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will have the honour of presenting this line; some information what those articles are, I inhe accompanied me to France, and remained close also a “ Sketch of my services to the with me during my mission: I beg leave to United States,” wherein you will find menrecommend him to your notice, and that you tion of the extra services I performed that do would believe me, my dear friend, yours most not appertain to the office of plenipotentiary, affectionately, B. FRANKLIN." viz. as judge of admiralty, as consul before
the arrival of Mr. Barclay, as banker in exDr. Franklin having served the full period amining and accepting the multitude of bills limited by the constitution of the state of of exchange, and as secretary for several Pennsylvania for the continuance in office of years, none being sent to me, though other its presidents; and his infirmities and desire ministers were allowed such assistance. of repose increasing, in Oct. 1788 he retired “I must own, I did hope, that as it is cuswholly from public affairs; and thus noticed tomary in Europe to make some liberal prothe circumstance, in a letter to his friend the vision for ministers when they return home duke de la Rochefoucault:
from foreign service, the congress would at
least have been kind enough to have shown " Philadelphia, Oct. 22, 1788. their approbation of my conduct by a grant of
“ Having now finished my turn of a small tract of land in their western country, being president, and promising myself to en- which might have been of use and some honour gage no more in public business, I hope to to my posterity. And I cannot but still think enjoy the small remains of life that are allow- they will do something of the kind for me ed me, in the repose I have so long wished whenever they shall be pleased to take my for. I purpose to employ it in completing services into consideration, as I see by their the personal history you mention. It is now minutes that they have allowed Mr. Lee brought down to my fiftieth year.* What is handsomely for his services in England, beto follow will be of more important transac-fore his appointment to France, in which sertions: but it seems to me what is done will be vices I and Mr. Bollan co-operated with him, of more general use to young readers, exem- but have had no such allowance: and since plifying strongly the effects of prudent and his return, he has been very properly rewardimprudent conduct in the commencement of ed with a good place, as well as my friend a life of business."
Mr. Jay: though these are trifling compen
sations in comparison with what was granted Though Dr. Franklin had every reason to by the king to M. Gerard on his return from be well satisfied with the reception he met on America. But how different is what has his return to the United States, from his fel- happened
to me. On my return from Englow-citizens ; he was by no means so with land in 1775, the congress bestowed on me the general government. This he feelingly the office of postmaster-general, for which I expresses in a letter to his particular friend, was very thankful. It was indeed an office I Charles Thomson, secretary of congress.
had some kind of right to, as having previous
ly greatly enlarged the revenue of the post, “ To Charles Thompson.
by the regulations I had contrived and estal
lished, while I possessed it under the crown. " PALLADELPHIA, Dec. 29, 1788.
When I was sent to France, I left it in the “ DEAR OLD FRIEND, — Inclosed, I send a hands of my son-in-law, who was to act as my letter to the president of congress, for the deputy. But soon after my departure it wast time being, which, if you find nothing impro- taken from me and given to Mr. Hazard. per in it, or that in regard to me you could When the English ministry formerly thought wish changed or amended, I would request fit to deprive me of the office, they left me, you to present. I rely much on your friendly however, the privilege of receiving and sendcounsel, as you must be better acquainted ing my letters free of postage, which is the with persons and circumstances than I am: and I suppose there will be time enough be- misconduct in the office: but in America, I
usage when a postmaster is not displaced for fore the new congress is formed to make any have ever since had the postage demanded of alterations you may advise, though if present- me, which since my return from France has ed at all, it should be to the old one.
amounted to above fifty pounds, much of it oc“ In the copy of my letter to Mr. Barclay, casioned by my having acted as minister there. you may observe, that mention is made of some considerable articles which I have not ple Franklin, with me to France, I purposed,
“When I took my grandson, William Temncharged in my accounts with congress, but after giving him the French language, to on which I should expect from their equity educate him in the study and practice of the some consideration."
