« ZurückWeiter »
that trade into the hands of the Dutch, Danes, Swedes and French, who, according to the reports and letters of some custom-house officers in America, now supply by smuggling the whole continent, not with tea only, but accompany that article with other India goods, amounting, as supposed, in the whole to 500,000Z. sterling per annum. This gives some 'alarm, and begins to convince people more and more of the impropriety of quarreling with America, who, at that rate, might have taken off two millions and a half of those goods, within these five years, that the combination has subsisted, if the duty had not been laid, or had been speedily repeated. t
But our great security lies, I think, in our growing strength both in numbers and wealth, that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared: thence it will soon be thought proper to treat us not with justice only, but with kindness, and thence we may expect in a few years a total change of measures with regard to us; unless by a neglect of military discipline we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become as tame as those in the eastern dominions of Britain, when we may expect the same oppressions, for there is much truth in the Italian saying, Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you. In confidence of this coming change in our favor, I think our prudence is meanwhile to be quiet, only holding up our rights and claims on all occasions in resolutions, memorials, and remonstrances; but bearing patiently the little present notice that is taken of them. They will all have their weight in time, and that time is at no great distance. :. • .
With the greatest esteem, 1 have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
To Governor Franklin.
Affair of St. Vincent's—Affairs of the India company owing to the refusal of Nortfi America to take tea from England—Distress among the manufacturers.
Dear Son, London, Feb. 14, 1773.*
The opposition are now attacking the ministry on the St. Vincent's affair, which is generally condemned here, and some think Lord Hillsborough will be given up as the adviser of that expedition. But if it succeeds, perhaps all will blow over. The ministry are more embarrassed with the India affairs; the continued refusal of North America to take tea from this country has brought infinite distress on the company: they imported great quantities in faith that that agreement could not hold; and now they can neither pay their debts nor dividends, their stock has sunk to the annihilating near three millions of their property, and government will lose its 400,000/. a year; while their teas lie on hand: the bankruptcies brought on partly by this means have given such a shock to credit as has not been experienced here, since the South-Sea year. And this has affected the great manufacturers so much, as to oblige them to discharge their hands; and thousands of Spital-fields and Manchester weavers are now starving, or subsisting on charity. Blessed effects of pride, pique, and passion in government, which should have no passions. Yours,
To The Hon. Thomas Cushing, Esq. Boston.
Proceedings of the town of Boston—Governor Hutchinson's
Sir, London, March 9, 1773.
I did myself the honor of writing to you the 2d of Dec. and the 5th January past. Since which I have received your favor of November 28, enclosing the votes and proceedings of the town of Boston, which I have reprinted here with a preface. Herewith I send you a few copies..
Governor Hutchinson's speech, at the opening of your January session, has been printed and industriously circulated here by (as I think) the ministerial people,.which I take to be no good sign. The assembly's answer to it is not yet arrived, and in the meanwhile it seems to make impression on the . minds of many not well acquainted with the dispute. The tea duty however is under the consideration of Parliament, for a repeal on a petition from the East India Company, and no new measures have been talked of against America, as likely to be taken during the present session; 1 was therefore preparing to return home by the spring ships: but have been advised by our friends to stay till the session is over; as the commission sent to Rhode Island and discontents in your province, with the correspondence of the towns may possibly give rise to something here, when my being on the spot may be of use to our country. I conclude to stay a little longer. In the mean time I must hope that great care will be taken to keep our people quiet, since nothing is more wished for by our enemies, than that by insurrections we should give a good pretence for increasing the military among us, and putting us under more severe restraints. And it must be evident to all that by our rapidly increasing strength we shall soon become of so much importance that none of our just claims.
of privilege will be as heretofore unattended to, nor any security we carl wish for our rights be denied us.
With great respect I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant, B. Franklin.
To The Hon. Thomas Cushing, Esq.
Lord Dartmouth's wish to heal the breach between Great
Britain and America.
' Sir, (Private) London, April 3,1773.
My last was of the 9th past; since which nothing material has occurred relating to the colonies. The assembly's answer to Governor Hutchinson's speech is not yet come over; but I find that even his friends here are apprehensive of some ill consequences from his forcing the assembly into that dispute, and begin to say it was not prudently done, though they believe it meant well. I inclose you two newspapers in which it is mentioned. Lord Dartmouth the other day expressed his wish to me, that some means could be fallen upon to heal the breach. I took the freedom to tell him, that he could do much in it if he would exert himself; I think I see signs of relenting in some others. The Bishop of St. Asaph's sermon before the Society for propagating the Gospel, is much talked of for its catholic spirit and favorable sentiments relating to the colonies. I will endeavor 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, B. Franklin.
To Governor Franklin.
The Bishop of St. Asaph's' sermon before the Society for Propagating the Gospel, favorable to America.
Dear Son, London, April 6,1773.
I received yours of February 2, with the papers of information that accompany it.
I have sent to Mr. Galloway one of the Bishop of St. Asaph's sermons for your Society for Propagating the Gospel. 1 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 J. 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 alarm at the discontents in New England, and some appearance of softening in the disposition of government, on the idea that matters have been carried too far there. But all depends upon circumstances and events. We govern from hand to mouth. There seems to be no wise regular plan.
1 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 2.
» Dr. Shipley's.