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petition the king against them, and appointed
good disposition towards the province, and
The assembly finally finding the proprietary obstinately persisted in shackling the deputies with instructions, inconsistent not only with the privileges of the people, but with the service of the crown, resolved to
chose to urge the compliance of the assembly;
He set out for New York before me; and
you will be in time, but do not delay longer!" | to join the fleet there, the passengers thought By some accidental hindrance at a ferry, it it best to be on board, lest by a sudden order, was Monday noon before I arrived, and I was the ships should sail, and they be left behind. much afraid she might have sailed, as the There, if I remember, we were about six wind was fair; but I was soon made easy by weeks, consuming our sea stores, and obliged the information that she was still in the har- to procure more. At length the fleet sailed, bour, and would not move till next day. One the general and all his army on board bound would imagine that I was now on the very to Louisburg, with intent to besiege and take point of departing for Europe; I thought so, that fortress; all the packet-boats in company, but I was not then so well acquainted with ordered to attend the general's ship, ready to his lordship's character, of which indecision receive his dispatches when they should be was one of the strongest features; I shall give ready. We were out five days before we some instances. It was about the beginning got a letter with leave to part; and then our of April, that I came to New York, and I ship quitted the fleet and steered for England. think it was near the end of June before we The other two packets he still detained, sailed. There were then two of the packet- carried them with him to Halifax; where he boats which had been long in readiness, but staid some time to exercise his men in sham were detained for the general's letters, which attacks upon sham forts; then altered his were always to be ready to-morrow. An- mind as to besieging Louisburg, and returned other packet arrived, she too was detained, to New York, with all his troops, together and before we sailed a fourth was expected. with the two packets abovementioned, and all Ours was the first to be dispatched; as hav- their passengers! During his absence the ing been there longest. Passengers were French and savages had taken Fort George, engaged for all, and some extremely impatient on the frontier of that province, and the Into be gone, and the merchants uneasy about dians had massacred many of the garrison their letters, and for the orders they had given after capitulation. I saw afterwards in Lonfor insurance (it being war time) and for au- don, captain Bound, who commanded one of tumnal goods; but their anxiety availed no- those packets; he told me that when he had thing, his lordship's letters were not ready been detained a month, he acquainted his and yet whoever waited on him found him lordship that his ship was grown foul, to a always at his desk, pen in hand, and conclud-degree that must necessarily hinder her fast ed he must needs write abundantly. Going sailing, (a point of consequence for a packetmyself one morning to pay my respects, I boat,) and requested an allowance of time to found in his anti-chamber, one Innis, a mes- heave her down and clean her bottom. His senger of Philadelphia, who had come thence lordship asked how long time that would reexpress, with a packet from governor Denny, quire. He answered three days. The genfor the general. He delivered to me some eral replied, "if you can do it in one day, I letters from my friends there, which occasion- give leave; otherwise not; for you must cered my inquiring when he was to return, and tainly sail the day after to-morrow." So he where he lodged, that I might send some let- never obtained leave, though detained afterters by him. He told me he was ordered to wards from day to day during full three call to-morrow at nine for the general's an- months. I saw also in London, one of Bonell's swer to the governor, and should set off im- passengers, who was so enraged against his mediately; I put my letters into his hands lordship for deceiving and detaining him so the same day. A fortnight after I met him long at New York, and then carrying him to again in the same place. "So you are soon Halifax and back again, that he swore he returned, Innis!" "Returned; no, I am not would sue him for damages. Whether he gone yet." "How so?" "I have called here did or not I never heard; but as he representthis and every morning these two weeks pasted it, the injury to his affairs was very confor his lordship's letters, and they are not yet ready." "Is it possible, when he is so great a writer; for I see him constantly at his escritoir." "Yes," said Innis, "but he is like St. George, on the signs, always on horseback but never rides on." This observation of the messenger was it seems well founded; for when in England, I understood, that Mr. Pitt, (afterwards lord Chatham,) gave it as one reason for removing this general, and sending generals Amherst and Wolf, that the minister never heard from him, and could not know what he was doing.
This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three packets going down to Sandy Hook, VOL. I....I
siderable. On the whole, I wondered much how such a man came to be intrusted with so important a business as the conduct of a great army: but having since seen more of the great world, and the means of obtaining, and motives for giving places and employments, my wonder is diminished. General Shirley, on whom the command of the army devolved upon the death of Braddock, would in my opinion, if continued in place, have made a much better campaign than that of Loudon, in 1756, which was frivolous, expensive, and disgraceful to our nation beyond conception. For though Shirley was not bred a soldier, he was sensible and sagacious in himself, and
immense fortunes are often made in such employments: as to my balance, I am not paid it to this day; of which more hereafter.
