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that as by claiming a right to tax us ad libi- | that the influence supposed could never extum, they deprived us of all property; so by tend to operate any thing prejudicial to the this claim of altering our laws and charters king's service, or the interest of Britain : at will, they deprived us of all privilege and since the governor was bound by a set of parright whatever, but what we should hold at ticular instructions, which he had given their pleasure: that this was a situation we surety to observe; and all the laws he assentcould not be in, and must risk life and every ed to were subject to be repealed by the crown thing rather than submit to it:—so this article if found improper : that the payment of the remained.
salaries by the people was more satisfactory The 12th article I explained, by acquaint- to them, as it was productive of a good uning the gentlemen with the former situation derstanding, and mutual good offices between of the judges in most colonies, viz. that they governor and governed, and therefore the were appointed by the crown, and paid by the innovation lately made in that respect at assemblies: that the appointment being dur- Boston and New York, had in my opinion ing the pleasure of the crown, the salary had better be laid aside :-so this article was sufbeen during the pleasure of the assembly: fered to remain. that when it has been urged against the as- But the 14th was thought totally inadmissemblies, that their making judges dependant sible. The monopoly of the American comon them for their salaries, was aiming at an merce could never be given up, and the proundue influence over the courts of justice ; | posing it would only give offence without anthe assemblies usually replied, that making swering any good purpose. I was therefore them dependant on the crown for continuance prevailed on to strike it wholly out. in their places, was also retaining an undue The 15th was readily agreed to. influence over those courts; and that one un- The 16th it was thought would be of little due influence was a proper balance for the consequence, if the duties were given to the other; but that whenever the crown would colony treasuries. consent to acts making the judges during The 17th it was thought could hardly be good behaviour, the assemblies would at the obtained, but might be tried. same time grant their salaries to be perma- Thus having gone through the whole, I nent during their continuance in office. This was desired to make a fair copy for Dr. the crown has however constantly refused : Fothergill, who now informed us, that having and this equitable offer is now again here an opportunity of seeing daily lord Dartmouth, proposed; the colonies not being able to con- of whose good disposition he had a high opinceive why their judges should not be render-ion, he would communicate the paper to him, ed as independent as those in England : that, as the sentiments of considerate persons who on the contrary, the crown now claimed to wished the welfare of both countries. Supmake the judges in the colonies dependant on pose, said Mr. Barclay, I were to show this its favour for both place and salary, both to be paper to lord Hyde ; would there be any thing continued at its pleasure: this the colonies amiss in so doing? He is a very knowing must oppose as inequitable, as putting both man, and though not in the ministry, properthe weights into one of the scales of justice: ly speaking, he is a good deal attended to by if therefore the crown does not choose to them. I have some acquaintance with him, commission the judges during good behaviour, we converse freely sometimes, and perhaps with equally permanent salaries, the alterna- if he and I were to talk these articles over, I tive proposed, that the salaries continue to be should communicate to him our conversation paid during the pleasure of the assemblies as upon them, some good might arise out of it. heretofore. The gentlemen allowed this ar- Dr. Fothergill had no objection ; and I said I ticle to be reasonable.
could have none. I knew lord Hyde a little, The 13th was objected to, as nothing was and had an esteem for him. I had drawn the generally thought more reasonable here, than paper at their request, and it was now theirs that the king should pay his own governor, to do with it what they pleased. Mr. Barin order to render him independent of the clay then proposed, that I should send the fair people, who otherwise might aim at influenc-copy to him, which after making one for Dr. ing him against his duty, by occasionally Fothergill and one for himself, he would rewithholding his salary. To this I answered, turn to me. Another question then arose, that governors sent to the colonies were often whether I had any objection to their mentionmen of no estate or principle, who came ing that I had been consulted ? I said, none merely to make fortunes, and had no natural that related to myself; but it was my opinregard for the country they were to govern: ion, if they wished any attention paid to the that to make them quite independent of the propositions, it would be better not to mention people, was to make them careless of their me; the ministry having, as I conceived, a conduct, whether it was beneficial or mis- prejudice against me and every thing that chievous to the public, and giving a loose to came from me. They said on that consideratheir rapacious and oppressive dispositions : tion it might be best not to mention me, and
Most GRACIOCs SOVEREIGN:
so it was concluded. For my own part, I dom, with our memorial to the people of Great kept this whole proceeding a profound secret; Britain. but I soon after discovered that it had taken “ We doubt not but that your good sense air by some means or other.
