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I am looking out for a chariot for you, which I shall send you soon as possible. With great esteem, I am, dear friend, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN.
429. TO CADWALLADER EVANS!
London, May 5, 1767. DEAR DOCTOR,
I received your obliging favour of May 16th. I am always glad to hear from you, when you have leisure to write, and I expect no apologies for your not writing. I wish all correspondence was on the foot of writing and answering when one can, or when one is disposed to it, without the compulsions of ceremony. I am pleased with your scheme of a Medical Library at the Hospital; and I fancy I can procure you some donations among my medical friends here, if you will send me a catalogue of what books you already have. Enclosed I send you the only book of the kind in my possession here, having just received it as a present from the author. It is not yet published to be sold, and will not be for some time, till the second part is ready to accompany it.
I thank you for your remarks on the gout. They may be useful to me, who have already had some touches of that distemper. As to Lord Chatham, it is said that his constitution is totally destroyed and gone, partly through the violence of the disease, and partly by his own continual quacking with it. There is at present no access to him. He is said to be not capable of receiving, any more than of giving, advice. But still there is such a deference paid to him, that much business is delayed on his account, that so when entered on it may have the strength of his concurrence, or not be liable to his reprehension, if he should recover his ability and activity. The ministry, we at present have, has not been looked upon, either by itself or others, as settled, which is another cause of postponing every thing not immediately necessary to be considered. New men, and perhaps new measures, are often expected and apprehended, whence arise continual cabals, factions, and intrigues among the outs and ins, that keep every thing in confusion. And when affairs will mend is very uncertain. With great esteem I am,
1 First printed by Sparks.
dear friend, yours affectionately, B. FRANKLIN.
430. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY.”
London, June 13, 1767. DEAR SIR,
In my last of May 20th, I mentioned my hopes that we should at length get over all obstructions to the repeal of the act restraining the legal tender of paper money; but those hopes are now greatly lessened.
The ministry had agreed to the repeal, and the notion that had possessed them, that they might make a revenue from paper money in appropriating the interest by Parliament, was pretty well removed by my assuring them, that it was my opinion no colony would make money on those terms, and that the benefits arising to the commerce of this country in America from a plentiful currency would therefore be lost, and the repeal answer no end, if the Assemblies were not allowed to appropriate the interest themselves; that the crown might get a great share upon occasional requisitions, I made no doubt, by voluntary appropriations of the Assemblies; but they would never establish such funds as to make themselves unnecessary to government. Those and other reasons, that were urged, seemed to satisfy them, so that we began to think all would go on smoothly, and the merchants prepared their petition, on which the repeal was to be founded. But in the House, when the chancellor of the Exchequer had gone through his proposed American revenue, viz. by duties on glass, china ware, paper, pasteboard, colours, tea, &c., Grenville stood up and undervalued them all as trifles; and, says he, “I will tell the honourable gentleman of a revenue, that will produce something valuable in America; make paper money for the colonies, issue it upon loan there, take the interest, and apply it as you think proper.” Mr. Townshend, finding the House listened to this and seemed to like it, stood up again and said, “that was a proposition of his own, which he had intended to make with the rest, but it had slipt his memory, and the gentleman, who must have heard of it, now unfairly would take advantage of that slip and make a merit to himself of a proposition that was another's, and as a proof of it, assured the House a bill was prepared for the purpose, and would be laid before them.” This startled all our friends; and the merchants concluded to keep back their petition for a while, till things appeared a little clearer, lest their friends in America should blame them, as having furnished foundation for an act, that must have been disagreeable to the colonies. I found the rest of the ministry did not like this proceeding of the chancellor's, but there was no going on with our scheme against his declaration, and, as he daily talked of resigning, there being no good agreement between him and the rest, and as we found the general prejudice against the colonies so strong in the House, that any thing in the shape of a favour to them all was like to meet with opposition, whether he was out or in, I proposed to Mr. Jackson the putting our colony foremost, as we stood in a pretty good light, and asking the favour for us alone. This he agreed might be proper, in case the chancellor should go out, and undertook to bring in a bill for that purpose, provided the Philadelphia merchants would petition for it, and he wished to have such a petition ready to present, if an opening for it should offer. Accordingly I applied to them, and prepared a draft of a petition for them to sign, a copy of which I send you inclosed. They seemed generally for the measure; but apprehending the merchants of the other colonies, who had hitherto gone hand in hand with us in all American affairs, might take umbrage if we now separated from them, it was thought right to call a meeting of the whole to consult upon this proposal. At this meeting I represented to them, as the ground of this measure, that, the colonies being generally out of favour at present, any hard clause relating to paper money in the repealing bill will be more easily received in Parliament, if the bill related to all the colonies: that Pennsylvania, being in some degree of favour, might possibly alone obtain a better act than the whole could do, as it might by government be thought as good policy to show favour where there had been the reverse; that a good act obtained by Pennsylvania might another year, when the resentment against the colonies should be abated, be made use of as a precedent, &c. &c. But after a good deal of debate it was finally concluded not to precipitate matters, it being very dangerous by any kind of petition to furnish the chancellor with a horse on which he could put what saddle he thought fit: The other merchants seemed rather averse to the Pennsylvania merchants proceeding alone, but said they were certainly at liberty to do as they thought proper. The conclusion of the Pennsylvania merchants was to wait a while, holding the separate petition ready to sign and present, if a proper opening should appear this Session, but otherwise to reserve it to the next, when the complexion of ministers and measures may probably be changed. And as this session now draws to a conclusion, I begin to think nothing will be farther done in it this year. Mentioning the merchants, puts me in mind of some discourse I heard among them, that was by no means agreeable. It was said that in the opposition they gave the Stamp Act, and their endeavours to obtain the repeal, they had spent at their meetings, and in expresses to all parts of this country, and for a vessel to carry the joyful news to North America, and in the entertainments given our friends of both Houses, &c., near fifteen hundred pounds; that for all this, except from the little colony of Rhode Island, they had not received as much as a thank ye. That on the contrary the circular letters they had written with the best intentions to the merchants of the several colonies, containing their best and most friendly advice, were either answered with unkind reflections, or contemptuously left without answer. And that the captain of the vessel, they sent express with the news, having met with misfortunes, that obliged him to travel by land through all the colonies from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, was everywhere treated with neglect and contempt, instead of
1 Printed from “The Works of Benjamin Franklin” (Duane), Phila. 1817, Vol. VI, p. 245. Galloway was Speaker of the Assembly.— ED.