideration. As he found
himself likely to die before that contract (and with it, his plan
for the happiness of his people) could be completed, he carefully
made it a part of his last will and testament; devising the right
of the government to two noble lords, in trust, that they should
release it to the crown. Unfortunately for us, this has never yet
been done. And this is merely what the assembly now desire to have
done. Surely he that formed our constitution, must have understood
it. If he had imagined, that all our privileges depended on the
proprietary government; will any one suppose, that he would himself
have meditated the change; that he would have taken such effectual
measures, as he thought them, to bring it about speedily, whether he
should live or die? Will any of those, who now extol him so highly,
charge him at the same time with the baseness of endeavouring thus
to defraud his people of all the liberties and privileges he had
promised them, and by the most solemn charters and grants assured
to them, when he engaged them to assist him in the settlement of
his province? Surely none can be so inconsistent!--And yet this
proprietary right of governing or appointing a governor has all of a
sudden changed its nature; and the preservation of it become of so
much importance to the welfare of the province, that the assembly's
only petitioning to have their venerable founder's will executed,
and the contract he entered into for the good of his people
completed, is stiled, an "attempt to violate the constitution for
which our fathers planted a wilderness; to barter away our glorious
plan of public liberty and charter privileges; a risquing of the
whole constitution; an offering up of our whole charter rights; a
wanton sporting with things sacred, &c."

Pleasant surely it is to hear the proprietary partizans, of all men,
bawling for the constitution, and affecting a terrible concern for
our liberties and privileges. They, who have been these twenty years
cursing our constitution, declaring that it was no constitution, or
worse than none; and that things could never be well with us till
it was new modelled, and made exactly conformable to the British
constitution: they, who have treated our distinguishing privileges
as so many illegalities and absurdities; who have solemnly declared
in print, that though such privileges might be proper in the infancy
of a colony to encourage its settlement, they became unfit for it in
its grown state, and ought to be taken away: they, who by numberless
falshoods, propagated with infinite industry in the mother country,
attempted to procure an act of parliament for the actual depriving a
very great part of the people of their privileges: they too, who have
already deprived the whole people of some of their most important
rights, and are daily endeavouring to deprive them of the rest: are
these become patriots and advocates for our constitution? Wonderful
change! astonishing conversion! Will the wolves then protect the
sheep, if they can but persuade them to give up their dogs? Yes; the
assembly would destroy all their own rights, and those of the people;
and the proprietary partizans are become the champions for liberty!
Let those who have faith now make use of it: for if it is rightly
defined, the evidence of things not seen, certainly never was there
more occasion for such evidence, the case being totally destitute of
all other.

It has been long observed, that men are with that party, angels or
demons, just as they happen to concur with or oppose their measures.
And I mention it for the comfort of _old sinners_, that in politics,
as well as in religion, repentance and amendment, though late, shall
obtain forgiveness, and procure favour. Witness the late speaker,
Mr. Norris; a steady and constant opposer of all the proprietary
encroachments; and whom, for thirty years past, they have been
therefore continually abusing, allowing him no one virtue or good
quality whatsoever: but now, as he shewed some unwillingness to
engage in this present application to the crown, he is become all
at once the "faithful servant;"--but let me look at the text, to
avoid mistakes--and indeed I was mistaken--I thought it had been
"faithful servant of the public," but I find it is only "of the
house." Well chosen that expression, and prudently guarded. The
former, from a proprietary pen, would have been praise too much, only
for disapproving the _time_ of the application. Could _you_, much
respected [Mr. Norris], go but a little farther, and disapprove the
application itself? Could you but say, the proprietary government is
a good one, and ought to be continued; then might all your political
offences be done away, and your scarlet sins become as snow and wool;
then might you end your course with (proprietary) honour. P----
should preach your funeral sermon, and S----, the poisoner of other
characters, embalm your memory. But those honours you will never
receive; for with returning health and strength you will be found in
your old post, firm for your country.

There is encouragement too for _young sinners_. Mr. Dickenson, whose
speech our prefacer has introduced to the world, (though long hated
by some, and disregarded by the rest of the proprietary faction) is
at once, for the same reason as in Mr. Norris's case, become a sage
in the law, and an oracle in matters relating to our constitution. I
shall not endeavour to pluck so much as a leaf from these the young
gentleman's laurels. I would only advise him carefully to preserve
the panegyrics with which they have adorned him: in time they may
serve to console him, by balancing the calumny they shall load him
with, when he does not go through with them in all their measures:
he will not probably do the one, and they will then assuredly do the
other. There are mouths that can blow hot as well as cold, and blast
on your brows the bays their hands have placed there. "Experto crede
Roberto." Let but the moon of _proprietary_ favour withdraw its shine
for a moment, and that "great number of the _principal gentlemen_ of
Philadelphia," who applied to you for the copy of your speech, shall
immediately despise and desert you.

"Those principal gentlemen!" What a pity it is that their names were
not given us in the preface, together with their admirable letter!
We should then have known, where to run for advice on all occasions.
We should have known, who to choose for our future representatives:
for undoubtedly these were they that are elsewhere called "the
_wiser_ and _better_ part of the province." None but their wisdoms
could have known before-hand, that a speech which they never heard,
and a copy of which they had never seen, but were then requesting
to see, was "a spirited defence," and "of our charter privileges,"
and that "the publication of it would be of great utility, and give
general satisfaction." No inferior sagacity could discover, that the
appointment of a governor by the proprietor was one of our "charter
privileges," and that those who opposed the application for a royal
government were therefore patriot members, appearing on the side of
our privileges and our charter!

Utterly to _confound the assembly_, and show the excellence of
proprietary government, the prefacer has extracted from their own
votes, the _praises_ they have from time to time bestowed on the
_first_ proprietor, in their addresses to his sons. And though
addresses are not generally the best repositories of historical
truth, we must not in this instance deny their authority.

       *       *       *       *       *

What then avails it to the honour of the present proprietors, that
our founder and their father gave us privileges, if they, the sons,
will not permit the use of them, or forcibly rend them from us? David
may have been a man after God's own heart, and Solomon the wisest
of proprietors and governors; but if Rehoboam will be a tyrant and
a ----, who can secure him the affections of the people? The virtue
and merit of his ancestors may be very great, but his presumption in
depending upon those alone may be much greater.

I lamented, a few pages ago, that we were not acquainted with the
names of those "principal gentlemen, the wiser and better part of
the province." I now rejoice that we are likely, some time or other,
to know them; for a copy of a _petition to the king_ is now before
me; which, from its similarity with their _letter_, must be of their
inditing, and will probably be recommended to the people, by their
leading up the signing.

On this petition I shall take the liberty of making a few _remarks_,
as they will save me the necessity of following farther the preface;
the sentiments of this and that being nearly the same.

It begins with a formal quotation from the [assembly's] petition,
which they own they have not seen, and of words that are not in it;
and after relating very imperfectly and unfairly the fact relating
to their application for a copy of it, which is of no importance,
proceeds to set forth, "that as we and all your American subjects
must be governed by persons authorised and approved by your Majesty,
on the best recommendation that can be obtained of them; we cannot
perceive our condition in this respect to be _different_ from our
fellow-subjects around us, or that we are thereby less under your
majesty's particular care and protection than they are; since there
can be no _governors_ of this province without your majesty's
_immediate approbation_ and authority." Such a declaration from the
wiser part of the province is really a little surprising. What! when
disputes concerning matters of property are daily arising between
you and your proprietaries, cannot your wisdoms perceive the least
difference between having the judges of those disputes appointed by
a _royal_ governor, who has no interest in the cause, and having
them appointed by the _proprietaries_ themselves, the principal
parties against you; and _during their pleasure_ too? When supplies
are necessary to be raised for your defence, can you perceive no
difference between having a royal governor, free to promote his
majesty's service by a ready assent to your laws; and a proprietary
governor, shackled by instructions, forbidding him to give that
assent, unless some private advantage is obtained, some profit got,
or unequal exemption gained for their estate, or some privilege
wrested from you? When prerogative, that in other governments is only
used for the good of the people, is here strained to the extreme,
and used to their prejudice, and the proprietaries benefit, can you
perceive no difference? When the direct and immediate rays of majesty
benignly and mildly shine on all _around_ us, but are transmitted and
thrown upon _us_ through the burning-glass of proprietary government,
can your sensibilities feel no difference? Sheltered perhaps in
proprietary offices, or benumbed with expectations, it may be you
cannot. But surely you might have known better than to tell his
majesty, "that there can be no governors of this province, without
his immediate approbation." Don't you know, who know so much, that by
our blessed constitution the _proprietors_ themselves, whenever they
please, may govern us in _person_, without such approbation?

The petition proceeds to tell his majesty, "that the particular mode
of government which we enjoy, under your majesty, is held in the
_highest estimation_ by good men of all denominations among us; and
hath _brought multitudes_ of industrious people from various parts of
the world," &c. Really! Can this be from proprietary partizans? That
constitution, which they were for ever censuring as defective in a
legislative council, defective in government powers, too popular in
many of its modes, is it now become so excellent? Perhaps, as they
have been tinkering it these twenty years, till they have stripped
it of some of its most valuable privileges, and almost spoiled it,
they now begin to like it. But then it is not surely this _present_
constitution, that brought hither those multitudes. They came
before. At least it was not that particular in our constitution (the
proprietary power of appointing a governor) which attracted them,
that single particular, which alone is now in question, which our
venerable founder first, and now the assembly, are endeavouring to
change. As to the remaining valuable part of our constitution, the
assembly have been equally full and strong in expressing their regard
for it, and perhaps stronger and fuller; for _their_ petition, in
that respect, is in the nature of a petition of right: it lays claim,
though modestly and humbly, to those privileges on the foundation
of royal grants, on laws confirmed by the crown, and on justice and
equity, as the grants were the consideration offered to induce them
to settle, and which they have in a manner purchased and paid for, by
executing that settlement without putting the crown to any expence.
Whoever would know what our constitution was, when it was so much
admired, let him peruse that elegant farewell speech of Mr. Hamilton,
father of our late governor, when, as speaker, he took his leave of
the house, and of public business, in 1739; and then let him compare
that constitution with the present. The power of _appointing public
officers_ by the representatives of the people, which he so much
extols, where is it now? Even the bare naming to the governor in a
bill, a trivial officer to receive a light-house duty (which could
be considered as no more than a mere recommendation) is, in a late
message, styled, "an encroachment on the prerogative of the crown!"
The sole power of _raising and disposing of public money_, which he
says was then lodged in the assembly, that inestimable privilege,
what is become of it? Inch by inch they have been wrested from us
in times of public distress; and the rest are going the same way.
I remember to have seen, when governor Hamilton was engaged in a
dispute with the assembly on some of those points, a copy of that
speech, which then was intended to be reprinted, with a dedication to
that honourable gentleman, and this motto from John Rogers's verses
in the Primer:

    We send you here a little book,
      For you to look upon;
    That you may see your father's face,
      Now he is dead and gone.

Many a such little book has been sent by our assemblies to the
present proprietaries: but they do not like to see their father's
face; it puts their own out of countenance.

The petition proceeds to say, "that such disagreements as have arisen
in this province, we have beheld with sorrow; but as others around
us are not exempted from the _like misfortunes_, we can by no means
conceive them incident to the nature of our government, which hath
_often_ been administered with remarkable harmony: and your majesty,
before whom our late disputes have been laid, can be at no loss, in
your great wisdom, to discover, whether they proceed from the above
cause, or should be ascribed to some others." The disagreements in
question are proprietary disagreements in government, relating to
proprietary private interests. And are not the _royal_ governments
around us exempt from _these_ misfortunes? Can you really, gentlemen,
by no means conceive, that proprietary government disagreements are
incident to the nature of proprietary governments? If your wisdoms
are so hard to conceive, I am afraid they will never bring forth. But
then our government "hath _often_ been administered with remarkable
harmony." Very true; as often as the assembly have been able and
willing to purchase that harmony, and pay for it, the mode of which
has already been shown. And yet that word _often_ seems a little
unluckily chosen: the flame that is often put out, must be as often
lit. If our government hath often been administered with remarkable
harmony, it hath as often been administered with remarkable discord:
one often is as numerous as the other. And his majesty, if he
should take the trouble of looking over our disputes (to which the
petitioners, to save themselves a little pains, modestly and decently
refer him) where will he, for twenty years past, find any but
_proprietary_ disputes concerning proprietary interests; or disputes
that have been connected with and arose from them?

The petition proceeds to assure his majesty, "that this province
(except from the Indian ravages) enjoys the _most perfect internal
tranquillity_!"--Amazing! what! the most perfect tranquillity! when
there have been three atrocious riots within a few months! when
in two of them, horrid murders were committed on twenty innocent
persons; and in the third, no less than one hundred and forty like
murders were meditated, and declared to be intended, with as many
more as should be occasioned by any opposition! when we know that
these rioters and murderers have none of them been punished, have
never been prosecuted, have not even been apprehended! when we are
frequently told, that they intend still to execute their purposes,
as soon as the protection of the king's forces is withdrawn! Is
our tranquillity more perfect now, than it was between the first
riot and the second, or between the second and the third? And why
"except the Indian ravages," is a _little intermission_ to be
denominated "the most perfect tranquillity?" For the Indians too
have been quiet lately. Almost as well might ships in an engagement
talk of the most perfect tranquillity between two broadsides. But
"a spirit of riot and violence is foreign to the general temper
of the inhabitants." I hope and believe it is; the assembly have
said nothing to the contrary. And yet is there not too much of it?
Are there not pamphlets continually written, and daily sold in our
streets, to justify and encourage it? Are not the mad armed mob in
those writings instigated to embrue their hands in the blood of their
fellow-citizens, by first applauding their murder of the Indians,
and then representing the assembly and their friends as worse than
Indians, as having privately stirred up the Indians to murder the
white people, and armed and rewarded them for that purpose? LIES,
gentlemen, villanous as ever the malice of hell invented, and which,
to do you justice, not one of you believes, though you would have the
mob believe them.

But your petition proceeds to say, "that where such disturbances
have happened, they have been _speedily quieted_." By whom were
they quieted? The _two first_, if they can be said to be quieted,
were quieted only by the rioters themselves going home quietly
(that is, without any interruption) and remaining there till their
next insurrection, without any pursuit, or attempt to apprehend
any of them. And the _third_, was it quieted, or was the mischief
they intended prevented, or could it have been prevented, without
the aid of the king's troops, marched into the province for that
purpose?--"The civil powers have been supported," in some sort.
We all know how they were supported; but have they been _fully_
supported? Has the government sufficient strength, even with all its
supports, to venture on the apprehending and punishment of those
notorious offenders? If it has not, why are you angry at those who
would strengthen its hands by a more immediate royal authority? If
it has, why is not the thing done? Why will the government, by its
conduct, strengthen the suspicions (groundless no doubt) that it
has come to a private understanding with those murderers, and that
impunity for their past crimes is to be the reward of their future
political services?--O! but says the petition, "there are perhaps
cases in all governments where it may _not be possible speedily
to discover offenders_." Probably; but is there any case in any
government where it is not possible to _endeavour_ such a discovery?
There may be cases where it is not safe to do it: and perhaps the
best thing our government can say for itself is, that that is our
case. The only objection to such an apology must be, that it would
justify that part of the assembly's petition to the crown, which
relates to the _weakness_ of our present government.[68]

Still, if there is any _fault_, it must be _in the assembly_; for,
says the petition, "if the executive part of our government should
seem in any case too weak, we conceive it is the duty of the
assembly, and in _their_ power, to strengthen it." This weakness,
however, you have just denied. "Disturbances you say _have_ been
speedily quieted, and the civil power supported," and thereby you
have deprived your insinuated charge against the assembly of its only
support. But is it not a fact known to you all, that the assembly
_did_ endeavour to strengthen the hands of the government? That, at
his honour's instance, they prepared and passed in a few hours a bill
for extending hither the act of parliament for dispersing rioters?
That they also passed and presented to him a militia bill, which he
refused, unless powers were thereby given him over the lives and
properties of the inhabitants, which the public good did not require;
and which their duty to their constituents would not permit them to
trust in the hands of any proprietary governor? You know the points,
gentlemen: they have been made public. Would you have had your
representatives give up those points? Do _you_ intend to give them
up, when at the next election _you_ are made assemblymen? If so, tell
it us honestly beforehand, that we may know what we are to expect
when we are about to choose you?

I come now to the last clause of your petition, where, with the
same wonderful sagacity with which you in another case discovered
the excellency of a speech you never heard, you undertake to
_characterise a petition_ [_from the_ assembly] _you own you never
saw_; and venture to assure his majesty, that it is "exceeding
grievous in its nature, that it by no means contains a proper
representation of the state of this province, and is repugnant to
the general sense of his numerous and loyal subjects in it." Are
then his majesty's "numerous and loyal subjects" in this province
all as great wizards as yourselves, and capable of knowing, without
seeing it, that a petition is repugnant to their general sense? But
the inconsistence of your petition, gentlemen, is not so much to be
wondered at; the _prayer_ of it is _still more_ extraordinary, "We
therefore most humbly pray, that your majesty would be graciously
pleased _wholly to disregard_ the said petition of the assembly."
What! without enquiry! without examination! without a hearing of
what the assembly might say in support of it! "wholly disregard" the
petition of your representatives in assembly, accompanied by other
petitions, signed by thousands of your fellow-subjects as loyal, if
not as wise and as good, as yourselves! Would you wish to see your
great and amiable prince act a part that could not become a dey
of Algiers? Do you, who are Americans, pray for a _precedent_ of
such contempt in the treatment of an American assembly! such "total
disregard" of their humble applications to the throne? Surely your
wisdoms here have overshot yourselves.--But as wisdom shows itself
not only in doing what is right, but in confessing and _amending_
what is wrong, I recommend the latter particularly to your present
attention; being persuaded of this consequence, that though you have
been mad enough to sign such a petition, you never will be fools
enough to present it.

There is one thing mentioned in the preface, which I find I omitted
to take notice of as I came along, _the refusal of the house to enter
Mr. Dickinson's protest_ on their minutes. This is mentioned in such
a manner there and in the newspapers, as to insinuate a charge of
some partiality and injustice in the assembly. But the _reasons_
were merely these, that though protesting may be a practice with
the lords of parliament, there is no instance of it in the house of
commons, whose proceedings are the model followed by the assemblies
of America; that there is no precedent of it on our votes, from the
beginning of our present constitution; and that the introducing
such a practice would be attended with inconveniences, as the
representatives in assembly are not, like the lords in parliament,
unaccountable to any constituents, and would therefore find it
necessary for their own justification, if the reasons of the minority
for being against a measure were admitted in the votes, to put there
likewise the reasons that induced the majority to be for it: whereby
the votes, which were intended only as a register of propositions and
determinations, would be filled with the disputes of members with
members, and the public business be thereby greatly retarded, if ever
brought to a period.

As that protest was a mere abstract of Mr. Dickinson's speech, every
particular of it will be found answered in the following speech of
Mr. Galloway, from which it is fit that I should no longer detain the


[59] As I am very much unacquainted with the history and principles
of these provincial politics, I shall confine myself to some
imperfect anecdotes concerning the parties, &c. A speech, which Mr.
Dickinson had delivered in the Pensylvania assembly against the
abolition of the proprietary government, having been published, and
a preface having been written to it, as I think by a Dr. Smith, Mr.
Galloway's speech was held forth as a proper answer to that speech,
while the preface to it appeared balanced by the above preface from
Dr. Franklin. Mr. Galloway's speech, or probably the advertisement
that attended it, urged, I believe, Mr. Dickinson first to a
challenge, and then to a printed reply.--The controversy was quickly
republished in England, or at least the principal parts of it; and
it is from the English edition of Mr. Galloway's speech (printed in
London by Nichols in 1765) that I have copied the above.

These several gentlemen however seem, for a time, to have better
agreed in their subsequent opinions concerning American taxation
by Great Britain; Mr. Dickinson, in particular, having taken a
very spirited line in the Farmer's Letters and other pieces, which
procured him considerable reputation. The congress declaration,
nevertheless, for independence, was reported not to have given
perfect satisfaction at first, either to himself or to Mr. Galloway.
And in the event, Mr. Galloway thought proper to come over to General
Howe, and afterwards to embark for England. B. V.

[60] This act is intitled, An Act for granting to his Majesty the Sum
of One Hundred Thousand Pounds: striking the same in Bills of Credit,
and sinking the Bills by a Tax on all Estates real and personal.

[61] i. e. In England, I suppose, when the laws were brought home to
receive the king's assent. B. V.

[62] Possibly this word _where_, means _wherever_. B. V.

[63] This would have been done, and the money all sunk in the hands
of the people, if the agents, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Charles,
had not interposed, and voluntarily, without authority from the
assembly so to do, but at their own risque, undertaken, that these
amendments should be made, or that they themselves would indemnify
the proprietaries from any damages they might sustain for want
thereof. An action which, as the prefacer says in another case,
"posterity perhaps may find a name for."

[64] It is not easy to guess from what source our proprietaries have
drawn their principles. Those who study law and justice as a science
have established it a maxim in equity, "Qui sentit commodum, sentire
debet et onus." And so consistent is this with the common sense of
mankind, that even our lowest untaught coblers and porters feel the
force of it in their own maxim (which they are honest enough never to
dispute) "Touch pot, touch penny."

[65] For a fuller account of this dispute the reader is referred to
the newspapers and votes of assembly.

[66] These words, "by completing the agreement," &c. are omitted
by the honest prefacer, in his account of the resolve, that they
might not interfere with his insinuation of the measure's being
impracticable, "have the proprietors, by any act of theirs, forfeited
the least tittle of what was granted them by his Majesty's royal
ancestors? Or can they be _deprived_ of their charter rights without
their consent?" &c. Sensible that these questions are impertinent, if
those rights are already sold.

[67] The prefacer, with great art, endeavours to represent this
number as insignificant. He says the petitioners were but 3500, and
that the province contains near three hundred thousand _souls_! His
reader is to imagine, that _two hundred and ninety six thousand
five hundred_ of them were applied to, and refused to sign it.
The truth is, that his number of souls is vastly exaggerated. The
dwelling-houses in the province in 1752 did not exceed 20,000.
Political arithmeticians reckon generally but five souls to a
house, one house with another; and therefore, allowing for houses
since built, there are not probably more than an hundred and ten
thousand souls in the province; that of these, scarce twenty two
thousand could with any propriety be petitioners. And considering
the scattered settlement of the province; the general inattention
of mankind, especially in new countries, to public affairs; and
the indefatigable pains taken by the proprietaries' new allies the
presbyterian clergy of Philadelphia, (who wrote circular letters to
every congregation in the county, to deter them from petitioning, by
dutiful intimations, that if we were reduced to a royal government,
it would be the "ruin of the province;") it is a wonder the number
(near a sixth part) was so great as it was. But if there had been
no such petitions, it would not have been material to the point.
The _assembly_ went upon another foundation. They had adjourned to
consult their constituents; they returned satisfied that the measure
was agreeable to them, and _nothing appeared to the contrary_.

[68] The assembly being called upon by the governor for their advice
on that occasion did, in a message, advise his sending for and
examining the magistrates of Lancaster county and borough, where the
murders were committed, in order to discover the actors; but neither
that nor any of the other measures recommended were ever taken.
Proclamations indeed were published, but soon discontinued.

[69] Mr. Galloway's speech is of course omitted here. _Editor._

  _Remarks on a late Protest against the Appointment of Mr. Franklin
  as Agent for this Province_ [of Pensylvania].

I have generally passed over, with a silent disregard, the _nameless_
abusive pieces that have been written against me; and though this
paper, called a _protest_, is signed by some respectable names, I
was, nevertheless, inclined to treat it with the same indifference;
but, as the assembly is therein reflected on upon my account, it is
thought more my duty to make some remarks upon it.

I would first observe then, that this mode of _protesting_ by the
minority, with a string of reasons against the proceedings of the
majority of the house of assembly, is quite new among us; the present
is the second we have had of the kind, and both within a few months.
It is unknown to the practice of the house of commons, or of any
house of representatives in America, that I have heard of; and seems
an affected imitation of the lords in parliament, which can by no
means become assemblymen of America. Hence appears the absurdity
of the complaint, that the house refused the protest an _entry_
on their minutes. The protesters know, that they are not, by any
custom or usage, intitled to such an entry; and that the practice
here is not only useless in itself, but would be highly inconvenient
to the house, since it would probably be thought necessary for the
majority also to enter their reasons, to justify themselves to their
constituents; whereby the minutes would be incumbered and the public
business obstructed. More especially will it be found inconvenient,
if such protests are made use of as a new form of libelling, as the
vehicles of personal malice, and as means of giving to private abuse
the appearance of a sanction as public acts. Your protest, gentlemen,
was therefore properly refused; and since it is no part of the
proceedings of assembly, one may with the more freedom examine it.

Your first reason against my appointment is, that you "believe me to
be the chief author of the measures pursued by the last assembly,
which have occasioned _such uneasiness_ and distraction among the
good people of this province." I shall not dispute my share in those
measures; I hope they are such as will in time do honour to all
that were concerned in them. But you seem mistaken in the order of
time: it was the uneasiness and distraction among the good people
of the province that occasioned the measures; the province was in
confusion before they were taken, and they were pursued in order to
prevent such uneasiness and distraction for the future. Make one
step farther back, and you will find proprietary injustice supported
by proprietary minions and creatures, the original cause of all our
uneasiness and distractions.

Another of your reasons is, "that I am, as you are informed, very
_unfavourably_ thought of by several of his _majesty's ministers_." I
apprehend, gentlemen, that your informer is mistaken. He indeed has
taken great pains to give unfavourable impressions of me, and perhaps
may flatter himself, that it is impossible so much true industry
should be totally without effect. His long success in maiming or
murdering all the reputations that stand in his way (which has been
the dear delight and constant employment of his life) may likewise
have given him some just ground for confidence, that he has, as
they call it, _done for me_, among the rest. But, as I said before,
I believe he is mistaken. For what have I done, that they should
think unfavourably of me? It cannot be my constantly and uniformly
promoting the measures of the crown, ever since I had any influence
in the province. It cannot, surely, be my promoting the change from a
proprietary to a royal government. If indeed I had, by speeches and
writings, endeavoured to make his majesty's government universally
odious in the province: if I had harangued by the week to all comers
and goers, on the pretended injustice and oppressions of royal
government, and the slavery of the people under it: if I had written
traitorous papers to this purpose, and got them translated into other
languages, to give his majesty's foreign subjects here those horrible
ideas of it: if I had declared, written, and printed, that "the
king's little finger we should find heavier than the proprietor's
whole loins," with regard to our liberties; _then indeed_ might the
ministers be supposed to think unfavourably of me. But these are not
exploits for a man, who holds a profitable office under the crown,
and can expect to hold it no longer than he behaves with the fidelity
and duty that becomes every good subject. They are only for officers
of proprietary appointment, who hold their commissions during his,
and not the king's pleasure; and who, by dividing among themselves
and their relations, offices of many thousands a year enjoyed by
proprietary favour, _feel_ where to place their loyalty. I wish they
were as good subjects to his majesty; and perhaps they may be so,
when the proprietary interferes no longer.

Another of your reasons is, "that the proposal of me for _an agent_
is extremely disagreeable to a very great number of the most serious
and reputable inhabitants of the province; and the _proof_ is, my
having been rejected at the last election, though I had represented
the city in assembly for fourteen years."

And do those of you, gentlemen, reproach me with this, who, among
near four thousand voters, had scarcely a score more than I had? It
seems then, that your _elections_ were very near being _rejections_,
and thereby furnishing the same proof in your case that you
produce in mine, of _your_ being likewise extremely disagreeable to
a very great number of the most serious and reputable people. Do
you, honourable sir, reproach me with this, who, for almost twice
fourteen years have been rejected (if _not being chosen_ is _to be
rejected_) by the same people? and (unable, with all your wealth and
connections, and the influence they give you, to obtain an election
in the county where you reside, and the city where you were born,
and are best known) have been obliged to accept a seat from one of
the out-counties, the remotest of the province!--It is known, sir,
to the persons who proposed me, that I was first chosen against my
inclination, and against my entreaties that I might be suffered
to remain a private man. In none of the fourteen elections you
mention, did I ever appear as a candidate. I never did, directly or
indirectly, solicit any man's vote. For six of the years in which
I was annually chosen, I was absent, residing in England; during
all which time, your secret and open attacks upon my character and
reputation were incessant; and yet you gained no ground. And can you
really, gentlemen, find matter of triumph in this _rejection_ as you
call it? A moment's reflection on the means by which it was obtained
must make you ashamed of it.

Not only my duty to the crown, in carrying the post-office act more
duly into execution, was made use of to exasperate the ignorant, as
if I was encreasing my own profits, by picking their pockets; but my
very zeal in opposing the murderers, and supporting the authority of
government; and even my humanity, with regard to the innocent Indians
under our protection, were mustered among my offences, to stir up
against me those religious bigots, who are of all savages the most
brutish. Add to this, the numberless falshoods propagated as truths,
and the many perjuries procured among the wretched rabble, brought to
swear themselves intitled to a vote: And yet so _poor a superiority_
obtained at all this expence of honour and conscience! can this,
gentlemen, be matter of triumph? Enjoy it then. Your exultation,
however, was short. Your artifices did not prevail every where; nor
your double tickets and whole boxes of forged votes. A great majority
of the new-chosen assembly were of the old members, and remain
uncorrupted. They still stood firm for the people, and will obtain
justice from the proprietaries. But what does that avail to you, who
are in the proprietary interest? And what comfort can it afford you,
when, by the assembly's choice of an agent, it appears that the same,
to you obnoxious, man (notwithstanding all your venomous invectives
against him) still retains so great a share of the public confidence?

But "this step, you say, gives you the more lively affliction, as it
is taken at the _very moment_ when you were informed by a member of
the house, that the governor had assured him of his having received
instructions from the proprietaries, to give his assent to the
taxation of their estates; in the _same manner_ that the estates
of other persons are to be taxed; and also _to confirm_, for the
public use, the several squares formerly _claimed_ by the city."
O the force of friendship! the power of interest! What politeness
they infuse into a writer, and what _delicate_ expressions they
produce!--The dispute between the proprietaries and us was about the
_quantum_, the _rate_ of their taxation, and not about the _manner_;
but now, when all the world condemns them for requiring a partial
exemption of their estates, and they are forced to submit to an
honest equality, it is called "_assenting_ to be taxed in the _same
manner_ with the people." Their _restitution_ of five public squares
in the plan of the city, which they had near forty years unjustly
and dishonourably seized and detained from us, (directing their
surveyor to map streets over them, in order to turn them into lots,
and their officers to sell a part of them;) this their _disgorging_
is softly called _confirming_ them for the public use; and instead
of the plain words "_formerly given_ to the city, by the first
proprietary, their father," we have the cautious pretty expression
of "formerly _claimed_ by the city:" Yes; not only _formerly_, but
_always_ claimed, ever since they were _promised_ and _given_ to
encourage the settlers; and ever will be _claimed_, till we are
put in actual possession of them. It is pleasant, however, to see
how lightly and tenderly you trip over these matters, as if you
trod upon eggs. But that "_very moment_," that precious moment!
Why was it so long delayed? Why were those healing instructions so
long withheld and concealed from the people? They were, it seems,
brought over by Mr. Allen:[70] intelligence was received by various
hands from London, that orders were sent by the proprietaries, from
which great hopes were entertained of an accommodation. Why was
the bringing and the delivery of such orders so long _denied_? The
reason is easily understood. Messieurs Barclays, friends to both
proprietaries and people, wished for that gentleman's happy arrival;
hoping his _influence_, added to the _power_ and _commissions_ the
proprietaries had vested him with, might prove effectual in restoring
harmony and tranquillity among us; but _he_, it seems, hoped his
_influence_ might do the business, without those additions. There
appeared on his arrival some prospect (from sundry circumstances) of
a _change_ to be made in the house by the approaching election. The
proprietary friends and creatures knew the heart of their master;
and how extremely disagreeable to him that _equal taxation_, that
_restitution_, and the other _concessions_ to be made for the sake of
a reconciliation, must necessarily be. They hoped therefore to spare
him all those mortifications, and thereby secure a greater portion
of his favour. Hence the instructions were not produced to the last
assembly, though they arrived before the September sitting, when the
governor was in town, and actually did business with the house. Nor
to the new assembly were they mentioned, till the "_very moment_,"
the fatal moment, when the house were on the point of choosing that
wicked adversary of the proprietary to be an _agent_ for the province
in England.

But I have, you say, a "fixed _enmity to the proprietaries_," and
"you believe it will _preclude all accommodation_ of our disputes
with them, even on just and reasonable terms." And why do you think
I have a fixed enmity to the proprietaries? I have never had any
personal difference with them. I am no land-jobber; and therefore
have never had any thing to do with their land-office or officers; if
I had, probably, like others, I might have been obliged to truckle
to their measures, or have had like causes of complaint. But our
private interests never clashed; and all their resentment against
me, and mine to them, has been on the public account. Let them do
justice to the people of Pensylvania, act honourably by the citizens
of Philadelphia, and become honest men; my enmity, if that's of
any consequence, ceases from the "_very moment_;" and, as soon as
I possibly can, I promise to love, honour and respect them. In the
mean time, why do you "believe it will preclude all _accommodation_
with them on just and reasonable terms?" Do you not boast, that their
gracious condescensions are in the hands of the governor; and that
"if this had been the usual time for business, his honour would have
sent them down in a message to the house." How then can my going
to England prevent this accommodation? The governor can call the
house when he pleases; and, one would think, that, at least in your
opinion, my being out of the way would be a favourable circumstance.
For then, by "cultivating the disposition shown by the proprietaries,
every _reasonable demand_ that can be made on the part of the people
might be obtained: in vigorously insisting on which, you promise to
unite most earnestly with the rest of the house." It seems then we
have "_reasonable demands_" to make, and, as you call them a little
higher, _equitable demands_. This is much for proprietary minions to
own; but you are all growing better, in imitation of your master,
which is indeed very commendable. And if the accommodation here
should fail, I hope, that though you dislike the person a majority
of two to one in the house have thought fit to appoint an agent,
you will nevertheless, in duty to your country, continue the noble
resolution of uniting with the rest of the house, in vigorously
insisting on that _equity_ and _justice_, which such an union will
undoubtedly obtain for us.

I pass over the trivial charge against the assembly, that they "acted
with _unnecessary haste_ in proceeding to this appointment, without
making a small adjournment," &c. and your affected apprehensions of
danger from that haste. The necessity of expedition on this occasion
is as obvious to every one out of doors, as it was to those within;
and the fears you mention are not, I fancy, considerable enough
to break your rest. I come then to your _high_ charge against me,
"that I heretofore ventured, _contrary_ to an act of assembly, to
place the public money in the stocks; whereby this province suffered
a loss of 6000_l._ and that sum, added to the 5000_l._ granted for my
expences, makes the whole cost of my former voyage to England amount
to _eleven thousand pounds_!" How wisely was that form in our laws
contrived, which, when a man is arraigned for his life, requires
the evidence to speak _the truth_, the _whole truth_, and _nothing
but the truth_! The reason is manifest. A falshood may destroy the
innocent, so may _part of a truth_ without _the whole_; and a mixture
of truth and falshood may be full as pernicious. You, Mr. Chief
Justice, and the other justices among the protesters, and you, sir,
who are a counsellor at law, must all of you be well acquainted with
this excellent form; and when you arraigned my reputation (dearer
to me than life) before the assembly, and now at the respectable
tribunal of the public, would it not have well become your honours
to have had some small regard at least to the spirit of that form?
You might have mentioned, that the direction of the act, to lodge
the money in the bank, subject to the drafts of the trustees of the
loan-office here, was impracticable; that the bank refused to receive
it on those terms, it being contrary to their settled rules to take
charge of money subject to the orders of unknown people living in
distant countries. You might have mentioned, that the house being
informed of this, and having no immediate call for the money, did
_themselves_ adopt the measure of placing it in the stocks, which
then were low, where it might on a peace produce a considerable
profit, and in the mean time accumulate an interest: that they even
passed a bill, directing the subsequent sums granted by parliament to
be placed with the former: that the measure was prudent and safe; and
that the loss arose, not from _placing_ the money _in_ the stocks,
but from the imprudent and unnecessary _drawing it out_ at the very
time when they were lowest, on some slight uncertain rumours of a
peace concluded: that if the assembly had let it remain another year,
instead of losing they would have gained _six thousand pounds_; and
that after all, since the exchange at which they sold their bills
was near _twenty per cent_ higher when they drew than when the
stocks were purchased, the loss was far from being so great as you
represent it. All these things you might have said; for they are, and
you know them to be, part of the _whole truth_; but they would have
spoiled your accusation. The late speaker of your honourable house,
Mr. Norris, (who has, I suppose, all my letters to him, and copies
of his own to me, relating to that transaction) can testify with how
much integrity and clearness I managed the whole affair. All the
house were sensible of it, being from time to time fully acquainted
with the facts. If I had gone to gaming in the stocks with the
public money, and through my fault a sum was lost, as your protest
would insinuate, why was I not censured and punished for it when I
returned? You, honourable sir, (my enemy of seven years standing) was
then in the house. You were appointed on the committee for examining
my accounts; you reported, that you found them just, and signed
that report.[71] I never solicited the employ of agent; I made no
bargain for my future service, when I was ordered to England by the
assembly; nor did they vote me any salary. I lived there near six
years at my own expence, and I made no charge or demand when I came
home. You, sir, of all others, was the very member that proposed (for
the honour and justice of the house) a compensation to be made me
of the _five thousand pounds_ you mention. Was it with an intent to
reproach me thus publicly for accepting it? I thanked the house for
it then, and I thank you now for proposing it: though you, who have
lived in England, can easily conceive, that besides the prejudice to
my private affairs by my absence, a _thousand pounds_ more would not
have reimbursed me. The money voted was immediately paid me. But if
I had occasioned the loss of _six thousand pounds_ to the province,
here was a fair opportunity of securing easily the greatest part
of it; why was not the _five thousand pounds_ deducted, and the
remainder called for? The reason is, this accusation was not then
invented. Permit me to add, that supposing the whole _eleven thousand
pounds_ an expence occasioned by my voyage to England, yet the
taxation of the proprietary estate now established will, when valued
by years purchase, be found in time an advantage to the public, far
exceeding that expence. And if the expence is at present a burthen,
the odium of it ought to lie on those, who, by their injustice, made
the voyage necessary; and not on me, who only submitted to the orders
of the house in undertaking it.

I am now to take leave (perhaps a last leave) of the country I
love, and in which I have spent the greatest part of my life.--ESTO
PERPETUA.--I wish every kind of prosperity to my friends,--and I
forgive my enemies.


  _Philadelphia, Nov. 5, 1764._



_Extract of a Letter, dated London, August 6, 1764, from David Barclay
and Sons, to Messieurs James and Drinker._

"We very much wish for William Allen's happy arrival on your side;
when we hope his influence, added to the _power_ and _commissions_
the proprietaries have invested him with, may prove effectual, in
restoring harmony and tranquillity among you, so much to be desired
by every well-wisher to your province. Pray be assured of our
sincerest and best wishes for the success of this salutary work,
and that nothing in our power, to contribute thereto, will ever be


_Report of the Committee on Benjamin Franklin's Accounts._

"In obedience to the order of the house, we have examined the account
of Benjamin Franklin, Esq. with the vouchers to us produced in
support thereof, and do find the same account to be just, and that he
has expended, in the immediate service of this province, the sum of
_seven hundred and fourteen pounds, ten shillings and seven-pence_,
out of the sum of _fifteen hundred pounds_ sterling to him remitted
and paid, exclusive of any allowance or charge for his support and
services for the province.


  February 19, 1763.

"The house taking the foregoing report of the committee of accounts
into consideration, and having spent some time therein,


"That the sum of _five hundred pounds_ sterling _per annum_ be
allowed and given to Benjamin Franklin, Esq. late agent for the
province of Pensylvania at the court of Great Britain, during his
absence of six years from his business and connections, in the
service of the public; and that the thanks of this house be also
given to the said gentleman by Mr. Speaker, from the chair; as
well for the faithful discharge of his duty to this province in
particular, as for the many and important services done America in
general, during his residence in Great Britain."

  _Thursday, March 31, 1763._

"Pursuant to a resolve of the nineteenth of last month, that the
thanks of this house be given to Benjamin Franklin, Esq. for his many
services not only to the province of Pensylvania, but to America in
general, during his late agency at the court of Great Britain; the
same were this day accordingly given in form from the chair.--To
which Mr. Franklin, respectfully addressing himself to the Speaker,
made answer, That he was thankful to the house, for the very
handsome and generous allowance they had been pleased to make him
for his services; but that the approbation of this house was, in his
estimation, far above every other kind of recompence." _Votes_, 1763.

  _Remarks on a Plan for the future Management of Indian Affairs[72]._

The regulations in this plan seem to me to be in general very good:
but some few appear to want explanation, or farther consideration.

_Clause_ 3. Is it intended by this clause, to prevent the trade that
Indians, living near the frontiers, may choose to carry on with the
inhabitants, by bringing their skins into the [English] settlements?
This prevention is hardly practicable; as such trade may be carried
on in many places out of the observation of government; the frontier
being of great extent, and the inhabitants thinly settled in the
woods, remote from each other. The Indians too do not every where
live in towns sufficiently numerous to encourage traders to reside
among them, but in scattered families, here and there, often shifting
their situation for the sake of better hunting; and if they _are_
near the English settlements, it would seem to them very hard to be
obliged to carry their skins for sale to remote towns or posts, when
they could dispose of them to their neighbours, with less trouble,
and to greater advantage; as the goods they want for them, are and
must be dearer at such remote posts.

4. The colony "laws for regulating Indian affairs or commerce" are
the result of long experience, made by people on the spot, interested
to make them good; and it would be well to consider the matter
thoroughly, before they are repealed, to make way for new untried

By whom are they to be repealed? By the colony assemblies, or by
parliament? Some difficulty will arise here.

13. The districts seem too large for this. The Indians under the care
of the northern superintendant, by this plan, border on the colonies
of Nova Scotia, Quebec, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Maryland, Virginia: the
superintendant's situation, remote from many of these, may occasion
great inconvenience, if his consent is always to be necessary in such

14. This seems too much to be done, when the vastness of the district
is considered. If there were more districts and smaller, it might be
more practicable.

15 and 16. Are these agents or commissaries to try causes where life
is concerned? Would it not be better, to send the criminals into some
civil well settled government or colony for trial, where good juries
can be had?

18. "_Chief for the whole tribe; who shall constantly reside with the
commissary, &c._" Provision must then be made for his maintenance,
as particular Indians have no estates, but live by hunting, and
their public has no funds or revenues. Being used to rambling, it
would perhaps not be easy to find one, who would be obliged to this
constant residence; but it may be tried.

22. If the agent and his deputies, and the commissaries, are not to
trade, should it not be a part of their oath, that they will have no
concern in such trade, directly or indirectly? Private agreements
between them and the traders, for share of profits, should be guarded
against, and the same care taken to prevent, if possible, private
agreements between them and the purchasers of Indian lands.

31. ---- "or trading at any other post, &c." This should be so
expressed, as to make the master liable for the offence of the
servant; otherwise it will have no effect.

33. I doubt the settling of _tariffs_ will be a matter of difficulty.
There may be differences of fineness, goodness, and value, in the
goods of different traders, that cannot be properly allowed for by
general tariffs. And it seems contrary to the nature of commerce,
for government to interfere in the prices of commodities. Trade is a
voluntary thing between buyer and seller; in every article of which,
each exercises his own judgment, and is to please himself. Suppose
either Indian or trader is dissatisfied with the tariff, and refuses
barter on those terms, are the refusers to be compelled? if not, why
should an Indian be forbidden to take more goods for skins than your
tariff allows, if the trader is willing to give them, or a trader
more skins for his goods, if the Indian is willing to give them?
Where there are a number of different traders, the separate desire
of each to get more custom will operate in bringing down their goods
to a reasonable price. It therefore seems to me, that trade will
best find and make its own rates; and that government cannot well
interfere, unless it will take the whole trade into its own hands (as
in some colonies it does) and manage it by its own servants, at its
own risque.

38. I apprehend, that if the Indians cannot get _rum_ of fair
traders, it will be a great means of defeating all these regulations,
that direct the trade to be carried on at certain posts. The
countries and forests are so very large, it is scarce possible to
guard every part, so as to prevent unlicensed traders drawing the
Indians and the trade to themselves, by rum and other spiritous
liquors, which all savage people are so fond of. I think they will
generally trade where they can get rum, preferably to where it is
refused them; and the proposed prohibition will therefore be a great
encouragement to unlicensed traders, and promote such trade. If the
commissaries, or officers at the posts, can prevent the selling of
rum during the barter for other goods, and until the Indians are
about going away, it is perhaps all that is practicable or necessary.
The missionaries will, among other things, endeavour to prevail with
them to live soberly and avoid drunkenness.

39. The Indian trade, so far as _credit_ is concerned, has hitherto
been carried on wholly upon honour. They have among themselves no
such things as prisons or confinements for debt. This article seems
to imply, that an Indian may be compelled by law to pay a debt of
fifty shillings or under. Our legal method of compulsion is by
imprisonment: the Indians cannot and will not imprison one another;
and if we attempt to imprison them, I apprehend it would be generally
disliked by the nations, and occasion breaches. They have such
high ideas of the value of personal liberty, and such slight ones
of the value of personal property;[73] that they would think the
disproportion monstrous between the liberty of a man, and a debt of
a few shillings; and that it would be excessively inequitable and
unjust, to take away the one for a default in payment of the other.
It seems to me therefore best, to leave that matter on its present
footing; the debts _under_ fifty shillings as irrecoverable by law,
as this article proposes for the debts _above_ fifty shillings.
Debts of honour are generally as well paid as other debts. Where
no compulsion can be used, it is more disgraceful to be dishonest.
If the trader thinks his risque greater in trusting any particular
Indian, he will either not do it, or proportion his price to his

44. As the goods for the Indian trade all come from England, and the
peltry is chiefly brought to England; perhaps it will be best to lay
the duty here, on the exportation of the one, and the importation of
the other, to avoid meddling with the question, of the right to lay
duties in America by parliament here.

If it is thought proper to carry the trading part of this plan into
execution, would it not be well to _try it first in a few posts_,
to which the present colony laws for regulating the Indian trade do
not reach; that by experience its utility may be ascertained, or its
defects discovered and amended, before it is made general, and those
laws repealed to make way for it?--If the Indians find by experience,
that they are better used in their trade at the posts, under these
regulations, than at other places, may it not make them desirous of
having the regulations extended to other places; and when extended,
better satisfied with them upon reflection and comparison[74]?


[72] The plan remarked upon was under the consideration of ministry
before the close of the year 1766, and (as I am inclined to think)
after the commencement of 1765. I can go no nearer as to its date.

It is needless to enter into the particulars of it, as the remarks
explain themselves; except perhaps as to the following points. The
trade was to be open; there were to be two superintendants to it; in
the northern district the trade was to be carried on at fixed posts,
in the southern within the Indian town; the military were to have no
power over the superintendants or the Indian trade, even in war time,
unless with the superintendants' assent, or in great exigencies;
the superintendants, by themselves or deputies, were to make annual
visitations among the Indians, to see to justice, &c. and their
proceedings were to be very summary; and no credit was to be given to
the Indians beyond fifty shillings, for no higher debt was to be made
recoverable. B. V.

[73] For an account of the sentiments and manners of the Indians, see
an essay by our author in a subsequent part of this volume. _Editor._

[74] The editor has given the following memorandum of Indian
_fighting men_, inhabiting near the distant posts, in 1762; to
indulge the curious in future times. The paper is in Dr. Franklin's
hand-writing: but it must not be mistaken as containing a list of the
whole of the nations enumerated, but only such part of them as lived
near the places described. B. V.

A list of the number of fighting men of the different nations of
Indians, through which I (George Croghan) passed, living at or near
the several posts.


  Wyandotts and Mohickons                         200


  Poutauwautimies                       150
  Ottawas                               250
  Wyandotts                             250
  Cheapwas                              320       970


  Ottawas                               250
  Cheapwas                              400       650

        LA BAY.

  Meynomeneys                           110
  Pervons                               360
  Sax                                   300
  Reynard                               320      1090

        ST. JOSEPH'S.

  Poutauwautimies                       200
  Ottawas (some distance)               150       350

        THE MIAMIES.

  Mincamies or Twigtwees                          230


  Ouitanons                             200
  Thickapoose                           180
  Musquiton                              90
  Pyankishaws                           100       570


  At the lower town, on Scioto          240
  At the upper town, on Muskingum        60       300

There is a nation, back of the Bay, who used formerly to come there
to visit the French when they were in possession of that post, called
_La Sieu_, computed to be 2500 fighting men; who have this summer
sent word to Mr. Gorrell, who commands there, that they purpose
paying him a visit late this fall or in the spring.











  _Causes of the American Discontents before 1768[75]._

  The waves never rise but when the winds blow.



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

From the time that the colonies were first considered as capable
of _granting aids to the crown_, down to the end of the last war,
it is said, that the constant mode of obtaining those aids was,
by requisition made from the crown, through its governors, to the
several assemblies, in circular letters from the secretary of state,
in his majesty's name, setting forth the occasion, requiring them
to take the matter into consideration, and expressing a reliance on
their prudence, duty, and affection to his majesty's government, that
they would grant such sums, or raise such numbers of men, as were
suitable to their respective circumstances.

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

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

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

This had been the wisdom of our government with respect to raising
money in the colonies. It was well known, that the colonists
universally were of opinion, that no money could be levied from
English subjects but by their own consent, given by themselves or
their chosen representatives; that therefore whatever money was to be
raised from the people in the colonies must first be granted by their
assemblies, as the money raised in Britain is first to be granted by
the house of commons; that this right of granting their own money was
essential to English liberty; and that if any man, or body of men in
which they had no representative of their choosing, could tax them
at pleasure, they could not be said to have any property, any thing
they could call their own. But as these opinions did not hinder their
granting money voluntarily and amply, whenever the crown, by its
servants, came into their assemblies (as it does into its parliaments
of Britain or Ireland) and demanded aids; therefore that method was
chosen, rather than the hateful one of arbitrary taxes.

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

The person then, who first projected to lay aside the accustomed
method of requisition, and to raise money on America by _stamps_,
seems not to have acted wisely, in deviating from that method
(which the colonists looked upon as constitutional) and thwarting
unnecessarily the fixed prejudices of so great a number of the king's
subjects. It was not, however, for want of knowledge, that what he
was about to do would give them offence; he appears to have been
very sensible of this, and apprehensive that it might occasion some
disorders; to prevent or suppress which, he projected another bill,
that was brought in the same session with the stamp act, whereby
it was to be made lawful for military officers in the colonies to
quarter their soldiers in private houses. This seemed intended to awe
the people into a compliance with the other act. Great opposition
however being raised here against the bill by the agents from the
colonies and the merchants trading thither (the colonists declaring,
that under such a power in the army, no one could look on his house
as his own, or think he had a home, when soldiers might be thrust
into it and mixed with his family at the pleasure of an officer) that
part of the bill was dropped; but there still remained a clause, when
it passed into a law, to oblige the several assemblies to provide
quarters for the soldiers, furnishing them with firing, bedding,
candles, small beer or rum, and sundry other articles, at the expence
of the several provinces. And this act continued in force when the
stamp act was repealed; though, if obligatory on the assemblies, it
equally militated against the American principle above mentioned,
that money is not to be raised on English subjects without their

The colonies, nevertheless, being put into high good humour by the
repeal of the stamp act, chose to avoid a fresh dispute upon the
other, it being temporary and soon to expire, never, as they hoped,
to revive again; and in the mean time they, by various ways, in
different colonies, provided for the quartering of the troops, either
by acts of their own assemblies, without taking notice of the act
of parliament, or by some variety or small diminution, as of salt
and vinegar, in the supplies required by the act; that what they
did might appear a voluntary act of their own, and not done in due
obedience to an act of parliament, which, according to their ideas of
their rights, they thought hard to obey.

It might have been well if the matter had then passed without
notice; but a governor having written home an angry and aggravating
letter upon this conduct in the assembly of his province, the
outed [proposer[76]] of the stamp act and his adherents (then in
the opposition) raised such a clamour against America, as being in
rebellion, and against those who had been for the repeal of the stamp
act, as having thereby been encouragers of this supposed rebellion;
that it was thought necessary to enforce the quartering act by
another act of parliament, taking away from the province of New York
(which had been the most explicit in its refusal) all the powers of
legislation, till it should have complied with that act. The news
of which greatly alarmed the people every where in America, as the
language of such an act seemed to them to be--obey implicitly laws
made by the parliament of Great Britain to raise money on you without
your consent, or you shall enjoy no rights or privileges at all.

At the same time a person lately in high office[77] projected the
levying more money from America, by new duties on various articles
of our own manufacture (as glass, paper, painters' colours, &c.)
appointing a new board of customs, and sending over a set of
commissioners, with large salaries, to be established at Boston,
who were to have the care of collecting those duties, which were by
the act expressly mentioned to be intended for the payment of the
salaries of governors, judges, and other officers of the crown in
America; it being a pretty general opinion here, that those officers
ought not to depend on the people there, for any part of their

It is not my intention to combat this opinion. But perhaps it may be
some satisfaction to your readers, to know what ideas the Americans
have on the subject. They say then, as to governors, that they
are not like princes whose posterity have an inheritance in the
government of a nation, and therefore an interest in its prosperity;
they are generally strangers to the provinces they are sent to
govern; have no estate, natural connection, or relation there, to
give them an affection for the country; that they come only to make
money as fast as they can; are sometimes men of vicious characters
and broken fortunes, sent by a minister merely to get them out of the
way; that as they intend staying in the country no longer than their
government continues, and purpose to leave no family behind them,
they are apt to be regardless of the good-will of the people, and
care not what is said or thought of them after they are gone. Their
situation at the same time gives them many opportunities of being
vexatious; and they are often so, notwithstanding their dependence
on the assemblies for all that part of their support, that does not
arise from fees established by law, but would probably be much more
so, if they were to be supported by money drawn from the people
without their consent or good-will, which is the professed design of
this new act. That if by means of these forced duties, government
is to be supported in America, without the intervention of the
assemblies, their assemblies will soon be looked upon as useless; and
a governor will not call them, as having nothing to hope from their
meeting, and perhaps something to fear from their inquiries into,
and remonstrances against, his mal-administration. That thus the
people will be deprived of their most essential right. That it being
(as at present) a governor's interest to cultivate the good-will,
by promoting the welfare of the people he governs, can be attended
with no prejudice to the mother-country, since all the laws he may be
prevailed on to give his assent to are subject to revision here, and
if reported against by the board of trade, are immediately repealed
by the crown; nor dare he pass any law contrary to his instructions;
as he holds his office during the pleasure of the crown, and his
securities are liable for the penalties of their bonds, if he
contravenes those instructions. This is what they say as to governors.

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

I do not suppose these reasonings of theirs will appear here to have
much weight. I do not produce them with an expectation of convincing
your readers. I relate them merely in pursuance of the task I have
imposed on myself, to be an impartial historian of American facts and
opinions. -- --

The colonists being thus greatly alarmed, as I said before, by the
news of the act for abolishing the legislature of New York, and the
imposition of these new duties, professedly for such disagreeable
purposes (accompanied by a new set of revenue officers, with large
appointments, which gave strong suspicions, that more business of
the same kind was soon to be provided for them, that they might
earn their salaries) began seriously to consider their situation;
and to revolve afresh in their minds, grievances, which, from their
respect and love for this country, they had long borne and seemed
almost willing to forget. They reflected how lightly the interest
of _all_ America had been estimated here, when the interests of
a _few_ of the inhabitants of Great Britain happened to have the
smallest competition with it. That the whole American people was
forbidden the advantage of a direct importation of wine, oil, and
fruit, from Portugal; but must take them loaded with all the expence
of a voyage one thousand leagues round about, being to be landed
first in England, to be re-shipped for America; expences amounting,
in war-time, at least to thirty pounds per cent more than otherwise
they would have been charged with; and all this merely, that a few
Portugal merchants in London may gain a commission on those goods
passing through their hands. (Portugal merchants, by the bye, that
can complain loudly of the smallest hardships laid on their trade by
foreigners, and yet even in the last year could oppose with all their
influence the giving ease to their fellow-subjects labouring under so
heavy an oppression!) That on a slight complaint of a few Virginia
merchants, nine colonies had been restrained from making paper-money,
become absolutely necessary to their internal commerce, from the
constant remittance of their gold and silver to Britain.--But not
only the interest of a particular body of _merchants_, but the
interest of any small body of British _tradesmen or artificers_ has
been found, they say, to outweigh that of all the king's subjects in
the colonies. There cannot be a stronger natural right than that of
a man's making the best profit he can of the natural produce of his
lands, provided he does not thereby hurt the state in general. Iron
is to be found every where in America, and beaver are the natural
produce of that country: hats, and nails and steel are wanted there
as well as here. It is of no importance to the common welfare of the
empire, whether a subject of the king gets his living by making hats
on this, or on that side of the water. Yet the hatters of England
have prevailed to obtain an act in their own favour, restraining
that manufacture in America; in order to oblige the Americans to
send their beaver to England to be manufactured, and purchase back
the hats, loaded with the charges of a double transportation. In
the same manner have a few nail-makers, and still a smaller body of
steel-makers (perhaps there are not half a dozen of these in England)
prevailed totally to forbid by an act of parliament the erecting of
slitting-mills, or steel furnaces in America; that the Americans may
be obliged to take all their nails for their buildings, and steel for
their tools, from these artificers, under the same disadvantages.[78]

Added to these, the Americans remembered the act authorizing the most
cruel insult that perhaps was ever offered by one people to another,
that of _emptying our gaols_ into their settlements; Scotland too
having within these two years obtained the privilege it had not
before, of sending its rogues and villains also to the plantations--I
say, reflecting on these things, they said one to another (their
newspapers are full of such discourses) "These people are not content
with making a monopoly of us (forbidding us to trade with any other
country of Europe, and compelling us to buy every thing of them,
though in many articles we could furnish ourselves ten, twenty, and
even to fifty per cent cheaper elsewhere;) but now they have as good
as declared they have a right to tax us ad libitum, internally and
externally; and that our constitutions and liberties shall all be
taken away, if we do not submit to that claim.

"They are not content with the high prices at which they sell us
their goods, but have now begun to enhance those prices by new
duties, and by the expensive apparatus of a new set of officers,
appear to intend an augmentation and multiplication of those
burthens, that shall still be more grievous to us. Our people have
been foolishly fond of their superfluous modes and manufactures,
to the impoverishing our own country, carrying off all our cash,
and loading us with debt; they will not suffer us to restrain the
luxury of our inhabitants, as they do that of their own, by laws:
they can make laws to discourage or prohibit the importation of
French superfluities: but though those of England are as ruinous to
us as the French ones are to them, if we make a law of that kind,
they immediately repeal it. Thus they get all our money from us by
trade; and every profit we can any where make by our fisheries,
our produce, or our commerce, centres finally with them;--but this
does not satisfy.--It is time then to take care of ourselves by
the best means in our power. Let us unite in solemn resolution and
engagements with and to each other, that we will give these new
officers as little trouble as possible, by not consuming the British
manufactures on which they are to levy the duties. Let us agree to
consume no more of their expensive gewgaws. Let us live frugally,
and let us industriously manufacture what we can for ourselves:
thus we shall be able honourably to discharge the debts we already
owe them; and after that, we may be able to keep some money in
our country, not only for the uses of our internal commerce, but
for the service of our gracious sovereign, whenever he shall have
occasion for it, and think proper to require it of us in the old
constitutional manner.--For notwithstanding the reproaches thrown
out against us in their public papers and pamphlets, notwithstanding
we have been reviled in their senate as rebels and traitors, we are
truly a loyal people. Scotland has had its rebellions, and England
its plots against the present royal family; but _America is untainted
with those crimes_; there is in it scarce a man, there is not a
single native of our country, who is not firmly attached to his King
by principle and by affection. But a new kind of loyalty seems to
be required of us, a loyalty to parliament; a loyalty, that is to
extend, it is said, to a surrender of all our properties, whenever
a house of commons, in which there is not a single member of our
chusing, shall think fit to grant them away without our consent, and
to a patient suffering the loss of our privileges as Englishmen, if
we cannot submit to make such surrender. We were separated too far
from Britain by the ocean, but we were united to it by respect and
love; so that we could at any time freely have spent our lives and
little fortunes in its cause: but this unhappy new system of politics
tends to dissolve those bands of union, and to sever us for ever."

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

  I am, yours, &c.

  F. S.[79]


[75] This letter first appeared in a London paper, January 7, 1768,
and was afterwards reprinted as a postscript to The true Sentiments
of America, printed for Almon, 1768. B. V.

[76] Mr. George Grenville. B. V.

[77] Mr. Charles Townsend. B. V.

[78] I shall here give the reader the note at the end of the fourth
paragraph of the farmer's seventh letter (written by Mr. Dickenson.)

