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TO THE HON. THOMAS CUSHING, ESQ. BOSTON. London, March 9, 1773. Governor Hutchinson's speech, at the opening of your January session, has been printed and industriously circulated here by (as I think) the ministerial people, which I take to be no good sign. The assembly's answer to it is not yet arrived, and in the meanwhile it seems to make impression on the minds of many not well acquainted with the dispute. The tea duty however is under the consideration of parliament, for a repeal on a petition from the East India Company, and no new measures have been talked of against America, as likely to be taken during the present session; I was therefore preparing to return home by the spring ships: but have been advised by our friends to stay till the session is over; as the commission sent to Rhode Island and discontents in your province, with the correspondence of the towns may possibly give rise to something here, when my being on the spot may be of use to our country. I conclude to stay a little longer. In the mean time I must hope that great care will be taken to keep our people quiet, since nothing is more wished for by our enemies, than that by insurrections we should give a good pretence for increasing the military among us, and putting us under more severe restraints. And it must be evident to all, that by our rapidly increasing strength we shall soon become of so much importance that none of our just claims of privilege will be as heretofore unattended to, nor any security we can wish for our rights be denied us.

With great respect I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,





London, April 3, 1773. My last was of the 9th past; since which nothing material has occurred relating to the colonies. The assembly's answer to Governor Hutchinson's speech is not yet come over; but I find that even his friends here are apprehensive of some ill consequences from his forcing the assembly into that dispute, and begin to say it was not prudently done, though they believe it meant well. I inclose you two newspapers in which it is mentioned. Lord Dartmouth the other day expressed his wish to me, that some means could be fallen upon to heal the breach. I took the freedom to tell him, that he could do much in it if he would exert himself; I think I see signs of relenting in some others. The Bishop of St. Asaph's sermon before the Society for propagating the Gospel, is much talked of for its catholic spirit and favorable sentiments relating to the colonies. I will endeavor to get a copy to send you. With great esteem and respect, I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.




London, April 6, 1773. I have sent to Mr. Galloway one of the Bishop of St. Asaph's sermons for your Society for propagating the Gospel. I would have sent you one, but you will receive it of course as a member. tains such liberal and generous sentiments relating to the conduct of government here towards America, that Sir J. Pringle says it was written in compliment

* Dr. Shipley's.

It con

to me. But from the intimacy of friendship in which I live with the author, I know he has expressed nothing but what he thinks and feels; and I honor him the more, that through the mere hope of doing good, he has hazarded the displeasure of the court, and of course the prospect of further preferment. Possibly indeed the ideas of the court may change; for I think I see some alarm at the discontents in New England, and some appearance of softening in the disposition of government, on the idea that matters have been carried too far there. But all depends upon circumstances and events. We govern from hand to mouth. There seems to be no wise regular plan.

I saw Lord Dartmouth about two weeks since. He mentioned nothing to me of your application for additional salary, nor did I to him, for I do not like it. I fear it will embroil you with your people.

While I am writing, comes to hand yours of March 2. My letter by the October packet must have been sent as usual to the office by the bellman. That being, as you inform me, rubbed open, as some of yours to me have been, gives an additional circumstance of probability to the conjecture made in mine of December 2. For the future I shall send letters of consequence to the office (when I use the packet conveyance) by my clerk.

Your accounts of the numbers of people, births, burials, &c. in your province, will be very agreeable to me, and particularly so to Dr. Price. Compared with former accounts, they will show the increase of your people, but not perfectly, as I think a great many have gone from New Jersey to the more southern colonies.



The parliament is like to sit till the end of June, as Mr. Cooper tells me. I had thoughts of returning home about that time. The Boston assembly's answer to the governor's speech, which I have just received, may possibly produce something here to occasion my longer stay. I am, your affectionate father, B. FRANKLIN.




TO THE HON. THOMAS CUSHING, ESQ. London, May 6, 1773. The council and assembly's answer to Governor Hutchinson's speech I caused to be printed here as soon as I received them. His reply I see since printed also, but their rejoinder is not yet come. he intended by reviving that dispute to recommend himself, he has greatly missed his aim; for the administration are chagrined with his officiousness, their intention having been to let all contention subside, and by degrees suffer matters to return to the old channel. They are now embarrassed by his proceedings; for if they lay the governor's dispatches containing the declaration of the general court before parliament, they apprehend measures may be taken that will widen the breach; which would be more particularly inconvenient at this time, when the disturbed state of Europe gives some apprehensions of a general war; on the other hand, if they do not lay them before parliament they give advantage to opposition against themselves on some future occasion, in a charge of criminal neglect. Some say he must be a fool, others that through some misinformation he really supposed Lord Hillsborough to be again in office.

Yesterday I had a conversation with Lord D., of


which I think it right to give you some account. On my saying that I had no late advices from Boston, and asking if his lordship had any, he said, None since the governor's second speech; but what difficulties that gentleman has brought us all into by his imprudence! though I suppose he meant well:yet what can now be done? It is impossible that parliament can suffer such a declaration of the general assembly, asserting its independency, to pass unnoticed.' In my opinion,' said I, it would be better and more prudent to take no notice of it. It is words only. Acts of parliament are still submitted to there. No force is used to obstruct their execution. And while that is the case, parliament would do well to turn a deaf ear, and seem not to know that such declarations had ever been made. Violent measures against the province will not change the opinion of the people. Force could do no good.' 'I do not know,' said he, that force would be thought of; but perhaps an act may pass to lay them under some inconveniencies till they rescind that declaration. Can they not withdraw it? I wish they could be persuaded to reconsider the matter, and do it of themselves voluntarily, and thus leave things between us on the old footing, the points undiscussed.

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Don't you think,' continued his lordship, such a thing possible?' No, my lord,' said I, I think it is impossible. If they were even to wish matters back in the situation before the governor's speech, and the dispute obliterated, they cannot withdraw their answers till he first withdraws his speech, which methinks would be an awkward operation that perhaps he will hardly be directed to perform. As to an act of parliament laying that country under inconveni

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