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tition was ordered, there had been a change bly he might not always think with them as in the American administration, that the pre- to the means of obtaining that end. That the sent minister was our friend in the repeal of heads of complaint in your letter were inany, the stamp act, and seems still to have good some of them requiring much consideration, dispositions towards us; that you had mention- and therefore it could scarce be expected ed to me the probability that the house would that a sudden change should be made in so have remonstrated on all their other griev- many measures, supposing them all improper ances, had not their time been taken up with to be continued, which perhaps might not be the difficult business of a general valuation; the case. It was however his opinion, that if and since the complaint of this petition was the Americans continued quiet, and gave no likely alone to give offence, it might perhaps fresh offence to government, those measures be judged advisable to give the substance of would be reconsidered, and such relief given all our complaints at once, rather than in as upon consideration should be thought reaparts, and after a reprimand received; I say, sonable. I need not remark that there is not upon the whole, I thought it best not to dis- much in such general discourse, but I could oblige him in the beginning of his adminis- then obtain nothing more particular, except tration, by refusing him what he seemed so that his lordship expressed in direct terms his desirous of, a delay at least in presenting the disapprobation of the instruction for exemptpetition, till farther directions should be re- ing the colonies from taxation: which howceived from my constituents. If after delibera- ever was, as he said, in confidence to me, retion they should send me fresh orders I shall lying that no public mention should be made immediately obey them, and the application to of his opinion on that head. the crown itself may possibly derive greater “ In the mean time, some circumstances are weight, from the reconsideration given it, working in our favour with regard to the duwhile the temper of the house may be some ties. It is found by the last year's accounts what calmed by the removal of a minister transmitted by the commissioners, that the who had rendered himself so obnoxious to balance in favour of Britain is but about them. Accordingly I consented to the delay eight-five pounds, after payment of salaries, desired, wherein I hope my conduct will not &c. exclusive of the charge of a fleet to enbe disapproved.
force the collection. Then it is observed, that “With the greatest esteem and respect, I the India company is so out of cash, that it have the honour to be, sir, your and the com- cannot pay the bills drawn upon it, and its mittee's most obedient and most humble ser- other debts, and at the same time so out of
B. FRANKLIN." credit, that the bank does not care to assist
them, whence they find themselves obliged to
lower their dividend; the apprehension of To the same. (Private.)
which has sunk their stock from two hundred
and eighty to one hundred and sixty, whereby
"London, Jan. 5, 1773. several millions of property are annihilated, “Sir, I did myself the honour of writing to occasioning private bankruptcies and other you on the 2d of December past, inclosing distress, besides a loss to the public treasury some original letters from persons in Boston, of four hundred thousand pounds per annum, which I hope got safe to hand. I have since which the company are not to pay into it as received your favour of October 27, which heretofore, if they are not able to keep up containing in a small compass so full an enu- their dividend at twelve and a half. And as meration of our grievances, the steps neces they have at the same time tea, and other Insary to remove them, and the happy effects dia goods in their warehouses, to the amount that must follow, I thought that though mark- of four millions, as some say, for which they ed private, it might be of use to communicate want a market, and which, if it had been sold, it to lord Dartmouth, the rather too, as he would have kept up their credit, I take the would there find himself occasionally men- opportunity of remarking in all companies the tioned with proper respect, and learn that his great imprudence of losing the American character was esteemed in the colonies. Ac- market, by keeping up the duty on tea, which cordingly I wrote him a few lines, and in- has thrown that trade into the hands of the closed it a day or two before I was to wait on Dutch, Danes, Swedes, and French, who achis lordship, that he might have a little time cording to the reports and letters of some custo consider the contents. When I next at- tom-house officers in America, now supply by tended him, he returned me the letter with smuggling the whole continent, not with tea great complaisance in his countenance, said only, but accompany that article with other he was glad to find that people in America India gcods, amounting as supposed in the were disposed to think so favourably of him; whole to five hundred thousand pounds sterthat they did bim but justice in believing he ling per annum. This gives some alarm, and had the best disposition towards them, for he begins to convince people more and more of wished sincerely their welfare, though possi- / the impropriety of quarrelling with America,
who at that rate might have taken off two
“ Thomas Cushing. millions and a half of those goods within these
“ LONDON, March 9, 1773. five years that the combination has subsisted, if the duty had not been laid, or had been
“Sir, I did myself the honour of writing speedily repealed.
