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ciated in resolutions not to pay us what they owed us unless we repealed the stamp act. This is an INFAMOUS FALSEHOOD: they know it to be such. I call upon the incendiaries who have advanced it to produce their proofs. Let them name any two that entered into such an association, or any one that made such a declaration. Absurdity marks the very face of this lie. Every one acquainted with trade knows, that a credited merchant daring to be concerned in such an association could never expect to be trusted again. His character on the exchange of London would be ruined for ever. The great credit given them since that time, nay the present debt due from them is itself a proof of the confidence we have in their probity. Another villanous falsehood advanced against the Americans is, that though we have been at such expense in protecting them, they refuse to contribute their part to the public general expense of the empire. The fact is, that they never did refuse a requisition of that kind. A writer who calls. himself Sagittarius (I suppose from his flinging about, like Solomon's fool, firebrands, arrows, and death) in the Ledger of March 9th, asserts that the " "Experiment has been tried, and that they did not think it expedient to return even an answer." How does he prove this? Why, "the colony agents were told by Mr. Grenville, that a revenue would be required from them to defray the expenses of their protection." But was the requisition ever made? Were circular letters ever sent by his majesty's command from the secretary of state to the several colony governments, according to the established custom, stating the occasion, and requiring such supplies as were suitable

to their abilities and loyalty? And did they then refuse not only compliance but an answer? No such matter; agents are not the channel through which requisitions are made. If they were told by Mr. Grenville that "a revenue would be required, and yet the colonies made no offer, no grant, nor laid any tax," does it follow they would not have done it if they had been required? Probably they thought it time enough when the requisition should come; and in fact it never appeared there to this day. In the last war they all gave so liberally, that we thought ourselves bound in honor to return them a million. But we are disgusted with their free gifts; we want to have something that is obtained by force, like a mad landlord who should refuse the willing payment of his full rents, and choose to take less by way of robbery.

This shameless writer would cajole the people of England with the fancy of their being kings of America, and that their honor is at stake by the Americans disputing their government. He thrusts us into the throne cheek-by-jole with majesty, and would have us talk as he writes, of our subjects in America, and our sovereignty over America: forgetting that the Americans are subjects of the king, not our subjects, but our fellow-subjects; and that they have parliaments of their own, with the right of granting their own money by their own representatives, which we cannot deprive them of but by violence and injustice.

Having, by a series of iniquitous and irritating measures, provoked a loyal people almost to desperation, we now magnify every act of an American mob

into REBELLION, though the government there disapprove it and order prosecution, as is now the case with regard to the tea destroyed.-And we talk of nothing but troops and fleets, and force, of blocking up ports, destroying fisheries, abolishing charters, &c. &c. Here mobs of English sawyers can burn saw-mills; mobs of English laborers destroy or plunder magazines of corn; mobs of English coal-heavers attack houses with fire-arms; English smugglers can fight regularly the king's cruizing vessels, drive them ashore and burn them, as lately on the coast of Wales, and on the coast of Cornwall; but upon these accounts we hear no talk of England's being in rebellion; no threats of taking away its Magna Charta, or repealing its Bill of Rights: for we well know that the operations of a mob are often unexpected, sudden and soon over, so that the civil power can seldom prevent or suppress them, not being able to come in before they have dispersed themselves: and therefore it is not always accountable for their mischiefs.

Surely the great commerce of this nation with the Americans is of too much importance to be risked in a quarrel which has no foundation but ministerial pique and obstinacy!

To us in the way of trade comes now, and has long come, all the super-lucration arising from their labors. But will our reviling them as cheats, hypocrites, scoundrels, traitors, cowards, tyrants, &c. &c. according to the present court mode in all our papers, make them more our friends, more fond of our merchandise? Did ever any tradesman succeed who attempted to drub customers into his shop? And will honest JOHN BULL the farmer, be long satisfied

with servants that before his face attempt to kill his plough horses?





Philadelphia, May 16, 1775.


You will have heard before this reaches you a march stolen by the regulars into the country by night, and of their expedition back again. They retreated twenty miles in six 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 succor arrives. The place indeed is naturally so defensible, that I think them in no danger.

All America is exasperated by his conduct, and more firmly united than ever. The breach between the two countries is grown wider, and in danger of becoming irreparable.

I had a passage of six weeks, the weather constantly so moderate that a London wherry might have accompanied us all the way. I got home in the evening, and the next morning was unanimously chosen, by the assembly of Pennsylvania, a delegate to the congress now sitting.

In coming over, I made a valuable philosophical

* This and the preceding papers, addressed to the Printer of the Public Advertiser, were undoubtedly written by Dr. Franklin, about the time of his departure from England; though their precise dates have not been ascertained.


discovery, which I shall communicate to you when I can get a little time. At present am extremely Yours most affectionately,




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 for attempting an accommodation 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, 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 increasing 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

*This is supposed to refer to Experiments made with the Thermometer on the Waters of the Ocean, in order to ascertain the being more or less in the Gulf Stream or approaching the coast. (See WRITINGS, Part. iv. Papers on Philosophical Subjects.)

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