attentive to good advice from others, capable | vanced, as I charged no commission for my. of forming judicious plans, and quick and ac- service; “O," said he, “you must not think tive in carrying them into execution. Lou- of persuading us that you are no gainer: we don, instead of defending the colonies with understand better those matters, and know his great army, left them totally exposed, that every one concerned in supplying the while he paraded idly at Halifax; by which army, finds means in the doing it, to fill his means Fort George was lost; besides, he de- own pockets." I assured him that was not ranged all our mercantile operations, and dis- my case, and that I had not pocketed a fartressed our trade by a long embargo on the thing: but he appeared clearly not to believe exportation of provisions, on pretence of keep-me; and, indeed, I afterwards learned, that ing supplies from being obtained by the enemy, but in reality for beating down their price in favour of the contractors, in whose profits, it was said, (perhaps from suspicion only,) he Our captain of the packet, boasted much had a share; and when at length the embargo before we sailed of the swiftness of his ship; was taken off, neglecting to send notice of it unfortunately, when we came to sea, she to Charleston, where the Carolina fleet was proved the dullest of ninety-six sail, to his no detained near three months; and whereby small mortification. After many conjectures their bottoms were so much damaged by the respecting the cause, when we were near worm, that a great part of them foundered in another ship, almost as dull as ours, which their passage home. Shirley was, I believe, however gained upon us, the captain ordered sincerely glad of being relieved from so bur-all hands to come aft, and stand as near the densome a charge, as the conduct of an army must be to a man unacquainted with military business. I was at the entertainment given by the city of New York, to lord Loudon, on his taking upon him the command. Shirley, though thereby superseded, was present also. There was a great company of officers, citi-The casks of water, it seems, had been placed zens, and strangers, and some chairs having been, borrowed in the neighbourhood, there was one among them very low, which fell to the lot of Mr. Shirley. I sat by him, and perceiving it, I said, they have given you a very low seat. "No matter, Mr. Franklin, said he, I find a low seat the easiest."
While I was, as beforementioned, detained at New York, I received all the accounts of the provisions, &c., that I had furnished to Braddock, some of which accounts could not sooner be obtained from the different persons I had employed to assist in the business; I presented them to lord Loudon, desiring to be paid the balance. He caused them to be examined by the proper officer, who, after comparing every article with its voucher, certified them to be right; and his lordship promised to give me an order on the paymas ter for the balance due to me. This was, however, put off from time to time, and though I called often for it by appointment, I did not get it. At length, just before my departure, ne told me he had, on better consideration, concluded not to mix his accounts with those of his predecessors. “And you,” said he, "when in England, have only to exhibit your accounts to the treasury, and you will be paid immediately." I mentioned, but without effect, a great and unexpected expense I had been put to by being detained so long at New York, as a reason for my desiring to be presently paid; and, on my observing that it was not right I should be put to any further trouble or delay in obtaining the money I had ad
ensign staff as possible. We were, passengers included, about forty persons; while we stood there, the ship mended her pace, and soon left her neighbour far behind, which proved clearly what our captain suspected, that she was loaded too much by the head.
forward; these he therefore ordered to be moved further aft, on which the ship recovered her character, and proved the best sailer in the fleet. The captain said she had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots, which is accounted thirteen miles per hour. We had on board, as a passenger, captain Archibald Kennedy, of the royal navy, afterwards earl of Cassilis, who contended that it was impossible, and that no ship ever sailed so fast, and that there must have been some error in the division of the log-line, or some mistake in heaving the log. A wager ensued between the two captains, to be decided when there should be sufficient wind: Kennedy, therefore examined the log-line, and being satisfied with it, he determined to throw the log himself. Some days after, when the wind was very fair and fresh, and the captain of the packet (Lutwidge) said, he believed she then went at the rate of thirteen knots; Kennedy made the experiment, and owned his wager lost. The foregoing fact I give for the sake of the following observation: it has been remarked, as an imperfection in the art of shipbuilding, that it can never be known till she is tried, whether a new ship will, or will not be a good sailer; for that the model of a good sailing ship has been exactly followed in a new one, which has been proved on the contrary remarkably dull. I apprehend that this may partly be occasioned by the different opinions of seamen respecting the modes of loading, rigging, and sailing of a ship; each has his method, and the same vessel laden by
the method and orders of one captain, shall sail | his eyes shut, and was half asleep at the time; worse than when by the orders of another. they sometimes answering, as is said, meBesides, it scarce ever happens that a ship is chanically; for he did not see a light just beformed, fitted for the sea, and sailed by the fore us, which had been hid by the studding same person; one man builds the hull, an- sails from the man at the helm, and from the other rigs her, a third loads and sails her. No rest of the watch, but by an accidental yaw one of these has the advantage of knowing all of the ship was discovered, and occasioned a the ideas and experience of the others, and great alarm, we being very near it; the light therefore cannot draw just conclusions from a appearing to me as large as a cart wheel. It combination of the whole. Even in the sim- was midnight, and our captain fast asleep; ple operation of sailing when at sea, I have but captain Kennedy, jumping upon deck, often observed different judgments in the offi- and seeing the danger, ordered the ship to cers who commanded the successive watches, wear round, all sails standing; an operation the wind being the same. One would have dangerous to the masts, but it carried us clear, the sails trimmed sharper or flatter than an- and we avoided shipwreck, for we were runother, so that they seemed to have no certain ning fast on the rocks on which the light was rule to govern by. Yet I think a set of ex-erected. periments might be instituted, first to determine the most proper form of the hull for swift sailing next, the best dimensions, and properest place for the masts; then the form and quantity of sails, and their position as the winds may be; and lastly, the disposition of the lading. This is an age of experiments, and I think a set accurately made and combined would be of great use.