to you the 2d of December and the 5th Janu" But our great security lies, I think, in our ary past. Since which I have received your growing strength, both in numbers and wealth, and proceedings of the town of Boston, which
favour of November 28, inclosing the votes that creates an increasing ability of assisting I have reprinted here, with a preface. Herethis nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued,
with I send you a few copies. and our enmity feared, thence it will soon be
“Governor Hutchinson's speech at the
openthought proper to treat is not with justice ing of your January session, has been printed only, but with kindness, and thence we may think) the ministerial people, which I take to
and industriously circulated here by (as I expect in a few years a total change of measures with regard to us ; unless by a neglect it is not yet arrived, and in the mean while it
be no good sign. The assembly's answer to of military discipline we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become as
seems to make impression on the minds of tame as those in the eastern dominions of Bri- many not well acquainted with the dispute. tain, when we may expect the same oppres
The tea duty however is under the considersions, for there is much truth in the Italian ation of parliament, for a repeal on the peti
and no new saying, Make yourselves sheep and the wolves tion from the East India company, will eat you. In confidence of this coming is likely to be taken during the present ses
measures have been talked of against America, change in our favour, I think our prudence is meanwhile to be quiet, only holding up our
sion; Í was therefore preparing to return rights and claims on all occasions in resolu- home by the spring ships, but have been adtions, memorials, and remonstrances; but bear: vised by our friends to stay till the session is ing patiently the little present notice that is over : as the commission sent to Rhode Island, taken of them. They will all have their and discontents in your province, with the weight in time, and that time is at no great give rise to something here, when my being
correspondence of the towns, may possibly distance.
“ With the greatest esteem, I have the ho on the spot may be of use to our country. nour to be, sir, your most obedient and most time I must hope that great care will be taken
conclude to stay a little longer. In the mean humble servant,
to keep our people quiet, since nothing is
more wished for by our enemies than that by “ Governor Franklin.
insurrections we should give a good pretence LONDON, February 14, 1773.
for increasing the military among us, and put“ DEAR Son,—The opposition are now at- must be as evident that by our rapidly increas
ting us under more severe restraints. And it tacking the ministry on the St. Vincent's af- ing strength we shall soon become of so much fair, which is generally condemned here, and some think lord Hillsborough will be given importance, that none of our just claims of up, as the adviser of that expedition. But if privilege will be as heretofore unattended to, it succeeds perhaps all will blow over. The
nor any security we can wish for our rights
be denied us. ministry are more embarrassed with the India affairs; the continued refusal of North Ameri- be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
“ With great respect I have the honour to ca to take tea from hence, has brought infinite
“ B. FRANKLIN." distress on the company: they imported great quantities in faith that the agreement could not hold; and now they can neither pay
To the same. (Private.) their debts nor dividends, their stock has sunk to the annihilating near three millions of their
"London, April 3, 1773. property, and government will lose its four hun “Sir,-My last was of the 9th past, since dred thousand pounds a-year ; while their teas which nothing material has occurred relating lie on hand : the bankruptcies brought on partly to the colonies. The assembly's answer to by this means have given such a shock to governor Hutchinson's speech is not yet come credit as has not been experienced here since over, but I find that even his friends here are the South Sea year. And this has affected apprehensive of some ill consequences, from“ the great manufactures so much, as to oblige his forcing the assembly into that dispute; them to discharge their hands, and thousands and begin to say it was not prudently done, of Spitalfields and Manchester weavers are though they believe it meant well. I'inclose now starving, or subsisting on charity. Bless- you two newspapers in which it is mentioned. ed effects of pride, pique, and passion in go- Lord Dartmouth the other day expressed his vernment, which should have no passions. wish to me, that some means could be fallen
“ Yours, B. FRANKLIN." upon to heal the breach. I took the freedom VOL. I... 2 N 24*
to tell him, that he could do much in it if he gone from New Jersey to the more southern would exert himself; I think I see signs of colonies. relenting in some others. The bishop of St. “ The parliament is like to sit till the end Asaph's sermon before the society for propa- of June, as Mr. Cooper tells me. I had gating the gospel is much talked of, for its thoughts of returning home about that time. catholic spirit and favourable sentiments re- The Boston assembly's answer to the goverlating to the colonies. I will endeavour to get nor's speech, which I have just received, may a copy to send you.
