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British or plantation bottoms, excluding | have any connection with this new acquaintforeign ships from our ports, and navigating ance. with three quarters British seamen, was as “On the Thursday preceding this chess acceptable to us as it could be to Britain : that party, Mr. David Barclay called on me, to we were even not against regulations of the have some discourse concerning the meeting general commerce by parliament, provided of merchants to petition parliament. When such regulations were bona fide for the bene- that was over, he spoke the dangerous fit of the whole empire, not for the small ad- situation of American affairs, the hazard that vantage of one part to the great injury of an- a civil war might be brought on by the preother, such as the obliging our ships to call in sent measures, and the great merit that perEngland with our wine and fruit, from Portu- son would have who could contrive some gal or Spain; the restraints on our manufac- means of preventing so terrible a calamity, tures, in the woollen and hat-making branches, and bring about a reconciliation. He was the prohibiting of slitting-mills, steel-works, then pleased to add, that he was persuaded, &c. He allowed that some amendment might from my knowledge of both countries, my be made in those acts; but said those relating character and influence in one of them, and to the slitting-mills, trip-hammers, and steel my abilities in business, no man had it so works, were agreed to by our agents in a much in his power as myself
. I naturally compromise on the opposition made here to answered, that I should be very happy if (Í abating the duty.
could in any degree be instrumental in so “In fine, he expressed much satisfaction in good a work, but that I saw no prospect of my having called upon him, and particularly it; for, though I was sure the Americans in the assurances I had given him, that were always willing and ready to agree upon America did not aim at independence ; add- any equitable terms, yet I thought an accoming, that he should be glad to see me again modation impracticable, unless both sides as often as might be. I said, I should not wished it; and by what I could judge from fail to avail myself of the permission he was the proceedings of the ministry, I did not bepleased to give me, of waiting upon his lord- lieve they had the least disposition towards ship occasionally, being very sensible of the it; that they rather wished to provoke the honour, and of the great advantages and im- North American people into an open rebellion, provement I should reap from his instructive which might justify a military execution, and conversation; which indeed was not a mere thereby gratify a grounded malice which I compliment.
conceived to exist here against the whigs and " The new parliament was to meet the dissenters of that country. Mr. Barclay ap29th of November, (1774.) About the be- prehended I judged too hardly of the minisginning of that month, being at the Royal ters; he was persuaded they were not all of Society, Mr. Raper, one of our members, told that temper, and he fancied they would be me there was a certain lady who had a desire very glad to get out of their present embarof playing with me at chess, fancying she rassment on any terms, only saving the hocould beat me, and had requested him to nour and dignity of government. He wished, bring me to her : it was, he said, a lady with therefore, that I would think of the matter, whose acquaintance he was sure I should be and he would call again and converse with pleased, a sister of lord Howe's, and he hoped me further upon it. I said I would do so, as I would not refuse the challenge. I said, I he requested it, but I had no opinion of its had been long out of practice, but would wait answering any purpose. We parted upon upon the lady when he and she should think this. But two days after I received a letter fit. He told me where her house was, and from him, inclosed in a note from Dr. Fotherwould have me call soon and without further gill, both which follow. introduction, which I undertook to do; but thinking it a little awkward, I postponed it; and on the 30th, meeting him again at the feast of the society election, being the day
“YOUNGSBURY, near Ware, 3d 12 mo. 1774. after the parliament met, he put me in mind “ ESTEEMED FRIEND, —After we parted on of my promise, and that I had not kept it, and Thursday last, I accidentally met our mutual would have me name a day, when he said he friend Dr. Fothergill, in my way home, and would call for me and conduct me. I named intimated to him the subject of our discourse; the Friday following. He called according- in consequence of which, I received from him ly: I went with him, played a few games an invitation to a further conference on this with the lady, whom I found of very sensible momentous affair, and I intend to be in town conversation and pleasing behaviour, which tomorrow accordingly, to meet at his house induced me to agree most readily to an ap between four and five o'clock; and we unite pointment for another meeting a few days in the request of thy company. We are afterwards : though I had not the least appre- neither of us insensible, that the affair is of hension that any political business could that magnitude as should almost deter private
persons from meddling with it; at the same and that as he had with pleasure heard from time we are respectively such well-wishers David Barclay, that I had promised to think to the cause, that nothing in our power ought of it, he hoped I had put pen to paper, and to be left undone, though the utmost of our formed some plan for consideration, and efforts may be unavailable. I am thy re- brought it with me. I answered, that I had spectful friend, DAVID BARCLAY. forined no plan ; as the more I thought of the “ Dr. Franklin, Craven street."