and discernment will lead you to avail yourBeing much interrupted the day following, selves of every assistance that may be derived I did not copy and send the paper. The next from the advice and friendship of all great and morning I received a note from Mr. Barclay, good men, who may incline to aid the cause pressing to have it before twelve o'clock. I of liberty and mankind. accordingly sent it to him. Three days after “ The gratitude of America, expressed in I received the following note from him :- the inclosed vote of thanks,* we desire may
be conveyed to the deserving objects of it, in “ D. Barclay presents his respects, and ac- the manner that you think will be most acquaints Dr. Franklin, that being informed a ceptable to them. pamphlet, entitled • A FRIENDLY ADDRESS,' “ It is proposed, that another congress be has been dispersed to the disadvantage of held on the 10th of May next, at this place; America, (in particular by the dean of Nor- but in the mean time we beg the favour of wich) he desires Dr. Franklin will peruse the you, gentlemen, to transmit to the speakers inclosed, just come to hand from America ; of the several assemblies, the earliest informand if he approves of it, republish it, as D. |ation of the most authentic accounts you can Barclay wishes something might be properly collect, of all such conduct and designs of spread at Norwich. D. Barclay saw to-day a ministry or parliament, as it may concern person with whom he had been yesterday, America to know. (before he called on Dr. Franklin,) and had “ We are, with unfeigned esteem and rethe satisfaction of walking part of the way gard, gentlemen, by order of the congress, with him to another noble person's house, to “ HENRY MIDDLETON, President.” meet on the business, and he told him, that he could say, that he saw some light. “ Cheapside, Ilth inst.”'
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. The person so met and accompanied by Mr.
WE, your majesty's faithful subjects of the colonies Barclay, I understood to be lord Hyde, going of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island either to lord Dartmouth's or lord North's, I and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of Newcastle, knew not which.
Kent, and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, In the following week arrived the proceed- North Carolina, and South Carolina, in behalf of our
selves and the inhabitants of those colonies who have ings of the congress, which had been long and deputed us to represent them in general congress, by anxiously expected, both by the friends and this our humble petition, beg leave to lay our griev adversaries of America.
A standing army has been kept in these colonies, ever The petition of congress to the king, was since the conclusion of the late war, without the con inclosed to me, and accompanied by the fol- sent of our assemblies: and this army with a consider
able naval armament has been employed to enforce lowing letter from their president, addressed the collection of taxes. to the American agents in London, as fol- The authority of the commander in chief, and under lows:
him, of the brigadiers-general has in time of peace been
rendered supreme in all the civil governments in “ To PAUL WENTWORTII, Esq., Dr. BENJA- The commander in chief of all your majesty's forces MIN FRANKLIN, WILLIAM BOLLEN, Esq., Dr. in North America has, in time of peace, been appointed
governor of a colony. ARTHUR LEE, Thomas Life, Esq., EDMUND The charges of usual offices have been greatly in. BURKE, Esq., CHARLES GARTH, Esq. creased: and new, expensive and oppressive offices
have been multiplied.
The judges of admiralty and vice admiralty courts Philadelphia, October 26, 1774.
are empowered to receive their salaries and fees from
the effects condemned by themselves. The officers of “GENTLEMEN,—We give you the strongest the customs are empowered to break open and enter proof of our reliance on your zeal and attach-houses, without the authority of any civil magistrate,
founded rn civil information. ment to the happiness of America, and the
The judges of courts of common law have been made cause of liberty, when we commit the inclosed entirely dependant on one part of the legislature for
their salaries, as well as for the duration of their com papers to your care.
« We desire you will deliver the petition Counsellors holding their commissions during pleainto the hands of his majesty; and after it has sure, exercise legislative authority.
