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would contribute to strengthen the whole, and greatly lessen the danger of future separations.
It is, I suppose, agreed to be the general interest of any state, that its people be numerous and rich; men enow to fight in its defence, and enow to pay sufficient taxes to defray the charge; for these circumstances tend to the security of the state, and its protection from foreign power. But it seems not of so much importance, whether the fighting be done by John or Thomas, or the tax paid by William or Charles. The iron manufacture employs and enriches British subjects, but is it of any importance to the state, whether the manufacturer lives at Birmingham, or Sheffield, or both; since they are still within its bounds, and their wealth and persons still at its command? Could the Goodwin Sands be laid dry by banks, and land equal to a large country thereby gained to England, and presently filled with English inhabitants, would it be right to deprive such inhabitants of the common privileges enjoyed by other Englishmen, the right of vending their produce in the same ports, or of making their own shoes, because a merchant or a shoemaker, living on the old land, might fancy it more for his advantage to trade or make shoes for them? Would this be right, even if the land were gained at the expense of the state? And would it not seem less right, if the charge and labor of gaining the additional territory to Britain had been borne by the settlers themselves? And would not the hardship appear yet greater, if the people of the new country should be allowed no representatives in the Parliament enacting such impositions?
Now I look on the colonies as so many countries gained to Great Britain, and more advantageous to it, than if they had been gained out of the seas around
its coasts, and joined to its lands; for, being in different climates, they afford greater variety of produce, and materials for more manufactures; and, being separated by the ocean, they increase much more its shipping and seamen; and, since they are all included in the British empire, which has only extended itself by their means, and the strength and wealth of the parts are the strength and wealth of the whole, what imports it to the general state, whether a merchant, a smith, or a hatter, grows rich in Old or New England? And if, through increase of the people, two
* In commenting on this passage, Governor Hutchinson says; "It will be difficult, if this principle be admitted, to justify the revolt of the colonies, in which Mr. Franklin was very instrumental. He departed from his principles, and declared, fifteen years after the date of those letters, that he was of opinion Britain and the colonies were under separate legislatures, and stood related as England and Scotland stood before the union."- History of Massachusetts, Vol. III. p. 24. Hutchinson alludes here to a letter from Franklin to Dr. Cooper, written in London, June 8th, 1770, in which he says; "That the colonies originally were constituted distinct States, and intended to be continued such, is clear to me from a thorough consideration of their original charters, and the whole conduct of the crown and nation towards them until the restoration. Since that period the Parliament here has usurped an authority of making laws for them, which before it had not. We have for some time submitted to that usurpation, partly through ignorance and inattention, and partly from our weakness and inability to contend.— The several States have equal rights and liberties, and are only connected as England and Scotland were before the union, by having one common sovereign, the King."
In the first place it is possible, that Franklin, in the course of fif teen years' research and study, may have discovered good reasons for changing his opinion as to the just powers of Parliament, and this he might have done without any reproach upon his patriotism or his principles. But in reality there is no discordance between the sentiments contained in the text, and those in the extract from the letter to Dr. Cooper. In the former case he speaks of the colonies as belonging to the "British empire," but he does not say that the authority of Parliament extends with equal force to every part of this empire. On the contrary, what he says respecting Parliament is founded on the supposition, that the colonies should be represented in it. When such a representation should exist, the people would of course be subject to
smiths are wanted for one employed before, why may not the new smith be allowed to live and thrive in the new country, as well as the old one in the old? In fine, why should the countenance of a state be partially afforded to its people, unless it be most in favor of those who have most merit? And if there be any difference, those who have most contributed to enlarge Britain's empire and commerce, increase her strength, her wealth, and the numbers of her people, at the risk of their own lives and private fortunes in new and strange countries, methinks ought rather to expect some preference. With the greatest respect and esteem, I have the honor to be
Your Excellency's most obedient
the Parliament to which they had sent representatives. And this is all that can be strictly inferred from the above letter to Governor Shirley. Although from the fact, that in the Albany Convention it was decided that a union of the colonies could not be formed without an act of Parliament, it is perhaps probable that Franklin was then of the same sentiment, and afterwards upon further inquiry changed his opinion.
In reply to the first part of Governor Hutchinson's comment, it needs only be said, that the colonies revolted in consequence of what they deemed the legislative and practical usurpation and oppression of the government in England, and not because they considered themselves a separate part of the empire; nor did the merits of the controversy rest upon this point.-EDITOR.
FOR SETTLING TWO WESTERN COLONIES IN NORTH AMERICA, WITH REASONS FOR THE PLAN.
Dr. Franklin was early possessed of the belief, that great advantage would redound to the English Colonies on the sea-board by settlements beyond the Alleganies under governments distinctly organized. Such settlements would not only rapidly increase in population, thereby strengthening the power of the whole, but would serve as a barrier to the other colonies against the Indians and French, who, in time of war, made descents upon the frontiers, kept the people in alarm, and caused great expense in raising troops and supporting an army to repel their invasions. He pursued this favorite object for many years; and after he went to England a company was formed, under his auspices, who petitioned for a grant to settle a colony west of the Allegany mountains. Many obstacles were encountered, but the application was at last successful. The scheme was prevented from being carried into effect by the troubles immediately preceding the revolution.
The following paper was probably written shortly after the Albany Convention, in 1754, at the request of Governor Pownall, who had a project for settling what he called "barrier colonies." He presented a memorial to the Duke of Cumberland on this subject in the year 1756, in which he says;
"If the English would advance one step further, or cover themselves where they are, it must be at once, by one large step over the mountains, with a numerous and military colony. Where such should be settled, I do not take upon me to say; at present I shall only point out the measure and the nature of it, by inserting two schemes, one of Dr. Franklin's, the other of your memorialist; and if I might indulge myself with scheming, I should imagine that two such were sufficient, and only requisite and proper; one at the back of Virginia, filling up the vacant space between the Five Nations and southern confederacy, and connect
ing into one system our barrier; the other somewhere in the Cohass on Connecticut river, or wherever best adapted to cover the New England colonies. These, with the little settlements mentioned above in the Indian countries, complete my idea of this branch."- Administration of the Colonies, 4th ed., Append. p. 48.
When this memorial, with Franklin's plan, was presented, the whole country was too much involved in the war with the French and Indians, to allow any scheme of this sort to be matured; the peace followed, when the occasion for them was less pressing; and the revolution opened the way to other methods of attaining the same object. - EDITOR.
THE great country back of the Appalachian Mountains, on both sides of the Ohio, and between that river and the Lakes is now well known, both to the English and French, to be one of the finest in North America, for the extreme richness and fertility of the land; the healthy temperature of the air, and mildness of the climate; the plenty of hunting, fishing, and fowling; the facility of trade with the Indians; and the vast convenience of inland navigation or watercarriage by the Lakes and great rivers, many hundreds of leagues around.
From these natural advantages it must undoubtedly (perhaps in less than another century) become a populous and powerful dominion;* and a great accession of power either to England or France.
The French are now making open encroachments on these territories, in defiance of our known rights; and, if we longer delay to settle that country, and suffer them to possess it, these inconveniences and mischiefs will probably follow;
1. Our people, being confined to the country be
* This prediction has been verified in a much less time than even the author anticipated. — EDITOR.