possibly produce something here to occasion With great esteem and respect, I have my longer stay. the honour to be, sir, your most obedient and
am your affectionate father, most humble servant,
“B. FRANKLIN." “B. FRANKLIN.”
“ Thomas Cushing. (Private.) * Governor Franklin.
“ LONDON, May 6, 1773. “ LONDON, April 6, 1773.
“Sir, I have received none of your favours “ Dear Son, I received yours of Febru- since that of November 28. I have since ary 2, with the papers of information that ac- written to you of the following dates, Decemcompany it.
ber 2, January 5, March 9, and April 3, which “ I have sent to Mr. Galloway one of the I hope got safe to hand. bishop of St. Asaph's sermons for your society "The council and assembly's answer to for propogating the gospel. I would have governor Hutchinson's speech I caused to be sent you one, but you will receive it of course printed here as soon as I received them. His as a member. It contains such liberal and reply I see since printed also, but their regenerous sentiments relating to the conduct joinder is not yet come. If he intended by of government here towards America, that reviving that dispute to recommend himself
, sir J. P. says it was written in compliment to he has greatly missed his aim; for the admi
But from the intimacy of friendship in nistration are chagrined with his officiousness, which I live with the author, I know he has their intention having been to let all contenexpressed nothing but what he thinks and tion subside, and by degrees suffer matters to feels; and I honour him the more, that through return to the old channel. They are now the mere hope of doing good he has hazarded embarrassed by his proceedings; for if they the displeasure of the court, and of course the lay the governor's despatches, containing the prospect of further preferment. Possibly in- declaration of the general court before parliadeed the ideas of the court may change; for ment, they apprehend measures may be taken I think I see some alarms at the discontents in that will widen the breach; which would be New England, and some appearance of soft- more particularly inconvenient at this time, ening in the disposition of government, on the when the disturbed state of Europe gives idea that matters have been carried too far some apprehensions of a general war; on the there. But all depends upon circumstances other hand, if they do not lay them before and events. We govern from hand to mouth. parliament they give advantage to opposition There seems to be no wise regular plan. against themselves on some future occasion,
“I saw lord Dartmouth about two weeks in a charge of criminal neglect. Some say since. He mentioned nothing to me of your he must be a fool, others that through some application for additional salary, nor did I to misinformation he really supposed lord Hillshim, for I do not like it. I fear it will embroil borough to be again in office. you with your people.
“ Yesterday I had a conversation with lord " While I am writing comes to hand yours D. of which I think it right to give you some of March 2. My letter by the October packet account. On my saying that I had no late must have been sent as usual to the office by advices from Boston, and asking if his lordthe bell-man. That being, as you inform me, ship had any, he said, none since the goverrubbed open as some of yours to me have nor's second speech; but what difficulties that been, gives an additional circumstance of pro- gentleman has brought us all into by bis imbability to the conjecture made in mine of De- prudence! though I suppose he meant well: cember 2. For the future I shall send letters -yet what can now be done ? It is impossible of consequence to the office (when I use the that parliament can suffer such a declaration packet conveyance) by my clerk.