Humble and reasonable petitions from the reprebeen presented, we wish it may be made pub- sensatives of the people have been fruitless. The agents lic through the press, together with the list of grievances. And as we hope for great as- * This piece is wanting ; but it was a vote of congress sistance from the spirit, virtue, and justice of declaratory, in their own names, and in the behalf of the nation; it is our earnest desire, that the acknowledgments, to those truly noble, honourable, most effectual care be taken, as early as pos- and patriotic advocates of civil and religious liberty. sible, to furnish the trading cities and manu- cessfully, espoused and defended the cause of America, facturing towns throughout the united king- both in and out of parliament.
VOL. I. ...P 10*
ances before the throne.
of the people have been discountenanced, and governors | men, while our minds retain the strongest love of have been instructed to prevent the paymeni of their liberty, and clearly foresee the miseries preparing for salaries.
us and our posterity, excites emotions in our breasts, Assemblies have been repeatedly and injuriously dis- which, though we cannot describe, we should not wish solved.
to conceal. Feeling as men, and thinking as subjects, Commerce has been burdened with many useless and in the manner we do, silence would be disloyalty. oppressive restrictions.
By giving this faithful information, we do all in our By several acts of parliament, made in the fourth, power to promote the great objects of your royal fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth years of your majesty's care, the tranquillity of your government, and the wel reign, duties are imposed on us for the purpose of rais. fare of your people. ing a revenue, and the powers of admiralty and vice- Duty to your majesty, and regard for the preservation admiralty courts are extended beyond their ancient of ourselves and our posterity, the primary obligations limits, whereby our property is taken from us without of nature and society, command us to entreat your our consent, the trial by jury in many civil cases is royal attention; and as your majesty enjoys the signal abolished, enormous forfeitures are incurred for slight distinction of reigning over freemen, we apprehend the offences, vexatious informers are exempted from paying language of freemen cannot be displeasing. Your royal damages, to which they are justly liable, and oppressive indignation, we hope, will rather fall on those designsecurity is required from owners before they are allowing and dangerous men, who daringly interposing ed to defend their right.
themselves between your royal person and your faithBoth houses of parliament have resolved, that colo- ful subjects, and for several years past incessantly emnists may be tried in England, for offences alleged to ployed to dissolve the bonds of society, by abusing your have been committed in America, by virtue of a statute majesty's authority, misrepresenting your American passed in the thirty-fifth year of Henry the Eighth; subjects, and prosecuting the most desperate and irritat. and in consequence thereof, attempts have been made ing projects of oppression, have at length compelled to enforce that statute. A statute was passed in the us, by the force of accumulated injuries, too severe to twelfth year of your majesty's reign, directing that be any longer tolerable, to disturb your majesty's repose persons charged with committing any offence therein by our complaints. described, in any place out of the realm, may be indict- These sentiments are extorted from hearts, that ed and tried for the same in any shire or county within much more willingly would bleed in your majesty's ser the realm, whereby inhabitants of these colonies may, vice. Yet so greatly have we been misrepresented, that in sundry cases by that statute made capital, be depriv. a necessity has been alleged of taking our property ed of a trial by their peers of the vicinage.
from us without our consent, “to defray the charge of In the last sessions of parliament, an act was passed the administration of justice, the support of civil go for blocking up the harbour of Boston; another, em vernment, and the defence, protection, and security of powering the governor of the Massachusetts Bay to the colonies." But we beg leave to assure your majessend persons indicted for murder in that province, to ty, that such provision has been and will be made for another colony, or even to Great Britain, for trial; defraying the two first articles, az has been and shall whereby such offenders may escape legal punishment; be judged, by the legislatures of the several colonies, a third, for altering the chartered constitution of go: just and suitable to their respective circumstances : vernment in that province; and a fourth, for extending and for the defence, protection, and security of the cothe limits of Quebec, abolishing the English and re. lonies, their militias, if properly regulated, as they earstoring the French laws, whereby great numbers of nestly desire may immediately be done, would be fully British freemen are subjected to the latter, and estab. sufficient, at least in times of peace; and in case of lishing an absolute government, and the Roman Ca. war, your faithful colonists will be ready and willing, tholic religion, throughout those vast regions that as they ever have been when constitutionally requir: border on the westerly and northerly boundaries of the ed, to demonstrate their loyalty to your majesty, by free Protestant, English settlements; and a fifth, for exerting their most strenuous efforts in granting supthe better providing suitable quarters for officers and plies and raising forces. Yielding to no British subjects soldiers in his majesty's service in North America. in affectionate attachment to your majesty's person,
To a sovereign, who " glories in the name of Bri- family, and government, we too dearly prize the privi ton," the bare recital of these acts must, we presume, lege of expressing that attachment by those proofs, that justify the loyal subjects, who fly to the foot of his are honourable to the prince who receives them, and throne, and implore his clemency for protection against to the people who give them, ever to resign it to any them.
