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TO SAMUEL COOPER.
Unmimity of the People of Massachusetts in the Sentiments of Liberty. — Hutchinson's Letters.
London, 7 July, 177a
I received your very valuable favors of March 15th and April 23d. It rejoices me to find your health so far restored, that your friends can again be benefited by your correspondence.
The governor was certainly out in his politics, if he hoped to recommend himself there, by entering upon that dispute with the Assembly. His imprudence in bringing it at all upon the tapis, and his bad management of it, are almost equally censured. The Council and Assembly on the other hand have, by the coolness, clearness, and force of their answers, gained great reputation.
The unanimity of our towns, in their sentiments of liberty, gives me great pleasure, as it shows the generally enlightened state of our people's minds, and the falsehood of the opinion, much cultivated here by the partisans of arbitrary power in America, that only a small faction among us were discontented with the late measures. If that unanimity can be discovered in all the colonies, it will give much greater weight to our future remonstrances. I heartily wish, with you, that some line could be drawn, some bill of rights established for America, that might secure peace between the two countries, so necessary for the prosperity of both. But I think little attention is like to be afforded by our ministers to that salutary work, till the breach becomes greater and more alarming, and then the difficulty of repairing it will be greater in a tenfold proportion.
You mention the surprise of gentlemen, to whom those letters have been communicated,* at the restrictions with which they were accompanied, and which they suppose render them incapable of answering any important end. One great reason of forbidding their ^publication was an apprehension, that it might put all the possessors of such correspondence here upon their guard, and so prevent the obtaining more of it. And it was imagined, that showing the originals to so many as were named, and to a few such others as they might think fit, would be sufficient to establish their authenticity, and to spread through the province so just an estimation of the writers, as to strip them of all their deluded friends, and demolish effectually their interest and influence. The letters might be shown even to some of the governor's and lieutenant-governor's partisans, and spoken of to everybody; for there was no restraint proposed to talking of them, but only to copying. However, the terms given with them could only be those with which they were received.
The great defect here is, in all sorts of people, a want of attention to what passes in such remote countries as America; an unwillingness to read any thing about them if it appears a little lengthy, and a disposition to postpone the consideration even of the things they know they must at last consider, that so they may have time for what more immediately concerns them, and withal enjoy their amusements, and be undisturbed in the universal dissipation. In other respects, though some of the great regard us with a jealous eye, and some are angry with us, the majority of the nation rather wish us well, and have no desire to in
• Governor Hutchinson's Letters.
fringe our liberties. And many console themselves under the apprehension of declining liberty here, that they or their posterity shall be able to find her safe and vigorous in America. With sincere and great esteem, I am, &.c. B. Franklin.
TO SAMUEL FRANKLIN.
London, 7 July, 1773.
I received your kind letter of November 6 th, and was glad to hear of the welfare of yourself and family, which I hope continues. Sally Franklin is lately married to Mr. James Pierce, a substantial young fanner at ElwelL about thirteen miles from London, a very sober, industrious man; and I think it is likely to prove a good match, as she is likewise an industrious, good girl.
I would not have you be discouraged at the little dulness of business, which is only occasional. A close attention to your shop, and application to business, will always secure more than an equal share, because ever}' competitor will not have those qualities. Some of them, therefore, must give way to you; and the constant growth of the country will increase the trade of all, that steadily stand ready for it. I send you a little piece of mine, which more particularly explains these sentiments.
My love to your good wife and daughters, and believe me ever your affectionate cousin,
TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN.
Meeting with Lord North at Lord Le Despencer's. — Lord Dartmouth. — Anecdote of Lord Hillsborough.
London, 14 July, 177a
Dear Son, I am glad to find by yours of May 4th, that you have been able to assist Josiah Davenport a little; but vexed that he and you should think of putting me upon a solicitation, which it is impossible for me to engage in. I am not upon terms with Lord North, to ask any such favor from him. Displeased with something he said relating to America, I have never been at his levees, since the first. Perhaps he has taken that amiss. For the last week we met occasionally at Lord Le Despencer's, in our return from Oxford, where I had been to attend the solemnity of his installation, and he """""^ &tiif]ini1g1y t0 avoid speaking to me. I ought to be ashamed to say, that on such occasions I feel myself to be as proud as anybody. His lady indeed was more gracious. She came, and sat down by me on the same sofa, and condescended to enter into a conversation with me agreeably enough, as if to make some amends. Their 'son and daughter were with them. They stayed all night, so that we dined, supped, and breakfasted together, without exchanging three sentences. But, had he ever so great a regard for me, I could not ask that office; trifling as it is, for any relation of mine. And, detesting as I do the whole system of American customs, believing they will one day bring on a breach, through the indiscretion and insolence of those concerned in the collection, I should never wish to see one so near to me in that business. If you think him capable of acting as deputy secretary, I imagine you might easily obtain that for him of Mr. Morgan.
He has lately been with me, is always very complaisant, and, understanding I was about returning to America, requested my interest to obtain for him the agency for your province. His friend, Sir Watkin Lewes, who was formerly candidate for the same great place, is now high sheriff of London, and in the way of being Lord Mayor. The new sheriffs elect are (could you think it?) both Americans, viz. Mr. Sayre, the New Yorker, and Mr. William Lee, brother to Dr. Lee. I am glad you stand so well with Lord Dartmouth. I am likewise well with him, but he never spoke to me of augmenting your salary. He is truly a good man, and wishes sincerely a good understanding with the colonies, but does not seem to have strength equal to his wishes. Between you and me, the late measures have been, I suspect, very much the King's own, and he has in some cases a great share of what his friends call firmness. Yet, by some painstaking and proper management, the wrong impressions he has received may be removed, which is perhaps the only chance America has for obtaining soon the redress she aims at. This entirely to yourself.
And, now we are among great folks, let me tell you a little of Lord Hillsborough. I went down to Oxford with and at the instance of Lord Le Despencer, who is on all occasions very good to me, and seems of late very desirous of my company. Mr. Todd too was there, who has some attachment to Lord Hillsborough, and, in a walk we were taking, told me, as a secret, that Lord Hillsborough was much chagrined at being out of place, and could never forgive me for writing that pamphlet against his Report about the Ohio. "1 assured him," says Mr. Todd, "that I knew you did