That you may have law. But by the repeated expectations given * Close of Part U.
me of a secretary, and constant disappointThe subsequent state of his
ments, I was induced, and indeed obliged, to VOL. I. ... 2 A 16*
health did not enable him to continue it further.
retain him with me, to assist in the secreta
(Inclosed in the foregoing.] office, which disappointments continued SKETCH OF THE SERVICES OF B. FRANKLIN till my return, by which time, so many years
TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
In England, of the opportunity of his studying the law were lost, and his habits of life became so dif- papers
against it, with his examination in parliament,
He combated the Stamp Act, and his writings in the ferent, that it appeared no longer advisable; were thought to have contributed much to its repeal. and I then considering him as brought up in
He opposed the Duty Act, and though he could not
prevent its passing, he obtained of Mr. Townshend an the diplomatic line, and well qualified by his omission of several articles, particularly salt. knowledge in that branch for the employ of a In the subsequent ditlerence he wrote and published secretary at least, (in which opinion I was not many papers, refuting the claim of parliament to tax alone, for three of my colleagues, without the He opposed all the oppressive acts. smallest solicitation from me, chose him se- for their repeat, of which he has written a narrative.
He had two secret negotiations with the ministers cretary of the negotiation for treaties, which in this he offered payment for the destroyed tea, ai his they had been empowered to do) I took the own risk, in case they were repealed.
He was joined with Messrs. Bolland and Lee in all liberty of recommending him to the congress the applications to government for that purpose for their protection. This was the only favour Printed several pamphlets at his
own considerable I ever asked of them: and the only answer I expense against the then measures of government, received was, a resolution superceding him, before the privy council, deprived of a place in the post and appointed Col. Humphreys in his place; office of 3001. sterling a year, and obliged to resign hus
agencies, viz. a gentleman, who, though he might have in
of Pennsylvania deed a good deal of military merit, certainly
of New Jersey had none in the diplomatic line, and had
of Georgia neither the French language, nor the experience, nor the address proper to qualify him for such an employment.
In the whole 15001. sterling per annum. • This is all to yourself only, as a private Orders were sent to the king's governors not to sign friend: for I have not, nor ever shall, make any warrants on the treasury for the orders of his any public complaint: and even if I could the colonies that employed him, yet thinking the known have foreseen such unkind treatment from malice of the court against him, rendered him less like congress, their refusing me thanks, would not liage, he judged it to be his duty to withdraw from their
ly than others to manage their affairs to their advanin the least have abated my zeal for the cause, service, and leave it open for less exceptionable per and ardour in support of it. I know something sons, which saved them the necessity of removing him. of the nature of such changeable assemblies, was appointed chairman of the committee of safety, and how little successors know of the services where he projected the chereaur de frize for securing that have been rendered to the corps, before Philadelphia, then the residence of congress.
Was sent by congress to head-quarters near Boston their admission, or feel themselves obliged by with Messrs. Harrison and Lynch in 1775, 10 settle such services; and what effect in obliterating some affairs with the northern governments and gen
. a sense of them, during the absence of the ser
In the Spring of 1776, was sent to Canada with vant in a distant country, the artful and reiter- Messrs. Chase and Carrol, passing the Lakes while ated malevolent insinuations of one or two they were not yet free from ice.--In Canada was with
his colleagues instrumental in redressing sundry grieenvious and malicious persons may have on vances, and thereby reconciling the people more to our the minds of members, even of the most equi- cause. He there advanced to general Arnold and other table, candid, and honourable dispositions; and in gold out of his own pocket, on the credit of congress therefore, I will pass these reflections into which was a great service at that juncture, in procur oblivion.
ing provisions for our army.