body of men upon earth. From this destructive system of colony administra. Had we been permitted to enjoy in quiet the inherittion, adopted since the conclusion of the last war, have ance left us by our forefathers, we should at this time flowed those distresses, dangers, fears, and jealousies, have been peaceably, cheerfully, and usefully employed that overwhelm your majesty's dutiful colonists with in recommending ourselves by every testimony of deaffliction ; and we defy our most subtle and inveterate votion to your majesty, and of veneration to the state, enemies, to trace the unhappy differences between from which we derive our origin. But though now exGreat Britan and these colonies, from an earlier period, posed to unexpected and unnatural scenes of distress, or from other causes than we have assigned. Had they by a contention, with that nation, in whose parental proceeded on our part from a restless levity of temper, guidance on all important affairs we have hitherto unjust impulses of ambition, or artful suggestions of with filial reverence constantly trusted, and therefore seditious persons, we should merit the opprobrious can derive no instruction in our present unhappy and terms frequently bestowed upon us, by those we revere; perplexing circumstances from any former experience, but so far from promoting innovations, we have only yet we doubt not the purity of our intention and the opposed them; and can be charged with no offence, integrity of our conduct will justify us at that grand unless it be one, to receive injuries and be sensible of tribunal, before which all mankind must submit to them.
judgment. Had our Creator been pleased to give us existence in We ask but for peace, liberty, and safety. We wish a land of slavery, the sense of our condition might not a diminution of the prerogative, nor do we solicit have been mitigated by ignorance and habit: but the grant of any new right in our favour. Your royal thanks be to his adorable goodness, we were born the authority over us, and our connexion with Great Briheirs of freedom, and ever enjoyed our right under the tian, we shall always carefully and zealously endeaauspices of your royal ancestors, whose family was vour to support and maintain. seated on the British throne, to rescue and secure a Filled with sentiments of duty to your majesty, and pious and gallant nation from the popery and despotism of affection to our parent state, deeply impressed by of a superstitious and inexorable tyrant. Your majes. our education, and strongly confirmed by our reason, ty, we are confident, justly rejoices that your title to and anxious to evince the sincerity of these disposi. the crown is thus founded on the title of your people tions, we present this petition only to obtain redress to liberty; and therefore we doubt not but your royal of grievances, and relief from fears and jealousies oc. wisdom must approve the sensibility, that teaches your casioned by the system of statutes and regulations subjects anxiously to guard the blessing they received adopted since the close of the late war, for raising a from Divine Providence, and thereby to prove the per- revenue in America-extending the powers of courts formance of that compact, which elevated the illustri- of admiralty and vice-admiralty-trying persons in ous house of Brunswick to the imperial dignity it now Great Britain for offences alleged to be committed in possesses.
