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only a respect, but an affection for Great Britain; for its laws, its customs and manners, and even a fondness for its fashions, that greatly increased the commerce. Natives of Britain were always treated with particular regard; to be an Otd-England man was, of itself, a character of some respect, and gave a kind of rank among us.
Q. And what is their temper now?
Q. What do you think is the reason that the people in America increase faster than in England?
A. Because they marry younger, and more generally.
Q. Why so?
A. Because any young couple, that are industrious, may easily obtain land of their own, on which they can raise a family.
Q. Are not the lower ranks of people more at their ease in America than in England ?
A. They may be so, if they are sober and diligent, as they are better paid for their labor....
Q. Did the Americans ever dispute the controlling power of Parliament to regulate the commerce?
Q. Can any thing less than a military force carry the Stamp Act into execution ?
A. I do not see how a military force can be applied to that purpose.
A.P.S. Vol. I
Q. Why may it not?
A. Suppose a military force sent into America, they will find nobody in arms; what are they then to do? They cannot force a man to take stamps who chooses to do without them. They will not find a rebellion; they may indeed make one.
Q. If the act is not repealed, what do you think will be the consequences?
A. A total loss of the respect and affection the people of America bear to this country, and of all the commerce that depends on that respect and affection.
Q. How can the commerce be affected ?
A. You will find, that if the act is not repealed, they will take a very little of your manufactures in a short time. ...
Q. If the Stamp Act should be repealed, would it induce the assemblies of America to acknowledge the rights of Parliament to tax them, and would they erase their resolutions?
A. No, never.
Q. Are there no means of obliging them to erase those resolutions?
A. None that I know of; they will never do it, unless compelled by force of arms.
Q. Is there a power on earth that can force them to erase them?
A. No power, how great soever, can force men to change their opinions. ...
Q. What used to be the pride of the Americans ?
A. To indulge in the fashions and manufactures of Great Britain.
Q. What is now their pride?
A. To wear their old clothes over again, till they can make new ones.
Jared Sparks, The Works of Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 1850), IV. 162, 198 passim.
2. "A Perpetual Jealousy Respecting
By A FARMER
Identified with Delaware and Pennsylvania. A lawyer by profession. One of the best pamphleteers. He hesitated at independence.
Our vigilance and our union, are success and safety. Our negligence and our division, are distress and death. They are worse- they are shame and slavery. Let us equally shun the benumbing stillness of overweening sloth, and the feverish activity of that ill informed zeal, which busies itself in maintaining little, mean and narrow opinions. Let us, with a truly wise government and charity, banish and discourage all illiberal distinctions, which may arise from differences in situation, forms of government, or modes of religion. Let us consider ourselves as men— freemen-christian freemen--separated from the rest of the world, and firmly bound together by the same rights, interests and dangers. Let these keep our attention inflexibly fixed on the great objects, which we must continually regard, in order to preserve those rights, to promote those interests, and to avert those dangers.
Let these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds—that we cannot be HAPPY, without being FREE—that we cannot be free, without being secure in our property—that we cannot be secure in our property, if without our consent, others may, as by right, take it away—that taxes imposed on us by parliament, do thus take it away --that duties laid for the sole purpose of raising money, are taxes—that attempts to lay such duties should be instantly and firmly opposed—that this opposition can never be effectual, unless it is the united effort of these provinces—that therefore BENEVOLENCE of temper towards each other, and UNANIMITY of counsels, are essential to the welfare of the whole- and lastly, that for this reason, every man amongst us, who in any manner would incourage either opposition, diffidence, or indifference, between these colonies, is an enemy to himself, and to his country. ...
Let us take care of our rights, and we therein take care of our prosperity. “SLAVERY IS
EVER PRECEDED BY SLEEP.” Individuals may be dependent on ministers, if they please. States should scorn it, and if you are not wanting to yourselves, you will have a proper regard paid you by those, to whom if you are not respectable, you will be contemptible. But if we have already forgotten the reasons that urged us, with unexampled unanimity, to exert ourselves two years ago—if our zeal for the public good is worn out before the homespun clothes, which it caused us to have made if our resolutions are so faint, as by our present conduct to condemn our own late successful example—if we are not affected by any reverence for the memory of our ancestors, who transmitted to us that freedom in which they had been blest—if we are not animated by any regard for posterity, to whom, by the most sacred obligations, we are bound to deliver down the invaluable inheritance THEN, indeed, any minister or any tool of a minister
-or any creature of a tool of a minister or any lower instrument of administration, if lower there be, is a personage whom it may be dangerous to offend.
A perpetual jealousy, respecting liberty, is absolutely requisite in all free-states. The very texture of their constitution, in mixt governments,