"Many remarkable instances might be produced of the extraordinary
inattention with which bills of great importance concerning these
colonies have passed in parliament; which is owing, as it is
supposed, to the bills being brought in, by the persons who have
points to carry, so artfully framed, that it is not easy for the
members in general in the haste of business, to discover their

"The following instances show the truth of this remark.

"When Mr. Grenville, in the violence of reformation and innovation,
formed the 4th George III. chap. 15th, for regulating the American
trade, the word 'Ireland' was dropt in the clause relating to our
iron and lumber, so that we could send these articles to no other
part of Europe, but to Great Britain. This was so unreasonable a
restriction, and so contrary to the sentiments of the legislature,
for many years before, that it is surprising it should not have been
taken notice of in the house. However, the bill passed into a law.
But when the matter was explained, this restriction was taken off in
a subsequent act.

"I cannot say, how long after the taking off this restriction, as I
have not the acts, but I think in less than eighteen months, another
act of parliament passed, in which the word 'Ireland' was left out as
it had been before. The matter being a second time explained was a
second time regulated.

"Now if it be considered, that the omission mentioned, struck off,
with one word, so very great a part of our trade, it must appear
remarkable: and equally so is the method by which rice became an
enumerated commodity, and therefore could be carried to Great Britain

"The enumeration was obtained, (says Mr. Gee on Trade, p. 32) by
one Cole, a captain of a ship, employed by a company then trading
to Carolina; for several ships going from England thither, and
purchasing rice for Portugal, prevented the aforesaid captain of a
loading. Upon his coming home he possessed one Mr. Lowndes, a member
of parliament, (who was frequently employed to prepare bills) with an
opinion, that carrying rice directly to Portugal was a prejudice to
the trade of England, and privately got a clause into an act to make
it an enumerated commodity, by which means he secured a freight to
himself. But the consequence proved a vast loss to the nation.

"I find that this clause, 'privately got into an act, for the benefit
of Captain Cole, to the vast loss of the nation,' is foisted into the
3d Anne, chapter 5th, intitled, 'an act for granting to her majesty
a further subsidy on wines and merchandizes imported,' with which
it has no more connection, than with 34th Edward I. 34th and 35th
of Henry VIII. or the 25th Charles II. which provide that no person
shall be taxed but by himself or his representatives." B. V.

[79] F. S. possibly means Franklin's Seal. The paper, however, is
undoubtedly the production of Dr. Franklin.

In the _collection of tracts on the subjects of taxing the British
colonies in America, and regulating their trade_ (printed in 1773,
in 4 vols. 8vo. by Almon) I find _two_ papers, said there to have
been published originally in 1739, and to have been drawn up by a
club of American merchants, at the head of whom were Sir William
Keith (governor of Pensylvania), Joshua Gee, and many other eminent
persons. The _first_ paper proposes the raising a small body of
regular troops under the command of an officer appointed by the
crown and independent of the governors (who were nevertheless to
assist him in council on emergent occasions) in order to protect the
Indian trade, and take care of the boundaries and back settlements.
They were to be supported by a revenue to be established by _act of
parliament_, in America; which revenue was to arise out of a duty
on _stampt paper and parchment_. The _second_ paper goes into the
particulars of this proposed stamp duty, offers reasons for extending
it over all the British plantations, and recites its supposed
advantages. If these papers are at all genuine (a fact about which I
am not in the least informed) Mr. George Grenville does not appear to
have been original in conceiving _stamps_ as a proper subject for his
new tax. See ib. vol. I.  B. V.

  _Letter concerning the Gratitude of America, and the probability
  and effects of an Union with Great Britain; and concerning the
  Repeal or Suspension of the Stamp-Act._[80]

  _Jan. 6, 1766._


I have attentively perused the paper you sent me, and am of opinion,
that the measure it proposes, of an _union_ with the colonies, is a
wise one: but I doubt it will hardly be thought so here, till it is
too late to attempt it. The time has been, when the colonies would
have esteemed it a great advantage, as well as honour to them, to be
permitted to send members to parliament; and would have asked for
that privilege, if they could have had the least hopes of obtaining
it. The time is now come, when they are indifferent about it, and
will probably not ask it, though they might accept it if offered
them; and the time will come, when they will certainly refuse it.
But if such an union were now established (which methinks it highly
imports this country to establish) it would probably subsist as long
as Britain shall continue a nation. This people, however, is too
proud, and too much despises the Americans, to bear the thought of
admitting them to such an equitable participation in the government
of the whole. Then the _next best_ thing seems to be, leaving them
in the quiet enjoyment of their respective constitutions; and when
money is wanted for any public service in which they ought to bear
a part, calling upon them by requisitorial letters from the crown
(according to the long established custom) to grant such aids as
their loyalty shall dictate, and their abilities permit. The very
sensible and benevolent author of that paper, seems not to have
known, that such a constitutional custom subsists, and has always
hitherto been practised in America; or he would not have expressed
himself in this manner: "It is evident beyond a doubt, to the
intelligent and impartial, that after the very extraordinary efforts,
which were effectually made by Great Britain in the late war to
save the colonists from destruction, and attended of necessity with
an enormous load of debts in consequence, that the same colonists,
now firmly secured from foreign enemies, should be somehow induced
to contribute some proportion towards the exigencies of state in
future." This looks as if he conceived the war had been carried on
at the sole expence of Great Britain, and the colonies only reaped
the benefit, without hitherto sharing the burthen, and were therefore
now indebted to Britain on that account. And this is the same kind
of argument that is used by those who would fix on the colonies the
heavy charge of unreasonableness and ingratitude, which I think
your friend did not intend. Please to acquaint him then, that the
fact is not so: that every year during the war, requisitions were
made by the crown on the colonies for raising money and men; that
accordingly they made _more extraordinary_ efforts, in proportion
to their abilities, than Britain did; that they raised, paid and
clothed, for five or six years, near 25,000 men, besides providing
for other services (as building forts, equipping guard-ships, paying
transports, &c.) And that this was more than their fair proportion is
not merely an opinion of mine, but was the judgment of government
here, in full knowledge of all the facts; for the then ministry, to
make the burthen more equal, recommended the case to parliament, and
obtained a reimbursement to the Americans of about 200,000_l._ sterling
every year; which amounted only to about two fifths of their expence;
and great part of the rest lies still a load of debt upon them; heavy
taxes on all their estates, real and personal, being laid by acts
of their assemblies to discharge it, and yet will not discharge it
in many years. While then these burthens continue: while Britain
restrains the colonies in every branch of commerce and manufactures
that she thinks interferes with her own; while she drains the
colonies, by her trade with them, of all the cash they can procure
by every art and industry in any part of the world, and thus keeps
them always in her debt: (for they can make no law to discourage the
importation of your to _them_ ruinous superfluities, as _you_ do
the superfluities of France; since such a law would immediately be
reported against by your board of trade, and repealed by the crown:)
I say while these circumstances continue, and while there subsists
the established method of royal requisitions, for raising money on
them by their own assemblies on every proper occasion; can it be
necessary or prudent to distress and vex them by taxes laid here, in
a parliament wherein they have no representative, and in a manner
which they look upon to be unconstitutional and subversive of their
most valuable rights; and are they to be thought unreasonable and
ungrateful if they oppose such taxes? Wherewith, they say, shall we
show our loyalty to our gracious king, if our money is to be given
by others, without asking our consent? And if the parliament has a
right thus to take from us a penny in the pound, where is the line
drawn that bounds that right, and what shall hinder their calling
whenever they please for the other nineteen shillings and eleven
pence? Have we then any thing that we can call our own? It is more
than probable, that bringing representatives from the colonies to sit
and act here as members of parliament, thus uniting and consolidating
your dominions, would in a little time _remove_ these objections
and difficulties, and make the future government of the colonies
easy: but, till some such thing is done, I apprehend no taxes, laid
there by parliament here, will ever be collected, but such as must
be stained with blood: and I am sure the profit of such taxes will
never answer the expence of collecting them, and that the respect and
affection of the Americans to this country will in the struggle be
totally lost, perhaps never to be recovered; and therewith all the
commercial and political advantages, that might have attended the
continuance of this respect and this affection.

In my own private judgment I think an immediate repeal of the
stamp-act would be the best measure for _this_ country; but a
suspension of it for three years, the best for _that_. The _repeal_
would fill them with joy and gratitude, re-establish their respect
and veneration for parliament, restore at once their ancient and
natural love for this country, and their regard for every thing
that comes from it; hence the trade would be renewed in all its
branches; they would again indulge in all the expensive superfluities
you supply them with, and their own new assumed home industry
would languish. But the _suspension_, though it might continue
their fears and anxieties, would at the same time keep up their
resolutions of industry and frugality; which in two or three years
would grow into habits, to their lasting advantage. However, as the
repeal will probably not be now agreed to,[81] from what I think a
mistaken opinion, that the honour and dignity of government is better
supported by persisting in a wrong measure once entered into, than
by rectifying an error as soon as it is discovered; we must allow
the next best thing for the advantage of both countries is, the
suspension; for as to executing the act by force, it is madness, and
will be ruin to the whole.

The rest of your friend's reasonings and propositions appear to me
truly just and judicious; I will therefore only add, that I am as
desirous of his acquaintance and intimacy, as he was of my opinion.

  I am, with much esteem,

  Your obliged friend.


[80] The name of the person to whom this letter is addressed cannot
be made out in the original copy. The letter, to which it is a reply,
appears to have contained the letter of some third person equally
unknown to the editor. B. V.

[81] It was however agreed to in the same year, viz. in 1766. B. V.

  _Letter from Governor Pownall to Dr. Franklin, concerning an equal
  communication of rights, privileges, &c. to America by Great


The following _objection_ against communicating to the colonies the
rights, privileges, and powers of the realm, as to parts of the
realm, has been made. I have been endeavouring to obviate it, and I
communicate [it] to you, in hopes of your promised assistance.

If, _say the objectors_, we communicate to the colonies the power
of sending representatives, and in consequence expect them to
participate in an _equal share and proportion_ of all our taxes, we
must grant to them all the powers of trade and manufacturing, which
any other parts of the realm within the isle of Great Britain enjoy:
if so, perchance the profits of the Atlantic commerce may converge to
some centre in America; to Boston, New-York, Philadelphia, or to some
of the isles: if so, then the natural and artificial produce of the
colonies, and in course of consequences the landed interest of the
colonies, will be promoted; while the natural and artificial produce
and landed interest of Great Britain will be depressed, to its utter
ruin and destruction; and consequently the balance of the power of
government, although still _within the realm_, will be _locally_
transferred from Great Britain to the colonies. Which consequence,
however it may suit a citizen of the world, must be folly and madness
to a Briton.--My fit is gone off, and though weak, both from the gout
and a concomitant and very ugly fever, I am much better.--Would be
glad to see you.

  Your friend,



[82] This letter bears no date. It was written possibly about the
time that governor Pownall was engaged in publishing his book on the
_administration of the colonies_. B. V.

  _On the back of the foregoing letter of Governor Pownall, are the
  following minutes, by Dr. Franklin._

This _objection_ goes upon the supposition, that whatever the
colonies gain, Britain must lose; and that if the _colonies_ can be
kept from gaining an advantage, _Britain will gain it_:--

If the colonies are fitter for a particular trade than Britain, they
should have it, and Britain apply to what it is more fit for. The
whole empire is a gainer. And if Britain is not so fit or so well
situated for a particular advantage, _other_ countries will get
it, _if the colonies do not_. Thus Ireland was forbid the woollen
manufacture and remains poor: but this has given to the French the
trade and wealth Ireland might have gained for the British empire.

The government cannot _long_ be retained without the union. Which is
best (supposing your case) to have a total separation, or a change
of the seat of government?--It by no means follows, that promoting
and advancing the landed interest in America will depress that
of Britain: the contrary has always been the fact. Advantageous
situations and circumstances will always secure and fix manufactures:
Sheffield against all Europe for these 300 years past.--


Danger of innovation.

       *       *       *       *       *

  _The Examination of Dr. Benjamin Franklin before the English House
  of Commons, in February, 1766, relative to the Repeal of the
  American Stamp Act._[83]

_Q._ What is your name, and place of abode?

_A._ Franklin, of Philadelphia.

_Q._ Do the Americans pay any considerable taxes among themselves?

_A._ Certainly many, and very heavy taxes.

_Q._ What are the present taxes in Pensylvania, laid by the laws of
the colony?

_A._ There are taxes on all estates real and personal; a poll tax; a
tax on all offices, professions, trades and businesses, according to
their profits; an excise on all wine, rum, and other spirits; and a
duty of ten pounds per head on all negroes imported, with some other

_Q._ For what purposes are those taxes laid?

_A._ For the support of the civil and military establishments of the
country, and to discharge the heavy debt contracted in the last war.

_Q._ How long are those taxes to continue?

_A._ Those for discharging the debt are to continue till 1772, and
longer, if the debt should not be then all discharged. The others
must always continue.

_Q._ Was it not expected that the debt would have been sooner

_A._ It was, when the peace was made with France and Spain. But a
fresh war breaking out with the Indians, a fresh load of debt was
incurred; and the taxes, of course, continued longer by a new law.

_Q._ Are not all the people very able to pay those taxes?

_A._ No. The frontier counties, all along the continent, having been
frequently ravaged by the enemy and greatly impoverished, are able
to pay very little tax. And therefore, in consideration of their
distresses, our late tax laws do expressly favour those counties,
excusing the sufferers; and I suppose the same is done in other

_Q._ Are not you concerned in the management of the _post-office_ in

_A._ Yes. I am deputy post-master general of North America.

_Q._ Don't you think the distribution of stamps _by post_ to all the
inhabitants very practicable, if there was no opposition?

_A._ The posts only go along the sea-coasts; they do not, except in a
few instances, go back into the country; and if they did, sending for
stamps by post would occasion an expence of postage, amounting, in
many cases, to much more than that of the stamps themselves.

_Q._ Are you acquainted with Newfoundland?

_A._ I never was there.

_Q._ Do you know whether there are any post-roads on that island?

_A._ I have heard that there are no roads at all, but that the
communication between one settlement and another is by sea only.

_Q._ Can you disperse the stamps by post in Canada?

_A._ There is only a post between Montreal and Quebec. The
inhabitants live so scattered and remote from each other in that vast
country, that posts cannot be supported among them, and therefore
they cannot get stamps per post. The _English colonies_ too along the
frontiers are very thinly settled.

_Q._ From the thinness of the back settlements, would not the stamp
act be extremely inconvenient to the inhabitants, if executed?

_A._ To be sure it would; as many of the inhabitants could not get
stamps when they had occasion for them, without taking long journeys,
and spending perhaps three or four pounds, that the crown might get

_Q._ Are not the colonies, from their circumstances, very able to pay
the stamp duty?

_A._ In my opinion there is not gold and silver enough in the
colonies to pay the stamp duty for one year.[84]

_Q._ Don't you know that the money arising from the stamps was all to
be laid out in America?

_A._ I know it is appropriated by the act to the American service;
but it will be spent in the conquered colonies, where the soldiers
are; not in the colonies that pay it.

_Q._ Is there not a balance of trade due from the colonies where the
troops are posted, that will bring back the money to the old colonies?

_A._ I think not. I believe very little would come back. I know
of no trade likely to bring it back. I think it would come from
the colonies where it was spent, directly to England; for I have
always observed, that in every colony the more plenty the means of
remittance to England, the more goods are sent for, and the more
trade with England carried on.

_Q._ What number of white inhabitants do you think there are in

_A._ I suppose there may be about one hundred and sixty thousand.

_Q._ What number of them are Quakers?

_A._ Perhaps a third.

_Q._ What number of Germans?

_A._ Perhaps another third; but I cannot speak with certainty.

_Q._ Have any number of the Germans seen service, as soldiers, in

_A._ Yes, many of them, both in Europe and America.

_Q._ Are they as much dissatisfied with the stamp duty as the English?

_A._ Yes, and more; and with reason, as their stamps are, in many
cases, to be double[85].

_Q._ How many white men do you suppose there are in North America?

_A._ About three hundred thousand, from sixteen to sixty years of

_Q._ What may be the amount of one year's imports into Pensylvania
from Britain?

_A._ I have been informed that our merchants compute the imports from
Britain to be above 500,000_l._

_Q._ What may be the amount of the produce of your province exported
to Britain?

_A._ It must be small, as we produce little that is wanted in
Britain. I suppose it cannot exceed 40,000_l._

_Q._ How then do you pay the balance?

_A._ The balance is paid by our produce carried to the West Indies
(and sold in our own islands, or to the French, Spaniards, Danes,
and Dutch)--by the same [produce] carried to other colonies in North
America, (as to New England, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Carolina,
and Georgia)--by the same, carried to different parts of Europe, (as
Spain, Portugal, and Italy.) In all which places we receive either
money, bills of exchange, or commodities that suit for remittance to
Britain; which, together with all the profits on the industry of our
merchants and mariners, arising in those circuitous voyages, and the
freights made by their ships, centre finally in Britain to discharge
the balance, and pay for British manufactures continually used in the
province, or sold to foreigners by our traders.

_Q._ Have you heard of any difficulties lately laid on the Spanish

_A._ Yes, I have heard that it has been greatly obstructed by some
new regulations, and by the English men of war and cutters stationed
all along the coast in America.

_Q._ Do you think it right that America should be protected by this
country, and pay no part of the expence?

_A._ That is not the case. The colonies raised, clothed, and paid,
during the last war, near twenty-five thousand men, and spent many

_Q._ Were you not reimbursed by parliament?

_A._ We were only reimbursed what, in your opinion, we had advanced
beyond our proportion, or beyond what might reasonably be expected
from us; and it was a very small part of what we spent. Pensylvania,
in particular, disbursed about 500,000_l._ and the reimbursements, in
the whole, did not exceed 60,000_l._

_Q._ You have said, that you pay heavy taxes in Pensylvania, what do
they amount to in the pound?

_A._ The tax on all estates, real and personal, is eighteen pence in
the pound, fully rated; and the tax on the profits of trades and
professions, with other taxes, do, I suppose, make full half-a-crown
in the pound.

_Q._ Do you know any thing of the _rate of exchange in_ Pensylvania,
and whether it has fallen lately?

_A._ It is commonly from one hundred and seventy to one hundred
and seventy-five. I have heard, that it has fallen lately from one
hundred and seventy-five to one hundred sixty-two and a half; owing,
I suppose, to their lessening their orders for goods; and when their
debts to this country are paid, I think the exchange will probably be
at par.

_Q._ Do not you think the people of America would submit to pay the
stamp duty, if it was moderated?

_A._ No, never, unless compelled by force of arms.

_Q._ Are not the taxes in Pensylvania laid on unequally, in order to
burthen the English trade; particularly the tax on professions and

_A._ It is not more burthensome in proportion, than the tax on lands.
It is intended, and supposed to take an equal proportion of profits.

_Q._ How is the assembly composed? Of what kinds of people are the
members; landholders or traders?

_A._ It is composed of landholders, merchants, and artificers.

_Q._ Are not the majority landholders?

_A._ I believe they are.

_Q._ Do not they, as much as possible, shift the tax off from the
land, to ease that, and lay the burthen heavier on trade?

_A._ I have never understood it so. I never heard such a thing
suggested. And indeed an attempt of that kind could answer no
purpose. The merchant or trader is always skilled in figures, and
ready with his pen and ink. If unequal burthens are laid on his
trade, he puts an additional price on his goods; and the consumers,
who are chiefly landholders, finally pay the greatest part, if not
the whole.

_Q._ What was the temper of America towards Great Britain _before the
year_ 1763[87]?

_A._ The best in the world. They submitted willingly to the
government of the crown, and paid, in their courts, obedience to
acts of parliament. Numerous as the people are in the several old
provinces, they cost you nothing in forts, citadels, garrisons,
or armies, to keep them in subjection. They were governed by this
country at the expence only of a little pen, ink, and paper: they
were led by a thread. They had not only a respect, but an affection
for Great Britain; for its laws, its customs, and manners, and even
a fondness for its fashions, that greatly increased the commerce.
Natives of Britain were always treated with particular regard; to be
an _Old England-man_ was, of itself, a character of some respect, and
gave a kind of rank among us.

_Q._ And what is their temper now?

_A._ O, very much altered.

_Q._ Did you ever hear the authority of parliament to make laws for
America questioned till lately?

_A._ The authority of parliament was allowed to be valid in all laws,
except such as should lay internal taxes. It was never disputed in
laying duties to regulate commerce.

_Q._ In what proportion hath population increased in America?

_A._ I think the inhabitants of all the provinces together, taken at
a medium, double in about twenty-five years. But their demand for
British manufactures increases much faster; as the consumption is not
merely in proportion to their numbers, but grows with the growing
abilities of the same numbers to pay for them. In 1723, the whole
importation from Britain to Pensylvania was but about 15,000_l._
sterling; it is now near half a million.

_Q._ In what light did the people of America use to consider the
parliament of Great Britain?

_A._ They considered the parliament as the great bulwark and
security of their liberties and privileges, and always spoke of it
with the utmost respect and veneration. Arbitrary ministers, they
thought, might possibly, at times, attempt to oppress them; but they
relied on it, that the parliament, on application, would always give
redress. They remembered, with gratitude, a strong instance of this,
when a bill was brought into parliament, with a clause, to make royal
instructions laws in the colonies, which the house of commons would
not pass, and it was thrown out.

_Q._ And have they not still the same respect for parliament?

_A._ No, it is greatly lessened.

_Q._ To what causes is that owing?

_A._ To a concurrence of causes; the restraints lately laid on their
trade, by which the bringing of foreign gold and silver into [the]
colonies was prevented; the prohibition of making paper-money among
themselves,[88] and then demanding a new and heavy tax by stamps,
taking away, at the same time, trials by juries, and refusing to
receive and hear their humble petitions.

_Q._ Don't you think they would submit to the stamp act, if it was
modified, the obnoxious parts taken out, and the duty reduced to some
particulars, of small moment?

_A._ No, they will never submit to it.

_Q._ What do you think is the reason that the people in America
increase faster than in England?

_A._ Because they marry younger, and more generally.

_Q._ Why so?

_A._ Because any young couple, that are industrious, may easily
obtain land of their own, on which they can raise a family.

_Q._ Are not the lower rank of people more at their ease in America
than in England?

_A._ They may be so, if they are sober and diligent; as they are
better paid for their labour.

_Q._ What is your opinion of a future tax, imposed on the same
principle with that of the stamp act? how would the Americans receive

_A._ Just as they do this. They would not pay it.

_Q._ Have not you heard of the resolutions of this house, and of
the house of lords, asserting the right of parliament relating to
America, including a power to tax the people there?

_A._ Yes, I have heard of such resolutions.

_Q._ What will be the opinion of the Americans on those resolutions?

_A._ They will think them unconstitutional and unjust.

_Q._ Was it an opinion in America before 1763, that the parliament
had no right to lay taxes and duties there?

_A._ I never heard any objection to the right of laying duties to
regulate commerce, but a right to lay internal taxes was never
supposed to be in parliament, as we are not represented there.

_Q._ On what do you found your opinion, that the people in America
made any such distinction?

_A._ I know that whenever the subject has occurred in conversation
where I have been present, it has appeared to be the opinion of every
one, that we could not be taxed in a parliament where we were not
represented. But the payment of duties laid by act of parliament as
regulations of commerce, was never disputed.

_Q._ But can you name any act of assembly, or public act of any of
your governments, that made such distinction?

_A._ I do not know that there was any; I think there was never an
occasion to make any such act, till now that you have attempted to
tax us: _that_ has occasioned resolutions of assembly, declaring the
distinction, in which I think every assembly on the continent, and
every member in every assembly, have been unanimous.

_Q._ What then could occasion conversations on that subject before
that time?

_A._ There was in 1754 a proposition made (I think it came from
hence) that in case of a war, which was then apprehended, the
governors of the colonies should meet, and order the levying of
troops, building of forts, and taking every other necessary measure
for the general defence; and should draw on the treasury here for the
sums expended; which were afterwards to be raised in the colonies
by a general tax, to be laid on them by _act of parliament_. This
occasioned a good deal of conversation on the subject; and the
general opinion was, that the parliament neither would nor could
lay any tax on us, till we were duly represented in parliament;
because it was not just, nor agreeable to the nature of an English

_Q._ Don't you know there was a time in New York, when it was under
consideration to make an application to parliament to lay taxes on
that colony, upon a deficiency arising from the assembly's refusing
or neglecting to raise the necessary supplies for the support of the
civil government?

_A._ I never heard of it.

_Q._ There was such an application under consideration in New
York:--and do you apprehend they could suppose the right of
parliament to lay a tax in America was only local, and confined to
the case of a deficiency in a particular colony, by a refusal of its
assembly to raise the necessary supplies?

_A._ They could not suppose such a case, as that the assembly would
not raise the necessary supplies to support its own government. An
assembly that would refuse it must want common sense; which cannot be
supposed. I think there was never any such case at New York, and that
it must be a misrepresentation, or the fact must be misunderstood.
I know there have been some attempts, by ministerial instructions
from hence, to oblige the assemblies to settle permanent salaries
on governors, which they wisely refused to do; but I believe no
assembly of New York, or any other colony, ever refused duly to
support government by proper allowances, from time to time, to public

_Q._ But in case a governor, acting by instruction, should call on
an assembly to raise the necessary supplies, and the assembly should
refuse to do it, do you not think it would then be for the good of
the people of the colony, as well as necessary to government, that
the parliament should tax them?

_A._ I do not think it would be necessary. If an assembly could
possibly be so absurd, as to refuse raising the supplies requisite
for the maintenance of government among them, they could not long
remain in such a situation; the disorders and confusion occasioned by
it must soon bring them to reason.

_Q._ If it should not, ought not the right to be in Great Britain of
applying a remedy?

_A._ A right, only to be used in such a case, I should have no
objection to; supposing it to be used merely for the good of the
people of the colony.

_Q._ But who is to judge of that, Britain or the colony?

_A._ Those that feel can best judge.

_Q._ You say the colonies have always submitted to external taxes,
and object to the right of parliament only in laying internal taxes;
now can you show, that there is any kind of _difference between the
two taxes_ to the colony on which they may be laid?

_A._ I think the difference is very great. An _external_ tax is a
duty laid on commodities imported; that duty is added to the first
cost and other charges on the commodity, and, when it is offered to
sale, makes a part of the price. If the people do not like it at
that price, they refuse it; they are not obliged to pay it. But an
_internal_ tax is forced from the people without their consent, if
not laid by their own representatives. The stamp act says, we shall
have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other,
neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry
nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is
intended to extort our money from us, or ruin us by the consequences
of refusing to pay it.

_Q._ But supposing the external tax or duty to be laid on the
necessaries of life imported into your colony, will not that be the
same thing in its effects as an internal tax?

_A._ I do not know a single article imported into the _northern_
colonies, but what they can either do without, or make themselves.

_Q._ Don't you think cloth from England absolutely necessary to them?

_A._ No, by no means absolutely necessary; with industry and good
management, they may very well supply themselves with all they want.

_Q._ Will it not take a long time to establish that manufacture among
them; and must they not in the mean while suffer greatly?

_A._ I think not. They have made a surprising progress already. And I
am of opinion, that before their old clothes are worn out, they will
have new ones of their own making.

_Q._ Can they possibly find wool enough in North America?

_A._ They have taken steps to increase the wool. They entered into
general combinations to eat no more lamb; and very few lambs were
killed last year. This course, persisted in, will soon make a
prodigious difference in the quantity of wool. And the establishing
of great manufactories, like those in the clothing towns here, is not
necessary, as it is where the business is to be carried on for the
purposes of trade. The people will all spin, and work for themselves,
in their own houses.

_Q._ Can there be wool and manufacture enough in one or two years?

_A._ In three years, I think there may.

_Q._ Does not the severity of the winter, in the northern colonies,
occasion the wool to be of bad quality?

_A._ No, the wool is very fine and good.

_Q._ In the more southern colonies, as in Virginia, don't you know,
that the wool is coarse, and only a kind of hair?

_A._ I don't know it. I never heard it. Yet I have been sometimes
in Virginia. I cannot say I ever took particular notice of the wool
there, but I believe it is good, though I cannot speak positively of
it; but Virginia, and the colonies south of it, have less occasion
for wool; their winters are short, and not very severe; and they
can very well clothe themselves with linen and cotton of their own
raising for the rest of the year.

_Q._ Are not the people in the more northern colonies obliged to
fodder their sheep all the winter?

_A._ In some of the most northern colonies they may be obliged to do
it, some part of the winter.

_Q._ Considering the resolutions of parliament[89], _as to the
right_; do you think, if the stamp act is repealed, that the North
Americans will be satisfied?

_A._ I believe they will.

_Q._ Why do you think so?

_A._ I think the resolutions of _right_ will give them very little
concern, if they are never attempted to be carried into practice. The
colonies will probably consider themselves in the same situation, in
that respect, with Ireland: they know you claim the same right with
regard to Ireland, but you never exercise it. And they may believe
you never will exercise it in the colonies, any more than in Ireland,
unless on some very extraordinary occasion.

_Q._ But who are to be the judges of that extraordinary occasion? Is
not the parliament?

_A._ Though the parliament may judge of the occasion, the people will
think it can never exercise such right, till representatives from
the colonies are admitted into parliament; and that, whenever the
occasion arises, representatives _will_ be ordered.

_Q._ Did you never hear that Maryland, during the last war, had
refused to furnish a quota towards the common defence?

_A._ Maryland has been much misrepresented in that matter. Maryland,
to my knowledge, never refused to contribute, or grant aids to the
crown. The assemblies, every year during the war, voted considerable
sums, and formed bills to raise them. The bills were, according
to the constitution of that province, sent up to the council, or
upper house, for concurrence, that they might be presented to the
governor, in order to be enacted into laws. Unhappy disputes between
the two houses--arising from the defects of that constitution
principally--rendered all the bills but one or two abortive. The
proprietary's council rejected them. It is true, Maryland did
contribute its proportion; but it was, in my opinion, the fault of
the government, not of the people.

_Q._ Was it not talked of in the other provinces as a proper measure,
to apply to parliament to compel them?

_A._ I have heard such discourse; but as it was well known, that the
people were not to blame, no such application was ever made, nor any
step taken towards it.

_Q._ Was it not proposed at a public meeting?

_A._ Not that I know of.

_Q._ Do you remember the abolishing of the paper-currency in New
England, by act of assembly?

_A._ I do remember its being abolished in the Massachusett's Bay.

_Q._ Was not lieutenant-governor Hutchinson principally concerned in
that transaction?

_A._ I have heard so.

_Q._ Was it not at that time a very unpopular law?

_A._ I believe it might, though I can say little about it, as I lived
at a distance from that province.

_Q._ Was not the _scarcity of gold and silver_ an argument used
against abolishing the paper?

_A._ I suppose it was[90].

_Q._ What is the present opinion there of that law? Is it as
unpopular as it was at first?

_A._ I think it is not.

_Q._ Have not instructions from hence been sometimes sent over to
governors, highly oppressive and unpolitical?

_A._ Yes.

_Q._ Have not some governors dispensed with them for that reason?

_A._ Yes, I have heard so.

_Q._ Did the Americans ever dispute the controling power of
parliament to regulate the commerce?

_A._ No.

_Q._ Can any thing less than a military force carry the stamp act
into execution?

_A._ I do not see how a military force can be applied to that purpose.

_Q._ Why may it not?

_A._ Suppose a military force sent into America, they will find
nobody in arms; what are they then to do? They cannot force a man
to take stamps who chooses to do without them. They will not find a
rebellion: they may indeed make one.

_Q._ If the act is not repealed, what do you think will be the

_A._ A total loss of the respect and affection the people of America
bear to this country, and of all the commerce that depends on that
respect and affection.

_Q._ How can the commerce be affected?

_A._ You will find, that if the act is not repealed, they will take
very little of your manufactures in a short time.

_Q._ Is it in their power to do without them?

_A._ I think they may very well do without them.

_Q._ Is it their interest not to take them?

_A._ The goods they take from Britain are either necessaries,
mere conveniences, or superfluities. The first, as cloth, &c.
with a little industry they can make at home; the second they can
do without, till they are able to provide them among themselves;
and the last, which are much the greatest part, they will strike
off immediately. They are mere articles of fashion, purchased and
consumed, because the fashion in a respected country; but will now be
detested and rejected. The people have already struck off, by general
agreement, the use of all goods fashionable in mournings, and many
thousand pounds worth are sent back as unsaleable.

_Q._ Is it their interest to make cloth at home?

_A._ I think they may at present get it cheaper from Britain, I mean
of the same fineness and neatness of workmanship: but when one
considers other circumstances, the restraints on their trade, and the
difficulty of making remittances, it is their interest to make every

_Q._ Suppose an act of internal regulations connected with a tax, how
would they receive it?

_A._ I think it would be objected to.

_Q._ Then no regulation with a tax would be submitted to?

_A._ Their opinion is, that when aids to the crown are wanted, they
are to be asked of the several assemblies, according to the old
established usage; who will, as they always have done, grant them
freely. And that their money ought not to be given away, without
their consent, by persons at a distance, unacquainted with their
circumstances and abilities. The granting aids to the crown is the
only means they have of recommending themselves to their sovereign;
and they think it extremely hard and unjust, that a body of men, in
which they have no representatives, should make a merit to itself of
giving and granting what is not its own, but theirs; and deprive them
of a right they esteem of the utmost value and importance, as it is
the security of all their other rights.

_Q._ But is not the post-office, which they have long received, a tax
as well as a regulation?

_A._ No; the money paid for the postage of a letter is not of the
nature of a tax; it is merely a _quantum meruit_ for a service done;
no person is compellable to pay the money, if he does not choose to
receive the service. A man may still, as before the act, send his
letter by a servant, a special messenger, or a friend, if he thinks
it cheaper and safer.

_Q._ But do they not consider the regulations of the post-office, by
the act of last year, as a tax?

_A._ By the regulations of last year the rate of postage was
generally abated near thirty per cent through all America; they
certainly cannot consider such abatement _as a tax_.

_Q._ If an excise was laid by parliament, which they might likewise
avoid paying, by not consuming the articles excised, would they then
not object to it?

_A._ They would certainly object to it, as an excise is unconnected
with any service done, and is merely an aid, which they think ought
to be asked of them, and granted by them, if they are to pay it; and
can be granted for them by no others whatsoever, whom they have not
impowered for that purpose.

_Q._ You say, they do not object to the right of parliament, in
laying duties on goods to be paid on their importation: now, is there
any kind of difference between a duty on the _importation_ of goods,
and an excise on their _consumption_?

_A._ Yes; a very material one: an excise, for the reasons I have
just mentioned, they think you can have no right to lay within their
country. But _the sea_ is yours; you maintain, by your fleets, the
safety of navigation in it, and keep it clear of pirates; you may
have therefore a natural and equitable right to some _toll_ or duty
on merchandizes carried through that part of your dominions, towards
defraying the expence you are at in ships to maintain the safety of
that carriage.

_Q._ Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid on the
produce of their lands _exported_? And would they not then object to
such a duty?

_A._ If it tended to make the produce so much dearer abroad, as to
lessen the demand for it, to be sure they would object to such a
duty; not to your right of laying it, but they would complain of it
as a burthen, and petition you to lighten it.

_Q._ Is not the duty paid on the tobacco exported, a duty of that

_A._ That, I think, is only on tobacco carried coast-wise, from one
colony to another, and appropriated as a fund for supporting the
college at Williamsburgh, in Virginia.

_Q._ Have not the assemblies in the West Indies the same natural
rights with those in North America?

_A._ Undoubtedly.

_Q._ And is there not a tax laid there on their sugars exported?

_A._ I am not much acquainted with the West Indies; but the duty of
four and a half per cent on sugars exported was, I believe, granted
by their own assemblies.[91]

_Q._ How much is the poll-tax in your province laid on unmarried men?

_A._ It is, I think, fifteen shillings, to be paid by every single
freeman, upwards of twenty-one years old.

_Q._ What is the annual amount of _all_ the taxes in Pensylvania?

_A._ I suppose about 20,000_l._ sterling.

_Q._ Supposing the stamp act continued and enforced, do you imagine
that ill-humour will induce the Americans to give as much for worse
manufactures of their own, and use them, preferably to better of ours?

_A._ Yes, I think so. People will pay as freely to gratify one
passion as another, their resentment as their pride.

_Q._ Would the people at Boston discontinue their trade?

_A._ The merchants are a very small number compared with the body
of the people, and must discontinue their trade, if nobody will buy
their goods.

_Q._ What are the body of the people in the colonies?

_A._ They are farmers, husbandmen, or planters.

_Q._ Would they suffer the produce of their lands to rot?

_A._ No; but they would not raise so much. They would manufacture
more, and plow less.

_Q._ Would they live without the administration of justice in civil
matters, and suffer all the inconveniencies of such a situation for
any considerable time, rather than take the stamps, supposing the
stamps were protected by a sufficient force, where every one might
have them?

_A._ I think the supposition impracticable, that the stamps should
be so protected as that every one might have them. The act requires
sub-distributors to be appointed in every county town, district,
and village, and they would be necessary. But the _principal_
distributors, who were to have had a considerable profit on the
whole, have not thought it worth while to continue in the office; and
I think it impossible to find sub-distributors fit to be trusted,
who, for the trifling profit that must come to their share, would
incur the odium, and run the hazard that would attend it; and if they
could be found, I think it impracticable to protect the stamps in so
many distant and remote places.

_Q._ But in places where they could be protected, would not the
people use them, rather than remain in such a situation, unable to
obtain any right, or recover, by law, any debt?

_A._ It is hard to say what they would do. I can only judge what
other people will think, and how they will act, by what I feel within
myself. I have a great many debts due to me in America, and I had
rather they should remain unrecoverable by any law, than submit to
the stamp act. They will be debts of honour. It is my opinion the
people will either continue in that situation, or find some way to
extricate themselves, perhaps by generally agreeing to proceed in the
courts without stamps.

_Q._ What do you think a sufficient military force to protect the
distribution of the stamps in every part of America?

_A._ A very great force, I can't say what, if the disposition of
America is for a general resistance.

_Q._ What is the number of men in America able to bear arms, or of
disciplined militia?

_A._ There are, I suppose, at least----

[_Question objected to. He withdrew. Called in again._]

_Q._ Is the American stamp act an equal tax on the country?

_A._ I think not.

_Q._ Why so?

_A._ The greatest part of the money must arise from law-suits for the
recovery of debts, and be paid by the lower sort of people, who were
too poor easily to pay their debts. It is therefore a heavy tax on
the poor, and a tax upon them for being poor.

_Q._ But will not this increase of expence be a means of lessening
the number of law-suits?

_A._ I think not; for as the costs all fall upon the debtor, and are
to be paid by him, they would be no discouragement to the creditor to
bring his action.

_Q._ Would it not have the effect of excessive usury?

_A._ Yes, as an oppression of the debtor.

_Q._ How many ships are there laden annually in North America with
_flax-seed_ for Ireland?

_A._ I cannot speak to the number of ships, but I know, that in 1752
ten thousand hogsheads of flax-seed, each containing seven bushels,
were exported from Philadelphia to Ireland. I suppose the quantity
is greatly increased since that time, and it is understood, that the
exportation from New York is equal to that from Philadelphia.

_Q._ What becomes of the flax that grows with that flax-seed?

_A._ They manufacture some into coarse, and some into a middling kind
of linen.

_Q._ Are there any _slitting-mills_ in America?[92]

_A._ I think there are three, but I believe only one at present
employed. I suppose they will all be set to work, if the interruption
of the trade continues.

_Q._ Are there any _fulling-mills_ there?

_A._ A great many.

_Q._ Did you never hear, that a great quantity of stockings were
contracted for, for the army, during the war, and manufactured in

_A._ I have heard so.

_Q._ If the stamp-act should be repealed, would not the Americans
think they could oblige the parliament to repeal every external
tax-law now in force?

_A._ It is hard to answer questions of what people at such a distance
will think.

_Q._ But what do you imagine they will think were the motives of
repealing the act?

_A._ I suppose they will think, that it was repealed from a
conviction of its inexpediency; and they will rely upon it, that
while the same inexpediency subsists, you will never attempt to make
such another.

_Q._ What do you mean by its inexpediency?

_A._ I mean its inexpediency on several accounts, the poverty and
inability of those who were to pay the tax, the general discontent it
has occasioned, and the impracticability of enforcing it.

_Q._ If the act should be repealed, and the legislature should show
its resentment to the opposers of the stamp-act, would the colonies
acquiesce in the authority of the legislature? What is your opinion
they would do?

_A._ I don't doubt at all, that if the legislature repeal the
stamp-act, the colonies will acquiesce in the authority.

_Q._ But if the legislature should think fit to ascertain its right
to lay taxes, by any act laying a small tax, contrary to their
opinion, would they submit to pay the tax?

_A._ The proceedings of the people in America have been considered
too much together. The proceedings of the assemblies have been very
different from those of the mobs, and should be distinguished, as
having no connection with each other. The _assemblies_ have only
peaceably resolved what they take to be their rights: they have
taken no measures for opposition by force, they have not built a
fort, raised a man, or provided a grain of ammunition, in order to
such opposition. The ring-leaders of riots, they think ought to be
punished; they would punish them themselves, if they could. Every
sober, sensible man would wish to see rioters punished, as otherwise
peaceable people have no security of person or estate.--But as to an
internal tax, how small soever, laid by the legislature here on the
people there, while they have no representatives in this legislature,
I think it will never be submitted to: they will oppose it to the
last.--They do not consider it as at all necessary for you to raise
money on them by your taxes; because they are, and always have been,
ready to raise money by taxes among themselves, and to grant large
sums, equal to their abilities, upon requisition from the crown. They
have not only granted equal to their abilities, but, during all the
last war, they granted far beyond their abilities, and beyond their
proportion with this country (you yourselves being judges) to the
amount of many hundred thousand pounds; and this they did freely and
readily, only on a sort of promise, from the secretary of state, that
it should be recommended to parliament to make them compensation. It
was accordingly recommended to parliament, in the most honourable
manner for them. America has been greatly misrepresented and abused
here, in papers, and pamphlets, and speeches, as ungrateful, and
unreasonable, and unjust; in having put this nation to immense
expence for their defence, and refusing to bear any part of that
expence. The colonies raised, paid, and clothed, near twenty-five
thousand men during the last war; a number equal to those sent from
Britain, and far beyond their proportion; they went deeply into debt
in doing this, and all their taxes and estates are mortgaged, for
many years to come, for discharging that debt. Government here was
at that time very sensible of this. The colonies were recommended
to parliament. Every year the king sent down to the house a written
message to this purpose, "that his majesty, being highly sensible
of the zeal and vigour with which his faithful subjects in North
America had exerted themselves, in defence of his majesty's just
rights and possessions; recommended it to the house to take the
same into consideration, and enable him to give them a proper
compensation." You will find those messages on your own journals
every year of the war to the very last; and you did accordingly
give 200,000_l._ annually to the crown, to be distributed in such
compensation to the colonies. This is the strongest of all proofs
that the colonies, far from being unwilling to bear a share of the
burthen, did exceed their proportion; for if they had done less, or
had only equalled their proportion, there would have been no room or
reason for compensation. Indeed the sums, reimbursed them, were by no
means adequate to the expence they incurred beyond their proportion:
but they never murmured at that; they esteemed their sovereign's
approbation of their zeal and fidelity, and the approbation of this
house, far beyond any other kind of compensation, therefore there
was no occasion for this act, to force money from a willing people:
they had not refused giving money for the _purposes_ of the act, no
requisition had been made, they were always willing and ready to do
what could reasonably be expected from them, and in this light they
wish to be considered.

_Q._ But suppose Great Britain should be engaged in a _war in
Europe_, would North America contribute to the support of it?

_A._ I do think they would, as far as their circumstances would
permit. They consider themselves as a part of the British empire,
and as having one common interest with it: they may be looked on
here as foreigners, but they do not consider themselves as such.
They are zealous for the honour and prosperity of this nation; and,
while they are well used, will always be ready to support it, as far
as their little power goes.--In 1739 they were called upon to assist
in the expedition against Carthagena, and they sent three thousand
men to join your army.[93] It is true Carthagena is in America, but
as remote from the northern colonies, as if it had been in Europe.
They make no distinction of wars, as to their duty of assisting in
them. I know the _last war_ is commonly spoken of here as entered
into for the defence, or for the sake of the people in America. I
think it is quite misunderstood. It began about the limits between
Canada and Nova Scotia; about territories to which the _crown_ indeed
laid claim, but [which] were not claimed by any British _colony_;
none of the lands had been granted to any colonist, we had therefore
no particular concern or interest in that dispute.--As to the Ohio,
the contest there began about your right of trading in the Indian
country, a right you had by the treaty of Utretcht, which the French
infringed; they seized the traders and their goods, which were your
manufactures; they took a fort which a company of your merchants, and
their factors and correspondents had erected there, to secure that
trade. Braddock was sent with an army to re-take that fort (which
was looked on here as another incroachment on the king's territory)
and to protect your trade. It was not till after his defeat that the
colonies were attacked.[94] They were before in perfect peace with
both French and Indians; the troops were not therefore sent for their
defence. The trade with the Indians, though carried on in America, is
not an _American interest_. The people of America are chiefly farmers
and planters, scarce any thing that they raise or produce is an
article of commerce with the Indians. The Indian trade is a _British
interest_; it is carried on with British manufactures, for the profit
of British merchants and manufacturers; therefore the war, as it
commenced for the defence of territories of the crown (the property
of no American) and for the defence of a trade purely British, was
really a British war--and yet the people of America made no scruple
of contributing their utmost towards carrying it on, and bringing it
to a happy conclusion.

_Q._ Do you think then that the taking possession of the king's
territorial rights, and _strengthening the frontiers_, is not an
American interest?

_A._ Not particularly, but conjointly a British and an American

_Q._ You will not deny that the preceding war, the _war with Spain_,
was entered into for the sake of America; was it not _occasioned by
captures made in the American_ seas?

_A._ Yes; captures of ships carrying on the British trade there with
British manufactures.

_Q._ Was not the _late war with the_ Indians, _since the peace with
France_, a war for America only?

_A._ Yes; it was more particularly for America than the former; but
it was rather a consequence or remains of the former war, the Indians
not having been thoroughly pacified; and the Americans bore by much
the greatest share of the expence. It was put an end to by the army
under General Bouquet; there were not above three hundred regulars in
that army, and above one thousand Pensylvanians.

_Q._ Is it not necessary to send troops to America, to defend the
Americans against the Indians?

_A._ No, by no means; it never was necessary. They defended
themselves when they were but an handful, and the Indians much more
numerous. They continually gained ground, and have driven the Indians
over the mountains, without any troops sent to their assistance from
this country. And can it be thought necessary now to send troops for
their defence from those diminished Indian tribes, when the colonies
are become so populous, and so strong? There is not the least
occasion for it, they are very able to defend themselves.

_Q._ Do you say there were no more than three hundred regular troops
employed in the late Indian war?

_A._ Not on the Ohio, or the frontiers of Pensylvania, which was
the chief part of the war that affected the colonies. There were
garrisons at Niagara, Fort Detroit, and those remote posts kept for
the sake of your trade; I did not reckon them; but I believe that on
the whole the number of Americans, or provincial troops, employed in
the war, was greater than that of the regulars. I am not certain, but
I think so.

_Q._ Do you think the assemblies have a right to levy money on the
subject there, to grant _to the crown_?

_A._ I certainly think so, they have always done it.

_Q._ Are they acquainted with the declaration of rights? And do they
know that, by that statute, money is not to be raised on the subject
but by consent of parliament?

_A._ They are very well acquainted with it.

_Q._ How then can they think they have a right to levy money for the
crown, or for any other than local purposes?

_A._ They understand that clause to relate to subjects only within
the realm; that no money can be levied on them for the crown, but
by consent of parliament. _The colonies_ are not supposed to be
within the realm; they have assemblies of their own, which are their
parliaments, and they are, in that respect, in the same situation
with Ireland. When money is to be raised for the crown upon the
subject in Ireland, or in the colonies, the consent is given in
the parliament of Ireland, or in the assemblies of the colonies.
They think the parliament of Great Britain cannot properly give
that consent, till it has representatives from America; for the
petition of right expressly says, it is to be by _common consent in
parliament_; and the people of America have no representatives in
parliament, to make a part of that common consent.

_Q._ If the stamp act should be repealed, and an act should pass,
ordering the assemblies of the colonies to indemnify the sufferers by
the riots, would they obey it?

_A._ That is a question I cannot answer.

_Q._ Suppose the king should require the colonies to grant a revenue,
and the parliament should be against their doing it, do they think
they can grant a revenue to the king, _without_ the consent of the
parliament of Great Britain?

_A._ That is a deep question. As to my own opinion, I should think
myself at liberty to do it, and should do it, if I liked the occasion.

_Q._ When money has been raised in the colonies, upon requisitions,
has it not been granted to the king?

_A._ Yes, always; but the requisitions have generally been for some
service expressed, as to raise, clothe, and pay troops, and not for
money only.

_Q._ If the act should pass, requiring the American assemblies to
make compensation to the sufferers, and they should disobey it, and
then the parliament should, by another act, lay an internal tax,
would they then obey it?

_A._ The people will pay no internal tax; and I think an act to
oblige the assemblies to make compensation is unnecessary; for I am
of opinion, that as soon as the present heats are abated, they will
take the matter into consideration, and if it is right to be done,
they will do it of themselves.

_Q._ Do not letters often come into the post-offices in America
directed to some inland town where no post goes?

_A._ Yes.

_Q._ Can any private person take up those letters and carry them as

_A._ Yes; any friend of the person may do it, paying the postage that
has accrued.

_Q._ But must not he pay an additional postage for the distance to
such inland town?

_A._ No.

_Q._ Can the post-master answer delivering the letter, without being
paid such additional postage?

_A._ Certainly he can demand nothing, where he does no service.

_Q._ Suppose a person, being far from home, finds a letter in a
post-office directed to him, and he lives in a place to which the
post generally goes, and the letter is directed to that place, will
the post-master deliver him the letter, without his paying the
postage receivable at the place to which the letter is directed?

_A._ Yes; the office cannot demand postage for a letter that it does
not carry, or farther than it does carry it.

_Q._ Are not ferrymen in America obliged, by act of parliament, to
carry over the posts without pay?

_A._ Yes.

_Q._ Is not this a tax on the ferrymen?

_A._ They do not consider it as such, as they have an advantage from
persons travelling with the post.

_Q._ If the stamp-act should be repealed, and the crown should make a
requisition to the colonies for a sum of money, would they grant it?

_A._ I believe they would.

_Q._ Why do you think so?

_A._ I can speak for the colony I live in; I had it in _instruction_
from the assembly to assure the ministry, that as they always had
done, so they should always think it their duty, to grant such aids
to the crown as were suitable to their circumstances and abilities,
whenever called upon for that purpose, in the usual constitutional
manner; and I had the honour of communicating this instruction to
that honourable gentleman then minister.[95]

_Q._ Would they do this for a British concern, as suppose a war in
some part of Europe, that did not affect them?

_A._ Yes, for any thing that concerned the general interest. They
consider themselves as part of the whole.

_Q._ What is the usual constitutional manner of calling on the
colonies for aids?

_A._ A letter from the secretary of state.

_Q._ Is this all you mean; a letter from the secretary of state?

_A._ I mean the usual way of requisition, in a circular letter from
the secretary of state, by his majesty's command, reciting the
occasion, and recommending it to the colonies to grant such aids as
became their loyalty, and were suitable to their abilities.

_Q._ Did the secretary of state ever write for _money_ for the crown?

_A._ The requisitions have been to raise, clothe, and pay men, which
cannot be done without money.

_Q._ Would they grant money alone, if called on?

_A._ In my opinion they would, money as well as men, when they have
money, or can make it.

_Q._ If the parliament should repeal the stamp act, will the assembly
of Pensylvania rescind their resolutions?

_A._ I think not.

_Q._ Before there was any thought of the stamp act, did they wish for
a representation in parliament?

_A._ No.

_Q._ Don't you know that there is, in the Pensylvanian charter, an
express reservation of the right of parliament to lay taxes there?

_A._ I know there is a clause in the charter, by which the king
grants that he will levy no taxes on the inhabitants, unless it be
with the consent of the assembly, or by act of parliament.

_Q._ How then could the assembly of Pensylvania assert, that laying a
tax on them by the stamp act was an infringement of their rights?

_A._ They understand it thus: by the same charter, and otherwise,
they are intitled to all the privileges and liberties of Englishmen;
they find in the great charters, and the petition and declaration
of rights, that one of the privileges of English subjects is, that
they are not to be taxed but by their _common consent_; they have
therefore relied upon it, from the first settlement of the province,
that the parliament never would, nor could, by colour of that
clause in the charter, assume a right of taxing them, _till_ it had
qualified itself to exercise such right, by admitting representatives
from the people to be taxed, who ought to make a part of that common

_Q._ Are there any words in the charter that justify that

_A._ The common rights of Englishmen, as declared by Magna Charta,
and the petition of right, all justify it.

_Q._ Does the distinction between internal and external taxes exist
in the words of the charter?

_A._ No, I believe not.

_Q._ Then may they not, by the same interpretation, object to the
parliament's right of external taxation?

_A._ They never _have_ hitherto. Many arguments have been lately
used here to show them that there is no difference, and that if you
have no right to tax them internally, you have none to tax them
externally, or make any other law to bind them. At present they do
not reason so; but in time they may possibly be convinced by these

_Q._ Do not the resolutions of the Pensylvania assembly say--all

_A._ If they do, they mean only internal taxes; the same words have
not always the same meaning here and in the colonies. By taxes they
mean internal taxes; by duties they mean customs; these are their
ideas of the language.

_Q._ Have you not seen the resolutions of the Massachusett's Bay

_A._ I have.

_Q._ Do they not say, that neither external nor internal taxes can be
laid on them by parliament?

_A._ I don't know that they do; I believe not.

_Q._ If the same colony should say, neither tax nor imposition could
be laid, does not that province hold the power of parliament can lay

_A._ I suppose that by the word imposition, they do not intend to
express duties to be laid on goods imported, as _regulations of

_Q._ What can the colonies mean then by imposition as distinct from

_A._ They may mean many things, as impressing of men, or of
carriages, quartering troops on private houses, and the like; there
may be great impositions that are not properly taxes.

_Q._ Is not the post-office rate an internal tax laid by act of

_A._ I have answered that.

_Q._ Are all parts of the colonies equally able to pay taxes?

_A._ No, certainly; the frontier parts, which have been ravaged by
the enemy, are greatly disabled by that means; and therefore, in such
cases, are usually favoured in our tax-laws.

_Q._ Can we, at this distance, be competent judges of what favours
are necessary?

_A._ The parliament have supposed it, by claiming a right to make
tax-laws for America; I think it impossible.

_Q._ Would the repeal of the stamp act be any discouragement of your
manufactures? Will the people that have begun to manufacture decline

_A._ Yes, I think they will; especially if, at the same time, the
trade is opened again, so that remittances can be easily made. I have
known several instances that make it probable. In the war before
last, tobacco being low, and making little remittance, the people of
Virginia went generally into family-manufactures. Afterwards, when
tobacco bore a better price, they returned to the use of British
manufactures. So fulling-mills were very much disused in the last war
in Pensylvania, because bills were then plenty, and remittances could
easily be made to Britain for English cloth and other goods.

_Q._ If the stamp act should be repealed, would it induce the
assemblies of America to acknowledge the rights of parliament to tax
them, and would they erase their resolutions?

_A._ No, never.

_Q._ Are there no means of obliging them to erase those resolutions?

_A._ None that I know of; they will never do it, unless compelled by
force of arms.

_Q._ Is there a power on earth that can force them to erase them?

_A._ No power, how great soever, can force men to change their

_Q._ Do they consider the post-office as a tax, or as a regulation?

_A._ Not as a tax, but as a regulation and conveniency; _every
assembly_ encouraged it, and supported it in its infancy, by grants
of money, which they would not otherwise have done; and the people
have always paid the postage.

_Q._ When did you receive the instructions you mentioned?

_A._ I brought them with me, when I came to England, about fifteen
months since.

_Q._ When did you communicate that instruction to the minister?

_A._ Soon after my arrival,--while the stamping of America was under
consideration, and _before_ the bill was brought in.

_Q._ Would it be most for the interest of Great Britain, to employ
the hands of Virginia in tobacco, or in manufactures?

_A._ In tobacco, to be sure.

_Q._ What used to be the pride of the Americans?

_A._ To indulge in the fashions and manufactures of Great Britain.

_Q._ What is now their pride?

_A._ To wear their old clothes over again, till they can make new



[83] 1766. Feb. 3. Benjamin Franklin, Esq. and a number of other
persons were "ordered to attend the committee of the whole house [of
commons] to whom it was referred, to consider farther the several
papers [relative to America] which were presented to the house by Mr.
Secretary Conway, &c."

Feb. 13. Benjamin Franklin, Esq. having passed through his
examination, was exempted from farther attendance.

Feb. 24. The resolutions of the committee were reported by the
chairman, Mr. Fuller, their _seventh_ and last resolution setting
forth "that it was their opinion that the house be moved, that leave
be given to bring in a bill to repeal the stamp act." A proposal for
re-committing this resolution was negatived by 240 votes to 133. (See
the Journals of the House of Commons.)

This examination of Dr. Franklin was printed in the year 1767, under
the form of a shilling pamphlet. It is prior in point of date to some
of the foregoing pieces; but I readily submitted to this derangement,
thinking by this means to provide the reader with a knowledge of the
proceedings on which the examination was grounded. B. V.

[84] "The stamp act says, that the Americans shall have no commerce,
make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor
grant nor recover debts; they shall neither marry nor make their
wills, unless they pay such and such sums" in _specie_ for the stamps
which must give validity to the proceedings. The operation of such a
tax, had it obtained the consent of the people, appeared inevitable;
and its annual productiveness, if I recollect well, was estimated
by its proposer in the house of commons at the committee for
supplies, at 100,000_l._ sterling. The colonies being already reduced
to the necessity of having _paper_-money, by sending to Britain the
specie they collected in foreign trade, in order to make up for the
deficiency of their other returns for Britain's manufactures; there
were doubts where could remain the _specie_ sufficient to answer the
tax. B. V.

[85] The stamp act provides that a double duty should be laid "where
the instrument, proceedings, &c. shall be engrossed, written, or
printed, within the said colonies and plantations, in any other
than the English language." This measure, I presume, appeared to be
suggested by motives of convenience, and the policy of assimilating
persons of foreign to those of British descent, and preventing their
interference in the conduct of law business till this change should
be effected. It seems however to have been deemed too precipitate,
immediately to extend this clause to newly-conquered countries. An
exemption therefore was granted, in this particular, with respect to
Canada and Grenada, for the space of five years, to be reckoned from
the commencement of the duty. (See the Stamp Act.) B. V.

[86] Strangers excluded, some parts of the northern colonies double
their numbers in fifteen or sixteen years; to the southward they are
longer, but, taking one with another, they have doubled by natural
generation only, once in twenty-five years. Pensylvania, I believe,
_including strangers_, has doubled in about sixteen years. The
calculation for February 1766 will not then suit 1779. B. V.

[87] In the year 1733--"for the welfare and prosperity of our
sugar colonies in America," and "for remedying discouragements of
planters;" duties were "_given and granted_" to George the Second
upon all rum, spirits, molasses, syrups, sugar, and paneles of
foreign growth, produce, and manufacture, imported into our colonies.
This _regulation of trade_, for the benefit of the general empire
was acquiesced in, notwithstanding the introduction of the novel
terms "give and grant." But the act, which was made only for the
term of five years, and had been several times renewed in the
reign of George the Second, and once in the reign of George the
Third; was renewed again in the year 1763, in the reign of George
the Third, and _extended to other articles, upon new and altered
grounds_. It was stated in the preamble to this act, "that it was
expedient that new provisions and regulations should be established
for _improving the revenue of this kingdom_;" "that it was just and
necessary that a revenue should be raised in America for defending,
protecting, and securing the same;" "and that the commons of Great
Britain ... desirous of making some provision ... towards _raising
the said revenue_ in America, have resolved to give and grant to
his majesty the several rates and duties, &c." Mr. Mauduit, agent
for Massachusett's Bay, tells us, that he was instructed in the
following terms to oppose Mr. Grenville's taxing system.--"You are
to remonstrate against these measures, and, if possible, to obtain a
repeal of the sugar act, and prevent the imposition of any further
duties or taxes on the colonies. Measures will be taken that you may
be joined by all the other agents. _Boston, June 14, 1764._"

The question proposed to Dr. Franklin alludes to this sugar act in
1763. Dr. Franklin's answer appears to deserve the best attention of
the reader. B. V.

[88] Some of the colonies have been reduced to the necessity of
bartering, from the want of a medium of traffic. See p. 146. B. V.

[89] Afterwards expressed in the Declaratory-Act. B. V.

[90] See the answer to the report of the board of trade, p. 144. B. V.

[91] See the note to Lord Howe's letter to our author. B. V.

[92] i. e. Mills for the slitting of iron. B. V.