Being at the time he was ordered on this service, “My good friend, excuse, if you can, the upwards of seventy years of age, he suffered in his trouble of this letter; and if the reproach health by the hardships of this journey : lodging in the thrown on republics, that they are apt to be covered, the congress in the same year ordered him to ungrateful,* should ever unfortunately be France. Before his departure, he put all the money he verified, with respect to your services, re- into their hands; which demonstrating his confidence member that you have a right to unbosom encouraged others to lend their money in support of yourself in communicating your griefs to
He made no bargain for appointments, but was proyour ancient friend, and most obedient humble mised by a vote, the net salary of 5001. sterling per anservant,
num, his expenses paid, and to be assisted by a secre. “ B. FRANKLIN.
tary, who was to have 10001. per annum, to include all
contingencies. • Charles Thomson, Esq.,
When the Pennsylvania assembly sent him to Eng
land in 1764 on the same salary, they allowed him one Sec'y to Congress."
year's advance for his passage, and in consideration
of the prejudice to his private affairs that must be oc * " Ploradore snis non respondere farorem casioned by his sudden departure and absence. Speratum meritis."
Hor. lib. ii. ep. 1. had no such allowance from congress, was badly ac. (Their toils and services could hardly raise commodated in a miserable vessel, improper for those The slight return of gratitude or praise.
northern seas, (and which actually foundered in her is applicable not only to the heroes particularly speci: return) was badly fed, so that on his arrival, he had fied, but to the valiant and wise in other ages and scarce strength to stand. countries.
His services to the states as commissioner, and after
wards minister plenipotentiary, are known to congress, | Anthony Benezett, inserted in the 1st Part rices may not be so well known, and therefore
may be of his Private Correspondence." here mentioned. No secretary ever arriving, the business was in part before, and entirely when the other
The following ADDRESS with a Plan of the latter commissioners left him, executed by himself, with the society are supposed to have been drawn up by Dr. help of his grandson, who at first was only allowed Franklin. clothes, board, and lodging; and afterwards a salary An Address to the Public, from the Pennsylvania Society never exceeding 3001. a year (except while he served as secretary to the commissioners for peace) by which
for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief difference in salary continued many years the congress
of Free Negroes, unlawfully held in Bondage. saved, if they accept it, 7001. sterling a-year.
It is with peculiar satisfaction, we assure the friends He served as Consul entirely several years, till the of humanity, that, in prosecuting the design of our as. arrival of Mr. Barclay, and even after, as that gentle sociation, our endeavours have proved successful, far man was obliged to be much and long absent in Hol- beyond our most sanguine expectations. land, Flanders, and England: during which absence Encouraged by this success, and by the daily prowhat business of the kind occurred, still came to Mr. F. gress of that luminous and benign spirit of liberty,
He served, though without any special commission which is diffusing itself throughout the world, and for the purpose, as a Judge of Admiralty; for the con humbly hoping for the continuance of the divine blessgress having sent him a quantity of blank commissions ing on our labours, we have ventured to make an imfor privateers, he granted them in cruisers fitted out in portant addition to our original plan, and do, therethe ports of France, some of them manned by old fore, earnestly solicit the support and assistance of all, smugglers, who knew every creek on the coast of Eng. who can feel the tender emotions of sympathy and land, and running all round the island, distressed the compassion, or relish the exalted pleasure of benefiBritish coasting trade exceedingly, and raised their general insurance. One of those privateers alone, the Sla very is such an atrocious debasement of human Black Prince, took in one year 75 sail! All the papers nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with taken in each prize brought in, were, in virtue of an solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of seri. order of council, sent up to Mr. F., who was to examine ous evils. them, judge of the legality of the capture, and write to The unhappy man, who has long been treated as a the admiralty of the port, that he found the prize good, brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the comand that the sale might be permitted. These papers, mon standard of the human species. The galling which are very voluminous, he has to produce.
chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellec He served also as Merchant to make purchases, and tual faculties, and impair the social affections of his direct the shipping of stores to a very great value, for heart. Accustomed to move like a mere machine, by which he has charged no commission.
