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against one who was not at least inferior to this troublesome but important concern, at him in ability and integrity. Nevertheless the court of Great Britain, he had opportuniMr. Clarkson is willing to obtain the testi- ties of becoming acquainted with many permony of Franklin in favour of the object of sons of the first consequence in the state, who, his admiration; though it is to be regretted, on their side were not wanting in observing that he could not even do this, without mixing his extraordinary sagacity and comprehensive with his quotation something disrespectful of understanding. The war in which Great the very authority which he cited. Nay,” Britain was then involved, could not fail to says he, “ if I mistake not, Dr. Franklin him- excite much of his attention, and he was not self was among those who highly respected alone in the opinion, that by pursuing the Penn."
contest solely in Germany, England incurred The doctor had a satirical way of express an enormous expenditure, without either reap ing himself when he was not pleased, and ing any immediate advantage, or facilitating therefore when he found fault with William an honourable termination. There was some Penn, he could not get rid of his old babit; thing, indeed, peculiarly splendid in the but the hostility he manifested, was far more achievements of the king of Prussia; and the in manner than in heart. He was assuredly nation, without knowing why, seemed to more severe upon William Penn's grandsons, identify the cause of that monarch with the against whom (it is said) he published a small security of the Protestant religion, and the pamphlet, where, as if no other way had been maintenance of the balance of power, the left to expose them, it is singular that he con- favourite delusions of that period. The judg. trasted their conduct with the virtuous exam-ment of Franklin was unbiassed by prejudices ple of their noble ancestor. The little ludi- which had no foundation in reason, and too crous motto, prefixed to this work, and which cool to be warmed by the report of victories, was taken from John Rogers's primer, may the result of which appeared to be little more enable the reader to judge, in part, of its than an occasion for renewed exertions and contents:
more sanguinary conflicts, without any
definite object or satisfactory prospect. He I send you here a little book,
contemplated the interests of Britain in a more
made them dependant upon the success of
subsidized allies; and knowing by experience, The ingenious eulogist of Penn, however, how desirous France was to gain a more exdoes not seem to have been aware, that in tended footing in America, he thought it attempting to invalidate the testimony of would be the wisest way to counteract her Franklin, he had before completely destroyed ambitious projects, by an attack upon her own the value of his praise. In the general view colony. Franklin was no stranger to Canada, of the character of Penn, no doubt the latter and he was thoroughly persuaded that the concurred fully with the voice of the public ;* possession of that country gave to the French but knowing, as he did, the minuter parts of a commanding influence over the Indians, of the history of his connexions with the pro which they never failed to take an advantage, vince which bears his name, it was impossible to the annoyance of the English colonies. either to pass them over in absolute silence, or Looking upon France in relation to England to speak of them without some observation on as another Carthage, he formed the project the want of consistency in so great a man. of destroying her maritime ascendancy; as
Thus much it was proper here to remark, well to strengthen the political and commerbecause if a necessity existed for the justifica- cial state of Great Britain, as to provide a tion of Penn, from any reflections bestowed permanent security for her foreign dependenupon him by the historian of his settlement, cies. The more he weighed the subject in it must be equally necessary to show that his mind, the more was he satisfied that the these reflections did not proceed from the true interest of Great Britain lay in weakenwantonness of a satirical humour, or the ma-ing her rival on the side of America, rather lignity of wit, but from an attentive examina- than in Germany; and these sentiments he tion of the subject, and the paramount love imparted to some of his friends, by whom they of truth, in a concern which demanded an in- were reported to the indefatigable William vestigation in detail, and a full exposition for Pitt, afterwards earl of Chatham; who no the ends of justice.
sooner consulted him on the practicability of While Benjamin Franklin was engaged in the conquest, than he was convinced by the
force of his arguments, and determined by the * In a letter to Mr. David Barclay, dated Passy, Ja simple accuracy of his statements. The en“ Your friends on both sides the Atlantic, may be as terprise was immediately undertaken, the sured of whatever justice or favour I may be able to command given to general Wolfe, and conprocure for them. My veneration for William Penn is ducted with such celerity, as completely to not less than yours; and I have always had great es. lem for the body of your people."
