« ZurückWeiter »
prepared a draft of a memorial for Calef to present, setting fortti not only the hardship of being without security in the property of their improvements, but also of the distress of the people there for want of government; that they were at too great a distance from the seat of government m the Massachusetts to be capable of receiving the benefits of government thence, and expressing their willingness to be separated and formed into a new province, &c. With this draft Sir Francis and Mr. Calef came to me to have my opinion. I read it, and observed to them, that though I wished the people quieted in their possessions, and would do any thing I could to assist in obtaining the assurance of their property, yet as I knew the province of Massachusetts had a right to that country, of which they were justly tenacious, I must oppose that part of the memorial, if it should be presented. Sir Francis allowed the right, but proposed that a great tract of land between Merrimack and Connecticut rivers, which had been allotted to New Hampshire, might be restored to our province by order of the crown, as a compensation. This he said would be of more value to us than that eastern country, as being nearer home, &c. 1 said I would mention it in my letters, but must in the mean time oppose any step taken in the affair before the sentiments of the general court should be known, as to such an exchange, if it were offered. Mr. Calef himself did not seem fond of the draft, and I have not seen him, or heard any thing farther of it since, but I shall watch it.
Be pleased to present my dutiful respects to the house, and believe me with sincere and great esteem, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
To The Rev. Dr. Mather, Boston.
Reverend Sir, London, July 7, 1773.
The remarks you have added, on the late proceedings against America, are very just and judicious; and I cannot see any impropriety in your making them, though a minister of the gospel. This kingdom is a good deal indebted for its liberties to the public spirit of its ancient clergy, who joined with the barons in obtaining Magna Charta, and joined heartily in forming the curses of excommunication against the infringers of it. There is no doubt but the claim of parliament, of authority to make laws binding on the colonies in all cases whatsoever, includes an authority to change our religious constitution, and establish Popery or Mahometanism, if they please, in its stead; but, as you intimate, pozeer does not infer right; and as the right is nothing, and the power (by our increase) continually diminishing, the one will soon be as insignificant as the other. You seem only to have made a small mistake in supposing they modestly avoided to declare they had a right, the words of the act being "that they have, and of right ought to have, full power," &c.
Your suspicion that sundry others besides Governor Bernard "had written hither their opinions and counsels, encouraging the late measures to the prejudice of our country, which have been too much heeded and followed," is, I apprehend, but too well founded. You call them "traitorous individuals," whence I collect, that you suppose them of our own country. There was among the twelve apostles one traitor who betrayed with a kiss. It should be no wonder, therefore, if among so many thousand true patriots as New England contains, there should be found even twelve Judases, ready to betray their country for a few paltry pieces of silver. Their ends, as well as their views, ought to be similar. But all the oppressions evidently work for our good. Providence seems by every means intent on making us a great people. May our virtues, public and private, grow with us, and be durable, that liberty, civil and religious, may be secured to our posterity, and to all, from every part of the world, that take refuge among us!
With great esteem, and my best wishes for a long continuance of your usefulness, I am, reverend sir, your most obedient humble servant,
To Dr. Cooper, Boston.
Dear Sir, London, July 7, 177S.
1 received your very valuable favors of March 15, and April 23. 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 sq many as were named, and to a few such others as they might think fit, would be sufficient to establish the 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 partizans, and spoken of to every body; 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
Z Governor Hutchinson's.
appears a little prolix; and a disposition to postpone the consideration even of the things they know they roust 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 infringe 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, 8tc. B. Franklin.
To Governor Franklin.
Lord North,—met him at Lord Le Despencer's—Lord Dartmouth~Anecdote of Lord Hillsborough.
Dear Son, London, July 14,1773.
I am glad to find by yours of May 4, that you have been able to assist Josiah Davenport a little; but vexed that he and you should think of putting ine 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, 1 have never been at his levees, since the first. Perhaps he has taken that amiss. For 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 seemed studiously to avoid speaking to me. I ought to be ashamed to say that on such occasions I feel myself to be as proud as any body. His lady indeed was more gracious. She came, and sat down by me on the same sofa, and condescended to enter into a coversation with me agree