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self 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 Great Britain and hercolonies; but I hope we shall give them no opportunity."
Dr. Franklin was right in his conjectures, but his hopes were not realised; the opportunity was given, and they availed themselves of it-eminently contributing to the separation of the two countries.
Certain resolutions of the town of Boston respecting trade and manufactures arrived in London about the commencement of the year 1768, and occasioned a considerable clamor; they gave Dr. Franklin and the friends of America great concern: he endeavored by every means to palliate the affair by various writings in the newspapers; and the discontents of the British colonies being much the subject of general discussion at the time, and greatly misunderstood, he, with a view to elucidate the same, and soften the prevalent animosity against America, wrote and published in the Chronicle of January 7th.) a piece signed F+S. entitled, “ Causes of the AMERICAN Discontents before 1768," with this incription : “ The waves never rise but when the winds blow." Prov.'
See “WRITINGS,” Part 1. Section 1. page 43, 4to. ed.
This short tract, together with his “ Answer in Nov. 1769,) to the Queries of Mr. Strahan, (which were probably made under the dictation of administration,) give the best account of the then existing complaints of the colonies, and from their not being attended to,) of the primitive cause of the disputes that produced civil war, and terminated in their separation from Great Britain. These papers, interesting for the historian, form in some degree a complement to these memoirs; and constitute sufficient proofs of Dr. Franklin's candor and foresight.
At this time a change of ministry took place, in which the American business was taken from Lord Shelburne, and given to Lord Hillsborough, as secretary of state for America, a new distinct department. There was a talk at the time of getting Dr. Franklin appointed under secretary of state for that department; but it fell through, he being considered too much of an American.
Lord Hillsborough had formerly at sundry times discoursed with Dr. Franklin on the subject of the Restraining Act, relative to paper-money: the
See “ WRITINGS,” Part 1. Section 1, page 51, 4to. ed. 2 See also a letter of Dr. Franklin's, On the Rise and Progress of the differences between Great Britain and her American Colonies : signed “ A well-wisher to the king and all his dominions," and addressed to the printer of the Public Advertiser. Private Correspondence, p. 211. of ed. 4to., and p. 405. Vol. I. of 8vo. ed.
latter now waited on the new minister, in order again to press the repeal of the same; but he found he had not altered in the sentiments concerning it, which he entertained when at the head of the board of trade, and which still continued adverse to it.
Dr. Franklin took this opportunity of conversing with his lordship concerning the particular affair with which he was charged by his Pennsylvania constituents, relative to the change of government in that province; giving him a detail of all the proceedings hitherto, the delays it had experienced, and its present situation. His lordship promised him he would inquire into the matter, and talk with him further upon it: he expressed great satisfaction at the good disposition that he said appeared now to be general in America, with regard to the British government, according to his last advices; and added, that he had, by his majesty's order, written the most healing letters to the several governors, which, if shown to the assemblies, as he supposed they would be, could not but confirm that good disposition,
These expectations were not, however, realised: the Americans began to be sensible of their own consequence; and the inhabitants of Boston, at a public meeting on the 27th October, 1767, entered into a variety of resolutions for encouraging manufactures, promoting economy, and restraining the use of foreign superfluities. These resolutions, all of which were highly prejudicial to the trade of
Great Britain, contained a long list of articles which it was either determined not to use at all, or at least in the smallest possible quantities. A subscription was opened at the same time, and a committee appointed, for the increase of their old manufactures, and the establishment of new ones. Among other things, it was determined to give particular encouragement to the making of paper, glass, and other commodities that were liable to the payment of the new duties upon importation. It was also resolved to restrain the expense of funerals, to reduce dress to a degree of primitive simplicity and plainness, and in general not to purchase any commodities from the mother-country that could be procured in any of the colonies.
All these resolutions were either adopted, or similar ones entered into, by most if not all the other colonies on the continent.
Though the colonies never pretended an exemption from contributing to the common expenses necessary to the prosperity of the empire, they continued to assert, that, having parliaments of their own, and not having representatives in that of Great Britain, their own parliaments were the only proper judges of what they could and ought to contribute in this case; and that the English parliament had no right to take their money without their consent. They considered the British empire not as a single state, but as comprehending many ; and though the parliament of Great Britain had
arrogated to itself the power of taxing the colonies, it had no more right to do so, than it had to tax Hanover: both countries had the same king, but not the same legislatures. The Americans conceiving their rights thus established, were determined to maintain them; and they accordingly opposed to the acts of a venal court, resolved to subjugate them to its authority, that calm, steady perseverance, worthy of men who were determined to he free.
In 1772, Lord Hillsborough gave in his resignation, occasioned, as was supposed, from some mortification he had experienced, or the evident dislike of the king to his administration, which he conceived had tended to weaken the affection and respect of the colonies for a royal government'-a. sentiment which Dr. Franklin had taken every proper means to encourage by the communication of suitable information and convincing proofs de
Since the publication of the first edition of these Menoirs, the editor has been assured, from respectable authority, that Lord Hillsborough's resignation did not proceed from any dislike of the king, but from his being over-ruled in regard to the grant of VANDALIA, in which several of the ministers were privately interested: and that so well was the king disposed towards Lord Hillsborough, that just before his resignation, it was matter of doubt, whether his chief opponent, the Earl of Rochford, would cot be forced to resign, and leave the other in office: and immediately upon Lord Hillsborough's resigning, he was cre ated an English earl,