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to get a copy to send you." With great esteem and respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
TO WILLIAM FRANKLiN.
Bishop of St. Asaph's Sermon. – Its liberal Sentiments in Regard to America. London, 6 April, 1773. DEAR SoN, I received yours of February 2d, with the papers of information that accompany it. I have sent to Mr. Galloway one of the Bishop of St. Asaph's Sermons, before your Society for propagating the Gospel. I would have sent you one, but you will receive it of course as a member. It contains such liberal and generous sentiments, relating to the conduct of government here towards America, that Sir John Pringle says it was written in compliment to me. But, from the intimacy of friendship in which I live with the author, I know he has expressed nothing but what he thinks and feels; and I honor him the more, that, through the mere hope of doing good, he has hazarded the displeasure of the court, and of course the prospect of further preferment. Possibly indeed the ideas of the court may change; for I think I see some alarms at the discontents in New England, and some appearance of softening in the disposition of government, on the idea that matters have been carned too far there. But all depends upon circumstances and events. We govern from hand to mouth. There seems to be no wise, regular plan.
* Dr. Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph's, was a very intimate friend of Dr. Franklin's, and decidedly opposed to the coercive measures adopted by the British government against America. Besides this Sermon on that subject, he published “A Speech intended to have been spoken on the Bill for altering the Charters of Massachusetts Bay,” which was greatly admired for the vigor and beauty of its style, even by those who did not approve its sentiments. During the latter years of his residence in England, Dr. Franklin passed many days at different times in the family of the Bishop, and kept up a correspondence with some of them during his life. His humorous letter to Miss Georgiana Shipley, one of the Bishop's daughters, on the death of her squirrel, is well known. See Vol. II. p. 170. Her letters to Dr. Franklin prove her to have been a young lady of a highly endowed and cultivated mind, lively sensibility, and generous disposition.
I saw Lord Dartmouth about two weeks since. He mentioned nothing to me of your application for additional salary, nor did I to him, for I do not like it. I fear it will embroil you with your people.
While I am writing comes to hand yours of March 2d. My letter by the October packet must have been sent, as usual, to the office by the bellman. That being, as you inform me, rubbed open, as some of yours to me have been, gives an additional circumstance of probability to the conjecture made in mine of December 2d. For the future I shall send letters of consequence to the office, when I use the packet convey ance, by my clerk.
Your accounts of the numbers of people, births, burials, &c., in your province will be very agreeable to me, and particularly so to Dr. Price. Compared with former accounts, they will show the increase of your people, but not perfectly, as I think a great many have gone from New Jersey to the more southern colonies.
The Parliament is like to sit till the end of June, as Jr. Cooper tells me. I had thoughts of returning home about that time. The Boston Assembly's an. swer to the governor's speech, which I have just received, may possibly produce something here to occasion my longer stay. I am your affectionate father,
B. FRANKLIN. VOL. VIII.
TO DEAN WOODWARD.
Slavery in America. — Ships transporting Convicts to Virginia.
London, 10 April, 1773.
Desirous of being revived in your memory, I take this opportunity, by my good friend Mrs. Blacker, of sending you a printed piece, and a manuscript, both on a subject you and I frequently conversed upon with concurring sentiments, when I had the pleasure of seeing you in Dublin. I have since had the satisfaction to learn, that a disposition to abolish slavery prevails in North America, that many of the Pennsylvanians have set their slaves at liberty, and that even the Virginia Assembly have petitioned the King for permission to make a law for preventing the importation of more into that colony. This request, however, will probably not be granted, as their former laws of that kind have always been repealed, and as the interest of a few merchants here has more weight with government, than that of thousands at a distance.
Witness a late fact. The gaol distemper being frequently imported and spread in Virginia by the ships transporting convicts, occasioning the death of many honest, innocent people there, a law was made to oblige those ships arriving with that distemper to perform a quarantine. But the two merchants of London, contractors in that business, alleging that this might increase the expense of their voyages, the law was at their instance repealed here. With great esteem and | respect, I have the honor to be, &c.
TO THOMAS CUSHING.
Gorernor Hutchinson's Speech to the Assembly of Mas
sachusetts. -- Conversation with Lord Dartmouth respecting it and the Assembly's Answer.
London, 6 May, 1773. SIR, I have received none of your favors since that of November 28th. I have since written to you of the following dates, December 2d, January 5th, March 9th, and April 3d, which I hope got safe to hand.
The Council and Assembly's answer to Governor Hutchinson's speech I caused to be printed here, as soon as I received them. His reply I see since printed also, but their rejoinder is not yet come. If he intended, by reviving that dispute, to recommend himsell, he has greatly missed his aim; for the administration are chagrined with his officiousness, their intention having been to let all contention subside, and by degrees suffer matters to return to the old channel. They are now embarrassed by his proceedings; for, they lay the governor's despatches, containing the declaration of the General Court, before Parliament, they apprehend measures may be taken, that will widen the breach; which would be more particularly inconvenient at this time, when the disturbed state of Europe gives some apprehensions of a general war. On the other hand, if they do not lay them before Parliament, they give advantage to opposition against themselves on some future occasion, in a charge of criminal neglect. Some say he must be a fool; others, that through some misinformation he really supposed Lord Hillsborough to be again in office.
Yesterday I had a conversation with Lord Dartmouth, of which I think it right to give you some service in healing our differences, his Lordship said, “I do not see any thing of more service, than prevailing on the General Assembly, if you can do it, to withdraw their answers to the governor's speech.” “There is not,” says I, “the least probability they will ever do that; for the country is all of one mind upon the subject. Perhaps the governor may have represented to your Lordship, that these are the opinions of a party only, and that great numbers are of different sentiments, which may in time prevail. But, if he does not deceive himself, he deceives your Lordship; for in both Houses, notwithstanding the influence appertaining to his office, there was not, in send. ing up those answers, a single dissenting voice.” “I do not recollect,” says his Lordship, “ that the governor has written any thing of that kind. I am told, however, by gentlemen from that country, who pretend to know it, that there are many of the governor's opinion, but they dare not show their sentiments.” “I never heard,” said I, “that any one has suffered violence for siding with the governor.” “Not violence, perhaps,” said his Lordship, “but they are reviled and held in contempt, and people do not care to incur the disesteem and displeasure of their neighbours.”
As I knew Governor Bernard had been in with his Lordship just before me, I thought he was probably one of these gentleman informants, and therefore said, “People, who are engaged in any party or have advised any measures, are apt to magnify the numbers of those they would have understood as approving their measures." His Lordship said, that was natural to suppose might be the present case; for whoever observed the conduct of parties here must have seen it a constant practice; and he agreed with me, that, though a nemine contradicente did not