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course; a character of so much weight, that it has protected me when some in power would have done me injury, and continued me in an office they would have deprived me of; my company so much desired, that I seldom dine at home in winter, and could spend the whole summer in the countryhouses of inviting friends if I chose it. Learned and ingenious foreigners that come to England, almost all make a point of visiting me (for my reputation is still higher abroad than here); several of the foreign ambassadors have assiduously cultivated my acquaintance, treating me as one of their corps, partly I believe from the desire they have from time to time of hearing something of American affairs, an object become of importance in foreign courts, who begin to hope Britain's alarming power will be diminished by the defection of her colonies; and partly that they may have an opportunity of introducing me to the gentlemen of their country who desire it. The king too has lately been heard to speak of me with regard. These are flattering circumstances; but a violent longing for home sometimes seizes me, which I can no otherwise subdue, but by promising myself a return next spring, or next autumn, and so forth. As to returning hither, if I once go back, I have no thoughts of it. I am too far advanced in life to
' Deputy Postmaster-general of America.
propose three voyages more."
more. I have some important affairs to settle at home; and considering my double expenses here and there, I hardly think my salaries fully compensate the disadvantages. The late change, however, (of the American minister) being thrown into the balance, determines me to stay another winter.”
Lord Dartmouth had heretofore expressed great personal regard to Dr. Franklin, who now found himself upon very good terms with this new minister.
In this year the late Mr. Walsh (then member of parliament for Worcester), who in the preceding summer had made a journey to La Rochelle, in France, to ascertain by experiments, whether the shock given by the torpedo was an electrical efect, communicated the results of his numerous experiments to the Royal Society, in a letter addressed to Dr. Franklin ; and for this communication he received the medal provided by Sir Godfrey Copley.
As an explanatory introduction to a transaction of much interest and importance in the annals of
Notwithstanding, after Dr. Franklin's return to America, in the spring of 1775, the welfare of his country again induced him to cross the Atlantic in 1776, and undertake, at the age of 71, infirm, and exposed to be captured by the enemy, a winter's voyave, to France; whence he had again to cross the Atlantic jp bis return home, in 1785, being then in his 80th year!
Dr. Franklin, which made a considerable noise at this time, (1773-4) and which has not hitherto been satisfactorily developed to the public, it
public, it may be proper to revert a few years back to the history of the colony of Massachusetts ; for wbich purpose the following short sketch, from an unknown hand, (found among Dr. Franklin's papers) is submitted.
“ From the royal and ministerial assurances given in favor of America in the year 1769, the subsequent repeal in 1770 of five-sixths of the duties which had been imposed in 1767, together with the renewal of the mercantile intercourse between Great Britain and her colonies, many hoped that the contention between the two countries was finally closed. In all the provinces, excepting Massachusetts, appearances seemed to favor that opinion. Many incidents operated there to the prejudice of that harmony which had begun elsewhere to return. The stationing a military force among them was a permanent source of uneasiness. The royal army had been brought thither with the avowed design of enforcing submission to the mother-country. Speeches from the throne, and addresses from both houses of parliament, had taught them to look upon the inhabitants as factious turbulent citizens, who aimed at throwing off all subordination to Great Britain; they, on the ather hand, were accustomed to look upon the soldiery as instruments of tyranny sent on purpose to
dragoon them out of their liberties. Mutual insults and provocations were the consequencé.
“On the evening of the 5th of March, 1770, a tumult between the town's people and a party of the soldiers took place. In this the latter fired on the former, and killed several of them. Modérate men interposed, and prevented a general carnage. The events of this tragical night sunk deep in the minds of the citizens. The anniversary of it was observed with great solemnity. Their ablest speakers were successively employed to deliver an annual oration to preserve the remembrance of it fresh in their minds. On these occasions the blessings of liberty-the horrors of slavery—and a variety of such popular topics were displayed in elegant language, and presented to the public view in their most pleasing or most hideous forms.
" The obstacles to returning harmony, which have already been mentioned, were increased by making the judges in Massachusetts independent of the province. Formerly they had been paid by yearly grants from the assembly; but from the year 1772, Peter Oliver, the chief justice of the superior court, received his salary from the crown. This was resented by the assembly as a species of bribery, tending to bias his judicial determinations in favor of the mother-country. They made it the foundation of an impeachment; but this produced no other consequence than a dissolution of the assembly whieh prosecuted the uncourtly measure.
A personal animosity between Governor Bera nard, Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, and some distinguished patriots in Massachusetts, contributed to perpetuate a flame of discontent in that province, though elsewhere it had visibly abated. This was worked up in the year 1773 to a high pitch by a singular combination of circumstances. Some letters had been written in the course of the dispute by Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, Mr. Oliver, and others in Boston, to persons in power and office in England, which contained a very unfavorable representation of public affairs, and tended to show the necessity of coercive measures, and of changing the chartered system of provincial government. These letters fell into the hands of Dr. Franklin, agent of the province, who transmitted them to his constituents. The indignation and animosity which was excited on their perusal, knew no bounds. The house of representatives agreed on a petition and remonstrance to his majesty, in which they charged their governor and lieutenant-governor with being betrayers of their trust, and of the people they governed; and of giving private, partial, and false information. They also declared them enemies to, the colonies, and prayed for justice against them, and for their speedy removal from their places.
“ This petition and remonstrance being transmitted to England, the merits of it were discussed, before his majesty's privy council. After a hearing before that board, in which Dr. Franklin represented