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her going to England. I enclose her letter, by which you will see, that, though she speaks the language prettily, she does not write it correctly. Indeed, abundance of the French are deficient in their own orthography. I offered her, as you desired, the money that might be necessary for the journey.
Temple is not yet quite well, having had several returns of his ague. Benjamin continues hearty, and has been very serviceable in packing. They both present their respects.
If you should write me a line before my departure, direct it to Havre de Grace. Adieu, my very dear friend, and believe me ever yours with sincerest respect and affection,
P. S. My love to every one of the children.
FROM RICHARD JACKSON TO B. FRANKLIN.
State of Affairs produced by the Peace. — Great
London, 27 June, 1785. MY DEAR SIR, Though I wrote to you by your grandson, I cannot let Mr. Franklin, your son, visit you in France, without certifying my sincere good wishes, on your leaving Europe, that you may arrive safe, and long enjoy your health in America.*
You will arrive there deservedly covered with the glory of having had a large share in bringing about
• From this paragraph it would seem, that Governor Franklin designed to visit his father in France. But it does not appear that this design was accomplished. The father and son met at Northampton, when Dr. Franklin stopped there on his way to the United States.
out force or soldiers, and with their own consent and good will, I own, I think it would have been for the benefit of all parties. But these views are now at an end, and the new States are, I presume, likely to continue for ever independent of, and consequently foreign to Great Britain. And I am amongst those, who wish them happy in their new condition, and feel no satisfaction from the reports that prevail here, that, from the anarchy and confusion that prevail among them, they have still more reason than we to lament the separation. On the contrary, I sincerely wish, that, as they have been founded on the purest principles of liberty, they may enjoy all the blessings that should result from those principles, and prove a refuge to mankind from the slavery which prevails in almost every part of Europe.
They seem, however, at present to be too much actuated by a spirit of revenge against those of their countrymen, who adhered to their first allegiance, whom they call Tories, and we call Loyalists. After the complete attainment of their desired independence, it would surely have been more agreeable to policy, as well as justice, to have restored to those persons their estates, upon their taking the new oaths of allegiance to the several new governments, which they would have no longer scrupled to do, when the King had absolved them from their allegiance to him, by consenting to the independence of the new States.
When the Commonwealth Parliament of England had cut off King Charles's head, in the year 1649, and set up a republican government, they did not confiscate the estates of the Cavaliers, but left those, who had not been in arms for the King, in the full and quiet possession of all their property, and restored the estates of those who had been in arms for the King, upon the payment of a composition of only two years' rent, with the exception of a very few persons, whom they considered as very deep malignants (as they called them), or very great offenders, such as the Marquis of Worcester, and the Earl of Derby, and four or five persons more, whose estates they did confiscate. Nothing, I apprehend, would tend more to introduce settlement and good order in the States, than the imitation of this gentle and moderate conduct; and I suppose it would produce likewise the surrender of the posts on the lakes Ontario and Erie to the new States, agreeably to the treaty of peace, till which event, the peace can hardly be considered as firmly established; and God forbid we should have any more war about these posts, or indeed any thing else.
My view, in the observations on the national debt, was not so much to recommend my particular method of diminishing it, in preference to other methods, as to show, that most methods were nearly equally useful for this purpose, provided the same sum of money was applied every year to that purpose, for the same number of years, without any interruption; and that those methods were the fittest to be adopted, which were least likely to be interrupted.
Your old friend, Mr. Jackson, is pretty well in health, but is not in Parliament; and Lord John Cavendish, and Mr. John Yorke, and many other gentlemen of respectable character and condition, are not so now. I should have been very happy to have seen you again in England, and so, I am persuaded, would have been many of your friends, notwithstanding the late unfortunate contentions. But, since that cannot be, and you are returning to America, I heartily wish you health and strength to bear the journey with ease, and to enjoy your friends and your situation in that part of the world ; and I hope, that you will have the satisfaction of contributing, by your wisdom and moderation, to soften the animosities that now prevail there, and to introduce a spirit of peace, settlement, and good order, in their stead, and thereby crown the great work, to which you have so much contributed, of establishing those new States in liberty and independence. I remain, with great regard, &c.
TO FRANCIS MASERES.
Results of the American Contest. - State of America. — The Loyalists. — Confiscation of Estates.
Passy, 26 June, 1785. SIR, I have just received your friendly letter of the 20th instant. I agree with you perfectly in the opinion, that, though the contest has been hurtful to both our eountries, yet the event, a separation, is better even for yours than success. The reducing and keeping us in subjection by an armed force would have cost you more than the dominion could be worth, and our slavery would have brought on yours. The ancient system of the British empire was a happy one, by which the colonies were allowed to govern and tax themselves. Had it been wisely continued, it is hard to imagine the degree of power and importance in the world that empire might have arrived at. All the means of growing greatness, extent of territory, agriculture, commerce, arts, population, were within its own limits, and therefóre at its command.
I used to consider that system as a large and beautiful porcelain vase; I lamented the measures that I saw likely to break it, and strove to prevent them; because, once broken, I saw no probability of its being ever repaired. My endeavours did not succeed; we are broken, and the parts must now do as well as they can for themselves. We may still do well, though separated. I have great hopes of our side, and good wishes for yours. The anarchy and confusion you mention, as supposed to prevail among us, exist only in your newspapers. I have authentic accounts, which assure me, that no people were ever better governed, or more content with their respective constitutions and governments, than the present Thirteen States of America.
A little reflection may convince any reasonable man, that a government wherein the administrators are chosen annually by the free voice of the governed, and may also be recalled at any time if their conduct displeases their constituents, cannot be a tyrannical one, as your Loyalists represent it; who at the same time inconsistently desire to return and live under it. And, among an intelligent, enlightened people, as ours is, there must always be too numerous and too strong a party for supporting good government and the laws, to suffer what is called anarchy. This better account of our situation must be pleasing to your humanity, and therefore I give it you.
But we differ a little in our sentiments respecting the Loyalists (as they call themselves), and the conduct of America towards them, which, you think, “seems actuated by a spirit of revenge; and that it would have been more agreeable to policy, as well as justice, to have restored their estates upon their taking the oaths of allegiance to the new governments." That there should still be some resentment against them in