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of thé 2d December last, with the several papers enclosed, for which I am much obliged to you. I have communicated them to some of the gentlemen you mentioned. They are of opinion, that though it might be inconvenient to publish them, yet it might be expedient to have copies taken and left on this side the water, as there may be a necessity to make some use of them hereafter: however, I read to them what you had wrote to me upon the occasion, and told them I could by no means consent copies of them or any part of them should be taken without your express leave; that I would write to you upon the subject, and should strictly conform to your directions,

The next letter, dated April 20th, 1773, begins thus,"I wrote you in my last, that the gentlemen to whom I had communicated the papers you sent me undercover of yours of the 2d of December last, were of opinion that they ought to be retained on this side the water, to be hereafter employed as the exigency of our affairs may require, or at least that authenticated copies ought to be taken before they are returned: I shall have, I find, a very difficult task properly to conduct this matter, unless you obtain leave for their being retained or copied. I shall wait your directions on this head, and hope they will be such as will be agreeable to all the gentlemen, who unanimously are of opinion, that it can by no means answer any valuable pur


pose to send them here for the inspection of a few persons, barely to satisfy their curiosity."

On the 9th of March I wrote to the same person, not having then received the preceding letters, and mentioned my having written to him on the 2d of December and 5th of January; and knowing what use was made against the people there, of every trifling mob; and fearing lest if the letters should, contrary to my directions, be made public, something more serious of the kind might happen, I concluded that letter thus; “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 pre'tence 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 or privileges will be, as heretofore, unattended to, nor any security we can wish for our rights be denied us.”

Mine of May 6th, begins thus: “I have received none of your favors since that of November 28th. I have since written to you of the following dates, December 2d, January 5th, March 9th, and April 3d, which I hope got safe to hand." Thus in two out of three letters subsequent to that of December 2d, which enclosed the governor's letters, I mentioned my writing that letter, which shows. I could have no intention of concealing my having written

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it; and that therefore the assertion of my sending it anonymously is without probability.

In mine of June 2d, 1773, I acknowledge the receipt of his letter of March 24th, and, not being able to answer immediately his request of leave to copy the letters, I said nothing of them then, postponing that subject to an opportunity which was expected two days after: viz. June 4th, when my letter of that date concludes thus, " As to the letters I communicated to you, though I have not been able to obtain leave to take copies or publish them, I have permission to let the originals remain with you, as long as you may think it of any use to have the originals in possession.” In mine of July

1773, I answer the above of April 20, as follows—“The letters communicated to you were not merely to satisfy the curiosity of any, but it was thought there might be a use in showing them to some friends of the province, and even to some of the governor's party, for their more. certain information concerning his conduct and politics, though the letters were not made quite public. I believe I have since written to you, that there was no occasion to return them speedily; and though I cannot obtain leave as yet to suffer copies to be taken of them, I am allowed to say, that they may be shown and read to whom and as many as you think proper.”

179.3 The same person wrote to me June 14th, 1773, in these terms: “I have endeavored inviolably to

keep to your injunctions with respect to the papers you sent me; I have shown them only to such per

: sons as you directed; no one person, except Dr. Cooper and one of the committee, knows from whom they came or to whom they were sent: I have constantly avoided mentioning your name upon the occasion, so that it never need be known (if you incline to keep it a secret) who they came from, and to whom they were sent; and I desire, so far as I am concerned, my name may not be men tioned; for it may be a damage to me. I thought it however my duty to communicate them as permitted, as they contained matters of importance that very nearly affected the government. And notwithstanding all my care and precaution, it is now publicly known that such letters are here. Considering the number of persons who were to see them, (not less than ten or fifteen) it is astonishing they did not get air before:"_Then he goes on to relate how the assembly having heard of them, obliged him to produce them; but engaged not to print them; and that they afterwards did nevertheless print them, having got over that engagement by the appearance of copies in the house, produced by a member who it was reported had just received them from England. This letter condudes, “I have done all in my power strictly to conform to your restrictions, but from the circumstances above related, you must be sensible it was impossible to prevent the letters being made public, and therefore hope I shall be free from all blame respecting this matter."

This letter accounts for its being, unexpectedly to me, made a secret in Boston, that I had sent the letters. The gentleman to whom I sent them had his reasons for desiring not to be known as the person who received and communicated them but as this would have been suspected, if it were known that I sent them, that circumstance was to be kept a secret. Accordingly they were given to another, to be by him produced by the committee.'



1 When Dr. Franklin put in his answer to the bill in Chancery, which had been filed against him in the name of Mr. Whately, he demurred to two of the interrogatories which it contained, and by wbich he was required to name the person from whom he had here received the letters in question, and also the person in America to whom they had by him been transmitted ; and declined making any disclosure of their names. This demurrer was however overruled ; and he was ordered to answer these interrogatories: but feeliug that his doing so would be a violation of his engagement to the person from whom he had received the letters, and probably injurious to the person to whom they had been sent, he thought it incumbent on him to return to America, and thereby avoid the breach of bis engagement; and he appears to have done this conscientiously, and so completely, that the person from whom the letters were received, was never ascertained; nor were any of the conjectures respecting that person founded upon, or suggested by any infidelity or indiscretion on the part of Dr. Franklin. He was not however under an equal obligation to secrecy, in regard to the person to whom the letters were immediately transmitted ; and he therefore confidentially informed a friend of his (Dr. Ban

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