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House was up, and got a sight of the reports made by the other governors. They are all much in the same strain, that there are no manufactures of any consequence; in Massachusetts a little coarse woollen only, made in families for their own wear; glass and linen have been tried and failed. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York much the same. Pennsylvania has tried a linen manufactory, but it is dropped, it being imported cheaper; there is a glasshouse in Lancaster county, but it makes only a little coarse ware for the country neighbours. Maryland is clothed all with English manufactures. Virginia the same, except that in their families they spin a little cotton of their own growing. South Carolina and Georgia none. All speak of the dearness of labor, that makes manufactures impracticable. Only the governor of North Carolina parades with a large manufacture in his country, that may be useful to Britain, of pine boards, they having fifty sawmills on one river.
These accounts are very satisfactory here, and induce the Parliament to despise and take no notice of the Boston resolutions. I wish you would send your account before the ineeting of next Parliament. You have only to report a glasshouse for coarse window glass and bottles, and some domestic manufactures of linen and woollen for family use, that do not half clothe the inhabitants, all the finer goods coming from England and the like. I believe you will be puzzled to find any other, though I see great puffs in the papers.
The Parliament is up, and the nation in a ferment with the new elections. Great complaints are made that the natural interests of country gentlemen in their neighbouring boroughs is overborne by the moneyed interests of the new people, who have got sudden fortunes in the Indies, or
as contractors. Four thousand pounds is now the market price for a borough. In short, this whole venal nation is now at market, will be sold for about two millions, and might be bought out of the hands of the present bidders (if he would offer half a million more) by the very Devil himself.
I shall wait on Lord Hillsborough again next Wednesday, on behalf of the sufferers by Indian and French depredations, to have an allowance of lands out of any new grant made by the Indians, so long solicited, and perhaps still to be solicited, in vain.
Preface to Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin
"An apology for presenting to the republic of letters the authentic memorials of Benjamin Franklin, illustrative of his life and times, written almost entirely with his own hands, would be at once superfluous and disrespectful. If any observation be at all requisite in the shape of explanations, it must be in answer to the inquiry, why such interesting documents have been so long withheld from public view ? To this the editor has no hesitation in replying, that were he conscious of having neglected a solemn trust, by disobeying a positive injunction; or could he be convinced that the world has sustained any real injury by the delay of the publication, he certainly should take shame to himself for not having sooner committed to the press what at an earlier period would have been much more to his pecuniary advantage; but aware as he is, of the deference due to the general feeling of admiration for the illustrious dead, he is not less sensible that there are times and seasons when prudence imposes the restriction of silence in the gratification even of the most laudable curiosity. It was the lot of this distinguished character, above most men, to move, in the prominent parts of his active life, within a sphere agitated to no ordinary degree of heat by the inflammatory passions of political fury; and he had scarcely seated himself in the shade of repose from the turmoil of public employment, when another revolution burst forth with