proceedings against the colonies, the more
satisfied I was that there did not exist the “ Dr. Fothergill , presents his respects to modation ; that therefore all plans must be
least disposition in the ministry to an accomDr. Franklin, and hopes for the favour of his useless. He said, I might be mistaken ; that company in Harper street, to-morrow evening, to meet their mutual friend David Bar whatever was the violence of some, he had clay, to confer on American affairs. As near differently disposed; and that if I would draw
reason, good reason, to believe others were five o'clock as may be convenient. “ Harper street, 3d inst.”
a plan which we three upon considering should judge reasonable, it might be made
use of, and answer some good purpose, since The time thus appointed was the evening he believed that either himself or David of the day on which I was to have my second Barclay could get it communicated to some chess party with the agreeable Mrs. Howe, of the most moderate among the ministers, whom I met accordingly. After playing as who would consider it with attention; and long as we liked, we fell into a little chat, what appeared reasonable to us, two of us bepartly on a mathematical problem,* and part- ing Englishmen, might appear so to them. ly about the new parliament then just met, As they both urged this with great earnestwhen she said, “ And what is to be done with ness, and when I mentioned the impropriety this dispute between Great Britain and the of my doing any thing of the kind at the time colonies? I hope we are not to have a civil we were in daily expectation of hearing from war.” They should kiss and be friends, said the congress, who undoubtedly would be exI; what can they do better? Quarrelling plicit on the means of restoring a good uncan be of service to neither, but is ruin to derstanding, they seemed impatient, alleging both. “I have often said,” replied she, " that that it was uncertain when we should receive I wished government would employ you to the result of the congress, and what it would settle the dispute for them; I am sure nobody be; that the least delay might be dangerous; could do it so well. Do not you think that that additional punishments for New England the thing is practicable ?" Undoubtedly, were in contemplation, and accidents might madam, if the parties are disposed to recon- widen the breach, and make it irreparable; ciliation ; for the two countries have really therefore, something preventive could not be no clashing interests to differ about. It is too soon thought of and applied. I was, thererather a matter of punctilio, which two or fore, finally prevailed with to promise doing three reasonable people might settle in half what they desired, and to meet them again on an hour. I thank you for the good opinion Tuesday evening at the same place, and you are pleased to express of me; but the bring with me something for their consideraministers will never think of employing metion. in that good work; they choose rather to abuse Accordingly, at the time, I met with them, me.
Ay," said she, “ they have behaved and produced the following paper :shamefully to you. And indeed some of them are now ashamed of it themselves.”—I looked upon this as accidental conversation, thought no more of it, and went in the evening to the Upon the subject of terms that might probaappointed meeting at Dr. Fothergill's, where
bly produce a durable union between Bri
tain and the colonies. I found Mr. Barclay with him.
The doctor expatiated feelingly on the 1. The tea destroyed to be paid for. mischiefs likely to ensue from the present 2. The tea-duty act to be repealed, and all difference, the necessity of accommodating it, the duties that have been received upon it to and the great merit of being instrumental in be repaid into the treasuries of the several so good a work; concluding with some com- provinces from which they have been colpliments to me; that nobody understood the lected. subject so thoroughly, and had a better head 3. The acts of navigation to be all re-enactfor business of the kind; that it seemed there-ed in the colonies. fore a duty incumbent on me, to do every 4. A naval officer appointed by the crown thing I could to accomplish a reconciliation; to reside in each colony, to see that those acts
are observed. * This lady (which is a little unusual in ladies,) has 5. All the acts restraining manufactures in a good deal of mathematical knowledge. (Note of Dr. Franklin.)
the colonies, to be repealed.