deceive France, who had no apprehensions
for the safety of Canada, till the intelligence desired effect, for at the treaty in 1762, France reached Europe of its being irrevocably lost. ceded Canada to Great Britain, and by the This acquisition gave a new turn to the cession of Louisiana at the same time, repolitical interests of the English colonies, and linquished all her possessions on the North followed as it soon was by a new reign, it American continent. contributed very materially to the restoration Mr. Franklin about this time made a jourof peace. The brilliancy of the conquest of ney to Scotland, whither his reputation as a Canada, and the powerful pamphlet written philosopher had preceded him: he was greetabout this time by Franklin's intimate friend, ed by the learned of that country, and the Israel Mauduit, a merchant of London, on university of St. Andrews conferred upon him the impoliey of German wars, drew the at- the degree of doctor of laws. Its example tention of the nation to the importance of that was followed by the universities of Edinburgh country, and the necessity of preserving it for and Oxford. T'he entries of the honours conthe welfare of our own colonies. There were ferred by the latter, on himself and son, are not wanting, however, some politicians who thus made: considered the possession of Canada in another BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Esq. Provinc. Pensylvan. Delight, and as less desirable than the retention American Septentrionalem Præfectus Generalis et
putat. ad Curiam Sereniss. Legat Tabellariorium per of Guadaloupe, which about the same time Veredarioruin totius Nova Angliæ, et R. 3. S. cr. D. surrendered to the British arms.
C.L. Apr. 30, 1762.
FRANKLIN, (WILLIAM) Esq. Juris Municip. Consult. On the prospect of peace with France, the cr. M. A. Apr. 30, 1762. earl of Bath, addressed “ A Letter to two Most of the other learned societies of great Men,” (Mr. Pitt and the duke of New- Europe were equally ambitious of calling him castle) on the terms necessary to be insisted a member, and nominated him as such : thus on in the negotiations. He preferred the he was eventually consoled and rewarded for acquisition of Canada, to the acquisitions in the neglect or opposition his discoveries in the West Indies. In the same year (1760) philosophy had originally experienced. there appeared, “ Remarks on the Letter ad- Soon after this period, a vacancy in the dressed to two great Men," (written by government of New Jersey having occurred, Messieurs Burke*) containing opposite opin- Dr. Franklin's son, without any solicitation ions on this and other subjects. At this time whatever on the part of his father, but from Mr. Franklin stepped into the controversy, his own personal merits, and in consideration and wrote a pamphlet, in which he was as- of his military services in America during sisted by his friend Mr. Richard Jackson, the last war, (backed by the powerful recom(who desired not to be known on the occasion) mendation of lord Bute,) was appointed entitled, “ The Interest of Great Britain governor of that province. considered with regard to the Colonies, and
Governor Franklin filled this high and the acquisition of Canada and Guadaloupe,” honourable situation with equal credit to himin which were pointed out in the most clear self and advantage to the province, till the and forcible manner, the advantages that commencement of the American revolution ; would result to Great Britain from the reten- when, unlike most of the governors of the tion of Canada ; demonstrating also, that the other provinces at that eventful period, he security of a dominion, is a justifiable and remained undismayed at his post, till he was prudent ground upon which to demand ces- seized by the revolutionary government, consions from an enemy;that the erection of veyed to Connecticut, and rigorously detainforts in the back settlements, was almost in ed as a prisoner for near two years, when he no instance a sufficient security against the was eventually liberated in 1778, in exchange Indians and the French; but that the posses for an American general officer. He retired sion of Canada implied every security, and to England and obtained from the British ought to be had while in the power of the government a pension, which he enjoyed till British government:-and that the French his death, in 1813. retaining Canada, would be an encourage
It has been frequently asserted, that Dr. ment to disaffection in the British colonies, &c. Franklin held out every temptation and inThese arguments appear to have had the ducement to his son to quit his allegiance to
Great Britain, and to take part with the * Of this name there were four, who obtained some colonies. This was not so: Dr. Franklin the most celebrated of the four, and whose history is made no attempt of the sort, whatever may associated with the two great revolutions of the last have been his secret wishes on that subject. century; his brother Richard, who became recorder of In a letter to his son of Oct. 6, 1773,* he the city of Bristol ; William Burke the cousin of these two, who was for a time secretary to general Conway, says: “I know your sentiments differ from and an army paymaster in India, through whom Ed. mine on these subjects. You are a thorough mund received the most minute details of those events which enabled him to bring Hastings before the house government man, which I do not wonder at, of lords; the fourth was Richard the son of Edm'ind, nor do I aim at converting you. I only wish most celebrated as a confidential agent of the British you to act uprightly and steadily, avoiding government in Ireland, and at the conferences of Pilnitz,
* See “ Private Correspondence.”