America-affecting the province of Massachusetts The apprehension of being degraded into a state of Bay; and altering the government and extending the servitude, from the pre-eminent rank of English free limits of Quebec; by the abolition of which sys
tem, the harmony between Great Britian and these , tient to know whether the petition mentioned colonies, so necessary to the happiness of both, and in the proceedings was come to my hands, tercourse will be immediately restored. In the mag. and took round-about methods of obtaining nanimity and justice of your majesty and parlia: that information, by getting a ministerial ances, trusting that when the causes of our apprehen: merchant, a known intimate of the solicitorsions are removed, our future conduct will prove us not general, to write me a letter, importing that our happier days to enjoy. For, appealing to that Be he heard I had received such a petition, that ing who searches thoroughly the hearts of his crea. I was to be attended in presenting it by the tures, we solemnly profess that our councils have been merchants, and begging to know the time, influenced by no other motive than a dread of iinpend that he might attend" on so important an ocing destruction. of all your faithful people in America, with the utmost work.” Before these proceedings arrived, it
Permit us then, most gracious sovereign, in the name casion, and give his testimony to so good a God, whose pure religion our enemies are undermin had been given out, that no petition from the dering your subjects happy, and keeping themy Unitea; congress could be received, as they were an for the interests of your family, depending on an ad: illegal body; but the secretary of state, after herence to the principles that enthroned it; for the safe. a day's perusal, (during which a council was ty and welfare of your kingdoms and dominions threas: held,) told us it was a decent and proper petithat your majesty, as the loving father of your whole tion, and cheerfully undertook to present it to people, connected by the same bands of law, loyalty, his majesty, who, he afterwards assured us, will not suffer the transcendant relation formed by was pleased to receive it very graciously, these ties to be further violated, in uncertain expecta and to promise to lay it, as soon as they met, tion of effects, that, if attained, never can compensate before his two houses of parliament; and we
We therefore most earnestly beseech your majesty, had reason to believe, that at that time, the that your royal authority and interposition may be petition was intended to be made the foundaused for our relief; and that a gracious answer may tion of some changes of measures; but that be given to this petition.
That your majesty may enjoy every felicity through purpose, if such there was, did not long cona long and glorious reign, over loyal and happy sub.
tinue. jects, and that your descendants may inherit your prosperity and dominions till time shall be no more, is
About this time I received a letter from and always will be, our sincere and fervent prayer. Mr. Barclay, then at Norwich, dated Decem
HENRY MIDDLETON. Philadelphia, October 26, 1774.
ber 18, expressing his opinion, that it might
be best to postpone taking any further steps From New Hampshire. Pennsylvania, John Sullivan,
in the affair of procuring a meeting and petiNath. Folsom.
tion of the merchants, (on which we had had Massachusetts Bay.
several consultations,) till after the holidays, Thomas Cushing,
Thomas Mifflin, thereby to give the proceedings of congress
more time to work upon men's minds, adding, Cha. Humphreys. Rob. Treat Paine.
“I likewise consider that our superiors will Delaware Government, have some little time for reflection, and per
Cæsar Rodney, Step. Hopkins,
haps may contemplate on the propriety of the Sam. Ward
Hints in their possession. By a few lines I
have received from lord Hyde, he intimates Connecticut.
Maryland. Eleph. Dyer,
his hearty wish that they may be productive Roger Sherman,
Tho. Johnson, jun., of what may be practicable and advantageous
for the mother country and the colonies." -
On the 22d, Mr. Barclay was come to town, Phil. Livingston,
when I dined with him, and learned that lord John Aisop.
Richard Henry Lee,
Hyde thought the propositions too hard.
On the 24th, I received the following note John Jay.
from a considerable merchant in the city, viz.: Wm. Floyd, Henry Wisner, Benj. Harrison.
“ Mr. William Neate presents his most re
spectful compliments to Dr. Franklin, and as New Jersey.
Will. Hooper, Wil. Livingston,
a report prevailed yesterday evening, that all
Joseph Hewes, John De. Hart,
the disputes between Great Britain and the Steph. Crane,
American colonies, were, through his applicaRich. Smith,
tion and influence with lord North, amicably Tho. Lynch,
settled, conformable to the wish and desire of J. Rutledge,
the late congress, W. N. desires the favour Edward Rutledge.
of Dr. Franklin to inform him by a line, per
the bearer, whether there is any credit to be The first impression made by the proceed given to the report?