HINTS FOR CONVERSATION
6. All duties arising on the acts for regu- On the first, I observed, that when the inlating trade with the colonies, to be for the jury was done, Britain had a right to reparapublic use of the respective colonies, and paid tion, and would certainly have had it on deinto their treasuries. The collectors and cus- mand, as was the case when injury was done tom-house officers to be appointed by each by mobs in the time of the stamp act: or, she governor, and not sent from England. might have a right to return an equal injury,
7. In consideration of the Americans main- if she rather chose to do that; but she could taining their own peace establishment, and not have a right both to reparation and to the monopoly Britain is to have of their com- return an equal injury, much less had she a merce, no requisition to be made from them right to return the injury ten or twenty fold, in time of peace.
as she had done by blocking up the port of 8. No troops to enter and quarter in any Boston: all which extra injury ought, in my colony, but with the consent of its legisla- judgment, to be repaired by Britain: that, ture.
therefore, if paying for the tea was agreed to 9. In time of war, on requisition made by by me, as an article fit to be proposed, it was the king, with the consent of parliament, merely from a desire of peace, and in complievery colony shall raise money by the follow- ance with their opinion expressed at our first ing rules or proportions, viz. If Britain, on meeting, that this was a sine qua non, that account of the war, raises 3s. in the pound to the dignity of Britain required it, and that if its land tax, then the colonies to add to their this were agreed to, every thing else would be last general provincial peace tax, a sum equal easy: this reasoning was allowed to be just; to one fourth thereof; and if Britain, on the but still the article was thought necessary to same account pays 48. in the pound, then the stand as it did. colonies to add to their said last peace tax, a On the 2d, That the act should be repealed, sum equal to half thereof; which additional as having never answered any good purpose, tax is to be granted to his majesty, and to be as having been the cause of the present misemployed in raising and paying men for land chief, and never likely to be executed. That or sea service, furnishing provisions, trans- the act being considered as unconstitutional ports, or for such other purposes as the king by the Americans, and what the parliament shall require and direct, and though no colo- had no right to make, they must consider all ny may contribute less, each may add as the money extorted by it as so much wrongmuch by voluntary grant as they shall think fully taken, and of which therefore restitution proper.
ought to be made; and the rather as it would 10. Castle William to be restored to the furnish a fund, out of which the payment for province of the Massachusetts Bay, and no the tea destroyed might best be defrayed. fortress built by the crown in any province, The gentlemen were of opinion, that the first but with the consent of its legislature. part of this article, viz: the repeal, might be
11. The late Massachusetts and Quebec obtained, but not the refunding part, and acts to be repealed, and a free government therefore advised striking that out: but as I granted to Canada.
thought it just and right, I insisted on its 12. All judges to be appointed during good standing. behaviour, with equally permanent salaries, On the 3d and 4th articles, I observed, we to be paid out of the province revenues by ap- were frequently charged with views of abopointment of the assemblies: or, if the judges lishing the navigation act. That, in truth, are to be appointed during the pleasure of the those parts of it which were of most importcrown, let the salaries be during the pleasure ance to Britain, as tending to increase its naof the assemblies, as heretofore.
val strength, viz. those restraining the trade, 13. Governors to be supported by the as to be carried on only in ships belonging to semblies of each province.
British subjects, navigated by at least three 14. If Britain will give up its monopoly of quarters British or colony seamen, &c., were the American commerce, then the aid above- as acceptable to us as they could be to Britain, mentioned to be given by America in time of since we wished to employ our own ships in peace, as well as in time of war.
preference to foreigners, and had no desire to 15. The extension of the act of Henry VIII. see foreign ships enter our ports. That inconcerning treasons to the colonies, to be form- deed the obliging us to land some of our comally disowned by parliament.
modities in England before we could carry 16. The American admiralty-courts re- them to foreign markets, and forbidding our duced to the same powers they have in Eng- importation of some goods directly from foland, and the acts establishing them to be re- reign countries, we thought a hardship, and a enacted in America.
