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then raged, the act organizing a mili'.ia was disap. proved of by the mintstry. The regiments which had been formed under it were disbanded, and the defence of the province entrusted to regular troops. The disputes between the proprietaries and the people continued in full force, although a war was raging on the frontiers. Not even the sense of danger was sufficient to reconcile, for ever so short a time, their jarring interests. The assembly still insisted upon the justice of taxing the proprietary estates, but the governors constantly refused to give their assent to this measure, without which no bill could pass into a law. Enraged at this obstinacy, and what they conceived to be unjust proceedings of their opponents, the assembly at length deter. mined to apply to the mother country for relief. A petition was addressed to the king, in council, stating the inconveniences under which the inhabitants labored, from the attention of the proprietaries to their private interests, to the neglsct of the general welfare of the community, and praying for redress. Franklin was appointed to present this a<Idiess, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania, and departed from America in June, 1757. In conformity to the instructions which he had received from the legislature, he held a conference 'with the proprietaries, who then resided in England, and.endeavored to prevail upon tlnm to gne up the lorg contested point. Finding that they would hearken to no terms of accommodation, he laid his petition before the council. During this time governor Denny assented to the law imposing a tax, in which no discrimination was made in favor of the estates of the Penn family. They, alarmtd at this intelligence, and Franklir's exertions, used their utmost exertions to prevent the royal sanction being given to this law, which they represented as highly iniquitous, designed to throw the burden of supporting government on them, and Calculated to produce the most ruinous consequences to them and their posterity. The cause was amply discussed before the privy council. The Penns found here some strenuous advocates; nor were there wanting some who warmly espoused the side of the people. After some time spent in debate, a proposal was made, that Franklin should solemnly engage, that the assessment of the tax should be so made, as that the proprietary estates .should pay no more than a due proportion. This he agreed to perform, the Penn family withdrew their opposition, and tranquility was thus once more restored to the province.
The mode in which this dispute was terminated is a striking proof of the high opinion entertained of Franklin's integrity and honor, even by those who considered.him as inimical to their views. Nor was their confidence ill-founded. The assessment was made upon the strictest principles of equity; and the proprietary estates bore only a proportionable share of the expences of supporting government.
Af;er the completion of this important business, Franklin remained at the court of Great Britain, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania. The extensive knowledge which he possessed of the situation of the colonies, and the regard .which he always manifested for their interests, occasioned hi» appointment to the same office bv the colonies of Massachusetts, Man hmd, and Georgia. His ronduct, in this.situation, was such as rendered him still more dear to his countrymen.
He had cow an opportumty of indulging in the
society of those friends, whom his merits had procured him while at a distance. The regard which they had entertained for him was rather increased by a personal acquaintance. The opposition which had been made to his discoveries in philosophy gradually ceased, and the rewards of literary merit were abundantly conferred upon him. The royal society of London, which had at first refused hia performances admission into its transactions, now thought it an honor to rank him among its fellows. Other societies m Europe were .equally ambitious of calling him a member. The .university of St. Andrew's, in Scotland, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. Its example was followed.by the universities of Edinburgh and.of Oxford. His correspondence was sought for by the most eminent philosophers of Europe. His letters to these abound with true science, delivered in the most simple unadorned manner.'
The province of Canada was at this time in the possession of the French, who had originally set. tied it. The trade with the Indians, for which its situation was verv convenient, was exceedingly lucrative. The French traders here found a market for their commodities, and received in return large quantities of rich furs, which they disposed of at a high price in Europe. Whilst the possession of this country was highly advantageous to France, it was a grievous inconvenience to the inhabitants of of the British colonies. The Indians were almost generallv desirous to cultiviatethe friendship of the French, by wfiom they were abundantly supplied with arms and ammunition. Whenever a war happened the Indians were ready to fall upon the frontit rs; »nd this they frequently did, even when G. Britain and France >fere at peace. From these
considerations,.it a.peared to be the interest of Great Britain to gain the possession of CanaJa..— But the importance oi such an acquisition was not well undersotood in England. Franklin about this time published his Canada pamphlet, in which he, in a forcible manntr, pointed out the advantages which would result from the conquest of this province.
An expedition against it was planned, and the command given to General Wolfe. His success is well known. At the treaty of t762, France ceded Canada to Great Britain, and by her cession of Louisiana, at the same time, relinquished all her possessions on the continent of America.
Although Dr. Franklin was now principally occupied with political'pursuits, he found time for philosophical studies. He extended his electrical researches and made a variety of experiments, particularly on the tourmalin. The singular properties which this stone possesses of being electrified on one side positively and on the other negatively, by heat alone, without friction, had been but lately ob*' Berved.
Some experiments on the cold produced by evaporation, made hv Dr. Cullen, had been commu. ni.ated to Dr. Franklin by Professor Sjmpson of Glasgow. These he repeated, and found. that, by the evaporation of aether in the exhausted receiver of an ah.rump, so great a degree of cold was produced in a summer's day,. that water was convert* td into iee. This discover, he applied to the solution of a number of phenomena. pariirnlariy a singu-' lar fact, whi h philosophers had endeavored in vain to account for. viz. that the temperature of the human bod', when in h'ealfh, ntver exceeds 00 de-: greea of Far«nh«it's ihuuiomAti, although ..he at*. Jnosptiere which surrounds it may be heated to a much greater degree. This he attributed to the increased perspiration, and consequent evaporation, produced by the heau
In a letter to Mr. Small of London, dated in May 1760, Dr. Franklin makes a number of observations, tending to shew that, in North America, north-tast storms begin in the south-west parts. It appears, from actual observation, that a northeast storm, which extended a considerable distance, commenced at Philadelphia nearly four hours before it was felt at Boston. He endeavored to account for this, by supposing that, from heat, some rarefaction takes place about thegulph of Mexico, that the air further.north being cooler rushes in, and is succeeded by the cooler and denser air still further north, and that thus a continued current is. at length produced.
The tone produced by rubbing the brim of a drink ing glass with a wet finger had been generally known. A Mr. Puckeridge, an Irishman, by placing on a table a number of glasses of different sizes, and tuning them by partly filling them with water, endeavored to form an instrument capable of plavin.ij tunes. He was prevented by an untimely end, from bringing his invention to any degree of perfection. After his death some improvements were made upon his plan. The sweetness of the tones induce t Dr. Franklin to make a variety of experiments; and he at length formed that elegant instrument, which he has called the Armonica.
In the summer of 1762 he returned to America. On his passage he observed the singular effeet produced by the agitation of a vessel, 'containing oil floating on the water. The surface of the oil remains smooth andtmdisturbctl. whilst the water is agitated with the utmost commotion. No satisfkc