« ZurückWeiter »
St. Asaph's sermon, is universally approved and applauded, which I take to be no bad symptom. With sincere esteem and respect, I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.
1.To The Hon. THOMAS CUSHING, Esg. :: alfis Petition to the King, and his Anstoer. I Sir, i..
London, June 2, 1773. .! .!Since my last of the 6th past I have been honoured with yours of March 6 and 24, inclosing a petition to the King, and a letter to. Lord Dartmouth. On considering the whole, I concluded that a longer delay of presenting the first 'petition and remonstrance was not likely to answer any good purpose, and therefore immediately waited on Lord Dartmouth, and delivered to bim the letter, and the second petition, at the same time redelivering the first, and pressed his Lordship to present them to his Majesty, which he promised to do Enclosed I send you the answer I have just received from hiin, as this day's packet (the mail for which is to be made up and dispatched in a few hours) is the earliest opportunity, the ships for Boston not being to sail till the beginning of next week. By one of them I shall send a copy, with what observations occur to me on the occasion, which the time will not now permit me to write. In the mean while I would just beg leave to say that I hope the house will come to no hasty resolves upon it. The longer they deliberate, the more maturely they consider, the greater weight will attend their resolutions. With sincere respect, I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
To the Hon. Thomas CUSHING, Esq. »
American Duty on Tea.
London, June 4, 1778. The above is a copy of mine per packet, which inclosed the original of bis Majesty's answer to our petitions and remonstrance. I now send an exact copy of the same, which I did intend to accompany with some observations, and my sentiments on the general state of our'affairs in this country, and the conduct proper for us to hold on this occasion. But beginning to write I find the matter too copious, and the subject (on reflection) too important to be treated of in an hasty letter; and being told the ships sail to-morrow, I must postpone it to ano. ther opportunity. " .. . ' ' . *
It was thought at the beginning of the session, that the American duty on Tea would be taken off. But now the wise scheme is to take off so much duty here, as sill make tea cheaper in America than foreigners can supply us, and to confine the duty there to keep up the exercise of the right. They have no idea that any people can act from any other principle but that of interest; - and they believe that three pence in a pound of tea, of which one does not perhaps drink ten pounds in a year, is sufficient to overcome all the patriotism of an American. ..!
l purpose' soon to write to you very fully. As to the letters I communicated to you, though I have not been able to obtain leave to take copies of publish them, I have permission to let the originals remain with you as long as you may think it of any use to have them in pos.
session. With great esteem and respect, I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient þumble servant,.
i B. FRANKLIN.
TO Fhg Hon. Thomas Cushing, Esg. Controrersy with Governor Hutchinson.— First idea of
an American Congress.Dr. Franklin's justification
of himself against the Charge of neglect, as Agent for : Massachusets. ... Sir,
London, July 7, 1773. ,, I thank you for the pamphlets you have sent me containing the controversy between the Governor and the two houses, I have distributed them where I thought they might be of use. He makes perhaps as much of his argument as it will bear; but has the misfortune of being on the weak side, and so is put to shifts and quibbles, and the use of much sophistry and artifice to give plausibility to his reasonings. The Council, and the Assembly have * greatly the adyantage in point of fairness, perspicuity, and force. His precedents of acts of parliament binding the colonies, apd apr tacit consent to those acts are all frivolous. Shall, a guardian who has imposed upon, cheated and plundered a minor under his care, who was unable to prevent it, plead those impositions after his ward has discovered them, as precedents and authorities for continuing them. There bave been precedents time out of mind for robbing on Hounslow Heath, but the highway, man who robbed there yesterday does nevertheless deserve hanging.'
I am glad to see the resolves of the Virginia House of Burgesses. There are brave spirits among that people. I hope their proposal will be readily complied with by all the colonies. It is natural to suppose as you do, that if the oppressions continue, a congress may grow out of that correspondence. Nothing would more alarm our ministers; but if the colonies agree to hold a congress, I do not see how it can be prevented.';:
The instruction relating to the exemption of the commissioners I imagine is withdrawn: perhaps the other also relating to the agents, but of that I have heard nothing. I only wonder that the Governor should make such a declaration of his readiness to comply with an intimation in acting contrary to any instructions, if he had not already or did not soon expect a repeal of those instructions. I have not, and shall never use your name on this or any similar occasion.
I note your directions relating to public and private letters, and shall not fail to observe them. At the same time I think all the correspondence should be in the speaker's power, to communicate such extracts only as he should think proper for the house. It is extremely embarrassing to an agent to write letters concerning his transactions with ministers, which letters he knows are to be read in the house, where there may be Governor's spies who carry away parts, or perhaps take copies that are echoed back hither privately if they should not be, as sometimes they are, printed in the votes. It is impossible to write freely in such circumstances, untess he would házard his usefulness, and put it out of his power to do his country any farther service. I speak this now, not upon my own account, being about to decline all public business, but for your consideration with regard to future agents.
And now we speak, of agents, I must mention my concern that I should fall under so severe a censure of the house as that of neglect in their business. I have submitted to the reproof without reply in my public letter, out of pure respect. It is not decent to dispute a father's admonitions. But to you in private permit me to observe, that as to the two things I am bamed for not giving the earliest notice of, viz. the clause in the act relating to dock yards, and the appointment of salaries for the Governor and Judges ; the first only seems to have some foundation. I did not know, but perhaps I ought to have known, that such a clause was intended. And yet in a parliament, that during the whole session refused admission to strangers, wherein near tvo hundred acts were passed, it is not so easy a matter to come at the knowledge of every clause in every act, and to give opposition to what may affect one's constituents, especially when it is not uncommon to smuggle classes into a bill whose title shall give no suspicion, when an opposition to such clauses is apprehended. I say this is no easy matter. But had I known of this clause it is not likely I could have prevented its passing in the present disposition of government towards America, nor do I see that my giving earlier notice of its having passed could have been of much service. As to the other, concerning the Governor and Judges, I should hardly have thought of sending the House an account of it, if the minister had mentioned it to me, as I understood from their first letter to me, that they had already the best intelligence “ of its being determined by administration to bestow large salaries on the Attorney General, Judges, and Governor of the province.” I could not therefore possibly “ give the first