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P. S. No determination is yet public on the case of Mr. Lewis against Governor Wentworth, which has been a very costly bearing to both sides.
To GOVERNOR FRANKLIN. Resolutions of the New England Townships.- Project to form an Union with Ireland.-Hutchinson's Letters. Dear Son,
London, Sept. 1, 1773, I have now before me yours of July 5 and 6. The August packet is not yet arrived.
Dr. Cooper of New York's opinion of the author of the sermon, however honorable to me, is injurious to the good Bishop; and therefore I must say in justice and truth, that I knew nothing of his intention to preach on the subject, and saw not a word of the sermon till it was printed. Possibly some preceding conversation between us may have turned his thoughts that way; but if so, that is all.
I think the resolutions of the New England townships must have the effect they seem intended for, viz. to show that the discontents were really general, and their senti ments concerning their rights unanimous, and not the fiction of a few demagogues, as their Governors used to represent them here. And therefore not useless, though they should not as yet induce government to acknowledge their claims. That people may probably think it suficient for the present to assert and hold forth their rights, secure that sooner or later they must be admitted and acknowledged. The declaratory law here, had too its use, yiz. to prevent or lessen at least a clamour against the ministry that repealed the Stamp Act, as if they had given up the right of this country to govern America. Other use indeed it could have none, and I remember Lord
Mansfield told the Lords, when upon that bill, that it was nugatory. To be sure, in a dispute between two parties about rights, the declaration of one party can never be supposed to bind the other.
It is said there is now a project on foot to form an union with Ireland, and that Lord Harcourt is to propose it at the next meeting of the Irish Parliament. The eastern side of Ireland are averse to it; supposing that when Dublin is no longer the seat of their government it will decline, the harbour being but indifferent, and that the western and southern ports will rise and flourish on its ruins, being good in themselves and much better situated for commerce. For these same reasons, the western and southern people are inclined to the measure, and 'tis thought it may be carried. But these are difficult affairs, and usually take longer time than the projectors imagine. Mr. Crowley, the author of several proposals for uniting the colonies with the mother-country, and who runs about much’among the ministers, tells me the Union of Ireland is only the first step towards a general union. He is for having it done by the parliament of England without consulting the colonies, and he will warrant, he says, that if the terms proposed are equitable, they will all come in one after the other. He seems rather a little cracked upon the subject.
It is said here that the famous Boston letters were sent chiefly, if not all, to the late Mr. Wheatly. They fell into my hands, and I thought it my duty to give some principal people there a sight of them, very much with this view, that when they saw the measures they complained of
I Governor Hutchinson's.
took their rise, in a great degree, from the representations and recommendations of their own countrymen, their resentment against Britain on account of those measures might abate, as mine had done, and a reconciliation be more easily obtained. In Boston they concealed who sent them, the better to conceal who received and communicated them. And perhaps it is as well that it should continue a secret. Being of that country myself I think those letters more heinous than you seem to think them; but you had not read them all, nor perhaps the council's remarks on them. I have written to decline their agency on account of my return to America. Dr. Lee succeeds me. I only keep it while I stay, which perhaps will be another winter.
I grieve to hear of the death of my good old friend Dr. Evans. I have lost so many, since I left America, that I begin to fear I shall find myself a stranger among strangers when I return. If so, I must come again to my friends in England. I am ever your affectionate father,
To the Hon. THOMAS CUSHING, Esg.
Project to avoid repealing the American Tea Duty.
Pretended Prussian Edict.
London, Sept. 12, 1773. The above is a copy of my last per packet. Inclosed is the original letter therein mentioned. His Lordship continues in the country, but is expected (Secretary Pownall tells me) the beginning of next month.
To avoid repealing the American tea duty, and yet find a vent for tea, a project is executing to send it from this country on account of the East India Company, to be sold in America, agreeable to a late Act impowering the Lords of the Treasury to grant licences to the Company to export tea thither, under certain restrictions, duty free. Some friends of Government, (as they are called) of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, &c. are to be favored with the commission, who undertake by, their interest to carry the measure through in the colonies. How the other merchants thus excluded from the tea trade will like this, I cannot foresee. Their agreement, if I remember right, was not to import tea, till the duty shall be repealed. Perhaps they will think themselves still obliged by that agreement notwithstanding this temporary expedient; which is only to introduce the tea for the present, and may be dropped next year, and the duty again required; the granting or refusing such licence from time to time remaining in the power of the treasury. And it will seem hard, while their hands are tied, to see the profits of that article all engrossed by a few particulars.
Enclosed I take the liberty of sending you a small piece of mine, written to expose, in as striking a light as I could, to the nation, the absurdity of the measures towards America, and to spur the ministry, if possible, to a change of those measures.
Please to present my duty to the house, and respects to the Committee. I have the honour to be, with much esteem, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
B. FRANKLIN. [Enclosed in the foregoing Letter.] A PRUSSIAN EDICT, &c.
Dantzic, September 5, 1773. We have long wondered here at the supineness of the English nation, under the Prussian impositions upon its trade entering our port. We did not, till lately, know the claims, ancient and nodern, that hang over that nation; and therefore could not : uspera that it might submit to those impressions from a sense of duty, or from principles of equity. The following edict, just made public, may, if serious, throw some light upon this matter:
* FREDERICK, by the grace of God, King of Prussia, &c. &c. &c. to all present and to come : health. The peace now enjoyed throughout Our dominions, having afforded us leisure to apply Ourselves to the regulation of commerce, the improvement of Our finances, and at the same time the easing Our domestic subjects in their taxes: for these causes, and other good considerations Us thereunto 'moving, We hereby make known, that, after having deliberated these affairs in our council; present our dear brothers, and other great officers of the state, members of the same; We, of Our certain knowledge, full power, and authority royal, have made and issued this present edict, viz.
"Whereas it is well known to all the world, that the first German settlements made in the island of Britain, were by colonies of people, subjects to Our renowned ducal ancestors, and drawn from their dominions, under the conduct of Hengist, Horsa, Hella, Uffa, Cerdicus, Ida, and others; And that the said colonies have flourished under the protection of Our august house, for ages past; have never been emancipated therefrum; and yet have hitherto yielded little profit to the same : And whereas We Ourself have in the last war fought for and defended the said colonies, against the power of France, and thereby enabled them to make conquests from the said power in America; for which We have not yet received adequate compensation : And whereas it is just and expedient that a revenue should be raised from the said colonies in Britain, towards Our indemnification; and that those who are descendants of Our ancient subjects, and thence still owe Us due obedience, should contribute to the replenishing of our royal coffers; (as they must have done, had their ancestors remained in the territories now to Us appertaining): We do therefore hereby ordain and command, That, from and after the date of these presents, there shall be levied, and paid to Our officers of the