It will be very ty.
that duplicity, which in Hutchinson adds con- his exertions for the liberties and welfare of tempt to indignation. If you can promote the country. the prosperity of your people, and leave them In December, 1762, considerable alarm was happier than you found them, whatever your occasioned in the province, by what was callpolitical principles are, your memory will ed the Paxton murders. It is thus related : be honoured.”
“A number of Indians had resided in the During the whole of the American contest, county of Lancaster, and conducted themDr. Franklin never had any communication selves uniformly as friends to the white inwhatever with his son, either directly or in- habitants. Repeated depredations on the directly: but at the close of the war, in an- frontiers, had exasperated the inhabitants to swer to an overture from him towards a re- such a degree, that they determined on reconciliation, the father thus feelingly express- venge upon every Indian. A number of pered his sentiments on his son's late political sons, to the amount of about one hundred and conduct:
twenty, principally inhabitants of Donnegal • Passy, August 16, 1784. and Peckstang, or Paxton, township, in the
county of York, assembled, and, mounted on “ DEAR Son, I received your letter of the horseback, proceeded to the settlement of 22d ultimo, and am glad to find, that you de- these harmless and defenceless Indians, whose sire to revive the affectionate intercourse that number had now been reduced to about twenformerly existed between us.
The Indians had received intelligence agreeable to me: indeed nothing has ever of the attack which was intended against hurt me so much, and affected me with such them, but disbelieved it: considering the keen sensations, as to find myself deserted in white people as their friends, they appremy old age, by my only son; and not only hended no danger from them. When the deserted, but to find him taking up arms* party arrived at the Indian settlement, they against me, in a cause wherein my good found only some women and children, and a fame, fortune, and life, were all at stake. few old men, the rest being absent at work. You conceived, you say, that your duty to They murdered all whom they found, and your king and regard for your country re- amongst others, the chief Shaheas, who had quired this. I ought not to blame you
always been distinguished for his friendship to differing in sentiment with me in public af- the whites. This bloody deed excited much fairs. We are men all subject to errors. Our indignation in the well-disposed
of the opinions are not in our own power; they are
community. formed and governed much by circumstances,
“The remainder of these unfortunate Inthat are often as inexplicable as they are irre- dians, who by absence had escaped the mas sistible. Your situation was such, that few sacre, were conducted to Lancaster, and would have censured your remaining neuter, lodged in the gaol as a place of security. though there are natural duties which pre- The governor of Pennsylvania issued a procede political ones, and cannot be extin- clamation, expressing the strongest disapproguished by them. This is a disagreeable bation of the action, offering a reward for the subject: I'drop it. And we will endeavour, discovery of the perpetrators of the deed, and as you propose, mutually to forget what has prohibiting all injuries to the peaceable inhappened relating to it, as well as we can. I habitants in future. But notwithstanding send your son over to pay his duty to you. this, a party of the same men shortly after You will find him much improved. He is marched to Lancaster, broke open the gaol, greatly esteemed and beloved in this country, and inhumanly butchered the innocent Inand will make his way any where, &c.” dians who had been placed there for security. In the summer of 1762, Dr. Franklin re
Another proclamation was issued, but it had
no effect. A detachment marched down to turned to Philadelphia, and shortly after re- Philadelphia, for the express purpose of murceived the thanks of the assembly of Pennsylvania,“ as well for the faithful discharge dering some friendly Indians, who had been of his duty to that province in particular, of the citizens armed in their defence. The
reinoved to the city for safety. A number as for the many and important services done Quakers, whose principles are opposed to to America in general, during his residence in Great Britain." A compensation of five
fighting, even in their own defence, were
most active on this occasion. The rioters thousand pounds, Pennsylvania, currency, came to Germantown, within five miles of was also decreed him for his services during Philadelphia. The governor fled for safety six years. Even in his absence, he had been to the house of Dr. Franklin, who, with some annually elected a member of the assembly others, advanced, to meet the Paxton-boys, of representatives of the province, and he again took his seat in that body, and continued as they were
called, and had influence enough
to prevail upon them to relinquish their unGovernor Franklin (it is believed) formed and dertaking, and return to their homes. "- Dr. commanded the corps of royalists at New York.
