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With sincere esteem, I am, dear Sir, your affectionate friend and most obedient servant, B. FRANKLIN.
To GovernoR FRANKLIN, . The Boston Resolutions concerning Trude.- Anecdote re
lative to Col. Onslow and Mr. Grenville. DEAR SON,
London, Dec. 19, 1767. . The resolutions of the Boston people concerning trade make a great noise bere. Parliament has not yet taken notice of them, but the newspapers are in full cry against America. Colonel Onslow told me at Court last Sunday, that I could not conceive how much the friends of America were run upon and hurt by them, and how much the Grenvillians triumphed. I have just written a paper for next Tuesday's Chronicle to extenuate matters a little.
Mentioning Colonel Onslow reminds me of something that passed at the beginning of this session in the House, between him and Mr. Grenville. The latter had been raving against America, as traitorous, rebellious, &c. when the former, who has always been its firm friend, stood up and gravely said, that in reading the Roman history, he found it was a custom among that wise and magnanimous people, whenever the senate was informed of any discontent in the provinces, to send two or three of their body into the discontented provinces, to enquire into the grievances complained of, and report to the senate that mild measures might be used to remedy what was amiss, before any severe steps were taken to enforce obedience. That this example he thought worthy our imitation in the pre
sent state of our colonies, for he did so far agree with the honorable gentleman that spoke just before him, as to allow there were great discontents among them. He should therefore beg leave to move; that two or three members of parliament be appointed to go over to New England on this service. And that it might not be supposed he was for imposing burthens on others that he would not be willing to bear himself, he did, at the same time, declare his own willingness, if the house should think fit to appoint them, to go over thither with that ho, norable gentleman. Upon this there was a great laugh, which continued some time, and was rather increased by Mr. Grenville's asking, “ will the gentleman engage that I shall be safe there? Can I be assured that I shall be allowed to come back again to make the report?” As soon as the laugh was so far subsided as that Mr. Onslow could be heard again, he added, “ I cannot absolutely engage for the honorable gentleman's safe return, but if he goes thither upon this service I am strongly of opinion the event will contribute greatly to the future quiet of both countries.” On which the laugh was renewed and redoubled. • If our people should follow the Boston example in entering into resolutions of frugality and industry full as necessary for us as for them, I hope they will among other things give this reason, that 'tis to enable them more speedily and effectually to discharge their debts to Great Britain; this will soften a little, and at the same time appear honorable and like ourselves. Yours, &c.
From GOVERNOR POWNALL To Dr. FRANKLIN. Concerning an equal Communication of Rights, Privi
leges, &c. to America, by Great Britain. Dear Sir,
The following objection against communicating to the colonies the rights, privileges, and powers of the realm, as to parts of the realm, has been made. I have been endeavouring to obviate it, and I communicate [it] to you, in hopes of your promised assistance.
If, say the objectors, we communicate to the colonies the power of sending representatives, and in consequence expect them to participate in an equal share and proportion of all our taxes; we must grant to thein all the powérs of trade and manufacturing, which any other parts of the realm within the isle of Great Britain enjoy :-If so, perchance the profits of the Atlantic commerce may converge to some centre in America; to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or to some of the isles :- If so, then the natural and artificial produce of the colonies, and in course of consequences the landed interest of the colonies, will be promoted; while the natural and artificial produce and landed interest of Great Britain will be depressed to its utter ruin and destruction ;—and consequently the balance of the power of government, although still within the realm, will be locally transferred from Great Britain to the colonies. Which consequence, however it may suit a citizen of the world, must be folly and madness to a Brie ton.-My fit is gone off; and though weak, both from the gout and a concomitant and very ugly fever, I am much better. Would be glad to see you. Your friend,
On the back of the foregoing Letler of Governor Pownall,
are the following minutes, by Dr. Franklin.
· This objection goes upon the supposition, that whatever the colonies gain, Britain must lose; and that if the colonies can be kept from gaining an advantage, Britain will gain it :
If the colonies are fitter for a particular trade than Britain, they should have it, and Britain apply to what it is more fit for. The whole empire is a gainer. And if Britain is not so fit or so well situated for a particular advantage, other countries will get it, if the colonies do not. Thus Ireland was forbid the woollen manufacture and remains poor : but this has given to the French the trade and wealth Ireland night have gained for the British empire.
The government cannot long be retained without the union. Which is best (supposing your case) lo have a total separation, or a change of the seat of government ? It by no means follows, that promoting and advancing the landed interest in America will depress that of Britain : the contrary has always been the fact. Advantageous situations and circumstances will always secure and fix manufactures : Sheffield against all Europe these 300 years past.
To GOVERNOR FRANKLIN.
London, Jan. 9., 1768. We have had so many alarms of changes which did not take place, that just when I wrote it was thought
the ministry would stand their ground. However immediately after the talk was renewed, and it soon appeared the Sunday changes were actually settled. Mr. Conway resigns and Lord Weymouth takes his place. Lord Gower is made president of the council in the room of Lord Northington. Lord Shelburne is stript of the American business which is given to Lord Hillsborough as Secretary of State for America, a new distinct department. - Lord Sandwich 'tis said comes into the Post Office in his place. Several of the Bedford party are now to come in. How these changes may affect us a little time will show. Little at present is thought of but elections which gives me hopes that nothing will be done against America this session, though the Boston gazette had occasioned some heats and the Boston resolutions a prodigious clamour. I have endeavoured to palliate matters for them as well as I can : I send you my manuscript of vne paper, though I think you take the Chronicle. The editor of that paper, one Jones, seems a Grenvillian, or is very cautious, as you will see, by his corrections and omissions. He has drawn the teeth, and pared the nails of my paper, so that it can neither scratch nor bite. It seems only to paw and mumble. I send you also two other late pieces of mine. There is another which I camot find.
I am told there has been a talk of getting me appointed under secretary to Lord Hillsborough ; but with little likelihood as it is a settled point here that I am too much of an American. · I am in very good health, thanks to God. Your affectionate father, .
B. FRANKLIN. Vob. I.