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tages gained in skirmishes with their troops; and the action at Bunker's Hill, in which they were twice repulsed, and the third time gained a dear victory. Enough has happened, one would think, to convince your ministers, that the Americans will fight, and that this is a harder nut to crack. than they imagined.
We have not yet applied to any foreign power for assistance, nor offered our commerce for their friendship. Perhaps we never may: yet it is natural to think of it, if we are pressed.
We have now an army on the establishment, which still holds yours besieged. • .
My time was never more fully employed. In the morning at six, [ am at the committee of safety, appointed by the, assembly to put the province in a state of defence; which committee holds till near nine, when I am at the congress, and that sits till alter four in the afternoon. Both these bodies proceed with the greatest unanimity, and their meetings are well attended. It will scarce be credited in Britain, that men can be as diligent with us from zeal for the public good, as with you for thousands per annum. Such is the difference. between uncorrupted new states, and corrupted old ones.
Great frugality and great industry are now become fashionable here: gentlemen, who used to entertain with two or three courses, pride themselves now in treating with simple beef and pudding. By these means, and the stoppage of our consumptive trade with Britain, we shall be better able to pay our voluntary taxes for the support of our troops. Our savings in the article of trade amount to near five million sterling per annum.
I shall communicate your letter to Mr. Winthorp; but the camp is at Cambridge, and he has, as little leisure for philosopny as myself.
Believe me ever, &c. B. Franklin.
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Account of the first campaign made by the British forces in America. Dear Sir, Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775.
I am to set out to-morrow for the camp,1 and having but just heard of this opportuuity, can only write a line to say that I am well and hearty. Tell our dear good friend, Dr. Price, who sometimes has his doubts and despondencies about our firmness, that America is determined and unanimous; a very few tories and placemen excepted, who will probably soon export themselves. Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankees this campaign; which is 20,0001. a-head; and at Bunker's Hill she gained a mile of ground, half of which she lost again by our taking post on Ploughed Hill. During the same time sixty thousand children have been born in America. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us all, and conquer our whole territory. My sincere respects to * *, and to the club of honest whigs at * *. Adieu. I am ever yours most affectionately, B. Franklin.
1 Dr. Franklin, Colonel Harrison, and Mr. Lynch, were at this time appointed by congress (of which they were members) to confer on certain subjects with General Washington. The American army was then employed in blocking up General Howe in Boston; and it was during this visit, that General Washington communicated the following memorable anecdote to Dr. Franklin; viz. "that there had been a time, when his army had been so destitute of military stores, as not to have powder enough in all its magazines, to furnish more than five rounds per man for their small arms." Artillery were out of the question; they were fired now and then only to show that they had them. Yet this secret was kept with so much address and good countenance from both armies, that General Washington was enabled effectually to continue the blockade.
To David Hartley, Esq. Situation of affairs between Great Britain and America.
Dear Sir* Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775.
I wish as ardently as you can do for peace, and should rejoice exceedingly in co-operating with you to that end. But every ship from Britain brings some intelligence of new measures that tend more and more to exasperate, and^ it seems to me that, until you have found by dear experience the reducing us By force impracticable, you wilt think of nothing fair and reasonable.
We have as yet resolved- only on defensive measures. If you would recaF your forces and stay at home, we should meditate nothing to injure you. A little time so given for cooling on both sides, would have excellent effects. But 'you will goad and provoke us. You despise lis too much— and you are insensible of the Italian adage, that there is uo little enemy, i am persuaded that the body of the British people are our friends, but they are changeable, and by your lying gazettes may soon be made our enemies. Our respect for them will proportionably diminish, and I see clearly we are onthe high road to mutual family hatred and detestation. A separation of course will be inevitable. "Fis a million of pities so fair a plan as we have hitherto been engaged in for increasing strength and empire with public felicity, should be destroyed by the mangling hands of a few blundering ministers. It will not be destroyed; God will protect and prosper it, you will only exclude yourselves from any share in it. We hear that more ships and tToops are coming out. We know that you may do us a great deal of mischief, and are determined to bear it patiently as long as we can. But vtf7 you flatter yourselves with beating us into submission, you know neither the people nor the country. The congress is stall sitting, and will wait the result of their last petition. Yours, &c B. Franklin.
To M-. Dumas, In Holland.
Urging him to sound the several courts of Europe, by means of their ambassadors at the Hague, as to any assistance they may be disposed to afford America in her struggle for independence.
Dear Sir, Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 1775.
I received your several favors of May 18, June SO, and July 8, by Messrs. Vaitlant and Pochard; whom, if I could serve upon your recommendation, it would give megreat pleasure. Their total want of English is at present an obstruction to their getting any employment among us; but I hope they will soon obtain some knowledge of it This is a good country for artificers or farmers, but gentlemen of mere science in les belles lettres cannot so easily subsist here, there being little demand for their assistance among an industrious people, who, as yet, have not much leisure for studies of that kind. ,.;.•.
I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy which I kept (after depositing one in our own public library here) and sending the other to the college of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed) has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author. Your manuscript "Idee tur le gouvernement et la royaute," is also well relished, and may, in time, have its effect. I thank you, likewise, for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied Vattel. "Le court expose de ce qui s'est passe entre la cover Br. et Its colonies," Sec. being a very concise and clear statement of facts, will be reprinted here for the use of our new friends in Canada. The translations of the proceedings of our congress are very acceptable. I send you herewith what of them has been further published here, together with a few newspapers, containing accounts of some of the successes Providence has favored us with. We are threatened from England with a very powerful force, to come next year against us. We are making all the provision in our power here to oppose that force, and we hope we shall be able to defend ourselves. But, as the events of war are always uncertain, possibly, after another campaign, we may find it necessary to ask aid of some foreign power. It gives us great pleasure to learn from you, that toute l'Europe nous souhaite le plus heureux succes pour le maintien de nos Uhertis. But we wish to know, whether any one of them, from principles of humanity, is disposed magnanimously to step in for the relief of an oppressed people, or whether, if, as it seems likely to happen, we should be obliged to break off all connexion with Britain, and declare ourselves an independent people, there is any state or power in Europe who would be willing to enter into an alliance with us for the benefit of our commerce, which amounted, before the war, to near seven millions sterling per annum, and must continually increase, as our people increase most rapidly. Confiding, my dear friend, in your good-will to us and to our cause, and in your sagacity and abilities for business, the committee of congress, appointed for the purpose of establishing and conducting a correspondence with our friends in Europe, of which committee 1 have the honor to be a member, have directed me