greater loss to us than gain to Britain, and 17. All powers of internal legislation in the therefore proper to be repealed: but as Britain colonies to be disclaimed by parliament. had deemed it an equivalent for her protec
In reading this paper a second time, I gave tion, we had never applied or proposed to apmy reasons at length for each article ply for such repeal; and if they must be continued, I thought it best (since the power of in commerce, since all we could spare was parliament to make them was now disputed) already gained from us by Britain in that that they should be re-enacted in all the colo- way; and secondly, that coming into the nies, which would demonstrate their consent hands of British ministers, accustomed to pro to them: and then if, as in the sixth article, digality of public money, it would be squanall the duties arising on them were to be col- dered and dissipated, answering no good gelected by officers appointed and salaried in neral purpose. That if we were to be taxed the respective governments, and the produce towards the support of government in Britain, paid into their treasuries, I was sure the acts as Scotland has been since the union, we would be better and more faithfully executed, ought then to be allowed the same privileges and at much less expense, and one great in trade as she has been allowed. That if we source of misunderstanding removed between are called upon to give to the sinking fund or the two countries, viz. the calumnies of low the national debt, Ireland ought to be likewise, officers appointed from home, who were for called upon; and both they and we, if we gave, ever abusing the people of the country to go ought to have some means established of invernment, to magnify their own zeal, and requiring into the application, and securing a commend themselves to promotion. That the compliance with the terms on which we extension of the admiralty jurisdiction, so should grant. That British ministers would, much complained of, would then no longer be perhaps, not like our meddling with such necessary; and that besides its being the in- j matters; and that hence might arise new terest of the colonies to execute those acts, causes of misunderstanding. That upon the which is the best security, government might whole, therefore, I thought it best on all sides, be satisfied of its being done, from accounts to that no aids shall be asked or expected from be sent home by the naval officers of the 4th the colonies in time of peace; that it would article. The gentlemen were satisfied with then be their interest to grant bountifully, and these reasons, and approved the 3d and 4th exert themselves vigorously in time of war, articles; so they were to stand.
the sooner to put an end to it. That specie The 5th they apprehended would meet with was not to be had to send to England, in sup difficulty. They said, that restraining manu- plies, but the colonies could carry on war with factures in the colonies was a favourite idea their own paper money; which would pay here; and therefore they wished that article troops, and for provisions, transports, carriages, to be omitted, as the proposing it would alarm clothing, arms, &c. So this 7th article was and hinder, perhaps, the considering and at length agreed to without further objecgranting others of more importance: but as I tion. insisted on the equity of allowing all subjects The 8th, the gentlemen were confident in every country to make the most of their would never be granted. For the whole natural advantages, they desired I would at world would be of opinion that the king, who least alter the last word from repealed to re- is to defend all parts of his dominions, should considered, which I complied with.
have, of course, a right to place his troops In maintaining the 7th article, (which was where they might best answer that purpose. at first objected to, on the principle that all I supported the article upon principles equally under the care of government should pay to important in my opinion to Britain as to the wards the support of it,) my reasons were, colonies: for that if the king could bring into that if every distinct part of the king's do- one part of his dominions, troops raised in any minions supported its own government in time other part of them, without the consent of the of peace, it was all that could justly be re- legislatures of the part to which they were quired of it; that all the old or confederated brought, he might bring armies raised in colonies had done so from their beginning; America into England without consent of parthat their taxes for that purpose were very liament, which probably would not like it, as considerable; that new countries had many a few years since they had not liked the inpublic expenses which old ones were free troduction of the Hessians and Hanoverians, from, the works being done to their hands by though justified by the supposition of its being their ancestors, such as making roads and a time of danger. That if there should be bridges, erecting churches, court-houses, forts, at any time real occasion for British troops in quays, and other public buildings, founding America, there was no doubt of obtaining the schools and places of education, hospitals and consent of the assemblies there; and I was so alms-houses, &c. &c.; that the voluntary and far from being willing to drop this article, legal subscriptions and taxes for such purposes, that I thought I ought to add another, requirtaken together, amounted to more than was ing all the present troops to be withdrawn, paid by equal estates in Britain. That it before America could be expected to treat or would be best for Britain, on two accounts, agree upon any terms of accommodation; as not to take money from us as contribution to what they should now do of that kind might its public expense, in time of peace; first, for be deemed the effect of compulsion, the apthat just so much less would be got from us pearance of which, ought as much as possible
