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were sent by the proprietaries, from which great hopes were entertained of an accommodation. Why was the bringing and the delivery of such orders so long denied? The reason is easily understood. Messieurs Barclays, friends to both proprietaries and people, wished for that gentleman's happy arrival; hoping his influence, added to the power and commissions the proprietaries had vested him with, might prove effectual in restoring harmony and tranquillity among us; but he, it seems, hoped his influence might do the business, without those additions. There appeared on his arrival some prospect (from sundry circumstances) of a change to be made in the house by the approaching election. The proprietary friends and creatures knew the heart of their master; and how extremely disagreeable to him that equal taxation, that restitution, and the other concessions to be made for the sake of a reconciliation, must necessarily be. They hoped therefore to spare him all those mortifications, and thereby secure a greater portion of his favour. Hence the instructions were not produced to the last assembly, though they arrived before the September sitting, when the governor was in town, and actually did business with the house. Nor to the new assembly were they mentioned, till the “very moment,” the fatal moment, when the house were on the point of choosing that wicked adversary of the proprietary to be an agent for the province in England.
But I have, you say, a “ fixed enmity to the proprietaries,” and “ you believe it will preclude all accommodation of our disputes with them, even on just and reasonable terms.” And why do you think I have a fixed enmity to the proprietaries? I have never had any personal difference with them. I am no land-jobber; and 1
therefore have never had any thing to do with their land-office or officers; if I had, probably, like others, I might have been obliged to truckle to their measures, or have had like causes of complaint. But our private interests never clashed ; and all their resentment agains me, and mine to them, has been on the public account. Let them do justice to the people of Pensylvania, ac honourably by the citizens of Philadelphia, and become honest men; my enmity, if that's of any consequence, ceases from the "
very moment;" and, as soon as I possibly can, I promise to love, honour and respect them. In the mean time, why do you“ believe it will preclude all accommodation with them on just and reasonable terms ?” Do you not boast, that their gracious condescensions are in the hands of the governor;' and that “ if this had been the usual time for business, his honour would have sent them down in a message to the house." How then can my going to England prevent this accommodation? The governor can call the house when he pleases; and, one would think, that, at least in
youi opinion, my being out of the way would be a favourable circunstance. For then, by “ cultivating the disposition shown by the proprietaries, every reasonable deinand that can be made on the part of the people might be obtained : in vigorously insisting on which, you promise to unite most earnestly with the rest of the house." It seems then we have “ reasonable demands” to make, and, as you call them a little higher, equilable demands. This is much for proprietary minions to own; but you are all growing better, in imitation of your master, which is indeed very commendable. And if the accommodation here should fail, I hope, that though you dislike the person a majority of two to one in the house
bave thought fit to appoint an agent, you will nevertheless, in duty to your country, continue the noble resolution of uniting with the rest of the bouse, in vigorously insisting on that equity and justice, which such an union will undoubtedly obtain for us. I
pass over the trivial charge against the assembly, that they “ acted with unnecessary haste in proceeding to this appointment, without making a small adjournment,” &c. and your affected apprehensions of danger from that haste. The necessity of expedition on this occasion is as obvious to every one out of doors, as it was to those within; and the fears you mention are not, I fancy, considerable enough to break your rest. I come then to your high charge against me, “ that I heretofore ventured, contrary to an act of assembly, to · place the public money in the stocks; whereby this province suffered a loss of 6000l. and that sum, added to the 50001. granted for my expences, makes the whole cost of my former voyage to England amount to eleven thousand pounds!" How wisely was that form in our laws contrived, which, when a man is arraigned for his life, requires the evidence to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! The reason is manifest. A falshood may destroy the innocent, so may part of a truth without the whole; and a mixture of truth and falshood may be full as pernicious. You, Mr. Chief Justice, and the other justices among the protesters, and you, sir, who are a counsellor at law, must all of you be well acquainted with this excellent form; and when you arraigned my reputation (dearer to me than lite) before the asseinbly, and now at the respectable tribunal of the public, would it not have well become your honours to have had some small regard at least to
the spirit of that form ? You might have mentioned, that the direction of the act, to lodge the money in the bank, subject to the drafts of the trustees of the loanoffice here, was impracticable; that the bank refused to receive it on those terms, it being contrary to their seltled rules to take charge of money subject to the orders of unknown people living in distant countries. You might have mentioned, that the house being informed of this, and having no immediate call for the money, did themselves adopt the measure of placing it in the stocks, which then were low, where it might on a peace produce a considerable profit, and in the mean time accumulate an interest : that they even passed a bill, directing the subsequent sums granted by parliament to be placed with the former : that the measure was prudent and safe; and that the loss arose, not from placing the money in the stocks, but from the imprudent and unnecessary drawing it out at the very time when they were lowest, on some slight uncertain rumours of a peace concluded : that if the assembly had let it remain another year, instead of losing they would have gained sir thousand pounds; and that after all, since the exchange at which they sold their bills was near twenty per cent higher when they drew than when the stocks were purchased, the loss was far from being so great as you represent it. All these things you might have said ; for they are, and you know them to be, part of the whole truth ; but they would have spoiled your accusation. The late speaker of your honourable house, Mr. Norris, (who has, I suppose, all my letters to him, and copies of his own to me, relating to that transaction) can testify with how much integrity and clearness I managed the wbole affair. All the house were sensible of it, being
from time to time fully acquainted with the facts. If I had gone to gaming in the stocks with the public money, and through my fault a sum was lost, as your protest would insinuate, why was I not censured and punished for it when I returned ? You, honourable sir, (my enemy of seven years standing) was then in the house. You were appointed on the committee for examining my accounts; you reported, that you found them just, and signed that report. * I never solicited the employ
* Report of the Committee on Benjamin Franklin's decounts. “ In obedience to the order of the house, we have examined the account of Benjamin Franklin, Esq. with the vouchers to us produced in support thereof, and do find the same account to be just, and that he has expended, in the inmediate service of this province, the sum of seven hundred and fourteen poun:ls, ten shillings and seven-pence, out of the sum of fifteen hundred pounds sterling to him remitted and paid, exclusive of any allowance or charge for his support and services for the province. John MORTON,
ISAAC PEARSON. JOSEPH Fox, February 19, 1763. “ The house taking the foregoing report of the committee of accounts into consideration, and baving spent some time therein,
“ RESOLVED, “ That the sum of five hun:red pounds sterling per annum be allowed and given to Benjamin Franklin, Esq. late agent for the province of Pensylvania at the court of Great Britain, during his absence of six years from his business and connections, in the service of the public; and that the thanks of this house be also given to the said gentleman by Mr. Speaker, from the chair; as well for the faithful discharge of his duty to this province in particular, as for the many and important services done America in general, during his residence in Great Britain.”