This deliverance impressed me strong with the utility of light-houses, and made me resolve to encourage the building some of them in America, if I should live to return thither.
free from the anxieties which had arisen.*
In the morning, it was found by the soundings, &c., that we were near our port, but a thick fog hid the land from our sight. About nine o'clock the fog began to rise, and seemed to be lifted up from the water, like the We were several times chased in our pas curtain of a theatre, discovering underneath sage, but outsailed every thing; and in thirty the town of Falmouth, the vessels in the hardays had soundings. We had a good obser- bour, and the fields that surround it. This vation, and the captain judged himself so near was a pleasing spectacle to those who had our port, (Falmouth,) that if we made a good been long without any other prospect than run in the night, we might be off the mouth the uniform view of a vacant ocean! and it of that harbour in the morning; and by run-gave us the more pleasure, as we were now ning in the night might escape the notice of the enemy's privateers, who often cruised near the entrance of the channel. Accordingly all the sail was set that we could possibly carry, and the wind being very fresh and fair, we stood right before it, and made great way. The captain, after his observation, shaped his course, as he thought, so as to pass wide of the Scilly rocks; but it seems there is sometimes a strong current setting up St. George's Channel, which formerly caused the loss of sir Cloudesley Shovel's squadron, (in 1707): this was probably also the cause of what happened to us. We had a watchman placed in the bow, to whom they often called, "Look well out before there ;" and he as of ten answered, "Aye, aye;" but perhaps had
I set out immediately, with my son,† for London, and we only stopped a little by the way to view Stonehenge, on Salisbury plain; and lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with the very curious antiquities at Wilton.
We arrived in London, July 27th, 1757.
* In a letter from Dr. Franklin to his wife, dated at
Falmouth, the 17th July, 1757, after giving her a similar
William Franklin, afterwards governor of New
THAT profound observer of men and man- the style of the relation from the dignity ners, lord Bacon, hath observed on the ad- of the first person, which diffuses exquisite vantages of Biographical writing, over other beauty, and gives peculiar energy to the prebranches of historical composition, that "His- ceding parts of the history. This, however, tory of times representeth the magnitude of will, in some instances, be avoided, Dr. Frankactions, and the public faces or deportments lin having left, (written by himself,) several of persons, and passeth over in silence the separate relations of events, or circumstances smaller passages and motions of men and mat- in which he was particularly concerned; ters. But such being the workmanship of these, together with some of his letters, eluGod, as he doth hang the greatest weights cidating similar objects, will be inserted (in upon the smallest wires, maxima é minimis his own language) in their proper places; suspendens; it comes, therefore, to pass, that which he probably would himself have done, such histories do rather set forth the pomp had he lived to complete the narrative of his of business, than the true and inward resorts Life: where, however, this resource is wantthereof. But LIVES, if they be well written, ing, all that remains to be done, is, to adhere propounding to themselves a person to repre- scrupulously to the verity of facts, and to the sent, in whom, actions both greater and evidence of authorities; with as close an smaller, public and private, have a commix-attention to the simplicity of the preceding ture, must of necessity contain a more true, pages as may be, without falling into the native, and lively representation." Of the error of servile imitation. truth of this sagacious remark, a more convincing evidence can hardly be adduced than the memoirs which Dr. Franklin hath left of himself; and the reader has to lament, that when the author resumed his narrative, at the request of some intelligent friends, he did it under the inconvenience of public business, and at a distance from his papers; but the greatest matter of regret is, that he did not bring the history of his own times down through the stormy and eventful period in which he made so conspicuous a figure, near to the close of his illustrious and exemplary career. Great light, and much curious and interesting information respecting the same, may, however, be collected from his "Private and Political Correspondence," forming a sequel to these memoirs.
The necessity of pursuing the narration with chronological precision, is obvious and imperative; but the only matter for concern is, the indispensable obligation of changing
It will be proper here to enter into some detail on the state of Pennsylvania, at the period when the voyage to England took place, of which an account is given at the close of the last part of the author's own memoir; because, as he was obliged to trust solely to his memory, some slight inaccuracies escaped him, that would otherwise have been avoided.
In January, 1757, the house of assembly voted a bill for granting to his majesty the sum of one hundred thousand pounds, by a tax on all the estates, real and personal, and taxables, within the province; but on submitting it to governor Denny for his sanction, he refused it in a message, which, among other remarkable observations, contained the following avowal of his subservience to the Penn family:-"The proprietaries are willing their estates should be taxed in the manner that appears to them to be reasonable, and agreeable to the land tax acts of parliament in our mother country. I am not inclined to enter