Franklin wrote a pamphlet on this occasion,
which had a considerable effect, in soothing your majesty would be graciously pleased to the passions, and restoring tranquillity. His resume the government of this province, services, however, were but ill requited by making such compensation to the proprietaries the governor, who was, as well as the pro- for the same as to your majesty's wisdom and vince, under great obligations to his active goodness shall appear just and equitable, and and successful exertions.
permitting your dutiful subjects therein to The disputes between the proprietaries and enjoy, under your majesty's more immediate the assembly, which had so long agitated the care and protection, the privileges that have province, and which had for a time subsided, been granted to them by and under your royal were again revived, and are thus accounted predecessors. By order of the house." for:
Great opposition was made to this measure, “ The proprietaries were discontent at the not only in the house, but in the public prints. concessions made in favour of the people, and A speech of Mr. Dickinson on the subject was again exerted themselves to recover the privi- published with a preface by Dr. Smith, in lege of exempting their own estates from tax- which great pains were taken to show the ation, which they had been induced, with impropriety and impolicy of this proceeding. great reluctance, to relinquish.
A speech of Joseph Galloway, Esquire, in re“ In 1763, the assembly passed a Militia ply to Mr. Dickinson, was also published, acBill, to which the governor refused to give companied by a preface by Dr. Franklin, in his assent, unless the assembly would agree which he ably opposed the principles laid to certain amendments which he proposed. down in the preface to Mr. Dickinson's speech. These consisted in increasing the fines, and Among other pointed remarks, Dr. Franklin in some cases substituting death for fines. says: He wished, too, that the officers should be « In the constitution of our government, appointed altogether by himself, and not no- and in that of one more, there still remains a minated by the people, as the bill had pro particular thing that none of the other Ameriposed. These amendments the assembly can governments have; to wit, the appointconsidered as inconsistent with the spirit of ment of a governor by the proprietors, instead liberty: they would not adopt them—the go- of an appointment by the crown. vernor was obstinate, and the bill was lost.” ticular in government has been found incon
These, and various other circumstances, venient; attended with contentions and conincreased the uneasiness which subsisted be- fusions wherever it existed; and has therefore tween the proprietaries and the assembly, to been gradually taken away from colony after such a degree, that in 1764, a petition to the colony, and every where greatly to the satisking was agreed to by the house, praying an faction and happiness of the people. Our alteration from a proprietary to a regal go wise first proprietor and founder William vernment. The following draught of the Penn, was fully sensible of this; and being same, was found in Dr. Franklin's papers:- desirous of leaving his people happy, and pre
venting the mischiefs that he foresaw must “To the king's most excellent majesty, in arise from that circumstance, if it was con
council, the petition of the representatives tinued, he determined to take it away, if of the freemen of the province of Pennsyl- possible, during his own life-time. They acvania, in general assembly met, most hum-cordingly entered into a contract for the sale bly showeth,
of the proprietary right of government to the “ That the government of this province by crown; and actually received a sum in part proprietaries, has, by long experience, been of the consideration. As he found himself found inconvenient, attended with many dif- likely to die before that contract (and with it ficulties and obstructions to your majesty's his plan for the happiness of his people) could service, arising from the intervention of pro- be completed, he carefully made it a part of prietary private interest in public affairs, and his last will and testament ; devising the right disputes concerning those interests.
