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a small tract of land in their western country, which might have been of use and some honor to my posterity. And I cannot but still think they will do something of the kind for me, whenever they shall be pleased to take my services into consideration; as I see by their minutes, that they have allowed Mr. Lee handsomely for his services in England, before his appointment to France, in which services I and Mr. Bollan coöperated with him, and have had no such allowance; and, since his return, he has been very properly rewarded with a good place, as well as my friend Mr. Jay; though these are trifling compensations in comparison with what was granted by the King to M. Gérard on his return from America.

But how different is what has happened to me. On my return from England, in 1775, the Congress bestowed on me the office of postmaster-general, for which I was very thankful. It was indeed an office I had some kind of right to, as having previously greatly enlarged the revenue of the post by the regulations I had contrived and established, while I possessed it under the crown. When I was sent to France, I left it in the hands of my son-in-law, who was to act as my deputy. But soon after my departure, it was taken from me, and given to Mr. Hazard. When the English ministry formerly thought fit to deprive me of the office, they left me, however, the privilege of receiving and sending my letters free of postage, which is the usage when a postmaster is not displaced for misconduct in the office; but, in America, I have ever since had the postage demanded of me, which, since my return from France, has amounted to above fifty pounds, much of it occasioned by my having acted as minister there.

When I took my grandson, William Temple FrankVOL. X.

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TO CHARLES THOMSON, SECRETARY OF CONGRESS.

Dr. Franklin's Public Services.

Philadelphia, 29 November, 1788. DEAR OLD FRIEND, Enclosed I send a letter to the President of Congress for the time being, which, if you find nothing improper in it, or that in regard to me you could wish changed or amended, I would request you to present. I rely much on your friendly counsel, as you must be better acquainted with persons and circumstances than I am ; and I suppose there will be time enough before the new Congress is formed to make any alterations you may advise, though, if presented at all, it should be to the old one.

In the copy of my letter to Mr. Barclay you may observe, that mention is made of some “considerable articles which I have not charged in my accounts with Congress, but on which I should expect from their equity some consideration.” That you may have some information what those articles are, I enclose also a “ Sketch of my Services to the United States," wherein you will find mention of the extra services I performed, that do not appertain to the office of plenipotentiary, viz. as judge of 'admiralty, as consul before the arrival of Mr. Barclay, as banker in examining and accepting the multitude of bills of exchange, and as secretary for several years, none being sent to me, though other ministers were allowed such assistance.

I must own, I did hope, that, as it is customary in Europe to make some liberal provision for ministers when they return home from foreign service, the Congress would at least have been kind enough to have shown their approbation of my conduct by a grant of

a small tract of land in their western country, which might have been of use and some honor to my posterity. And I cannot but still think they will do something of the kind for me, whenever they shall be pleased to take my services into consideration; as I see by their minutes, that they have allowed Mr. Lee handsomely for his services in England, before his appointment to France, in which services I and Mr. Bollan coöperated with him, and have had no such allowance; and, since his return, he has been very properly rewarded with a good place, as well as my friend Mr. Jay; though these are trifling compensations in comparison with what was granted by the King to M. Gérard on his return from America.

But how different is what has happened to me. On my return from England, in 1775, the Congress bestowed on me the office of postmaster-general, for which I was very thankful. It was indeed an office I had some kind of right to, as having previously greatly enlarged the revenue of the post by the regulations I had contrived and established, while I possessed it under the crown. When I was sent to France, I left it in the hands of my son-in-law, who was to act as my deputy. But soon after my departure, it was taken from me, and given to Mr. Hazard. When the Eng. lish ministry formerly thought fit to deprive me of the office, they left me, however, the privilege of receiving and sending my letters free of postage, which is the usage when a postmaster is not displaced for misconduct in the office; but, in America, I have ever since had the postage demanded of me, which, since my return from France, has amounted to above fifty pounds, much of it occasioned by my having acted as minister there.

When I took my grandson, William Temple FrankVOL. X. 47

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lin, with me to France, I purposed, after giving him the French language, to educate him in the study and practice of the law. But, by the repeated expectations given me of a secretary, and constant disappointments, I was induced, and indeed obliged, to retain him with me, to assist in the secretary's office, which disappointments continued till my return, by which time, so many years of the opportunity of his studying the law were lost, and his habits of life become so different, that it appeared no longer advisable; and I then, considering him as brought up in the diplomatic line, and well qualified by his knowledge in that branch for the employ of a secretary at least, in which opinion I was not alone, for three of my colleagues, without the smallest solicitation from me, chose him secretary of the negotiation for treaties, which they had been empowered to do,) took the liberty of recommending him to the Congress for their protection. This was the only favor I ever asked of them; and the only answer I received was, a resolution superseding him, and appointing Colonel Humphreys in his place; a gentleman, who, though he might have indeed a good deal of military merit, certainly had none in the diplomatic line, and had neither the French language, nor the experience, nor the address, proper to qualify him for such an employment.

This is all to yourself only, as a private friend; for I have not, nor ever shall, make any public complaint; and, even if I could have foreseen such unkind treatment from Congress, their refusing me thanks would not in the least have abated my zeal for the cause, and ardor in support of it. I know something of the nature of such changeable assemblies, and how little successors know of the services that have been rendered to the corps before their admission, or feel them

selves obliged by such services; and what effect in obliterating a sense of them, during the absence of the servant in a distant country, the artful and reiterated malevolent insinuations of one or two envious and malicious persons may have on the minds of members, even of the most equitable, candid, and honorable dispositions; and therefore I will pass these reflections into oblivion.

My good friend, excuse, if you can, the trouble of this letter; and if the reproach thrown on republics, that they are apt to be ungrateful, should ever unfortunately be verified with respect to your services, remember that you have a right to unbosom yourself in communicating your griefs to your ancient friend and most obedient humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN.

Sketch of the Services of B. Franklin to the United

Slates of America. In England, he combated the Stamp Act, and his writings in the papers against it, with his examination in Parliament, were thought to have contributed much to its repeal.

He opposed the Duty Act; and, though he could not prevent its passing, he obtained of Mr. Townshend an omission of several articles, particularly salt.

In the subsequent difference he wrote and published many papers, refuting the claim of Parliament to tax the colonies.

He opposed all the oppressive acts.

He had two secret negotiations with the ministers for their repeal, of which he has written a narrative. In this he offered payment for the destroyed tea, at his own risk, in case they were repealed.

He was joined with Messrs. Bollan and Lee in all

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