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obtained the privilege it had not before, of sending its rogues and villains also to the plantations. I say, reflecting on these things, they said one to another (their newspapers are full of such discourses) these people are not content with making a monopoly of us, forbidding us to trade with any other country of Europe, and compelling us to buy every thing of them, though in many articles we could furnish ourselves Io, 20, and even to 50 per cent cheaper elsewhere; but now they have as good as declared they have a right to tax us ad libitum internally and externally, and that our constitutions and liberties shall all be taken away, if we do not submit to that claim. They are not content with the high prices at which they sell us their goods, but have now begun to enhance those prices by new duties; and, by the expensive apparatus of a new set of officers, appear to intend an augmentation and multiplication of those burthens that shall still be more grievous to us. Our people have been foolishly fond of their superfluous modes and manufactures, to the impoverishing our country, carrying off all our cash, and loading us with debt: they will not suffer us to restrain the luxury of our inhabitants, as they do that of their own, by laws; they can make laws to discourage or prohibit the importation of French superfluities; but though those of England are as ruinous to us as the French ones are to them, if we make a law of that kind, they immediately repeal it. Thus they get all our money from us by trade, and every profit we can anywhere make by our fisheries, our produce, or our commerce, centres finally with them; but this does not signify. It is time then to take care of ourselves by the best means in our power. Let us unite in solemn resolutions and engagements with and to each other, that we will give these new officers as little trouble as possible, by not consuming the British manufactures on which they are to levy the duties. Let us agree to consume no more of their expensive gewgaws. Let us live frugally, and let us industriously manufacture what we can for ourselves: Thus we shall be able honourably to discharge the debts we already owe them, and after that we may be able to keep some money in our country, not only for the uses of our internal commerce, but for the service of our gracious Sovereign, whenever he shall have occasion for it, and think proper to require it of us in the old constitutional manner. For, notwithstanding the reproaches thrown out against us in their public papers and pamphlets, notwithstanding we have been reviled in their senate as Rebels and Traitors, we are truly a loyal people. Scotland has had its rebellions, and England its plots against the present Royal Family; but America is untainted with those crimes; there is in it scarce a man, there is not a single native of our country, who is not firmly attached to his King by principle and by affection. But a new kind of loyalty seems to be required of us, a loyalty to Parliamen]t; a loyalty that is to extend, it is said, to a surrender of all our properties, whenever a House] of C[ommons,] (in which there is not a single member of our choosing) shall think fit to grant them away without our consent; and to a patient suffering the loss of our privileges as Englishmen, if we cannot submit to make such surrender. We were separated too far from Britain by the Ocean, but we were united to it by respect and love, so that we could at any time freely have spent our lives and little fortunes in its cause: But this unhappy new system of politics tends to dissolve those bands of union, and to sever us for ever.
These are the wild ravings of the at present half distracted Americans. To be sure, no reasonable man in England can approve of such sentiments, and, as I said before, I do not pretend to support or justify them: But I sincerely wish, for the sake of the manufactures and commerce of GreatBritain, and for the sake of the strength which a firm union with our growing colonies would give us, that these people had never been thus needlessly driven out of their senses. I am, yours, &c. F + S.
450. TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN
London, Jan. 9, 1768. DEAR SoN,
We have had so many alarms of changes, which did not take place, that just when I wrote it was thought the ministry would stand their ground. However, immediately after, the talk was renewed, and it soon appeared that the Sunday changes were actually settled. Mr. Conway resigns and Lord Weymouth takes his place. Lord Gower is made President of the Council in the room of Lord Northington. Lord Shelburne is stript of the American business, which is given to Lord Hillsborough as secretary of state for America, a new distinct department. Lord Sandwich, 'tis said, comes into the postoffice in his place. Several of the Bedford party are now to come in.
How these changes may effect us a little time will show. Little at present is thought of but elections, which gives me hopes that nothing will be done against America this session, though the Boston Gazette had occasioned some heats, and the Boston Resolutions a prodigious clamour. I have endeavoured to palliate matters for them as well as I can : I send you my manuscript of one paper, though I think you take the Chronicle. The editor of that paper, one Jones," seems a Grenvillian, or is very cautious, as you will see by his corrections and omissions. He has drawn the teeth and pared the nails of my paper, so that it can neither scratch nor bite. It seems only to paw and mumble. I send you also two other late pieces of mine. There is another which I cannot find.
1 From “The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin” (Duane), Phila., 1817, Vol. VI, p. 263. — ED.
I am told there has been a talk of getting me appointed under-secretary to Lord Hillsborough; but with little likelihood, as it is a settled point here, that I am too much of an American. I am in very good health, thanks to God: Your
451. TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY.”
London, Jan. 9, 1768. DEAR SIR,
I wrote to you via Boston, and have little to add, except to acquaint you that some changes have taken place since my last, which have not the most promising aspect for America, several of the Bedford party being come into employment again; a party that has distinguished itself by exclaiming against us on all late occasions. Mr. Conway, one of our friends, has resigned, and Lord Weymouth takes his place. Lord Shelburne, another friend, is stripped of the American part of the business of his office, which now makes a distinct department, in which Lord Hillsborough is placed. I do not think this nobleman in general an enemy to America; but in the affair of paper money he was last winter strongly against us. I did hope I had removed some of his prejudices on that head, but am not certain. We have however increased the cry for it here, and believe shall attempt to obtain the repeal of the act, though the Boston Gazette and their resolutions about manufactures have hurt us much, having occasioned an immense clamour here. I have endeavoured to palliate matters for them as well as I can, and hope with some success. For having, in a large company in which were some members of Parliament, given satisfaction to all, by what I alleged in explanation of the conduct of the Americans, and to show that they were not quite so unreasonable as they appeared to be, I was advised by several present to make my sentiments public, not only for the sake of America, but as it would be some ease to our friends here, who are triumphed over a good deal by our adversaries on the occasion. I have accordingly done it in the inclosed paper. I shall write you fully on other subjects very soon. At present, I can only add my respects to the Committee, and that I am, dear Sir, your faithful humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.
* Griffith Jones (1722–1786) was associated with Dr. Johnson in The Literary Magazine, and edited the Chronicle, Daily Advertiser, and Public Zeager. — ED.
* From “The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin” (Duane), Phila., 1817, Vol. VI, p. 264. — ED.