“ St. Mary Hill, 24th December, 1774." ings of the American congress on people in general, was greatly in our favour. Adminis- My answer was to this effect, that I should tration seemed to be staggered, were impa- be very happy to be able to inform him that
the report he had heard had some truth in it; | have any direct communication with this but I could only assure him that I knew no ministry on this occasion; that I might likething of the matter. Such reports, however, wise not care to have it known that I had were confidently circulated, and had some any indirect communication with them, till I effect in recovering the stocks, which had could be well assured of their good disposifallen three or four per cent.
tions; that being himself upon no ill terms On Christmas day, visiting Mrs. Howe, she with them, he thought it not impossible that told me as soon as I went in, that her brother, he might, by conveying my sentiments to lord Howe, wished to be acquainted with me; them, and theirs to me, be a means of bringthat he was a very good man, and she was ing on a good understanding, without comsure we should like each other. I said, I had mitting either them or me, if his negotiation always heard a good character of lord Howe, should not succeed; and that I might rely on and should be proud of the honour of being his keeping perfectly secret, every thing I known to him. He is just by, said she; will should wish to remain so. you give me leave to send for him? By all Mrs. Howe here offering to withdraw, means, madam, if you think proper. She whether of herself, or from any sign by him, rang for a servant, wrote a note, and lord I know not, I begged she might stay, as I Howe came in a few minutes.
should have no secret in a business of this After some extremely polite compliments nature that I could not freely confide to her as to the general motives for his desiring an prudence; which was truth; for I had never acquaintance with me, he said he had a par-conceived a higher opinion of the discretion ticular one at this time, which was the alarm- and excellent understanding of any woman ing situation of our affairs with America, on so short an acquaintance. I added, that which no one, he was persuaded, understood though I had never before the honour of bebetter than myself; that it was the opinion of ing in his lordship's company, his manner was some friends of his, that no man could do such as had already engaged my confidence, more towards reconciling our differences than and would make me perfectly easy and free I could, if I would undertake it; that he was in communicating myself to him. 'I begged sensible I had been very ill treated by the him in the first place, to give me credit for a ministry, but he hoped that would not be con- sincere desire of healing the breach between sidered by me in the present case; that he the two countries; that I would cheerfully himself, though not in opposition, had much and heartily do every thing in my small power disapproved of their conduct towards me; to accomplish it; but that I apprehended from that some of them, he was sure, were ashamed the king's speech, and from the measures of it, and sorry it had happened; which he talked of, as well as those already determinsupposed must be sufficient to abate resent- ed on, no intention or disposition of the kind ment in a great and generous mind; that if existed in the present ministry, and therefore he were himself in administration, he should no accommodation could be expected till we be ready to make me ample satisfaction, which saw a change. That as to what his lordship he was persuaded, would one day or other be mentioned of the personal injuries done me, done; that he was unconnected with the those done my country were so much greater. ministry, except by some personal friendship that I did not think the other, at this time, wished well however to government, was worth mentioning ; that besides it was a fixed anxious for the general welfare of the whole rule with me, not to mix my private affairs empire, and had a particular regard for New with those of the public; that I could join England, which had shown a very endearing with my personal enemy in serving the pubrespect to his family; that he was merely an lic, or, when it was for its interest, with the independent member of parliament, desirous public in serving that enemy; these being of doing what good he could, agreeably to his my sentiments, his lordship might be assured duty in that station; that he therefore had that no private considerations of the kind wished for an opportunity of obtaining my should prevent my being as useful in the presentiments on the means of reconciling our sent case as my small ability would permit. differences, which he saw must be attended He appeared satisfied and pleased with these with the most mischievous consequences, if declarations, and gave it me as his sincere not speedily accommodated; that he hoped opinion, that some of the ministry were exhis zeal for the public welfare, would, with tremely well disposed to any reasonable acme, excuse the impertinence of a mere commodations, preserving only the dignity of stranger, who could have otherwise no reason government; and he wished me to draw up to expect, or right to request me to open my in writing, some propositions containing the mind to him upon these topics; but he did terms on which I conceived a good underconceive, that if I would indulge him with standing might be obtained and established, my ideas of the means proper to bring about and the mode of proceeding to accomplish it ; a reconciliation, it might be of some use; which propositions, as soon as prepared, we that perhaps I might not be willing myself to might meet to consider, either at his house,