[93] Admiral Vernon and General Wentworth commanded this expedition;
with what success, is well known. B. V.

[94] When this army was in the utmost distress from the want of
waggons, &c. our author and his son voluntarily traversed the
country, in order to collect a sufficient quantity; and they had zeal
and address enough to effect their purpose, upon pledging themselves,
to the amount of many thousand pounds, for payment. It was but just
before Dr. Franklin's last return to America, that the accounts in
this transaction were passed at home. B. V.

[95] I take the following to be the history of this transaction.

Until 1763, and the years following, whenever Great Britain wanted
supplies directly from the colonies, the secretary of state, in his
majesty's name, sent them a letter of requisition, in which the
occasion for the supplies was expressed; and the colonies returned
a _free gift_, the mode of levying which _they_ wholly prescribed.
At this period, a chancellor of the exchequer (Mr. George Grenville)
steps forth and says to the house of commons: _We must call for money
from the colonies in the way of a tax_;--and to the colony-agents,
_write to your several colonies, and tell them, if they dislike a
duty upon stamps, and prefer any other method of raising the money
themselves, I shall be content, provided the_ amount _be but raised_.
"That is," observed the colonies, when commenting upon his terms, "if
we will not tax ourselves, _as we may be directed_, the parliament
will tax us," Dr. Franklin's instructions, spoken of above, related
to this gracious option. As the colonies could not choose "_another_
tax," while they disclaimed _every_ tax; the parliament passed the

It seems that the only part of the offer which bore a show of favour,
was the grant of the _mode of levying_--and this was the only
circumstance which was _not new_.

See Mr. Mauduit's account of Mr. Grenville's conference with the
agents, confirmed by the agents for Georgia and Virginia, and Mr.
Burke's speech, in 1774, p. 55. B. V.

  _Attempts of Dr. Franklin for Conciliation of Great Britain with
  the Colonies[96]._

  _London, Nov. 28, 1768._


I received your obliging favour of the 12th instant. Your sentiments
of the importance of the present dispute between Great Britain and
the colonies, appear to me extremely just. There is nothing I wish
for more than to see it amicably and equitably settled.

But Providence will bring about its own ends by its own means; and if
it intends the downfal of a nation, that nation will be so blinded by
its pride, and other passions, as not to see its danger, or how its
fall may be prevented.

Being born and bred in one of the countries, and having lived long
and made many agreeable connexions of friendship in the other, I wish
all prosperity to both: but I have talked, and written so much and
so long on the subject, that my acquaintance are weary of hearing,
and the public of reading any more of it, which begins to make me
weary of talking and writing; especially as I do not find that I
have gained any point, in either country, except that of rendering
myself suspected, by my impartiality; in England, of being too much
an American, and in America of being too much an Englishman. Your
opinion, however, weighs with me, and encourages me to try one
effort more, in a full, though concise state of facts, accompanied
with arguments drawn from those facts; to be published about the
meeting of parliament, after the holidays.

If any good may be done I shall rejoice; but at present I almost

Have you ever seen the barometer so low as of late?

The 22d instant mine was at 28, 41, and yet the weather fine and fair.

  With sincere esteem, I am, dear friend,

  Yours, affectionately,



[96] I cannot pretend to say what is the publication promised in this
letter; unless it alludes to the one given above at p. 225; in which
case there is a mistake in the date of the year. B. V.

  _Queries from Mr. Strahan._


  _Nov. 21, 1769._


In the many conversations we have had together about our present
disputes with North America, we perfectly agreed in wishing they may
be brought to a speedy and happy conclusion. How this is to be done,
is not so easily ascertained.

_Two objects_, I humbly apprehend, his majesty's servants have now in
contemplation. 1st. To relieve the colonies from the taxes complained
of, which they certainly had no hand in imposing. 2dly, To preserve
the honour, the dignity, and the supremacy of the British legislature
over all his majesty's dominions.

As I know your singular knowledge of the subject in question, and
am as fully convinced of your cordial attachment to his majesty,
and your sincere desire to promote the happiness equally of all his
subjects, I beg you would in your own clear, brief, and explicit
manner, send me an answer to the following questions: I make this
request now, because this matter is of the utmost importance, and
must very quickly be agitated. And I do it with the more freedom,
as you know me and my motives too well to entertain the most remote
suspicion that I will make an improper use of any information you
shall hereby convey to me.

1st. Will not a repeal of all the duties (that on tea excepted, which
was before paid here on exportation, and of course no new imposition)
fully satisfy the colonists[98]? If you answer in the negative,

2d. Your reasons for that opinion?

3d. Do you think the only effectual way of composing the present
differences is to put the Americans precisely in the situation they
were in before the passing of the late stamp-act?--If that is your

4th. Your reasons for that opinion?

5th. If this last method is deemed by the legislature, and his
majesty's ministers, to be repugnant to their duty, as guardians of
the just rights of the crown and of their fellow-subjects; can you
suggest any other way of terminating these disputes, consistent with
the ideas of justice and propriety conceived by the king's subjects
on both sides of the Atlantic?

6. And if this method was actually followed, do you not think it
would actually encourage the violent and factious part of the
colonists to aim at still farther concessions from the mother-country?

7th. If they are relieved in part only, what do you, as a reasonable
and dispassionate man, and an equal friend to both sides, imagine
will be the probable consequences?

The answers to these questions, I humbly conceive, will include all
the information I want; and I beg you will favour me with them as
soon as may be. Every well-wisher to the peace and prosperity of the
British empire, and every friend to our truly happy constitution,
must be desirous of seeing even the most trivial causes of dissention
among our fellow-subjects removed. Our domestic squabbles, in my
mind, are nothing to what I am speaking of. This you know much
better than I do, and therefore I need add nothing farther to
recommend this subject to your serious consideration. I am, with
the most cordial esteem and attachment, dear sir, your faithful and
affectionate humble servant,

  W. S.


[97] These letters have often been copied into our public prints.
Mr. Strahan, the correspondent, is printer to the king, and now
representative in parliament for Malmsbury in Wiltshire. An intimacy
of long standing had subsisted between him and Dr. Franklin. B. V.

It was the father of the present Mr. Strahan, who is also
king's-printer, and member of parliament. The friendship, which so
long subsisted between Mr. Strahan and Dr. Franklin, the latter, in
1775, formally abjured, in a letter addressed to Mr. Strahan, which
will be found in the order of its date, in a subsequent part of this
work. _Editor._

[98] In the year 1767, for the express purpose of raising a revenue
in America, glass, red-lead, white-lead, painters' colours,
paper, and _tea_ (which last article was subject to various
_home_-impositions) became charged by act of parliament, with new
_permanent_ duties payable in the American ports. Soon after, in the
same sessions, (the East-India Company promising indemnification
for the experiment) a _temporary_ alteration was made with respect
to the _home_ customs or excise upon certain teas, in the hope
that a deduction in the nominal imposition, by producing a more
extended consumption, would give an increased sum to the exchequer.
Mr. Strahan, comparing only the _amounts_ of the imposed American
duty, and the deducted home duty, determines that the Americans
had suffered no new imposition. The Americans it seems, thought
otherwise. Had we established this precedent for a revenue, we
thought we had every thing to hope; yet we affect surprise, when the
colonies avoided an acquiescence which by parity of reasoning gave
_them_ every thing to fear. B. V.

  _Answer to the preceding Queries._

  _Craven Street, Nov. 29, 1769._


Being just returned to town from a little excursion, I find yours
of the 21st, containing a number of queries, that would require
a pamphlet to answer them fully. You, however, desire only brief
answers, which I shall endeavour to give.

Previous to your queries, you tell me, that "you apprehend his
majesty's servants have now in contemplation, 1st, To relieve the
colonists from the taxes complained of; 2d, To preserve the honour,
the dignity, and the supremacy of the British legislature over
all his majesty's dominions." I hope your information is good;
and that what you suppose to be in contemplation will be carried
into execution, by repealing all the laws, that have been made for
raising a revenue in America by authority of parliament without
the consent of the people there. The honour and dignity of the
British legislature will not be hurt by such an act of justice and
wisdom. The wisest councils are liable to be misled, especially in
matters remote from their inspection. It is the persisting in an
error, not the correcting it, that lessens the honour of any man
or body of men. The supremacy of that legislature, I believe, will
be best preserved by making a very sparing use of it; never but
for the evident good of the colonies themselves, or of the whole
British empire; never for the partial advantage of Britain to their
prejudice. By such prudent conduct, I imagine, that supremacy may
be gradually strengthened, and in time fully established; but
otherwise, I apprehend it will be disputed, and lost in the dispute.
At present the colonies consent and submit to it, for the regulations
of general commerce; but a submission to acts of parliament was no
part of their original constitution. Our former kings governed their
colonies, as they had governed their dominions in France, without
the participation of British parliaments. The parliament of England
never presumed to interfere in that prerogative, till the time of the
great rebellion, when they usurped the government of all the king's
other dominions, Ireland, Scotland, &c. The colonies that held for
the king, they conquered by force of arms, and governed afterwards
as conquered countries; but New England, having not opposed the
parliament, was considered and treated as a sister-kingdom, in amity
with England (as appears by the Journals, _March 10, 1642_.)

1st. "Will not a repeal of all the duties (that on tea excepted,
which was before paid here on exportation, and of course no new
imposition) fully satisfy the colonists?"

_Answer_, I think not.

2d. "Your reasons for that opinion?"

_A._ Because it is not the sum paid in that duty on tea that is
complained of as a burden, but the principle of the act, expressed
in the preamble, viz. That those duties were laid for the better
support of government, and the administration of justice in the
colonies[99]. This the colonists think unnecessary, unjust, and
dangerous to their most important rights. _Unnecessary_, because in
all the colonies (two or three new ones excepted[100]) government
and the administration of justice were, and always had been, well
supported without any charge to Britain: _unjust_, as it has made
such colonies liable to pay such charge for others, in which they had
no concern or interest: _dangerous_, as such mode of raising money
for those purposes tended to render their assemblies useless; for
if a revenue could be raised in the colonies for all the purposes
of government by act of parliament, without grants from the people
there, governors, who do not generally love assemblies, would never
call them; they would be laid aside; and when nothing should depend
on the people's good-will to government, their rights would be
trampled on; they would be treated with contempt. Another reason,
why I think they would not be satisfied with such a partial repeal,
is that their agreements, not to import till the repeal takes place,
include the whole; which shows, that they object to the whole; and
those agreements will continue binding on them, if the whole is not

3d. "Do you think the only effectual way of composing the present
differences is to put the Americans precisely in the situation they
were in before the passing of the late stamp act?"

_A._ I think so.

4th. "Your reasons for that opinion?"

_A._ Other methods have been tried. They have been refused or rebuked
in angry letters. Their petitions have been refused or rejected by
parliament. They have been threatened with the punishments of treason
by resolves of both houses. Their assemblies have been dissolved
and troops have been sent among them: but all these ways have only
exasperated their minds and widened the breach. Their agreements to
use no more British manufactures have been strengthened; and these
measures, instead of composing differences, and promoting a good
correspondence, have almost annihilated your commerce with those
countries, and greatly endanger the national peace and general

5th. "If this last method is deemed by the legislature, and his
majesty's ministers, to be repugnant to their duty as guardians of
the just rights of the crown, and of their fellow-subjects; can you
suggest any other way of terminating these disputes, consistent with
the ideas of justice and propriety conceived by the king's subjects
on _both_ sides the Atlantic?"

_A._ I do not see how that method can be deemed repugnant to the
rights of the crown. If the Americans are put into their former
situation, it must be an act of parliament; in the passing of which
by the king, the rights of the crown are exercised, not infringed. It
is indifferent to the crown, whether the aids received from America
are granted by parliament here, or by the assemblies there, provided
the quantum be the same; and it is my opinion, that more will be
generally granted there voluntarily, than can ever be exacted or
collected from thence by authority of parliament. As to the rights
of fellow-subjects (I suppose you mean the people of Britain) I
cannot conceive how those will be infringed by that method. They will
still enjoy the right of granting their own money, and may still, if
it pleases them, keep up their claim to the right of granting ours;
a right they can never exercise properly, for want of a sufficient
knowledge of us, our circumstances and abilities (to say nothing of
the little likelihood there is that we should ever submit to it)
therefore a right that can be of no good use to them; and we shall
continue to enjoy in fact the right of granting our money, with
the opinion, now universally prevailing among us, that we are free
subjects of the king, and that fellow-subjects of one part of his
dominions are not sovereigns over fellow-subjects in any other part.
If the subjects on the different sides of the Atlantic have different
and opposite ideas of "justice and propriety," no one "method" can
possibly be consistent with both. The best will be, to let each
enjoy their own opinions, without disturbing them, when they do not
interfere with the common good.

6th. "And if this method were actually allowed, do you not think it
would encourage the violent and factious part of the colonists, to
aim at still farther concessions from the mother-country?"

_A._ I do not think it would. There may be a few among them that
deserve the name of factious and violent, as there are in all
countries; but these would have little influence, if the great
majority of sober reasonable people were satisfied. If any colony
should happen to think, that some of your regulations of trade are
inconvenient to the general interest of the empire, or prejudicial
to them without being beneficial to you, they will state these
matters to parliament in petitions as heretofore; but will, I
believe, take no violent steps to obtain what they may hope for in
time from the wisdom of government here. I know of nothing else they
can have in view: the notion that prevails here, of their being
desirous to set up a kingdom or commonwealth of their own, is to
my certain knowledge entirely groundless. I therefore think, that
on a total repeal of all duties, laid expressly for the purpose of
raising a revenue on the people of America without their consent,
the present uneasiness would subside; the agreements not to import
would be dissolved; and the commerce flourish as heretofore; and I
am confirmed in this sentiment by all the letters I have received
from America, and by the opinions of all the sensible people who have
lately come from thence, crown-officers excepted. I know, indeed,
that the people of Boston are grievously offended by the quartering
of troops among them, as they think, contrary to law, and are very
angry with the board of commissioners, who have calumniated them to
government; but as I suppose the withdrawing of those troops may be
a consequence of reconciliating measures taking place; and that the
commission also will be either dissolved, if found useless, or filled
with more temperate and prudent men, if still deemed useful and
necessary; I do not imagine these particulars would prevent a return
of the harmony so much to be wished[101].

7th. "If they are relieved in part only, what do you, as a reasonable
and dispassionate man, and an equal friend to both sides, imagine
will be the probable consequence?"

_A._ I imagine, that repealing the offensive duties in part will
answer no end to this country; the commerce will remain obstructed,
and the Americans go on with their schemes of frugality, industry,
and manufactures, to their own great advantage. How much that may
tend to the prejudice of Britain, I cannot say; perhaps not so much
as some apprehend, since she may in time find new markets. But I
think, if the union of the two countries continues to subsist, it
will not hurt the general interest; for whatever wealth Britain loses
by the failing of its trade with the colonies, America will gain; and
the crown will receive equal aids from its subjects upon the whole,
if not greater.

And now I have answered your questions, as to what may be, in my
opinion, the consequences of this or that supposed measure, I will
go a little further, and tell you, what I fear is more likely to
come to pass in _reality_. I apprehend, that the ministry, at least
the American part of it, being fully persuaded of the right of
parliament, think it ought to be enforced, whatever may be the
consequences; and at the same time do not believe, there is even now
any abatement of the trade between the two countries on account of
these disputes; or that if there is, it is small, and cannot long
continue. They are assured by the crown-officers in America, that
manufactures are impossible there; that the discontented are few,
and persons of little consequence; that almost all the people of
property and importance are satisfied, and disposed to submit quietly
to the taxing power of parliament; and that, if the revenue-acts are
continued, and those duties only that are called anti-commercial be
repealed, and others perhaps laid in their stead, the power ere long
will be patiently submitted to, and the agreements not to import be
broken, when they are found to produce no change of measures here.
From these and similar misinformations, which seem to be credited,
I think it likely, that no thorough redress of grievances will be
afforded to America this session. This may inflame matters still
more in that country; farther rash measures there may create more
resentment here, that may produce not merely ill-advised dissolutions
of their assemblies, as last year, but attempts to dissolve their
constitution[102]; more troops may be sent over, which will create
more uneasiness; to justify the measures of government, your writers
will revile the Americans in your newspapers, as they have already
begun to do, treating them as miscreants, rogues, dastards, rebels,
&c. to alienate the minds of the people here from them, and which
will tend farther to diminish their affections to this country.
Possibly too, some of their warm patriots may be distracted enough
to expose themselves by some mad action to be sent for hither, and
government here be indiscreet enough to hang them, on the act of
Henry VIII[103]. Mutual provocations will thus go on to complete the
separation; and instead of that cordial affection, that once and so
long existed, and that harmony, so suitable to the circumstances,
and so necessary to the happiness, strength, safety, and welfare of
both countries, an implacable malice and mutual hatred, such as we
now see subsisting between the Spaniards and Portuguese, the Genoese
and Corsicans, from the same original misconduct in the superior
governments, will take place: the sameness of nation, the similarity
of religion, manners, and language not in the least preventing in
our case, more than it did in theirs.--I hope, however, that this
may all prove false prophecy, and that you and I may live to see as
sincere and perfect a friendship established between our respective
countries, as has so many years subsisted between Mr. Strahan, and
his truly affectionate old friend,



[99] "Men may lose little property by an act which takes away all
their freedom. When a man is robbed of a trifle on the highway, it is
not the two-pence lost that makes the capital outrage." "Would twenty
shillings have ruined Mr. Hampden's fortune? No! but the payment of
half twenty shillings, on the principle it was demanded, would have
made him a slave." See Mr. Burke's speeches in 1774 and 1775. B. V.

[100] Nova Scotia, Georgia, the Floridas, and Canada. B. V.

[101] "The opposition [to Lord Rockingham's administration]" says
Lord Chesterfield, "are for taking vigorous, as they call them, but
I call them violent measures; not less than _les dragonades_; and to
have the tax collected by the troops we have there. For my part, I
never saw a forward child mended by whipping: and I would not have
the mother become a step-mother." Letter, No. 360.

"Is it a certain maxim," pleads Mr. Burke, "that the fewer causes of
dissatisfaction are left by government, the more the subject will be
inclined to resist and rebel?" "I confess I do not feel the least
alarm from the discontents which are to arise from putting people at
their ease. Nor do I apprehend the destruction of this empire, from
giving, by an act of free grace and indulgence, to two millions of my
fellow-citizens, some share of those rights, upon which I have always
been taught to value myself." Speeches in 1774 and 1775. B. V.

[102] This was afterwards attempted by the British legislature, in
the case of the Massachusett's Bay. B. V.

[103] The lords and commons very prudently concurred in an address
for this purpose, and the king graciously assured them of his
compliance with their wishes. B. V.

  _State of the Constitution of the Colonies, by Governor
  Pownall[104]; with Remarks by Dr. Franklin._


1. Wherever any Englishmen go forth without the realm, and make
settlements in partibus exteris, "These settlements as English
settlements, and these inhabitants as English subjects (carrying with
them the laws of the land wherever they form colonies, and receiving
his majesty's protection by virtue of his royal charter[105]"
or commissions of government) "have and enjoy all liberties and
immunities of free and natural subjects, to all intents constructions
and purposes whatsoever, as if they and every of them were born
within the realm[106];" and are bound by the like allegiance as every
other subject of the realm.

Remarks. _The settlers of colonies in America did not carry with them
the_ laws of the land, _as being bound by them wherever they should
settle. They left the realm to avoid the inconveniences and hardships
they were under, where some of those laws were in force, particularly
ecclesiastical laws, those for payment of tythes and others. Had it
been understood, that they were to carry these laws with them, they
had better have staid at home among their friends, unexposed to
the risques and toils of a new settlement. They carried with them,
a right to_ such parts _of the_ laws of the land, _as they should
judge advantageous or useful to them; a right to be free from those
they thought hurtful; and a right to make such others, as they should
think necessary, not infringing the general rights of Englishmen: and
such_ new _laws they were to form, as agreeable as might be to the
laws of England_. B. F.

2. Therefore the _common law of England_, and all _such statutes_ as
were enacted and in force at _the time_ in which such settlers went
forth, and such colonies and plantations were established, (except as
hereafter excepted) together with all such alterations and amendments
as the said common law may have received, is from time to time, and
at all times, the law of those colonies and plantations.

Rem. _So far as they adopt it, by express laws or by practice._ B. F.

3. Therefore all statutes, touching the _right of the succession_,
and settlement of the crown, with the statutes of treason relating
thereto[107]; all statutes, _regulating_ or limiting the general
powers and _authority of the crown_, and the exercise of the
jurisdiction thereof; all statutes, _declaratory of the rights and
liberty of the subject_, do extend to all British subjects in the
colonies and plantations as of common right, and as if they and every
of them were born within the realm.

Rem. _It is doubted, whether any settlement of the crown by
parliament, takes place in the colonies, otherwise than by consent
of the assemblies there. Had the rebellion in 1745 succeeded so
far as to settle the Stuart family again on the throne, by act of
parliament, I think the colonies would not have thought themselves
bound by such act. They would still have adhered to the present
family as long as they could._ B. F.

Observation in reply. _They are bound to the king and his successors,
and we know no succession but by act of parliament._ T. P.

4. All statutes enacted _since_ the establishment of colonies and
plantations do extend to and operate within the said colonies and
plantations, in which statutes the same _are specially named_.

Rem. _It is doubted, whether any act of parliament should_ of right
_operate in the colonies_: in fact _several of than have and do
operate_. B. F.

5. Statutes and customs, which respect only the _special and local
circumstances_ of the realm, do not extend to and operate within
said colonies and plantations, where no such special and local
circumstances are found.--(Thus the _ecclesiastical and canon_ law,
and all _statutes respecting tythes_, the laws respecting _courts
baron and copyholds_, the _game acts_, the statutes _respecting
the poor_ and settlements, and all other laws and statutes,
having special reference to special and local circumstances and
establishments within the realm, do not extend to and operate within
these settlements, in partibus exteris, where no such circumstances
or establishments exist.)

Rem. _These laws have no force in America: not merely because local
circumstances differ, but because they have never been adopted, or
brought over by acts of assembly or by practice in the courts._ B. F.

6. No statutes made _since_ the establishment of said colonies and
plantations (_except_ as above described in articles 3 and 4) do
extend to and operate within said colonies and plantations.

Query.--Would any statute made since the establishment of said
colonies and plantations, which statute imported, to _annul_
and abolish the powers and jurisdictions of their respective
constitutions of government, where the same was not contrary to
the laws, or any otherwise forfeited or abated; or which statute
imported, to take away, or did take away, the rights and privileges
of the settlers, as British subjects: would such statute, as of
right, extend to and operate within said colonies and plantations?

Answer. _No. The parliament has no such power. The charters cannot be
altered but by consent of both parties--the king and the colonies._
B. F.


Upon the matters of fact, right and law, as above stated, it is, that
the British subjects thus settled in partibus exteris without the
realm, so long as they are excluded from an intire union with the
realm as parts of and within the same, have a right to have (as they
have) and to be governed by (as they are) a _distinct intire civil
government_, of the like powers, pre-eminences and jurisdictions
(conformable to the like rights, privileges, immunities, franchises,
and civil liberties) as are to be found and are established in the
British government, respecting the British subject within the realm.

Rem. _Right._ B. F.

Hence also it is, that the _rights of the subject_, as declared
in the petition of right, that the _limitation of prerogative_ by
the act for abolishing the star-chamber and for regulating the
privy-council, &c. that the habeas corpus act, the statute of frauds,
the bill of rights, do of common right extend to and are in force
within said colonies and plantations.

Rem. _Several of these rights are established by special colony laws.
If any are not yet so established, the colonies have right to such
laws: and the covenant having been made in the charters by the king,
for himself and his successors, such laws ought to receive the royal
assent_ as of right. B. F.

Hence it is, that the _freeholders_ within the precincts of these
jurisdictions have (as of right they ought to have) a _share in the
power of making those laws_ which they are to be governed by, by the
right which they have of sending their representatives to act for
them and to consent for them in all matters of legislation, which
representatives, when met in general assembly, have, together with
the crown, a right to perform and do all the like acts respecting
the matters, things and rights within the precincts of their
jurisdiction, as the parliament hath respecting the realm and British

Hence also it is, that all the _executive offices_ (from the supreme
civil magistrate, as locum tenens to the king, down to that of
constable and head-borough) must of right be established with all
and the like powers, neither more nor less than as defined by the
constitution and law, as in fact they are established.

Hence it is, that the _judicial offices and courts of justice_,
established within the precincts of said jurisdictions, have, as
they ought of right to have, all those jurisdictions and powers "as
fully and amply to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as the courts
of king's bench, common pleas, and exchequer, within his majesty's
kingdom of England, have, and ought to have, and are empowered to
give judgment and award execution thereupon[108]."

Hence it is, that by the possession enjoyment and exercise of his
majesty's _great seal_, delivered to his majesty's governor, there
is established within the precincts of the respective jurisdictions
all the same and like _powers of chancery_ (except where by charters
specially excluded) as his majesty's chancellor within his majesty's
kingdom of England hath, and of right ought to have, by delivery
of the great seal of England.--And hence it is, that all the like
rights, privileges and powers, follow the use, exercise and
application of the great seal of each colony and plantation within
the precincts of said jurisdiction, as doth, and ought of right to
follow the use, exercise, and application of the great seal.

Hence also it is, that _appeals in real actions_, "whereby the lands,
tenements, and hereditaments of British subjects may be drawn into
question and disposed of[109]," do not lie, as of right and by law
they ought not to lie, to the king in council.

Hence also it is, that there is _not_ any law now in being,
whereby _the subject_ within said colonies and plantations can be
_removed[110] from the jurisdiction to which he is amenable_ in
all his right, and through which his service and allegiance must
be derived to the crown, and from which no appeal lies in criminal
causes, so as that such subject may become amenable to a jurisdiction
foreign to his natural and legal resiancy; to which he may be thereby
transported, and under which he may be brought to trial and receive
judgment, contrary to the rights and privileges of the subject, as
declared by the spirit and intent and especially by the 16th § of
the habeas corpus act. And if the person of any subject within the
said colonies and plantations _should_ be seized or detained by any
power issuing from any court, without the jurisdiction of the colony
where he then had his legal resiancy, it would become the duty of the
courts of justice _within_ such colony (it is undoubtedly of their
jurisdiction so to do) to issue the writ of _habeas corpus_[111].

Hence also it is, that in like manner as "the _command and
disposition of the militia, and of all forces by sea and land_,
and of all forts and places of strength, is, and by the laws of
England ever was, the undoubted right of his majesty and his royal
predecessors, kings and queens of England, within all his majesty's
realms and dominions[112]," in like manner as the supreme military
power and command (so far as the constitution knows of and will
justify its establishment) is inseparably annexed to, and forms
an essential part of the office of supreme civil magistrate, the
office of king: in like manner, in all _governments under the king_,
where the constituents are British subjects and of full and perfect
right entitled to the British laws and constitution, the supreme
military command within the precincts of such jurisdictions must
be inseparably annexed to the office of supreme civil magistrate,
(his majesty's regent, vice-regent, lieutenant, or locum tenens, in
what form soever established) so that the king cannot, by any[113]
commission of regency, by any commission or charter of government,
separate or withdraw the supreme command of the military from the
office of supreme civil magistrate--either by reserving this command
in his own hands, to be exercised and executed independent of the
civil power; or by granting a distinct commission to any military
commander in chief, so to be exercised and executed; but more
especially not within such jurisdictions where such supreme military
power (so far as the constitution knows and will justify the same)
is _already_ annexed and granted to the office of supreme civil
magistrate.--And hence it is, that the king cannot erect or establish
any law martial or military command, by any commission which may
supersede and not be subject to the supreme civil magistrate,
within the respective precincts of the civil jurisdictions of said
colonies and plantations, otherwise than in such manner as the said
law martial and military commissions are annexed or subject to the
supreme civil jurisdiction within his majesty's realms and dominions
of Great Britain and Ireland; and hence it is, that the establishment
and exercise of such commands and commissions would be illegal[114].

Rem. _The king has the command of all military force in his
dominions: but in every distinct state of his dominions there should
be the consent of the parliament or assembly (the representative
body) to the_ raising and keeping up _such military force. He cannot
even raise troops and quarter them in another, without the consent
of that other. He cannot_ of right _bring troops raised in Ireland
and quarter them in Britain, but with the consent of the parliament
of Britain: nor carry to Ireland and quarter there, soldiers raised
in Britain, without the consent of the Irish parliament, unless in
time of war and cases of extreme exigency.--In 1756, when the Speaker
went up to present the money-bills, he said among other things,
that "England was capable of fighting her own battles and defending
herself; and although ever attached to your majesty's person, ever at
ease under your just government, they cannot forbear taking notice
of some circumstances in the present situation of affairs, which
nothing but the confidence in your justice could hinder from alarming
their most serious apprehensions. Subsidies to foreign princes, when
already burthened with a debt scarce to be borne, cannot but be
severely felt._ An army of foreign troops, a thing unprecedented,
unheard of, unknown, brought into England, _cannot but alarm, &c.
&c._" (_See the Speech._)

_N. B. These_ foreign troops _were part of the king's subjects,
Hanoverians, and all in _his_ service, which the same thing as_**** B.


[104] This State of the Constitution of the Colonies was printed
at the close of 1769, and communicated to various persons, with a
view to prevent mischief, from the misunderstandings between the
government of Great Britain and the people of America. I have taken
the liberty of ascribing it to governor Pownall, as his name could
have been no secret at the time. Dr. Franklin's remarks (which from
their early date are the more curious) are in manuscript, and from an
observation in reply signed T. P. appear to have been communicated to
governor Pownall. B. V.

[105] Pratt and York.

[106] General words in all charters.

[107] [i. e.] All statutes respecting the general relation between
the crown and the subject, not such as respect any particular or
peculiar establishment of the realm of England. As for instance: by
the 13th and 14th of Car. II. c. 2, the supreme military power is
declared to be in general, without limitation, in his majesty, and to
have always been of right annexed to the office of king of England,
throughout all his majesty's realms and dominions; yet the enacting
clause, which respects only the peculiar establishment of the militia
of England, extends to the realm of England only: so that the supreme
military power of the crown in all other his majesty's realms and
dominions stands, _as to this statute_, on the basis of its general
power, unlimited. However, the several legislatures of his majesty's
kingdom of Ireland, of his dominions of Virginia, and of the several
colonies and plantations in America, have, by laws to which the king
hath given his consent, operating within the precincts of their
several jurisdictions, limited the powers of it and regulated the
exercise thereof.

[108] Law in New England, confirmed by the crown, Oct. 22, 1700.

[109] 16th Car. I. c. 10.

[110] The case of the court erected by act of parliament 11 and
12th of William III. c. 7, (since the enacting of the habeas corpus
act) for the trial of piracies, felonies and robberies committed in
or upon the sea, or in any haven, river, creek or place _where the
admiral has jurisdiction_, does no way affect this position: nor doth
the 14 § of the said statute, directing that the commissioners, of
whom such court consists, may issue their warrant for apprehending
such pirates, &c. in order to their being tried in the colonies,
or _sent into England_, any way militate with the doctrine here
laid down: nor can it be applied as _the case of a jurisdiction
actually existing_, which supersedes the jurisdictions of the courts
in the colonies and plantations, and as what authorises the taking
the accused of such piracies &c. _from those jurisdictions_, and
the sending such _so taken_ to England for trial.--It cannot be
applied as a case similar and in point to the application of an act
of parliament (passed in the 35th of Henry VIII. concerning the
_trial of treasons_) lately recommended in order to the sending
persons accused of committing crimes in the plantations to England
for trial: because this act of the 11th and 12th of William, c.
7, respects _crimes_ committed in places, "_where the admiral has
jurisdiction_," and _cases_ to which the jurisdiction of those
provincial courts _do not extend_. In the _case of treasons committed
within the jurisdiction of the colonies and plantations_, there are
courts competent to try such crimes and to give judgment thereupon,
where the trials of such are regulated by laws to which the king
hath given his consent: from which there lies no appeal, and wherein
the king hath given power and instruction to his governor as to
execution or respite of judgment. The said act of Henry VIII, which
provides remedy for a case which supposes _the want_ of due legal
jurisdiction, cannot be any way, or by any rule, applied to a case
where there _is_ due legal and competent jurisdiction.

[111] [The] referring to an old act made for the trial of treasons
committed out of the realm, by such persons as had no legal resiancy
but within the realm, and who were of the realm, applying the purview
of that statute, which was made to bring subjects of the realm who
had committed treason out of the realm (where there was _no criminal
jurisdiction to which they could be amenable_) to trial within the
realm, under that criminal jurisdiction to which alone by their
legal resiancy and allegiance they were amenable; applying this to
the case of subjects whose _legal_ resiancy is _without_ the realm,
and who are by that resiancy and their allegiance amenable to a
jurisdiction authorized and empowered to try and give judgment upon
all capital offences whatsoever without appeal; thus applying this
statute so as to take up a proceeding, for which there is no legal
process either by common or statute law as now established, but in
defiance of which there is a legal process established by the habeas
corpus act;----would be, to disfranchise the subject in America of
those rights and liberties which by statute and common law he is now
entitled to.

[112] 13th and 14th Car. II. c. 2.

[113] If the king was to absent himself for a time from the realm,
and did as usual leave a regency in his place, (his locum tenens
as supreme civil magistrate) could he authorize and commission any
military commander in chief to command the militia forts and forces,
_independent of such regency_? Could he do this in Ireland? Could
he do this in the colonies and plantations, where the governor is
already, by commission or charter or both under the great seal,
military commander in chief, as part of (and inseparably annexed
to) the office of supreme civil magistrate, his majesty's locum
tenens within said jurisdictions? If he could, then, while openly,
by patent according to law, he appeared to establish a free British
constitution, he might by a fallacy establish a military power and

[114] Governor P. accompanied this paper to Dr. F. with a sort
of prophetic remark. After stating, that these theorems, and
their application to existing cases, were intended to remedy the
prejudice, indigestion, indecision and errors, then prevailing
either in opinions or conduct; he adds, "the very attention to the
investigation may lead to the discovery of _some truths respecting
the whole British empire_, then little thought of and scarce even
suspected, and which perhaps it would not be _prudent_ at this time
to mark and point out."--The minister however judged the _discussion_
of _dubious_ rights over growing states, a better policy than
possession, discretion and silence; he turned civilian, and lost an
empire. B. V.


  _Concerning the Dissentions between England and America._[115]

  _London, October 2, 1770._

I see with pleasure that we think pretty much alike on the subjects
of English America. We of the colonies have never insisted, that we
ought to be exempt from contributing to the common expences necessary
to support the prosperity of the empire. We only assert, that having
parliaments of our own, and not having representatives in that of
Great Britain, our parliaments are the only judges of what we can
and what we ought to contribute in this case; and that the English
parliament has no right to take our money without our consent. In
fact, the British empire is not a single state; it comprehends many;
and though the parliament of Great Britain has arrogated to itself
the power of taxing the colonies, it has no more right to do so,
than it has to tax Hanover. We have the same king, but not the same

The dispute between the two countries has already cost England many
millions sterling, which it has lost in its commerce, and America has
in this respect been a proportionable gainer. This commerce consisted
principally of superfluities; objects of luxury and fashion, which we
can well do without; and the resolution we have formed, of importing
no more till our grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our
infant manufactures to take root; and it will not be easy to make our
people abandon them in future, even should a connection more cordial
than ever succeed the present troubles. I have indeed no doubt,
that the parliament of England will finally abandon its present
pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoyment of our rights
and privileges.



[115] Re-translated from the French edition of Dr. Franklin's works.

  _A Prussian Edict, assuming Claims over Britain._

  _Dantzick, Sept. 5, 1773._[116]

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 public, may, if serious,
throw some light upon this matter:

"FREDERICK, by the grace of God, king of Prussia &c. &c. &c. to all
present and to come,[117] 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_ subjects in their taxes: for
these causes, and other good considerations 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,

"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, subjects to our renowned ducal ancestors, and drawn from
their dominions, under the conduct of Hengist, Horsa, Hella, Uffa,
Cerdicus, Ida, and others; and that the said colonies have flourished
under the protection of our august house, for ages past, have never
been emancipated 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 replenishing 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 Koningsberg, there to be
unladen, searched, and charged with the said duties.

"And whereas there hath been from time to time discovered 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 indulgence 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 advantage of their own wool, in the way of manufacture,
we command, that none shall be carried out of one country 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 manufactures 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 therefore
hereby strictly command and ordain, that no hats or felts whatsoever,
dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished, shall be loaden 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
hat-makers, being so restrained, both in the production and sale of
their commodity, may find no advantage 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 favored 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, housebreakers, 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 11 Will. III. c. 10.--5 Geo. II. c. 22.--23 Geo. II. c.
29.--4 Geo. I. c. 11. and from other equitable laws made by their
parliaments, or from instructions given by their princes, or from
resolutions 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 according 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'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!


[116] This _intelligence extraordinary_, I believe, first appeared in
the Public Advertiser. I have reprinted it from a copy which I found
in the Gentleman's Magazine. B. V.

[117] _A tous presens et à venir._ ORIGINAL.

  _Preface by the British Editor [Dr. Franklin] to "The Votes and
  Proceedings of the Freeholders, and other Inhabitants of the Town
  of Boston, in Town-Meeting assembled according to Law (published by
  Order of the Town), &c[118]._"

All accounts of the discontent, so general in our colonies, have
of late years been industriously smothered and concealed here, it
seeming to suit the views of the American minister[119] to have it
understood, that by his great abilities, all faction was subdued,
all opposition suppressed, and the whole country quieted. That the
true state of affairs there may be known, and the true causes of that
discontent well understood, the following piece (not the production
of a private writer, but the unanimous act of a large American city)
lately printed in New England, is republished here. This nation, and
the other nations of Europe, may thereby learn, with more certainty,
the grounds of a dissention, that possibly may, sooner or later, have
consequences interesting to them all.

The colonies had, from their first settlement, been governed with
more ease than perhaps can be equalled by any instance in history
of dominions so distant. Their affection and respect for this
country, while they were treated with kindness, produced an almost
implicit obedience to the instructions of the prince, and even to
acts of the British parliament, though the right of binding them by
a legislature, in which they were unrepresented, was never clearly
understood. That respect and affection produced a partiality in
favour of every thing that was English; whence their preference of
English modes and manufactures; their submission to restraints on
the importation of foreign goods, which they had but little desire
to use; and the monopoly we so long enjoyed of their commerce, to
the great enriching of our merchants and artificers. The mistaken
policy of the stamp act first disturbed this happy situation; but the
flame thereby raised was soon extinguished by its repeal, and the old
harmony restored, with all its concomitant advantage to our commerce.
The subsequent act of another administration, which, not content
with an established exclusion of foreign manufactures, began to make
our own merchandize dearer to the consumers there by heavy duties,
revived it again; and combinations were entered into throughout the
continent, to stop trading with Britain till those duties should be
repealed. All were accordingly repealed but one--_the duty on tea_.
This was reserved (professedly so) as a standing claim and exercise
of the right, assumed by parliament, of laying such duties[120].
The colonies, on this repeal, retracted their agreement, so far
as related to all other goods, except that on which the duty was
retained. This was trumpeted here by the minister for the colonies
as a triumph; there it was considered only as a decent and equitable
measure, showing a willingness to meet the mother-country in
every advance towards a reconciliation; and this disposition to
a good understanding was so prevalent, that possibly they might
soon have relaxed in the article of tea also. But the system of
commissioners of customs, officers without end, with fleets and
armies for collecting and enforcing those duties, being continued;
and these acting with much indiscretion and rashness (giving great
and unnecessary trouble and obstruction to business, commencing
unjust and vexatious suits, and harassing commerce in all its
branches, while that minister kept the people in a constant state of
irritation by instructions which appeared to have no other end than
the gratifying his private resentment[121]) occasioned a persevering
adherence to their resolutions in that particular; and the event
should be a lesson to ministers, not to risque, through pique, the
obstructing any one branch of trade; since the course and connection
of general business may be thereby disturbed to a degree, impossible
to be foreseen or imagined. For it appears, that the colonies,
finding their humble petitions to have this duty repealed were
rejected and treated with contempt, and that the produce of the duty
was applied to the rewarding, with undeserved salaries and pensions,
every one of their enemies; the duty itself became more odious, and
their resolution to starve it more vigorous and obstinate. The Dutch,
the Danes, and French, took this opportunity, thus offered them by
our imprudence, and began to smuggle their teas into the plantations.
At first this was something difficult; but at length, as all business
is improved by practice, it became easy. A coast fifteen hundred
miles in length could not in all parts be guarded, even by the whole
navy of England; especially where their restraining authority was
by all the inhabitants deemed unconstitutional, the smuggling of
course considered as patriotism. The needy wretches too, who, with
small salaries, were trusted to watch the ports day and night, in all
weathers, found it easier and more profitable, not only to wink, but
to sleep in their beds; the merchants' pay being more generous than
the king's. Other India goods also, which, by themselves, would not
have made a smuggling voyage sufficiently profitable, accompanied
tea to advantage; and it is feared the cheap French silks, formerly
rejected as not to the taste of the colonies, may have found their
way with the wares of India, and now established themselves in the
popular use and opinion.

It is supposed, that at least a million of Americans drink tea
twice a day, which, at the first cost here, can scarce be reckoned
at less than half-a-guinea a head per annum. This market, that,
in the five years which have run on since the act passed, would
have paid 2,500,000 guineas for tea alone into the coffers of the
company, we have wantonly lost to foreigners. Meanwhile it is said
the duties have so diminished, that the whole remittance of the
last year amounted to no more than the pitiful sum of 85_l._[122]
for the expence of some hundred thousands, in armed ships and
soldiers to support the officers. Hence the tea, and other India
goods, which might have been sold in America, remain rotting in the
company's warehouses[123]; while those of foreign ports are known
to be cleared by the American demand. Hence, in some degree, the
company's inability to pay their bills; the sinking of their stock,
by which millions of property have been annihilated; the lowering
of their dividend, whereby so many must be distressed; the loss to
government of the stipulated 400,000_l._ a year[124], which must
make a proportionable reduction in our savings towards the discharge
of our enormous debt: and hence in part the severe blow suffered by
credit in general[125], to the ruin of many families; the stagnation
of business in Spitalfields and at Manchester, through want of vent
for their goods; with other future evils, which, as they cannot, from
the numerous and secret connections in general commerce, easily be
foreseen, can hardly be avoided.


[118] "Boston printed: London reprinted, and sold by J. Wilkie, in
St. Paul's Church-yard. 1773."--I have given the reader _only the

It is said, that this little piece very much irritated the ministry.
It was their determination, that the Americans should receive teas
only from Great Britain. And accordingly the East-India company
sent out large cargoes under their protection. The colonists every
where refused, either entrance, or else permission of sale, except
at Boston, where, the force of government preventing more moderate
measures, certain persons in disguise threw it into the sea.

The preamble of the stamp act produced the tea act; the tea act
produced violence; violence, acts of parliament; acts of parliament,
a revolt.

----"A little neglect," says _poor Richard_, "may breed great
mischief: for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe
the horse was lost; for want of a horse the rider was lost; being
overtaken and slain by the _enemy_; all for want of a little care
about a horse-shoe nail." B. V.

[119] Lord Hilsborough.--This nobleman, already first lord of trade,
was introduced in 1768 into the _new-titled office_ of secretary of
state for the colonies. B. V.

[120] Mr. Burke tells us (in his speech in 1774) that this
preambulary tax had lost us at once the benefit of the west and of
the east; had thrown open folding-doors to contraband; and would be
the means of giving the profits of the colony-trade to every nation
but ourselves. He adds in the same place, "It is indeed a tax of
sophistry, a tax of pedantry, a tax of disputation, a tax of war
and rebellion, a tax for any thing but benefit to the imposers, or
satisfaction to the subject." B. V.

[121] Some of his circular letters had been criticised, and exposed
by one or two of the American assemblies.

[122] "Eighty-five pounds I am assured, my lords, is the whole
equivalent, we have received for all the hatred and mischief, and
all the infinite losses this kingdom has suffered during that year,
in her disputes with North America." See the bishop of St. Asaph's
intended speech. B. V.

[123] At this time they contained many millions of pounds of tea,
including the usual stock on hand. Mr. Burke, in his speech in 1774,
supposes, that America might have given a vent for ten millions
of pounds. This seems to have been the greater part of the whole
quantity. B. V.

[124] On account of a temporary compromise of certain disputes with
government. B. V.

[125] Seen in certain memorable mercantile failures in the year 1772.
B. V.

  _Account of Governor Hutchinson's Letters[126]._



  _Whitehall, Dec. 3, 1773._


The agent for the house of representatives of the province of
Massachusett's Bay [Dr. Franklin] having delivered to lord
Dartmouth, an address of that house to the king, signed by their
speaker; complaining of the conduct of the governor [Hutchinson] and
lieutenant governor [Andrew Oliver] of that province, in respect to
certain private letters written by them to their correspondent in
England, and praying that they may be removed from their posts in
that government; his lordship hath presented the said address to his
majesty, and his majesty having signified his pleasure, that the said
address should be laid before his majesty in his privy council, I am
directed by lord Dartmouth to transmit the same accordingly, together
with a copy of the agent's letter to his lordship, accompanying the
said address.

  I am, sir,

  Your most obedient humble servant,

  (Signed) J. POWNALL.



  _London, Aug. 21, 1773._


I have just received from the house of representatives of the
Massachusett's Bay, their address to the king, which I now inclose,
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.


  _Agent for the House of Representatives_.




We your majesty's loyal subjects, the representatives of your ancient
colony of Massachusett's 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

Nothing but the sense of duty we owe to our sovereign, and the
obligation we are under to consult the peace and safety of the
province, could induce 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 province.

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.

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 assemblies 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 contemplated 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 expence 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
particularly to complain of the conduct of his excellency Thomas
Hutchinson, Esq. governor, and the honourable Andrew Oliver, Esq.
lieutenant-governor 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 above-mentioned 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

  THOMAS CUSHING, _Speaker_.



  _Humbly sheweth unto your lordships_,

That having been informed, that an address, in the name of
the house of representatives of his majesty's colony of
Massachusett's Bay, has been presented to his majesty by Benjamin
Franklin, Esquire, praying the removal of his majesty's governor
and lieutenant-governor, which is appointed to be taken into
consideration on Thursday next; your petitioner, on the behalf of the
said governor and lieutenant governor, humbly prays, that he may be
heard by counsel in relation to the same, before your lordships shall
make any report on the said address.


  _Clement's Lane, Jan. 10, 1775._

  _The Examination of Dr. Franklin, at the Council Chamber, Jan. 17,
  1774[127]. Present, Lord President, the Secretaries of State, and
  many other Lords; Dr. Franklin and Mr. Bollan; Mr. Mauduit and Mr.

Dr. Franklin's Letter and the Address, Mr. Pownall's Letter, and
Mr. Mauduit's Petition, were read.

_Mr. Wedderburn._ The address mentions certain papers: I could wish
to be informed what are those papers?

_Dr. Franklin._ They are the letters of Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Oliver.

_Court._ Have you brought them?

_Dr. Franklin._ No, but here are attested copies.

_Court._ Do you mean to found a charge upon them? if you do, you must
produce the letters.

_Dr. Franklin._ These copies are attested by several gentlemen at
Boston, and a notary public.

_Mr. Wedderburn._ My lords, we shall not take advantage of any
imperfection in the proof. We admit that the letters are Mr.
Hutchinson's and Mr. Oliver's hand writing: reserving to ourselves
the right of inquiring how they were obtained.

_Dr. Franklin._ I did not expect that counsel would have been
employed on this occasion.

_Court._ Had you not notice sent you of Mr. Mauduit's having
petitioned to be heard by counsel on behalf of the governor and
lieutenant governor.

_Dr. Franklin._ I did receive such notice; but I thought this had
been a matter of _politics_, not of law, and have not brought my

_Court._ Where a charge is brought, the parties have a right to be
heard by counsel or not, as they choose.

_Mr. Mauduit._ My lords, I am not a native of that country, as these
gentlemen are. I know well Dr. Franklin's abilities, and wish to
put the defence of my friends more upon a parity with the attack;
he will not therefore wonder that I choose to appear before your
lordships with the assistance of counsel. My friends, in their
letters to me, have desired (if any proceedings, as they say, should
be had upon this address) that they may have a hearing in their own
justification, that their innocence may be fully cleared, and their
honour vindicated, and have made provision accordingly. I do not
think myself at liberty therefore to give up the assistance of my
counsel, in defending them against this unjust accusation.

_Court._ Dr. Franklin may have the assistance of counsel, or go on
without it, as he shall choose.

_Dr. Franklin._ I desire to have counsel.

_Court._ What time do you want?

_Dr. Franklin._ Three weeks.

_Ordered_ that the further proceedings be on Saturday 29th

_To the Printer of the Public Advertiser._[129]


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 Boston 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 apprehension was, it seems,
well founded, for the first agent who laid his hands on them thought
it his duty to transmit them to his constituents[130].

  _Craven Street, Dec. 25, 1773._


  _Agent for the House of Representatives
  of the Massachusett's Bay_.


[126] Governor Hutchinson, lieutenant-governor Andrew Oliver,
Charles Paxton, Esq. Nathaniel Rogers, Esq. and Mr. G. Roome,
having sent from Boston certain representations and informations
to Thomas Whately, Esq. member of parliament, private secretary to
Mr. George Grenville (the father of the stamp act) when in office,
and afterwards one of the lords of trade; these letters were, by a
particular channel, conveyed back to Boston. The assembly of the
province were so much exasperated, that they returned home attested
copies of the letters, accompanied with a petition and remonstrance,
for the removal of governor Hutchinson, and lieutenant-governor
Andrew Oliver, from their posts. The council of the province
likewise, on their part, entered into thirteen resolves, in tendency
and import similar to the petition of the assembly; five of which
resolves were unanimous, and only one of them had so many as three
dissentients. In consequence of the assembly's petition, the above
proceedings and examination took place.

Dr. Franklin having naturally a large share in these transactions,
made still larger by the impolitic and indecent persecution of his
character, I have exhibited the whole more at length, than I should
otherwise have thought proper. B. V.

[127] The editor has taken this examination from Mr. Mauduit's copy
of the Letters of Governor Hutchinson, &c. second edition, 1774,
p. 17. He has Mr. Mauduit's authority for supposing it faithfully
represented. B. V.

[128] The privy council accordingly met on the 29th of January,
1774, when Mr. Dunning and Mr. John Lee appeared as counsel for
the assembly, and Mr. Wedderburn as counsel for the governor and
lieutenant governor. Mr. Wedderburn was very long in his answer,
which chiefly related to the mode of obtaining and sending away Mr.
Whately's letters; and spoke of Dr. Franklin in terms of abuse, which
never escape from one gentleman towards another. In the event, the
committee of the privy council made a report, in which was expressed
the following opinion: "The lords of the committee do agree humbly
to report, as their opinion to your majesty, that the petition is
founded upon resolutions formed on false and erroneous allegations;
and is groundless, vexatious, and scandalous, and calculated only
for the seditious purposes of keeping up a spirit of clamour and
discontent in the said province. And the lords of the committee do
further humbly report to your majesty, that nothing has been laid
before them which does or can, in their opinion, in any manner, or
in any degree, impeach the honour, integrity, or conduct of the said
governor or lieutenant-governor; and their lordships are humbly of
opinion, that the said petition ought to be dismissed."

Feb. 7th, 1774. "His majesty, taking the said report into
consideration, was pleased, with the advice of his privy-council, to
approve thereof; and to order, that the said petition of the house of
representatives of the province of Massachusett's Bay be dismissed
the board--as groundless, vexatious, and scandalous; and calculated
only for the seditious purpose of keeping up a spirit of clamour and
discontent in the said province."--A former petition against governor
Bernard met with a dismission couched in similar terms. B. V.

[129] Some letters had passed in the public prints between Mr. Thomas
Whately's brother and Mr. John Temple, concerning the manner in which
the letters of Governor Hutchinson &c. had escaped from among the
papers of Mr. Thomas Whately, at this time deceased.

The one gentleman wished to avoid the charge of having given them,
the other of having taken them. At length the dispute became so
personal and pointed, that Mr. Temple thought it necessary to call
the brother into the field. The letter of provocation appeared in
the morning, and the parties met in the afternoon. Dr. Franklin, was
not then in town; it was after some interval that he received the
intelligence. What had passed he could not foresee; he endeavoured to
prevent what still might follow. B. V.

[130] It was in consequence of this letter that Mr. Wedderburn
ventured to make the most odious personal applications. Mr. Mauduit
has prudently omitted part of them in his account of the proceedings
before the privy-council. They are given here altogether however (as
well as they could be collected) to mark the politics of the times,
and the nature of the censures passed in England upon Dr. Franklin's

"The letters could not have come to Dr. Franklin," said Mr.
Wedderburn, "by fair means. The writers did not give them to him, nor
yet did the deceased correspondent, who, from our intimacy, would
otherwise have told me of it: nothing then will acquit Dr. Franklin
of the charge of obtaining them by fraudulent or corrupt means, for
the most malignant of purposes; unless he stole them, from the person
who stole them. This argument is irrefragable."----

"I hope, my lords, you will mark [and brand] the man, for the honour
of this country, of Europe, and of mankind. Private correspondence
has hitherto been held sacred in times of the greatest party
rage, not only in politics but religion."--"He has forfeited all
the respect of societies and of men. Into what companies will he
hereafter go with an unembarassed face, or the honest intrepidity of
virtue. Men will watch him with a jealous eye, they will hide their
papers from him, and lock up their escrutoires. He will henceforth
esteem it a libel to be called a _man of letters, homo_ trium[131]

"But he not only took away the letters from one brother, but kept
himself concealed till he nearly occasioned the murder of the other.
It is impossible to read his account, expressive of the coolest and
most deliberate malice, without horror." [_Here he read the letter
above, Dr. Franklin being all the time present._]--Amidst these
tragical events, of one person nearly murdered, of another answerable
for the issue, of a worthy governor hurt in his dearest interests,
the fate of America in suspense; here is a man, who, with the utmost
insensibility of remorse, stands up and avows himself the author of
all. I can compare it only to Zanga in Dr. Young's _Revenge_.[132]

    "Know then 'twas----I:
    I forged the letter, I disposed the picture;
    I hated, I despised, and I destroy.

"I ask, my lords, whether the revengeful temper, attributed by poetic
fiction only to the bloody African, is not surpassed by the coolness
and apathy of the wily American?"

These pleadings for a time worked great effect: the lords
assented, the town was convinced, Dr. Franklin was disgraced[133],
and Mr. Wedderburn seemed in the road for every kind of
advancement.--Unfortunately for Mr. Wedderburn, the events of the
war did not correspond with his systems. Unfortunately too for his
"irrefragable argument," Dr. Franklin afterwards took an oath in
chancery[134], that at the time that he transmitted the letters he
was ignorant of the party to whom they had been addressed, having
himself received them from a third person, and for the express
purpose of their being conveyed to America. Unfortunately also for
Mr. Wedderburn's "worthy governor," that governor himself, _before_
the arrival of Dr Franklin's packet in Boston, sent over one of
Dr. Franklin's own "private" letters to England, expressing some
little coyness indeed upon the occasion, but desiring secrecy, lest
he should be prevented procuring _more_ useful intelligence from
the same source[135]. Whether Mr. Wedderburn in his speech intended
to draw a particular case and portraiture, for the purpose only of
injuring Dr. Franklin, or meant that his language and epithets should
apply generally to all, whether friends or foes, whose practice
should be found similar to it, is a matter that must be left to be
adjusted between governor Hutchinson and Mr. Wedderburn.

But to return to Dr. Franklin. It was not singular perhaps, that,
as a man of honour, he should surrender his name to public scrutiny
in order to prevent mischief to others, and yet not betray his
coadjutor (even to the present moment) to relieve his own fame from
the severest obloquy; but perhaps it belonged to few besides Dr.
Franklin, to possess mildness and magnanimity enough to refrain from
intemperate expressions and measures against Mr. Wedderburn and his
supporters, after all that had passed. B. V.

[131] i. e. Fur (or _thief_).

[132] Act Vth.

[133] He was dismissed from his place in the post-office.

[134] A copy of the proceedings in chancery has been in my
possession, but being at present mislaid I speak only from memory

[135] See the Remembrancer for the year 1776, part 2d. p. 61 col.
1st, and 2d.

  _Rules for reducing a Great Empire to a small one, presented to a
  late Minister, when he entered upon his Administration._[136]

An ancient sage valued himself upon this, that though 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, without 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 gingerbread-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 growing 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 _forget 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 contrive to punish it: for such
principles, after a revolution is thoroughly established, are of no
more use; they are even odious and abominable.

IV. However peaceably your colonies have submitted to your
government, shown 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 every where the 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 interest
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 upright 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 who you recommend for
those offices.--If you can find prodigals, who have ruined their
fortunes, broken gamesters or stock-jobbers, these may do well as
governors, for they will probably be rapacious, and provoke the
people by their extortions. Wrangling proctors and pettyfogging
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. Attorneys
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 encouraged to farther acts of oppression and
injustice, and thence the people may become more disaffected, and at
length desperate.

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, _recal 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 parliament, that they
are taxed by a body in which they have no representative, and that
this is contrary to common right. They will petition for redress. Let
the parliament 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 government, 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 restraint 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 increased
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 entirely
to forget. 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 a shilling in the pound, you have a clear right to the
other nineteen. This will probably weaken every idea of security
in their property, 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 observed: 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 persons 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, and commons had, have, 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 whatsoever_." 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 indiscreet_,
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
above-mentioned arbitrary revenue-judges; all at the cost of the
party prosecuted, though 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 suspected 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, and 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 augmenting 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 own purpose, of making them weary of your

XIII. If the people of any province have been accustomed to _support
their own governors and judges_ to satisfaction, 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 misapplied 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 harassed
with _repeated dissolutions_. If the same men are continually
returned by new elections, adjourn their meetings to some country
village, where they cannot be accommodated, 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

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 show 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 pennyworth 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 their orchards, steal their pigs and 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 rebellion_,
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 unreasonable. 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 conquests, 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 defences, and
so their and your enemies may more easily invade them, to the great
disgrace of your government, and of course the furtherance of your

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 incursions, demolish those forts, and
order the troops into the heart of the country, that the savages may
be encouraged to attack the frontiers[138], 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[139].

XX. Lastly, invest the _general of your army in the provinces_ 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 thenceforth and for ever.


[136] These rules first appeared in a London newspaper about the
beginning of the year 1774, and have several times since been
introduced into our public prints.--The minister alluded to is
supposed to be the Earl of Hillsborough.

"The causes and motions of seditions (says Lord Bacon) are,
innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of laws and customs,
breaking of privileges, general oppression, advancement of unworthy
persons, strangers, dearths, disbanded soldiers, factions grown
desperate, and whatsoever in offending people joineth and knitteth
them in a common cause." B. V.

[137] One of the American writers affirms, "That there has not been
a single instance in which _they_ have complained, without being
rebuked, or in which they have been complained _against_, without
being punished."--A fundamental mistake in the minister occasioned
this. Every individual in New England (the peccant country) was held
a coward or a knave, and the disorders, which spread abroad there,
were treated as the result of the _too great lenity_ of Britain! By
the aid of this short and benevolent rule, judgment was ever wisely
predetermined, to the shutting out redress on the one hand, and
inforcing every rigour of punishment on the other. B. V.

[138] I am not versed in Indian affairs, but I find, that in April,
1773, the assembled chiefs of the western nations told one of our
Indian agents, "that they remembered their father, the king of Great
Britain's message, delivered to them last fall, of demolishing
Fort Pittsburg (on the Ohio) and removing the soldiers with their
sharp-edged weapons out of the country:--this gave them great
pleasure, as it was a strong proof of his paternal kindness towards
them." (See Considerations on the Agreement with Mr. T. Walpole for
Lands upon the Ohio, p. 9). This is general history: I attempt no
application of facts, personally invidious. B. V.

[139] As the reader may be inclined to divide his belief between
the wisdom of ministry and the candor and veracity of Dr. Franklin,
I shall inform him that two contrary objections may be made to the
truth of this representation. The first is, that the conduct of Great
Britain is made _too_ absurd for possibility, and the second, that
it is not made absurd _enough_ for fact. If we consider that this
piece does not include the measures subsequent to 1773, the latter
difficulty is easily set aside. The former I can only solve by the
many instances in history, where the infatuation of individuals has
brought the heaviest calamities upon nations. B. V.

  _State of America on Dr. Franklin's Arrival there._

  _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 20 miles in [6] hours.

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 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. At present am
extremely hurried.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Yours most affectionately,



[140] I run much risque in the publication of the three following
letters[141]; but I think they contain such valuable facts, and
show so well the nature of Dr. Franklin's temper, that I ought to
encounter some difficulty, rather than suffer them to be lost. B. V.

[141] The other two letters will be found in the order of their
dates, July 7, and Oct. 3, 1775. _Editor._

  _Proposed Vindication and Offer from Congress to Parliament, in

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
expence of Britain; that they were, at the expence 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
abolition 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 debts:--

[And] as, by frequent repetition, these groundless assertions and
malicious calumnies may, if not contradicted and refuted, obtain
farther 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 vindication.