of the government to two noble lords, in trust, « That the said proprietary-government is that they should release it to the crown. Unweak, unable to support its own authority, fortunately for us, this has never yet been and maintain the common internal peace of done. And this is merely what the assembly the province, great riots having lately arisen now desire to have done. Surely he that therein, armed mobs marching from place to formed our constitution, must have understood place, and committing violent outrages and it. If he had imagined that all our privileges insults on the government with impunity, to depended on the proprietary government, will the great terror of your majesty's subjects. any one suppose that he would himself have And these evils are not likely to receive any meditated the change; that he would have remedy here, the continual disputes between taken such effectual measures as he thought the proprietaries and people, and their mu- them, to bring it about speedily, whether he tual jealousies and dislikes preventing. should live or die? Will any of those who “We do therefore, most humbly pray, that now extol him so highly, charge him at the same time with the baseness of endeavouring An eloquent divine, Dr. William Smith, thus to defraud his people of all the liberties has observed on this occasion, " That under and privileges he had promised them, and by whatsoever circumstances this second embassy the most solemn charters and grants assured was undertaken, it appears to have been a to them, when he engaged them to assist him measure pre-ordained in the councils of Heain the settlement of his province? Surely ven; and it will be for ever remembered to none can be so inconsistent !-And yet this the honour of Pennsylvania, that the agent proprietary right of governing or appointing selected to assert and defend the rights of a à governor, has all of a sudden changed its single province at the court of Great Britain, nature; and the preservation of it become of became the bold asserter of the rights of so much importance to the welfare of the pro- America in general ; and beholding the fetters vince, that the assembly's only petitioning to that were forging for her, conceived the have their venerable founder's will executed, magnanimous thought of rending them asunand the contract he entered into for the good der before they could be rivetted.” of his people completed, is styled an attempt The disturbances produced in America by to violate the constitution for which our fa- Mr. Grenville's Stamp Act, and the oppo thers planted a wilderness; to barter away sition made to it are well known. But the our glorious plan of public liberty and char- origin thereof has generally been misunderter privileges; a risking of the whole con- stood. The following letter from Dr. Frankstitution ; an offering up our whole charter lin on that subject, will correct some of the rights; a wanton sporting with things sa- misrepresentations relative thereto. cred,' &c.”
In addition to the 'preface just mentioned, “ To William Alexander, Esq. Dr. Franklin wrote a pamphlet, entitled
"Passy, March 12, 1778. “ Cool Thoughts," tending to promote the same views. The assembly's application to “ DEAR SIR,- In the pamphlet you were the throne however, produced no effect, and so kind as to lend me, there is one important the proprietary government remained un- fact misstated, apparently from the writer's changed.
not having been furnished with good informaAt the election for a new assembly, in the tion; it is the transaction between Mr. Grenautumn of 1764, the friends of the proprie- ville and the colonies, wherein he understands taries made great exertions to exclude those that Mr. Grenville demanded of them a of the adverse party; and they obtained a specific sum; that they refused to grant any small majority in the city of Philadelphia. thing; and that it was on their refusal only Dr. Franklin on this occasion lost his seat in that he made a motion for the Stamp Act. the house, which he had held for fourteen No one of these particulars is true. The fact years. On the meeting of the assembly, was this. however, it appeared that there was still a “ Some time in the winter of 1763-4, Mr. decided majority of his friends, and he was Grenville called together the agents of the again appointed to resume his agency at the several colonies, and told them that he purcourt of Great Britain, to the great chagrin posed to draw a revenue from America, and of his enemies, who made a solemn protest to that end his intention was to levy a stamp against his appointment; but which was re- duty on the colonies by act of parliament in fused admission upon the minutes, as being the ensuing session, of which he thought it unprecedented. It was, however, published fit that they should be immediately acquaintin the papers, and produced a spirited reply, ed, that they might have time to consider, and from him, entitled “ Remarks on a late Pro- if any other duty equally productive would be test,” &c.
more agreeable to them, they might let him The opposition made to his re-appointment know it. The agents were therefore directseems greatly to have affected his feelings; ed to write this to their respective assemblies, as it came from men with whom he had long and communicate to him the answers they been connected, both in public and private should receive : the agents wrote accordingly. life," the very ashes of whose former friend- “I was a member in the assembly of Pennship,” he declared, he revered." His pa- sylvania, when this notification came to hand. thetic farewell to Pennsylvania, in the publi- The observations there made upon it were, cation abovementioned, the day before his that the ancient, established, and regular medeparture, is a strong proof of the agitation of thod of drawing aids from the colonies was his mind on this occasion.
this. The occasion was always first consi“ I am now," says he, “ to take leave (per- dered by their sovereign in his privy council, haps a last leave) of the country I love, and by whose sage advice, he directed his secre in which I have spent the greatest part of my tary of state to write circular letters to the life. Esto perpetua !-I wish every kind of several governors, who were directed to lay prosperity to my friends, and I forgive my them before their assemblies. In those letenemies."
ters, the occasion was explained for their