the will of a master, reflection is suspended; he has But the part of his service which was the most fatigu- not the power of choice; and reason and conscience ing and confining, was that of receiving and accept have but little influence over his conduct, because he ing, after a due and necessary examination, the bills is chiefly governed by the passion of fear. He is poor of exchange drawn by congress for interest money ; to and friendless--perhaps worn out by extreme labour, the amount of tro millions and a half of livres annual age, and disease. ly; multitudes of the bills very small, each of which, Under such circumstances, freedom may often prove the smallest, gave as much trouble in examining as a misfortune to himself, and prejudicial to society. the largest. And this careful examination was found Attention to emancipated black people, it is there. a baolutely necessary from the constant frauds attempt fore to be hoped. will become a branch of our national ed by presenting seconds and thirds for payment, after police; but as far as we contribute to promote this the firsis had been discharged. As these bills were emancipation, so far that attention is evidently a seri. arriving more or less by every ship and every post, they ous duty incumbent on us, and which we mean to disrequired constant attendance. Mr. F. could make no charge to the best of our judgment and abilities. journey for exercise as had been annually his custom, To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have and the confinement brought on a malady that is likely been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyto afflict him while he lives.
ment of civil liberty, to promote in them habits of inIn short, though he has always been an active man, dustry, to furnish them with employments suited to he never went through so much business during eight their age, sex, talents, and other circumstances, and to years, in any part of his life, as during those of his procure their children an education calculated for their residence in France; which however he did not decline future situation in life; these are the great outlines of till he saw peace happily made, and found himself in the annexed plan, which we have adopted, and which the 80th year of his age; when, if ever, a man has we conceive will essentially promote the public good, some right to expect repose.
and the happiness of these our hitherto too much
neglected fellow-creatures. Some time after Dr. Franklin's return to without considerable pecuniary resources, beyond the
A plan so extensive cannot be carried into execution Philadelphia, a society for Political Inquiries present ordinary funds of the society. We hope much was formed in that city, of which he was freemen, and will gratefully receive any donations or chosen president; and on account of his bodily subscriptions for this purpose, which may be made to infirmities the meetings were held at his own our treasurer, James Starr, or to James Pemberton,
chairman of our committee of correspondence. house. Two or three of the essays read in
Signed by order of the society. this society were published; its existence,
B. FRANKLIN, President. however, was not of long continuance.
Philadelphia, 9th of November, 1789. Two other societies were also established The laborirs of both these societies have in Philadelphia about this period, founded on been crowned with great success, and they the principles of the most liberal and refined continue to prosecute with unwearied dilihumanity: one" for alleviating the miseries gence the laudable designs for which they of public prisons,” and the other, " for pro- were established. moting the abolition of slavery, the relief of According to Dr. Stuber's account, “ Dr. free negroes unlawfully held in bondage, Franklin's name, as president of the Abolition and the improvement of the condition of the Society, was signed to the memorial presentAfrican race." -Of each of these Dr. Franked to the house of representatives of the Unitlin was president. He had as early as the ed States, on the i2th of February, 1789, year 1772, strongly expressed his abhorrence praying them to exert the full extent of of the traffic in slaves, as appears by bis let-power vested in them by the constitution in ter of the 22d August in that year, to Mr. discouraging the traffic of the human species.
