« ZurückWeiter »
have now learnt, that in chancery, though the defendant must swear the truth of every point in his answer, the p/aintiff is not put to his oath, or obliged to have the least regard to truth in his bill, but is allowed to lie as much as he pleases. I do not understand this, unless it be for the encouragement of business. My answer upon oath was, “That the letters in question were given to me, and came into my hands, as agent for the J/ouse of Æepresentatives of the Province of Massachusetts Bay; that, when given to me, I did not know to whom they had been addressed, no address appearing upon them; nor did I know before that any such letters existed ; that I had not been for many years concerned in printing; that I did not cause the letters to be printed, nor direct the doing it ; that I did not erase any address that might have been on the letters, nor did I know that any other person had made such erasure; that I did, as agent to the province, transmit (as I apprehended it my duty to do) the said letters to one of the committee, with whom I had been directed to correspond, inasmuch as in my judgment they related to matters of great public importance to that province, and were put into my hands for that purpose; that I had never been applied to by the complainant, as asserted in his bill, and had made no profits of the letters, nor intended to make any,” &c. It was about this time become evident, that all thoughts of reconciliation with the colony of the Massachusetts Bay, by attention to their petitions, and a redress of their grievances, was laid aside; that severity was resolved ; and that the decrying and vilifying the people of that country, and me their agent, among the rest, was quite a court measure. It was the son with all the ministerial folks to abuse them
and me, in every company, and in every newspaper; and it was intimated to me, as a thing settled, long before it happened, that the petition for removal of the governors was to be rejected, the Assembly censured, and myself, who had presented it, was to be punished by the loss of my place in the postoffice. For all this I was therefore prepared ; but the attack from Mr. Whately was, I own, a surprise to me; under the abovementioned circumstances of obligation, and without the slightest provocation, I could not have imagined any man base enough to commence, of his own motion, such a vexatious suit against me. But a little accidental information served to throw some light upon the business. An acquaintance” calling on me, after having just been at the treasury, showed me what he styled a pretty thing, for a friend of his ; it was an order for one hundred and fifty pounds, payable to Dr. Samuel Johnson, said to be one half of his yearly pension, and drawn by the secretary of the treasury on this same Mr. Whately. I then considered him as a banker to the treasury for the pension money, and thence as having an interested connexion with the administration, that might induce him to act by direction of others in harassing me with this suit; which gave me if possible a still meaner opinion of him, than if he had done it of his own accord. What further steps he or his confederafes, the ministers, will take in this cause, I know not. I do not indeed believe the banker himself, finding there are no proft/s to be shared, would willingly lay out a sixpence more upon the suit; but then my finances are not sufficient to cope at law with the treasury here ; especially when administration has taken
* William Strahan, Member of Parliament, and King's Printer.—W.T. F.
care to prevent my constituents of New England from paying me any salary, or reimbursing me any expenses, by a special instruction to the governor, not to sign any warrant for that purpose on the treasury there. The injustice of thus depriving the people there of the use of their own money, to pay an agent acting in their defence, while the governor, with a large salary out of the money extorted from them by act of Parliament, was enabled to pay plentifully Mauduit and Wedderburn to abuse and defame them and their agent, is so evident as to need no comment. But this they call Gover NMENT .
Ministerial Hostility to Franklin—Alarm of the Manufacturers—Death of Mr. Stevenson–Lord Chatham—The Proper Uses of Eloquence— Thomas Paine–Corruption in England—Proposals of Lord North– Writes an Account of his Negotiations with Lord Howe–Jefferson's Suspicions that Wm. Temple Franklin had tampered with it—Arrives in the United States.
to Samuel I HAVE written a pretty full account to the :"... Speaker of the treatment their petition and 25 February, their agent have received here. My letter 1774. went to Symes, and probably you may have seen it before this can reach you; therefore, and because I have a little disorder in my eyes at present, I do not repeat any part of it to you, nor can I well send a copy to him. You can have no conception of the rage the ministerial people have been in with me, on account of my transmitting those letters. It is quite incomprehensible. If they had been wise, they might have made a good use of the discovery, by agreeing to lay the blame of our differences on those, from whom, by those letters, it appeared to have arisen, and by a change of measures, which would then have appeared natural, and restored the harmony between
the two countries.
I send directed to you a set of the late French edition of my Philosophical Papers.” There are in it several pieces not in the English. When you have looked them over, please to give them to Mr. Winthrop for the College Library.
To Thomas In mine of February 2d, I informed you, *::::: that, after the treatment I had received at the 2 April, 1774. Council Board, it was not possible for me to act longer as your agent, apprehending I could as such be of no further use to the province. I have nevertheless given what assistance I could, as a private man, by speaking to members of both Houses, and by joining in the petitions of the natives of America now happening to be in London, which were ably drawn by Mr. Lee, to be presented separately to the several branches of the legislature. They serve, though without other effect, to show our sentiments, and that we did not look on and let the act pass without bearing our testimony against it. And, indeed, though called petitions (for under another name they would not have been received) they are rather remonstrances and protests. By the enclosed extract of a letter from Wakefield in Yorkshire to a friend of mine, you will see that the manufacturers begin to take the alarm. Another general nonimportation agreement is apprehended by them, which would complete their ruin. But great pains are taken to quiet them with the idea, that Boston must immediately submit, and acknowledge the claims of Parliament, for that none of the other colonies will adhere to them. A number
* Dubourg's edition, in two quarto volumes, published in 1773.−Ed.