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without answer. And that the captain of the vessel they sent express with the news, having met with misfortunes, that obliged him to travel by land through all the colonies from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, was every where treated with neglect and contempt, instead of civility and hospitality; and no where with more than at Philadelphia, where, though he delivered letters to the merchants that must make him and his errand known to them, no one took the least notice of him. I own I was ashamed to hear all this, but hope there is some mistake in it. I should not have troubled you with this account, but that I think we stand in truth greatly obliged to the merchants who are a very respectable body, and whose friendship is worth preserving, as it may greatly help us on future occasions ; and therefore I wish some decent acknowledgments or thanks were sent from the assemblies of the colonies, since their correspondents have omitted it.
I have said the less of late in my letters concerning the petitions, because I hoped this summer to have an opportunity of communicating every thing viva voce, and there are particulars that cannot safely be trusted to paper. Perhaps I may be more determined, as to returning or staying another winter, when I receive my next letters from you and my other friends in Philadelphia.
We got the chancellor to drop his Salt duty. And the merchants trading to Portugal and Spain, he says, have made such a clamour about the intention of suffering ships to go directly with wine, fruit, and oil from those countries to America that he has dropped that scheme, and we are it seems to labor a little longer under the inconveniences of the restraint.
It is said the bill to suspend the legislatures of New
York and Georgia till they comply with the act of parliament for quartering soldiers will pass this session. I fear that imprudencies on both sides may step by step bring on the most mischievous consequences. It is imagined here that this act will enforce immediate compliance; and if the people should be quiet, content themselves with the laws they have, and let the matter rest, till in some future war the king wanting aids from them, and finding himself restrained in his legislation by the act as much as the people, shall think fit by his ministers to propose the repeal, the parliament will be greatly disappointed ; and perhaps it may take this turn. I wish nothing worse may happen. · The present ministry will probably continue through this session. But their disagreement, with the total inability of Lord Chatham through sickness to do any business, must bring on some change before next winter. I wish it may be for the better, but fear the contrary.
Please to present my dutiful respects to the assembly, and believe me ever, dear sir, yours and the committee's most obedient and faithful humble servant,
.: B. FRANKLIN.
To JOSEPH GALLOWAY, Esg. . Attempt to form a Coalition of Parties, in a new Ministry.— Right claimed to tar the Colonies.-Paper Money. Dear Sir,
London, August 8, 1767. I have before me your favors of April 23, May 21 and 26. The confusion among our great men still continues as much as ever, and a melancholy thing it is to consider, that instead of employing the present leisure of peace in such measures as might extend our commerce, pay off our debts, secure allies and increase the strength and ability of the nation to support a future war, the whole seems to be wasted in party contentions, about places of power and profit, in court intrigues and cabals, and in abusing one another.
There has lately been an attempt to make a kind of coalition of parties in a new ministry, but it fell through, and the present set is like to continue for some time longer, which I am rather pleased with, as some of those who were proposed to be introduced are professed adversaries" to America, which is now made one of the distinctions of party here; those who have in the two last sessions shown a disposition to favor us, being called by way of reproach Americans ; while the other adherents to Grenville and Bedford value themselves on being true to the interests of Britain, and zealous for maintaining its dignity and sovereignty over the colonies. This distinction will, it is apprehended, be carried much bigher in the next session, for the political purpose of influencing the ensuing election. It is already given out that the compliance of New York in providing for the quarters, without taking notice of its being done in obedience to the act of parliament, is evasive and unsatisfactory. That it is high time to put the right and power of this country to tax the colonies out of dispute, by an Act of Taxation effectually carried into execution, and that all the colonies should be obliged explicitly to acknowledge that right. Every step is taking to render the taxing America a popular measure here, by continually insisting on the topics of our wealth and flourishing circumstances, while this country is loaded
with debt, great part of it incurred on our account, the distress of the poor here by the multitude and weight of taxes, &c. &c. and though the traders and manufacturers may possibly be kept in our interest, the idea of an American lax is very pleasing to the landed men, who therefore readily receive and propagate these sentiments wherever they have influence. If such a bill should be brought in, it is hard to say what would be the event of it, or what would be the effects. Those who oppose it, though they should be strong enough to throw it out, would be stigmatised as Americans, betrayers of Old England, &c. and perhaps our friends by this means being excluded, a ma. jority of our adversaries may get in, and then the act infallibly passes the following session. To avoid the danger of such exclusion perhaps little opposition will be given, and then it passes immediately. I know not what to advise upon this occasion, but that we should all do our endeavours on both sides the water to lessen the present unpopularity of the American cause, conciliate the affections of people here towards us, increase by all possible means the number of our friends, and be careful not to weaken their hands and strengthen those of our enemies, by rash proceedings on our side, the mischiefs of which are inconceivable. Some of our friends have thought that a publication of my examination here, might answer some of the above purposes, by removing prejudices, and refuting falsehoods, and demonstrating our merits with regard to this country, It is accordingly printed and has a great run. I have another piece in hand which I intend to put out about the time of the meeting of parliament, if those I consult with shall judge that it may be of service.
The next session of parliament will probably be a short
oné, on account of the following election. And I am now advised by some of our great friends here to see that out, not returning to America till the spring. My presence indeed is necessary there to settle some private affairs. Unforeseen and únavoidable difficulties have hitherto obstructed our proceedings in the main intent of my coming over, and perhaps (though I think my being here has not been altogether unserviceable) our friends in the Assembly may begin to be discouraged and tired of the expence. If that should be the case I would not have you propose to continue iné as agent at the meeting of the new Assembly; my endeavours to serve the province in what I may while I remain here, shall not be lessened by that omissiop. · I am glad you have made a trial of paper money not a legal tender. The quantity being small may perhaps be kept up in full credit notwithstanding; and if that can be avoided, I am not for applying here again very soon for a repeal of the restraining Act. I am afraid an ill use will be made of it. The plan of our adversaries is to render Assemblies in America useless; and to have a revenue independent of their grants, for all the purposes of their defence, and supporting governments among them. It is our interest to prevent this. And that they may not lay hold of our necessities for paper money, to draw a revenue from that article, whenever they grant us the liberty we want of making it a legal tender, I wish some other method may be fallen upon of supporting its credit. What think you of getting all the merchants, traders, and principal people of all sorts to join in petitions to the Assembly for a nioderate emission, the petition being accompanied with a mutual engagement to take it in all dealings at