This was his last public act. In the debates their countries produce; and which are so to which this memorial gave rise, several at- necessary for us? If we forbear to make tempts were made to justify the trade. In slaves of their people, who in this hot climate the Federal Gazette of March 25th, 1790, are to cultivate our lands? Who are to perthere appeared an essay, signed HISTORICUS, form the common labours of our city, and in written by Dr. Franklin, in which he com- our families? Must we not then be our own municated a speech, said to have been deliver-slaves? And is there not more compassion ed in the Divan of Algiers, in 1687, in op- and more favour due to us as Mosslemen than position to the prayer of the petition of a sect to these Christian dogs? We have now called Erika, or Purists, for the abolition of above fifty thousand slaves in and near Alpiracy and slavery. This pretended African giers; this number, if not kept up by fresh speech was an excellent parody of one de- supplies, will soon diminish and be gradually livered by Mr. Jackson, of Georgia. All the annihilated. If we then cease taking and arguments urged in favour of negro slavery, plundering the infidel ships, and making slaves are applied with equal force to justify the of the seamen and passengers, our lands will plundering and enslaving of Europeans. It become of no value for want of cultivation ; affords, at the same time, a demonstration of the rents of houses in the city will sink one the futility of the arguments in defence of the half; and the revenue of government arising slave trade, and of the strength of mind and from its share of prizes be totally destroyed ? ingenuity of the author, at his advanced period And for what? to gratify the whims of a of life. It furnished, too, a no less convincing whimsical sect, who would have us not only proof of his power of imitating the style of forbear making more slaves, but even to other times and nations, than his celebrated manumit those we have! But who is to inparable against persecution. And as the lat- demnify their masters for the loss? Will the ter led many persons to search the scriptures state do it? Is our treasury sufficient? Will with a view to find it, so the former caused the Erika do it? Can they do it? Or would many persons to search the book-stores and they, to do what they think justice to the libraries, for the work from which it was said slaves, do a greater injustice to the owners ? to be extracted."
And if we set our slaves free, what is to be This piece, of itself so ingenious, and being done with them? Few of them will return one of the last compositions of Dr. Franklin, to their countries, they know too well the (written only a few weeks previous to his greater hardships they must there be subject demise) is inserted here.
to: they will not embrace our holy religion:
they will not adopt our manners: our people “ To the Editor of the Federal Gazette.
will not pollute ourselves by intermarrying “March 23, 1790.
with them: must we maintain them as beg. • Sir, — Reading last night in your excel gars in our streets ; or suffer our properties io lent paper the speech of Mr. Jackson in con- tomed to slavery, will not work for a liveli
be the prey of their pillage ? for men accus gress, against their meddling with the affair hood when not compelled. And what is there of slavery, or attempting to mend the condițion of the slaves, it put me in mind of a simi- so pitiable in their present condition? Were lar one made about one hundred years since, they not slaves in their own countries? Are by Side Mehemed Ibrahim, a member of the States, governed by despots, who hold all their
not Spain, Portugal, France, and the Italian Divan of Algiers, which may be seen Martin's account of his consulship
, Anno 1687. subjects in slavery, without exception ? Eren It was against granting the petition of the England treats its sailors as slaves, for they sect called Erika or Pürists
, who prayed for are, whenever the government pleases, seizthe abolition of piracy and slavery as being not only to work but to fight, for small wages
ed, and confined in ships of war, condemned unjust. Mr. Jackson does not quote it, per- or a mere subsistence, not better than our haps he has not seen it. If therefore some of its reasonings are to be found in his elo then made worse by their falling into our
slaves are allowed by us. Is their condition quent speech, it may only show that men's hands ? No, they have only exchanged one interests and intellects operate and are operat- slavery for another
, and I may say a better: ed on with surprising similarity in all coun- for here they are brought into a land where tries and climates, whenever they are under the sun of Islamism gives forth its light, and similar circumstances. The African's speech, shines in full splendour, and they have an op, as translated, is as follows:
portunity of making themselves acquainted “ Allah Bismillah, fc.