With regard to the first, _that the colonies were_ settled _at
the expence of Britain_, it is a known fact, that none of the
twelve united colonies were settled, or even discovered, at the
expence of England. Henry the VIIth 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[143]. 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 private 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
government of England was at the smallest expence 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 expence had ever been
incurred, some of the members must have known and remembered it)
"That these colonies had been planted and established _without any
expence to the state_.[144]" _New-York_ is the only colony in the
founding of which England can pretend to have been at any expence,
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 peace, another at
that time, full as valuable, planted by private 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 been at some expence in planting two colonies, _Georgia_[145]
and _Nova Scotia_; but those are not in our confederacy; and the
expence she has been at in their name, has chiefly been in grants of
sums unnecessarily large, by way of salaries to officers sent from
England, and in jobs to friends, whereby dependants 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, sustained
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 expence to secure our
sea-ports 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 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 Louisbourg, and put
it into her hands. She made her peace with that strong fortress, 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 preceding 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 an union of the
colonies; an 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 obligation; and as we are daily growing stronger, and
our assistance to her becomes of more importance, we should with
pleasure embrace the first opportunity of showing our gratitude, 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 expence against all she thought fit to quarrel with. This she
has required 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 circumstances, when, at her instance,
we made nations our enemies, whom we might otherwise have retained
our friends; we submit it to the common sense of mankind, whether
her protection 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 utmost 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 acknowledgments thereof by king and parliament appear
on their records[146]. 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 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
Scotland 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 [100,000_l._] 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 present national_ debt, since it will in that time amount, at
legal British interest, to more than 230,000,000_l._[147]

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 ourselves 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 _bonâ 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.

The last charge, _that we are dishonest traders, and aim at
defrauding our creditors in Britain_, is sufficiently and
authentically refuted by the solemn declarations of the British
merchants 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 foundation; 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 king of Prussia while he ravaged that _mother
country_, and carried fire and sword into its capital, the fine city
of Dresden. An example we hope no provocation will induce us to


[142] The following paper was drawn up in a committee of congress,
June 25, 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 in it.--[It was first printed in the Public
Advertiser for July 18, 1777. B. V.]

[143] See the Commission in the Appendix to Pownall's Administration
of the Colonies. Edit. 1775.

[144] "Veneris, 10 March, 1642. Whereas the plantations in New
England have, by the blessing of the Almighty, had good and
prosperous success, _without 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 commodious to this kingdom
and nation: the commons, now assembled in parliament, &c. &c. &c."
See Governor Hutchinson's History. B. V.

[145] Georgia has since acceded, July, 1775.

[146] Supposed to allude to certain passages in the Journals of the
house of commons on the 4th of April, 1748, 28th January, 1756, 3d
February, 1756, 16th and 19th of May, 1757, 1st of June, 1758, 26th
and 30th of April, 1759, 26th and 31st of March, and 28th of April,
1760, 9th and 20th January, 1761, 22d and 26th January, 1762, and
14th and 17th March, 1763. B. V.

[147] See Dr. Price's Appeal on the National Debt. B. V.

  _Reprobation of Mr. Strahan's parliamentary Conduct._[148]

  _Philadelphia, July 5, 1775._


You are a member of that parliament, and have formed part of that
majority, which has condemned my native country to destruction.

You have begun to burn our towns, and to destroy their inhabitants!

Look at your hands!--they are stained with the blood of your
relations and your acquaintances.

You and I were long friends; you are at present my enemy, and I am



[148] This letter appeared, shortly after the period of its date,
in most of the public papers. We extract it from the Gentleman's
Magazine. _Editor._

  _Conciliation hopeless from the Conduct of Great Britain to

  _Philadelphia, July 7, 1775._


       *       *       *       *       *

The congress met at a time when all minds were so exasperated by the
perfidy of general Gage, and his attack on the country people, that
propositions of attempting an accomodation 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
opportunity 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 sea-port towns; secure, I suppose, 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
tradesman 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 submit 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, murder, famine, fire and pestilence.

You will have heard, before this reaches you, of the treacherous
conduct * * * 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 advantages 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 Americans will fight, and
that this is a harder nut to crack than they imagined.

We have not yet applied to any foreign power for assistance, nor
offered our commerce for their friendship. Perhaps we never may: yet
it is natural to think of it, if we are pressed.

We have now an army on the establishment which still holds yours

My time was never more fully employed. In the morning at six, I am
at the committee 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 fashionable 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
million 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.


[149] This and the two following letters were addressed to Dr.
Priestley, as appears by a letter from that gentleman to the editor
of the Monthly Magazine, which will be found in the appendix to the
present volume. _Editor._

  _Account of the first Campaign made by the British Forces in

  _Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775._


I am to set out to-morrow for the camp[151], and having but just
heard of this opportunity, can only write a line to say that I am
well and hearty.--Tell our dear good friend * * *, who sometimes has
his doubts and despondencies about our firmness, that America is
determined and unanimous; a very few tories and place-men excepted,
who will probably soon export themselves.--Britain, at the expence
of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankies this
campaign, which is 20,000_l._ 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 expence 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,



[150] This letter has been several times very incorrectly printed: it
is here given from a genuine copy. B. V.

[151] Dr. Franklin, col. Harrison, and Mr. Lynch, were at this time
appointed by congress (of which they were members) to confer on
certain subjects with gen. Washington. The American army was then
employed in blocking up gen. Howe in Boston; and I believe it was
during this visit, that gen. Washington communicated the following
memorable anecdote to Dr. Franklin; _viz._ "that there had been a
time, when this army had been so destitute of military stores, as
not to have powder enough in all its magazines, to furnish more than
_five_ rounds per man for their small arms." Great guns were out
of the question; they were fired now and then, only to show that
they had them. Yet this secret was kept with so much address and
good countenance from both armies, that gen. Washington was enabled
effectually to continue the blockade. B. V.

  _Probability of a Separation._

  _Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775._

I wish as ardently as you can do for peace, and should rejoice
exceedingly in co-operating 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 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 recal 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
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 proportionally diminish; and I see clearly
we are on the high road to mutual enmity, hatred, and detestation. A
separation will of course be inevitable. It is 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 you may do us a great deal of mischief, but
we 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 is still sitting, and will wait the result of their
_last_ petition.

  _Letter to Monsieur Dumas, urging him to sound the several Courts
  of Europe, by Means of their Ambassadors at the Hague, as to any
  Assistance they may be disposed to afford America in her Struggle
  for Independence[152]._

  _Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 1775._


I received your several favours, of May 18, 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 _les belles lettres_ cannot so easily subsist here, there
being little demand for their assistance among an industrious 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 frequently 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 Massachusett's 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
_Idée sur le government et la royauté_, 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 exposé de ce qui
s'est passé entre la cour Br. et les 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 congress are very acceptable. I send you herewith what of them
has been farther published here, together with a few newspapers,
containing accounts of some of the successes providence 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 oppose 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
aid of some foreign power. It gives us great pleasure to learn from
you, that _toute l'Europe nous souhaite le plus heureux succes pour
le maintien de nos libertés_. 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
connection with Britain, and declare ourselves an independent 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 continually increase, as our people increase most rapidly.
Confiding, 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 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 ambassador, 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 ministry being very small, and much
dispersed--that we have had on foot, the last campaign, an army of
near twenty-five thousand 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 the whole province 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 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, who have
had some success 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 considerable in
the next summer.

We have hitherto applied to no foreign power. We are using the
utmost industry in endeavouring to make salt-petre, and with daily
increasing success. Our artificers are also every where 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 conducting such a voyage, the
bearer, Mr. Storey, 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 probably fetch a very high price,
the general exportation from North America being stopped. This you
will see more particularly 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 campaign, one
acquainted with field service, sieges, &c. and the other with
fortifying of sea-ports. They will, if well recommended, be made
very welcome, and have honourable appointments, besides the expences
of their voyage hither, in which Mr. Storey can also advise them. As
what we now request of you, besides taking up your time, may put you
to some expense, we send you for the present, enclosed, a bill for
one hundred pounds sterling, to defray such expences, 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 receiving from
Arthur Lee, esquire, 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 dispatches. 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 opportunity, we
recommend sending by way of St. Eustatia, to the care of Messrs.
Robert and Cornelius Stevenson, merchants there, who will forward
your dispatches to me.

  With sincere and great esteem and respect,

  I am, sir,

  Your most obedient, humble servant,


  Mons. Dumas.


[152] This letter is taken from an American periodical publication
entitled The Port Folio, in which it appeared July 31, 1802. _Editor._

  _Letter from Lord Howe to Dr. Franklin[153]._

  _Eagle, June the 20th, 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. Retaining all the earnestness I ever expressed, to see
our differences accommodated; I shall conceive, if I meet with the
disposition in the colonies which 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 of 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 commission with which I have the satisfaction to
be charged, and of his being joined in it.

  _Off of Sandy Hook, 12th of July._

  Superscribed, HOWE.

  _To Benjamin Franklin, Esq.


[153] In the year 1776 an act of parliament passed, to prohibit
and restrain, on the one hand, the trade and intercourse of the
refractory colonies respectively during the revolt; and on the other
hand, to enable persons appointed by the crown to grant _pardons_
and declare any particular district at the _king's peace, &c._ Lord
Howe (who had been previously appointed commander of the fleet in
North America) was, on May 3, declared joint _commissioner_ with his
brother gen. Howe, for the latter purposes of the act. He sailed May
12; and while off the Massachusett's coast prepared a declaration
announcing this commission, and accompanied it with circular letters.
July 4, independence had been declared; but nevertheless congress
(invited by various attempts made to procure a conference) resolved
to send Messieurs Franklin, J. Adams, and E. Rutledge, to learn
the propositions of the commissioners, by whom authorized, and to
whom addressed. The commissioners having no power to treat with
congress in its public capacity, and congress not being impowered
by their representatives to rescind the act of independence, the
conference was broken off. It remains only to add, that, on Sept.
19, the commissioners declared themselves ready to confer with any
of the well-affected, on the means of restoring peace and permanent
union with every colony as part of the British empire; and promised
a _revision_ of the several royal _instructions_ supposed to lay
improper restraints on colony-legislation, and also the king's
_concurrence_ in a revision of the objectionable acts of parliament:
which seemed the ultimatum of the commission.--Parliament however,
by a subsequent act (which, among other things, formally renounced
taxation in North America and the West Indies) authorized five
commissioners to treat, settle, and agree, even with congress; but
subject to the farther confirmation of parliament. Lord Carlisle, and
Messieurs Johnson and Eden, with the commanders in chief of the land
and sea forces, were the commissioners appointed by the crown under
this act; and Dr. Adam Ferguson was made secretary to the commission.

Mr. Henry Strachey had been secretary to the _first_ commission,
attended with the following singular circumstance, as stated in the
house of lords. In this commission for restoring peace to America,
"(or _in other words_ to induce America at once to put a confidence
in the crown, and to believe that the parliament of England is a
sufficiently powerful and honest barrier for them to trust to) the
secretary (Mr. Strachey) had 500_l._ granted for life out of the _four
and a half_ per cent. duty, filched by the crown from the West-India
Islands, and in opposition to a solemn address of parliament desiring
that it might be applied to the original purposes for which it was
granted by the respective assemblies of the islands."--What these
original purposes of the grants were, I meant very briefly to have
stated: but have not been able to procure the proper documents in
time. B. V.

  _Dr. Franklin's Answer to Lord Howe._

  _Philadelphia, July 30, 1776._


I received safe the letters your lordship so kindly forwarded to me,
and beg you to accept _my_ thanks.

The official dispatches to which you refer me, contain nothing more
than what we had seen in the act of parliament, viz. "Offers of
pardon upon submission;" which I was sorry to find; as it must give
your lordship pain to be sent so far on so hopeless 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 uninformed and proud nation
has long been pleased to entertain of us; but it can have no other
effect than that of encreasing our resentments.----It is impossible
we should think of submission to a government, that has, with the
most wanton barbarity and cruelty, burned our defenceless towns in
the midst of winter; excited the savages to massacre our (peaceful)
farmers; and our slaves to murder their masters; and is even now[154]
bringing foreign mercenaries to deluge our settlements with blood.
These atrocious injuries have extinguished every 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 causes of lasting enmity; and this must impel you, were we
again under your government, 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 solicitude for
promoting the establishment of lasting peace and union with the
colonies." If by _peace_ is here meant, a peace to be entered into
by 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 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, she might recover a great share of our regard; and
the greatest share of our growing commerce, with all the advantages
of that additional strength, to be derived from a friendship with
us; yet I know too well her abounding pride and deficient wisdom, to
believe she will ever take such salutary measures. Her fondness for
conquest as a warlike nation; her lust of dominion as an ambitious
one; and her thirst for a gainful monopoly as a commercial one (none
of them legitimate causes of war) will join to hide from her eyes
every view of her true interest, and continually goad her on in these
ruinous distant expeditions, so destructive both of lives and of
treasure, that they must prove as pernicious to her in the end, as
the Croisades formerly were to most of the nations of 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 porcelaine vase----the British
empire; for I knew that being once broken, the separate parts could
not retain even their _share_ of the strength and value that existed
in the whole; and that a perfect _re-union_ of those parts could
scarce ever be hoped for. Your lordship may possibly remember the
tears of joy that wetted 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 these expectations
disappointed, and to be treated as the cause of the mischief I was
labouring to prevent. My consolation under that groundless and
malevolent treatment was, that I retained 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, make it painful to me to see you
engaged in conducting a war, the great ground of which (as described
in your letter) is "the necessity of preventing the American _trade_
from passing into foreign channels." To me it seems, that neither the
obtaining or retaining 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 commerce are the goodness
and cheapness of commodities; and that the profits of no trade can
ever be equal to the expence of compelling it, and holding it by
fleets and armies. I consider this war against us, therefore, as both
unjust and unwise; and I am persuaded, that cool and dispassionate
posterity will condemn to infamy those who advised it; and that even
success will not save from some degree of dishonour, those who have
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 that
to be impossible, on any terms given you to propose, you will then
relinquish so odious a command, and return 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[155].


[154] About this time the Hessians, &c. had just arrived from Europe,
at Staten Island and New York. B. V.

[155] It occurs to me to mention that Dr. Franklin was supposed to
have been the inventor of a little _emblematical design_ at the
commencement of our disputes, representing the state of Great Britain
and her colonies, should the former persist in restraining the
latter's trade, destroying their currency, and taxing their people by
laws made by a legislature in which they were not represented.--Great
Britain was supposed to have been placed upon the globe: but the
colonies, her limbs, being severed from her, she was seen lifting
her eyes and mangled stumps to heaven; her shield, which she was
unable to wield, lay useless by her side; her lance had pierced New
England; the laurel branch was fallen from the hand of Pensylvania;
the English oak had lost its head, and stood a bare trunk with a few
withered branches; briars and thorns were on the ground beneath it;
our ships had brooms at their topmast heads, denoting their being
upon sale; and Britannia herself was seen sliding off the world, no
longer able to hold its balance; her fragments overspread with the
label _date obolum Belisario_.--This in short, was the fable of the
belly and the members reversed. But I tell the story chiefly for the
sake of the _moral_, which has the air of having been suggested by
Dr. Franklin[156]; and is as follows.--"The political moral of this
picture is now easily discovered. History affords us many instances
of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited
to the temper and genius of its people. The ordaining of laws in
favour of _one_ 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 intitled 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 Edinburgh
or Dublin. These measures never fail to create great and violent
jealousies and animosities between the people favoured and the people
oppressed: from whence a total separation of affections, interests,
political obligations, and all manners of connections, necessarily
ensues; by which the whole state is weakened and perhaps ruined for

This language is part of the same system with the following fragment
of a sentence, which Dr. Franklin inserted in a political publication
of one of his friends. "The attempts to establish _arbitrary power_
over so great a part of the British empire, [are] to the imminent
hazard of our most valuable commerce, and of that national strength,
security, and felicity, which depend on _union_ and _liberty_;"--The
preservation of which, I am told, he used to say, had been the great
object and labour of his life; the whole being such a thing _as the
world before never saw_. B. V.

[156] This design was printed on a _card_, and Dr. Franklin at the
time I believe occasionally used to write his notes on such cards.
It was also printed on a _half sheet of paper_, with an explanation
by some other person, and the moral given above. The drawing was but
moderately executed.

  _Comparison of Great Britain and America as to Credit, in

In borrowing money a man's credit depends on some or all of the
following particulars.

First, His known conduct respecting former loans, and his punctuality
in discharging them.

Secondly, His industry.

Thirdly, His frugality.

Fourthly, The amount and the certainty of his income, and the freedom
of his estate from the incumbrances of prior debts.

Fifthly, His well founded prospects of greater future ability, by the
improvement of his estate in value, and by aids from others.

Sixthly, His known prudence in managing his general affairs, and the
advantage they will probably receive from the loan which he desires.

Seventhly, His known probity and honest character, manifested by
his voluntary discharge of debts, which he could not have been
legally compelled to pay. The circumstances which give credit to an
_individual_ ought to have, and will have, their weight upon the
lenders of money to _public bodies_ or nations. If then we consider
and compare Britain and America, in these several particulars, upon
the question, "To which is it safest to lend money?" We shall find,

1. Respecting _former loans_, that America, which borrowed ten
millions during the last war for the maintenance of her army of
25,000 men and other charges, had faithfully discharged and paid
that debt, and all her other debts, in 1772. Whereas Britain, during
those ten years of peace and profitable commerce, had made little or
no reduction of her debt; but on the contrary, from time to time,
diminished the hopes of her creditors, by a wanton diversion and
misapplication of the sinking fund destined for discharging it.

2. Respecting _industry_; every man [in America] is employed, the
greater part in cultivating their own lands, the rest in handicrafts,
navigation, and commerce. An idle man there is a rarity, idleness
and inutility are disgraceful. In England, the number of that
character is immense, fashion has spread it far and wide; hence
the embarrassments of private fortunes, and the daily bankruptcies
arising from an universal fondness for appearance and expensive
pleasures; and hence, in some degree, the mismanagement of public
business; for habits of business, and ability in it, are acquired
only by practice; and where universal dissipation, and the perpetual
pursuit of amusement are the mode, the youth, educated in it,
can rarely afterwards acquire that patient attention and close
application to affairs, which are so necessary to a statesman charged
with the care of national welfare. _Hence_ their frequent errors in
policy, and hence the weariness at public councils, and backwardness
in going to them, the constant unwillingness to engage in any measure
that requires thought and consideration, and the readiness for
postponing every new proposition; which postponing is therefore the
only part of business that they come to be expert in, an expertness
produced necessarily by so much daily practice. Whereas in America,
men bred to close employment in their private affairs, attend with
ease to those of the public, when engaged in them, and nothing fails
through negligence.

3. Respecting _frugality_; the manner of living in America is more
simple and less expensive than that in England: plain tables, plain
clothing, and plain furniture in houses prevail, with few carriages
of pleasure; there, an expensive appearance hurts credit, and
is avoided: in England, it is often assumed to gain credit, and
continued to ruin. Respecting _public_ affairs, the difference is
still greater. In England, the salaries of officers, and emoluments
of office are enormous. The king has a million sterling per annum,
and yet cannot maintain his family free of debt: secretaries of
state, lords of treasury, admiralty, &c. have vast appointments: an
auditor of the exchequer has sixpence in the pound, or a fortieth
part of all the public money expended by the nation; so that when a
war costs forty millions one million is paid to him: an inspector
of the mint, in the last new coinage, received as his fee 65,000_l._
sterling per annum; to all which rewards no service these gentlemen
can render the public is by any means equivalent. All this is paid
by the people, who are oppressed by taxes so occasioned, and thereby
rendered less able to contribute to the payment of necessary national
debts. In America, salaries, where indispensible, are extremely
low; but much of the public business is done gratis. The honour of
serving the public ably and faithfully is deemed sufficient. _Public
spirit_ really exists there, and has great effects. In England it
is universally deemed a non-entity, and whoever pretends to it is
laughed at as a fool, or suspected as a knave. The committees of
congress which form the board of war, the board of treasury, the
board of foreign affairs, the naval board, that for accounts, &c. all
attend the business of their respective functions, without any salary
or emolument whatever, though they spend in it much more of their
time than any lord of treasury or admiralty in England can spare from
his amusements. A British minister lately computed, that the whole
expence of the Americans, in their _civil_ government over three
millions of people amounted to but 70,000_l._ sterling, and drew from
thence a conclusion, that they ought to be taxed, until their expence
was equal in proportion to that which it costs Britain to govern
eight millions. He had no idea of a contrary conclusion, that if
three millions may be well governed for 70,000_l._ eight millions may
be as well governed for three times that sum, and that therefore the
expence of his own government should be diminished. In that corrupted
nation no man is ashamed of being concerned in lucrative _government
jobs_, in which the public money is egregiously misapplied and
squandered, the treasury pillaged, and more numerous and heavy taxes
accumulated, to the great oppression of the people. But the prospect
of a greater number of such jobs by a war is an inducement with
many, to cry out for war upon all occasions, and to oppose every
proposition of peace. Hence the constant increase of the national
debt, and the absolute improbability of its ever being discharged.

4. Respecting the _amount and certainty of income, and solidity of
security_; the _whole_ thirteen states of America are engaged for
the payment of every debt contracted by the congress, and the debt
to be contracted by the present war is the _only_ debt they will
have to pay; all, or nearly all, the former debts of particular
colonies being already discharged. Whereas England will have to pay
not only the enormous debt this war must occasion, but all their
vast preceding debt, or the interest of it,--and while America is
enriching itself by prizes made upon the British commerce, more than
it ever did by any commerce of its own, under the restraints of a
British monopoly; Britain is growing poorer by the loss of that
monopoly, and the diminution of its revenues, and of course less able
to discharge the present indiscreet increase of its expences.

5. Respecting prospects of greater future ability, Britain has none
such. Her islands are circumscribed by the ocean; and excepting a
few parks or forests, she has no new land to cultivate, and cannot
therefore extend her improvements. Her numbers too, instead of
increasing from increased subsistence, are continually diminishing
from growing luxury, and the increasing difficulties of maintaining
families, which of course discourage early marriages. Thus she
will have fewer people to assist in paying her debts, and that
diminished number will be poorer. America, on the contrary, has,
besides her lands already cultivated, a vast territory yet to be
cultivated; which, being cultivated, continually increases in value
with the increase of people; and the people, who double themselves
by a _natural propagation_ every twenty-five years, will double yet
faster, by the accession of _strangers_, as long as lands are to be
had for new families; so that every twenty years there will be a
double number of inhabitants obliged to discharge the public debts;
and those inhabitants, being more opulent, may pay their shares with
greater ease.

6. Respecting _prudence_ in general affairs, and the advantages to
be expected from the loan desired; the Americans are cultivators of
land; those engaged in fishery and commerce are few, compared with
the others. They have ever conducted their several governments with
wisdom, avoiding wars, and vain expensive projects, delighting only
in their peaceable occupations, which must, considering the extent of
their uncultivated territory, find them employment still for ages.
Whereas England, ever unquiet, ambitious, avaricious, imprudent,
and quarrelsome, is half of the time engaged in war, always at an
expence infinitely greater than the advantage to be obtained by it,
if successful. Thus they made war against Spain in 1739, for a claim
of about 95,000_l._ (scarce a groat for each individual of the nation)
and spent forty millions sterling in the war, and the lives of fifty
thousand men; and finally made peace without obtaining satisfaction
for the sum claimed. Indeed, there is scarce a nation in Europe,
against which she has not made war on some frivolous pretext or
other, and thereby imprudently accumulated a debt, that has brought
her on the verge of bankruptcy. But the most indiscreet of all her
wars, is the present against America, with whom she might, for ages,
have preserved her profitable connection only by a just and equitable
conduct. She is now acting like a mad shop-keeper, who, by beating
those that pass his doors, attempts to make them come in and be his
customers. America cannot submit to such treatment, without being
first ruined, and, being ruined, her custom will be worth nothing.
England, to effect this, is increasing her debt, and irretrievably
ruining herself. America, on the other hand, aims only to establish
her liberty, and that freedom of commerce which will be advantageous
to all Europe; and by abolishing that monopoly which she laboured
under, she will profit infinitely more than enough to repay any debt,
which she may contract to accomplish it.

7. Respecting _character in the honest payment of debts_; the
punctuality with which America has discharged her public debts was
shown under the first head. And the general good disposition of the
people to such punctuality has been manifested in their faithful
payment of _private_ debts to England, since the commencement of
this war. There were not wanting some politicians [in America] who
proposed _stopping that payment_, until peace should be restored,
alleging, that in the usual course of commerce, and of the credit
given, there was always a debt existing equal to the trade of
eighteen months: that the trade amounting to five millions sterling
per annum, the debt must be seven millions and an half; that this sum
paid to the British merchants would operate to prevent that distress,
intended to be brought upon Britain, by our stoppage of commerce
with her; for the merchants, receiving this money, and no orders
with it for farther supplies, would either lay it out in the public
funds, or in employing manufacturers to accumulate goods for a future
hungry market in America upon an expected accommodation, by which
means the funds would be kept up and the manufacturers prevented
from murmuring. But _against this it was alleged_, that injuries
from ministers should not be revenged on merchants; that the credit
was in consequence of private contracts, made in confidence of good
faith; that these ought to be held sacred and faithfully complied
with; for that, whatever public utility might be supposed to arise
from a breach of private faith, it was unjust, and would in the end
be found unwise--honesty being in truth the best policy. On this
principle the proposition was universally rejected; and though the
English prosecuted the war with unexampled barbarity, burning our
defenceless towns in the midst of winter, and arming savages against
us; the debt was punctually paid; and the merchants of London have
testified to the parliament, and will testify to all the world, that
from their experience in dealing with us they had, before the war, no
apprehension of our unfairness; and that since the war they have been
convinced, that their good opinion of us was well founded. England,
on the contrary, an old, corrupt, extravagant, and profligate nation,
sees herself deep in debt, which she is in no condition to pay; and
yet is madly, and dishonestly running deeper, without any possibility
of discharging her debt, but by a public bankruptcy.

It appears, therefore, from the general industry, frugality,
ability, prudence, and virtue of America, that she is a much safer
debtor than Britain;--to say nothing of the satisfaction generous
minds must have in reflecting, that by loans to America they are
opposing tyranny, and aiding the cause of liberty, which is the cause
of all mankind.


[157] This paper was written, translated, printed, and circulated,
while Dr. Franklin was at the court of Paris, for the purpose of
inducing foreigners to lend money to America in preference to Great













  _Remarks concerning the Savages of North-America[158]._

Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which
we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs.

Perhaps, if we could examine the manners of different nations with
impartiality, we should find no people so rude, as to be without any
rules of politeness; nor any so polite, as not to have some remains
of rudeness.

The Indian men, when young, are hunters and warriors; when old,
counsellors; for all their government is by the council or advice
of the sages; there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers
to compel obedience, or inflict punishment. Hence they generally
study oratory, the best speaker having the most influence. The
Indian women till the ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up
the children, and preserve and hand down to posterity the memory
of public transactions. These employments of men and women are
accounted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they
have abundance of leisure for improvement by conversation. Our
laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish
and base; and the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard
as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred at the treaty
of Lancaster, in Pensylvania, anno 1744, between the government
of Virginia and the six nations. After the principal business was
settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a
speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund, for
educating Indian youth; and that if the chiefs of the Six Nations
would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the
government would take care that they should be well provided for,
and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of
the Indian rules of politeness, not to answer a public proposition
the same day that it is made; they think it would be treating it
as a light matter, and that they show it respect by taking time
to consider it, as of a matter important. They therefore deferred
their answer till the day following; when their speaker began,
by expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Virginia
government, in making them that offer; "for we know," says he, "that
you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those colleges, and
that the maintenance of our young men, while with you, would be very
expensive to you. We are convinced therefore, that you mean to do us
good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are
wise, must know, that different nations have different conceptions
of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our ideas of
this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours. We have
had some experience of it: several of our young people were formerly
brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were
instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they
were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods,
unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a
cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly,
were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, or counsellors;
they were totally good for nothing. We are however not the less
obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting it: and to
show our grateful sense of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send
us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care of their education,
instruct them in all we know, and make _men_ of them."

Having frequent occasions to hold public councils, they have acquired
great order and decency in conducting them. The old men sit in the
foremost ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women and children
in the hindmost. The business of the women is to take exact notice of
what passes, imprint it in their memories, for they have no writing,
and communicate it to their children. They are the records of the
council, and they preserve tradition of the stipulations in treaties
a hundred years back; which, when we compare with our writings, we
always find exact. He that would speak, rises. The rest observe a
profound silence. When he has finished and sits down, they leave him
five or six minutes to recollect, that, if he has omitted any thing
he intended to say, or has any thing to add, he may rise again and
deliver it. To interrupt another, even in common conversation, is
reckoned highly indecent. How different this is from the conduct of
a polite British house of commons, where scarce a day passes without
some confusion, that makes the speaker hoarse in calling _to order_;
and how different from the mode of conversation in many polite
companies of Europe, where, if you do not deliver your sentence with
great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient
loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish it!

The politeness of these savages in conversation is indeed carried to
excess, since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth
of what is asserted in their presence. By this means they indeed
avoid disputes; but then it becomes difficult to know their minds,
or what impression you make upon them. The missionaries who have
attempted to convert them to christianity, all complain of this as
one of the great difficulties of their mission. The Indians hear with
patience the truths of the gospel explained to them, and give their
usual tokens of assent and approbation: you would think they were
convinced. No such matter. It is mere civility.

A Swedish minister, having assembled the chiefs of the Sasquehannah
Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting them with the principal
historical facts on which our religion is founded; such as the fall
of our first parents by eating an apple, the coming of Christ to
repair the mischief, his miracles and suffering, &c.--When he had
finished, an Indian orator stood up to thank him. "What you have told
us," says he, "is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples. It
is better to make them all into cyder. We are much obliged by your
kindness in coming so far, to tell us those things which you have
heard from your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those we
have heard from ours.

"In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of animals to
subsist on, and if their hunting was unsuccessful, they were
starving. Two of our young hunters having killed a deer, made a fire
in the woods to broil some parts of it. When they were about to
satisfy their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman descend
from the clouds, and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder
among the Blue Mountains. They said to each other, it is a spirit
that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison, and wishes to eat of
it: let us offer some to her. They presented her with the tongue:
she was pleased with the taste of it, and said, Your kindness shall
be rewarded. Come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall
find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and
your children to the latest generations. They did so, and to their
surprise, found plants they had never seen before; but which, from
that ancient time, have been constantly cultivated among us, to
our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground,
they found maize; where her left hand had touched it, they found
kidney-beans; and where her backside had sat on it, they found
tobacco." The good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said,
"What I delivered to you were sacred truths, but what you tell me is
mere fable, fiction, and falsehood." The Indian, offended, replied,
"My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your
education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common
civility. You saw that we, who understand and practice those rules,
believed all your stories, why do you refuse to believe ours?"

When any of them come into our towns, our people are apt to crowd
round them, gaze upon them, and incommode them where they desire to
be private; this they esteem great rudeness, and the effect of the
want of instruction in the rules of civility and good manners. "We
have," say they, "as much curiosity as you, and when you come into
our towns, we wish for opportunities of looking at you; but for this
purpose we hide ourselves behind bushes, where you are to pass, and
never intrude ourselves into your company."

Their manner of entering one another's villages has likewise its
rules. It is reckoned uncivil in travelling strangers, to enter a
village abruptly, without giving notice of their approach. Therefore,
as soon as they arrive within hearing, they stop and hollow,
remaining there till invited to enter. Two old men usually come
out to them, and lead them in. There is in every village a vacant
dwelling, called the strangers' house. Here they are placed, while
the old men go round from hut to hut, acquainting the inhabitants,
that strangers are arrived, who are probably hungry and weary;
and every one sends them what he can spare of victuals, and skins
to repose on. When the strangers are refreshed, pipes and tobacco
are brought; and then, but not before, conversation begins, with
enquiries who they are, whither bound, what news, &c. and it usually
ends with offers of service, if the strangers have occasion for
guides, or any necessaries for continuing their journey; and nothing
is exacted for the entertainment.

The same hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal virtue,
is practised by private persons; of which _Conrad Weiser_, our
interpreter, gave me the following instance. He had been naturalized
among the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohuck language. In going
through the Indian country, to carry a message from our governor to
the council at Onondaga, he called at the habitation of Canassetego,
an old acquaintance, who embraced him, spread furs for him to sit
on, and placed before him some boiled beans and venison, and mixed
some rum and water for his drink. When he was well refreshed, and
had lit his pipe, Canassetego began to converse with him: asked how
he had fared the many years since they had seen each other, whence
he then came, what occasioned the journey, &c. Conrad answered all
his questions; and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian,
to continue it, said, "Conrad, you have lived long among the white
people, and know something of their customs; I have been sometimes
at Albany, and have observed, that once in seven days they shut up
their shops, and assemble all in the great house; tell me what it
is for? What do they do there?" "They meet there," says Conrad, "to
hear and learn _good things_." "I do not doubt," says the Indian,
"that they tell you so; they have told me the same: but I doubt the
truth of what they say, and I will tell you my reasons. I went lately
to Albany to sell my skins and buy blankets, knives, powder, rum,
&c. You know I used generally to deal with Hans Hanson; but I was a
little inclined this time to try some other merchants. However, I
called first upon Hans, and asked him what he would give for beaver.
He said he could not give more than four shillings a pound: but,
says he, I cannot talk on business now; this is the day when we meet
together to learn _good things_, and I am going to the meeting. So
I thought to myself, since I cannot do any business to-day, I may
as well go to the meeting too, and I went with him. There stood up
a man in black, and began to talk to the people very angrily. I did
not understand what he said; but perceiving that he looked much at
me, and at Hanson, I imagined he was angry at seeing me there; so
I went out, sat down near the house, struck fire, and lit my pipe,
waiting till the meeting should break up. I thought too, that the
man had mentioned something of beaver, and I suspected it might be
the subject of their meeting. So when they came out I accosted my
merchant. Well, Hans, says I, I hope you have agreed to give more
than four shillings a pound? No, says he, I cannot give so much, I
cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence. I then spoke
to several other dealers, but they all sung the same song, three
and sixpence, three and sixpence. This made it clear to me that my
suspicion was right; and that whatever they pretended of meeting to
learn _good things_, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat
Indians in the price of beaver. Consider but a little, Conrad, and
you must be of my opinion. If they met so often to learn _good
things_, they would certainly have learned some before this time.
But they are still ignorant. You know our practice. If a white man,
in travelling through our country, enters one of our cabins, we all
treat him as I do you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is
cold, and give him meat and drink, that he may allay his thirst and
hunger; and we spread soft furs for him to rest and sleep on: we
demand nothing in return[159]. But if I go into a white man's house
at Albany, and ask for victuals and drink, they say, Where is your
money? and if I have none, they say, Get out you Indian dog. You see
they have not yet learned those little _good things_, that we need
no meetings to be instructed in, because our mothers taught them
to us when we were children; and therefore it is impossible their
meetings should be, as they say, for any such purpose, or have any
such effect; they are only to contrive _the cheating of Indians in
the price of beaver_."


[158] This paper and the two next in order were published in separate
pamphlets in this country, in the year 1784, and afterwards, in 1787,
formed part of a small collection of our author's papers, printed for
Dilly. It is from this collection we extract them. _Editor._

[159] It is remarkable, that in all ages and countries, hospitality
has been allowed as the virtue of those, whom the civilized were
pleased to call Barbarians. The Greeks celebrated the Scythians for
it, the Saracens possessed it eminently; and it is to this day the
reigning virtue of the wild Arabs. St. Paul too, in the relation
of his voyage and shipwreck, on the island of Melita, says, "The
barbarous people shewed us no little kindness; for they kindled a
fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and
because of the cold."

  _The internal State of America; being a true Description of the
  Interest and Policy of that vast Continent._

There is a tradition, that, in the planting of New-England, the
first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships; as is
generally the case when a civilized people attempt establishing
themselves in a wilderness country. Being piously disposed, they
sought relief from Heaven, by laying their wants and distresses
before the Lord, in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant
meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy
and discontented; and, like the children of Israel, there were many
disposed to return to that Egypt, which persecution had induced
them to abandon. At length, when it was proposed in the assembly to
proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose, and remarked,
that the inconveniences they suffered, and concerning which they had
so often wearied heaven with their complaints, were not so great
as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the
colony strengthened; that the earth began to reward their labour, and
to furnish liberally for their subsistence; that the seas and rivers
were found full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy; and,
above all, that they were there in the full enjoyment of liberty,
civil and religious: he therefore thought, that reflecting and
conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable, as tending
more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would
be more becoming the gratitude they owed to the Divine Being, if,
instead of a fast, they should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice
was taken; and from that day to this they have, in every year,
observed circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish
employment for a thanksgiving day; which is therefore constantly
ordered and religiously observed.

I see in the public newspapers of different states frequent
complaints of _hard times, deadness of trade, scarcity of money,
&c. &c._ It is not my intention to assert or maintain, that these
complaints are entirely without foundation. There can be no country
or nation existing, in which there will not be some people so
circumstanced, as to find it hard to gain a livelihood; people who
are not in the way of any profitable trade, and with whom money is
scarce, because they have nothing to give in exchange for it; and
it is always in the power of a small number to make a great clamour.
But let us take a cool view of the general state of our affairs, and
perhaps the prospect will appear less gloomy than has been imagined.

The great business of the continent is agriculture. For one artisan,
or merchant, I suppose, we have at least one hundred farmers, by
far the greatest part cultivators of their own fertile lands,
from whence many of them draw not only food necessary for their
subsistence, but the materials of their clothing, so as to need very
few foreign supplies; while they have a surplus of productions to
dispose of, whereby wealth is gradually accumulated. Such has been
the goodness of Divine Providence to these regions, and so favourable
the climate, that, since the three or four years of hardship in the
first settlement of our fathers here, a famine or scarcity has never
been heard of amongst us; on the contrary, though some years may have
been more, and others less plentiful, there has always been provision
enough for ourselves, and a quantity to spare for exportation. And
although the crops of last year were generally good, never was
the farmer better paid for the part he can spare commerce, as the
published price currents abundantly testify. The lands he possesses
are also continually rising in value with the increase of population;
and, on the whole, he is enabled to give such good wages to those who
work for him, that all who are acquainted with the old world must
agree, that in no part of it are the labouring poor so generally
well fed, well clothed, well lodged, and well paid, as in the United
States of America.

If we enter the cities, we find, that, since the revolution, the
owners of houses and lots of ground have had their interest vastly
augmented in value; rents have risen to an astonishing height, and
thence encouragement to increase building, which gives employment
to an abundance of workmen, as does also the increased luxury and
splendour of living of the inhabitants, thus made richer. These
workmen all demand and obtain much higher wages than any other part
of the world would afford them, and are paid in ready money. This
rank of people therefore do not, or ought not, to complain of hard
times; and they make a very considerable part of the city inhabitants.

At the distance I live from our American fisheries, I cannot speak
of them with any degree of certainty; but I have not heard, that the
labour of the valuable race of men employed in them is worse paid,
or that they meet with less success, than before the revolution. The
whale-men indeed have been deprived of one market for their oil;
but another, I hear, is opening for them, which it is hoped may be
equally advantageous; and the demand is constantly increasing for
their spermaceti candles, which therefore bear a much higher price
than formerly.

There remain the merchants and shopkeepers. Of these, though
they make but a small part of the whole nation, the number is
considerable, too great indeed for the business they are employed
in; for the consumption of goods in every country has its limits;
the faculties of the people, that is, their ability to buy and pay,
being equal only to a certain quantity of merchandize. If merchants
calculate amiss on this proportion, and import too much, they will
of course find the sale dull for the overplus, and some of them will
say, that trade languishes. They should, and doubtless will, grow
wiser by experience, and import less. If too many artificers in
town, and farmers from the country, flattering themselves with the
idea of leading easier lives, turn shopkeepers, the whole natural
quantity of that business divided among them all may afford too small
a share for each, and occasion complaints, that trading is dead;
these may also suppose, that it is owing to scarcity of money, while,
in fact, it is not so much from the fewness of buyers, as from the
excessive number of sellers, that the mischief arises; and, if every
shopkeeping farmer and mechanic would return to the use of his plough
and working tools, there would remain of widows, and other women,
shopkeepers sufficient for the business, which might then afford them
a comfortable maintenance.

Whoever has travelled through the various parts of Europe, and
observed how small is the proportion of people in affluence or easy
circumstances there, compared with those in poverty and misery;
the few rich and haughty landlords, the multitude of poor, abject,
rack-rented, tythe-paying tenants, and half-paid and half-starved
ragged labourers; and views here the happy mediocrity, that so
generally prevails throughout these states, where the cultivator
works for himself, and supports his family in decent plenty, will,
methinks, see abundant reason to bless Divine Providence for the
evident and great difference in our favour, and be convinced, that no
nation known to us enjoys a greater share of human felicity.

It is true, that in some of the states there are parties and
discords; but let us look back, and ask if we were ever without them?
Such will exist wherever there is liberty; and perhaps they help
to preserve it. By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of
truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different
factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good: the
differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. Things,
actions, measures, and objects of all kinds, present themselves to
the minds of men in such a variety of lights, that it is not possible
we should all think alike at the same time on every subject, when
hardly the same man retains at all times the same ideas of it.
Parties are therefore the common lot of humanity; and ours are by
no means more mischievous or less beneficial than those of other
countries, nations, and ages, enjoying in the same degree the great
blessing of political liberty.

Some indeed among us are not so much grieved for the present state
of our affairs, as apprehensive for the future. The growth of luxury
alarms them, and they think we are from that alone in the high road
to ruin. They observe, that no revenue is sufficient without economy,
and that the most plentiful income of a whole people from the natural
productions of their country may be dissipated in vain and needless
expences, and poverty be introduced in the place of affluence. This
may be possible. It however rarely happens: for there seems to be in
every nation a greater proportion of industry and frugality, which
tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigality, which occasion
poverty; so that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation.
Reflect what Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the time of
the Romans, inhabited by people little richer than our savages, and
consider the wealth they at present possess, in numerous well-built
cities, improved farms, rich moveables, magazines stocked with
valuable manufactures, to say nothing of plate jewels, and coined
money; and all this, notwithstanding their bad, wasteful, plundering
governments, and their mad destructive wars; and yet luxury and
extravagant living has never suffered much restraint in those
countries. Then consider the great proportion of industrious frugal
farmers inhabiting the interior parts of these American states,
and of whom the body of our nation consists, and judge whether it
is possible, that the luxury of our sea-ports can be sufficient to
ruin such a country.--If the importation of foreign luxuries could
ruin a people, we should probably have been ruined long ago; for the
British nation claimed a right, and practised it, of importing among
us not only the superfluities of their own production, but those of
every nation under heaven; we bought and consumed them, and yet we
flourished and grew rich. At present our independent governments may
do what we could not then do, discourage by heavy duties, or prevent
by heavy prohibitions, such importations, and thereby grow richer;
if, indeed, which may admit of dispute, the desire of adorning
ourselves with fine clothes, possessing fine furniture, with elegant
houses, &c. is not, by strongly inciting to labour and industry,
the occasion of producing a greater value, than is consumed in the
gratification of that desire.

The agriculture and fisheries of the United States are the great
sources of our increasing wealth. He that puts a seed into the earth
is recompensed, perhaps, by receiving forty out of it; and he who
draws a fish out of our water, draws up a piece of silver.

Let us (and there is no doubt but we shall) be attentive to these,
and then the power of rivals, with all their restraining and
prohibiting acts, cannot much hurt us. We are sons of the earth
and seas, and, like Antæus in the fable, if, in wrestling with a
Hercules, we now and then receive a fall, the touch of our parents
will communicate to us fresh strength and vigour to renew the contest.

  _Information to those who would remove to America._

Many persons in Europe having directly or by letters, expressed to
the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North-America, their
desire of transporting and establishing themselves in that country;
but who appear to him to have formed, through ignorance, mistaken
ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there; he thinks it
may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless
removals and voyages of improper persons, if he gives some clearer
and truer notions of that part of the world, than appear to have
hitherto prevailed.

He finds it is imagined by numbers, that the inhabitants of North
America are rich, capable of rewarding, and disposed to reward, all
sorts of ingenuity; that they are at the same time ignorant of all
the sciences, and consequently, that strangers, possessing talents in
the belles-lettres, fine arts, &c. must be highly esteemed, and so
well paid, as to become easily rich themselves; that there are also
abundance of profitable offices to be disposed of, which the natives
are not qualified to fill; and that, having few persons of family
among them, strangers of birth must be greatly respected, and of
course easily obtain the best of those offices, which will make all
their fortunes: that the governments too, to encourage emigrations
from Europe, not only pay the expence of personal transportation,
but give lands gratis to strangers, with negroes to work for them,
utensils of husbandry, and stocks of cattle. These are all wild
imaginations; and those who go to America with expectations founded
upon them will surely find themselves disappointed.

The truth is, that though there are in that country few people so
miserable as the poor of Europe, there are also very few that in
Europe would be called rich; it is rather a general happy mediocrity
that prevails. There are few great proprietors of the soil, and
few tenants; most people cultivate their own lands, or follow some
handicraft or merchandise; very few rich enough to live idly upon
their rents or incomes, or to pay the high prices given in Europe
for painting, statues, architecture, and the other works of art,
that are more curious than useful. Hence the natural geniuses, that
have arisen in America with such talents, have uniformly quitted
that country for Europe, where they can be more suitably rewarded.
It is true, that letters and mathematical knowledge are in esteem
there, but they are at the same time more common than is apprehended;
there being already existing nine colleges or universities, viz.
four in New England, and one in each of the provinces of New York,
New Jersey, Pensylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, all furnished with
learned professors; besides a number of smaller academies: these
educate many of their youth in the languages, and those sciences
that qualify men for the professions of divinity, law, or physic.
Strangers indeed are by no means excluded from exercising those
professions; and the quick increase of inhabitants every where gives
them a chance of employ, which they have in common with the natives.
Of civil offices, or employments, there are few; no superfluous ones,
as in Europe; and it is a rule established in some of the states,
that no office should be so profitable as to make it desirable.
The thirty-sixth article of the constitution of Pensylvania runs
expressly in these words: "As every freeman, to preserve his
independence (if he has not a sufficient estate) ought to have some
profession, calling, trade, or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist,
there can be no necessity for, nor use in, establishing offices of
profit; the usual effects of which are dependence and servility,
unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants; faction,
contention, corruption, and disorder among the people. Wherefore,
whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so
profitable, as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to
be lessened by the legislature."

These ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States, it
cannot be worth any man's while, who has a means of living at home,
to expatriate himself, in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil
office in America; and as to military offices, they are at an end
with the war, the armies being disbanded. Much less is it adviseable
for a person to go thither, who has no other quality to recommend
him but his birth. In Europe it has indeed its value; but it is a
commodity that cannot be carried to a worse market than to that of
America, where people do not enquire concerning a stranger, _What is
he?_ but _What can he do?_ If he has any useful art, he is welcome;
and if he exercises it, and behaves well, he will be respected by all
that know him; but a mere man of quality, who on that account wants
to live upon the public by some office or salary, will be despised
and disregarded. The husbandman is in honour there, and even the
mechanic, because their employments are useful. The people have a
saying, that God Almighty is himself a mechanic, the greatest in
the universe; and he is respected and admired more for the variety,
ingenuity, and utility of his handiworks, than for the antiquity of
his family. They are pleased with the observation of a negro, and
frequently mention it, that Boccarora (meaning the white man) make de
black man workee, make de horse workee, make de ox workee, make ebery
ting workee; only de hog. He de hog, no workee; he eat, he drink, he
walk about, he go to sleep when he please, he libb like a gentleman.
According to these opinions of the Americans, one of them would think
himself more obliged to a genealogist, who could prove for him that
his ancestors and relations for ten generations had been ploughmen,
smiths, carpenters, turners, weavers, tanners, or even shoemakers,
and consequently that they were useful members of society; than if he
could only prove that they were gentlemen, doing nothing of value,
but living idly on the labour of others, mere _fruges consumere
nati_[160], and otherwise _good for nothing_, till by their death
their estates, like the carcase of the negro's gentleman-hog, come to
be _cut up_.

With regard to encouragements for strangers from government, they are
really only what are derived from good laws and liberty. Strangers
are welcome, because there is room enough for them all, and therefore
the old inhabitants are not jealous of them; the laws protect them
sufficiently, so that they have no need of the patronage of great
men; and every one will enjoy securely the profits of his industry.
But if he does not bring a fortune with him, he must work and be
industrious to live. One or two years residence give him all the
rights of a citizen; but the government does not at present, whatever
it may have done in former times, hire people to become settlers, by
paying their passages, giving land, negroes, utensils, stock, or any
other kind of emolument whatsoever. In short, America is the land of
labour, and by no means what the English call Lubberland, and the
French Pays de Cocagne, where the streets are said to be paved with
half-peck loaves, the houses tiled with pancakes, and where the fowls
fly about ready roasted, crying, _Come eat me!_

Who then are the kind of persons to whom an emigration to America
may be advantageous? And what are the advantages they may reasonably

Land being cheap in that country, from the vast forests still void
of inhabitants, and not likely to be occupied in an age to come,
insomuch that the propriety of an hundred acres of fertile soil full
of wood may be obtained near the frontiers, in many places, for
eight or ten guineas, hearty young labouring men, who understand
the husbandry of corn and cattle, which is nearly the same in that
country as in Europe, may easily establish themselves there. A little
money saved of the good wages they receive there, while they work
for others, enables them to buy the land and begin their plantation,
in which they are assisted by the good-will of their neighbours,
and some credit. Multitudes of poor people from England, Ireland,
Scotland, and Germany, have by this means in a few years become
wealthy farmers, who, in their own countries, where all the lands are
fully occupied, and the wages of labour low, could never have emerged
from the mean condition wherein they were born.

From the salubrity of the air, the healthiness of the climate, the
plenty of good provisions, and the encouragement to early marriages,
by the certainty of subsistence in cultivating the earth, the
increase of inhabitants by natural generation is very rapid in
America, and becomes still more so by the accession of strangers;
hence there is a continual demand for more artisans of all the
necessary and useful kinds, to supply those cultivators of the
earth with houses, and with furniture and utensils of the grosser
sorts, which cannot so well be brought from Europe. Tolerably good
workmen in any of those mechanic arts are sure to find employ, and
to be well paid for their work, there being no restraints preventing
strangers from exercising any art they understand, nor any permission
necessary. If they are poor, they begin first as servants or
journeymen; and if they are sober, industrious, and frugal, they
soon become masters, establish themselves in business, marry, raise
families, and become respectable citizens.

Also, persons of moderate fortunes and capitals, who, having a
number of children to provide for, are desirous of bringing them
up to industry, and to secure estates for their posterity, have
opportunities of doing it in America, which Europe does not afford.
There they may be taught and practise profitable mechanic arts,
without incurring disgrace on that account, but on the contrary
acquiring respect by such abilities. There small capitals laid
out in lands, which daily become more valuable by the increase of
people, afford a solid prospect of ample fortunes thereafter for
those children. The writer of this has known several instances of
large tracts of land, bought, on what was then the frontier of
Pennsylvania, for ten pounds per hundred acres, which, when the
settlements had been extended far beyond them, sold readily, without
any improvement made upon them, for three pounds per acre. The acre
in America is the same with the English acre, or the acre of Normandy.

Those, who desire to understand the state of government in America,
would do well to read the constitutions of the several states,
and the articles of confederation that bind the whole together
for general purposes, under the direction of one assembly, called
the congress. These constitutions have been printed, by order of
congress, in America; two editions of them have also been printed in
London; and a good translation of them into French has lately been
published at Paris.

Several of the princes of Europe of late, from an opinion of
advantage to arise by producing all commodities and manufactures
within their own dominions, so as to diminish or render useless
their importations, have endeavoured to entice workmen from other
countries, by high salaries, privileges, &c. Many persons, pretending
to be skilled in various great manufactures, imagining, that America
must be in want of them, and that the congress would probably be
disposed to imitate the princes above mentioned, have proposed to
go over, on condition of having their passages paid, lands given,
salaries appointed, exclusive privileges for terms of years, &c.
Such persons, on reading the articles of confederation, will find,
that the congress have no power committed to them, or money put into
their hands, for such purposes; and that if any such encouragement
is given, it must be by the government of some separate state. This,
however, has rarely been done in America; and when it has been done,
it has rarely succeeded, so as to establish a manufacture, which the
country was not yet so ripe for as to encourage private persons to
set it up; labour being generally too dear there, and hands difficult
to be kept together, every one desiring to be a master, and the
cheapness of land inclining many to leave trades for agriculture.
Some indeed have met with success, and are carried on to advantage;
but they are generally such as require only a few hands, or wherein
great part of the work is performed by machines. Goods that are
bulky, and of so small value as not well to bear the expence of
freight, may often be made cheaper in the country than they can
be imported; and the manufacture of such goods will be profitable
wherever there is a sufficient demand. The farmers in America produce
indeed a good deal of wool and flax; and none is exported, it is
all worked up; but it is in the way of domestic manufacture, for
the use of the family. The buying up quantities of wool and flax,
with the design to employ spinners, weavers, &c. and form great
establishments, producing quantities of linen and woollen goods for
sale, has been several times attempted in different provinces; but
those projects have generally failed, goods of equal value being
imported cheaper. And when the governments have been solicited to
support such schemes by encouragements, in money, or by imposing
duties on importation of such goods, it has been generally refused,
on this principle, that if the country is ripe for the manufacture,
it may be carried on by private persons to advantage; and if not,
it is a folly to think of forcing nature. Great establishments of
manufacture require great numbers of poor to do the work for small
wages; those poor are to be found in Europe, but will not be found
in America, till the lands are all taken up and cultivated, and
the excess of people, who cannot get land, want employment. The
manufacture of silk, they say, is natural in France, as that of
cloth in England, because each country produces in plenty the first
material: but if England will have a manufacture of silk as well as
that of cloth, and France of cloth as well as that of silk, these
unnatural operations must be supported by mutual prohibitions, or
high duties on the importation of each other's goods; by which means
the workmen are enabled to tax the home consumer by greater prices,
while the higher wages they receive makes them neither happier nor
richer, since they only drink more and work less. Therefore the
governments in America do nothing to encourage such projects. The
people, by this means, are not imposed on either by the merchant or
mechanic: if the merchant demands too much profit on imported shoes,
they buy of the shoe-maker; and if he asks too high a price, they
take them of the merchant: thus the two professions are checks on
each other. The shoemaker, however, has, on the whole, a considerable
profit upon his labour in America, beyond what he had in Europe, as
he can add to his price a sum nearly equal to all the expences of
freight and commission, risque or insurance, &c. necessarily charged
by the merchant. And the case is the same with the workmen in every
other mechanic art. Hence it is, that artisans generally live
better and more easily in America than in Europe; and such as are
good economists make a comfortable provision for age, and for their
children. Such may, therefore, remove with advantage to America.

In the old long-settled countries of Europe, all arts, trades,
professions, farms, &c. are so full, that it is difficult for a poor
man who has children to place them where they may gain, or learn to
gain, a decent livelihood. The artisans, who fear creating future
rivals in business, refuse to take apprentices, but upon conditions
of money, maintenance, or the like, which the parents are unable to
comply with. Hence the youth are dragged up in ignorance of every
gainful art, and obliged to become soldiers, or servants, or thieves,
for a subsistence. In America, the rapid increase of inhabitants
takes away that fear of rivalship, and artisans willingly receive
apprentices from the hope of profit by their labour, during the
remainder of the time stipulated, after they shall be instructed.
Hence it is easy for poor families to get their children instructed;
for the artisans are so desirous of apprentices, that many of them
will even give money to the parents, to have boys from ten to fifteen
years of age bound apprentices to them, till the age of twenty-one;
and many poor parents have, by that means, on their arrival in the
country, raised money enough to buy land sufficient to establish
themselves, and to subsist the rest of their family by agriculture.
These contracts for apprentices are made before a magistrate, who
regulates the agreement according to reason and justice, and, having
in view the formation of a future useful citizen, obliges the master
to engage by a written indenture, not only that, during the time
of service stipulated, the apprentice shall be duly provided with
meat, drink, apparel, washing, and lodging, and at its expiration
with a complete new suit of clothes, but also, that he shall be
taught to read, write, and cast accounts; and that he shall be well
instructed in the art or profession of his master, or some other, by
which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his turn to
raise a family. A copy of this indenture is given to the apprentice
or his friends, and the magistrate keeps a record of it, to which
recourse may be had, in case of failure by the master in any point
of performance. This desire among the masters, to have more hands
employed in working for them, induces them to pay the passages of
young persons, of both sexes, who, on their arrival, agree to serve
them one, two, three, or four years; those who have already learned a
trade, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and
the consequent immediate value of their service; and those who have
none, agreeing for a longer term, in consideration of being taught
an art their poverty would not permit them to acquire in their own

The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America,
obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those
vices, that arise usually from idleness, are in a great measure
prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preservatives
of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth
are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration
to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under
its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and
practised. Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so
that persons may live to a great age in that country, without having
their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel.
And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of
the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects
treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been
pleased to favour the whole country.



                  ... born
    Merely to eat up the corn. WATTS.


  _Concerning new Settlements in America._

  _Passy, March 17, 1783._


I received the letter your lordship did me the honour of writing to
me the 18th past, and am much obliged by your kind congratulations on
the return of peace, which I hope will be lasting.

With regard to the terms on which lands may be acquired in America,
and the manner of beginning new settlements on them, I cannot give
better information than may be found in a book lately printed at
London, under some such title as--_Letters from a Pensylvanian
Farmer_, by Hector St. John. The only encouragement we hold out to
strangers are, _a good climate, fertile soil, wholesome air and
water, plenty of provisions and food, good pay for labour, kind
neighbours, good laws, and a hearty welcome_. The rest depends on a
man's own industry and virtue. Lands are cheap, but they must be
bought. All settlements are undertaken at private expence; the public
contributes nothing but defence and justice. I have long observed of
your people, that their sobriety, frugality, industry and honesty,
seldom fail of success in America, and of procuring them a good
establishment among us.

I do not recollect the circumstance you are pleased to mention, of
my having saved a citizen at St. Andrew's by giving a turn to his
disorder; and I am curious to know, what the disorder was, and what
the advice I gave, that proved so salutary[162]. With great regard
I have the honour to be, my lord, your lordship's most obedient and
most humble servant,



[161] From the Gentleman's Magazine, for July, 1794, to which it was
communicated by the nobleman to whom it is addressed. _Editor._

[162] It was a fever in which the Earl of Buchan, then lord Cadross,
lay sick at St. Andrew's; and the advice was, not to blister,
according to the old practice and the opinion of the learned Dr.
Simson, brother of the celebrated geometrician at Glasgow. B.

  _A Comparison of the Conduct of the Ancient Jews, and of the
  Antifederalists in the United States of America[163]._

A zealous advocate for the proposed federal constitution in a certain
public assembly said, that "the repugnance of a great part of mankind
to good government was such, that he believed, that if an angel from
heaven was to bring down a constitution, formed there for our use, it
would nevertheless meet with violent opposition." He was reproved for
the supposed extravagance of the sentiment, and he did not justify
it. Probably it might not have immediately occurred to him, that the
experiment had been tried, and that the event was recorded in the
most faithful of all histories, the Holy Bible; otherwise he might,
as it seems to me, have supported his opinion by that unexceptionable

The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up a single family,
by continued acts of his attentive providence, till it became a
great people: and having rescued them from bondage by many miracles,
performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that
chosen servant, in presence of the whole nation, a constitution and
code of laws for their observance, accompanied and sanctioned with
promises of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the
consequence of their obedience or disobedience.

This constitution, though the Deity himself was to be at its head
(and it is therefore called by political writers a theocracy) could
not be carried into execution but by the means of his ministers;
Aaron and his sons were therefore commissioned to be, with Moses, the
first established ministry of the new government.

One would have thought, that the appointment of men, who had
distinguished themselves in procuring the liberty of their nation,
and had hazarded their lives in openly opposing the will of a
powerful monarch, who would have retained that nation in slavery,
might have been an appointment acceptable to a grateful people; and
that a constitution, framed for them by the Deity himself, might on
that account have been secure of an universal welcome reception. Yet
there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, some discontented,
restless spirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the
proposed new government, and this from various motives.

Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their
nativity, and these, whenever they felt any inconvenience or
hardship, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change
of situation, exclaimed against their leaders as the authors of
their trouble: and were not only for returning into Egypt, but for
stoning their deliverers[164]. Those inclined to idolatry were
displeased that their golden calf was destroyed. Many of the chiefs
thought the new constitution might be injurious to their particular
interests, that the profitable places would be _engrossed by the
families and friends of Moses and Aaron_, and others, equally well
born, excluded.[165]--In Josephus, and the Talmud, we learn some
particulars, not so fully narrated in the scripture. We are there
told, that Corah was ambitious of the priesthood, and offended that
it was conferred on Aaron; and this, as he said, by the authority of
Moses only, _without the consent of the people_. He accused Moses of
having, by various artifices, fraudulently obtained the government,
and deprived the people of their liberties, and of conspiring with
Aaron to perpetuate the tyranny in their family. Thus, though
Corah's real motive was the supplanting of Aaron, he persuaded the
people, that he meant only the public good; and they, moved by his
insinuations, began to cry out, "Let us maintain the common liberty
of our _respective tribes_; we have freed ourselves from the slavery
imposed upon us by the Egyptians, and shall we suffer ourselves to
be made slaves by Moses? If we must have a master, it were better to
return to Pharaoh, who at least fed us with bread and onions, than
to serve this new tyrant, who, by his operations, has brought us
into danger of famine." Then they called in question the _reality
of his conference_ with God, and objected to the privacy of the
meetings, and the preventing any of the people from being present at
the colloquies, or even approaching the place, as grounds of great
suspicion. They accused Moses also of _peculation_, as embezzling
part of the golden spoons and the silver chargers, that the princes
had offered at the dedication of the altar[166], and the offerings
of gold by the common people[167], as well as most of the poll
tax[168]; and Aaron they accused of pocketing much of the gold of
which he pretended to have made a molten calf. Besides peculation,
they charged Moses with _ambition_; to gratify which passion, he had,
they said, deceived the people, by promising to bring them to a land
flowing with milk and honey; instead of doing which, he had brought
them _from_ such a land; and that he thought light of all this
mischief, provided he could make himself an _absolute prince_[169].
That, to support the new dignity with splendour in his family, the
partial poll tax, already levied and given to Aaron[170], was to be
followed by a general one[171], which would probably be augmented
from time to time, if he were suffered to go on promulgating new
laws, on pretence of new occasional revelations of the divine will,
till their whole fortunes were devoured by that aristocracy.

Moses denied the charge of peculation, and his accusers were
destitute of proofs to support it; though _facts_, if real, are in
their nature capable of proof. "I have not," said he (with holy
confidence in the presence of God), "I have not taken from this
people the value of an ass, nor done them any other injury." But
his enemies had made the charge, and with some success among the
populace; for no kind of accusation is so readily made, or easily
believed, by knaves, as the accusation of knavery.

In fine, no less than two hundred and fifty of the principal men
"famous in the congregation, men of renown[172]," heading and
exciting the mob, worked them up to such a pitch of phrenzy, that
they called out, stone 'em, stone 'em, and thereby secure our
liberties; and let us choose other captains, that may lead us back
into Egypt, in case we do not succeed in reducing the Canaanites.

On the whole, it appears, that the Israelites were a people jealous
of their newly acquired liberty, which jealousy was in itself
no fault; but that, when they suffered it to be worked upon by
artful men, pretending public good, with nothing really in view
but private interest, they were led to oppose the establishment of
the new constitution, whereby they brought upon themselves much
inconvenience and misfortune. It farther appears, from the same
inestimable history, that when, after many ages, the constitution
had become old and much abused, and an amendment of it was proposed,
the populace, as they had accused Moses of the ambition of making
himself a prince, and cried out, stone him, stone him; so, excited by
their high-priests and scribes, they exclaimed against the Messiah,
that he aimed at becoming king of the Jews, and cried, crucify him,
crucify him. From all which we may gather, that popular opposition
to a public measure is no proof of its impropriety, even though the
opposition be excited and headed by men of distinction.

To conclude, I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our general
convention was divinely inspired when it formed the new federal
constitution, merely because that constitution has been unreasonably
and vehemently opposed: yet, I must own, I have so much faith in the
general government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly
conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare
of millions now existing, and to exist in the posterity of a great
nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree
influenced, guided and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent and
beneficent ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live, and move, and
have their being.


[163] From the Repository, vol. II. p. 313. _Editor._

[164] Numbers, chap. xiv.

[165] Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 3. "And they gathered themselves
together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, ye
take too much upon you, seeing all the congregations are holy,
every one of them,--wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the

[166] Numbers, chap. vii.

[167] Exodus, chapter xxxv. ver. 22.

[168] Numbers, chap. iii. and Exodus, chap. xxx.

[169] Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 13. "Is it a small thing that thou
hast brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill
us in this wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince
over us?"

[170] Numbers, chap. iii.

[171] Exodus, chap. xxx.

[172] Numbers, chap. xvi.

  _Final Speech of Dr. Franklin in the late Federal Convention[173]._


I confess that I do not entirely approve of this constitution at
present: but, Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it; for having
lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by
better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even
on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be
otherwise. It is, therefore, that, the older I grow, the more apt I
am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment
of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects in religion, think
themselves in possession of all truth, and that whenever others
differ from them, it is so far error. Steel, a protestant, in a
dedication, tells the pope, that "the only difference between our two
churches, in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is,
the Romish church is infallible, and the church of England never in
the wrong." But, though many private persons think almost as highly
of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express
it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute
with her sister, said, I don't know how it happens, sister, but I
meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right. _Il n'y a
que moi qui a toujours raison._ In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to
this constitution, with all its faults, if they are such, because I
think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of
government but what may be a blessing, if well administered; and
I believe farther, that this is likely to be well administered for
a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms
have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted
as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other. I
doubt too, whether any other convention we can obtain, may be able
to make a better constitution. For when you assemble a number of
men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably
assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions,
their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish
views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected?
It therefore astonishes me, sir, to find this system approaching
so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our
enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear, that our councils
are confounded, like those of the builders of Babylon, and that our
states are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the
purpose of cutting each other's throats.

Thus I consent, sir, to this constitution, because I expect no
better, and because I am not sure, that this is not the best. The
opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good.
I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these
walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us,
in returning to our constituents, were to report the objections he
has had to it, and endeavour to gain partisans in support of them,
we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all
the salutary effects and great advantages resulting naturally in our
favour among foreign nations, as well as among ourselves, from our
real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength and efficiency of
any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people,
depends on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of that
government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its governors.

I hope therefore, that for our own sakes, as part of the people, and
for the sake of our posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously
in recommending this constitution, wherever our influence may extend,
and turn our future thoughts and endeavours to the means of having it
well administered.

On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish, that every member
of the convention, who may still have objections, would with me, on
this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make
manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.

[The motion was then made for adding the last formula, viz.

Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent, &c. which was agreed
to, and added accordingly.]


[173] From the American Museum, vol. II. p. 558. _Editor._











  _The Busy-Body._--No. I[174].

  TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1728,--9.


I design this to acquaint you, that I, who have long been one of your
courteous readers, have lately entertained some thought of setting up
for an author myself; not out of the least vanity, I assure you, or
desire of showing my parts, but purely for the good of my country.

I have often observed with concern, that your Mercury is not always
equally entertaining. The delay of ships expected in, and want of
fresh advices from Europe, make it frequently very dull; and I find
the freezing of our river has the same effect on news as trade.--With
more concern have I continually observed the growing vices and
follies of my country folk: and though reformation is properly the
concern of every man, that is, every one ought to mend one; yet it
is too true in this case, that what is every body's business is no
body's business, and the business is done accordingly. I therefore,
upon mature deliberation, think fit to take no body's business wholly
into my own hands; and, out of zeal for the public good, design
to erect myself into a kind of censor morum; purposing, with your
allowance, to make use of the Weekly Mercury as a vehicle, in which
my remonstrances shall be conveyed to the world.

I am sensible I have, in this particular, undertaken a very
unthankful office, and expect little besides my labour for my pains.
Nay, it is probable, I may displease a great number of your readers,
who will not very well like to pay ten shillings a year for being
told of their faults. But as most people delight in censure, when
they themselves are not the objects of it, if any are offended at my
publicly exposing their private vices, I promise they shall have the
satisfaction, in a very little time, of seeing their good friends and
neighbours in the same circumstances.

However, let the fair sex be assured, that I shall always treat them
and their affairs with the utmost decency and respect. I intend now
and then to dedicate a chapter wholly to their service; and if my
lectures any way contribute to the embellishment of their minds, and
brightening of their understandings, without offending their modesty,
I doubt not of having their favour and encouragement.

It is certain, that no country in the world produces naturally finer
spirits than ours, men of genius for every kind of science, and
capable of acquiring to perfection every qualification, that is in
esteem among mankind. But as few here have the advantage of good
books, for want of which, good conversation is still more scarce,
it would, doubtless, have been very acceptable to your readers,
if, instead of an old out-of-date article from Muscovy or Hungary,
you had entertained them with some well chosen extract from a good
author. This I shall sometimes do, when I happen to have nothing
of my own to say that I think of more consequence. Sometimes, I
purpose to deliver lectures of morality of philosophy, and (because
I am naturally inclined to be meddling with things that do not
concern me) perhaps I may sometimes talk politics. And if I can by
any means furnish out a weekly entertainment for the public, that
will give a rational diversion, and at the same time be instructive
to the readers, I shall think my leisure hours well employed: and
if you publish this, I hereby invite all ingenious gentlemen and
others (that approve of such an undertaking) to my assistance and

It is like, by this time, you have a curiosity to be acquainted with
my name and character. As I do not aim at public praise, I design
to remain concealed: and there are such numbers of our family and
relations at this time in the country, that, though I have signed my
name at full length, I am not under the least apprehension of being
distinguished and discovered by it. My character indeed, I would
favour you with, but that I am cautious of praising myself, lest I
should be told my trumpeter's dead: and I cannot find in my heart, at
present, to say any thing to my own disadvantage.

It is very common with authors in their first performances, to talk
to their readers thus, If this meets with a suitable reception,
or, if this should meet with due encouragement, I shall hereafter
publish, &c.--This only manifests the value they put on their
own writings, since they think to frighten the public into their
applause, by threatening, that unless you approve what they have
already wrote, they intend never to write again; when perhaps it
may not be a pin matter, whether they ever do or no. As I have not
observ'd the critics to be more favourable on this account, I shall
always avoid saying any thing of the kind; and conclude with telling
you, that if you send me a bottle of ink and a quire of paper by the
bearer, you may depend on hearing further from,


  Your most humble servant,


_The Busy-Body._--No. II.


    All fools have still an itching to deride,
    And fain would be upon the laughing side.--POPE.

Monsieur Rochefocault tells us somewhere in his Memoirs, that the
Prince of Condé delighted much in ridicule, and used frequently
to shut himself up for half a day together, in his chamber, with
a gentleman, that was his favourite, purposely to divert himself
with examining what was the foible, or ridiculous side, of every
noted person in the court. That gentleman said afterwards in some
company, that he thought nothing was more ridiculous in any body,
than this same humour in the prince; and I am somewhat inclined to
be of this opinion. The general tendency there is among us to this
embellishment (which I fear has too often grossly imposed upon my
loving countrymen instead of wit) and the applause it meets with
from a rising generation, fill me with fearful apprehensions for the
future reputation of my country: a young man of modesty (which is the
most certain indication of large capacities) is hereby discouraged
from attempting to make any figure in life: his apprehensions of
being outlaughed, will force him to continue in a restless obscurity,
without having an opportunity of knowing his own merit himself, or
discovering it to the world, rather than venture to expose himself in
a place, where a pun or a sneer shall pass for wit, noise for reason,
and the strength of the argument be judged by that of the lungs.
Among these witty gentlemen let us take a view of Ridentius: what a
contemptible figure does he make with his train of paltry admirers?
This wight shall give himself an hour's diversion with the cock of
a man's hat, the heels of his shoes, an unguarded expression in his
discourse, or even some personal defect; and the height of his low
ambition is to put some one of the company to the blush, who perhaps
must pay an equal share of the reckoning with himself. If such a
fellow makes laughing the sole end and purpose of his life, if it is
necessary to his constitution, or if he has a great desire of growing
suddenly fat, let him eat; let him give public notice where any dull
stupid rogues may get a quart of four-penny for being laugh'd at; but
it is barbarously unhandsome, when friends meet for the benefit of
conversation, and a proper relaxation from business, that one should
be the butt of the company, and four men made merry at the cost of
the fifth.

How different from this character is that of the good-natured, gay
Eugenius? who never spoke yet but with a design to divert and please;
and who was never yet baulked in his intention. Eugenius takes more
delight in applying the wit of his friends, than in being admired
himself: and if any one of the company is so unfortunate as to be
touched a little too nearly, he will make use of some ingenious
artifice to turn the edge of ridicule another way, chusing rather to
make himself a public jest, than be at the pain of seeing his friend
in confusion.

Among the tribe of laughers I reckon the pretty gentlemen, that
write satyrs, and carry them about in their pockets, reading them
themselves in all company they happen into; taking an advantage of
the ill taste of the town, to make themselves famous for a pack of
paltry, low nonsense, for which they deserve to be kicked, rather
than admired, by all who have the least tincture of politeness. These
I take to be the most incorrigible of all my readers; nay, I expect
they will be squibbing at the Busy-Body himself. However, the only
favour he begs of them is this, that if they cannot controul their
overbearing itch of scribbling, let him be attacked in downright
biting lyricks; for there is no satyr he dreads half so much, as an
attempt towards a panegyrick.

_The Busy-Body._--No. III.


    Non vultus instantis Tyranni
    Mente quatit solida, nec auster,
    Dux inquieti turbidus Adriæ,
    Nec fulminantis magna Jovis manus.--HOR.

It is said, that the Persians, in their ancient constitution, had
public schools, in which virtue was taught as a liberal art or
science: and it is certainly of more consequence to a man, that he
has learnt to govern his passions; in spite of temptation, to be just
in his dealings, to be temperate in his pleasures, to support himself
with fortitude under his misfortunes, to behave with prudence in all
his affairs, and in every circumstance of life; I say, it is of much
more real advantage to him to be thus qualified, than to be a master
of all the arts and sciences in the world beside.

Virtue alone is sufficient to make a man great, glorious, and
happy.--He that is acquainted with Cato, as I am, cannot help
thinking as I do now, and will acknowledge he deserves the name,
without being honoured by it. Cato is a man whom fortune has placed
in the most obscure part of the country. His circumstances are
such, as only put him above necessity, without affording him many
superfluities: yet who is greater than Cato? I happened but the
other day to be at a house in town, where, among others, were met,
men of the most note in this place; Cato had business with some of
them, and knocked at the door. The most trifling actions of a man,
in my opinion, as well as the smallest features and lineaments of
the face, give a nice observer some notion of his mind. Methought
he rapped in such a peculiar manner, as seemed of itself to express
there was one who deserved as well as desired admission. He appeared
in the plainest country garb; his great coat was coarse, and looked
old and thread bare; his linen was homespun; his beard, perhaps, of
seven days growth; his shoes thick and heavy; and every part of his
dress corresponding. Why was this man received with such concurring
respect from every person in the room, even from those, who had never
known him or seen him before? It was not an exquisite form of person
or grandeur of dress, that struck us with admiration. I believe long
habits of virtue have a sensible effect on the countenance: there was
something in the air of his face, that manifested the true greatness
of his mind; which likewise appeared in all he said, and in every
part of his behaviour, obliging us to regard him with a kind of
veneration. His aspect is sweetened with humanity and benevolence,
and at the same time emboldened with resolution, equally free from
diffident bashfulness and an unbecoming assurance. The consciousness
of his own innate worth and unshaken integrity renders him calm
and undaunted in the presence of the most great and powerful, and
upon the most extraordinary occasions. His strict justice and known
impartiality make him the arbitrator and decider of all differences,
that arise for many miles around him, without putting his neighbours
to the charge, perplexity, and uncertainty of law-suits. He always
speaks the thing he means, which he is never afraid or ashamed to
do, because he knows he always means well; and therefore is never
obliged to blush, and feel the confusion of finding himself detected
in the meanness of a falshood. He never contrives ill against his
neighbour, and therefore is never seen with a lowring, suspicious
aspect. A mixture of innocence and wisdom makes him ever seriously
chearful. His generous hospitality to strangers, according to his
ability, his goodness, his charity, his courage in the cause of the
oppressed, his fidelity in friendship, his humility, his honesty and
sincerity, his moderation and his loyalty to the government, his
piety, his temperance, his love to mankind, his magnanimity, his
public spiritedness, and, in fine, his consummate virtue, make him
justly deserve to be esteemed the glory of his country.

    The brave do never shun the light,
    Just are their thoughts, and open are their tempers;
    Freely without disguise they love and hate;
    Still are they found in the fair face of day,
    And heaven and men are judges of their actions.--ROWE.

Who would not rather choose, if it were in his choice, to merit the
above character, than be the richest, the most learned, or the most
powerful man in the province without it?

Almost every man has a strong natural desire of being valued and
esteemed by the rest of his species; but I am concerned and grieved
to see how few fall into the right and only infallible method of
becoming so. That laudable ambition is too commonly misapply'd and
often ill employed. Some, to make themselves considerable, pursue
learning; others grasp at wealth; some aim at being thought witty;
and others are only careful to make the most of an handsome person:
but what is wit, or wealth, or form, or learning, when compared with
virtue? It is true, we love the handsome, we applaud the learned,
and we fear the rich and powerful; but we even worship and adore
the virtuous. Nor is it strange; since men of virtue are so rare,
so very rare to be found. If we were as industrious to become good,
as to make ourselves great, we should become really great by being
good, and the number of valuable men would be much increased; but it
is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness; and I
pronounce it as certain, that there was never yet a truly great man,
that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

O Cretico! thou sour philosopher! thou cunning statesman! thou
art crafty, but far from being wise. When wilt thou be esteemed,
regarded, and beloved like Cato? When wilt thou, among thy creatures,
meet with that unfeigned respect and warm good-will that all men
have for him? Wilt thou never understand, that the cringing, mean,
submissive deportment of thy dependants, is (like the worship paid
by Indians to the devil) rather through fear of the harm thou mayst
do them, than out of gratitude for the favours they have received of
thee? Thou art not wholly void of virtue; there are many good things
in thee, and many good actions reported of thee. Be advised by thy
friend: neglect those musty authors; let them be covered with dust,
and moulder on their proper shelves; and do thou apply thyself to a
study much more profitable, the knowledge of mankind and of thyself.

This is to give notice, that the Busy-Body strictly forbids all
persons, from this time forward, of what age, sex, rank, quality,
degree, or denomination soever, on any pretence, to inquire who is
the author of this paper, on pain of his displeasure (his own near
and dear relations only excepted).

It is to be observed, that if any bad characters happen to be drawn
in the course of these papers, they mean no particular person, if
they are not particularly applied.

Likewise, that the author is no party-man, but a general meddler.

N. B. Cretico lives in a neighbouring province.

_The Busy-Body._--No. IV.


  Nequid nimis.

In my first paper, I invited the learned and the ingenious to join
with me in this undertaking; and I now repeat that invitation. I
would have such gentlemen take this opportunity (by trying their
talent in writing) of diverting themselves and friends, and improving
the taste of the town. And because I would encourage all wit of our
own growth and produce, I hereby promise, that whoever shall send
me a little essay on some moral or other subject, that is fit for
public view in this manner, (and not basely borrowed from any other
author) I shall receive it with candour, and take care to place it to
the best advantage. It will be hard, if we cannot muster up in the
whole country a sufficient stock of sense to supply the Busy-Body at
least for a twelve-month. For my own part, I have already professed,
that I have the good of my country wholly at heart in this design,
without the least sinister view; my chief purpose being to inculcate
the noble principles of virtue, and depreciate vice of every kind.
But as I know the mob hate instruction, and the generality would
never read beyond the first line of my lectures, if they were
actually filled with nothing but wholesome precepts and advice, I
must therefore sometimes humour them in their own way. There are a
set of great names in the province, who are the common objects of
popular dislike. If I can now and then overcome my reluctance, and
prevail with myself to satirize a little, one of these gentlemen,
the expectation of meeting with such a gratification will induce
many to read me through, who would otherwise proceed immediately
to the foreign news. As I am very well assured the greatest men
among us have a sincere love for their country, notwithstanding its
ingratitude, and the insinuations of the envious and malicious to the
contrary, so I doubt not but they will cheerfully tolerate me in the
liberty I design to take for the end abovementioned.

As yet I have but few correspondents, though they begin now to
increase. The following letter, left for me at the printer's, is one
of the first I have received, which I regard the more for that it
comes from one of the fair sex, and because I have myself oftentimes
suffered under the grievance therein complained of.

_To the Busy-Body._


You having set yourself up for a censuror morum (as I think you call
it) which is said to mean a reformer of manners, I know no person
more proper to be applied to for redress in all the grievances we
suffer from want of manners in some people. You must know, I am a
single woman, and keep a shop in this town for a livelihood. There
is a certain neighbour of mine, who is really agreeable company
enough, and with whom I have had an intimacy of some time standing;
but of late she makes her visits so exceedingly often, and stays so
very long every visit, that I am tired out of all patience. I have
no manner of time at all to myself; and you, who seem to be a wise
man, must needs be sensible, that every person has little secrets
and privacies, that are not proper to be exposed even to the nearest
friend. Now I cannot do the least thing in the world, but she must
know about it; and it is a wonder I have found an opportunity to
write you this letter. My misfortune is, that I respect her very
well, and know not how to disoblige her so much as to tell her, I
should be glad to have less of her company; for if I should once
hint such a thing, I am afraid she would resent it so as never to
darken my door again.--But alas, Sir, I have not yet told you half
my affliction. She has two children that are just big enough to
run about and do pretty mischief: these are continually along with
mamma, either in my room or shop, if I have ever so many customers
or people with me about business. Sometimes they pull the goods off
my low shelves down to the ground, and perhaps where one of them has
just been making water. My friend takes up the stuff, and cries,
"Oh! thou little wicked mischievous rogue!" But however, it has done
no great damage; it is only wet a little, and so puts it up upon
the shelf again. Sometimes they get to my cask of nails behind the
counter, and divert themselves, to my great vexation, with mixing my
ten-penny and eight-penny and four-penny together. I endeavour to
conceal my uneasiness as much as possible, and with a grave look
go to sorting them out. She cries, "Don't thee trouble thyself,
neighbour. Let them play a little; I'll put all to rights before I
go." But things are never so put to rights but that I find a great
deal of work to do after they are gone. Thus, Sir, I have all the
trouble and pesterment of children, without the pleasure of calling
them my own; and they are now so used to being here that they will
be content no where else. If she would have been so kind as to have
moderated her visits to ten times a day, and staid but half an hour
at a time, I should have been contented, and I believe never have
given you this trouble. But this very morning they have so tormented
me that I could bear no longer; for while the mother was asking me
twenty impertinent questions, the youngest got to my nails, and with
great delight rattled them by handfuls all over the floor; and the
other at the same time made such a terrible din upon my counter with
a hammer, that I grew half distracted. I was just then about to make
myself a new suit of pinners, but in the fret and confusion I cut it
quite out of all manner of shape, and utterly spoiled a piece of the
first muslin. Pray, sir, tell me what I shall do. And talk a little
against such unreasonable visiting in your next paper: though I would
not have her affronted with me for a great deal, for sincerely I love
her and her children, as well, I think, as a neighbour can, and she
buys a great many things in a year at my shop. But I would beg her
to consider, that she uses me unmercifully, though I believe it is
only for want of thought. But I have twenty things more to tell you
besides all this: there is a handsome gentleman that has a mind (I
don't question) to make love to me; but he can't get the opportunity
to----O dear, here she comes again; I must conclude

  "Your's, &c.


Indeed, it is well enough, as it happens, that she is come to shorten
this complaint, which I think is full long enough already, and
probably would otherwise have been as long again. However, I must
confess, I cannot help pitying my correspondent's case, and in her
behalf, exhort the visitor to remember and consider the words of the
wise man, withdraw thy foot from the house of thy neighbour, lest
he grow weary of thee and so hate thee. It is, I believe, a nice
thing and very difficult, to regulate our visits in such a manner,
as never to give offence by coming too seldom, or too often, or
departing too abruptly, or staying too long. However, in my opinion,
it is safest for most people, in a general way, who are unwilling to
disoblige, to visit seldom, and tarry but a little while in a place;
notwithstanding pressing invitations, which are many times insincere.
And though more of your company should be really desired; yet in this
case, too much reservedness is a fault more easily excused than the

Men are subject to various inconveniencies merely through lack of
a small share of courage, which is a quality very necessary in
the common occurrences of life, as well as in a battle. How many
impertinencies do we daily suffer with great uneasiness, because we
have not courage enough to discover our dislike? And why may not
a man use the boldness and freedom of telling his friends, that
their long visits sometimes incommode him? On this occasion, it may
be entertaining to some of my readers, if I acquaint them with the
Turkish manner of entertaining visitors, which I have from an author
of unquestionable veracity; who assures us, that even the Turks are
not so ignorant of civility and the arts of endearment, but that
they can practise them with as much exactness as any other nation,
whenever they have a mind to show themselves obliging.

"When you visit a person of quality (says he) and have talked over
your business, or the compliments, or whatever concern brought
you thither, he makes a sign to have things served in for the
entertainment, which is generally a little sweetmeat, a dish of
sherbet, and another of coffee; all which are immediately brought in
by the servants, and tendered to all the guests in order, with the
greatest care and awfulness imaginable. At last comes the finishing
part of your entertainment, which is, perfuming the beards of the
company; a ceremony which is performed in this manner. They have for
the purpose a small silver chaffing dish, covered with a lid full of
holes, and fixed upon a handsome plate. In this they put some fresh
coals, and upon them a piece of lignum aloes, and shutting it up, the
smoke immediately ascends with a grateful odour through the holes of
the cover. This smoke is held under every one's chin, and offered as
it were a sacrifice to his beard. The bristly idol soon receives the
reverence done to it, and so greedily takes in and incorporates the
gummy steam, that it retains the savour of it, and may serve for a
nosegay a good while after.

"This ceremony may perhaps seem ridiculous at first hearing; but it
passes among the Turks for an high gratification. And I will say this
in its vindication, that its design is very wise and useful. For it
is understood to give a civil dismission to the visitants, intimating
to them, that the master of the house has business to do, or some
other avocation, that permits them to go away as soon as they please;
and the sooner after this ceremony the better. By this means you may,
at any time, without offence, deliver yourself from being detained
from your affairs by tedious and unseasonable visits; and from being
constrained to use that piece of hypocrisy, so common in the world,
of pressing those to stay longer with you, whom perhaps in your heart
you wish a great way off for having troubled you so long already."

Thus far my author. For my own part, I have taken such a fancy to
this Turkish custom, that for the future I shall put something like
it in practice. I have provided a bottle of right French brandy for
the men, and citron water for the ladies. After I have treated with
a dram, and presented a pinch of my best snuff, I expect all company
will retire, and leave me to pursue my studies for the good of the


I give notice, that I am now actually compiling, and design to
publish in a short time, the true history of the rise, growth, and
progress of the renowned Tiff Club. All persons who are acquainted
with any facts, circumstances, characters, transactions, &c. which
will be requisite to the perfecting and embellishment of the said
work, are desired to communicate the same to the author, and direct
their letters to be left with the printer hereof.

The letter signed Would-be-something is come to hand.

_The Busy-Body._--No. V.


    Vos, o patricius sanguis, quos vivere fas est,
    Occipiti cæco, posticæ occurrite sannæ. PERSIUS.

This paper being design'd for a terror to evil doers, as well as a
praise to them that do well, I am lifted up with secret joy to find,
that my undertaking is approved, and encourag'd by the just and good,
and that few are against me but those who have reason to fear me.

There are little follies in the behaviour of most men, which their
best friends are too tender to acquaint them with; there are little
vices and small crimes which the law has no regard to or remedy for:
there are likewise great pieces of villany sometimes so craftily
accomplished, and so circumspectly guarded, that the law can take
no hold of the actors. All these things, and all things of this
nature, come within my province as Censor, and I am determined not to
be negligent of the trust I have reposed in myself, but resolve to
execute my office diligently and faithfully.

And that all the world may judge with how much humanity, as well as
justice, I shall behave in this office; and that even my enemies
may be convinced I take no delight to rake into the dunghill lives
of vicious men; and to the end that certain persons may be a little
eased of their fears, and relieved from the terrible palpitations
they have lately felt and suffered, and do still suffer; I hereby
graciously pass an act of general oblivion, for all offences, crimes,
and misdemeanors of what kind soever, committed from the beginning
of the year 1681, until the day of the date of my first paper, and
promise only to concern myself with such as have been since and shall
hereafter be committed. I shall take no notice who has (heretofore)
raised a fortune by fraud and oppression, nor who by deceit and
hypocrisy; what woman has been false to her good husband's bed, nor
what man has, by barbarous usage or neglect, broke the heart of a
faithful wife, and wasted his health and substance in debauchery;
what base wretch has betrayed his friend, and sold his honesty for
gold, nor what baser wretch first corrupted him, and then bought the
bargain: all this, and much more of the same kind, I shall forget,
and pass over in silence; but then it is to be observed, that I
expect and require a sudden and general amendment.

These threatenings of mine, I hope will have a good effect, and, if
regarded, may prevent abundance of folly and wickedness in others,
and, at the same time, save me abundance of trouble: and that people
may not flatter themselves with the hopes of concealing their loose
misdemeanors from my knowledge, and in that view persist in evil
doing, I must acquaint them, that I have lately entered into an
intimacy with the extraordinary person, who some time since wrote
me the following letter; and who, having a wonderful faculty, that
enables him to discover the most secret iniquity, is capable of
giving me great assistance in my designed work of reformation.


"I rejoice, sir, at the opportunity you have given me to be
serviceable to you, and, by your means, to this province. You must
know, that such have been the circumstances of my life, and such
were the marvellous concurrences of my birth, that I have not only
a faculty of discovering the actions of persons, that are absent
or asleep, but even of the devil himself, in many of his secret
workings, in the various shapes, habits, and names of men and women:
and having travelled and conversed much, and met but with a very few
of the same perceptions and qualifications, I can recommend myself
to you as the most useful man you can correspond with. My father's
father's father (for we had no grandfathers in our family) was
the same John Bunyan that writ that memorable book, The Pilgrim's
Progress, who had, in some degree, a natural faculty of second sight.
This faculty (how derived to him our family memoirs are not very
clear) was enjoyed by all his descendants, but not by equal talents.
It was very dim in several of my first cousins, and probably had
been nearly extinct in our particular branch, had not my father
been a traveller. He lived, in his youthful days, in New England.
There he married, and there was born my elder brother, who had so
much of this faculty, as to discover witches in some of their occult
performances. My parents transporting themselves to Great Britain,
my second brother's birth was in that kingdom. He shared but a small
portion of this virtue, being only able to discern transactions about
the time of, and for the most part after, their happening. My good
father, who delighted in the Pilgrim's Progress, and mountainous
places, took shipping, with his wife, for Scotland, and inhabited in
the Highlands, where myself was born; and whether the soil, climate,
or astral influences, of which are preserved divers prognosticks,
restored our ancestor's natural faculty of second sight, in a greater
lustre to me, than it had shined in through several generations, I
will not here discuss. But so it is, that I am possessed largely
of it, and design, if you encourage the proposal, to take this
opportunity of doing good with it, which I question not will be
accepted of in a grateful way by many of your honest readers, though
the discovery of my extraction bodes me no deference from your great
scholars and modern philosophers. This my father was long ago aware
of, and lest the name alone should hurt the fortunes of his children,
he, in his shiftings from one country to another, wisely changed it.

"Sir, I have only this further to say, how I may be useful to you,
and as a reason for my not making myself more known in the world:
by virtue of this great gift of nature, second-sightedness, I do
continually see numbers of men, women, and children, of all ranks,
and what they are doing, while I am sitting in my closet; which is
too great a burthen for the mind, and makes me also conceit, even
against reason, that all this host of people can see and observe me,
which strongly inclines me to solitude, and an obscure living; and,
on the other hand, it will be an ease to me to disburthen my thoughts
and observations in the way proposed to you, by sir, your friend and
humble servant."

I conceal this correspondent's name, in my care for his life
and safety, and cannot but approve his prudence, in chusing to
live obscurely. I remember the fate of my poor monkey: he had an
illnatured trick of grinning and chattering at every thing he saw
in peticoats: my ignorant country neighbours got a notion, that pug
snarled by instinct at every female who had lost her virginity. This
was no sooner generally believed, than he was condemned to death:
by whom I could never learn, but he was assassinated in the night,
barbarously stabbed and mangled in a thousand places, and left
hanging dead on one of my gate posts, where I found him the next

The Censor observing, that the itch of scribbling begins to spread
exceedingly, and being carefully tender of the reputation of his
country, in point of wit and good sense, has determined to take all
manner of writings in verse or prose, that pretend to either, under
his immediate cognizance; and accordingly, hereby prohibits the
publishing any such for the future, till they have first passed his
examination, and received his imprimatur: for which he demands as a
fee only sixpence per sheet.

N. B. He nevertheless permits to be published, all satirical remarks
on the Busy-Body, the above prohibition notwithstanding, and without
examination, or requiring the said fees; which indulgence the small
wits, in and about this city, are advised gratefully to accept and

The gentleman, who calls himself Sirronio, is directed, on receipt of
this, to burn his great book of Crudities.

P. S. In compassion to that young man, on account of the great pains
he has taken, in consideration of the character I have just received
of him, that he is really good natured, and on condition he shows it
to no foreigner, or stranger of sense, I have thought fit to reprieve
his said great book of Crudities from the flames, till further order.

  Noli me tangere

I had resolved, when I first commenced this design, on no account to
enter into a public dispute with any man; for I judged it would be
equally unpleasant to me and my readers, to see this paper filled
with contentious wrangling, answers, replies, &c. which is a way
of writing that is endless, and, at the same time, seldom contains
any thing that is either edifying or entertaining. Yet, when such a
considerable man as Mr. ---- finds himself concerned so warmly to
accuse and condemn me, as he has done in Keimer's last Instructor,
I cannot forbear endeavouring to say something in my own defence,
from one of the worst of characters that could be given me by a man
of worth. But as I have many things of more consequence to offer the
public, I declare, that I will never, after this time, take notice
of any accusations, not better supported with truth and reason; much
less may every little scribbler, that shall attack me, expect an
answer from the Busy-Body.

The sum of the charge delivered against me, either directly or
indirectly, in the said paper, is this: not to mention the first
weighty sentence concerning vanity and ill-nature, and the shrewd
intimation, that I am without charity, and therefore can have no
pretence to religion, I am represented as guilty of defamation and
scandal, the odiousness of which is apparent to every good man,
and the practice of it opposite to christianity, morality, and
common justice, and, in some cases, so far below all these, as to be
inhuman; as a blaster of reputations; as attempting, by a pretence,
to screen myself from the imputation of malice and prejudice; as
using a weapon, which the wiser and better part of mankind hold in
abhorrence; and as giving treatment which the wiser and better part
of mankind dislike on the same principles, and for the same reason,
as they do assassination, &c.; and all this is inferred and concluded
from a character I have wrote in my Number III.

In order to examine the justice and truth of this heavy charge, let
us recur to that character. And here we may be surprized to find
what a trifle has raised this mighty clamour and complaint, this
grievous accusation!--The worst thing said of the person, in what is
called my gross description (be he who he will to whom my accuser has
applied the character of Cretico) is, that he is a sour philosopher,
crafty, but not wise. Few humane characters can be drawn that will
not fit some body, in so large a country as this; but one would
think, supposing I meant Cretico a real person, I had sufficiently
manifested my impartiality, when I said, in that very paragraph,
that Cretico is not without virtue; that there are many good things
in him, and many good actions reported of him; which must be allowed
in all reason, very much to overbalance in his favour those worst
words, sour tempered, and cunning. Nay, my very enemy and accuser
must have been sensible of this, when he freely acknowledges, that he
has been seriously considering, and cannot yet determine, which he
would choose to be, the Cato or Cretico of that paper; since my Cato
is one of the best of characters. Thus much in my own vindication. As
to the only reasons there given, why I ought not to continue drawing
characters, viz. Why should any man's picture be published which he
never sat for; or his good name taken from him any more than his
money or possessions, at the arbitrary will of another, &c. I have
but this to answer: the money or possessions, I presume, are nothing
to the purpose; since no man can claim a right either to those or a
good name, if he has acted so as to forfeit them. And are not the
public the only judges what share of reputation they think proper
to allow any man? Supposing I was capable, and had an inclination,
to draw all the good and bad characters in America, why should a
good man be offended with me for drawing good characters? And if I
draw ill ones, can they fit any but those that deserve them? And
ought any but such to be concerned that they have their deserts? I
have as great an aversion and abhorrence for defamation and scandal
as any man, and would, with the utmost care, avoid being guilty of
such base things: besides I am very sensible and certain, that if I
should make use of this paper to defame any person, my reputation
would be sooner hurt by it than his; and the Busy-Body would quickly
become detestable; because, in such a case, as is justly observed,
the pleasure arising from a tale of wit and novelty soon dies away
in generous and honest minds, and is followed with a secret grief,
to see their neighbours calumniated. But if I myself was actually
the worst man in the province, and any one should draw my true
character, would it not be ridiculous in me to say, he had defamed
and scandalized me, unless he had added in a matter of truth? If any
thing is meant by asking, why any man's picture should be published
which he never sat for? it must be, that we should give no character
without the owner's consent. If I discern the wolf disguised in
harmless wool, and contriving the destruction of my neighbour's
sheep, must I have his permission, before I am allowed to discover
and prevent him? If I know a man to be a designing knave, must I
ask his consent, to bid my friends beware of him? If so, then, by
the same rule, supposing the Busy-Body had really merited all his
enemy had charged him with, his consent likewise ought to have been
obtained, before so terrible an accusation was published against him.

I shall conclude with observing, that in the last paragraph save one
of the piece now examined, much ill nature and some good sense are
co-inhabitants (as he expresses it). The ill nature appears, in his
endeavouring to discover satire, where I intended no such thing, but
quite the reverse: the good sense is this, that drawing too good a
character of any one is a refined manner of satire, that may be as
injurious to him as the contrary, by bringing on an examination that
undresses the person, and in the haste of doing it, he may happen
to be stript of what he really owns and deserves. As I am Censor, I
might punish the first, but I forgive it. Yet I will not leave the
latter unrewarded; but assure my adversary, that in consideration of
the merit of those four lines, I am resolved to forbear injuring him
on any account in that refined manner.

I thank my neighbour P---- W----l for his kind letter.

The lions complained of shall be muzzled.

_The Busy-Body._--No. VIII.


        Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
    Auri sacra fames?----VIRGIL.

One of the greatest pleasures an author can have, is, certainly, the
hearing his works applauded. The hiding from the world our names,
while we publish our thoughts, is so absolutely necessary to this
self-gratification, that I hope my well-wishers will congratulate
me on my escape from the many diligent, but fruitless enquiries,
that have of late been made after me. Every man will own, that an
author, as such, ought to be hid by the merit of his productions
only; but pride, party, and prejudice, at this time, run so very
high, that experience shows we form our notions of a piece by the
character of the author. Nay, there are some very humble politicians
in and about this city, who will ask, on which side the writer is,
before they presume to give their opinion of the thing wrote. This
ungenerous way of proceeding I was well aware of before I published
my first speculation; and therefore concealed my name. And I appeal
to the more generous part of the world, if I have, since I appeared
in the character of the Busy-Body, given an instance of my siding
with any party more than another, in the unhappy divisions of my
country; and I have, above all, this satisfaction in myself, that
neither affection, aversion, or interest, have biassed me to use any
partiality towards any man, or set of men; but whatsoever I find
nonsensical, ridiculous, or immorally dishonest, I have, and shall
continue openly to attack, with the freedom of an honest man, and a
lover of my country.

I profess I can hardly contain myself, or preserve the gravity and
dignity that should attend the censorial office, when I hear the odd
and unaccountable expositions, that are put upon some of my works,
through the malicious ignorance of some, and the vain pride of more
than ordinary penetration in others; one instance of which many of
my readers are acquainted with. A certain gentleman has taken a
great deal of pains to write a key to the letter in my Number IV,
wherein he has ingeniously converted a gentle satyr upon tedious
and impertinent visitants, into a libel on some of the government.
This I mention only as a specimen of the taste of the gentleman; I
am, forsooth, bound to please in my speculations, not that I suppose
my impartiality will ever be called in question on that account.
Injustices of this nature I could complain of in many instances; but
I am at present diverted by the reception of a letter, which, though
it regards me only in my private capacity, as an adept, yet I venture
to publish it for the entertainment of my readers.

  "_To Censor Morum, Esq. Busy-Body General of the Province of
  Pennsylvania, and the Counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex upon


"I judge by your lucubrations, that you are not only a lover of truth
and equity, but a man of parts and learning, and a master of science;
as such I honour you. Know then, most profound sir, that I have,
from my youth up, been a very indefatigable student in, and admirer
of, that divine science, astrology. I have read over Scot, Albertus
Magnus, and Cornelius Agrippa, above three hundred times; and was
in hopes, by my knowledge and industry, to gain enough to have
recompensed me for my money expended, and time lost in the pursuit
of this learning. You cannot be ignorant, sir, (for your intimate
second-sighted correspondent knows all things) that there are large
sums of money hidden under ground in divers places about this town,
and in many parts of the country: but alas, sir, notwithstanding I
have used all the means laid down in the immortal authors before
mentioned, and when they failed the ingenious Mr. P--d--l, with his
mercurial wand and magnet, I have still failed in my purpose. This,
therefore, I send, to propose and desire an acquaintance with you,
and I do not doubt, notwithstanding my repeated ill fortune, but we
may be exceedingly serviceable to each other in our discoveries; and
that if we use our united endeavours, the time will come, when the
Busy-Body, his second-sighted correspondent, and your very humble
servant, will be three of the richest men in the province: and then,
sir, what may we not do? A word to the wise is sufficient.

  "I conclude with all demonstrable respect,

  "Yours and Urania's Votary,


In the evening after I had received this letter, I made a visit to
my second-sighted friend, and communicated to him the proposal.
When he had read it, he assured me, that to his certain knowledge,
there is not at this time so much as one ounce of silver or gold
hid under ground in any part of this province; for that the late
and present scarcity of money had obliged those, who were living,
and knew where they had formerly hid any, to take it up, and use it
in their own necessary affairs: and as to all the rest, which was
buried by pirates and others in old times, who were never like to
come for it, he himself had long since dug it all up, and applied it
to charitable uses; and this he desired me to publish for the general
good. For, as he acquainted me, there are among us great numbers of
honest artificers and labouring people, who, fed with a vain hope
of growing suddenly rich, neglect their business, almost to the
ruining of themselves and families, and voluntarily endure abundance
of fatigue in a fruitless search after imaginary hidden treasure.
They wander through the woods and bushes by day, to discover the
marks and signs; at midnight they repair to the hopeful spots with
spades and pickaxes; full of expectation, they labour violently,
trembling at the same time in every joint, through fear of certain
malicious demons, who are said to haunt and guard such places. At
length a mighty hole is dug, and perhaps several cartloads of earth
thrown out; but, alas, no cag or iron pot is found! no seaman's chest
crammed with Spanish pistoles, or weighty pieces of eight! Then they
conclude, that through some mistake in the procedure, some rash word
spoke, or some rule of art neglected, the guardian spirit had power
to sink it deeper into the earth, and convey it out of their reach.
Yet, when a man is once thus infatuated, he is so far from being
discouraged by ill success, that he is rather animated to double his
industry, and will try again and again in a hundred different places,
in hopes at last of meeting with some lucky hit, that shall at once
sufficiently reward him for all his expense of time and labour.

This odd humour of digging for money through a belief, that much
has been hid by pirates formerly frequenting the river, has for
several years been mighty prevalent among us; insomuch that you
can hardly walk half a mile out of the town on any side, without
observing several pits dug with that design, and perhaps some lately
opened. Men, otherwise of very good sense, have been drawn into this
practice, through an overweening desire of sudden wealth, and an easy
credulity of what they so earnestly wished might be true. While the
rational and almost certain methods of acquiring riches by industry
and frugality are neglected or forgotten. There seems to be some
peculiar charm in the conceit of finding money; and if the sands of
Schuylkil were so much mixed with small grains of gold, that a man
might in a day's time, with care and application, get together to the
value of half a crown, I make no question but we should find several
people employed there, that can with ease earn five shillings a day
at their proper trades.

Many are the idle stories told of the private success of some people,
by which others are encouraged to proceed; and the astrologers,
with whom the country swarms at this time, are either in the belief
of these things themselves, or find their advantage in persuading
others to believe them; for they are often consulted about the
critical times for digging, the methods of laying the spirit, and the
like whimsies, which renders them very necessary to, and very much
caressed by, the poor deluded money-hunters.

There is certainly something very bewitching in the pursuit after
mines of gold and silver and other valuable metals, and many have
been ruined by it. A sea-captain of my acquaintance used to blame
the English for envying Spain their mines of silver, and too much
despising or overlooking the advantages of their own industry
and manufactures. For my part, says he, I esteem the banks of
Newfoundland to be a more valuable possession than the mountains
of Potosi; and when I have been there on the fishing account, have
looked upon every cod pulled up into the vessel as a certain quantity
of silver ore, which required only carrying to the next Spanish port
to be coined into pieces of eight; not to mention the national profit
of fitting out and employing such a number of ships and seamen. Let
honest Peter Buckram, who has long, without success, been a searcher
after hidden money, reflect on this, and be reclaimed from that
unaccountable folly. Let him consider, that every stitch he takes
when he is on his shop board is picking up part of a grain of gold,
that will in a few days time amount to a pistole; and let Faber think
the same of every nail he drives, or every stroke with his plane.
Such thoughts may make them industrious, and of consequence in time
they may be wealthy. But how absurd is it to neglect a certain profit
for such a ridiculous whimsey: to spend whole days at the George, in
company with an idle pretender to astrology, contriving schemes to
discover what was never hidden, and forgetful how carelessly business
is managed at home in their absence: to leave their wives and a
warm bed at midnight (no matter if it rain, hail, snow, or blow a
hurricane, provided that be the critical hour) and fatigue themselves
with the violent exercise of digging for what they shall never find,
and perhaps getting a cold that may cost their lives, or at least
disordering themselves so as to be fit for no business beside for
some days after. Surely this is nothing less than the most egregious
folly and madness.

I shall conclude with the words of my discreet friend, Agricola, of
Chester County, when he gave his son a good plantation:--"My son,"
says he, "I give thee now a valuable parcel of land; I assure thee
I have found a considerable quantity of gold by digging there; thee
mayst do the same; but thee must carefully observe this, Never to dig
more than plow-deep."


[174] These are the "humorous pieces" mentioned by Dr. Franklin
in his Memoirs, page 86. We are indebted for them to an American
correspondent, who obtained a copy with great difficulty, some
depredating hand having torn from the file of the Mercury, in the
Philadelphia Library, several of the numbers containing the pieces in
question. _Editor._

  _The Way to Wealth, as clearly shown in the Preface of an old
  Pensylvania Almanack, intitled, Poor Richard Improved[175]._


I have heard, that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to
find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much
I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to
you. I stopped my horse lately, where a great number of people were
collected, at an auction of merchants goods. The hour of the sale not
being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and
one of the company called to a plain clean old man, with white locks,
'Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these
heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay
them? What would you advise us to?'--Father Abraham stood up, and
replied, 'If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short,
"for a word to the wise is enough," as Poor Richard says.' They
joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he
proceeded as follows:

'Friends, says he, the taxes are, indeed, very heavy, and, if
those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay,
we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and
much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our
idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much
by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or
deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good
advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help
themselves," as poor Richard says.

'I. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people
one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service: but
idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases,
absolutely shortens life. "Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than
labour wears, while the used key is always bright," as poor Richard
says. "But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for
that is the stuff life is made of," as poor Richard says. How much
more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting, that "the
sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping
enough in the grave," as poor Richard says.

'"If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must
be," as poor Richard says, "the greatest prodigality;" since, as
he elsewhere tells us, "lost time is never found again; and what
we call time enough always proves little enough:" let us then up
and be doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do
more with less perplexity. "Sloth makes all things difficult, but
industry all easy; and he that riseth late, must trot all day, and
shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels
so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let
not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man
healthy, wealthy, and wise," as poor Richard says.

'So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make
these times better, if we bestir ourselves. "Industry need not wish,
and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains
without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands," or, if I have,
they are smartly taxed. "He, that hath a trade, hath an estate; and
he, that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour," as
poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the
calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will
enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious, we shall never
starve; for, "at the working man's house, hunger looks in, but
dares not enter." Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for
"industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them." What though you
have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy,
"diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to
industry. Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have
corn to sell and to keep." Work while it is called to-day, for you
know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. "One to-day is worth
two to-morrows," as poor Richard says; and farther, "never leave that
till to-morrow, which you can do to-day." If you were a servant,
would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle?
Are you then your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when
there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country,
and your king. Handle your tools without mittens; remember, that
"the cat in gloves catches no mice," as poor Richard says. It is
true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but
stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects, for "constant
dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse
ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks."

'Methinks I hear some of you say, "must a man afford himself no
leisure?" I will tell thee, my friend, what poor Richard says;
"employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and since
thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour." Leisure is
time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will
obtain, but the lazy man never; for "a life of leisure and a life of
laziness are two things. Many, without labour, would live by their
wits only, but they break for want of stock;" whereas industry gives
comfort, and plenty, and respect. "Fly pleasures, and they will
follow you. The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a
sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow."

'II. But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and
careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust
too much to others; for, as poor Richard says,

    "I never saw an oft-removed tree,
    Nor yet an oft-removed family,
    That throve so well as those that settled be."

And again, "three removes is as bad as a fire;" and again, "keep thy
shop, and thy shop will keep thee;" and again, "if you would have
your business done, go, if not, send." And again,

    "He that by the plough would thrive,
    Himself must either hold or drive."

And again, "the eye of a master will do more work than both his
hands;" and again, "want of care does us more damage than want of
knowledge;" and again, "not to oversee workmen, is to leave them your
purse open." Trusting too much to other's care is the ruin of many;
for, "in the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but
by the want of it;" but a man's own care is profitable; for, "if you
would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the
shoe was lost, and for want of a shoe the horse was lost, and for
want of a horse the rider was lost," being overtaken and slain by the
enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.

'III. So much for industry, my friends, and attention to ones own
business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our
industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to
save as he gets, "keep his nose all his life to the grind-stone, and
die not worth a groat at last. A fat kitchen makes a lean will;" and

    "Many estates are spent in the getting,
    Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,
    And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting."

"If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting. The
Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than
her incomes."

'Away then, with your expensive follies, and you will not then have
so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable
families; for

    "Women and wine, game and deceit,
    Make the wealth small, and the want great."

And farther, "what maintains one vice, would bring up two children."
You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and
then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little
entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember,
"many a little makes a mickle." Beware of little expences; "a small
leak will sink a great ship," as poor Richard says; and again, "who
dainties love, shall beggars prove;" and moreover, "fools make
feasts, and wise men eat them."

'Here you are all got together to this sale of fineries and
nick-nacks. You call them _goods_, but if you do not take care, they
will prove _evils_ to some of you. You expect they will be sold
cheap, and perhaps they may, for less than they cost; but, if you
have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what
poor Richard says, "buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou
shalt sell thy necessaries." And again, "at a great penny-worth pause
a while." He means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only,
and not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business,
may do thee more harm than good. For in another place he says, "many
have been ruined by buying good pennyworths." Again, "it is foolish
to lay out money in a purchase of repentance;" and yet this folly is
practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the almanack.
Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a
hungry belly, and half starved their families; "silks and satins,
scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire," as poor Richard says.
These are not the necessaries of life, they can scarcely be called
the conveniences; and yet, only because they look pretty, how many
want to have them? By these and other extravagancies, the genteel are
reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly
despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained
their standing; in which case it appears plainly, that "a ploughman
on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees," as poor Richard
says. Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew
not the getting of; they think "it is day, and will never be night;"
that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding; but
"always taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in soon comes
to the bottom," as poor Richard says; and then, "when the well is
dry, they know the worth of water." But this they might have known
before, if they had taken his advice: "if you would know the value of
money go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing goes a
sorrowing," as poor Richard says; and indeed so does he that lends
to such people, when he goes to get it in again. Poor Dick farther
advises, and says,

    "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse,
    Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse."

And again, "pride is as loud a beggar as want, and a great deal more
saucy." When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more,
that your appearance may be all of a piece; but poor Dick says, "it
is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that
follow it:" and it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as
for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.

    "Vessels large may venture more,
    But little boats should keep near shore."

It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as poor Richard says,
"pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt; pride breakfasted with
plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy." And, after all,
of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked,
so much is suffered? It cannot promote health, nor ease pain; it
makes no increase of merit in the person; it creates envy, it hastens

'But what madness must it be to _run in debt_ for these
superfluities! We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months
credit; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it,
because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine
without it. But ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give
to another power over your liberty. If you cannot pay at the time,
you will be ashamed to see your creditor, you will be in fear when
you speak to him, you will make poor pitiful sneaking excuses, and,
by degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright
lying; for, "the second vice is lying, the _first_ is running in
debt," as poor Richard says; and again, to the same purpose, "lying
rides upon debt's back;" whereas a free-born Englishman ought not to
be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living. But poverty
often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. "It is hard for an
empty bag to stand upright." What would you think of that prince,
or of that government, who should issue an edict, forbidding you to
dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or
servitude? Would you not say, that you were free, have a right to
dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your
privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And yet you are about
to put yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such
dress! your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you
of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you
for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him. When you have
got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but,
as poor Richard says, "creditors have better memories than debtors;
creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set-days and
times." The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is
made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your
debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it
lessens, appear extremely short: time will seem to have added wings
to his heels as well as his shoulders. "Those have a short lent, who
owe money to be paid at Easter." At present, perhaps, you may think
yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little
extravagance without injury; but

    "For age and want save while you may,
    No morning sun lasts a whole day."

Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but ever, while you live,
expence is constant and certain; and, "it is easier to build two
chimneys than to keep one in fuel," as poor Richard says: so "rather
go to bed supperless than rise in debt."

    "Get what you can, and what you get hold,
    'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold."

And when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no
longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.

'IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom: but, after
all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality,
and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted,
without the blessing of heaven; and therefore ask that blessing
humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to
want it, but comfort and help them. Remember Job suffered, and was
afterwards prosperous.

'And now, to conclude, "experience keeps a dear school, but fools
will learn in no other," as poor Richard says, and scarce in that;
for, it is true, "we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct:"
however, remember this, "they that will not be counselled cannot be
helped;" and farther, that "if you will not hear reason she will
surely rap your knuckles," as poor Richard says.'

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it and
approved the doctrine; and immediately practised the contrary, just
as if it had been a common sermon, for the auction opened and they
began to buy extravagantly.--I found the good man had thoroughly
studied my almanacks, and digested all I had dropt on those topics
during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made
of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully
delighted with it, though I was conscious, that not a tenth part
of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me, but rather the
gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.
However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though
I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away,
resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do
the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.

  I am, as ever,

  Thine to serve thee,



[175] Dr. Franklin, as I have been made to understand, for many years
published the Pensylvania Almanack, called _Poor Richard [Saunders]_,
and furnished it with various sentences and proverbs, which had
principal relation to the topics of "industry, attention to one's
own business, and frugality." The whole or chief of these sentences
and proverbs he at last collected and digested in the above general
preface, which his countrymen read with much avidity and profit. B. V.

  _Advice to a Young Tradesman[176]._

  Written Anno 1748.


As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have
been of service to me, and may, if observed, be so to you.

Remember, that _time_ is money. He, that can earn ten shillings a day
by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day,
though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought
not to reckon _that_ the only expence; he has really spent, or rather
thrown away, five shillings besides.

Remember, that _credit_ is money. If a man lets his money lie in my
hands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can
make of it, during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum
where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.

Remember, that money is of a prolific generating nature. Money can
beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five
shillings turned is six, turned again it is seven and three-pence,
and so on till it becomes an hundred pounds. The more there is of it,
the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker
and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow destroys all her offspring
to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown destroys all
that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.

Remember, that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this
little sum (which may be daily wasted either in time or expence
unperceived) a man of credit may, on his own security, have the
constant possession and use of an hundred pounds. So much in stock,
briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.

Remember this saying, "the good paymaster is lord of another man's
purse." He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he
promises may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money
his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry
and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young
man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings:
therefore, never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you
promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.

The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be
regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine
at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer: but
if he sees you at a billiard-table, or hears your voice at a tavern,
when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day;
demands it before he can receive it in a lump.

It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you
appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases
your credit.

Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living
accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall
into. To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time, both of
your expences and your income. If you take the pains at first to
mention particulars, it will have this good effect: you will discover
how wonderfully small trifling expences mount up to large sums, and
will discern what might have been, and may for the future be saved,
without occasioning any great inconvenience.

In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the
way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, _industry_ and
_frugality_; that is, waste neither _time_ nor _money_, but make the
best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and
with them every thing. He, that gets all he can honestly, and saves
all he gets (necessary expences excepted), will certainly become
_rich_--if that Being who governs the world, to whom all should look
for a blessing on their honest endeavours, doth not, in his wise
providence, otherwise determine.



[176] This paper and the hints that follow it are from the
Repository, vol. II. p. 169 and 171, where, as they are placed under
the head of original articles, we presume they first appeared.

  _Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich._

  Written Anno 1736.

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money.

For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds,
provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.

He, that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a
year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.

He, that wastes idly a groat's worth of his time per day, one day
with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each

He, that idly loses five shillings worth of time, loses five
shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.

He, that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the
advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the
time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum
of money.

Again: he, that sells upon credit, asks a price for what he sells
equivalent to the principal and interest of his money for the time he
is to be kept out of it; therefore, he, that buys upon credit, pays
interest for what he buys, and he, that pays ready money, might let
that money out to use: so that he, that possesses any thing he has
bought, pays interest for the use of it.

Yet, in buying goods, it is best to pay ready money, because he,
that sells upon credit, expects to lose five per cent by bad debts;
therefore he charges, on all he sells upon credit, an advance, that
shall make up that deficiency.

Those, who pay for what they buy upon credit, pay their share of this

He, that pays ready money, escapes, or may escape, that charge.

    A penny sav'd is two-pence clear,
    A pin a day's a groat a year.

  _The way to make Money Plenty in every Man's Pocket[177]._

At this time, when the general complaint is, that "money is scarce,"
it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may
reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint them with the true secret
of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to
keep them always full. Two simple rules, well observed, will do the

First, let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and

Secondly, spend one penny less than thy clear gains.

Then shall thy hide-bound pocket soon begin to thrive, and will
never again cry with the empty belly-ach: neither will creditors
insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze
thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring
up in every corner of thy heart. Now, therefore, embrace these rules
and be happy. Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind, and
live independent. Then shalt thou be a man, and not hide thy face at
the approach of the rich, nor suffer the pain of feeling little when
the sons of fortune walk at thy right hand: for independency, whether
with little or much, is good fortune, and placeth thee on even ground
with the proudest of the golden fleece. Oh, then, be wise, and let
industry walk with thee in the morning, and attend thee until thou
reachest the evening hour for rest. Let honesty be as the breath of
thy soul, and never forget to have a penny when all thy expences are
enumerated and paid: then shalt thou reach the point of happiness,
and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and
crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken
wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand
which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.


[177] From the American Museum, vol. II. p. 86. _Editor._

  _New Mode of Lending Money[178]._

  _Paris, April 22, 1784._

I send you herewith a bill for ten louis d'ors. I do not pretend to
give such a sum. I only _lend_ it to you. When you shall return to
your country, you cannot fail getting into some business, that will
in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you
meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must _pay me_
by lending this sum to him, enjoining him, to _discharge the debt_
by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with such
another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before
it meet with a _knave_ to stop its progress. This is a trick of mine
for doing a good deal with a little money. I am not rich enough to
afford _much_ in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make
the most of a _little_.



[178] From the Gentleman's Magazine, for September, 1797;
communicated by the gentleman who received it. _Editor._

  _An Economical Project[179]._



You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to
communicate to the public, through your paper, one, that has lately
been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility.

I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of
Messrs. Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for
its splendor; but a general enquiry was made, whether the oil it
consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which
case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could
satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it
being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expence of
lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expence
was so much augmented.

I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I love
economy exceedingly.

I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my
head full of the subject. An accidental sudden noise waked me about
six in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with
light; and I imagined at first, that a number of those lamps had been
brought into it: but, rubbing my eyes, I perceived the light came
in at the windows. I got up and looked out to see what might be the
occasion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the horison,
from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber, my
domestic having negligently omitted the preceding evening to close
the shutters.

I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was
but six o'clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary, that
the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanack, where I
found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked
forward too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till
towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded
his rising so long as till eight o'clock. Your readers, who with me
have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard
the astronomical part of the almanack, will be as much astonished
as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially
when I assure them, _that he gives light as soon as he rises_. I
am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more
certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated
this observation the three following mornings, I found always
precisely the same result.

