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I come then to your high charge against me, “ that I heretofore ventured, contrary to an act of assembly, to place the public money in the stocks; whereby this province suffered a loss of six thousand pounds, and that sum, added to the five thousand pounds granted for my expenses, makes the whole cost of my former voyage to England amount to eleven thousand pounds !How wisely was that form in our laws contrived, which, when a man is arraigned for his life, requires the evidence to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! The reason is manifest. A falsehood may destroy the innocent; so may part of a truth without the whole; and a mixture of truth and falsehood may be full as pernicious. You, Mr. Chief Justice, and the other justices among the protesters, and you, Sir, who are a Counsellor at Law, must all of you be wel acquainted with this excellent form ; and when you arraigned my reputation (dearer to me than life) before the assembly, and now at the respectable tribunal of the public, would it not have well become your honors to have had some small regard at least to the spirit of that form?

You might have mentioned, that the direction of the act to lodge the money in the bank, subject to the drafts of the trustees of the loan-office here, was impracticable; that the bank refused to receive it on those terms, it being contrary to their settled rules to take charge of money subject to the orders of unknown people living in distant countries. You might have mentioned, that the House, being informed of this, and having no immediate call for the money, did themselves adopt the measure of placing it in the stocks, which then were low; where it might on a peace produce a considerable profit, and in the mean time accumulate an interest. That they even passed a bill, directing the

subsequent sums granted by Parliament to be placed with the former; that the measure was prudent and safe; and that the loss arose, not from placing the money in the stocks, but from the imprudent and unnecessary drawing it out at the very time when they were lowest, on some slight uncertain rumors of a peace concluded; that, if the assembly had let it remain another year, instead of losing, they would have gained six thousand pounds; and that, after all, since the exchange at which they sold their bills was near twenty per cent higher when they drew than when the stocks were purchased, the loss was far from being so great as you represent it.

All these things you might have said; for they are, and

you know them to be, part of the whole truth ; but they would have spoiled your accusation. The late Speaker of your honorable House, Mr. Norris, (who has, I suppose, all my letters to him, and copies of his own to me, relating to that transaction,) can testify with how much integrity and clearness I managed the whole affair. All the House were sensible of it, being from time to time fully acquainted with the facts. If I had gone to gaming in the stocks with the public money, and through my fault a sum was lost, as your protest would insinuate, why was I not censured and punished for it when I returned? You, honorable Sir, (my enemy of seven years' standing) were then in the House. You were appointed on the committee for examining my accounts; you reported, that you found them just, and signed that report.*

* Report of the Committee on Benjamin Franklin's Accounts.

“February 19th, 1763. In obedience to the order of the House, we have examined the account of Benjamin Franklin, Esquire, with the vouchers to us produced in support thereof, and do find the same account to be just; and that he has expended, in the immediate service of this VOL. IV.


I never solicited the employ of agent; I made no bargain for my future service, when I was ordered to England by the assembly ; nor did they vote me any salary. I lived there near six years at my own expense, and I made no charge or demand when I came home You, Sir, of all others, were the very member that proposed (for the honor and justice of the House) a compensation to be made me of the five thousand pounds you mention.

Was it with an intent to reproach me thus publicly for accepting it? I thanked the House for it then, and I thank you now for proposing it; though you, who have lived in England, can easily

province, the sum of seven hundred and fourteen pounds, ten shillings, and seven pence, out of the sum of fifteen hundred pounds sterling, to him remitted and paid, exclusive of any allowance or charge for his support and services for the province.

“ John Morton,

John Hughes, William ALLEN, SAMUEL RHOADS, John Ross,

John Wilkinson, John MOOR,


Joseph Fox, “ The House, taking the foregoing report of the committee of accounts into consideration, and having spent some time therein,

Resolved, “That the sum of five hundred pounds sterling, per annum, be allowed and given to Benjamin Franklin, Esquire, late agent for the province of Pennsylvania at the court of Great Britain, during his absence of six years from his business and connexions, in the service of the public; and that the thanks of this House be also given to the said gentleman by Mr. Speaker, from the chair, as well for the faithful discharge of his duty to this province in particular, as for the many and important services done America in general, during his residence in Great Britain.”

“ Thursday, March 31st, 1763. Pursuant to a resolve of the 19th of last month, that the thanks of this House be given to Benjamin Franklin, Esquire, for his many services, not only to the province of Pennsylvania, but to America in general, during his late agency at the court of Great Britain, the same were this day accordingly given in form from the chair. To which Mr. Franklin, respectfully addressing himself to the Speaker, made answer, "That he was thankful to the House, for the very handsome and generous allowance they had been pleased to make him for his services; but that the approbation of this House was, in his estimation, far above every other kind of recompense.'” - Votes, 1763.

conceive, that, besides the prejudice to my private affairs by my absence, a thousand pounds more would not have reimbursed me.

The money voted was immediately paid me. But, if I had occasioned the loss of six thousand pounds to the province, here was a fair opportunity of securing easily the greatest part of it. Why was not the five thousand pounds deducted, and the remainder called for? The reason is, this accusation was not then invented. Permit me to add, that, supposing the whole eleven thousand pounds an expense occasioned by my voyage to England; yet the taxation of the proprietary estate now established, will, when valued by years' purchase, be found in time an advantage to the public far exceeding that expense. And, if the expense is at present a burden, the odium of it ought to lie on those, who, by their injustice, made the voyage necessary, and not on me, who only submitted to the orders of the House in undertaking it.

I am now to take leave (perhaps a last leave) of the country I love, and in which I have spent the greatest part of my life. Esto perpetua. I wish every kind of prosperity to my friends; and I forgive my enemies.

B. FRANKLIN. Philadelphia, November 5th, 1764.






[London,) January 6th, 1766. SIR, I have attentively perused the paper you sent me, and am of opinion, that the measure it proposes, of an union with the colonies, is a wise one; but I doubt it will hardly be thought so here, till it is too late to attempt it. The time has been, when the colonies would have esteemed it a great advantage, as well as honor to be permitted to send members to Parliament; and would have asked for that privilege, if they could have had the least hopes of obtaining it. The time is now come, when they are indifferent about it, and will probably not ask it, though they might accept it if offered them; and the time will come, when they will certainly refuse it. But if such an union were now established (which methinks it highly imports this country to establish) it would probably subsist as long as Britain shall continue a nation. This people, however, is too proud, and too much despises the Americans, to bear the thought of admitting them to such an equitable participation in the government of the whole.

Then the next best thing seems to be, leaving them in the quiet enjoyment of their respective constitutions; and when money is wanted for any public service, in which they ought to bear a part, calling upon them by

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