with the true doctrine, and thereby saving “ God is great, and Mahomed is his prophet. their immortal souls. Those who remain at
“ Have these Erika considered the conse- home have not that happiness. Sending the quences of granting their petition ? If we slaves home then would be sending them out cease our cruises against the Christians, how of light into darkness.—I repeat the question, shall we be furnished with the commodities what is to be done with them? I have heard
it suggested that they may be planted in the latures, and the debates upon them, will have wilderness, where there is plenty of land for a similar conclusion. them to subsist on, and where they may “I am, sir, your constant reader and humflourish as a free state ; but they are, I doubt, ble servant,
HISTORICUS.” too little disposed to labour without compulsion, as well as too ignorant to establish a Towards the close of the year (1789,) Dr. good government, and the wild Arabs would Franklin received a new and unexpected hosoon molest and destroy or again enslave nour; that of being elected a member of the them. While serving us, we take care to Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersprovide them with every thing, and they are burgh.-It was communicated to him by the treated with humanity. The labourers in following handsome letter (in English) from their own country, are, as I am well informed, the princess Daschkoff, the lady president, worse fed, lodged, and clothed. The condi- whom Dr. Franklin had occasionally met at tion of most of them is therefore already Paris :mended, and requires no further improvement. Here their lives are in safety. They
" To his Excellency Dr. Benjamin Frankare not liable to be impressed for soldiers, and
lin, fc. fc. Philadelphia. forced to cut one another's Christian throats, “Dear Sir,—Having always supposed, and as in the wars of their own countries. If even cherished the idea, that you were a memsome of the religious mad bigots who now ber of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, teaze 118 with their silly petitions, have in a which is at St. Petersburgh, under my direcfit of blind zeal freed their slaves, it was not tion, I was greatly surprised, when reviewing generosity, it was not humanity that moved the list of its members some days ago, I did them to the action; it was from the conscious not find your name in the number. I hastened burden of a load of sins, and a hope, from the therefore, to acquire this honour for the acasupposed merits of so good a work, to be ex. demy, and you were received among its memcused from damnation.—How grossly are they bers with an unanimous applause and joy. I mistaken to suppose slavery to be disallowed beg you, sir, to accept of this title, and to beby the Koran! Are not the two precepts, to lieve that I look upon it as an honour acquired quote no more, “ Masters treat your slaves by our academy. with kindness: slaves serve your masters “I shall order the patent to be dispatched with cheerfulness and fidelity,” clear proofs to you as soon as possible. In the mean time to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of be assured, that it is with the greatest pleainfidels be in that sacred book forbidden, since sure, that I profit of the present occasion, to it is well known from it, that God has given give you a token of regard and veneration for the world, and all that it contains, to his faith- your eminent character, and that I shall alful Mosslemen, who are to enjoy it of right, as ways recollect with pride, the advantage 1 fast as they conquer it. Let us then hear no had to be personally noticed by you. more of this detestable proposition, the manu “With a sincere consideration, I am, dear mission of christian slaves, the adoption of sir, your most obedient servant, which would by depreciating our lands and · PRINCESS OF DASCHKOFF. houses, and thereby depriving so many good " St. Petersburgh, Nov. 4, 1789."
citizens of their properties, create universal s discontent, and provoke insurrections, to the During the greatest part of his life, Dr.
endangering of government, and producing Franklin had enjoyed an almost uninterrupted general confusion. I have therefore no doubt, state of good health, and this he entirely atbut this wise council will prefer the comfort tributed to his exemplary temperance. and happiness of a whole nation of true be In the year 1735, indeed, he had been seizlievers to the whiin of a few Erika, and dis- ed with a pleurisy, which ended in a suppumiss their petition."
ration of the left lobe of the lungs, so that he “ The result was, as Martin tells us, that was almost suffocated by the quantity of matthe Divan came to this resolution, “The doc- ter thrown up. But from this, as well as trine that plundering and enslaving the Chris- from another attack of the same kind, he retians is unjust, is at best problematical ; but covered so completely, that his breathing was that it is the interest of this state to continue not in the least affected.
the practice, is clear; therefore let the peti As he advanced in years, however, he be* tion be rejected.'
came subject to fits of the gout, to which, in “* And it was rejected accordingly. 1782, a nephritic cholic was superadded.
“ And since like motives, are apt to produce From this time, he was also affected with the in the minds of men like opinions and resolu- stone, as well as the gout; and for the last tions, may we not, Mr. Brown, venture to twelve months of his life, these complaints predict, from this account, that the petitions almost entirely confined him to his bed. to the parliarnent of England for abolishing Notwithstanding his distressed situation, the slave trade, to say nothing of other legis- neither his mental faculties nor his natural