Yet so it happens, that when I speak of this discovery to others,
I can easily perceive by their countenances, though they forbear
expressing it in words, that they do not quite believe me. One,
indeed, who is a learned natural philosopher, has assured me, that I
must certainly be mistaken as to the circumstance of the light coming
into my room; for it being well known, as he says, that there could
be no light abroad at that hour, it follows that none could enter
from without; and that of consequence, my windows being accidentally
left open, instead of letting in the light, had only served to let
out the darkness: and he used many ingenious arguments to shew me how
I might, by that means, have been deceived. I own, that he puzzled me
a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the subsequent observations
I made, as above mentioned, confirmed me in my first opinion.

This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and important
reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early
in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of
the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by
candle-light; and the latter being a much more expensive light than
the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little
arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I
shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion, the
test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which
can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for

I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition that there
are 100,000 families in Paris, and that these families consume in
the night half a pound of bougies, or candles per hour. I think this
is a moderate allowance, taking one family with another; for though
I believe some consume less, I know that many consume a great deal
more. Then estimating seven hours per day, as the medium quantity
between the time of the sun's rising and ours, he rising during the
six following months from six to eight hours before noon, and there
being seven hours of course per night in which we burn candles, the
account will stand thus:--

In the six months between the twentieth of March and the twentieth of
September, there are

  Nights                                                   183

  Hours of each night in which we burn
    candles                                                  7
  Multiplication gives for the total number
    of hours                                             1,281

  These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000,
    the number of inhabitants give                 128,100,000

  One hundred twenty-eight millions and
    one hundred thousand hours, spent at
    Paris by candle-light, which, at half
    a pound of wax and tallow per hour,
    gives the weight of                             64,050,000

  Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of
    pounds, which, estimating the whole
    at the medium price of thirty sols the
    pound, makes the sum of ninety-six
    millions and seventy-five thousand
    livres tournois                                 96,075,000

An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the
economy of using sunshine instead of candles.

If it should be said, that people are apt to be obstinately attached
to old customs, and that it will be difficult to induce them to
rise before noon, consequently my discovery can be of little use: I
answer, _Nil desperandum_. I believe all who have common sense, as
soon as they have learnt from this paper that it is day-light when
the sun rises, will contrive to rise with him; and, to compel the
rest, I would propose the following regulations:

First. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that
is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.

Second. Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of to
prevent our burning candles, that inclined us last winter to be more
economical in burning wood; that is, let guards be placed in the
shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to
be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.

Third. Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, &c. that
would pass the streets after sun-set, except those of physicians,
surgeons, and midwives.

Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the run rises, let all the bells
in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient, let
cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually,
and make them open their eyes to see their true interest.

All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days: after
which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present
irregularity: for, _ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute_. Oblige a
man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than probable he
shall go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had
eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four the morning
following. But this sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five
thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my
economical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only
one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the
days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left
unconsumed during the summer will probably make candles much cheaper
for the ensuing winter, and continue them cheaper as long as the
proposed reformation shall be supported.

For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated
and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither place, pension,
exclusive privilege, nor any other reward whatever. I expect only
to have the honour of it. And yet I know there are little envious
minds who will, as usual, deny me this, and say, that my invention
was known to the ancients, and perhaps they may bring passages out of
the old books in proof of it. I will not dispute with these people,
that the ancients knew not the sun would rise at certain hours; they
possibly had, as we have, almanacks that predicted it: but it does
not follow from thence, that they knew _he gave light as soon as he
rose_. This is what I claim as my discovery. If the antients knew
it, it might have been long since forgotten, for it certainly was
unknown to the moderns, at least to the Parisians, which to prove, I
need use but one plain simple argument. They are as well-instructed,
judicious and prudent a people as exist any where in the world, all
professing, like myself, to be lovers of economy; and, from the many
heavy taxes required from them by the necessities of the state, have
surely an abundant reason to be economical. I say it is impossible,
that so sensible a people, under such circumstances, should have
lived so long by the smoaky, unwholesome and enormously expensive
light of candles, if they had really known, that they might have had
as much pure light of the sun for nothing.

  I am, &c.



[179] "A translation of this letter appeared in one of the daily
papers of Paris about the year 1784. The following is the original
piece, with some additions and corrections made in it by the author."
Note by the editor of the Repository, from which we extract the
letter. _Editor._


  _On early Marriages._

  _Craven Street, Aug. 9, 1768_.


You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the subject of an early
marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections, that have
been made by numberless persons, to your own. You may remember, when
you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides
to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under
my observation, I am rather inclined to think, that early ones stand
the best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are
not yet become so stiff and uncomplying, as when more advanced in
life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions
of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence, which
is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of
young married persons are generally at hand to afford their advice,
which amply supplies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is
sooner formed to regular and useful life; and possibly some of those
accidents or connections, that might have injured the constitution,
or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular
circumstances of particular persons may possibly sometimes make it
prudent to delay entering into that state; but in general, when
nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in
nature's favour, that she has not judged amiss in making us desire
it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further
inconvenience, that there is not the same chance that the parents
shall live to see their offspring educated. "Late children," says
the Spanish proverb, "are early orphans." A melancholy reflection
to those whose case it may be! With us in America, marriages are
generally in the morning of life; our children are therefore educated
and settled in the world by noon; and thus, our business being done,
we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful leisure to ourselves,
such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we
are blessed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded
by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more
of them are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among
us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and
congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of
becoming a useful citizen; and you have escaped the unnatural state
of celibacy for life--the fate of many here, who never intended it,
but who, having too long postponed the change of their condition,
find, at length, that it is too late to think of it, and so live all
their lives in a situation, that greatly lessens a man's value. An
odd volume of a set of books bears not the value of its proportion
to the set: what think you of the odd half of a pair of scissars? it
cannot well cut any thing; it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.

Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride.
I am old and heavy, or I should ere this have presented them in
person. I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that
of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with
respect; it will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from
all that observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even
in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to
end in angry earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be
learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober
and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and
you will be happy. At least, you will, by such conduct, stand the
best chance for such consequences. I pray God to bless you both!
being ever your affectionate friend,



[180] From the Gentleman's Magazine for May 1789. _Editor._


  _Effect of early Impressions on the Mind._


I received your kind letter, with your excellent advice to the people
of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it
will be duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lightly
passed over by many readers, yet, if they make a deep impression on
one active mind in a hundred, the effects may be considerable.

Permit me to mention one little instance, which, though it relates
to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. When I was a boy,
I met with a book entitled, "Essays to do good," which I think was
written by your father. It had been so little regarded by a former
possessor, that several leaves of it were torn out; but the remainder
gave me such a turn of thinking, as to have an influence on my
conduct through life: for I have always set a greater value on the
character of a doer of good, than any other kind of reputation; and
if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public
owes the advantage of it to that book.

You mention your being in your seventy-eighth year. I am in my
seventy ninth. We are grown old together. It is now more than sixty
years since I left Boston; but I remember well both your father and
grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in
their houses. The last time I saw your father was in the beginning
of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip to Pensylvania. He
received me in his library; and, on my taking leave, showed me a
shorter way out of the house, through a narrow passage, which was
crossed by a beam overhead. We were still talking as I withdrew,
he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when
he said hastily, "Stoop, stoop!" I did not understand him, till I
felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man who never missed any
occasion of giving instruction; and upon this he said to me: "You
are young, and have the world before you: stoop as you go through
it, and you will miss many hard thumps." This advice, thus beat into
my heart, has frequently been of use to me: and I often think of it,
when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by
their carrying their heads too high.

I long much to see again my native place; and once hoped to lay my
bones there. I left it in 1723. I visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, and
1763; and in 1773 I was in England. In 1775 I had a sight of it, but
could not enter, it being in possession of the enemy. I did hope to
have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this
employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that happiness. My
best wishes however attend my dear country, "_esto perpetua_." It is
now blessed with an excellent constitution: may it last for ever!

This powerful monarchy continues its friendship for the United
States. It is a friendship of the utmost importance to our security,
and should be carefully cultivated. Britain has not yet well digested
the loss of its dominion over us; and has still at times some
flattering hopes of recovering it. Accidents may increase those
hopes, and encourage dangerous attempts. A breach between us and
France would infallibly bring the English again upon our backs:
and yet we have some wild beasts among our countrymen, who are
endeavouring to weaken that connection.

Let us preserve our reputation, by performing our engagements; our
credit, by fulfilling our contracts; and our friends, by gratitude
and kindness: for we know not how soon we may again have occasion for
all of them.

  With great and sincere esteem,

  I have the honour to be,

  Reverend Sir,

  Your most obedient and most humble servant,


  _Passy, May 12, 1784._


[181] From the American Museum, Vol. VII. p. 100. _Editor._

  _The Whistle[182]._

  _Passy, Nov. 10, 1779._

I received my dear friend's two letters, one for Wednesday, and one
for Saturday. This is again Wednesday. I do not deserve one for to
day, because I have not answered the former. But indolent as I am,
and averse to writing, the fear of having no more of your pleasing
epistles, if I do not contribute to the correspondence, obliges me to
take up my pen: and as Mr. B. has kindly sent me word, that he sets
out to-morrow to see you; instead of spending this Wednesday evening,
as I have done its name-sakes, in your delightful company, I sit down
to spend it in thinking of you, in writing to you, and in reading
over and over again your letters.

I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan
of living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that in
the mean time, we should draw all the good we can from this world.
In my opinion, we might all draw more good from it than we do, and
suffer less evil, if we would but take care not to give too much for
_whistles_. For to me it seems, that most of the unhappy people we
meet with, are become so by neglect of that caution.

You ask, what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling
one of myself.

When I was a child, at seven years old, my friends, on a holiday,
filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where
they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of
a _whistle_, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I
voluntarily offered him all my money for it. I then came home, and
went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my _whistle_,
but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins,
understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times
as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things
I might have bought with the rest of the money; and they laughed
at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the
reflection gave me more chagrin, than the _whistle_ gave me pleasure.

This however was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing
on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary
thing, I said to myself, _Don't give too much for the whistle_; and
so I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men,
I thought I met with many, very many, who _gave too much for the

When I saw any one too ambitious of court favours, sacrificing his
time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue,
and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, _This
man gives too much for his whistle_.

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself
in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by
that neglect, _He pays, indeed_, says I, _too much for his whistle_.

If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living,
all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his
fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake
of accumulating wealth, _Poor man_, says I, _you pay too much for
your whistle_.

When I meet a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement
of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and
ruining his health in their pursuit, _Mistaken man_, says I, _you are
providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure: you give too much
for your whistle_.

If I see one fond of appearance, of fine clothes, fine houses, fine
furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he
contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, _Alas_, says I, _he
has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle_.

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl, married to an
ill-natured brute of a husband, _What a pity it is_, says I, _that
she has paid so much for a whistle_!

In short, I conceived, that great part of the miseries of mankind
were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the
value of things, and by their giving too much for their _whistles_.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I
consider, that with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there
are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples
of king John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were
put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in
the purchase, and find, that I had once more given too much for the

Adieu, my dearest friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely
and with unalterable affection,



[182] This story has generally been supposed to have been written
by Dr. Franklin for his nephew: but it seems, by the introductory
paragraphs, which we have no where seen prefixed to the story but
in a small collection of our author's works printed at Paris, to
have been addressed to some female relative. The two concluding
paragraphs, which are from the same source, are equally new to us.

  _A Petition to those who have the Superintendency of

I address myself to all the friends of youth, and conjure them to
direct their compassionate regards to my unhappy fate, in order
to remove the prejudices of which I am the victim. There are twin
sisters of us: and the two eyes of man do not more resemble, nor are
capable of being upon better terms with each other, than my sister
and myself, were it not for the partiality of our parents, who make
the most injurious distinctions between us. From my infancy, I have
been led to consider my sister as a being of a more elevated rank. I
was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, while nothing
was spared in her education. She had masters to teach her writing,
drawing, music, and other accomplishments; but if by chance I touched
a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked: and more than
once I have been beaten for being aukward, and wanting a graceful
manner. It is true, my sister associated me with her upon some
occasions; but she always made a point of taking the lead, calling
upon me only from necessity, or to figure by her side.

But conceive not, sirs, that my complaints are instigated merely
by vanity--No; my uneasiness is occasioned by an object much more
serious. It is the practice in our family, that the whole business of
providing for its subsistence falls upon my sister and myself. If any
indisposition should attack my sister--and I mention it in confidence
upon this occasion, that she is subject to the gout, the rheumatism
and cramp, without making mention of other accidents--what would be
the fate of our poor family? Must not the regret of our parents be
excessive, at having placed so great a difference between sisters,
who are so perfectly equal? Alas! we must perish from distress: for
it would not be in my power even to scrawl a suppliant petition
for relief, having been obliged to employ the hand of another in
transcribing the request, which I have now the honour to prefer to

Condescend, sirs, to make my parents sensible of the injustice of an
exclusive tenderness, and of the necessity of distributing their care
and affection among all their children equally.

  I am, with a profound respect,


  Your obedient servant,



[183] From the American Museum, Vol. VII. p. 265. _Editor._

  _The handsome and deformed Leg[184]._

There are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees
of health and wealth, and the other comforts of life, become, the
one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the
different views in which they consider things, persons, and events;
and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.

In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences
and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and
conversation more or less pleasing: at whatever table, they may
meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better
and worse dressed; in whatever climate, they will find good and bad
weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws,
and good and bad administration of those laws; in whatever poem, or
work of genius, they may see faults and beauties; in almost every
face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects,
good and bad qualities.

Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people above mentioned
fix their attention, those, who are disposed to be happy, on the
conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the
well-dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather,
&c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those, who are to be unhappy,
think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually
discontented themselves, and, by their remarks, sour the pleasures
of society, offend personally many people, and make themselves every
where disagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature,
such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the
disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up
originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which,
though at present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who
have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity; I hope
this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on
changing a habit, which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an
act of imagination, yet has serious consequences in life, as it
brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For, as many are offended by,
and nobody loves, this sort of people, no one shows them more than
the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this
frequently puts them out of humour, and draws them into disputes
and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or
fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step, or speak a
word, to favour their pretensions. If they incur public censure or
disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate
their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these people
will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with
what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the
contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with
them; which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient,
especially when one finds oneself entangled in their quarrels.

An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very
cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy
with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer,
to show him the heat of the weather, and a barometer, to mark when
it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument
invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition
in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of
which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked
and deformed. If a stranger, at the first interview, regarded his
ugly leg more than his handsome one, he doubted him. If he spoke
of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient
to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with
him. Every body has not this two-legged instrument; but every
one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping,
fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding
the acquaintance of those infected with it, I therefore advise those
critical querulous, discontented, unhappy people, that, if they wish
to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they
should _leave off looking at the ugly leg_.


[184] From the Columbian Magazine, Vol. I. p. 61. _Editor._

  _Morals of Chess[185]._

Playing at chess is the most ancient and most universal game known
among men; for its original is beyond the memory of history, and it
has, for numberless ages, been the amusement of all the civilized
nations of Asia, the Persians, the Indians, and the Chinese. Europe
has had it above a thousand years; the Spaniards have spread it over
their part of America, and it begins lately to make its appearance
in these states. It is so interesting in itself, as not to need the
view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played
for money. Those, therefore, who have leisure for such diversions,
cannot find one that is more innocent; and the following piece,
written with a view to correct (among a few young friends) some
little improprieties in the practice of it, shows, at the same time,
that it may, in its effects on the mind, be not merely innocent, but
advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor.

The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very
valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life,
are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits,
ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have
often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with,
and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that
are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By
playing at chess, then, we may learn,

I. _Foresight_, which looks a little into futurity, and considers
the consequences that may attend an action: for it is continually
occurring to the player, "If I move this piece, what will be the
advantage of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it
to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend
myself from his attacks?"

II. _Circumspection_, which surveys the whole chess-board, or scene
of action, the relations of the several pieces and situations, the
dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities
of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary
may take this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and
what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its
consequences against him.

III. _Caution_, not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best
acquired by observing strictly the laws of the game, such as, "If you
touch a piece, you must move it somewhere: if you set it down, you
must let it stand:" and it is therefore best that these rules should
be observed, as the game thereby becomes more the image of human
life, and particularly of war; in which, if you have incautiously put
yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your
enemy's leave to withdraw your troops, and place them more securely,
but you must abide all the consequences of your rashness.

And, lastly, we learn by chess the habit of _not being discouraged
by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs_, the habit
of _hoping for a favourable change_, and that of _persevering in the
search of resources_. The game is so full of events, there is such
a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden
vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation,
discovers the means of extricating oneself from a supposed
insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the
contest to the last, in hopes of victory by our own skill, or at
least of getting a stale mate, by the negligence of our adversary.
And whoever considers, what in chess he often sees instances of,
that particular pieces of success are apt to produce presumption,
and its consequent inattention, by which the loss may be recovered,
will learn not to be too much discouraged by the present success of
his adversary, nor to despair of final good fortune upon every little
check he receives in the pursuit of it.

That we may, therefore, be induced more frequently to choose this
beneficial amusement, in preference to others, which are not attended
with the same advantages, every circumstance which may increase the
pleasures of it should be regarded; and every action or word that
is unfair, disrespectful, or that in any way may give uneasiness,
should be avoided, as contrary to the immediate intention of both the
players, which is to pass the time agreeably.

Therefore, first, if it is agreed, to play according to the strict
rules; then those rules are to be exactly observed by both parties,
and should not be insisted on for one side, while deviated from by
the other--for this is not equitable.

Secondly, if it is agreed, not to observe the rules exactly, but one
party demands indulgencies, he should then be as willing to allow
them to the other.

Thirdly, no false move should ever be made to extricate yourself out
of difficulty, or to gain an advantage. There can be no pleasure in
playing with a person once detected in such unfair practice.

Fourthly, if your adversary is long in playing you ought not to hurry
him, or express any uneasiness at his delay. You should not sing, nor
whistle, nor look at your watch, nor take up a book to read, nor make
a tapping with your feet on the floor, or with your fingers on the
table, nor do any thing that may disturb his attention. For all these
things displease; and they do not show your skill in playing, but
your craftiness or your rudeness.

Fifthly, you ought not to endeavour to amuse and deceive your
adversary, by pretending to have made bad moves, and saying, that you
have now lost the game, in order to make him secure and careless, and
inattentive to your schemes: for this is fraud and deceit, not skill
in the game.

Sixthly, you must not, when you have gained a victory, use any
triumphing or insulting expression, nor show too much pleasure; but
endeavour to console your adversary, and make him less dissatisfied
with himself, by every kind of civil expression, that may be used
with truth, such as, "you understand the game better than I, but you
are a little inattentive;" or, "you play too fast;" or, "you had the
best of the game, but something happened to divert your thoughts, and
that turned it in my favour."

Seventhly, if you are a spectator while others play, observe the most
perfect silence. For if you give advice, you offend both parties,
him against whom you give it, because it may cause the loss of his
game, him in whose favour you give it, because, though it be good
and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if you
had permitted him to think until it had occurred to himself. Even
after a move or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces, show
how it might have been placed better: for that displeases, and may
occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation. All talking
to the players lessens or diverts their attention, and is therefore
unpleasing. Nor should you give the least hint to either party, by
any kind of noise or motion. If you do, you are unworthy to be a
spectator. If you have a mind to exercise or show your judgment, do
it in playing your own game, when you have an opportunity, not in
criticising, or meddling with, or counselling the play of others.

Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the
rules above mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory over your
adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly
at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but
point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a
piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his
king in a perilous situation, &c. By this generous civility (so
opposite to the unfairness above forbidden) you may, indeed, happen
to lose the game to your opponent, but you will win what is better,
his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together with the silent
approbation and good-will of impartial spectators.


[185] This letter has appeared in too many forms in this country,
and is too well known to be Dr. Franklin's, to require being
authenticated. _Editor._

  _The Art of procuring Pleasant Dreams[186]._


  Being written at her request.

As a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which we have
sometimes pleasing, and sometimes painful dreams, it becomes of some
consequence to obtain the one kind, and avoid the other; for, whether
real or imaginary, pain is pain, and pleasure is pleasure. If we can
sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided.
If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing dreams, it is, as the
French say, _tant gagné_, so much added to the pleasure of life.

To this end, it is, in the first place, necessary, to be careful in
preserving health, by due exercise, and great temperance; for, in
sickness, the imagination is disturbed; and disagreeable, sometimes
terrible, ideas are apt to present themselves. Exercise should
precede meals, not immediately follow them: the first promotes, the
latter, unless moderate, obstructs digestion. If, after exercise,
we feed sparingly, the digestion will be easy and good, the body
lightsome, the temper cheerful, and all the animal functions
performed agreeably. Sleep, when it follows, will be natural and
undisturbed, while indolence, with full feeding, occasions nightmares
and horrors inexpressible: we fall from precipices, are assaulted
by wild beasts, murderers, and demons, and experience every variety
of distress. Observe, however, that the quantities of food and
exercise are relative things: those who move much may, and indeed
ought, to eat more; those who use little exercise should eat little.
In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eat about
twice as much as nature requires. Suppers are not bad, if we have not
dined; but restless nights naturally follow hearty suppers, after
full dinners. Indeed, as there is a difference in constitutions, some
rest well after these meals; it costs them only a frightful dream,
and an apoplexy, after which they sleep till doomsday. Nothing is
more common in the newspapers, than instances of people, who, after
eating a hearty supper, are found dead a-bed in the morning.

Another means of preserving health, to be attended to, is the having
a constant supply of fresh air in your bed-chamber. It has been a
great mistake, the sleeping in rooms exactly closed, and in beds
surrounded by curtains. No outward air that may come into you is
so unwholesome, as the unchanged air, often breathed, of a close
chamber. As boiling water does not grow hotter by longer boiling, if
the particles that receive greater heat can escape; so living bodies
do not putrify, if the particles, as fast as they become putrid, can
be thrown off. Nature expels them by the pores of the skin and the
lungs, and in a free open air they are carried off; but, in a close
room, we receive them again and again, though they become more and
more corrupt. A number of persons crowded into a small room thus
spoil the air in a few minutes, and even render it mortal, as in
the Black Hole at Calcutta. A single person is said to spoil only a
gallon of air per minute, and therefore requires a longer time to
spoil a chamber full; but it is done, however, in proportion, and
many putrid disorders hence have their origin. It is recorded of
Methusalem, who, being the longest liver, may be supposed to have
best preserved his health, that he slept always in the open air; for,
when he had lived five hundred years, an angel said to him: "Arise,
Methusalem, and build thee an house, for thou shalt live yet five
hundred years longer." But Methusalem answered and said, "If I am to
live but five hundred years longer it is not worth while to build
me an house--I will sleep in the air, as I have been used to do."
Physicians, after having for ages contended, that the sick should
not be indulged with fresh air, have at length discovered, that it
may do them good. It is therefore to be hoped, that they may in
time discover likewise, that it is not hurtful to those who are in
health, and that we may be then cured of the _aërophobia_, that at
present distresses weak minds, and make them choose to be stifled and
poisoned, rather than leave open the window of a bed-chamber, or put
down the glass of a coach.

Confined air, when saturated with perspirable matter[187], will
not receive more; and that matter must remain in our bodies, and
occasion diseases: but it gives some previous notice of its being
about to be hurtful, by producing certain uneasinesses, slight
indeed at first, such as, with regard to the lungs, is a trifling
sensation, and to the pores of the skin a kind of restlessness,
which is difficult to describe, and few that feel it know the
cause of it. But we may recollect, that sometimes, on waking in
the night, we have, if warmly covered, found it difficult to get
asleep again. We turn often without finding repose in any position.
This figettiness, to use a vulgar expression for want of a better,
is occasioned wholly by an uneasiness in the skin, owing to the
retension of the perspirable matter--the bed-clothes having received
their quantity, and, being saturated, refusing to take any more.
To become sensible of this by an experiment, let a person keep his
position in the bed, but throw off the bed-clothes, and suffer fresh
air to approach the part uncovered of his body; he will then feel
that part suddenly refreshed; for the air will immediately relieve
the skin, by receiving, licking up, and carrying off, the load of
perspirable matter that incommoded it. For every portion of cool air,
that approaches the warm skin, in receiving its part of that vapour,
receives therewith a degree of heat, that rarifies and renders it
lighter, when it will be pushed away, with its burthen, by cooler
and therefore heavier fresh air; which, for a moment, supplies its
place, and then, being likewise changed and warmed, gives way to a
succeeding quantity. This is the order of nature, to prevent animals
being infected by their own perspiration. He will now be sensible of
the difference between the part exposed to the air, and that which,
remaining sunk in the bed, denies the air access: for this part now
manifests its uneasiness more distinctly by the comparison, and the
seat of the uneasiness is more plainly perceived, than when the whole
surface of the body was affected by it.

Here, then, is one great and general cause of unpleasing dreams.
For when the body is uneasy, the mind will be disturbed by it, and
disagreeable ideas of various kinds will, in sleep, be the natural
consequences. The remedies, preventative and curative, follow:

1. By eating moderately (as before advised for health's sake) less
perspirable matter is produced in a given time; hence the bed-clothes
receive it longer before they are saturated; and we may, therefore,
sleep longer, before we are made uneasy by their refusing to receive
any more.

2. By using thinner and more porous bed-clothes, which will suffer
the perspirable matter more easily to pass through them, we are less
incommoded, such being longer tolerable.

3. When you are awakened by this uneasiness, and find you cannot
easily sleep again, get out of bed, beat up and turn your pillow,
shake the bed-clothes well, with at least twenty shakes, then throw
the bed open, and leave it to cool; in the meanwhile, continuing
undrest, walk about your chamber, till your skin has had time to
discharge its load, which it will do sooner as the air may be drier
and colder. When you begin to feel the cold air unpleasant, then
return to your bed, and you will soon fall asleep, and your sleep
will be sweet and pleasant. All the scenes presented to your fancy
will be of the pleasing kind. I am often as agreeably entertained
with them, as by the scenery of an opera. If you happen to be too
indolent to get out of bed, you may, instead of it, lift up your
bed-clothes with one arm and leg, so as to draw in a good deal of
fresh air, and, by letting them fall, force it out again. This,
repeated twenty times, will so clear them of the perspirable matter
they have imbibed, as to permit your sleeping well for some time
afterwards. But this latter method is not equal to the former.

Those who do not love trouble, and can afford to have two beds, will
find great luxury in rising, when they wake in a hot bed, and going
into the cool one. Such shifting of beds would also be of great
service to persons ill of a fever, as it refreshes and frequently
procures sleep. A very large bed, that will admit a removal so
distant from the first situation as to be cool and sweet, may in a
degree answer the same end.

One or two observations more will conclude this little piece. Care
must be taken when you lie down, to dispose your pillow so as to
suit your manner of placing your head, and to be perfectly easy;
then place your limbs so as not to bear inconveniently hard upon one
another, as, for instance, the joints of your ancles: for though a
bad position may at first give but little pain and be hardly noticed,
yet a continuance will render it less tolerable, and the uneasiness
may come on while you are asleep, and disturb your imagination.

These are the rules of the art. But though they will generally prove
effectual in producing the end intended, there is a case in which the
most punctual observance of them will be totally fruitless. I need
not mention the case to you, my dear friend, but my account of the
art would be imperfect without it. The case is, when the person, who
desires to have pleasant dreams, has not taken care to preserve, what
is necessary above all things,



[186] From the Columbian Magazine, vol. I. p. 64. _Editor._

[187] What physicians call the perspirable matter, is that vapour
which passes off from our bodies, from the lungs, and through the
pores of the skin. The quantity of this is said to be five-eighths of
what we eat.

  _Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout[188]._

  _Midnight, October 22, 1780._

_Franklin._--Eh! Oh! Eh! What have I done to merit these cruel

_Gout._--Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much
indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.

_Franklin._--Who is it that accuses me?

_Gout._--It is I, even I, the gout.

_Franklin._--What! my enemy in person?

_Gout._--No, not your enemy.

_Franklin._--I repeat it; my enemy: for you would not only torment my
body to death, but ruin my good name: you reproach me as a glutton
and a tipler; now all the world that knows me will allow, that I am
neither the one nor the other.

_Gout._--The world may think as it pleases: it is always very
complaisant to itself, and sometimes to its friends; but I very well
know, that the quantity of meat and drink proper for a man, who takes
a reasonable degree of exercise, would be too much for another, who
never takes any.

_Franklin._--I take--Eh! Oh!--as much exercise--Eh!--as I can, Madam
Gout. You know my sedentary state, and on that account, it would
seem, Madam Gout, as if you might spare me a little, seeing it is
not altogether my own fault.

_Gout._--Not a jot: your rhetoric and your politeness are thrown
away; your apology avails nothing. If your situation in life is a
sedentary one, your amusements, your recreations, at least, should be
active. You ought to walk or ride; or, if the weather prevents that,
play at billiards. But let us examine your course of life. While the
mornings are long, and you have leisure to go abroad, what do you
do? Why, instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast, by salutary
exercise, you amuse yourself with books, pamphlets, or newspapers,
which commonly are not worth the reading. Yet you eat an inordinate
breakfast, four dishes of tea, with cream, and one or two buttered
toasts, with slices of hung beef, which I fancy are not things the
most easily digested. Immediately afterward you sit down to write at
your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business.
Thus the time passes till one, without any kind of bodily exercise.
But all this I could pardon, in regard, as you say, to your sedentary
condition. But what is your practice after dinner. Walking in the
beautiful gardens of those friends with whom you have dined would be
the choice of men of sense: yours is to be fixed down to chess, where
you are found engaged for two or three hours! This is your perpetual
recreation, which is the least eligible of any for a sedentary man,
because, instead of accelerating the motion of the fluids, the rigid
attention it requires helps to retard the circulation and obstruct
internal secretions. Wrapt in the speculations of this wretched
game, you destroy your constitution. What can be expected from such
a course of living, but a body replete with stagnant humours, ready
to fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the gout,
did not occasionally bring you relief by agitating these humours, and
so purifying or dissipating them. If it was in some nook or alley
in Paris, deprived of walks, that you played awhile at chess after
dinner, this might be excusable, but the same taste prevails with
you in Passey, Auteuil, Montmartre, or Sanoy, places where there are
the finest gardens and walks, a pure air, beautiful women, and most
agreeable and instructive conversation; all which you might enjoy by
frequenting the walks! But these are rejected for this abominable
game of chess. Fie, then, Mr. Franklin! But amidst my instructions, I
had almost forgot to administer my wholsome corrections: so take that
twinge--and that.

_Franklin._--Oh! Eh! Oh!--Ohhh! As much instruction as you please,
Madam Gout, and as many reproaches, but pray, Madam, a truce with
your corrections!

_Gout._--No, sir, no--I will not abate a particle of what is so much
for your good--therefore--

_Franklin._--Oh! Ehhh!--It is not fair to say I take no exercise,
when I do very often, going out to dine, and returning in my carriage.

_Gout._--That of all imaginable exercise is the most slight and
insignificant, if you allude to the motion of a carriage suspended
on springs. By observing the degree of heat obtained by different
kinds of motion we may form an estimate of the quantity of exercise
given by each. Thus, for example, if you turn out to walk in winter
with cold feet, in an hour's time you will be in a glow all over;
ride on horseback, the same effect will scarcely be perceived by
four hours round trotting: but if you loll in a carriage, such as you
have mentioned, you may travel all day, and gladly enter the last
inn to warm your feet by a fire. Flatter yourself then no longer,
that half an hour's airing in your carriage deserves the name of
exercise. Providence has appointed few to roll in carriages, while
he has given to all a pair of legs, which are machines infinitely
more commodious and serviceable. Be grateful, then, and make a proper
use of yours. Would you know, how they forward the circulation of
your fluids, in the very action of transporting you from place to
place? observe when you walk, that all your weight is alternately
thrown from one leg to the other; this occasions a great pressure on
the vessels of the foot, and repels their contents. When relieved,
by the weight being thrown on the other foot, the vessels of the
first are allowed to replenish, and by a return of this weight, this
repulsion again succeeds; thus accelerating the circulation of the
blood. The heat produced in any given time depends on the degree of
this acceleration: the fluids are shaken, the humours attenuated, the
secretions facilitated, and all goes well; the cheeks are ruddy, and
health is established. Behold your fair friend at Auteuil: a lady
who received from bounteous nature more really useful science, than
half a dozen such pretenders to philosophy, as you, have been able to
extract from all your books. When she honours you with a visit, it is
on foot. She walks all hours of the day, and leaves indolence and its
concomitant maladies to be endured by her horses. In this see at once
the preservative of her health and personal charms. But you, when
you go to Auteuil, must have your carriage, though it is no farther
from Passy to Auteuil, than from Auteuil to Passy.

_Franklin._--Your reasonings grow very tiresome.

_Gout._--I stand corrected. I will be silent and continue my office:
take that, and that.

_Franklin._--Oh! Ohh! Talk on, I pray you!

_Gout._--No, no; I have a good number of twinges for you to-night,
and you may be sure of some more to-morrow.

_Franklin._--What, with such a fever! I shall go distracted. Oh! Eh!
Can no one bear it for me?

_Gout._--Ask that of your horses; they have served you faithfully.

_Franklin._--How can you so cruelly sport with my torments?

_Gout._--Sport? I am very serious. I have here a list of your
offences against your own health distinctly written, and can justify
every stroke inflicted on you.

_Franklin._--Read it then.

_Gout._--It is too long a detail; but I will briefly mention some

_Franklin._--Proceed--I am all attention.

_Gout._--Do you remember how often you have promised yourself, the
following morning, a walk in the grove of Boulogne, in the garden de
la Muette, or in your own garden, and have violated your promise,
alledging, at one time, it was too cold, at another too warm, too
windy, too moist, or what else you pleased; when in truth it was too
nothing, but your insuperable love of ease?

_Franklin._--That I confess may have happened occasionally, probably
ten times in a year.

_Gout._--Your confession is very far short of the truth; the gross
amount is one hundred and ninety-nine times.

_Franklin._--Is it possible?

_Gout._--So possible that it is fact; you may rely on the accuracy
of my statement. You know Mr. B----'s gardens, and what fine walks
they contain; you know the handsome flight of an hundred steps, which
lead from the terrace above to the lawn below. You have been in the
practice of visiting this amiable family twice a week after dinner,
and as it is a maxim of your own, that "a man may take as much
exercise in walking a mile up and down stairs, as in ten on level
ground," what an opportunity was here for you to have had exercise in
both these ways? Did you embrace it, and how often?

_Franklin._--I cannot immediately answer that question.

_Gout._--I will do it for you; not once.

_Franklin._--Not once?

_Gout._--Even so. During the summer you went there at six o'clock.
You found the charming lady, with her lovely children and friends,
eager to walk with you, and entertain you with their agreeable
conversation: and what has been your choice? Why to sit on the
terrace, satisfying yourself with the fine prospect, and passing
your eye over the beauties of the garden below, without taking one
step to descend and walk about in them. On the contrary, you call
for tea, and the chess-board; and lo! you are occupied in your seat
till nine o'clock, and that beside two hours play after dinner;
and then, instead of walking home, which would have bestirred you
a little, you step into your carriage. How absurd to suppose, that
all this carelessness can be reconcileable with health, without my

_Franklin._--I am convinced now of the justness of poor Richard's
remark, that, "Our debts and our sins are always greater than we
think for."

_Gout._--So it is! you philosophers are sages in your maxims, and
fools in your conduct.

_Franklin._--But do you charge among my crimes, that I return in a
carriage from Mr. B----'s?

_Gout._--Certainly: for having been seated all the while, you cannot
object the fatigue of the day, and cannot want therefore the relief
of a carriage.

_Franklin._--What then would you have me do with my carriage?

_Gout._--Burn it, if you choose; you would at least get heat out of
it once in this way; or if you dislike that proposal, here's another
for you: observe the poor peasants who work in the vineyards and
grounds about the villages of Passy, Anteuil, Chaillois, &c.; you may
find every day among these deserving creatures, four or five old men
and women, bent and perhaps crippled by weight of years, and too long
and too great labour. After a most fatiguing day, these people have
to trudge a mile or two to their smoky huts. Order your coachmen to
set them down. That is an act that will be good for your soul; and
at the same time, after your visit to the B----'s, if you return on
foot, that will be good for your body.

_Franklin._--Ah! how tiresome you are.

_Gout._--Well then, to my office; it should not be forgotten, that I
am your physician. There.

_Franklin._--Ohhh! what a devil of a physician!

_Gout._--How ungrateful are you to say so! Is it not I, who, in the
character of your physician, have saved you from the palsy, dropsy,
and apoplexy? one or other of which would have done for you long ago,
but for me.

_Franklin._--I submit, and thank you for the past, but intreat the
discontinuance of your visits for the future: for in my mind one had
better die, than be cured so dolefully. Permit me just to hint, that
I have also not been unfriendly to _you_. I never feed physician, or
quack of any kind, to enter the list against you; if then you do not
leave me to my repose, it may be said you are ungrateful too.

_Gout._--I can scarcely acknowledge that as any objection. As to
quacks, I despise them: they may kill you, indeed, but cannot injure
me. And as to regular physicians, they are at last convinced, that
the gout, in such a subject as you are, is no disease, but a remedy;
and wherefore cure a remedy?--but to our business--There.--

_Franklin._--Oh! Oh!--for heaven's sake leave me; and I promise
faithfully never more to play at chess, but to take exercise daily,
and live temperately.

_Gout._--I know you too well. You promise fair; but, after a few
months of good health, you will return to your old habits; your fine
promises will be forgotten like the forms of the last year's clouds.
Let us then finish the account and I will go. But I leave you with an
assurance, of visiting you again at a proper time and place; for my
object is your good, and you are sensible now, that I am your real


[188] We have no authority for ascribing this paper to Dr. Franklin,
but its appearance, with his name, in a small collection of his works
printed a few years ago at Paris, and cited before, page 480. As the
rest of the papers in that collection are genuine, this probably is
also genuine. What we give is a translation. _Editor._


  _On the Death of Relatives[189]._

  _Philadelphia, Feb. 22, 1756._

I condole with you. We have lost a most dear and valuable
relation[190]. But it is the will of God and nature, that these
mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real
life. This is rather an embryo state, a preparation for living. A man
is not completely born until he be dead. Why then should we grieve,
that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to
their happy society? We are spirits. That bodies should be lent us,
while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge,
or doing good to our fellow-creatures, is a kind and benevolent act
of God. When they become unfit for these purposes, and afford us
pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid become an incumbrance,
and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is
equally kind and benevolent, that a way is provided by which we may
get rid of them. Death is that way. We ourselves, in some cases,
prudently choose a partial death. A mangled painful limb, which
cannot be restored, we willingly cut off. He, who plucks out a tooth,
parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it: and he, who quits
the whole body, parts at once with all pains, and possibilities of
pains and diseases, it was liable to, or capable of making him suffer.

Our friend and we were invited abroad on a party of pleasure, which
is to last for ever. His chair was ready first, and he is gone before
us. We could not all conveniently start together: and why should you
and I be grieved at this, since we are soon to follow, and know where
to find him?




[189] From the Columbian Magazine, Vol. I, p. 208. _Editor._

[190] Dr. Franklin's brother, Mr. John Franklin.


  _The Ephemera an Emblem of human Life[191]._

You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spent that
happy day, in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin
Joly, I stopt a little in one of our walks, and staid some time
behind the company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind
of little fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations,
we were told, were bred and expired within the day. I happened to
see a living company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged
in conversation. You know I understand all the inferior animal
tongues: my too great application to the study of them is the best
excuse I can give for the little progress I have made in your
charming language. I listened through curiosity to the discourse of
these little creatures; but as they, in their national vivacity,
spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their
conversation. I found, however, by some broken expressions that
I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of
two foreign musicians, one a _cousin_, the other a _muscheto_; in
which dispute they spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the
shortness of life, as if they had been sure of living a month. Happy
people! thought I, you live certainly under a wise, just, and mild
government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor
any subject of contention, but the perfections or imperfections of
foreign music. I turned my head from them to an old grey-headed
one, who was single on another leaf, and talking to himself. Being
amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it
will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most
pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company, and heavenly

"It was," says he, "the opinion of learned philosophers of our race,
who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world,
the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours:
and I think there was some foundation for that opinion; since, by
the apparent motion of the great luminary, that gives life to all
nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably
towards the ocean at the end of our earth, it must then finish its
course, be extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the
world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and
destruction. I have lived seven of those hours; a great age, being
no less than four hundred and twenty minutes of time. How very few
of us continue so long? I have seen generations born, flourish, and
expire. My present friends are the children and grand-children of
the friends of my youth, who are now, alas no more! And I must soon
follow them; for, by the course of nature, though still in health,
I cannot expect to live above seven or eight minutes longer. What
now avails all my toil and labour, in amassing honey-dew on this
leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy! What the political struggles I
have been engaged in, for the good of my com-patriot inhabitants of
this bush, or my philosophical studies, for the benefit of our race
in general! for in politics (what can laws do without morals?) our
present race of ephemeræ will in a course of minutes become corrupt,
like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched:
and in philosophy how small our progress! Alas! art is long, and life
is short! My friends would comfort me with the idea of a name, they
say, I shall leave behind me; and they tell me, I have lived long
enough to nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an ephemera,
who no longer exists? and what will become of all history in the
eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly,
shall come to its end, and be buried in universal ruin?"----

To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain,
but the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible
conversation of a few good lady ephemeræ, and now and then a kind
smile and a tune from the ever amiable Brilliant.



[191] From the American Museum, Vol. VIII. p. 183. It was written
during the author's residence at Passy, and a translation of it at
that time appeared in one of the Parisian periodical publications.
This appears to be the original piece. _Editor._








  _Letter to Sir Hans Sloane[192]._

  _June 2, 1725._


Having lately been in the northern parts of America, I have brought
from thence a purse made of the _asbestos_, a piece of the stone, and
a piece of the wood, the pithy part of which is of the same nature,
and called by the inhabitants salamander cotton. As you are noted
to be a lover of curiosities, I have informed you of these: and if
you have any inclination to purchase or see them, let me know your
pleasure, by a line directed for me at the Golden Fan in Little
Britain, and I will wait upon you with them.

  I am, sir,

  Your most humble servant,


P. S. I expect to be out of town in two or three days, and therefore
beg an immediate answer.


[192] From the Gentleman's Magazine, for [___], 1780, where it
appears among other original letters to Sir Hans Sloane, from
different persons. _Editor._

  _Letter to Michael Collinson, Esq[193]._

  [No date.]


Understanding that an account of our dear departed friend, Mr. Peter
Collinson, is intended to be given to the public, I cannot omit
expressing my approbation of the design. The characters of good men
are exemplary, and often stimulate the well disposed to an imitation,
beneficial to mankind, and honourable to themselves. And as you
may be unacquainted with the following instances of his zeal and
usefulness in promoting knowledge, which fell within my observation,
I take the liberty of informing you, that in 1730, a subscription
library being set on foot at Philadelphia, he encouraged the design
by making several very valuable presents to it, and procuring others
from his friends: and as the library company had a considerable sum
arising annually to be laid out in books, and needed a judicious
friend in London to transact the business for them, he voluntarily
and cheerfully undertook that service, and executed it for more
than thirty years successively, assisting in the choice of books,
and taking the whole care of collecting and shipping them, without
ever charging or accepting any consideration for his trouble. The
success of this library (greatly owing to his kind countenance and
good advice) encouraged the erecting others in different places on
the same plan; and it is supposed, there are now upwards of thirty
subsisting in the several colonies, which have contributed greatly
to the spreading of useful knowledge in that part of the world; the
books he recommended being all of that kind, and the catalogue
of this first library being much respected and followed by those
libraries that succeeded.

During the same time he transmitted to the directors of the
library the earliest accounts of every new European improvement in
agriculture and the arts, and every philosophical discovery; among
which, in 1745, he sent over an account of the new German experiments
in electricity, together with a glass tube, and some directions for
using it so as to repeat those experiments. This was the first notice
I had of that curious subject, which I afterwards prosecuted with
some diligence, being encouraged by the friendly reception he gave
to the letters I wrote to him upon it. Please to accept this small
testimony of mine to his memory, for which I shall ever have the
utmost respect; and believe me, with sincere esteem, dear sir,

  Your most humble servant,



[193] From the London Magazine, for April, 1776. _Editor._

  _Letter respecting Captain Cook._

  To all captains and commanders of armed ships, acting by commission
  from the congress of the United States of America, now in war with
  Great Britain.


A ship having been fitted out from England, before the commencement
of this war, to make discoveries of new countries in unknown seas,
under the conduct of that most celebrated navigator, Captain
Cook,--an undertaking truly laudable in itself, as the increase of
geographical knowledge facilitates the communication between distant
nations, in the exchange of useful products and manufactures, and the
extension of arts whereby the common enjoyments of human life are
multiplied and augmented, and science of other kinds increased, to
the benefit of mankind in general.--This is therefore most earnestly
to recommend to every one of you, that in case the said ship, which
is now expected to be soon in the European seas on her return, should
happen to fall into your hands, you would not consider her as an
enemy, nor suffer any plunder to be made of the effects contained in
her, nor obstruct her immediate return to England, by detaining her
or sending her into any other part of Europe or America, but that you
would treat the said captain Cook and his people with all civility
and kindness, affording them, as common friends to mankind, all the
assistance in your power, which they may happen to stand in need of.
In so doing, you will not only gratify the generosity of your own
dispositions, but there is no doubt of your obtaining the approbation
of the congress[194], and your own American owners.

  I have the honour to be, gentlemen,

  Your most obedient, &c.


  Minister plenipotentiary from the congress of the
  United States to the court of France.

  _At Passy, near Paris,
  this 10th day of March, 1779._


[194] Dr. Kippis, in his Life of Captain Cook, had asserted, upon
what he deemed unquestionable authority, that Dr. Franklin's orders
were instantly reversed, and that it was directed by congress, to
seize captain Cook, if an opportunity of doing it occurred: but,
finding that the information was false, he addressed a letter to the
editor of the Gentleman's Magazine, in September, 1795, publicly
acknowledging his mistake.

In the American Museum, from which we have taken Dr. Franklin's
letter, the correspondent who communicated the letter says, that "the
generous proceeding of Dr. Franklin in writing it was so well known
in England, and the sentiments it manifested so much approved by the
government there, that, when Cook's Voyage was printed, the admiralty
sent to Dr. Franklin a copy of the same in three volumes quarto,
accompanied with the elegant collection of plates, and a very polite
letter from lord Howe, signifying, that the present was made with
his majesty's express approbation; and the royal society having, in
honour of that illustrious navigator, one of their members, struck
some gold medals to be distributed among his friends and the friends
of his voyage, one of those medals, was also sent to Dr. Franklin,
by order of the society, together with a letter from their worthy
president, sir Joseph Banks, expressing likewise, that it was sent
with the approbation of his majesty." _Editor._

  _An Address to the Public, from the Pensylvania Society for
  promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of free Negroes,
  unlawfully held in Bondage[195]._

It is with peculiar satisfaction, we assure the friends of humanity,
that, in prosecuting the design of our association, our endeavours
have proved successful, far beyond our most sanguine expectations.

Encouraged by this success, and by the daily progress of that
luminous and benign spirit of liberty, which is diffusing itself
throughout the world, and humbly hoping for the continuance of the
divine blessing on our labours, we have ventured to make an important
addition to our original plan, and do, therefore, earnestly solicit
the support and assistance of all, who can feel the tender emotions
of sympathy and compassion, or relish the exalted pleasure of

Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that
its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may
sometimes open a source of serious evils.

The unhappy man, who has long been treated as a brute animal,
too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human
species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his
intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his
heart. Accustomed to move like a mere machine, by the will of a
master, reflection is suspended; he has not the power of choice; and
reason and conscience have but little influence over his conduct,
because he is chiefly governed by the passion of fear. He is poor and
friendless--perhaps worn out by extreme labour, age, and disease.

Under such circumstances, freedom may often prove a misfortune to
himself, and prejudicial to society.

Attention to emancipated black people, it is therefore to be
hoped, will become a branch of our national police; but as far as
we contribute to promote this emancipation, so far that attention
is evidently a serious duty incumbent on us, and which we mean to
discharge to the best of our judgment and abilities.

To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to
freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty, to promote
in them habits of industry, to furnish them with employments suited
to their age, sex, talents, and other circumstances, and to procure
their children an education calculated for their future situation
in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which
we have adopted, and which we conceive will essentially promote
the public good, and the happiness of these our hitherto too much
neglected fellow-creatures.

A plan so extensive cannot be carried into execution without
considerable pecuniary resources, beyond the present ordinary funds
of the society. We hope much from the generosity of enlightened and
benevolent freemen, and will gratefully receive any donations or
subscriptions for this purpose, which may be made to our treasurer,
James Starr, or to James Pemberton, chairman of our committee of

  Signed by order of the society,


  9th of November, 1789._


[195] In an American periodical publication, this address and the
plan that follows it are ascribed to the pen of Dr. Franklin, which
induces us to give them a place here. _Editor._

  _Plan for improving the Condition of the Free Blacks._

The business relative to free blacks shall be transacted by a
committee of twenty-four persons, annually elected by ballot, at the
meeting of this society, in the month called April; and in order
to perform the different services with expedition, regularity, and
energy, this committee shall resolve itself into the following
sub-committees, viz:


A committee of inspection, who shall superintend the morals, general
conduct, and ordinary situation of the free negroes, and afford them
advice and instruction, protection from wrongs, and other friendly


A committee of guardians, who shall place out children and young
people with suitable persons, that they may (during a moderate time
of apprenticeship, or servitude) learn some trade or other business
of subsistence. The committee may effect this partly by a persuasive
influence on parents and the persons concerned; and partly by
co-operating with the laws, which are, or may be enacted for this,
and similar purposes: in forming contracts on these occasions, the
committee shall secure to the society, as far as may be practicable,
the right of guardianship over the persons so bound.


A committee of education, who shall superintend the
school-instruction of the children and youth of the free blacks; they
may either influence them to attend regularly the schools, already
established in this city, or form others with this view; they shall,
in either case, provide, that the pupils may receive such learning,
as is necessary for their future situation in life; and especially
a deep impression of the most important, and generally acknowledged
moral and religious principles. They shall also procure and preserve
a regular record of the marriages, births, and manumissions of all
free blacks.


A committee of employ, who shall endeavour to procure constant
employment for those free negroes who are able to work: as the want
of this would occasion poverty, idleness, and many vicious habits.
This committee will, by sedulous enquiry, be enabled to find common
labour for a great number; they will also provide, that such, as
indicate proper talents, may learn various trades, which may be
done by prevailing upon them to bind themselves for such a term
of years, as shall compensate their masters for the expence and
trouble of instruction and maintenance. The committee may attempt the
institution of some useful and simple manufactures, which require but
little skill, and also may assist, in commencing business, such as
appear to be qualified for it.

Whenever the committee of inspection shall find persons of any
particular description requiring attention, they shall immediately
direct them to the committee, of whose care they are the proper

In matters of a mixed nature, the committees shall confer, and, if
necessary, act in concert. Affairs of great importance shall be
referred to the whole committee.

The expence, incurred by the prosecution of this plan, shall be
defrayed by a fund, to be formed by donations, or subscriptions, for
these particular purposes, and to be kept separate from the other
funds of this society.

The committee shall make a report of their proceedings, and of the
state of their stock, to the society, at their quarterly meetings, in
the months called April and October.

  26th October, 1789._

  _Paper: a Poem[196]._

      Some wit of old--such wits of old there were--
    Whose hints show'd meaning, whose allusions care,
    By one brave stroke to mark all human kind,
    Call'd clear blank paper ev'ry infant mind;
    When still, as opening sense her dictates wrote,
    Fair virtue put a seal, or vice a blot.

      The thought was happy, pertinent, and true;
    Methinks a genius might the plan pursue.
    I (can you pardon my presumption), I--
    No wit, no genius, yet for once will try.

      Various the papers various wants produce,
    The wants of fashion, elegance, and use.
    Men are as various: and, if right I scan,
    Each sort of _paper_ represents some _man_.

      Pray note the fop--half powder and half lace--
    Nice, as a bandbox were his dwelling-place:
    He's the _gilt-paper_, which apart you store,
    And lock from vulgar hands in the 'scrutoire.

      Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth,
    Are _copy-paper_, of inferior worth;
    Less priz'd, more useful, for your desk decreed,
    Free to all pens, and prompt at ev'ry need.

      The wretch, whom av'rice bids to pinch and spare,
    Starve, cheat, and pilfer, to enrich an heir,
    Is coarse _brown-paper_; such as pedlars choose
    To wrap up wares, which better men will use.

      Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys
    Health, fame, and fortune, in a round of joys.

    Will any paper match him? Yes, throughout,
    He's a true _sinking-paper_, past all doubt.

      The retail politician's anxious thought
    Deems _this_ side always right, and _that_ stark nought;
    He foams with censure; with applause he raves--
    A dupe to rumours, and a tool of knaves;
    He'll want no type his weakness to proclaim,
    While such a thing as _fools-cap_ has a name.

      The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,
    Who picks a quarrel, if you step awry,
    Who can't a jest, or hint, or look endure:
    What's he? What? _Touch-paper_ to be sure.

      What are our poets, take them as they fall,
    Good, bad, rich, poor, much read, not read at all?
    Them and their works in the same class you'll find;
    They are the mere _waste-paper_ of mankind.

      Observe the maiden, innocently sweet,
    She's fair _white-paper_, an unsullied sheet;
    On which the happy man, whom fate ordains,
    May write his _name_, and take her for his pains.

    One instance more, and only one I'll bring;
    'Tis the _great man_ who scorns a little thing,
    Whose thoughts, whose deeds, whose maxims are his own,
    Form'd on the feelings of his heart alone:
    True genuine _royal-paper_ is his breast;
    Of all the kinds most precious, purest, best.


[196] We have been told, that this poem is not Franklin's, and the
name of some other person was at the time mentioned to us as the
author; but as we have forgotten both the name and the authority, and
as the poem has been ascribed to Dr. Franklin in the American Museum,
we think it not right to omit it. _Editor._

  _Plain Truth; or serious Considerations on the present State of the
  City of Philadelphia, and Province of Pensylvania:_


  Capta urbe, nihil fit reliqui victis. Sed, per deos immortales,
  vos ego appello, qui semper domos, villas, signa, tabulas vestras,
  tantæ æstimationis fecistis; si ista, cujuscumque modi sint, quæ
  amplexamini, retinere, si voluptatibus vestris otium præbere
  vultis; expergiscimini aliquando, & capessite rempublicam. Non
  agitur nunc de sociorum injuriis; _libertas & anima_ nostra in
  dubio est. Dux hostium cum exercitu supra caput est. Vos cunctamini
  etiam nunc, & dubitatis quid faciatis? Scilicet, res ipsa aspera
  est, sed vos non timetis eam. Imo vero maxime; sed inertiâ &
  mollitiâ animi, alius alium expectantes, cunctamini; videlicit,
  diis immortalibus confisi, qui hanc rempublicam in maximis
  periculis servavere _non votis, neque suppliciis muliebribus,
  auxilia deorum parantur_: vigilando, agendo, bene consulendo,
  prospere omnia cedunt. Ubi socordiæ tete atque ignaviæ tradideris,
  nequicquam deos implores; irati, infestique sunt.


It is said, the wise Italians make this proverbial remark on our
nation, viz. The English _feel_, but they do not _see_. That is,
they are sensible of inconveniences when they are present, but do
not take sufficient care to prevent them: their natural courage
makes them too little apprehensive of danger, so that they are often
surprised by it, unprovided of the proper means of security. When
it is too late, they are sensible of their imprudence: after great
fires, they provide buckets and engines: after a pestilence, they
think of keeping clean their streets and common sewers: and when a
town has been sacked by their enemies, they provide for its defence,
&c. This kind of _after-wisdom_ is indeed so common with us, as to
occasion the vulgar, though very insignificant saying, _When the
steed is stolen, you shut the stable door_.

But the more insensible we generally are of public danger and
indifferent when warned of it, so much the more freely, openly, and
earnestly, ought such as apprehend it to speak their sentiments;
that, if possible, those who seem to sleep may be awakened, to think
of some means of avoiding or preventing the mischief, before it be
too late.

Believing therefore, that it is my _duty_, I shall honestly speak my
mind in the following paper.

War, at this time, rages over a great part of the known world; our
newspapers are weekly filled with fresh accounts of the destruction
it every where occasions. Pensylvania, indeed, situate in the centre
of the colonies, has hitherto enjoyed profound repose; and though
our nation is engaged in a bloody war, with two great and powerful
kingdoms, yet, defended, in a great degree, from the French, on the
one hand, by the northern provinces, and from the Spaniards, on the
other, by the southern, at no small expence to each, our people have,
till lately, slept securely in their habitations.

There is no British colony, excepting this, but has made some kind
of provision for its defence; many of them have therefore never been
attempted by an enemy; and others, that were attacked, have generally
defended themselves with success. The length and difficulty of our
bay and river have been thought so effectual a security to us, that
hitherto no means have been entered into, that might discourage an
attempt upon us, or prevent its succeeding.

But whatever security this might have been while both country and
city were poor, and the advantage to be expected scarce worth the
hazard of an attempt, it is now doubted, whether we can any longer
safely depend upon it. Our wealth, of late years much encreased,
is one strong temptation, our defenceless state another, to induce
an enemy to attack us; while the acquaintance they have lately
gained with our Bay and river, by means of the prisoners and flags
of truce they have had among us; by spies which they almost every
where maintain, and perhaps from traitors among ourselves; with
the facility of getting pilots to conduct them; and the known
absence of ships of war, during the greatest part of the year, from
both Virginia and New York, ever since the war began, render the
appearance of success to the enemy far more promising, and therefore
highly encrease our danger.

That our enemies may have spies abroad, and some even in these
colonies, will not be made much doubt of, when it is considered, that
such has been the practice of all nations in all ages, whenever
they were engaged, or intended to engage, in war. Of this we have
an early example in the book of Judges (too pertinent to our case,
and therefore I must beg leave a little to enlarge upon it) where
we are told, _Chap._ xviii, v. 2. That _the children of Dan sent of
their family five men from their coasts to spie out the land, and
search it, saying, Go, search the land_. These Danites it seems were
at this time not very orthodox in their religion, and their spies
met with a certain idolatrous priest of their own persuasion, v. 3,
and they said to him, _Who brought thee hither? What makest thou in
this place? And what hast thou here?_ [Would to God no such priests
were to be found among us]. And they said unto him, v. 5. _Ask
counsel of God, that we may know, whether our way which we go shall
be prosperous: and the priest said unto them, Go in peace; before
the Lord is your way wherein you go._ [Are there no priests among
us, think you, that might, in the like case, give an enemy as good
encouragement? It is well known, that we have numbers of the same
religion with those, who of late encouraged the French to invade our
Mother Country.] _And they came_, verse 7, _to Laish, and saw the
people that were therein, how they dwelt_ CARELESS, _after the manner
of the Zidonians_, QUIET _and_ SECURE. They _thought_ themselves
secure, no doubt; and as they _never had been_ disturbed, vainly
imagined they _never should_. It is not unlikely, that some might see
the danger they were exposed to by living in that _careless_ manner;
but that, if these publicly expressed their apprehensions, the rest
reproached them as timorous persons, wanting courage or confidence in
their gods, who (they might say) had hitherto protected them. But
the spies, verse 8, returned, and said to their countrymen, verse 9,
_Arise, that we may go up against them; for we have seen the land,
and behold it is very good! And are ye still? Be not slothful to go._
Verse 10, _when ye go, ye shall come to a people_ SECURE; [that is, a
people that apprehend no danger, and therefore have made no provision
against it; great encouragement this!] _and to a large land, and a
place where there is no want of any thing_. What could they desire
more? Accordingly we find, in the following verses, that _six hundred
men_ only, _appointed with weapons of war_, undertook the conquest of
this _large land_; knowing that 600 men, armed and disciplined, would
be an over-match perhaps for 60,000, unarmed, undisciplined, and off
their guard. And when they went against it, the idolatrous priest,
verse 17, _with his graven image, and his ephod, and his seraphim,
and his molten image_, [plenty of superstitious trinkets] joined with
them, and, no doubt, gave them all the intelligence and assistance in
his power; his heart, as the text assures us, _being glad_, perhaps
for reasons more than one. And now, what was the fate of poor Laish!
The 600 men being arrived, found, as the spies had reported, a people
QUIET and SECURE, verse 20, 21, _And they smote them with the edge
of the sword, and burnt the city with_ FIRE; _and there was no_
DELIVERER, _because it was far from Zidon_.--Not so far from Zidon,
however, as Pensylvania is from Britain; and yet we are, if possible,
more _careless_ than the people of Laish! As the scriptures are given
for our reproof, instruction and warning, may we make a due use of
this example, before it be too late!

