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ance, advice, and inedicines,) and shåll make Our city, though laid out with a beautiful the same appear to the satisfaction of the regularity, the streets large, straight, and speaker of the Assembly for the time being ; crossing each other at right angles, had the that then it shall and may be lawful for the disgrace of suffering those streets to remain said speaker, and he is hereby required to sign. long unpaved, and in wet weather the wheels an order on the provincial treasurer, for the of heavy carriages ploughed them into a quagpayment of two thousand pounds in two yearly mire, so that it was difficult to cross them; payments, to the treasurer of the said hos- and in dry weather the dust pas offensive. Í pital, to be applied to the founding, building, had lived near what was called the Jersey and finishing of the same." This condition market, and saw with pain the inhabitants carried the bill through; for the members wading in mud, while purchasing their prowho had opposed the grant, and now conceiv- visions. A strip of ground down the middle ed they might have the credit of being chari- of that market was at length paved with brick, table without the expense, agreed to its pass so that being once in the market they had age; and then in soliciting subscriptions firm footing; but were often over shoes in among the people, we urged the conditional dirt to get there. By talking and writing on promise of the law as an additional motive the subject, I was at length instrumental in to give, since every man's donation would be getting the streets paved with stone between doubled: thus the clause worked both ways. the market and the brick foot pavement that The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded was on the side next the houses. This for the requisite sum, and we claimed and re- some time gave an easy access to the market ceived the public gift, which enabled us to dry-shod ; but the rest of the street not being carry the design into execution. A conve- paved, whenever a carriage came out of the nient and handsome building was soon erect- mud upon this pavement, it shook off and left ed, the institution has by constant experience its dirt upon it, and it was soon covered with been found useful, and flourishes to this day; mire, which was not removed, the city as yet and I do not remember any of my political having no scavengers. After some inquiry I maneuvres, the success of which at the time found a poor industrious man who was willgave me more pleasure; or, wherein, after ing to undertake keeping the pavement clean, thinking of it, I more easily excused myself by sweeping it twice a week, carrying off the for having made some use of cunning. dirt from before all the neighbours' doors, for
It was about this time, that another pro- the sum of sixpence per month, to be paid by jector, the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, came to me each house. I then wrote and printed a pawith a request, that I would assist him in pro- per, setting forth the advantages to the neighcuring a subscription for erecting a new bourhood that might be obtained from thie meeting-house. It was to be for the use of a small expense; the greater ease in keeping congregation he had gathered among the our houses clean, so much dirt not being Presbyterians, who were originally disciples brought in by people's feet; the benefit to the of Mr. Whitefield. Unwilling to make my- shops by more custom, ás buyers could more self disagreeable to my fellow citizens, by too easily get at them; and by not having in frequently soliciting their contributions, I abso- windy weather the dust blown in upon their lutely refused. He then desired I would fur- goods, &c. I sent one of these papers to each nish him with a list of the names of persons I house, and in a day or two went round to see knew by experience to be generous and pub- who would subscribe an agreement to pay Jic spirited. I thought it would be unbecom- these sixpences; it was unanimously signed, ing in me, after their kind compliance with and for a time well executed. All the inmy solicitation, to mark them out to be wor- habitants of the city were delighted with the ried by other beggars, and therefore refused cleanliness of the pavement that surrounded to give such a list. He then desired I would the market, it being a convenience to all, and at least give him my advice. That I will do, this raised a general desire to have all the said I; and, in the first place, I advise you to streets paved ; and made the people more apply to all those who you know will give willing to submit to a tax for that purpose. something; next, to those who you are uncer- After some time I drew a bill for paving the tain whether they will give any thing or not, city, and brought it into the assembly. It and show them the list of those who have was just before I went to England, in 1757, given; and, lastly, do not neglect those who and did not pass till I was gone, and then you are sure will give nothing, for in some of with an alteration in the mode of assessment, them you may be mistaken. He laughed and which I thought not for the better; but with thanked me, and said he would take my ad- an additional provision for lighting as well as vice. He did so, for he asked of every body, paving the streets, which was a great imand he obtained a much larger sum than he provement. It was by a private person, the expected, with which he erected the capa-late Mr. John Clifton, giving a sample of the cious and elegant meeting-house that stands utility of lamps, by placing one at his door, in Arch street.
