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tray that fortress into your hands. Never think of paying what it cost the country, for that would look, at least, like some regard for justice; but turn it into a citadel, to awe the inhabitants and curb their commerce. If they should have lodged in such fortress the very arms they bought and used to aid you in your conquests, seize them all; it will provoke like ingratitnde added to robbery. One admirable effect of these operations will be to discourage every other colony from erecting such defences, and so their and your enemies may more easily invade them, to the great disgrace of your government, and of course the furtherance of your project.
XIX. Send armies into their country, under pre tence of protecting the inhabitants; but, instead of garrisoning the forts on their frontiers with those troops, to prevent incursions, demolish those forts, and order the troops into the heart of the country, that the savages may be encouraged to attack the frontiers, and that the troops may be protected by the inhabitants: this will seem to proceed from your ill-will or your ignorance, and contribute farther to produce and strengthen an opinion among them, that you are no longer fit to govern them.
XX. Lastly, invest the general of your army in the provinces with great and unconstitutional powers, and free him from the control of even your own civil governors. Let him have troops enough under his command, with all the fortresses in his possession, and who knows but (like some provincial generals in the Roman empire, and encouraged by the universal discontent you have produced) he may take it into his head to set up for
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himself? If he should, and you have carefully practised these few excellent rules of mine, take my word for it, all the provinces will immediately join him; and you will that day (if you have not done it sooner) get rid of the trouble of governing them, and all the plagues attending their commerce and connexion, from thenceforth and for ever.
ON SENDING FELONS TO AMERICA.
Sir, We may all remember the time when our mother country, as a mark of her parental tenderness, emptied her gaols into our habitations, for the better peopling, as she expressed it, of the colonies. It is certain that no due returns have yet been made for these valuable consignments. We are therefore much in her debt on that account; and as she is of late clamorous for the payment of all we owe her, and some of our debts are of a kind not so easily discharged, I am for doing, however, what is in our power: it will show our goodwill as to the rest. The felons she planted among us have produced such an amazing increase, that we are now enabled to make ample remittance in the same commodity: and since the wheelbarrow law is not found effectually to reform them, and many of our vessels are idle, through her restraints on our trade, why should we not employ those vessels in transporting the felons to Britain?
I was led into this thought by perusing the copy of a petition to parliament, which fell lately by accident into my hands. It has no date, but I conjecture, from some circumstances, that it must have been about the year 1767 or 1768. (It seems, if presented, it had no effect, since the act passed.) I imagine it may not be unacceptable to your readers, and therefore transcribe it for your paper; viz.
To the Honourable the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled,
The Petition of B. F., Agent for the Province of Pennsylvania,
MOST HUMBLY SHOWETH;
That the transporting of felons from England to the plantations in America is and hath long been a great grievance to the said plantations in general.
That the said felons, being landed in America, not only continue their evil practices, to the annoyance of his majesty's good subjects there, but contribute greatly to corrupt the morals of the servants and poorer people among whom they are mixed.
That many of the said felons escape from the servitnde to which they were destined into other colonies, where their condition is not known; and, wandering at large from one populous town to another, commit many burglaries, robberies, and murders, to the great terror of the people, and occasioning heavy charges for apprehending and securing such felons, and bringing them to justice.
That your petitioner humbly conceives the easing one part of the British dominions of their felons by burthening auother part with the same felons, cannot increase the common happiness of his majesty's subjects, and that therefore the trouble and expense of transporting them is upon the whole altogether useless.
That your petitioner, nevertheless, observes with extreme concern, in the votes of Friday last, that leave is given to bring in a bill for extending to Scotland the act made in the fourth year of the reign of King George the First; whereby the aforesaid grievances are, as he understands, to be greatly increased, by allowing Scotland also to transport its felons to America.
Your petitioner, therefore, humbly prays, in behalf of Pennsylvania, and the other plantations in America, that the house would take the premises into consideration, and in their great wisdom and goodness repeal all acts, and clanses of acts, for transporting of felons ;' or if this may not at present be done, that they would at least reject the proposed bill for extending the said acts to Scotland; or if it be thought fit to allow of such extension, that then the said extension may be carried farther, and the plantations be also, by an equitable clanse in the same bill,-peimitted to transport their felons to Scotland.
And your petitioner, as in duty bound, shall pray, &c.
The petition, I am informed, was not received, and the act passed.
On second thoughts, I am of opinion, that besides employing our own vessels, as above proposed, every English ship arriving in our ports with goods for sale should be obliged to give bond, before she is permitted to trade, engaging that she will carry back to Britain one felon for every fifty tons of her burthen. Thus we shall not only discharge sooner our debts, but furnish our old friends with the means of better peopling, and with more expedition, their promising new colony of Botany Bay. I am yours, &c.
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, SPAIN, HOLLAND, SAXONY, AND AMERICA.*
Britain. Sister of Spain, I have a favour to ask of you. My subjects in America are disobedient, and I am about to chastise them; I beg you will not furnish them with any arms or ammunition.
Spain. Have you forgotten, then, that when my subjects in the Low Countries rebelled against me, you not only furnished them with military stores, but joined them with an army and a fleet? I wonder how you can have the impndence to ask such a favour of me, or the folly to expect it!
Britain. You, my dear sister France, will surely not refuse me this favour.
France. Did you not assist my rebel Huguenots with a fleet and an army at Rochelle? And have you not lately aided privately my rebel subjects in
• A political squib, written by Dr. Franklin, shortly after his arrival in France as commissioner plenipotentiary from the United States of America.