of the general assembly, asserting its inde“ Your accounts of the numbers of people, pendency, to pass unnoticed. In my opinion, births, burials, &c. in your province, will be said I, it would be better and more prudent to very agreeable to me, and particularly so to take no notice of it. It is words only. Acts Dr. Price. Compared with former accounts, of parliament are still submitted to there. No they will show the increase of your people, force is used to obstruct their execution. And but not perfectly, as I think a great many have while that is the case, parliament would do
well to turn a deaf ear, and seem not to know it. Then adding my wishes that I could be that such declarations had ever been made of any service in healing our differences, his Violent measures against the province will lordship said, I do not see any thing of more not change the opinion of the people. Force service than prevailing on the general assemcould do no good. I do not know, said he, bly, if you can do it, to withdraw their anthat force would be thought of; but perhaps swers to the governor's speech. There is not, an act may pass to lay them under some in- says I, the least probability they will ever do conveniences till they rescind that declaration. that; for the country is all of one mind upon Can they not withdraw it? I wish they could the subject. Perhaps the governor may have be persuaded to reconsider the matter, and do represented to your lordship, that these are it of themselves voluntarily, and thus leave the opinions of a party only, and that great things between us on the old footing, the numbers are of different sentiments which points undiscussed. Don't you think (con- may in time prevail
. But if he does not detinued his lordship) such a thing possible ? ceive himself he deceives your lordship: for No, my lord, said I, I think it is impossible. If in both houses, notwithstanding the influence they were even to wish matters back in the appertaining to his office, there was not, in situation before the governor's speech, and the sending up those answers, a single dissenting dispute obliterated, they cannot withdraw voice. I do not recollect, says his lordship, their answers till he first withdraws his that the governor has written any thing of speech, which methinks would be an awk- that kind. I am told, however, by gentlemen ward operation, that perhaps he will hardly from that country, who pretend to know it, be directed to perform. As to an act of par- that there are many of the governor's opinion, liament, laying that country under inconveni- but they dare not show their sentiments. ] ences, it is likely that it will only put them never heard, said I, that any one has suffered as heretofore on some method of incommoding violence for siding with the governor. Not this country till the act is repealed; and so violence perhaps, said his lordship, but they we shall go on injuring and provoking each are reviled and held in contempt, and people other, instead of cultivating that good will and do not care to incur the disesteem and disharmony, so necessary to the general welfare. pleasure of their neighbours. As I knew go He said, that might be, and he was sensible vernor Bernard had been in with his lordship our divisions must weaken the whole; for we just before me, I thought he was probably are yet one empire, said he, whatever may be one of these gentlemen informants, and therethe sentiments of the Massachusetts assembly, fore said, people who are engaged in any party but he did not see how that could be avoided, or have advised any measures are apt to magHe wondered, as the dispute was now of pub- nify the numbers of those they would have lic notoriety, parliament had not already called understood as approving their measures. His for the despatches; and he thought he could lordship said that was natural to suppose not omit much longer the communicating might be the present case; for whoever obthem, however unwilling he was to do it, from served the conduct of parties here, must have his apprehension of the consequences. But seen it a constant practice: and he agreed what (his lordship was pleased to say) if you with me, that though a nemine contradicente were in my place, would or could you do ? did not prove the absolute agreement of every Would you hazard the being called to account man in the opinion voted, it at least demonin some future session of parliament, for keep strated the great prevalence of that opiing back the communication of despatches of nion. such importance? I said, his lordship could Thus ended our conference. I shall watch best judge, what in his situation was fittest for this business till the parliament rises, and enhim to do; I could only give my poor opinion deavour to make people in general as sensible with regard to parliament, that supposing the of the inconveniences to this country that may despatches laid before them, they would act attend a continuance of the contest, as the most prudently in ordering them to lie on the Spitalfields weavers seem already to be in table, and take no farther notice of them. For their petition to the king, which I herewith were I as much an Englishman as I am an send you. I have already the pleasure to find American, and ever so desirous of establish that my friend, the bishop of St. Asaph's sering the authority of parliament, I protest to mon, is universally approved and applauded, your lordship, I cannot conceive of a single which I take to be no bad symptom. step the parliament can take to increase it,
“B. FRANKLIN." that will not tend to diminish it; and after abundance of mischief they must finally lose
