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you may depend on my doing all in my power to make your visit to Philadelphia agreeable to you.
I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
Philadelphia, November 27th, 1753. Dear Sir,
Having written you fully via Bristol, I have How little to add. Matters relatmg to the academy remain in statu quo. The trustees would be glad to see a rector established there, but they dread entering into new engagements till they are got oat of debt; and I have not yet got them wholly over to my opinion, that a good professor, or teacher of the higher branches of learning, would draw so many scholars as to pay great part, if not the whole of his salary. Thus, unless the proprietors (of the province) shall think fit to put the finishing hand to our institution, it must, I fear, wait some few years longer before it can arrive at that state of perfection, which tome it seems now capable of; and all the pleasure I promised myself in seeing you settled among us, vanishes into smoke.
But good Mr. Collinson writes me word, that no endeavors of his shall be wanting; andjhe hopes, with the archbishop's assistance, to be able to prevail with out proprietors.* I pray God grant them success.
* Upon the application of archbishop Herring and P. Collinson. Esq. atDr. Franklin's request (aided by the letters of Mr. Allen and Mr. Peters) the Hon. Thomas Penn, Esq. subscribed ?n annual sum, and afterwards gave at least 5000/. to the founding or engrafting the college upon the academy.
My son presents his affectionate regards, with, dear sit, Yours, &c.
P. S. I have not been favored with a line from you since your arrival in England.
Philadelphia, April 18th, 1754. Dear Sir,
I have had but one letter from you since your arrival in England, which was a short one, via 'JSoston, dated October lSih, acquainting me that you had written largek by capt. Davis.—Davis was "lost, and with him your Utters, to mv great disappointment. Mesnard and Gibbon have since arrived here., and I hear nothing from you. My comfort is, :m imagination that you only omit writing because you are oming, and purpose to tell me ever}' ihing viva voce. So not knowing whether this It tter win reach von, and hoping either to see oi hear from you by the M\ nilla, Capt. Bidden'* ship, vhuh is daih expected, I only add, that .1 am, with great esteem and affection,
B. FRANKLIN. Mr. Smith,
Ahont a month after the date of this last letter, tli.. ;.cn;leman to whom it « as addressed anived in 'Philadelphia, and was immediately placed at the head of the s..mmnr\ ; whereby Franklin, and other trustees, were tnabled to prosecute their plan lor p' rffftincr the institu'ion, and opening th. 'o'ltite tyon the large aud liberal foundation ou which it now. stands; for which purpose they obtained their additional charter, dated May 27th, 1755.
Thus far we thought it proper to exhibit in one view Dr. Franklin's services in the foundation and establishment of this seminary. He soon afterwards embarked for England, in the service of his country; and having been generally employed abroad, in the like service, for the greater part of ihe remainder of his life (as will appear in our subsequent account of the same) he had but few opportunities of taking any further active part in the affairs. of the seminary, until his fmal return in the year 1785, when he found its charter. violated, and his ancient colleagues, the original founders deprived of their trust, by an act of the legislature; and although his own name had been inserted among the new trustees, yet he declined to take his seat among them, or any concern in'the. management of their affairs^ till the institution was restored by law to its original owners. He then assembled his old colleagues at his own house, and being chosen their president, all their future meetings were, at his request, held there, till within a few months of his death, when with reluctance, and at their desire, lest he might be too much injured by his attention to their business, he suffered them to meet at the college.
Franklin not onlv gave birth to many useful institutions himself, but he was also instrumental in promoting; those which had originated with other men. About the year 1752, an eminent physician of this city. Dr. Bond, considering the deplorable state of the poor, when visited with disease, . conceived the idea of establishing an hospital.—Notwithstanding very great exertions on his part, he was able to interest few people so far in his benevolent plan, as to obtain subscriptions from ihem.
Unwilling that his scheme should prove abortive, he sought the aid of Franklin, who readily engaged in the business, both by using his influence with his friends, and by stating the advantageous influence of the proposed institution in his paper. These efforts were attended with success. Considerable sums were subscribed; but they were still short of what was necessary. Franklin now made another exertion. He applied to the assembly— and after some opposition, obtained leave to bring in a bill, specifying, that as soon as two thousand pounds were subscribed, the same sum should be drawn from the treasury by the speaker's warrant, to be applied to the purposes of the insti* tution. The opposition, as the sum was granted on contingency which they supposed would never take place, were silent, and the bill passed. The friends of the plan now redoubled their efforts, to obtain subscriptions to the amount stated in the bill, and were soon successful. This was the foundation of the Pennsylvania Hospital, which, with the Betteringhouse and Dispensary, bears ample testimony of the humanity of the citizens of Philadelphia.
Dr. Franklin had conducted himself so well in the office of post-master, and had shown himself to be so well acquainted with the business of that department, that it was thought expedient to raise him to a more dignified station. In 1T53 he was appointed deputy post-master-general for the British colonies. '1 he profits arising from the postage of the revenue, which the crown of Great Britain derived from the colonies. In the hands of Franklin, it is said, that the post-office in America yielded annually thrice as much as tha,t of Ireland.
The American colonies .were; much exposed to depredations on their frontiers,by the Indians; and more particulaily whenever a war took place between Fiance and England. The colonies, individually, were either too weak to take efficient measures for their own defence, or they were unwilling to lake upon themselves the whole burden of erecting forts and maintaining garrisons, whilst their neighbours, who partook equally with themselves of the advantages, contributed nothing to the expence. Sometimes also the disputes, which subsist, eel between the governors and assemblies, prevented the adoption of means of defence; as we have seen was the case in Pennsylvania in 1745. To devise a plan of union between the colonies, to regulate this and other matters, appeared a desirable object.' To accomplish this, in the year 1754, commissioners from Newhampshiie, Massachusetts, Rhode-Island, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, met at Albany. Dr. Franklin attended here as a commissioner from Penns) 1\ ania, and produced a plan, which, from the place of meeting, has been usually termed "The Albany Plan of Union."
This proposed, that application should be made for an act of parliamentvto establish in the colonies a general government, to be administered by a president-general, appointed by the crown, and by a grand council, consisting of members chosen by the representatives of the different colonies ; their number to be in direct proportion to the sums paid by each colony into the general treasury, with this restriction, that no colony should have more than seven, nor less than two representatives. The whole executive authoritv was committed to the president general. The power of legislation was lodged in the grand council and president-general jointlv; his ronsent bting made necessary to passing a bill iaio a law. The power vested ia the president and