And is our _country_, any more than our city, altogether free from
danger? Perhaps not. We have, it is true, had a long peace with the
Indians: but it is a long peace indeed, as well as a long lane, that
has no ending. The French know the power and importance of the Six
Nations, and spare no artifice, pains or expence, to gain them to
their interest. By their priests they have converted many to their
religion, and these[198] have openly espoused their cause. The rest
appear irresolute what part to take; no persuasions, though enforced
with costly presents, having yet been able to engage them generally
on our side, though we had numerous forces on their borders, ready
to second and support them. What then may be expected, now those
forces are, by orders from the crown, to be disbanded, when our
boasted expedition is laid aside, through want (as it may appear to
them) either of strength or courage; when they see, that the French
and their Indians, boldly, and with impunity, ravage the frontiers
of New York, and scalp the inhabitants; when those few Indians,
that engaged with us against the French, are left exposed to their
resentment: when they consider these things, is there no danger that,
through disgust at our usage, joined with fear of the French power,
and greater confidence in their promises and protection than in ours,
they may be wholly gained over by our enemies, and join in the war
against us? If such should be the case, which God forbid, how soon
may the mischief spread to our frontier countries? And what may we
expect to be the consequence, but desertion of plantations, ruin,
bloodshed and confusion!

Perhaps some in the city, towns, and plantations near the river,
may say to themselves, "An Indian war on the frontiers will not
affect us; the enemy will never come near our habitations; let
those concerned take care of themselves." And others who live in
the country, when they are told of the danger the city is in from
attempts by sea, may say, "What is that to us? The enemy will be
satisfied with the plunder of the town, and never think it worth
his while to visit our plantations: let the town take care of
itself."--These are not mere suppositions, for I have heard some
talk in this strange manner. But are these the sentiments of true
Pensylvanians, of fellow-countrymen, or even of men, that have common
sense or goodness? Is not the whole province one body, united by
living under the same laws, and enjoying the same privileges? Are not
the people of city and country connected as relations, both by blood
and marriage, and in friendships equally dear? Are they not likewise
united in interest, and mutually useful and necessary to each other?
When the feet are wounded, shall the head say, it is not me; I will
not trouble myself to contrive relief! Or if the head is in danger,
shall the hands say, we are not affected, and therefore will lend
no assistance! No. For so would the body be easily destroyed: but
when all parts join their endeavours for its security, it is often
preserved. And such should be the union between the country and the
town; and such their mutual endeavours for the safety of the whole.
When New England, a distant colony, involved itself in a grievous
debt to reduce Cape Breton, we freely gave four thousand pounds for
_their_ relief. And at another time, remembering that Great Britain,
still more distant, groaned under heavy taxes in supporting the war,
we threw in our mite to their assistance, by a free gift of three
thousand pounds: and shall country and town join in helping strangers
(as those comparatively are) and yet refuse to assist each other?

But whatever different opinions we have of our security in other
respects, our TRADE, all seem to agree, is in danger of being ruined
in another year. The great success of our enemies, in two different
cruizes this last summer in our bay, must give them the greatest
encouragement to repeat more frequently their visits, the profit
being almost certain, and the risk next to nothing. Will not the
first effect of this be, an enhancing of the price of all foreign
goods to the tradesman and farmer, who use or consume them? For
the rate of insurance will increase, in proportion to the hazard
of importing them; and in the same proportion will the price of
those goods increase. If the price of the tradesman's work, and the
farmer's produce, would increase equally with the price of foreign
commodities, the damage would not be so great: but the direct
contrary must happen. For the same hazard or rate of insurance,
that raises the price of what is imported, must be deducted out of,
and lower the price of what is exported. Without this addition and
deduction, as long as the enemy cruize at our capes, and take those
vessels that attempt to _go out_, as well as those that endeavour to
_come in_, none can afford to trade, and business must be soon at a
stand. And will not the consequences be, a discouragement of many
of the vessels that used to come from other places to purchase our
produce, and thereby a turning of the trade to ports that can be
entered with less danger, and capable of furnishing them with the
same commodities, as New York, &c.; a lessening of business to every
shopkeeper, together with multitudes of bad debts, the high rate of
goods discouraging the buyers, and the low rates of their labour
and produce, rendering them unable to pay for what they had bought;
loss of employment to the tradesman, and bad pay for what little he
does; and lastly, loss of many inhabitants, who will retire to other
provinces not subject to the like inconveniences; whence a lowering
of the value of lands, lots, and houses.

The enemy, no doubt, have been told, that the people of Pensylvania
are Quakers, and against all defence, from a principle of conscience;
this, though true of a part, and that a small part only of the
inhabitants, is commonly said of the whole; and what may make it
look probable to strangers is, that in fact, nothing is done by any
part of the people towards their defence. But to refuse defending
one's self, or one's country, is so unusual a thing among mankind,
that possibly they may not believe it, till by experience, they find
they can come higher and higher up our river, seize our vessels,
land and plunder our plantations and villages, and retire with their
booty unmolested. Will not this confirm the report, and give them the
greatest encouragement to strike one bold stroke for the city, and
for the whole plunder of the river?

It is said by some, that the expence of a vessel, to guard our trade,
would be very heavy, greater than perhaps all the enemy can be
supposed to take from us at sea would amount to; and that it would
be cheaper for the government to open an insurance office, and pay
all losses. But is this right reasoning? I think not; for what the
enemy takes is clear loss to us, and gain to him; increasing his
riches and strength, as much as it diminishes ours, so making the
difference double; whereas the money, paid our own tradesmen for
building and fitting out a vessel of defence, remains in the country,
and circulates among us; what is paid to the officers and seamen,
that navigate her, is also spent ashore, and soon gets into other
hands; the farmer receives the money for her provisions, and, on the
whole, nothing is clearly lost to the country but her wear and tear,
or so much as she sells for at the end of the war less than her first
cost. This loss, and a trifling one it is, is all the inconvenience;
but how many and how great are the conveniences and advantages! and
should the enemy, through our supineness and neglect to provide for
the defence both of our trade and country, be encouraged to attempt
this city, and after plundering us of our goods, either _burn it_,
or put it to ransom, how great would that loss be! besides the
confusion, terror, and distress, so many hundreds of families would
be involved in!

The thought of this latter circumstance so much affects me, that
I cannot forbear expatiating somewhat more upon it. You have, my
dear countrymen and fellow citizens, riches to tempt a considerable
force to unite and attack you, but are under no ties or engagements
to unite for your defence. Hence, on the first alarm, _terror_ will
spread over all; and as no man can with certainty depend that another
will stand by him, beyond doubt very many will seek safety by a
speedy flight. Those, that are reputed rich, will flee, through fear
of torture, to make them produce more than they are able. The man,
that has a wife and children, will find them hanging on his neck,
beseeching him with tears to quit the city, and save his life, to
guide and protect them in that time of general desolation and ruin.
All will run into confusion, amidst cries and lamentations, and the
hurry and disorder of departers, carrying away their effects. The
few that remain will be unable to resist. _Sacking_ the city will
be the first, and _burning_ it, in all probability, the last act of
the enemy. This, I believe, will be the case, if you have timely
notice. But what must be your condition, if suddenly surprized,
without previous alarm, perhaps in the night! Confined to your
houses, you will have nothing to trust to but the enemy's mercy.
Your best fortune will be, to fall under the power of commanders of
king's ships, able to controul the mariners; and not into the hands
of _licentious privateers_. Who can, without the utmost horror,
conceive the miseries of the latter! when your persons, fortunes,
wives, and daughters, shall be subject to the wanton and unbridled
rage, rapine, and lust, of negroes, mulattoes, and others, the vilest
and most abandoned of mankind[199]. A dreadful scene! which some may
represent as exaggerated. I think it my duty to warn you: judge for

It is true, with very little notice, the rich may shift for
themselves. The means of speedy flight are ready in their hands;
and with some previous care to lodge money and effects in distant
and secure places, though they should lose much, yet enough may be
left them, and to spare. But most unhappily circumstanced indeed are
we, the middling people, the tradesmen, shopkeepers, and farmers of
this province and city! We cannot all fly with our families; and if
we could, how shall we subsist? No; we and they, and what little we
have gained by hard labour and industry, must bear the brunt: the
weight of contributions, extorted by the enemy (as it is of taxes
among ourselves) must be surely borne by us. Nor can it be avoided,
as we stand at present; for though we are numerous, we are quite
defenceless, having neither forts, arms, union, nor discipline. And
though it were true, that our trade might be protected at no great
expence, and our country and our city easily defended, if proper
measures were but taken; yet, who shall take these measures? Who
shall pay that expence? On whom may we fix our eyes with the least
expectation, that they will do any thing for our security? Should
we address that wealthy and powerful body of people, who have ever
since the war governed our elections, and filled almost every seat
in our assembly; should we intreat them to consider, if not as
friends, at least as legislators, that _protection_ is as truly due
from the government to the people, as _obedience_ from the people to
the government; and that if, on account of their religious scruples,
they themselves could do no act for our defence, yet they might
retire, relinquish their power for a season, quit the helm to freer
hands during the present tempest, to hands, chosen by their own
interest too, whose prudence and moderation, with regard to them,
they might safely confide in; secure, from their own native strength,
of resuming again their present station, whenever it shall please
them: should we remind them, that the public money, raised _from
all_, belongs _to all_; that since they have, for their own ease,
and to secure themselves in the quiet enjoyment of their religious
principles (and may they long enjoy them) expended such large sums
to oppose petitions, and engage favourable representations of their
conduct, if they themselves could by no means be free to appropriate
any part of the public money for our defence; yet it would be no
more than justice, to spare us a reasonable sum for that purpose,
which they might easily give to the king's use as heretofore,
leaving all the appropriation to others, who would faithfully apply
it as we desired: should we tell them, that though the treasury be
at present empty, it may soon be filled by the outstanding public
debts collected; or at least credit might be had for such a sum, on
a single vote of the assembly: that though _they_ themselves may
be resigned and easy under this naked, defenceless state of the
country, it is far otherwise with a very great part of the people;
with _us_, who can have no confidence that God will protect those,
that neglect the use of rational means for their security; nor have
any reason to hope, that our losses, if we should suffer any, may
be made up by collections in our favour at home. Should we conjure
them by all the ties of neighbourhood, friendship, justice, and
humanity, to consider these things; and what distraction, misery, and
confusion, what desolation and distress, may possibly be the effect
of their _unseasonable_ predominancy and perseverance; yet all would
be in vain: for they have already been, by great numbers of the
people, petitioned in vain. Our late governor did for years solicit,
request, and even threaten them in vain. The council have since twice
remonstrated to them in vain. Their religious prepossessions are
unchangeable, their obstinacy invincible. Is there then the least
hope remaining, that from that quarter any thing should arise for our

And is our prospect better, if we turn our eyes to the strength of
the opposite party, those great and rich men, merchants and others,
who are ever railing at Quakers for doing what their principles
seem to require, and what in charity we ought to believe they think
their duty, but take no one step themselves for the public safety.
They have so much wealth and influence, if they would use it, that
they might easily, by their endeavours and example, raise a military
spirit among us, make us fond, studious of, and expert in, martial
discipline, and affect every thing that is necessary, under God, for
our protection. But _envy_ seems to have taken possession of their
hearts, and to have eaten out and destroyed every generous, noble,
public-spirited sentiment. _Rage_ at the disappointment of their
little schemes for power, gnaws their souls, and fills them with
such cordial hatred to their opponents, that every proposal, by the
execution of which _those_ may receive benefit as well as themselves,
is rejected with indignation. "What," say they, "shall we lay out
our money to protect the trade of Quakers? Shall we fight to defend
Quakers? No; let the trade perish, and the city burn; let what will
happen, we shall never lift a finger to prevent it." Yet the Quakers
have _conscience_ to plead for their resolution not to fight, which
these gentlemen have not. Conscience with you, gentlemen, is on the
other side of the question: conscience enjoins it as a _duty_ on you
(and indeed I think it such on every man) to defend your country,
your friends, your aged parents, your wives, and helpless children:
and yet you resolve not to perform this duty, but act contrary to
your own consciences, because the Quakers act according to theirs.
Till of late, I could scarce believe the story of him, who refused
to pump in a sinking ship, because one on board, whom he hated,
would be saved by it as well as himself. But such, it seems, is the
unhappiness of human nature, that our passions, when violent, often
are too hard for the united force of reason, duty, and religion.

Thus unfortunately are we circumstanced at this time, my dear
countrymen and fellow-citizens; we, I mean, the middling people;
the farmers, shopkeepers, and tradesmen of this city and country.
Through the dissensions of our leaders, through mistaken principles
of religion, joined with a love of worldly power, on the one hand;
through pride, envy, and implacable resentment on the other;
our lives, our families, and little fortunes, dear to us as any
great man's can be to him, are to remain continually exposed to
destruction, from an enterprising, cruel, now well-informed, and
by success encouraged, enemy. It seems as if heaven, justly
displeased at our growing wickedness, and determined to punish[200]
this once-favoured land, had suffered our chiefs to engage in these
foolish and mischievous contentions, for _little posts_ and _paltry
distinctions_, that our hands might be bound up, our understandings
darkened and misled, and every means of our security neglected. It
seems as if our greatest men, our _cives nobilissimi_[201] of both
parties, had sworn the ruin of the country, and invited the French,
our most inveterate enemy to destroy it. Where then shall we seek
for succour and protection? The government we are immediately under
denies it to us; and if the enemy comes, we are _far from Zidon, and
there is no deliverer near_. Our case is dangerously bad; but perhaps
there is yet a remedy, if we have but the prudence and the spirit to
apply it.

If this new flourishing city, and greatly improving colony, is
destroyed and ruined, it will not be for want of numbers of
inhabitants able to bear arms in its defence. It is computed, that we
have at least (exclusive of the Quakers) sixty thousand fighting men,
acquainted with fire arms, many of them hunters and marksmen, hardy
and bold. All we want is order, discipline, and a few cannon. At
present we are like the separate filaments of flax before the thread
is formed, without strength, because without connection; but UNION
would make us strong, and even formidable. Though the _great_ should
neither help nor join us; though they should even oppose our uniting,
from some mean views of their own, yet, if we resolve upon it, and it
please God to inspire us with the necessary prudence and vigour, it
_may_ be effected. Great numbers of our people are of British race,
and though the fierce fighting animals of those happy islands are
said to abate their native fire and intrepidity, when removed to a
foreign clime, yet with the people it is not so; our neighbours of
New England afford the world a convincing proof, that Britons, though
a hundred years transplanted, and to the remotest part of the earth,
may yet retain, even to the third and fourth descent, that zeal for
the public good, that military prowess, and that undaunted spirit,
which has in every age distinguished their nation. What numbers
have we likewise of _those brave people_, whose fathers in the last
age made so glorious a stand for our religion and liberties, when
invaded by a powerful French army, joined by Irish Catholics, under
a bigotted popish king! Let the memorable siege of Londonderry, and
the signal actions of the Iniskillingers, by which the heart of that
prince's schemes was broken, be perpetual testimonies of the courage
and conduct of those noble warriors! Nor are there wanting amongst
us, thousands of _that warlike_ nation, whose sons have ever since
the time of Cæsar maintained the character he gave their fathers,
of joining the most _obstinate courage_ to all the other military
virtues: I mean the brave and steady Germans. Numbers of whom have
actually borne arms in the service of their respective princes; and
if they fought well for their tyrants and oppressors, would they
refuse to unite with us in defence of their newly acquired and most
precious liberty and property? Were this union formed, were we once
united, thoroughly armed and disciplined, was every thing in our
power done for our security, as far as human means and foresight
could provide, we might then, with more propriety, humbly ask the
assistance of Heaven, and a blessing on our lawful endeavours.
The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of
discouraging our enemies; for it is a wise and true saying, that _one
sword often keeps another in the scabbard_. The way to secure peace
is to be prepared for war. They, that are on their guard, and appear
ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being
attacked, than the supine, secure and negligent. We have yet a winter
before us, which may afford a good and almost sufficient opportunity
for this, if we seize and improve it with a becoming vigour. And if
the hints contained in this paper are so happy as to meet with a
suitable disposition of mind in his countrymen and fellow-citizens,
the writer of it will, in a few days, lay before them a form of
an ASSOCIATION for the purposes herein mentioned, together with a
practicable scheme for raising the money necessary for the defence of
our trade, city, and country, without laying a burthen on any man.

_May the God of wisdom, strength, and power, the Lord of the armies
of Israel, inspire us with prudence in this time of danger, take
away from us all the seeds of contention and division, and unite the
hearts and counsels of all of us, of whatever sect or nation, in one
bond of peace, brotherly love, and generous public spirit; may he
give us strength and resolution to amend our lives, and remove from
among us every thing that is displeasing to him; afford us his most
gracious protection, confound the designs of our enemies, and give
peace in all our borders, is the sincere prayer of_

  A TRADESMAN of Philadelphia.


[197] For this pamphlet we are indebted to the same American
correspondent, who furnished us with the papers intitled The
Busy-Body: but it came too late for insertion in its proper place,
which, agreeably to its date, is at the commencement of the present
volume. Dr. W. Smith, in his eulogium on our author, delivered before
the American philosophical society, speaks of this production as
follows: "In 1744, a Spanish privateer, having entered the Bay of
Delaware, ascended as high as Newcastle, to the great terror of the
citizens of Philadelphia. On this occasion Franklin wrote his first
political pamphlet called Plain Truth, to exhort his fellow-citizens
to the bearing of arms; which laid the foundation of those military
associations, which followed, at different times, for the defence of
the country." We presume that Dr. Smith is correct in his date, but
the copy sent us by our correspondent, which is the second edition,
was printed in 1747. _Editor._

[198] The praying Indians.

[199] By accounts, the ragged crew of the Spanish privateer that
plundered Mr. Liston's, and another plantation, a little below
Newcastle, was composed of such as these. The _honour_ and _humanity_
of their officers may be judged of, by the treatment they gave
poor captain Brown, whom they took with Martin's ship in returning
from their cruize. Because he bravely defended himself and vessel
longer than they expected, for which every generous enemy would
have esteemed him, did they, after he had struck and submitted,
barbarously _stab_ and _murder_ him, though on his knees begging

[200] When God determined to punish his chosen people, the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, who, though breakers of his other laws,
were scrupulous observers of that ONE, which required keeping holy
the Sabbath-day; he suffered even the strict observation of that
command to be their ruin: for Pompey, observing that they then
obstinately refused to fight, made a general assault on that day,
took the town, and butchered them with as little mercy as he found


[201] Conjuravere cives nobilissimi patriam incendere; GALLORUM
GENTEM, infestissimam nomini Romano, ad bellum arcessunt.


  _Four Letters[202] to George Whatley, Esq. Treasurer of the
  Foundling Hospital, London._

Letter I.

  _Passy, near Paris, Aug. 21, 1784._


I received your kind letter of May 3, 1783. I am ashamed that it
has been so long unanswered. The indolence of old age, frequent
indisposition, and too much business, are my only excuses. I had
great pleasure in reading it, as it informed me of your welfare.

Your excellent little work, "The Principles of Trade," is too
little known. I wish you would send me a copy of it by the bearer,
my grandson and secretary, whom I beg leave to recommend to your
civilities. I would get it translated and printed here, and if your
bookseller has any quantity of them left, I should be glad he would
send them to America. The ideas of our people there, though rather
better than those that prevail in Europe, are not so good as they
should be: and that piece might be of service among them.

Since and soon after the date of your letter, we lost, unaccountably
as well as unfortunately, that worthy, valuable young man you
mention, your namesake Maddeson. He was infinitely regretted by all
that knew him.

I am sorry your favourite charity does not go on as you could wish
it. It is shrunk indeed by your admitting only 60 children in a year.
What you have told your brethren respecting America is true. If you
find it difficult to dispose of your children in England, it looks
as if you had too many people. And yet you are afraid of emigration.
A subscription is lately set on foot here to encourage and assist
mothers in nursing their infants themselves at home; the practice of
sending them to the _Enfans Trouvés_ having risen here to a monstrous
excess, as by the annual bills it appears they amount to near one
third of the children born in Paris. This subscription is likely to
succeed, and may do a great deal of good, though it cannot answer all
the purposes of a foundling hospital.

Your eyes must continue very good, since you are able to write so
small a hand without spectacles. I cannot distinguish a letter even
of large print, but am happy in the invention of double spectacles,
which, serving for distant objects as well as near ones, make my
eyes as useful to me as ever they were. If all the other defects and
infirmities of old age could be as easily and cheaply remedied, it
would be worth while, my friend, to live a good deal longer. But I
look upon death to be as necessary to our constitutions as sleep. We
shall rise refreshed in the morning.--Adieu, and believe me ever,

  Your's most affectionately,


Letter II.

  _Passy, May 19, 1785._


I received the very good letter you sent me by my grandson, together
with your resemblance, which is placed in my chamber and gives me
great pleasure: there is no trade, they say, without returns, and
therefore I am punctual in making those you have ordered. I intended
this should have been a long epistle, but I am interrupted, and can
only add, that I am ever,

  Yours, most affectionately,


My grandson presents his most affectionate respects.

Letter III.

  _Passy, May 23, 1785._


I sent you a few lines the other day with the medallion, when I
should have written more, but was prevented by the coming in of a
_bavard_, who worried me till evening. I bore with him, and now you
are to bear with me, for I shall probably _bavarder_ in answering
your letter.

I am not acquainted with the saying of Alphonsus, which you allude to
as a sanctification of your rigidity in refusing to allow me the plea
of old age as an excuse for my want of exactitude in correspondence.
What was that saying?--You do not, it seems, feel any occasion for
such an excuse, though you are, as you say, rising 75, but I am
rising (perhaps more properly falling) 80--and I leave the excuse
with you till you arrive at that age; perhaps you may then be more
sensible of its validity, and see fit to use it for yourself.

I must agree with you, that the gout is bad, and that the stone is
worse. I am happy in not having them both together, and I join in
your prayer, that you may live till you die without either. But I
doubt the author of the epitaph you sent me is a little mistaken,
when, speaking of the world, he says, that

    ----------------He ne'er car'd a pin
    What they said or may say of the mortal within.

It is so natural to wish to be well spoken of, whether alive or dead,
that I imagine he could not be quite exempt from that desire, and
that at least he wished to be thought a wit, or he would not have
given himself the trouble of writing so good an epitaph to leave
behind him. Was it not worthy of his care, that the world should
say he was an honest and a good man? I like better the concluding
sentiment in the old song, called the old man's wish, wherein, after
wishing for a warm house in a country town, an easy horse, some good
old authors, ingenious and cheerful companions, pudding on Sundays,
with stout ale and a bottle of burgundy, &c. &c. in separate
stanzas, each ending with this burden,

    May I govern my passions with absolute sway,
    And grow wiser and better as strength wears away,
    Without gout or stone by a gentle decay--

he adds for the last stanza,

    With courage undaunted may I face my last day,
    And when I am gone may the better sort say,
    In the morning when sober, in the evening when mellow,
    He's gone--and not left behind him his fellow.
    For he govern'd his passions, &c.

What signifies our wishing? Things happen after all as they will
happen. I have sung that _wishing song_ a thousand times when I was
young, and now find at fourscore, that the three contraries have
befallen me, being subject to the gout, and the stone, and not being
yet master of all my passions. Like the proud girl in my country,
who wished and resolved not to marry a parson, nor a presbyterian,
nor an Irishman, and at length found herself married to an Irish
presbyterian parson! You see I have some reason to wish that in a
future state I may not only be _as well as I was_, but a little
better. And I hope it: for I too, with your poet, _trust in God_. And
when I observe, that there is great frugality as well as wisdom in
his works, since he has been evidently sparing, both of labour and
materials; for by the various wonderful inventions of propagation,
he has provided for the continual peopling his world with plants and
animals without being at the trouble of repeated new creations; and
by the natural reduction of compound substances to their original
elements, capable of being employed in new compositions, he has
prevented the necessity of creating new matter; for that the earth,
water, air, and perhaps fire, which being compounded, form wood, do,
when the wood is dissolved, return, and again become air, earth, fire
and water:--I say, that when I see nothing annihilated, and not even
a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls,
or believe that he will suffer the daily waste of millions of minds
ready made that now exist, and put himself to the continual trouble
of making new ones. Thus finding myself to exist in the world, I
believe I shall in some shape or other always exist. And with all the
inconveniences human _life_ is liable to, I shall not object to a new
edition of mine; hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be

I return your note of children received in the foundling hospital
at Paris, from 1741 to 1755 inclusive, and I have added the
years preceding, as far back as 1710, together with the general
christenings of the city; and the years succeeding, down to 1770.
Those since that period I have not been able to obtain. I have noted
in the margin the gradual increase, viz. from every tenth child so
thrown upon the public, till it comes to every third. Fifteen years
have passed since the last account, and probably it may now amount
to one half. Is it right to encourage this monstrous deficiency of
natural affection? A surgeon I met with here excused the women of
Paris, by saying seriously, that they _could not_ give suck, _Car,
dit-il, ils n'ont point de tetons_. He assured me it was a fact, and
bade me look at them, and observe how flat they were on the breast;
they have nothing more there, says he, than I have upon the back
of my hand. I have since thought that there might be some truth in
his observation, and that possibly Nature finding they made no use
of bubbies, has left off giving them any. Yet since Rousseau, with
admirable eloquence pleaded for the rights of children to their
mother's milk, the mode has changed a little, and some ladies of
quality now suckle their infants and find milk enough. May the mode
descend to the lower ranks, till it becomes no longer the custom to
pack their infants away, as soon as born, to the _Enfants Trouvés_,
with the careless observation, that the king is better able to
maintain them. I am credibly informed, that nine-tenths of them
die there pretty soon; which is said to be a great relief to the
institution, whose funds would not otherwise be sufficient to bring
up the remainder. Except the few persons of quality above-mentioned,
and the multitude who send to the hospital, the practice is to hire
nurses in the country, to carry out the children and take care of
them there. Here is an office for examining the health of nurses and
giving them licences. They come to town on certain days of the week
in companies to receive the children, and we often meet trains of
them on the road returning to the neighbouring villages with each
a child in arms. But those who are good enough to try this way of
raising their children are often not able to pay the expence, so that
the prisons of Paris are crouded with wretched fathers and mothers
confined _pour mois de nourice_; though it is laudably a favourite
charity to pay for them, and set such prisoners at liberty. I wish
success to the new project of assisting the poor to keep their
children at home, because I think there is no nurse like a mother (or
not many) and that if parents did not immediately send their infants
out of their sight, they would in a few days begin to love them, and
thence be spurred to greater industry for their maintenance. This is
a subject you understand better than I, and therefore, having perhaps
said too much, I drop it. I only add to the notes a remark from the
history of the Academy of Sciences, much in favour of the foundling

The Philadelphia bank goes on, as I hear, very well. What you call
the Cincinnati institution is no institution of our government, but
a private convention among the officers of our late army, and so
universally disliked by the people, that it is supposed it will be
dropped. It was considered as an attempt to establish something like
an hereditary rank or nobility. I hold with you that it was wrong;
may I add, that all descending honours are wrong and absurd; that
the honour of virtuous actions appertains only to him that performs
them, and is in its nature incommunicable. If it were communicable
by descent, it must also be divisible among the descendants, and
the more ancient the family the less would be found existing in any
one branch of it; to say nothing of the greater chance of unlucky

Our constitution seems not to be well understood with you. If the
congress were a permanent body, there would be more reason in being
jealous of giving it powers. But its members are chosen annually, and
cannot be chosen more than three years successively, nor more than
three years in seven, and any of them may be recalled at any time,
whenever their constituents shall be dissatisfied with their conduct.
They are of the people, and return again to mix with the people,
having no more durable pre-eminence than the different grains of sand
in an hour-glass. Such an assembly cannot easily become dangerous
to liberty. They are the servants of the people, sent together to do
the people's business and promote the public welfare; their powers
must be sufficient, or their duties cannot be performed. They have
no profitable appointments, but a mere payment of daily wages, such
as are scarcely equivalent to their expences, so that having no
chance for great places and enormous salaries or pensions, as in some
countries, there is no briguing or bribing for elections. I wish old
England were as happy in its government, but I do not see it. Your
people, however, think their constitution the best in the world, and
affect to despise ours. It is comfortable to have a good opinion of
one's self, and of every thing that belongs to us, to think one's own
religion, king, and wife, the best of all possible wives, kings, and
religions. I remember three Greenlanders, who had travelled two years
in Europe, under the care of some Moravian missionaries, and had
visited Germany, Denmark, Holland and England, when I asked them at
Philadelphia (when they were in their way home) whether, now they had
seen how much more commodiously the white people lived by the help of
the arts, they would not chuse to remain among us--their answer was,
that they were pleased with having had an opportunity of seeing many
fine things, _but they chose to live in their own country_: which
country, by the way, consisted of rock only, for the Moravians were
obliged to carry earth in their ship from New York, for the purpose
of making there a cabbage garden!

By Mr. Dollond's saying, that my double spectacles could only serve
particular eyes, I doubt he has not been rightly informed of their
construction, I imagine it will be found pretty generally true, that
the same convexity of glass through which a man sees clearest and
best at the distance proper for reading, is not the best for greater
distances. I therefore had formerly two pair of spectacles, which I
shifted occasionally, as in travelling I sometimes read and often
want to regard the prospects. Finding this change troublesome, and
not always sufficiently ready, I had the glasses cut out and half
of each kind associated in the same circle, the least convex, for
distant objects the upper half, and the most convex, for reading,
the lower half: by this means, as I wear my spectacles constantly,
I have only to move my eyes up or down, as I want to see distinctly
far or near, the proper glasses being always ready. This I find more
particularly convenient since my being in France; the glasses that
serve me best at table to see what I eat, being the best to see the
faces of those on the other side of the table who speak to me, and
when one's ears are not well accustomed to the sounds of a language,
a sight of the movements in the features of him that speaks helps
to explain; so that I understand French better by the help of my

My intended translator of your piece, the only one I know who
understands _the subject_ as well as the two languages, which a
translator ought to do, or he cannot make so good a translation, is
at present occupied in an affair that prevents his undertaking it;
but that will soon be over.--I thank you for the notes. I should be
glad to have another of the printed pamphlets.

We shall always be ready to take your children, if you send them to
us; I only wonder, that since London draws to itself and consumes
such numbers of your country people, your country should not, to
supply their places, want and willingly receive the children you have
to dispose of. That circumstance, together with the multitude who
voluntarily part with their freedom as men, to serve for a time as
lacqueys, or for life as soldiers in consideration of small wages,
seems to me a proof that your island is over-peopled, and yet it is
afraid of emigrations! Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever,

  Yours, very affectionately,


Letter IV.

  _Philadelphia, May 18, 1787._

I received duly my good old friend's letter of the 19th of February,
with a copy of one from Mr. Williams, to whom I shall communicate it
when I see him, which I expect soon to do. He is generally a punctual
correspondent, and I am surprised you have not heard from him.

I thank you much for your notes on banks; they are just and
solid, as far as I can judge of them. Our bank here has met with
great opposition, partly from envy, and partly from those who
wish an emission of more paper-money, which they think the bank
influence prevents. But it has stood all attacks, and went on well
notwithstanding the assembly repealed its charter; a new assembly has
restored it; and the management is so prudent, that I have no doubt
of its continuing to go on well. The dividend has never been less
than 6 per cent, nor will that be augmented for some time, as the
surplus profit is reserved to face accidents. The dividend of 11 per
cent, which was once made, was from a circumstance scarce avoidable.
A new company was proposed, and prevented only by admitting a number
of new partners. As many of the first set were averse to this, and
chose to withdraw; it was necessary to settle their accounts; so all
were adjusted, the profits shared that had been accumulated, and the
new and old proprietors jointly began on a new and equal footing.
Their notes are always instantly paid on demand, and pass on all
occasions as readily as silver, because they will always produce

Your medallion is in good company, it is placed with those of Lord
Chatham, Lord Camden, Marquis of Rockingham, Sir George Savil, and
some others, who honoured me with a share of friendly regard when in
England. I believe I have thanked you for it, but I thank you again.

I believe with you, that if our plenipotentiary is desirous of
concluding a treaty of commerce, he may need patience. But if I were
in his place, and not otherwise instructed, I should be apt to say,
Take your own time, gentlemen. If the treaty cannot be made as much
to your advantage as to ours, don't make it. I am sure the want of it
is not more to our disadvantage than to yours. Let the merchants on
both sides treat with one another. _Laissez les faire._

I have never considered attentively the congress scheme for coining,
and I have it not now at hand, so that at present I can say nothing
to it. The chief uses of coining seem to be ascertaining the fineness
of the metals, and saving the time that would otherwise be spent in
weighing to ascertain the quantity. But the convenience of fixed
values to pieces is so great as to force the currency of some whose
stamp is worn off, that should have assured their fineness, and which
are evidently not of half their due weight; this is the case at
present with the sixpences in England, which one with another do not
weigh three-pence.

You are now 78, and I am 82. You tread fast upon my heels: but,
though you have more strength and spirit, you cannot come up with
me till I stop; which must now be soon; for I am grown so old as to
have buried most of the friends of my youth; and I now often hear
persons, whom I knew when children, called _old_ Mr. such a one, to
distinguish them from their sons now men grown, and in business; so
that by living twelve years beyond _David's_ period, I seem to have
intruded myself into the company of posterity, when I ought to have
been a-bed and asleep. Yet had I gone at 70, it would have cut off 12
of the most active years of my life, employed too in matters of the
greatest importance; but whether I have been doing good or mischief,
is for time to discover. I only know that I intended well, and I hope
all will end well.

Be so good as to present my affectionate respects to Dr. Rowley. I
am under great obligations to him, and shall write to him shortly.
It will be a pleasure to him to hear that my malady does not grow
sensibly worse, and that is a great point: for it has always been so
tolerable, as not to prevent my enjoying the pleasures of society,
and being cheerful in conversation. I owe this in a great measure to
his good counsels.

  Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever,

  Yours, most affectionately,


  _Geo. Whatley, Esq._


[202] These letters did not come into our possession till the
preceding sheets and even the subsequent appendix were printed. We
are indebted for them to Mr. I. T. Rutt, the originals of which were
put into his hands about twelve years ago by a relation of his, the
nephew of the gentleman to whom they were addressed. "Mr. Whatley,
the friend of Dr. Franklin," Mr. Rutt informs us, "had engaged in
mercantile pursuits, and was for some time a British consul in the
Mediterranean. During the latter years of his life, he devoted his
time to various objects of public utility, for which he was well
qualified, and particularly attached himself to the interests of
the Foundling Hospital, of which he was the treasurer. He died in
1791, aged 82, having survived his correspondent not quite a year."



  _Letter from the late Dr. Price to a Gentleman in America._

  _Hackney, June 19, 1790._


I am hardly able to tell you how kindly I take the letters with which
you favour me. Your last, containing an account of the death of our
excellent friend, Dr. Franklin, and the circumstances attending it,
deserves my particular gratitude. The account which he has left of
his life will show, in a striking example, how a man, by talents,
industry, and integrity, may rise from obscurity to the first
eminence and consequence in the world; but it brings his history no
lower than the year 1757, and I understand, that since he sent over
the copy, which I have read, he has been able to make no additions to
it. It is with a melancholy regret I think of his death; but to death
we are all bound by the irreversible order of nature, and in looking
forward to it, there is comfort in being able to reflect--that we
have not lived in vain, and that all the useful and virtuous shall
meet in a better country beyond the grave.

Dr. Franklin, in the last letter I received from him, after
mentioning his age and infirmities, observes, that it has been
kindly ordered by the author of nature, that, as we draw nearer the
conclusion of life, we are furnished with more helps to wean us from
it, among which one of the strongest is the loss of dear friends. I
was delighted with the account you gave in your letter of the honour
shown to his memory at Philadelphia, and by congress; and yesterday
I received a high additional pleasure, by being informed, that the
national assembly of France had determined to go into mourning for
him[203].--What a glorious scene is opened there! The annals of the
world furnish no parallel to it. One of the honours of our departed
friend is, that he has contributed much to it.

  I am, with great respect,

  Your obliged and very

  humble servant,



[203] Congress ordered a general mourning throughout the United
States for a month: the national assembly of France decreed, that
the assembly do wear mourning for three days, that a funeral oration
be delivered by M. Mirabeau, the elder, and that the president
write a letter of condolence to congress: and the common-council of
Paris paid the extraordinary tribute, of attending in a body at a
funeral oration, delivered by the Abbe Fauchet, in the Rotunda of the
market-place, which was hung with black, illuminated with chandeliers
and rows of lamps, and decorated with suitable devices. _Editor._

  _Letter from Mr. Thomas Jefferson to the late Dr. William Smith, of

I feel both the wish and the duty to communicate, in compliance with
your request, whatever, within my knowledge, might render justice to
the memory of our great countryman, Dr. Franklin, in whom philosophy
has to deplore one of its principal luminaries extinguished. But my
opportunities of knowing the interesting facts of his life have not
been equal to my desire of making them known.

I can only, therefore, testify in general, that there appeared
to me more respect and veneration attached to the character of
Dr. Franklin in France, than to that of any other person in the
same country, foreign or native. I had opportunities of knowing
particularly, how far these sentiments were felt by the foreign
ambassadors and ministers at the court of Versailles. The fable of
his capture by the Algerines, propagated by the English newspapers,
excited no uneasiness, as it was seen at once to be a dish cooked up
to please certain readers; but nothing could exceed the anxiety of
his diplomatic brethren on a subsequent report of his death, which,
although premature, bore some marks of authenticity.

I found the ministers of France equally impressed with his talents
and integrity. The count de Vergennes, particularly, gave me repeated
and unequivocal demonstrations of his entire confidence in him.

When he left Passy, it seemed as if the village had lost its
patriarch. On taking leave of the court, which he did by letter, the
king ordered him to be handsomely complimented, and furnished him
with a litter and mules of his own, the only kind of conveyance the
state of his health could bear.

The succession to Dr. Franklin, at the court of France, was an
excellent school of humility to me. On being presented to any one, as
the minister of America, the common-place question was, "_c'est vous
Monsieur, qui remplacez le Docteur Franklin?_"--is it you, sir, who
replace Dr. Franklin? I generally answered--"No one can replace him,
sir; I am only his successor."

I could here relate a number of those _bon mots_, with which he was
used to charm every society, as having heard many of them; but these
are not your object. Particulars of greater dignity happened not to
occur, during his stay of nine months after my arrival in France.

A little before that time, Argand had invented his celebrated lamp,
in which the flame is spread into a hollow cylinder, and thus brought
into contact with the air, within as well as without. Dr. Franklin
had been on the point of the same discovery. The idea had occurred to
him; but he had tried a bullrush as a wick, which did not succeed.
His occupations did not permit him to repeat and extend his trials to
the introduction of a larger column of air, than could pass through
the stem of a bullrush.

About that time, also, the king of France gave him a signal testimony
of respect, by joining him with some of the most illustrious men of
the nation to examine that ignis-fatuus of philosophy, the animal
magnetism of the maniac, Mesmer; the pretended effects of which had
astonished all Paris. From Dr. Franklin's hand, in conjunction with
his brethren of the learned committee, that compound of fraud and
folly was unveiled, and received its death-wound. After this nothing
very interesting was before the public, either in philosophy or
politics, during his stay; and he was principally occupied in winding
up his affairs, and preparing for his return to America.

These small offerings to the memory of our great and dear friend
(whom time will be making still greater, while it is spunging us from
its records) must be accepted by you, sir, in that spirit of love
and veneration for him, in which they are made; and not according to
their insignificancy in the eyes of a world, which did not want this
mite to fill up the measure of his worth.

His death was an affliction which was to happen to us at some time or
other. We have reason to be thankful he was so long spared; that the
most useful life should be the longest also; that it was protracted
so far beyond the ordinary span allotted to humanity, as to avail us
of his wisdom and virtue, in the establishment of our freedom in the
west; and to bless him with a view of its dawn in the east, where men
seemed till now to have learned every thing--but _how to be free_.


[204] Extracted from the Eulogium on Dr. Franklin, delivered by Dr.
W. Smith, before the American philosophical society. _Editor._

  _Letter from the late Dr. Joseph Priestley to the Editor of the
  Monthly Magazine[205]._


I have just read in the Monthly Review, vol. 36, p. 357, that the
late Mr. Pennant said of Dr. Franklin, that, "living under the
protection of our mild government, he was secretly playing the
incendiary, and too successfully inflaming the minds of our fellow
subjects in America, till that great explosion happened, which for
ever disunited us from our once happy colonies."

As it is in my power, as far as my testimony will be regarded, to
refute this charge, I think it due to our friendship to do it. It
is probable, that no person now living was better acquainted with
Dr. Franklin and his sentiments on all subjects of importance, than
myself, for several years before the American war. I think I knew him
as well as one man can generally know another. At that time I spent
the winters in London, in the family of the Marquis of Lansdown,
and few days passed without my seeing more or less of Dr. Franklin;
and the last day that he passed in England, having given out that
he should depart the day before, we spent together, without any
interruption, from morning till night.

Now he was so far from wishing for a rupture with the colonies,
that he did more than most men would have done, to prevent it. His
constant advice to his countrymen, he always said, was "to bear every
thing from England, however unjust;" saying, that "it could not
last long, as they would soon outgrow all their hardships." On this
account Dr. Price, who then corresponded with some of the principal
persons in America, said, he began to be very unpopular there. He
always said, "If there must be a war, it will be a war of ten years,
and I shall not live to see the end of it." This I have heard him say
many times.

It was at his request, enforced by that of Dr. Fothergil, that I
wrote an anonymous pamphlet, calculated to show the injustice and
impolicy of a war with the colonies, previous to the meeting of a new
parliament. As I then lived at Leeds, he corrected the press himself,
and, to a passage, in which I lamented the attempt to establish
arbitrary power in so large a part of the British empire, he added
the following clause, "to the imminent danger of our most valuable
commerce, and of that national strength, security, and felicity,
which depend on union and on liberty."

The unity of the British empire, in all its parts, was a favourite
idea of his. He used to compare it to a beautiful China vase, which,
if once broken, could never be put together again: and so great an
admirer was he at the time of the British constitution, that he said
he saw no inconvenience from its being extended over a great part
of the globe. With these sentiments he left England; but when, on
his arrival in America, he found the war begun, and that there was
no receding, no man entered more warmly into the interests of what
he then considered as _his country_, in opposition to that of Great
Britain. Three of his letters to me, one written immediately on his
landing, and published in the collection of his Miscellaneous Works,
p. 365, 552, and 555[206], will prove this.

By many persons, Dr. Franklin is considered as having been a
cold-hearted man, so callous to every feeling of humanity, that the
prospect of all the horrors of a civil war could not affect him. This
was far from being the case. A great part of the day abovementioned
that we spent together, he was looking over a number of American
newspapers, directing me what to extract from them for the English
ones; and, in reading them, he was frequently not able to proceed
for the tears literally running down his cheeks. To strangers he was
cold and reserved; but where he was intimate, no man indulged to more
pleasantry and good humour. By this he was the delight of a club, to
which he alludes in one of the letters above referred to, called the
_whig-club_, that met at the London coffee-house, of which Dr. Price,
Dr. Kippis, Mr. John Lee, and others of the same stamp, were members.

Hoping that this vindication of Dr. Franklin will give pleasure to
many of your readers, I shall proceed to relate some particulars
relating to his behaviour, when lord Loughborough, then Mr.
Wedderburn, pronounced his violent invective against him at the
privy-council, on his presenting the complaints of the province of
Massachusetts (I think it was) against their governor. Some of the
particulars may be thought amusing.

On the morning of the day on which the cause was to be heard, I
met Mr. Burke, in Parliament-street, accompanied by Dr. Douglas,
afterwards bishop of Carlisle; and after introducing us to each
other, as men of letters, he asked me whither I was going? I said I
could tell him where I _wished_ to go. He then asking me where that
was, I said to the privy-council, but that I was afraid I could not
get admission. He then desired me to go along with him. Accordingly
I did; but when we got into the anti-room, we found it quite filled
with persons as desirous of getting admission as ourselves. Seeing
this, I said, we should never get through the crowd. He said, "Give
me your arm;" and locking it fast in his, he soon made his way to
the door of the privy-council. I then said, Mr. Burke, you are an
excellent leader; he replied, "I wish other persons thought so too."

After waiting a short time, the door of the privy-council opened,
and we entered the first, when Mr. Burke took his stand behind the
first chair next to the president, and I behind that the next to his.
When the business was opened, it was sufficiently evident, from the
speech of Mr. Wedderburn, who was counsel for the governor, that the
real object of the court was to insult Dr. Franklin. All this time
he stood in a corner of the room, not far from me, without the least
apparent emotion.

Mr. Dunning, who was the leading counsel on the part of the colony,
was so hoarse, that he could hardly make himself heard; and Mr. Lee,
who was the second, spoke but feebly in reply; so that Mr. Wedderburn
had a complete triumph. At the sallies of his sarcastic wit, all
the members of the council, the president himself (Lord Gower) not
excepted, frequently laughed outright. No person belonging to the
council behaved with decent gravity, except Lord North, who, coming
late, took his stand behind the chair opposite to me.

When the business was over, Dr. Franklin, in going out, took me by
the hand, in a manner that indicated some feeling. I soon followed
him, and going through the anti-room, saw Mr. Wedderburn there
surrounded with a circle of his friends and admirers. Being known to
him, he stepped forwards as if to speak to me; but I turned aside,
and made what haste I could out of the place.

The next morning I breakfasted with the doctor, when he said, "He
had never before been so sensible of the power of a good conscience;
for that if he had not considered the thing for which he had been
so much insulted, as one of the best actions of his life, and what
he should certainly do again in the same circumstances, he could not
have supported it." He was accused of clandestinely procuring certain
letters, containing complaints against the governor, and sending them
to America, with a view to excite their animosity against him, and
thus to embroil the two countries. But he assured me, that he did not
even know that such letters existed, till they were brought to him
as agent for the colony, in order to be sent to his constituents;
and the cover of the letters on which the direction had been
written, being lost, he only guessed at the person to whom they were
addressed, by the contents.

That Dr. Franklin, notwithstanding he did not show it at the time,
was much impressed by the business of the privy council, appeared
from this circumstance: when he attended there, he was dressed in
a suit of Manchester velvet; and Silas Dean told me, that, when
they met at Paris to sign the treaty between France and America, he
purposely put on that suit.

Hoping that this communication will be of some service to the memory
of Dr. Franklin, and gratify his friends,

  I am, sir, your's, &c.


  _Northumberland, Nov. 10, 1802._


[205] Inserted in the number for February, 1803. _Editor._

[206] Answering to page [___] of the present volume. _Editor._



  _Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row_.



  _Accent_, or emphasis, wrong placing of, a fault in modern tunes, ii. 345.

  _Accidents_ at sea, how to guard against, ii. 172.

  _Adams_, Mr. Matthew, offers the use of his library to Franklin, i. 16.

  _Addison_, Franklin an assiduous imitator of, in his youth, i. 13.

  _Advice_ to youth in reading, ii. 378.
      to emigrants to America, iii. 398.
      to a crafty statesman, 430.
      to a young tradesman, 463.
      to a young married man, 477.
      to players at chess, 490.

  _Æpinus_, his hypothesis of magnetism, i. 412.

  _Agriculture_ takes place of manufactures till a country is fully settled,
               iii. 107.
      the great business of America, 393.

  _Air_, some of the properties of, ii. 226.
      its properties with respect to electricity, i. 204.
      properties of its particles, 205. ii. 1.
      its currents over the globe, i. 207.
      resists the electric fluid and confines it to bodies, 241.
      its effects in electrical experiments, 253.
      its elasticity not affected by electricity, 254.
      its friction against trees, 270, 323.
      has its share of electricity, 333.
      its electricity denser above than below, 335.
      in rooms, electrified positively and negatively, 353.
      attracts water, ii. 1.
      when saturated with water precipitates it, 2.
      dissolves water, and, when dry, oil, 4.
      why suffocating, when impregnated with oil or grease, _ibid._
      supports water, 5, 46, 49.
      why less heated in the higher regions than near the earth's surface,
      how it creates hurricanes, _ibid._
          winds, 8.
          whirlwinds, 10.
      effects of heat upon, 50.
      its effects on the barometer, 92.
      condensed, supposed to form the centre of the earth, 119, 127.
      noxious, corrected by vegetation, 129.
      observations on the free use of, 213.
      rare, no bad conductor of sound, 337.
      fresh, beneficial effects of, in bed-rooms, iii. 495.

  _Air-thermometer_, electrical, experiments with, i. 336.

  _Albany_ plan of union, short account of, i. 127.
      its singular fate, 129.
      papers relating to, iii. 3.
      motives on which formed, 4.
      rejects partial unions, 6.
      its president and grand council, 9.
      election of members, 12.
      place of first meeting, 13.
      new election, _ibid._
      proportion of members after three years, 15.
      meetings of the grand council and call, 16.
      allowance to members, 17.
      power of president and his duty, 18.
      treaties of peace and war, _ibid._
      Indian trade and purchases, 19.
      new settlements, 21.
      military establishments, 23.
      laws and taxes, 24, 26.
      issuing of money, 25.
      appointment of officers, 27.
      rejected in England, 29.

  _Almanack._ _See Poor Richard._

  _Alphabet_, a new one proposed, ii. 357.
      examples of writing in it, 360.
      correspondence on its merits, 361.

  _Amber_, electrical experiments on, i. 403.

  _America_, North, air of, drier than that of England and France, ii. 140.
      why marriages are more frequent there than in Europe, 385.
      why labour will long continue dear there, _ibid._
      argument against the union of the colonies of, under one government,
      state of toleration there, 457.
      reflections on the scheme of imposing taxes on, without its consent,
               iii. 30.
      thoughts on the representation of, in the British parliament, 37.
      interest of Great Britain with regard to, 39.
      forts in the back settlements of, no security against France, 99.
      wars carried on there against the French, not merely in the cause of
               the colonies, 105.
      preference of the colonies of, to the West Indian colonies, 113.
      great navigable rivers of, favourable to inland trade, 118.
      what commodities the inland parts of, are fitted to produce, 119.
      the productions of, do not interfere with those of Britain, 123.
      union of the colonies of, in a revolt against Britain, impossible but
               from grievous oppression, 132.
      reasons given for restraining paper-bills of credit there, 144.
      intended scheme of a bank there, described, 155.
      attempts of Franklin for conciliation of Britain with, 286.
      feeling of, as to Britain, in May 1775, 346.
      conciliation of Britain with, hopeless, 355.
      account of the first campaign of the British forces against, 357.
      application of, to foreign courts, for aid in its independence, 360.
      credit of, with that of Britain, in 1777, compared, 372.
      true description of the interest and policy of, 391.
      information to those emigrating thither, 398.
      terms on which land may be obtained for new settlements there, 409.

  _Americans_, their prejudices for whatever is English, i. 144.

  _Anchor_, a swimming one proposed, ii. 181, 185.

  _Ancients_, their experimental learning too often slighted, ii. 146.

  _Anecdote_ of Franklin's early spirit of enterprise, i. 11.
      of a Swedish clergyman among the Indians, iii. 386.
      of an Indian who went to church, 389.

  _Animal_ food, Franklin's abstinence from, i. 20.
      return to, 47.
      humorous instance of abstinence from, 49.
      heat, whence it arises, ii. 79, 125.
      magnetism, detected and exposed, i. 150.

  _Animalcules_, supposed to cause the luminous appearance of sea-water,
               ii. 89.

  _Animals_, how to kill them by electricity, i. 415.

  _Antifederalists_ of America, comparison of, to the ancient Jews,
               iii. 410.

  _Apprentices_ easier placed out in America than in Europe, iii. 407.
      indentures of, how made in America, 408.

  _Argumentation_, bad effects of, as a habit, i. 17.
      best method of, 22.

  _Armies_, best means of supporting them, ii. 400.

  _Armonica_, musical instrument so called, described, ii. 330.
      manner of playing on it, 334.

  _Asbestos_, specimen of, sold by Franklin to Sir Hans Sloane, i. 60.
      letter relating to it, iii. 513.

  _Astrology_, letter to the Busy-body on, iii. 448.

  _Atmosphere_ sometimes denser above than below, ii. 6.
      electrical, its properties, i. 294.

  _Aurora borealis_ explained, i. 212.
      conjectures respecting, 257, ii. 69.
      query concerning, i. 293.


  _Badoin_, Mr. letters from, i. 314, 324.

  _Ballads_, two, written by Franklin in his youth, i. 16.

  _Balls_ of fire in the air, remark concerning, ii. 337.

  _Barometer_, how acted on by air, ii. 92.

  _Barrels_ for gunpowder, new sort proposed, i. 376.

  _Bass_, unnecessary in some tunes, ii. 343.

  _Bathing_ relieves thirst, ii. 104.
      observations on, 211.

  _Battery_, electrical, its construction, i. 193.

  _Baxter_, Mr. observations on his enquiry into the nature of the soul,
               ii. 110.

  _Beccaria_, character of his book on electricity, i. 310.

  _Beer_, not conducive to bodily strength, i. 62.

  _Bells_, form in consecrating them at Paris, i. 384.

  _Belly-ache_, dry, lead a cause of, ii. 220.

  _Bermuda_, little thunder there, i. 216.

  _Bermudian_ sloops, advantages of their construction, ii. 173.

  _Bernoulli_, Mr. his plan for moving boats, ii. 179.

  _Bevis_, Dr. draws electricity from the clouds, i. 429.

  _Bible_, anecdote of its concealment in the reign of Mary, i. 7.
      travestied by Dr. Brown, 31.

  _Bills_ of mortality, reasonings, formed on those for capital cities,
               not applicable to the country, ii. 383.

  _Birth_, noble, no qualification in America, iii. 400.

  _Bishops_, none in America, and why, ii. 456, 458.

  _Black clothes_ heat more and dry sooner than white, ii. 108.
      not fit for hot climates, 109.

  _Blacksmith_, trade of, hereditary in Franklin's family, i. 4.

  _Blindness_ occasioned both by lightning and electricity, i. 228.

  _Boats_, difference of their sailing in shoal and deep water, ii. 160.
      management of, best understood by savages, 176.
      how rowed by the Chinese, 177.
      methods of moving them by machinery, _ibid._
      improvement of Mr. Bernoulli's plan for moving them, 179.
      proposal for a new mode of moving them, _ibid._
      double, advantage of, 173, 174.
      one built by Sir W. Petty, _ibid._

  _Bodies_, electrified negatively, repel each other, ii. 294.
      effect of blunt, compared with pointed ones, i. 172, 223.

  _Body_, human, specifically lighter than water, ii. 208.
      political and human, compared, iii. 115.

  _Boerhaave_, his opinion of the propagation of heat, ii. 58.
      of steam from fermenting liquors, 59.

  _Boiling_ water, experiments with, i. 332, 344, 345.
      pot, bottom of, why cold, 387.

  _Bolton_, Mr. experiment by, i. 346.

  _Books_ read by Franklin in his youth, i. 15, 18, 20, 21.

  _Boston_, the birth-place of Franklin, i. 8.
      why quitted by him in his youth, 27,
      its inhabitants decrease, ii. 210.
      preface to proceedings of the town meeting of, iii. 317.

  _Boyle's_ lectures, effect of, on Franklin, i. 79.

  _Braddock_, general, defeat of, i. 131.

  _Bradford_, printer at Philadelphia, i. 34, 102.

  _Brass_, hot, yields unwholesome steams, ii. 249

  _Brientnal_, Joseph, a member of the Junto club, i. 83.

  _Brimstone_, when fluid, will conduct electricity, i. 256.

  _Bristol waters_, an alledged fact concerning, ii. 95.

  _Britain_, incapacity of, to supply the colonies with manufactures,
               ii. 386.

  _British empire_, an union of several states, iii. 310.

  _Brown_, Dr. acquaintance of Franklin's, i. 30.
      travestied the bible, 31.

  _Bubbles_ on the surface of water, hypothesis respecting, ii. 48.

  _Buchan_, earl of, letter to, on the price of land for new settlements
               in America, iii. 409.

  _Buildings_, what kind safest from lightning, i. 379.

  _Bullion_, causes of its variation in price, iii. 153.

  _Bunyan's_ Voyages, a book early read by Franklin, i. 15, 28.

  _Bur_, cause of, round a hole struck through pasteboard, i. 280.

  _Burnet_, governor, his attention to Franklin in his youth, i. 44.

  _Busy-body_, essays under the title of, i. 86. iii. 422.


  _Cabinet-work_, veneered in England, shrinks and flies in America,
               ii. 140.

  _Cables_, why apt to part when weighing anchor in a swell, ii. 167.
      this defect of, remedied, 168.

  _Cabot_, Sebastian, his commission from Henry VII., iii. 348.

  _Calvinism_, Franklin educated in the principles of, i. 79.

  _Campaign_ in America, account of the first, iii. 357.

  _Canals_, observations on their depth, ii. 159.

  _Canada_, importance of, to England, i. 136.
      visited by Franklin, 147.
      its extent, iii. 20.
      pamphlet on the importance of, 89.
      easily peopled without draining Britain, 139.

  _Cancers_, specific for, i. 260, 261.

  _Candles_ lighted by electricity, i. 176.
      distance at which the flame of, may be seen, ii. 90.

  _Cann_, silver, a singular experiment on, i. 307.

  _Canoes_ of the American Indians, their advantages, ii. 176.

  _Canton_, Mr. John, experiments by, i. 286, 346.
      draws electricity from the clouds, 428.

  _Capitals_, their use in printing, ii. 352.

  _Caribbees_, possession of, only a temporary benefit, iii. 142.

  _Carolina_, South, see _Lightning_.

  _Cavendish_, lord Charles, his electrical experiments, i. 348.

  _Cayenne_ would be a great acquisition to Britain, iii. 140.

  _Centre_ of the earth, hypothesis concerning, ii. 119, 127.

  _Cessions_ from an enemy, on what grounds may be demanded, iii. 93.

  _Chapel_, nickname for a printing house, i. 63.

  _Character_, remarks on the delineation of, iii. 445.

  _Charcoal-fires_, hurtful, ii. 235.

  _Charging_ and discharging, in electricity, explained, i. 190.
      a number of bottles at once, how done, _ibid._

  _Charters_ of the colonies could not be altered by parliament, iii. 332.

  _Chess_, morals of, iii. 488.
      not an idle amusement, _ibid._
      teaches various virtues, 489.
      advice to those who play, 490.
      too intense an application to, injurious, 500.

  _Chimnies_, different kinds of, enumerated, ii. 228.
      inconvenience of the old-fashioned ones, 229.
      defect of more modern ones, 230.
      have not long been in use in England, 277.
      Staffordshire, described, 285.
      have a draft of air up and down, 289.
      may be used for keeping provisions in summer, 290.
      may be of use to miners, 291.
      funnels to, what the best, 292, 295.
      method of contracting them, 317.
      smoky. See _Smoky_.

  _China_, provision made there against famine, ii. 407.

  _Chinese_ wisely divide the holds of their vessels by partitions, ii. 171.
      how they row their boats, 177.
      their method of warming ground floors, 292.
      improvement in this method suggested, 293.
      their method of making large paper, 349.

  _Circle_, magical, account of, ii. 327, 328.

  _Cities_, spring water gradually deteriorates in, i. 163.
      do not supply themselves with inhabitants, ii. 384.

  _Clark_, Dr. of Boston, quoted, on the instigation of the American
               Indians against the English, iii. 95, 100, 102.

  _Clothes_, wet, may preserve from lightning, i. 213.
          will relieve thirst, ii. 104.
          do not give colds, _ibid._
      imbibe heat according to their colour, 108.
      white, most suitable for hot climates, _ibid._

  _Clothing_ does not give, but preserves, warmth, ii. 81.

  _Clouds_, at land and at sea, difference between, i. 207.
      formed at sea, how brought to rain on land, 208.
          driven against mountains, form springs and rivers, 209.
      passing different ways, accounted for, 211.
      electrical, attracted by trees, spires, &c. 213.
      manner in which they become electrised, 257, 305.
      are electrised sometimes negatively and sometimes positively, 274,
               277, 284, 292.
      electricity drawn from them, at Marly, 420.
          by Mr. Cauton, 428.
          by Dr. Bevis, 429,
          by Mr. Wilson, _ibid._
      how supported in air, ii. 5.
      how formed, 7.
      whether winds are generated or can be confined in them, 57.
      have little more solidity than fogs, _ibid._

  _Club_, called the Junto, instituted by Franklin, i. 82.
      rules of, ii. 366, 369.
      questions discussed in, 369.

  _Coal_, sea, letter on the nature of, ii. 128.

  _Cold_, why seemingly greater in metals than in wood, ii. 56, 77.
      sensation of, how produced, 57.
      only the absence of heat, 81.
      produced by chemical mixtures, _ibid._
          evaporation. See _Evaporation_.

  _Colden_, Mr. his remarks on Abbé Nollet's letters, i. 430.
      meteorological observations, ii. 51.
      observations on water-spouts, 53.

  _Colds_, causes of, ii. 214, 230.

  _Coleman_, William, a member of the Junto club, i. 84, 89.

  _Colica pictorum_, caused by lead, ii. 219.

  _Collins_, John, an early friend of Franklin's, i. 17, 27, 41, 43, 44.

  _Collinson_, Mr. some account of, iii. 514.

  _Colonial_ governments in America of three kinds, iii. 50.