that the people were first impressed with the idea of lighting all the city. The honour of very pale and feeble, as just come out of a fit this public benefit has also been ascribed to of sickness. I asked who employed her to me, but it belongs truly to that gentleman. I sweep there; she said, “Nobody'; but I am did but follow his example, and have only poor and in distress, and I sweeps before
some merit to claim respecting the form of gentlefolkses doors, and hopes they will give . our lamps, as differing from the globe lamps me something.". I bid her sweep the whole
we were at first supplied with from London. street clean, and I would give her a shilling; They were found inconvenient in these res- this was at nine o'clock; at noon she came pects: they admitted no air below; the smoke for the shilling. From the slowness I saw at therefore did not readily go out above, but first in her working, I could scarce believe circulated in the globe, lodged on its inside, that the work was done so soon, and sent my and soon obstructed the light they were in- servant to examine it, who reported that the tended to afford ; giving besides the daily whole street was swept perfectly clean, and trouble of wiping them clean : and an acci- all the dust placed in the gutter which was dental stroke on one of them wonld demolish in the middle; and the next rain washed it it, and render it totally useless. I therefore quite away, so that the pavement and even suggested the composing them of four flat the kennel were perfectly clean. I then panes, with a long funnel above to draw up judged that if that feeble woman could sweep the smoke, and crevices admitting air below such a street in three hours, a strong active to facilitate the ascent of the smoke; by this man might have done it in half the time. means they were kept clean, and did not grow And here let me remark the convenience of dark in a few hours, as the London lamps do, having but one gutter in such a narrow street but continued bright till morning; and an running down its middle, instead of two, one accidental stroke would generally break but on each side near the footway. For where a single pane easily repaired. I have some- all the rain that falls on a street runs from times wondered that the Londoners did not, the sides and meets in the middle, it forms from the effect holes in the bottom of the there a current strong enough to wash away globe-lamps used at Vauxhall, have in keep- all the mud it meets with : but when divided ing them clean, learn to have such holes in into two channels, it is often too weak to their street lamps. But these holes being cleanse either, and only makes the mud, it made for another purpose, viz. to communi- finds more fluid, so that the wheels of carricate flame more suddenly to the wick by a ages, and feet of horses throw and dash it little flax hanging down through them, the upon the foot pavement, (which is thereby other use of letting in air, seems not to have rendered foul and slippery,) and sometimes been thought of: and therefore, after the splash it upon those who are walking. My lamps have been lit a few hours, the streets proposal communicated to the doctor, was as of London are very poorly illuminated. follows:
The mention of these improvements puts “For the more effectually cleaning and me in mind of one I proposed, when in Lon- kecping clean the streets of London and don, to Dr. Fothergill,* who was among the Westminster, it is proposed, that the several best men I have known, and a great promo-watchmen be contracted with to have the ter of useful projects. I had observed that dust swept up in dry seasons, and the mud the streets, when dry, were never swept, and raked up at other times, each in the several the light dust carried away ; but it was suffer- streets and lanes his round: that they be ed to accumulate till wet weather reduced it furnished with brooms and other proper into mud; and then, after lying some days so struments for these purposes, to be kept at deep on the pavement that there was no cross- their respective stands, ready to furnish the ing but in paths kept clean by poor people poor people they may employ in the service. with brooms, it was with great labour raked “That in the dry summer months the dust together and thrown up into carts open above, be all swept up into heaps at proper distances, the sides of which suffered some of the slush before the shops and windows of houses are at every jolt on the pavement to shake out usually opened; when scavengers with close and fall; sometimes to the annoyance of foot covered carts shall also carry it all away. passengers. The reason given for not sweep- That the mud, when raked up, be not left ing the dusty street's was, that the dust would in heaps to be spread abroad again by the fly into the windows of shops and houses. An wheels of carriages and trampling of horses ; accidental occurrence had instructed me how but that the scavengers be provided with bomuch sweeping might be done in a little dies of carts, not placed high upon wheels, time; I found at my door in Craven street, but low upon sliders, with lattice bottoms, one morning, a poor woman sweeping my which being covered with straw, will retain pavement with a birch broom ; she appeared the mud thrown into them, and permit the
water to drain from it; whereby it will be*Fothergill, (John) F. R. S., an eminent physician come much lighter, water making the greatborn in 1712, at Carr end, in Yorkshire of Quaker parents, died in 1780.