To the same. it. The loss in itself perhaps would not be of much consequence, because it is an authority
“ London, June 2, 1773. they can never well exercise for want of due “SIR, -Since my last of the 6th past, I information and knowledge, and therefore it is have been honoured with yours of March 6 not worth hazarding the mischief to preserve and 24, inclosing a petition to the king, and
a letter to lord Dartmouth. On considering
To the same. the whole, I concluded that a longer delay of
"London, July 7, 1773. presenting the first petition and remonstrance was not likely to answer any good purpose,
“SIR, I thank you for the pamphlets you and therefore immediately waited on lord have sent me, containing the controversy be. Dartmouth, and delivered to him the letter, tween the governor and the two houses. I and the second petition, at the same time re- have distributed them where I thought they delivering the first, and pressed his lordship might be of use. He makes perhaps as much to present them to his majesty, which he pro- of his argument as it will bear; but has the mised to do. Inclosed I send you the answer misfortune of being on the weak side, and so I have just received from him, as this day's is put to shifts and quibbles, and the use of packet (the mail for which is to be made up much sophistry and artifice, to give plausibiand despatched in a few hours) is the earliest lity to his reasonings. The council and the opportunity, the ships for Boston not being to assembly have greatly the advantage in point sail till the beginning of next week. By one of fairness, perspicuity, and force. His preof them I shall send a copy, with what obser- cedents of acts of parliament binding the covations occur to me on the occasion, which lonies, and our tacit consent to those acts are the time will not now permit me to write. In all frivolous. Shall a guardian who has imthe mean while I would just beg leave to say, posed upon, cheated, and plundered a minor that I hope the house will come to no hasty under his care, who was unable to prevent it, resolves upon it. The longer they deliberate, plead those impositions after his ward has disthe more maturely they consider, the greater covered them, as precedents and authorities weight will attend their resolutions. for continuing them. There have been pre“ B. FRANKLIN." cedents time out of mind for robbing on
Hounslow heath, but the highwayman who
robbed there yesterday, does nevertheless de To the same.
"I am glad to see the resolves of the Vir. "LONDOx, June 4, 1773.
ginia house of burgesses. There are brave “SIR, -The above is a copy of mine, per spirits among that people.. I hope their propacket, which inclosed the original of his ma- posal will be readily complied with by all the jesty's answer to our petitions and remon- colonies. It is natural to suppose as you do, strance. I now send an exact copy of the that if the oppressions continue, a congress same, which I did intend to accompany with may grow out of that correspondence. No some observations, and my sentiments on the thing would more alarm our ministers; but general state of our affairs in this country, if the colonies agree to hold a congress, I do and the conduct proper for us to hold on this not see how it can be prevented. occasion. But beginning to write, I find the “ The instruction relating to the exemption matter too copious, and the subject (on reflec- of the commissioners I imagine is withdrawn; tion) too important to be treated of in an hasty perhaps the other also relating to the agents, letter ; and being told the ships sail to-mor- but of that I have heard nothing. I only row, I must postpone it to another opportu- wonder that the governor should make such a nity.
declaration of his readiness to comply with an • It was thought at the beginning of the intimation in acting contrary to any instrucsession, that the American duty on tea would tions, if he had not already, or did not soon be taken off. But now the wise scheme is to expect a repeal of those instructions. I have take off so much duty here, as will make tea not and shall never use your name on this or cheaper in America than foreigners can sup any similar occasion. ply us, and to confine the duty there to keep “I note your directions relating to public up the exercise of the right. They have no and private letters, and shall not fail to obidea that any people can act from any other serve them. At the same time I think all the principle but that of interest; and they believe correspondence should be in the speaker's that three pence in a pound of tea, of which power, to communicate such extracts only as one does not perhaps drink ten pounds in a he should think proper for the house. It is year, is sufficient to overcome all the patriot- extremely embarrassing to an agent, to write ism of an American.
letters concerning his transactions with minis“ I purpose soon to write to you very fully. ters, which letters he knows are to be read As to the letters I communicated to you, in the house where there may be governor's though I have not been able to obtain leave to spies, who carry away parts, or perhaps take take copies or publish them, I have permis- copies that are echoed back hither privately; sion to let the originals remain with you as if they should not be, as sometimes they are, long as you may think it of any use to have printed in the votes. It is impossible to write them in possession.
freely in such circumstances, unless he would • B. FRANKLIN." hazard his usefulness, and put it out of his