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SIR,

TO NOAH WEBSTER, ESQ.

Philadelphia, June 18, 1786. I received the letter you did me the honor of writing to me on the 24th past, with the scheme. enclosed of your reformed alphabet. I think the reformation not only necessary, but practicable; but have so much to say to you on the subject, that I wish to see and confer with you upon it, as that would save much time and writing. Sounds, till such an alphabet is fixed, not being easily explained or discoursed of clearly upon paper. I have formerly considered this matter pretty fully, and contrived some of the means of carrying it into execution, so as gradually to render the reformation general. Our ideas are so nearly similar, that I make no doubt of our easily agreeing on the plan, and you may depend on the best support I may be able to give it, as a part of your institute, of which I wish you would bring with you a complete copy, having as yet seen only a part of it: I shall then be better able to recommend it, as you desire. Hoping to have soon the pleasure of seeing you, I do not enlarge, but am with sincere esteem, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.

SIR,

TO WILLIAM COOKE, ESQ.

Philadelphia, August 12, 1786. I had never before been acquainted that the name of your intended new state had any relation with my name, having understood that it was called Frank Land. It is a very great honor indeed that its inhabitants have done me, and I should be happy if it were in my power to show how sensible I am of

it, by something more essential than my wishes for their prosperity.

Having resided some years past in Europe, and being but lately arrived thence, I have not had an opportunity of being well informed of the points in dispute between you and the state of North Carolina. I can therefore only say, that I think you are perfectly right in resolving to submit them to the discretion of congress, and to abide by their determination. It is a wise and impartial tribunal, which can have no sinister views to warp its judgment. It is happy for us all, that we have now in our own country such a council to apply to, for composing our differences, without being obliged, as formerly, to carry them across the ocean to be decided, at an immense expense, by a council which knew little of our affairs, would hardly take any pains to understand them, and which often treated our applications with contempt, and rejected them with injurious language. Let us therefore cherish and respect our own tribunal; for the more generally it is held in high regard, the more able it will be to answer effectually the ends of institution, the quieting of our contentions, and thereby promoting our common peace and happiness.

I do not hear any talk of an adjournment of congress, concerning which you inquire; and I rather think it likely they may continue to sit out their year, as it is but lately they have been able to make a quorum for business, which must therefore probably be in arrear. If you proceed in your intended journey, I shall be glad to see you as you pass through Philadelphia. In the mean time, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant, B. FRANKLIN.

TO COLONEL HUNTER.

MY DEAR OLD FRIEND,

Philadelphia, Nov. 24, 1786.

It rejoiced me much to learn by your kind letter of February last, which I received about ten days since, that you are still in the land of the living, and that you are snug at Bath, the very place that I think gives you the best chance of passing the evening of life agreeably. I too am got into my niche, after being kept out of it 24 years by foreign employments. It is a very good house that I built so long ago to retire into, without being able till now to enjoy it. I am again surrounded by my friends, with a fine family of grand-children about my knees, and an affectionate good daughter and son-in-law to take care of me. And after fifty years' public service, I have the pleasure to find the esteem of my country with regard to me undiminished; the late re-election of me to the presidentship, notwithstanding the different parties we are split into, being absolutely unanimous. This I tell you, not merely to indulge my own vanity, but because I know you love me, and will be pleased to hear of whatever happens that is agreeable to your friend.

I find Mr. Anstey, whom you recommend to me, a very agreeable sensible man, and shall render him any service that may lie in my power. my power. I thank you for the New Bath Guide: I had read it formerly, but it has afforded me fresh pleasure.

Your newspapers, to please honest John Bull, paint our situation here in frightful colors, as if we were very miserable since we broke our connexion. with him. But I will give you some remarks by which you may form your own judgment. Our husbandmen, who are the bulk of the nation, have

had plentiful crops, their produce sells at high prices and for ready hard money: wheat, for instance, at 8s. and 8s. 6d. per bushel. Our working-people are all employed and get high wages, are well fed and well clad. Our estates in houses are trebled in value by the rising of rents since the revolution. Buildings in Philadelphia increase amazingly, besides small towns arising in every quarter of the country. The laws govern, justice is well administered, and property as secure as in any country on the globe. Our wilderness lands are daily buying up by new settlers, and our settlements extend rapidly to the westward. European goods were never so cheaply afforded us, as since Britain has no longer the monopoly of supplying us. In short, all among us may be happy, who have happy dispositions, such being necessary to happiness even in paradise.

I speak these things of Pennsylvania, with which I am most acquainted: as to the other states, when I read in all the papers of the extravagant rejoicings every 4th of July, the day on which was signed the declaration of independence, I am convinced that none of them are discontented with the revolution.

Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever, with sincere esteem and affection, yours most truly, B. FRANKLIN.

TO MR. SMALL.

DEAR FRIEND,

Philadelphia, February 19, 1787. I received your favor of June last, and thank you for the kind congratulations contained in it. What you have heard of my malady is true, "that it does not grow worse." Thanks be to God I still enjoy pleasure in the society of my friends and books, and much

more in the prosperity of my country, concerning which your people are continually deceiving themselves.

I am glad the improvement of the Book of Common Prayer* has met with your approbation and that of good Mrs. Baldwin. It is not yet, that I know of, received in public practice any where; but as it is said that good motions never die, perhaps in time it may be found useful.

I read with pleasure the account you give of the florishing state of your commerce and manufactures, and of the plenty you have of resources to carry the nation through all its difficulties. You have one of the finest countries in the world, and if you can be cured of the folly of making war for trade, (in which wars more has been always expended than the profits of any trade can compensate,) you may make it one of the happiest. Make the best of your own natural advantages instead of endeavoring to diminish those of other nations, and there is no doubt but you may yet prosper and florish. Your beginning to consider France no longer as a natural enemy, is a mark of progress in the good sense of the nation, of which posterity will find the benefit; in the rarity of wars, the diminution of taxes, and increase of riches.

As to the refugees whom you think we were so impolitic in rejecting, I do not find that they are missed here, or that any body regrets their absence. And certainly they must be happier where they are, under the government they admire, and be better received among a people whose cause they espoused and fought for, than among those who cannot so soon.

* See Letter to Granville Sharpe, esq. July 5, 1785.

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