to be avoided, since those reasonable things, therefore met with no objection from them; might be agreed to, where the parties seemed and I had another reason for liking it, viz. that at least to act freely, which would be strongly the view of the proportion to be given in time refused under threats, or the semblance of of war, might make us the more frugal in force. That the withdrawing the troops was time of peace. therefore necessary to make any treaty dura- For the 10th article, I urged the injustice bly binding on the part of the Americans, of seizing that fortress, (which had been built since proof of having acted under force, would at an immense charge by the province, for invalidate any agreement: and it could be no the defence of their port against national enewonder that we should insist on the crown's mies,) and turning it into a citadel for awing having no right to bring a standing army the town, restraining their trade, blocking up among us in time of peace; when we saw their port, and depriving them of their privinow before our eyes a striking instance of the leges : that a great deal had been said of their ill use to be made of it, viz. to distress the injustice in destroying the tea, but here was king's subjects in different parts of his do- a much greater injustice uncompensated, that minions, one part after the other, into a sub- castle having cost the province three hundred mission to arbitrary power, which was the thousand pounds: and that such a use made of avowed design of the army and fleet now a fortress they had built, would not only effectplaced at Boston.-Finding me obstinate, the ually discourage every colony from ever buildgentlemen consented to let this stand, but did ing another, and thereby leave them more not seem quite to approve of it: they wished, exposed to foreign enemies, but was a good they said, to have this a paper or plan, that reason for their insisting that the crown they might show as containing the sentiments should never erect any hereafter in their of considerate impartial persons, and such as limits without the consent of the legislature: they might as Englishinen support, which the gentlemen had not much to say against they thought could not well be the case with this article; but thought it would hardly be this article.
admitted. The 9th article was so drawn, in compli- The 11th article it was thought would be ance with an idea of Dr. Fothergill's, started strongly objected to; that it would be urged at our first meeting, viz. that government the old colonists could have nothing to do here would probably not be satisfied with the with the affairs of Canada, whatever we had promise of voluntary grants in time of war with those of the Massachusetts; that it would from the assemblies, of which the quantity be considered as an officious meddling merely must be uncertain; that, therefore, it would to disturb government; and that some even be best to proportion them in some way to of the Massachusetts acts were thought by the shillings in the pound raised in England; administration to be improvements of that but how such proportion could be ascertained, government, viz. those altering the appointhe was at a loss to contrive; I was desired to ment of counsellors, the choice of jurymen, consider it. It had been said, too, that parlia- and the forbidding of town meetings. I rement was become jealous of the right claimed plied, that we having assisted in the conquest and heretofore used by the crown, of raising of Canada, at a great expense of blood and money in the colonies without parliamentary treasure, had some ght to be considered in consent; and therefore, since we would not the settlement of it: that the establishing an pay parliamentary taxes, future requisitions arbitrary government on the back of our setmust be made with consent of parliament, and tlements might be dangerous to us all; and not otherwise. I wondered that the crown that loving liberty ourselves, we wished it to should be willing to give up that separate be extended among mankind, and to have no right, but had no objection to its limiting it foundation for future slavery laid in America. self, if it thought proper: so I drew the arti- That as to amending the Massachusetts gocle accordingly, and contrived to proportion vernment, though it might be shown that the aid by the tax of the last year of peace. every one of these pretended amendments And since it was thought that the method I were real mischiefs, yet that charters being should have liked best, would never be agreed compacts between two parties, the king and to, viz. a continental congress to be called by the people, no alteration could be made in the crown, for answering requisitions and pro- them, even for the better, but by the consent portioning aids; I chose to leave room for of both parties. That the parliament's claim voluntary additions by the separate assem- and exercise of a power to alter our charters, blies, that the crown might have some motive which had always been deemed inviolable but for calling them together, and cultivating for forfeiture, and to alter laws made in purtheir good will, and they have some satisfac- suance of these charters which had received tion in showing their loyalty and their zeal in the royal approbation, and thenceforth deemthe common cause, and an opportunity of ed fixed and unchangeable, but by the powers manifesting their disapprobation of a war, if that made them, had rendered all our conthey did not think it a just one. This article stitutions uncertain, and set us quite afloat: