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the breasts of those, who have had their houses, farms, and towns so lately destroyed, and relations scalped under the conduct of these royalists, is not wonderful; though I believe the opposition given by many to their reestablishing among us is owing to a firm persuasion, that there could be no reliance on their oaths; and that the effect of receiving those people again would be an introduction of that very anarchy and confusion they falsely reproach us with. Even the example you propose, of the English Commonwealth's restoring the estates of the royalists after their being subdued, seems rather to countenance and encourage our acting differently, as probably if the power, which always accompanies property, had not been restored to the royalists, if their estates had remained confiscated, and their persons had been banished, they could not have so much contributed to the restoration of kingly power, and the new government of the republic might have been more durable.
The majority of examples in your history are- on the other side of the question. All the estates in England and south of Scotland, and most of those possessed by the descendants of the English in Ireland, are held from ancient confiscations made of the estates of Caledonians and Britons, the original possessors in your island, or the native Irish, in the last century only. It is but a few months since, that your Parliament has, in a few instances, given up confiscations incurred by a rebellion suppressed forty years ago. The war against us was begun by a general act of Parliament, declaring all our estates confiscated; and probably one great motive to the loyalty of the royalists was the hope of sharing in these confiscations. They have played a deep game, staking their estates against ours; and they have been unsuccessful . But it is a surer game, since the}- had promises to rely on from your government, of indemnification in case of loss; and I see your Parliament is about to fulfil those promises. To this I have no objection, because, though still our enemies, they are men; they are in necessity; and I think even a hired assassin has a right to his pay from his employer. It seems too more reasonable, that the expense of paying these should fall upon the government who encouraged the mischief done, rather than upon us who suffered it; the confiscated estates making amends but for a very small part of that mischief. It is not, therefore, clear, that our retaining them is chargeable with injustice.
I have hinted above, that the name loyalist was improperly assumed by these people. Royalists they may perhaps be called. But the true loyalists were the people of America, against whom they acted. No people were ever known more truly loyal . and universally so, to their sovereigns. The Protestant succession in the House of Hanover was their idol. Not a Jacobite was to be found from one end of the Colonies to the other. They were affectionate to the people of England, zealous and forward to assist in her wars, by voluntary contributions of men and money, even beyond their proportion. The King and Parliament had frequently acknowledged this by public messages, resolutions, and reimbursements. But they were equally fond of what they esteemed their rights; and, if they resisted when those were attacked, it was a resistance in favor of a British constitution, which every Englishman might share in enjoying, who should come to live among them; it was resisting arbitrary impositions, that were contrary to common right and to their fundamental constitutions, and to constant ancient usage. It was indeed a resistance in favor of
Vol. x. 25 4
the liberties of England, which might have been endangered by success in the attempt against ours; and therefore a great man in your Parliament * did not scruple to declare, he rejoiced that .America had resisted. I, for the same reason, may add this very resistance to the other instances of their loyalty. I have already said, that I think it just you should reward those Americans, who joined your troops in the war against their own country; but, if ever honesty could be inconsistent with policy, it is so in this instance. I am, &c
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
Pansy, 26 June, 1785.
I wrote to you the 5th of last month, and have since received your kind letters of the 8th, informing me of your welfare, and that of the dear children, which gave me great pleasure. I shall long to see you all again in America, where I hope to be soon. Almost all my things are now packed up, and will be in the barge next Wednesday, to go down the river; for, though I know not yet what vessel I shall go in, I would have every thing at Havre ready to embark; and I suppose I shall not be here myself a fortnight longer.
I say nothing to persuade you to go with me or to follow me; because I know you do not usually act from persuasion, but from judgment; and, as that is very sound, I leave you to yourself. You will do what is best for you and yours, and that will give me most pleasure. Miss Lamotte's friends do not consent to
•The first Lord Chatham.
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, B. Franklin.
P. S. My love to every one of the children.
FROM RICHARD JACKSON TO R. FRANKLIN.
Stale of Affairs produced by the Peace. — Great Britain. — France. — East Indies.
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 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.
* 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.
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