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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 of General Gage 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 besieged.

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, &c.



Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775.

I am to set out to-morrow for the camp,
* 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, Dr. Price, who sometimes has
his doubts and despondencies about our firmness, that
America is determined and unanimous; a very few

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Dr. Franklin, Colonel Harrison, and Mr. Lynch, were at this time appointed by congress (of which they were members) to confer on certain subjects with General Washington. The American army was then employed in blocking up General Howe in Boston; and it was during this visit that General Washington communicated the following memorable anecdote to Dr. Franklin; viz. "that there had been a time, when his 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." Artillery 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 General Washington was enabled effectually to continue the blockade.


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tories and placemen excepted, who will probably soon export themselves. Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankees this campaign; which is 20,000l. 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 expense necessary to kill us all, and conquer our whole territory. My sincere respects to **, and to the club of honest whigs at **. yours most affectionately,


Adieu. I am ever


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 recall 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 that the body of the British people are our friends, but they are changeable, and by your lying gazettes may soon be made our ene

mies. Our respect for them will proportionably diminish, and I see clearly we are on the high road to mutual family hatred and detestation. A A separation of course will be inevitable. 'Tis 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 that you may do us a great deal of mischief, and 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. Yours, &c. B. FRANKLIN.



Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 1775. I received your several favors 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 Massachusetts 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 gouvernement 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 further published here, together with a few newspapers, containing accounts of some of the successes Providence has favored 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 succès pour le maintien de nos libertés. But we wish to know, whether any one of them, from principles of humanity, is disposed magnani

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