  _Colonies_, the settlement of, does not diminish national numbers,
               ii. 391.
      their prosperity beneficial to the mother country, iii. 113.
      are intitled to distinct governments, 303.
      American, preferable to the West Indies, _ibid._
          not dangerous to Britain, 132.
          aids to government, how given by, 225, 226.
          originally governed by the crown, independent of Parliament,
          not settled at the expence of Britain, 348.

  _Colonists_ in America, double their number in 25 years, iii. 113.
      from Britain, their rights, 299.

  _Colours._ See _Clothes_.

  _Comazants_, or corposants, are electrical appearances, i. 248.

  _Commerce_, influence of, on the manners of a people, ii. 400.
      is best encouraged by being left free, 415.
      should not be prohibited in time of war, 417.
      by inland carriage, how supported, iii. 116.

  _Common-sense_, by Paine, Franklin supposed to have contributed to,
               i. 148.

  _Compass_, instances of its losing its virtue by lightning, i. 248.
      how to remedy the want of, at sea, ii. 191.

  _Conductors_ of lightning, very common in America, i. 113.
          first suggestion of the utility of, 227.
          construction of, 358.
          particulars relating to, 377.
      of electricity, difference in the action of, 200, 303.
          which the most perfect, 253, 256.
      and non-conductors, other terms substituted for, _ibid._
      of common fire, their properties and differences, ii. 76, 77.
          experiments on, ii. 77.

  _Congress_, Franklin appointed a delegate to, i. 146.
      proposed overture from, in 1775, iii. 347.

  _Consecration_ of bells in France, form of, i. 384.

  _Conspirators_, electrical, meaning of the term, i. 196.

  _Controversy_, benefit of, iii. 92.

  _Conversation_, advantage of useful topics of, at dinner, i. 12.

  _Cook_, captain, circular letter concerning, iii. 515.
      copy of the voyages of, presented to Franklin, by the Admiralty, 517.

  Cookery, at sea, generally bad, ii. 194.

  _Copper_, manner of covering houses with, ii. 318, 320, 322.

  _Copper_ plate printing-press, the first in America, constructed by
               Franklin, i. 77.

  _Corn_, ill policy of laying restraints on the exportation of, ii. 413,

  _Countries_, distant and unprovided, a plan for benefiting, ii. 403.

  _Creation_, conjectures as to, ii. 118.

  _Credit_, that of America and Britain in 1777, compared, iii. 372.
      depends on payment of loans, 373.
         industry and frugality, 374.
         public spirit, 375.
         income and security, 376.
         prospects of future ability, _ibid._
         prudence, 377.
         character for honesty, 378.
      is money to a tradesman, 464.

  _Criminal_ laws, reflections on, ii. 439.

  _Crooked_ direction of lightning explained, i. 316.

  _Cutler_, circumstance that prevented Franklin's being apprenticed to
               one, i. 14.

  _Currents_ at sea, often not perceivable, ii. 185.

  _Cyder_, the best quencher of thirst, ii. 195.


  _Dalrymple_, Mr. scheme of a voyage under his command to benefit remote
               regions, ii. 403.

  _Damp_ air, why more chilling than dry air that is colder, ii. 56, 77.

  _Dampier_, account of a water-spout by, ii. 33.
      references to his voyage, on the subject of water-spouts, 58.

  _Dampness_ on walls, cause of, ii. 50.

  _Day-light_, proposal to use it instead of candle-light, iii. 470.

  _Deacon_, Isaac, from an underling to a surveyor, becomes inspector-
              general of America, i. 78.
      prognosticates the future eminence in life of Franklin, _ib._

  _Death_ of Franklin, i. 153.
          letter from Dr. Price on, iii. 541.
      of relatives, reflections on, 507.

  _Deism_, effects on Franklin of books written against, i. 79.

  _Deluge_, accounted for, ii. 127.

  _Denham_, a quaker, a friend of Franklin's, i. 54.
      extraordinary trait of honesty of, to his creditors, 67.
      Franklin's engagement with, as a clerk, 68, 70.

  _Denmark_, the people of, not subject to colds, ii. 244.

  _Denny_, governor, remarks on his official conduct in Pensylvania,
               iii. 170.

  _Desaquiliers_, his experiment on the vapour of hot iron, ii. 249.

  _Dew_, how produced, i. 207.

  _Dialogue_, between Franklin and the gout, iii. 499.

  _Dickenson_, Mr. his remarks on the views of England in framing laws
               over the colonies, iii. 234.
      remarks on his conduct, 192.
          on his protest, 202.

  _Discontented_ dispositions satirized, iii. 485.

  _Discontents_ in America before 1768, causes of, iii. 225.

  _Dissentions_ between England and America, letter on, iii. 310.

  _Dissertation_, early one of Franklin's, that he repented having written,
               i. 58.

  _Disputation_, modesty in, recommended, i. 21. ii. 317.

  _Disputes_ between Franklin and his brother, to whom he was apprenticed,
               i. 24.

  _Domien_, a traveller, short account of, i. 302.

  _Drawling_, a defect in modern tunes, ii. 345.

  _Dreams_, art of procuring pleasant ones, iii. 493.

  _Dumas_, Monsieur, letter to, on the aid wanted by America in her struggle
               for independence, iii. 360.

  _Duna_ river, not to be confounded with the Dwina, iii. 119, note.

  _Dust_, how raised and carried up into the air, ii. 3.

  _Duties_, moral, the knowledge of, more important than the knowledge of
               nature, ii. 95.

  _Dutch_ iron stove, advantages and defects of, ii. 233.


  _Early_ impressions, lasting effect of, on the mind, iii. 478.

  _Earth_ will dissolve in air, ii. 2.
      dry, will not conduct electricity, i. 206.
      the, sometimes strikes lightning into the clouds, 274.
          grows no hotter under the summer sun, why, ii. 86.
          different strata of, 116.
          theory of, 117.

  _Earthquakes_, general good arising from, ii. 116.
      how occasioned, 120, 128.

  _Eaton_, in Northamptonshire, residence of Franklin's family, i. 3.

  _Ebb_ and flood, explanation of the terms, ii. 100.

  _Economical_ project, iii. 469.

  _Edinburgh_, an ordinance there against the purchase of prize-goods,
               ii. 447.

  _Education_ of women, controversy respecting, i. 17.

  _Eel_, electrical, of Surinam, i. 408, 409.

  _Effluvia_ of drugs, &c. will not pass through glass, i. 243.

  _Electrical_ air-thermometer described, i. 336, _et seq._
      atmosphere, how produced, 221.
          how drawn off, 222.
      atmospheres repel each other, 294.
          repel electric matter in other bodies, _ib._
      battery, its construction, 193.
      clouds, experiment regarding, 229.
      death, the easiest, 307.
      experiments, Franklin's eager pursuit of, 104.
          made in France, 109.
          various, 182, 229, 254, 255, 261, 271, 278, 286, 294, 307, 327,
               337, 348, 371, 434.
      fire, not created by friction, but collected, 173.
          passes through water, 202.
          loves water and subsists in it, 203.
          diffused through all matter, 205
          visible on the surface of the sea, _ibid._
          its properties and uses, 214, _et seq._
          produces common fire, 214, 238, 356.
          has the same crooked direction as lightning, 315.
      fluid, its beneficial uses, 219.
          is strongly attracted by glass, 236.
          manner of its acting through glass hermetically sealed, 241.
          a certain quantity of, in all kinds of matter, 275.
          nature of its explosion, 280.
          chooses the best conductor, 281, 378.
      force, may be unboundedly increased, 251.
      horse-race, 334.
      jack for roasting, 197.
      kiss, its force increased, 177.
      kite, described, 268.
      machine; simple and portable one, described, 178.
      matter, its properties, 217, 294.
      party of pleasure, 202.
      phial, or Leyden bottle, its phenomena explained, 179.
      shock, observations on, 182.
          effects of a strong one on the human body, 297, 306.
      spark, perforates a quire of paper, 195.
      wheel, its construction, 196.
          self-moving one, 198.

  _Electricity_, summary of its progress, i. 104.
      positive and negative, discovered, 106.
          distinguished, 175.
          in a tourmalin, 370.
      does not affect the elasticity of the air, 254.
      its similarity to lightning, 288.
      its effects on paralysis, 401.
      of fogs in Ireland, 405.
      supposed affinity between, and magnetism, 410.

  _Electrics per se_ and non-electrics, difference between, i. 242, 258.

  _Electrified_ bumpers described, i. 203.

  _Electrisation_, what constitutes the state of, i. 218.
      various appearances of, 175.
      variety of, 176.

  _Electrising_ one's self, manner of, i. 174.

  _Elocution_, how best taught, ii. 374.

  _Embassador_ from the United States to France, Franklin appointed to the
               office of, i. 148.

  _Emblematical_ design illustrative of the American troubles, iii. 371.

  _Emigrants_ to America, advice to, iii. 398.

  _Empire_, rules for reducing a great one, iii. 334.

  _England_, Franklin's first arrival in, i. 55.
          second arrival in, as agent for the province of Pensylvania, 134.
          third arrival in, as agent for the same province, 141.
      its air moister than that of America, ii. 140.
      decrease of population in, doubtful, 296.

  _English_, effect of the ancient manners of, ii. 399.
      language, innovations in, 351.

  _Enterprises_, public, Franklin's early disposition for, i. 10.

  _Ephemera_, an emblem of human life, iii. 508.

  _Epitaph_ on Franklin's parents, i. 13.
      on himself, 155.

  _Episcopalians_, conduct of the American legislature towards, ii. 455.

  _Errors_ of Franklin's early life, i. 45, 58, 61, 80, 97.

  _Ether_, what, ii. 59.

  _Evaporation_, cold produced by, i. 344, ii. 76, 83, 85.
      of rivers, effects of, 106.

  _Examination_ of Franklin before the house of commons, i. 142, iii. 245.
      before the privy council, 328.
      further particulars of, 551.

  _Exchange_, rate of, between Philadelphia and Britain, iii. 252.

  _Exercise_, should precede meals, iii. 493.

  _Experiments_, to show the electrical effect of points, i. 171, 172.
      to prove the electrical state of the Leyden phial, 182.
      of firing spirits by a spark sent through a river, 202.
      to show how thunder-storms produce rain, 209.
      on the clouds, proposed, 228.
      on drugs electrified, 243.
      on the elasticity of the air, 254.
      on the electric fluid, 255.
      by Mr. Kennersley, 261.
      on the electricity of the clouds, 271.
      for increasing electricity, 278.
      by Mr. Canton, 286.
      in pursuance of those of Mr. Canton, 294.
      on a silver cann, 307.
      on the velocity of the electric fluid, 327, 329, 330.
      for producing cold by evaporation, 344.
      on the different effects of electricity, 357.
      by lord Charles Cavendish, 348.
      on the tourmalin, 371.
      to show the utility of long pointed rods to houses, 389.
      on amber, 403 _et seq._
      on the Leyden phial, 434.
      on different coloured cloths, ii. 108, 109.
      on the sailing of boats, 160.

  _Exportation_ of gold and silver, observations on, ii. 416.

  _Exports_ to North America and the West Indies, iii. 127, 128.
      to Pensylvania, 129, 250.
      from ditto, 250.

  _Eye_, retains the images of luminous objects, ii. 340.


  _Facts_, should be ascertained before we attempt to account for them,
               ii. 96.

  _Family_ of Franklin, account of, i. 5. _et seq._

  _Famine_, how provided against in China, ii. 407.

  _Fanning_, how it cools, ii. 87.

  _Farmers_, remonstrance in behalf of, ii. 420.

  _Federal_ constitution, speech on, iii. 416.

  _Felons_, transportation of, to America, highly disagreeable to the
               inhabitants, iii. 235.

  _Fermenting_ liquors, their steam deleterious, ii. 59.

  Fire, not destroyed by water, but dispersed, i. 172.
      makes air specifically lighter, 206.
      exists in all bodies, 214.
      common and electrical, exist together, _ibid._
      a region of, above our atmosphere, 257, ii. 124.
      many ways of kindling it, i. 356.
      exists in a solid or quiescent state in substances, _ibid._ ii. 80,
      recovers its fluidity by combustion, _ibid._
      is a fluid permeating all bodies, 76.
      conductors of, are also best conductors of the electric fluid, _ibid._
          difference between, and electrical conductors, 77.
      how diffused through substances, 78.
      how generated in animated bodies, 79.
      theory of, 122.
      a fixed and permanent quantity of, in the universe, 123.
      its properties, 227.
      electrical, see _Electrical_.

  _Fire-companies_, numerous at Philadelphia, i. 103.

  _Fire-places_, Pensylvanian, account of, ii. 225.
      large and open, inconvenient, 228.
      hollow backed, by Gauger, 232.
      Staffordshire, 285.
      an ingenious one for serving two rooms, 296.

  _Fires_, at sea, how often produced, ii. 174.
      great and bright, damage the eyes and skin, 230.

  _Fisheries_, value of those of Newfoundland, iii. 452.

  _Flame_, preserves bodies from being consumed while surrounding them,
               ii. 310, 311.

  _Flaxseed_, amount of the exportation of from America to Ireland,
               iii. 270.

  _Flesh_, of animals, made tender by lightning and by electricity, i. 359,

  _Flies_, drowned in America, brought to life in England, ii. 223.

  _Flood_ and ebb, explanation of the terms, ii. 100.

  _Florence_ flask, when filled with boiling water, not chargeable with
               electricity, i. 332, 345.

  _Fog_, great, in 1783, ii. 68.
      conjectures as to its cause, _ibid._

  _Fogs_, how supported in air, ii. 5.
      electricity of, in Ireland, i. 405.

  _Folger_, family-name of Franklin's mother, i. 8.

  _Foreigners_, the importation of, not necessary to fill up occasional
               vacancies in population, ii. 390.

  _Forts_ in the back settlements, not approved of, iii. 99.

  _Foster_, judge, notes on his argument for the impress of seamen, ii. 437.

  _Foundering_ at sea, accidents that occasion it, ii. 169, 170.

  _Fountain_, when electrified, its stream separates, i. 206.

  _Fowls_, improperly treated at sea, ii. 193.

  _Fragments_, political, ii. 411.

  _France_, its air moister than that of America, ii. 140.
      effects of its military manners, 399.

  _Franklin_, derivation of the name, i. 4.
      genealogy of the family of, 5.

  _Franks_, the improper use of, reprobated, ii. 435.

  _Freezing_ to death in summer, possibility of, ii. 84.

  _French_ language, its general use, ii. 353.

  _Frontiers_, in America, the attack of, the common cause of the state,
               iii. 109.

  _Frugality_, advantages of, ii. 397.
      observance of, in America, iii. 374

  _Fruit-walls_, blacking them recommended, ii. 110.

  _Fuel_, scarce in Philadelphia, ii. 225.

  _Fulling-mills_ in America, iii. 270.

  _Fusion_, cold, of metals, supposed, i. 215.
      proves a mistake, 339.
      error respecting it acknowledged, 355.


  _Galloway_, Mr, preface to his speech, iii. 163.

  _Garnish-money_, practice among printers of demanding it, i. 63.

  _Gauger_, M. his invention for fire-places, ii. 232.

  _Genealogy_ of the Franklin family, i. 5.

  _German_ stoves, advantages and disadvantages of, ii. 234.

  _Germany_, why the several states of, encourage foreign manufactures in
               preference to those of each other, iii. 118. note.

  _Gilding_, its properties as a conductor, i. 201.
      the effects of lightning and of electricity on, 229.
      fails as a conductor after a few shocks, 231.

  _Glass_, has always the same quantity of electrical fire, i. 191.
      possesses the whole power of giving a shock, 192, 247.
      in panes, when first used in an electrical experiment, 193, 194.
      great force in small portions of, 199.
      impermeable to the electric fluid, 234, 310.
      strongly attracts the electric fluid, 236.
      cannot be electrified negatively, _ibid._
      its opposite surfaces, how affected, _ibid._
      its component parts and pores extremely fine, 237.
      manner of its operation in producing electricity, _ibid._
      its elasticity, to what owing, 239.
      thick, resists a change of the quantity of electricity of its
               different sides, 242.
      rod of, will not conduct a shock, _ibid._
      when fluid, or red hot, will conduct electricity, 256.
      difference in its qualities, 301.
      error as to its pores, 302.
      will admit the electric fluid, when moderately heated, 345, 347.
      when cold retains the electric fluid, 346.
      experiments on warm and cold, 348.
      singular tube and ball of, 386.

  _Glasses_, musical, described, ii. 330, _et seq._

  _God_, saying in America respecting, iii. 401.

  _Godfrey_, Thomas, a lodger with Franklin, i. 81.
      a member of the Junto, 83.
      inventor of Hadley's quadrant, _ibid._
      wishes Franklin to marry a relation of his, 95.

  _Gold_ and silver, remarks on exportation of, ii. 416.

  _Golden_ fish, an electrical device, i. 233.

  _Government_, free, only destroyed by corruption of manners, ii. 397.

  _Gout_, dialogue with that disease, iii. 499.

  _Grace_, Robert, member of the Junto club, i. 84, 89.

  _Gratitude_ of America, letter on, iii. 239.

  _Greasing_ the bottoms of ships, gives them more swiftness, ii. 180.

  _Greece_, causes of its superiority over Persia, ii. 397.

  _Greek_ empire, the destruction of, dispersed manufacturers over Europe,
               iii. 122.

  _Green_ and red, relation between the colours of, ii. 341.

  _Greenlanders_, their boats best for rowing, ii. 176.

  _Guadaloupe_, its value to Britain over-rated, iii. 139.

  _Gulph-stream_, observations on, ii. 186.
      whalers frequent its edges, _ibid._
      long unknown to any but the American fishermen, _ibid._
      how generated, 187.
      its properties, _ibid._
      tornadoes and water-spouts attending it, accounted for, 188.
      how to avoid it, 197.
      Nantucket whalers best acquainted with it, 198.
      thermometrical observations on, 199.
      journal of a voyage across, _ibid._

  _Gunpowder_, fired by electricity, i. 250.
      magazines of, how to secure them from lightning, 375.
      proposal for keeping it dry, 376.


  _Habits_, effects of, on population, ii. 393. 394.

  _Hadley's_ quadrant, by whom invented, i. 83, 95.

  _Hail_, brings down electrical fire, i. 292.
      how formed, ii. 66.

  _Hamilton_, Mr. a friend of Franklin's, i. 54, 88.

  _Handel_, criticism on one of his compositions, ii. 345.

  _Harmony_, in music, what, ii. 339.

  _Harp_, effect of, on the ancient Scotch tunes, ii. 340.

  _Harry_, David, companion of Franklin's, i. 72, 93.

  _Hats_, summer, should be white, ii. 109.
      the manufacture of, in New England, in 1760, iii. 131.

  _Health_ of seamen, Captain Cook's method of preserving it recommended,
               ii. 190.

  _Heat_, produced by electricity and by lightning, i. 338, 339.
      better conducted by some substances than others, ii. 56, 58.
      how propagated, 58.
      the pain it occasions, how produced, 78.
      in animals, how generated, 79, 125.
      in fermentation, the same as that of the human body, 80.
      great, at Philadelphia, in 1750, 85.
      general theory of, 122.

  _Herrings_, shoals of, perceived by the smoothness of the sea, ii. 150.

  _Hints_ to those that would be rich, iii. 466.

  _Holmes_, Robert, brother-in-law to Franklin, i. 37, 71.

  _Honesty_, often a very partial principle of conduct, ii. 430.

  _Honours_, all descending ones absurd, iii. 550.

  _Hopkins_, governor, his report of the number of inhabitants in Rhode
               Island, iii. 129.

  _Horse-race_, electrical, i. 335.

  _Hospital_, one founded by the exertions of Franklin, i. 126.

  _Hospitals_, foundling, state of in England and France, iii. 544*, 548*.

  _Hospitality_, a virtue of barbarians, iii. 391.

  _Houses_, remarks on covering them with copper, ii. 318, 320.
      many in Russia covered with iron plates, 319.
      their construction in Paris renders them little liable to fires, 321.

  _Howe_, lord, letter from, to Franklin, iii. 365.
      Franklin's answer to, 367.

  _Hudson's_ river, winds there, ii. 52, 59.

  _Hunters_, require much land to subsist on, ii. 384.

  _Hurricanes_, how produced, ii. 7.
      why cold in hot climates, _ibid._

  _Hutchinson_, governor, cause of the application for his removal,
               iii. 323.
      account of the letters of, 331, 551.

  _Hygrometer_, best substances for forming one, ii. 136.
      mahogany recommended for forming one, 141.

  I. J.

  _Jackson_, Mr. remarks on population by, ii. 392.

  _Jamaica_, its vacant lands not easily made sugar lands, iii. 140.

  _Javelle_, his machinery for moving boats, ii. 177.

  _Ice_ will not conduct an electric shock, i. 201.

  _Ice-islands_, dangerous to shipping, ii. 176.

  _Idleness_, the heaviest tax on mankind, ii. 411, iii. 454.
      encouraged by charity, ii. 422.
      reflections on, iii. 428.

  _Jefferson_, Mr. letter from, on the character of Franklin, iii. 545.

  _Jesuits_, hostility of the Indians in America excited by, iii. 95.

  _Ignorance_, a frank acknowledgment of, commendable, i. 308.

  _Imports_ into Pensylvania from Britain before 1766, iii. 250.

  _Impress_ of seamen, notes on Judge Foster's argument in favour of,
               ii. 437.

  _Inarticulation_ in modern singing, censured, ii. 348.

  _Increase_ of mankind, observations on, ii. 383, and _seq._
      what prevented by, 386, 387.
      how promoted, 388, 389.
      further observations on, 393.

  _Indemnification_, just ground for requiring cessions from an enemy,
               iii. 93.

  _Independence_, soon acquired in America, iii. 402.

  _Indian trade_ and affairs, remarks on a plan for the future management
               of, iii. 216.
      spirituous liquors the great encouragement of, 219.
      the debts from, must be left to honour, 220.
      not an American but a British interest, 275.

  _Indians_, of North America, a number of, murdered, i. 139.
      often excited by the French against the English, iii. 95.
      list of fighting men in the different nations of, 221.
      difference of their warfare from that of Europeans, 100.
      remarks concerning, 383.
      their mode of life, 384.
          public councils, 385.
          politeness in conversation, 386.
          rules in visiting, 388.

  _Industry_, effects of Franklin's, i. 85.
      the cause of plenty, ii. 396.
      essential to the welfare of a people, 411.
      relaxed by cheapness of provisions, 415.
      a greater portion of, in every nation, than of idleness, 396, 429,
               iii. 396.
      its prevalence in America, iii. 373.

  _Inflammability_ of the surface of rivers, ii. 130.

  _Inland_ commerce, instances of, iii. 120.

  _Innovations_ in language and printing, ii. 351.

  _Inoculation_, letter on the deaths occasioned by, ii. 215.
      success of, in Philadelphia, 216, 217.

  _Insects_, utility of the study of, ii. 93.

  _Interrogation_, the mark of, how to be placed, ii. 356.

  _Invention_, the faculty of, its inconveniences, i. 308.

  _Inventions_, new, generally scouted, _ibid._

  _Journal_ of a voyage, crossing the gulph-stream, ii. 199.
      from Philadelphia to France, 200, 201.
      from the channel to America, 202, _et seq._

  _Iron_ contained in the globe, renders it a great magnet, ii. 119.
      query whether it existed at the creation, 126.
      hot, gives no bad smell, 247.
          yields no bad vapours, 248.
      rods, erected for experiments on the clouds, i. 270.
          conduct more lightning in proportion to their thickness, 282.

  _Islands_ far from a continent have little thunder, i. 216.

  _Italic_ types, use of, in printing, ii. 355.

  _Judges_, mode of their appointment in America, in 1768, iii. 23.

  _Junto._ See _Club_.


  _Keimer_, a connection of Franklin's, some account of, i. 35, 70, 93.

  _Keith_, sir William, Franklin patronized by, i. 39.
          deceived by, 54.
      character of, 57.

  _Kinnersley_, Mr. electrical experiments by, i. 261, _et seq._, 331.

  _Kiss_, electrical, i. 177.

  _Kite_ used to draw electricity from the clouds, i. 108.
      electrical, described, i. 268.

  _Knobs_, not so proper as points, for conducting lightning, i. 359.


  _Labour_, why it will long continue dear in America, ii. 385.
      its advantages, 427, 428.

  _Land_, terms on which it may be obtained in America, by settlers,
               iii. 409.

  _Landing_ in a surf, supposed practicable, how, ii. 154.
      tried without success, 155.

  _Language_, remarks on innovations in, ii. 351, _et seq._

  _Laughers_, satyrized, iii. 425.

  _Law_, the old courts of, in the colonies, as ample in their powers, as
               those in England, iii. 304.

  _Law-expenses_, no discouragement to law-suits, iii. 270.

  _Law-stamps_, a tax on the poor, iii. 269.

  _Lead_, effects of, on the human constitution, ii. 219.

  _Leaks_ in ships, why water enters by them most rapidly at first, ii. 109.
      means to prevent their being fatal, 170.

  _Leather_ globe, proposed, instead of glass, for electrical experiments,
               i. 267.

  _Left_ hand, a petition from, iii. 483.

  _Leg_, handsome and deformed, humourous anecdote of, iii. 437.

  _Legal_ tender of paper-money, its advantages, iii. 150.
      further remarks on, 151.

  _Lending_ money, new mode of, iii. 463.

  _Letter-founding_ effected by Franklin in America, i. 74.

  _Leutmann_, J. G. extract from his vulcanus famulans, ii. 298.

  _Leyden_ bottle, its phenomena explained, i. 179.
      analysed, 192.
      experiment to prove its qualities, 245.
      when sealed hermetically, retains long its electricity, 345.

  _Liberty_ of the press, observations on, ii. 463.
          abused, 465.
      of the cudgel, should be allowed in return, 467.

  _Libraries_, public, the first in America set on foot by Franklin, i. 99.
      are now numerous in America, 100.
      advantages of, to liberty, 101.

  _Life_ and death, observations on the doctrines of, ii. 222.

  _Light_, difference between that from the sun and that from a fire in
               electrical experiments, i. 173.
      difficulties in the doctrines of, i. 253.
      queries concerning, _ibid._
      visibility of its infinitely small particles computed, ii. 90.
      new theory of, 122.

  _Lighthouse-tragedy_, an early poem of Franklin's, i. 16.

  _Lightning_, represented by electricity, i. 176.
      drawn from the clouds, by a kite, 268.
          by an iron rod, _ibid._
      reasons for proposing the experiment on, 304.
      its effects at Newbury, 310.
      will leave other substances, to pass through metals, 312.
      communicates magnetism to iron, 314.
      objections to the hypothesis of its being collected from the sea,
               318, 323.
      effects of, on a wire at New York, 326.
          on Mr. West's pointed rod, 340, _et seq._
      how it shivers trees, 359.
      effects of, on conductors in Carolina, 361, 362, 364.
      does not enter through openings, 368.
      should be distinguished from its light, 369.
      an explosion always accompanies it, _ibid._
      observations on its effects on St. Bride's church, 374, 382.
      how to preserve buildings from, 377.
      personal danger from, how best avoided, 381.
      brought down by a pointed rod, in a large quantity, 389.
      how to prevent a stroke of, at sea, ii. 175.

  _Linnæus_, instance of public benefit arising from his knowledge
  of insects, ii. 94.

  _London_, atmosphere of, moister than that of the country, ii. 139.

  _Loyalty_ of America before the troubles, iii. 237.

  _Luxury_, beneficial when not too common, ii. 389.
      definition of, 395, 425.
      extinguishes families, 395.
      not to be extirpated by laws, 401.
      further observations on, 425.

  _Lying-to_, the only mode yet used for stopping a vessel at sea, ii. 181.


  _Maddeson_, Mr. death of, lamented, iii. 544*.

  _Magazine_ of powder, how to secure it from lightning, i. 375.

  _Magical_ circle of circles, ii. 327.
      picture, i. 195.
      square of squares, ii. 324.

  _Magnetism_, animal, detected and exposed, i. 150.
      given by electricity, 248, 314.
      and electricity, affinity between, 410.
      supposed to exist in all space, ii. 119, 126.
      conjectures as to its effects on the globe, 120.
      enquiry how it first came to exist, 126.

  _Mahogany_, expands and shrinks, according to climate, ii. 138.
      recommended for an hygrometer, 141.

  _Mandeville_, Franklin's acquaintance with, i. 39.

  _Manners_, effects of, on population, ii. 393, _et seq._
      letter to the Busy-body on the want of, iii. 432.

  _Manufactures_, produce greater proportionate returns than raw materials,
               ii. 410.
      founded in the want of land for the poor, iii. 107.
      are with difficulty transplanted from one country to another, 121.
      hardly ever lost but by foreign conquest, 122.
      probability of their establishment in America, 260.
      want no encouragement from the government, if a country be ripe for
               them, 405.

  _Maritime_ observations, ii. 162.

  _Marly_, experiments made at, for drawing lightning from the clouds,
               i. 421.

  _Marriage_ of Franklin, i. 97.

  _Marriages_, where the greatest number take place, ii. 383.
      why frequent and early in America, 385. iii. 113, 403.
      early, letter on, iii. 475.

  _Maryland_, account of a whirlwind there, ii. 61.
      of paper bills formerly issued there, iii. 155.
      its conduct in a French war, previous to the American troubles,
               defended, 262.

  _Massachusets_ bay, petition of the inhabitants of, to the king, iii. 325.

  _Matter_, enquiry into the supposed vis inertiæ of, ii. 110.
      man can neither create nor annihilate it, 123.

  _Mawgridge_, William, member of the Junto club, i. 84.

  _Maxims_, prudential, from poor Richard's almanack, iii. 453.

  _Mazeas_, abbe, letter from, i. 420.

  _Meal_, grain, &c. manner of preserving them good for ages, i. 376.
               ii. 190.

  _Mechanics_, advantages of an early attention to, i. 14.

  _Mediocrity_, prevalence of, in America, iii. 399.

  _Melody_ in music, what, ii. 340.

  _Men_, six, struck down by an electric shock, i. 306.

  _Mercer_, Dr. letter from, on a water-spout, ii. 34.

  _Merchants_ and shopkeepers in America, iii. 394.

  _Meredith_, Hugh, companion of Franklin, short account of, i. 72, 76, 89.

  _Metalline_ rods, secure buildings from lightning, i. 281.
      either prevent or conduct a stroke, 310.

  _Metals_, melted by electricity and by lightning, i. 215, 229.
      when melted by electricity, stain glass, 232.
      polished, spotted by electrical sparks, 253.
      feel colder than wood, why, ii. 56.

  _Meteorological_ observations, ii. 1, 45, 66.

  _Methusalem_ slept always in the open air, iii. 495.

  _Mickle_, Samuel, a prognosticator of evil, i. 81.

  _Military_ manners, effects of, ii. 398, 399.
      power of the king, remarks on, iii. 307.

  _Militia_ bill, Franklin the author of one, i. 132.
      particular one, rejected by the governor of Pensylvania, 100.
               iii. 157.

  _Mines_, method of changing air in them, ii. 291.
      of rock salt, conjectures as to their formation, 92.

  _Mists_, how supported in air, ii. 5.

  _Modesty_ in disputation recommended, ii. 317.

  _Money_, how to make it plenty, iii. 467.
      new mode of lending, 468.

  _Moral_ principles, state of Franklin's mind respecting, on his entering
               into business, i. 79.

  _Morals_ of chess, iii. 488.

  _Motion_, the communication and effects of, ii. 7, 8.
      of vessels at sea, how to be stopped, 181.

  _Mountains_, use of, in producing rain and rivers, i. 208.
      why the summits of, are cold, ii. 6.
      conjecture how they became so high, 91.

  _Music_, harmony and melody of the old Scotish, ii. 338.
      modern, defects of, 343.

  _Musical_ glasses described, ii. 330.


  _Nantucket_ whalers best acquainted with the gulph-stream, ii. 198.

  _National_ wealth, data for reasoning on, ii. 408.
      three ways of acquiring, 410.

  _Navigation_, difference of, in shoal and deep water, ii. 158.
      observations on, 195, 196.
      from Newfoundland to New York, 197.
      inland, in America, iii. 118.

  _Needle_ of a compass, its polarity reversed by lightning, i. 248, 325.
      of wood, circular motion of, by electricity, 332, 351.

  _Needles_, magnetised by electricity, i. 148.
      and pins, melted by electricity, 249.

  _Negatively_ electrised bodies repel each other, i. 294.

  _Negroes_ bear heat better, and cold worse, than whites, ii. 86.

  _Newbury_, effects of a stroke of lightning there, i. 310.

  _New-England_, former flourishing state of, from the issue of paper money,
               iii. 145.
      circumstances which rendered the restriction of paper money there not
               injurious, 148.
      abolition of paper currency there, 263.

  _Newfoundland_ fisheries, more valuable than the mines of Peru, iii. 452.

  _Newspaper_, one sufficient for all America, in 1721, i. 23.
      instance of one set up by Franklin at Philadelphia, 86.

  _New-York_, effects of lightning there, i. 326.
      former flourishing state of, from the issue of paper-money, iii. 146.
      sentiments of the colonists on the act for abolishing the legislature
               of, 232.
      obtained in exchange for Surinam, 349.

  _Nollet_, Abbé, Franklin's theory of electricity opposed by, i. 113.
      remarks on his letters, 430.

  _Non-conductors_ of electricity, i. 378.

  _Non-electric_, its property in receiving or giving electrical fire,
               i. 193.

  _North-east_ storms in America, account of, ii. 68.

  _Nurses_, office at Paris for examining the health of, iii. 549*.


  _Oak_ best for flooring and stair-cases, ii. 321.

  _Ohio_, distance of its fort from the sea, iii. 119, note.

  _Oil_, effect of heat on, ii. 4.
      evaporates only in dry air, _ibid._
      renders air unfit to take up water, _ibid._
      curious instance of its effects on water in a lamp, 142.
      stilling of waves by means of, 144, 145, 148, 150, 151, 154.

  _Old_ man's wish, song so called quoted, iii. 546*.

  _Onslow_, Arthur, dedication of a work to, by Franklin, iii. 59.

  _Opinions_, vulgar ones too much slighted, ii. 146.
      regard to established ones, thought wisdom in a government, iii. 226.

  _Orthography_, a new mode of, ii. 359.

  _Osborne_, a friend of Franklin's, i. 50, 53

  _Oversetting_ at sea, how it occurs, ii. 172.
      how to be prevented, _ibid._, 173.

  _Outriggers_ to boats, advantages of, ii. 173.


  _Packthread_, though wet, not a good conductor, i. 200.

  _Paine's_ Common Sense, Franklin supposed to have contributed to, i. 148.

  _Paper_, how to make large sheets, in the Chinese way, ii. 349.
      a poem, iii. 522.

  _Paper-credit_, cannot be circumscribed by law, ii. 418.

  _Paper-money_, pamphlet written by Franklin on, i. 91.
      American, remarks and facts relative to, iii. 144.
      advantages of, over gold and silver, iii. 152.

  _Papers_ on philosophical subjects, i. 169, _et seq._ ii. 1, _et seq._
      on general politics, ii. 383, _et seq._
      on American subjects, before the revolution, iii. 3, _et seq._
          during the revolution, iii. 225, _et seq._
          subsequent to the revolution, iii. 383, _et seq._
      on moral subjects, iii. 421, _et seq._

  _Parable_ against persecution, ii. 450.

  _Paradoxes_ inferred from some experiments, i. 262.

  _Paralysis_, effects of electricity on, i. 401.

  _Parliament_ of England, opinions in America, in 1766, concerning,
               iii. 254.

  _Parsons_, William, member of the Junto club, i. 83.

  _Parties_, their use in republics, iii. 396.

  _Party_ of pleasure, electrical, i. 202.

  _Passages_ to and from America, how to be shortened, ii. 138.
      why shorter from, than to, America, 189.

  _Passengers_ by sea, instructions to, ii. 192.

  _Patriotism_, spirit of, catching, iii. 90.

  _Peace_, the victorious party may insist on adequate securities in the
               terms of, iii. 96.

  _Penn_, governor, remarks on his administration, iii. 183.
      sold his legislative right in Pensylvania, but did not complete the
               bargain, 189.

  _Pensylvania_, Franklin appointed clerk to the general assembly of,
               i. 102.
          forms a plan of association for the defence of, 104.
          becomes a member of the general assembly of, 114.
      aggrievances of, iii. 50.
      infraction of its charter, 52.
      review of the constitution of, 59.
      former flourishing state of, from the issue of paper-money, 146.
      rate of exchange there, 154.
      letter on the militia bill of, 157.
      settled by English and Germans, 162.
      English and German, its provincial languages, _ib._
      pecuniary bargains between the governors and assembly of, 165.
      taxes there, 246, 251.
      number of its inhabitants, 249.
      proportion of quakers, and of Germans, _ibid._
      exports and imports, 250.
      assembly of, in 1766, how composed, 252.

  _Pensylvanian_ fire-places, account of, ii. 223.
      particularly described, 235.
      effects of, 239.
      manner of using them, 241.
      advantages of, 243.
      objections to, answered, 247.
      directions to bricklayers respecting, 251.

  _Peopling_ of countries, observations on, ii. 383, _et seq._

  _Perkins_, Dr. letter from, on water-spouts, ii. 11.
      on shooting stars, 36.

  _Persecution_, parable against, ii. 450.
      of dissenters, letter on, 452.
      of quakers in New England, 454.

  _Perspirable_ matter, pernicious, if retained, ii. 50.

  _Perspiration_, necessary to be kept up, in hot climates, ii. 86.
      difference of, in persons when naked and clothed, 214.

  _Petition_ from the colonists of Massachusets bay, iii. 325.
      of the left hand, 483.

  _Petty_, sir William, a double vessel built by, ii. 174.

  _Philadelphia_, Franklin's first arrival at, i. 32.
      account of a seminary there, instituted by Franklin, 116 to 127.
      state of the public bank at, iii. 551*.

  _Phytolacca_, or poke weed, a specific for cancers, i. 261.

  _Picture_, magical, described, i. 195.

  _Plain_ truth, Franklin's first political pamphlet, iii. 524.

  _Plan_ for benefiting distant countries, ii. 403.
      for settling two western colonies, iii. 41.
      for the management of Indian affairs, remarks on, 216.
      for improving the condition of the free blacks, 519.

  _Planking_ of ships, improvement in, ii. 189.

  _Pleurisy_, Franklin attacked by, i. 71, 154.

  _Plus_ and minus electricity, in the Leyden bottle, i. 181.
      in other bodies, 185.

  _Pointed_ rods, secure buildings from lightning, i. 283, 381.
      experiments and observations on, 388.
      objections to, answered, 395, 396.

  _Points_, their effects, i. 170.
      property of, explained, 223.
      experiment showing the effect of, on the clouds, 283.
      mistake respecting, 310.

  _Poke-weed_, a cure for cancers, i. 260, 261.

  _Polarity_ given to needles by electricity, i. 248.

  _Poles_ of the earth, if changed, would produce a deluge, ii. 127.

  _Political_ fragments, ii. 411.

  _Polypus_, a nation compared to, ii. 391.

  _Poor_, remarks on the management of, ii. 418.
      the better provided for, the more idle, 422.

  _Poor_ Richard, maxims of, iii. 453.

  _Pope_, criticism on two of his lines, i. 23.

  _Population_, observations on, ii. 383.
      causes which diminish it, 386.
      occasional vacancies in, soon filled by natural generation, 390.
      rate of its increase in America, 385. iii. 113, 250, 254.
      why it increases faster there, than in England, iii. 255.

  _Positions_ concerning national wealth, ii. 408.

  _Positiveness_, impropriety of, ii. 318.

  _Postage_, not a tax, but payment for a service, iii. 265.
      state of, in America, in 1766, 279.

  _Post-master_, and deputy post-master general, Franklin appointed to the
               offices of, i. 102, 127.

  _Potts_, Stephen, a companion of Franklin's, i. 72, 84.

  _Poultry_, not good at sea, ii. 193.

  _Powder-magazines_, how secured from lightning, i. 375.

  _Power_ to move a heavy body, how to be augmented, ii. 191.

  _Pownall_, governor, memorial of, to the Duke of Cumberland, iii. 41.
      letter from, on an equal communication of rights to America, 243.
      constitution of the colonies by, 299.

  _Preface_ to Mr. Galloway's speech, iii. 163.
      to proceedings of the inhabitants of Boston, 317.

  _Presbyterianism_, established religion in New England, ii. 454.

  _Press_, account of the court of, ii. 463.
      liberty of, abused, 465.

  _Pressing_ of seamen, animadversions on, ii. 437.

  _Price_, Dr. letter from, on Franklin's death, iii. 541.

  _Priestley_, Dr. letter from, on Franklin's character, iii. 547.

  _Printers_ at Philadelphia before Franklin, i. 36.

  _Printing_, Franklin apprenticed to the business of, i. 15.
      works at it as a journeymen in England, 58, 62.
      in America, 35, 71.
      enters on the business of, as master, 78.
      observations on fashions in, ii. 355.

  _Prison_, society for relieving the misery of, i. 151.
      not known among the Indians of America, iii. 220.

  _Privateering_, reprobated, ii. 436.
      further observations on, 446.
      article to prevent it, recommended in national treaties, 448.
      inserted in a treaty between America and Prussia, 449.

  _Proas_, of the pacific ocean, safety of, ii. 173.
      flying, superior to any of our sailing boats, 176.

  _Produce_ of the inland parts of America, iii. 119.

  _Products_ of America, do not interfere with those of Britain, iii. 124.

  _Prose-writing_, method of acquiring excellence in, i. 18.

  _Protest_ against Franklin's appointment as colonial agent, remarks on,
               iii. 203.

  _Provisions_, cheapness of, encourages idleness, ii. 415.

  _Prussian_ edict, assuming claims over Britain, iii. 311.

  _Public_ services and functions of Franklin, i. 125.
      spirit, manifest in England, iii. 91.
          different opinion respecting it expressed, 375.

  _Punctuality_ of America in the payment of public debts, iii. 373.

  _Puckridge_, Mr. inventor of musical glasses, i. 136.


  _Quaker-lady_, good advice of one to Franklin in his youth, i. 42.

  _Quakers_, persecution of, in New England, ii. 454.
      proportion of, in Pensylvania, iii. 249.

  _Quebec_, remarks on the enlargement of the province of, iii. 20, note.

  _Queries_ concerning light, i. 258.
      proposed at the Junto club, ii. 366.
      from Mr. Strahan, on the American disputes, iii. 287.

  _Questions_ discussed by the Junto club, ii. 369.


  _Rain_, how produced, i. 207.
      generally brings down electricity, 292.
      why never salt, ii. 32.
      different quantities of, falling at different heights, 133.

  _Ralph_, James, a friend of Franklin's, i. 50, 53, 54, 57, 60.

  _Rarefaction_ of the air, why greater in the upper regions, ii. 6.

  _Read_, maiden name of Franklin's wife, i. 33, 37, 49, 54, 59, 70, 96.

  _Reading_, Franklin's early passion for, i. 15, 16.
      how best taught, ii. 372.
      advice to youth respecting, 378.

  _Recluse_, a Roman Catholic one, in London, i. 65.

  _Red_ and green, relation between the colours of, ii. 341.

  _Regimen_, sudden alterations of, not prejudicial, i. 49.

  _Religious_ sect, new one, intended establishment of, i. 48.

  _Repellency_, electrical, how destroyed, i. 172.

  _Representation_, American, in the British parliament, thoughts on,
               iii. 37, 243.

  _Repulsion_, electrical, the doctrine of, doubted, i. 333.
      considerations in support of, 349.

  _Revelation_, doubted by Franklin in his youth, i. 79.

  _Rhode-Island_, purchased for a pair of spectacles, iii. 21.
      its population at three periods, iii. 129.

  _Rich_, hints to those that would be, iii. 466.

  _Ridicule_, delight of the prince of Condé in, iii. 424.

  _Rivers_, from the Andes, how formed, i. 209.
      motion of the tides in, explained, ii. 96, 102.
      do not run into the sea, 105.
      evaporate before they reach the sea, 106.
      inflammability of the surface of, 130.

  _Rods_, utility of long pointed ones, to secure buildings from lightning,
               i. 388.
      See farther. _Iron._ _Lightning._ _Metalline._

  _Rome_, causes of its decline enquired into, ii. 398.
      political government of its provinces, iii. 136.

  _Rooms_, warm, advantages of, ii. 249.
      do not give colds, ibid.

  _Roots_, edible, might be dried and preserved for sea-store, ii. 190.

  _Rosin_, when fluid, will conduct electricity, i. 256.

  _Rousseau_, his opinion of tunes in parts, ii. 342.

  _Rowing_ of boats, Chinese method of, ii. 177.

  _Rowley_, Dr. Franklin's obligations to, iii. 555*.


  _Sailing_, observations on, ii. 163.

  _Sails_, proposed improvements in, ii. 164, 166.

  _Saint_ Bride's church, stroke of lightning on, i. 374.

  _Salt_, dry, will not conduct electricity, i. 258.
      rock, conjectures as to its origin, ii. 91.

  _Saltness_ of the sea-water considered, _ib._

  _Savage_, John, a companion of Franklin's, i. 72.

  _Savages_ of North America, remarks on, iii. 383, _et seq._

  _School_, sketch of one, for Philadelphia, ii. 370.

  _Scotch_ tunes, harmony of, and melody, ii. 338.

  _Screaming_, a defect in modern tunes, ii. 345.

  _Scull_, Nicholas, member of the Junto club, i. 83.

  _Sea_, electrical qualities of its component parts, i. 205.
      opinion, that it is the source of lightning, considered, 269, 321,
      supposed cause of its luminous appearance, ii. 88.
      from what cause, salt, 91.
      has formerly covered the mountains, _ib._

  _Sea-coal_, has a vegetable origin, ii. 128.
      prejudices against the use of, at Paris, 278.

  _Sea-water_, soon loses its luminous quality, i. 269.
      considerations on the distillation of, ii. 103.
      how to quench thirst with, 104.
      thermometrical observation on, 199, _et seq._

  _Security_, a just ground to demand cessions from an enemy, iii. 93.

  _Separation_ of the colonies from Britain, probability of, in 1775,
               iii. 356.

  _Servants_ in England, the most barren parts of the people, ii. 395.

  _Settlements_, new, in America, letter concerning, iii. 409.

  _Settlers_ of British colonies, their rights, iii. 299.

  _Sheep_, a whole flock killed by lightning, i. 415.

  _Ships_, abandoned at sea, often saved, ii. 169.
      may be nicely balanced, 170.
      accidents to, at sea, how guarded against, 172.

  _Shirley_, governor, letters to, on the taxation of the colonies, iii. 30.
      on American representation in the British parliament, 37.

  _Shooting-stars_, letter on, ii. 36.

  _Shop-keepers_ in America, iii. 394.

  _Sides_ of vessels, the best construction of, ii. 172.

  _Silver_ cann, experiment with, i. 307.
      vessels, not so easily handled as glass, when filled with hot liquors,
               ii. 57.

  _Slavery_, society for the abolition of, i. 151.
      address to the public on the abolition of, iii. 517.

  _Slaves_, not profitable labourers, ii. 386.
      diminish population, ii. 387.

  _Slave-trade_, sentiment of a French moralist respecting, ii. 195.
      parody on the arguments in favour of, 450.

  _Sliding-plates_ for smoky chimnies described, ii. 287.

  _Slitting-mills_ in America, iii. 270.

  _Small_, Mr. Alexander, letter from, i. 374.

  _Smell_ of electricity, how produced, i. 244.

  _Smoke_, principle by which it ascends, ii. 257.
      stove that consumes it, 296.
      the burning of, useful in hot-houses, 316.

  _Smoky_ chimnies, observation on the causes and cure of, ii. 256.
      remedy for, if by want of air, 261, 262.
          if by too large openings in the room, 266, 268.
          if by too short a funnel, 269.
          if by overpowering each other, 270, 271.
          if by being overtopped, 271, 272.
          if by improper situation of a door, 273.
          if by smoke drawn down their funnels, 274, 275.
          if by strong winds, 275, 276.
      difficult sometimes to discover the cause of, 282.

  _Smuggling_, reflections on, ii. 430.
      encouragement of, not honest, 432.

  _Snow_, singular instance of its giving electricity, i. 373.

  _Soap-boiler_, part of Franklin's early life devoted to the business of,
               i. 10, 14.

  _Societies_, of which Franklin was president, i. 151.
      learned, of which he was a member, 135.

  _Socrates_, his mode of disputation, i. 21.

  _Songs_, ancient, give more pleasure than modern, ii. 342.
      modern, composed of all the defects of speech, 344.

  _Soul_, argument against the annihilation of, iii. 548*.

  _Sound_, best mediums for conveying, ii. 335.
      observations on, 336.
      queries concerning, 337.

  _Sounds_ just past, we have a perfect idea of their pitch, ii. 340.

  _Soup-dishes_ at sea, how to be made more convenient, ii. 195.

  _Spain_, what has thinned its population, ii. 390.

  _Specific_ weight, what, ii. 226.

  _Spectacles_, double, advantages of, iii. 544*, 551*.

  _Speech_, at Algiers, on slavery and piracy, ii. 450.
      of Mr. Galloway, preface to, iii. 163.
      last of Franklin, on the federal constitution, 416.

  _Spelling_, a new mode of, recommended, ii. 359.

  _Spheres_, electric, commodious ones, i. 178.

  _Spider_, artificial, described, i. 177.

  _Spirits_, fired without heating, i. 214, 245.
      linen wetted with, cooling in inflammations, ii. 87.
      should always be taken to sea in bottles, 175.

  _Spots_ in the sun, how formed, i. 260.

  _Squares_, magical square of, ii. 324.

  _Staffordshire_ chimney, description of, ii. 285.

  _Stamp-act_ in America stigmatized, iii. 228.
      letter on the repeal of, iii. 239.
      examination of Franklin on, 245.

  _Stars._ See _Shooting_.

  _State_, internal, of America, iii. 291.

  _Storms_, causes of, ii. 65.

  _Stove_, Dutch, its advantages and defects, ii. 233.
      German, ditto, 234.
      to draw downwards, by J. G. Leutmann, 298.
      for burning pit-coal and consuming its smoke, 301, 304, 308.

  _Strata_ of the earth, letter on, ii. 116.

  _Strahan_, Mr. queries by, on American politics, iii. 287.
      answer to the queries, 290.
      letter to, disclaiming his friendship, iii. 354.

  _Stuber_, Dr. continuator of Franklin's life, i. 98.

  _Studies_ of trifles, should be moderate, ii. 95.

  _Stuttering_, one of the affected beauties of modern tunes, ii. 245.

  _Sugar_, cruelties exercised in producing it, ii. 196.

  _Sulphur_ globe, its electricity different from that of the glass globe,
               i. 265.

  _Sun_, supplies vapour with fire, i. 207.
      why not wasted by expense of light, 259.
      effect of its rays on different coloured clothes, ii. 108.
      light of, proposed to be used instead of candlelight, iii. 470, 473.
      discovered to give light as soon as it rises, 471.

  _Surfaces_ of glass, different state of its opposite ones, when
               electrised, i. 191, 238.

  _Swimming_, skill of Franklin in, i. 66.
      art of, how to be acquired, ii. 206
      how a person unacquainted with it may avoid sinking, 208.
      a delightful and wholesome exercise, ii. 209, 211.
      advantage of, to soldiers, 210.
      inventions to improve it, _ibid._ 212.
      medical effects of, _ibid._


  _Tariffs_, not easily settled in Indian trade, iii. 218.

  _Tautology_, an affected beauty of modern songs, ii. 345.

  _Taxation_, American, letters to governor Shirley on, iii. 30.
      American, Dr. Franklin's examination on, iii. 246, 256.
      internal and external, distinguished, 259.
      on importation of goods and consumption, difference between, 266.

  _Tea-act_, the duty on, in America, how considered there, iii. 261, 317,
      characterized by Mr. Burke, 319, _note_.

  _Teach_, or Blackbeard, name of a ballad written by Franklin in his youth,
               i. 16.

  _Thanks_ of the assembly of Pensylvania to Franklin, iii. 214.

  _Thanksgiving-days_ appointed in New England instead of fasts, iii. 392.

  _Theory_ of the earth, ii. 117.
      of light and heat, 122.

  _Thermometer_, not cooled by blowing on, when dry, ii. 87.
      electrical, described, and experiments with, ii. 336.

  _Thermometrical_ observations on the gulph-stream, ii. 199.
      on the warmth of sea-water, 200.

  _Thirst_, may be relieved by sea-water, how, ii. 105.

  _Thunder_ and lightning, how caused, i. 209.
      seldom heard far from land, 216.
      comparatively little at Bermuda, _ibid._
      defined, 378.

  _Thunder-gusts_, what, i. 203.
      hypothesis to explain them, 203, _et seq._

  _Tides_ in rivers, motion of, explained, ii. 96, 102.

  _Time_, occasional fragments of, how to be collected, ii. 412.
      is money to a tradesman, iii. 463.

  _Toads_ live long without nourishment, ii. 223.

  _Toleration_ in Old and New England compared, ii. 457.

  _Torpedo_, how to determine its electricity, i. 408, 409.

  _Tourmalin_, its singular electrical properties, i. 370.
      experiments on it, 371, 372.

  _Trade_, pleasure attending the first earnings in, i. 81.
      should be under no restrictions, ii. 415.
      exchanges in, may be advantageous to each party, 418.
      inland carriage no obstruction, to, iii. 116.
      great rivers in America, favourable to, 118.
      bills of credit, in lieu of money, the best medium of, 156.
      will find and make its own rates, 219.

  _Tradesman_, advice to a young one, iii. 463.

  _Transportation_ of felons to America, highly disagreeable to the
               inhabitants there, iii. 235.

  _Treaty_ between America and Prussia, humane article of, ii. 449.

  _Treasures_, hidden, search after, ridiculed, iii. 450.

  _Trees_, dangerous to be under, in thunder-storms, i. 213.
      the shivering of, by lightning, explained, 359.
      why cool in the sun, ii. 87.

  _Tubes_ of glass, electrical, manner of rubbing, i. 178.
      lined with a non-electric, experiment with, 240.
      exhausted, electric fire moves freely in, 241.

  _Tunes_, ancient Scotch, why give general pleasure, ii. 338.
      composed to the wire-harp, 341.
      in parts, Rousseau's opinion of, 342.
      modern, absurdities of, 344, _et seq._

  _Turkey_ killed by electricity, i. 299.

  _Turks_, ceremony observed by, in visiting, iii. 436.

  V. U.

  _Vacuum_, Torricellian, experiment with, i. 291.
      electrical experiment in, 317.

  _Vapour_, electrical experiment on, i. 343.

  _Vapours_ from moist hay, &c. easily fired by lightning, i. 215.
      cause of their rising considered, ii. 46, 49.

  _Vanity_, observation on, i. 2.

  _Varnish_, dry, burnt by electric sparks, i. 199.

  _Vattel's_ Law of Nations, greatly consulted by the American congress,
               iii. 360.

  _Vegetable_ diet, observed by Franklin, i. 20.
      abandoned by Franklin, why, 47.

  _Vegetation_, effects of, on noxious air, ii. 129.

  _Velocity_ of the electric fire, i. 319.

  _Virtue_ in private life exemplified, iii. 427.

  _Vernon_, Mr. reposes a trust in Franklin, which he violates, i. 44.

  _Vis_ inertiæ of matter, observations on, ii. 110.

  _Visits_, unseasonable and importunate, letter on, iii. 432.

  _Unintelligibleness_, a fault of modern singing, ii. 345.

  _Union_, Albany plan of. See _Albany_.

  _Union_ of America with Britain, letter on, iii. 239.

  _United_ states of America, nature of the congress of, iii. 550*.

  _Voyage_, from Boston to New York, i. 27.
      from New York to Philadelphia, 28.
      from Newfoundland to New York, remarks on, ii. 197.
      crossing the gulph stream, journal of, 199.
      from Philadelphia to France, 200, 201.
      from the channel to America, 202.
      to benefit distant countries, proposed, 403.

  _Vulgar_ opinions, too much slighted, ii. 146.


  _Waggons_, number of, supplied by Franklin, on a military emergency,
               i. 131.

  _War_, civil, whether it strengthens a country considered, ii. 399.
      observations on, 435.
      laws of, gradually humanized, _ib._
      humane article respecting, in a treaty between Prussia and America,
               ii. 449.
      French, of 1757, its origin, iii. 274.

  _Warm_ rooms do not make people tender, or give colds, ii. 249.

  _Washington_, early military talents of, i. 130.
      Franklin's bequest to, 164.

  _Water_, a perfect conductor of electricity, i. 201.
      strongly electrified, rises in vapour, 204.
      particles of, in rising, are attached to particles of air, 205.
      and air, attract each other, 206.
      exploded like gunpowder, by electricity, 358.
      expansion of, when reduced to vapour, _ib._
      saturated with salt, precipitates the overplus, ii. 2.
      will dissolve in air, _ib._
      expands when boiling, _ib._
      how supported in air, 45.
      bubbles on the surface of, hypothesis respecting, 48.
      agitated, does not produce heat, 49, 96.
      supposed originally all salt, 91.
      fresh, produce of distillation only, _ib._
      curious effects of oil on, 142.

  _Water-casks_, how to dispose of, in leaky vessels, ii. 170.

  _Water-spouts_, observations on, ii. 11.
      whether they descend or ascend, 14, 23, 38.
      various appearances of, 16.
      winds blow from all points towards them, 21.
      are whirlwinds at sea, _ib._
      effect of one on the coast of Guinea, 33.
      account of one at Antigua, 34.
      various instances of, 38.
      Mr. Colden's observations on, 53.

  _Watson_, Mr. William, letter by, on thunder-clouds, i. 427.

  _Waves_, stilled by oil, ii. 144, 145, 148.
      greasy water, 146.

  _Wax_, when fluid will conduct electricity, i. 256.
      may be electrised positively and negatively, 291.

  _Wealth_, way to, iii. 453.
      national, positions to be examined concerning, ii. 408.
          but three ways of acquiring it, 410.

  _Webb_, George, a companion of Franklin's, i. 72, 84, 86.

  _Wedderburn_, Mr. remarks on his treatment of Franklin before the privy
               council, iii. 330, 332, notes; 550.

  _West_, Mr. his conductor struck by lightning, i. 340.

  _Western_ colonies, plan for settling them, iii. 41.

  _Whatley_, Mr. four letters to, iii. 543*.

  _Wheels_, electrical, described, i. 196.

  _Whirlwinds_, how formed, ii. 10.
      observations on, 20.
      a remarkable one at Rome, 24.
      account of one in Maryland, 61.

  _Whistle_, a story, iii. 480.

  _White_, fittest colour for clothes in hot climates, ii. 109.

  _Will_, extracts from Franklin's, i. 155.

  _Wilson_, Mr. draws electricity from the clouds, i. 429.

  _Wind_ generated by fermentation, ii. 59.

  _Winds_ explained, ii. 8, 9, 48.
      the explanation objected to, 50, 51.
      observations on, by Mr. Colden, 52.
      whether confined to, or generated in, clouds, 57.
      raise the surface of the sea above its level, 188.
      effect of, on sound, 337.

  _Winters_, hard, causes of, ii. 68.

  _Winthrop_, professor, letters from, i. 373, 382.

  _Wire_ conducts a great stroke of lightning, though destroyed itself,
               i. 282.

  _Wolfe_, general, i. 136.

  _Women_ of Paris, singular saying respecting, as mothers, iii. 548*.

  _Wood_, dry, will not conduct electricity, i. 172.
      why does not feel so cold as metals, ii. 56.

  _Woods_, not unhealthy to inhabit, ii. 130.

  _Woollen_, why warmer than linen, ii. 57, 81.

  _Words_, to modern songs, only a pretence for singing, ii. 348.

  _Wygate_, an acquaintance of Franklin's, i. 66.

  _Wyndham_, sir William, applies to Franklin to teach his sons swimming,
               i. 69.


  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
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  For consistency and clarity, the pound abbreviation 'l.' has been
  italicized, so for example '123,321l.' has been replaced by
  '123,321_l._' in the etext.

  For consistency, the date and salutation at the beginning of each
  letter, and the closing and name at the end of each letter,
  have been put on separate lines (they were sometimes placed on the
  same line in the original printed text).

  Three or more asterisks, sometimes spaced, were used by the editor
  to indicate omitted text, and sometimes '-- -- --' or '----' were used.
  Missing names were indicated by '----' or by '****'. For this reason
  thought breaks in the text are indicated by two blank lines, not by
  a line of asterisks.

  A deliberate blank space in the text is indicated by [___].

  All the changes noted in the Errata (pg vi) have been applied to the

  Many Footnotes have the signature 'B. V.' rather than 'Editor'. This is
  explained in Vol 1 p 399 Footnote [90], and is copied below for the
  reader's convenience:-
      Wherever this signature occurs, the note is taken from a volume of
      Dr. Franklin's writings, entitled Political, Miscellaneous, and
      Philosophical Pieces, printed for Johnson, 1779. The editor of that
      volume, though a young man at the time, had already evinced
      extraordinary talents, and was the friend and correspondent of our