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

I am glad you have made a trial of paper money, not a legal tender. The quantity being small may perhaps be kept up in full credit notwithstanding; and if that can be avoided, I am not for applying here again very soon for a repeal of the restraining act. I am afraid an ill use will be made of it. The plan of our adversaries is to render assemblies in America useless; and to have a revenue independent of their grants, for all the purposes of their defence, and supporting governments among them. It is our interest to prevent this. And that they may not lay hold of our necessities for paper money, to draw a revenue from that article, whenever they grant us the liberty we want of making it a legal tender, I wish some other method may be fallen upon of supporting its credit. What think you getting all the merchants, traders, and principal people of all sorts to join in petitions to the assembly for a moderate emission, the petition being

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

I have received the printed votes, but not the laws. I hear nothing yet of any objection made by the proprietaries to any of them at the board of trade.

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

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DEAR SON,

TO GOVERNOR FRANKLIN,* NEW JERSEY. London, August 28, 1767. Last week I dined at Lord Shelburne's, and had a long conversation with him and Mr. Conway (there being no other company), on the subject of reducing American expense. They have it in contemplation to return the management of Indian affairs into the hands of the several provinces on which the nations border, that the colonies may bear the charge of treaties, &c. which they think will then be managed more frugally, the treasury being tired with the immense drafts of the superintendants, &c. I took the opportunity of urging it as one means of saving expense in supporting the out-posts, that a settlement should be made in the Illinois country; expatiated on the various advantages, viz. furnishing provisions cheaper to the garrisons, securing the country, retaining the trade, raising a strength there which, on occasion of a future war, might easily be poured down the Mississippi upon the lower country, and into the Bay of Mexico, to be used against Cuba, or Mexico itself, &c. I mentioned your plan, its being approved by Sir William Johnson, the readiness and ability of the gentlemen concerned to carry the settlement into execution with very little expense to the crown, &c. &c. The secretaries appeared finally to be fully convinced, and there remained no obstacle but the board of trade, which was to be brought over privately before the matter should be referred to them officially. In case of laying aside the superintendants, a provision was thought of for Sir William Johnson, &c. We had a good deal of farther dis

*Dr. Franklin's son.

course on American affairs, particularly on paper money: Lord Shelburne declared himself fully convinced of the utility of taking off the restraint, by my answer to the report of the board of trade. General Conway had not seen it, and desired me to send it to him, which I did next morning. They gave me expectation of a repeal next session, Lord Clare being come over: but they said there was some difficulty with others at the board who had signed that report; for there was a good deal in what Soame Jenyns had laughingly said when asked to concur in some measure, I have no kind of objection to it, provided we have heretofore signed nothing to the contrary. In this conversation I did not forget our main Pennsylvania business, and I think made some farther progress, though but little. The two secretaries seemed intent upon preparing business for next parliament, which makes me think that the late projects of changes are now quite over, and that they expect to continue in place. But whether they will do much or little, I cannot say.

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

I write this in a great hurry, being setting out in

an hour on another journey with my steady good friend Sir John Pringle. We propose to visit Paris. Durand has given my letters of recommendation to the Lord knows who. I am told I shall meet with great respect there; but winds change, and perhaps it will be full as well if I do not.. We shall be gone about six weeks. I have a little private commission to transact, of which more another time. Communicate nothing of this letter but privately to our friend Galloway. I am your affectionate father, B. FRANKLIN.

DEAR SON,

TO GOVERNOR FRANKLIN.

London, Nov. 25, 1767. I think the New Yorkers have been very discreet in forbearing to write and publish against the late act of parliament. I wish the Boston people had been as quiet, since Governor Bernard has sent over all their violent papers to the ministry, and wrote them word that he daily expected a rebellion. He did indeed afterwards correct this extravagance by writing again, that he now understood those papers were approved but by few, and disliked by all the sober sensible people of the province. A certain noble lord expressed himself to me with some disgust and contempt of B. on this occasion; saying he ought to have known his people better, than to impute to the whole country sentiments that perhaps are only scribbled by some madman in a garret; that he appeared to be too fond of contention, and mistook the matter greatly, in supposing such letters as he wrote were acceptable to the ministry. I have heard nothing of the appointment of General Clarke to New York: but I know he is a friend of Lord

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