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. . I bare read Mr. Wharton's pamphlet. The facta, as far as I know them, are as he states them. Justice is, I think, on the side of those who contracted for the lands.' But moral and political right sometimes differ, and sometimes are both subdued by might.
I received and thank you for several copies of the Indian spelling-book. I received also the German and English newspapers.
Among my papers in the trunk, which 1 unhappily left in the care of Mr. Galloway, were eight or ten quire or two quire books, of rough drafts of my letters, containing all my correspondence, when in England, for near twenty years. 1 shall be very sorry if they too are lost. Don't you think it possible, by going up into that country, and inquiring a little among the neighbors, you might possibly hear of, and recover some of them i I should not have left them in his hands, if he had not deceived me, by saying, that though he was before otherwise inclined, yet that since the king had declared us out of his protection, and the parliament by an act had made our properties plunder, he would go as far in defence of his country as any man; and accordingly he had lately with pleasure given colors to a regiment of militia, and an entertainment to 400 of them before his house. I thought he was become a stanch friend to the glorious cause. I was mistaken. As he was a friend of my son's,1 to whom in my will 1 had left all my books and papers, I made him one of my executors, and put the trunk of papers into his hands, imagining them safer in his house (which was out of the way of any probable march of enemies' troops) than in my own. It was Very unlucky.
1 The Indian grant. .. .;
1 Governor Franklin.
My love to Sally and the children. I shall soon write to all my friends. At present I am pinched in time, and can
only add that I am ever": •'
your affectionate father, t B. Franklin.
To Fs. Hopkinson, Esg. Philadelphia.
Dr. Franklin's friends and enemies, 8fc.
Dear Sir, Passy,Sept. IS, 1781.
I have received your kind letter of July 17, with its duplicate, enclosing those for Messrs. Brandlight and Sons, which 1 have forwarded. I am sorry for the loss of the squibs. Every thing of yours gives me pleasure.
As to the frieuds and enemies you just mention, I have hitherto, thanks to God, had plenty of the former kind; they have been my treasure; and it has perhaps been of no disadvantage to me that I have had a few of the latter. They serve to put us upon correcting the faults we have, and avoiding those we are in danger of having. They counteract the mischief flattery might do us, and their malicious attacks make our friends more zealous in serving us and promoting our interest. At present I do not know of more than two such enemies that I enjoy, viz. * * * and * * *. I deserved the enmity of the latter, because I might have avoided it by paying him a compliment, which I neglected. That of the former I owe to the people of France, who happened to respect me too much and him too little; which I could bear and he could not. They are unhappy that they cannot make every body hate me as much as they do; and I should be so if my friends did not love me much more than those gentlemen can possibly love one another.
Enough of this subject. Let me know if you are in possession of my gimcrack instruments, and if you have made any new experiments. I lent many years ago a large glass globe mounted, to Mr. Coombe, and an electric battery of bottles, which I remember; perhaps there were some other things. He may have had them so long as to think them his own. Pray ask him for them, and keep them for me together with the rest.
You have a new crop of prose writers. I see in your papers many of their fictitious names, but nobody tells me the real. You will oblige me by a little of your literary history. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever
yours affectionately, B. Franklin.
To Edmund Burke, Esq. M.P.
Relative to General Burgoyne and Mr. Laurens.
Sir, Passy, Oct. 15, 1781. v
1 received but a few days since your very friendly letter of August last, on the subject of General Burgoyne.
Since the foolish part of mankind will make wars from time to time with each other, not having sense enough otherwise to settle their differences, it certainly becomes the wiser part, who cannot prevent those wars, to alleviate as much as possible the calamities attending them. Mr. Burke always stood high in my esteem; but his affectionate concern for his friend renders him still more amiable, and makes the honor he does me of admitting me of the number, still more precious.
• I do not think the congress have any wish to persecute General Burgoyne. I never heard till I received your letter that they had recalled him: if they have made such a resolution, it must be, 1 suppose, a conditional one, to take place in case their offer of exchanging him for Mr. Laurens should not be accepted; a resolution intended merely to enforce that offer.
I have just received an authentic copy of the resolve containing that offer, and authorising me to make it. As L have no communication with your ministers, I send it enclosed to you.1 If you can find any means of negociating this business, I am sure the restoring another worthy man to his family and friends, will be an addition to your pleasure. With great and invariable respect and affection, I am, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
To Messrs. Kornmann.
Relative to a claim of relationship with Dr. Franklin.
Gentlemen, Patsy, Nov. 21, 1781.
Enclosed is the answer you desire to the letter sent me from Conigsberg. •
I have the honor to be, gentlemen, 8tc.
Madam, Passy, Nov. 21, 1781.
I received the letter you did me the honor of writing to me the 26th of last month: in answer to which I ought to inform you, that I was bom in America now near 76 years since, that I never was in Ireland till the year 1773, which was for a few weeks only, and I did not pass thence to America with any person of my name, but returned to England; nor had I ever any knowledge of the John Franklin you mention. I have exact accounts of every person of my family since the year 1555, when it was established in
England, and am certain that none of them but myself since that time were ever in Ireland. The name of Franklin is common among the English of the two nations, but there are a number of different families who bear it, and who have no relation to each other. It wouid be a pleasure to me to discover a relation in Europe, possessing the amiable sentiments expressed in your letter. I assure you I should not disown the meanest. 1 should also be glad if I could give you a satisfactory account of your family; but I really know nothing of them. I have therefore not the honor of being related to them, but I have that of being, madam,
yours, &c. B. Franklin.
To Gov. Pownall, London. • ''
Relative to Mrs. Barry—The war—Authority to treat of peace—Mr. Hobart.
Dear Sir, Pasty, Nov. 23, 1781.
I received your favor by Mr. Hobart. I caused ah application to be made to Almon in behalf of Mrs. Barry, but do not learn that it is like to meet with any success. As the transaction was between yourself and him, no other person but you claim with authority; I must therefore beg, for the poor good woman's sake, that you would do something •ffectual in it.
I also request that you would send the copies you mention to me here, directed to the care of Mr. Bowen at Ostend; and that the plate may be packed with them.
I wish most heartily with you that this cursed war was at an end: but I despair of seeing it finished in my time. Your thirsty nation has not yet drank enough of our blood. I am authorised to treat of peace whenever she is disposed to it, but I saw inconveniences in meeting and discoursing