est part of the weight. These bodies of carts
to be placed at convenient distances, and the to have 1600 a-year between us, if we could mud brought to them in wheelbarrows; they make that sum out of the profits of the office. remaining where placed till the mud is drain- To do this, a variety of improvements were ed, and then horses brought to draw them necessary; some of these were inevitably at away.”
first expensive; so that in the first four years I have since had doubts of the practicability the office became above £900 in debt to us of the latter part of this proposal, in all places, But it soon after began to repay us; and beon account of the narrowness of some streets, fore I was displaced by a freak of the minis and the difficulty of placing the draining sleds ters, (of which I shall speak hereafter,) we so as not to encumber too much the passage: had brought it to yield three times as much but I am still of opinion that the former, re- clear revenue to the crown as the post office quiring the dust to be swept up and carried of Ireland. Since that imprudent transacaway before the shops are open, is very prac- tion, they have received from it-not one ticable in the summer, when the days are farthing! long; for in walking through the Strand and The business of the post office occasioned Fleet street, one morning at seven o'clock, I my taking a journey this year to New Engobserved there was not one shop open, though land, where the college of Cambridge, of their it was daylight and the sun up above three own motion, presented me with the degree hours: the inhabitants of London, choosing of Master of Arts. Yale college in Connecvoluntarily to live much by candle-light, and ticut had before made me a similar complisleep by sun-shine; and yet often complain, ment. Thus, without studying in any college, (a little absurdly) of the duty on candles, and I came to partake of their honours. They the high price of tallow.
were conferred in consideration of my imSome may think these trifling matters, not provements and discoveries in the electric worth minding or relating; but when they branch of Natural Philosophy, consider that though dust blown into the eyes In 1754, war with France being again apof a single person, or into a single shop in a prehended, a congress of commissioners from windy day, is but of small importance, yet the the different colonies was, by an order of the great number of the instances in a populous lords of trade, to be assembled at Albany; city, and its frequent repetition, gives it weight there to confer with the chiefs of the Six naand consequence; perhaps they will not cen- tions, concerning the means of defending both sure very severely those who bestow some their country and ours. Governor Hamilton attention to affairs of this seemingly low na- having received this order, acquainted the ture. Human felicity is produced, not so house with it, requesting they would furnish much by great pieces of good fortune that proper presents for the Indians, to be given seldom happen, as by little advantages that on this occasion; and naming the speaker occur every day. Thus, if you teach a poor (Mr. Norris) and myself, to join Mr. John young man to shave himself, and keep his Penn and Mr. Secretary Peters, as commisrazor in order, you may contribute more to sioners to act for Pennsylvania. The house the happiness of his life than in giving him a approved the nomination, and provided the thousand guineås. This sum may be soon goods for the presents, though they did not spent, the regret only remaining of having much like treating out of the province; and foolishly consumed it: but in the other case, we met the other commissioners at Albany, he escapes the frequent vexation of waiting about the middle of June. In our way thither, for barbers, and of their sometimes dirty fin- I projected and drew up a plan for the union gers, offensive breaths, and dull razors: he of all the colonies under one government, so shaves when most convenient to him, and far as might be necessary for defence, and enjoys daily the pleasure of its being done other important general purposes. As we with a good instrument. With these senti- passed through New York, I had there shown ments, I have hazarded the few preceding my project to Mr. James Alexander and Mr. pages, hoping they may afford hints which Kennedy, two gentlemen of great knowledge some time or other may be useful to a city I in public affairs, and being fortified by their love, (having lived many years in it very approbation, I ventured to lay it before the happily,) and perhaps to some of our towns in congress. It then appeared, that several of America.
the commissioners had formed plans of the Having been some time employed by the same kind. A previous question was first post-master-general of America as his comp- taken, whether an union should be established, troller in regulating the several offices, and which passed in the affirmative, unanimously. bringing the officers to account, I was, upon A committee was then appointed, one memhis death, in 1753, appointed jointly with Nr. ber from each colony, to consider the several William Hu- to succeed him; by a com- plans, and report. Mine happened to be premission from the post-master-general in Eng- ferred, and with a few amendments was acland. The American office had hitherto ne- cordingly reported. By this plan the general ver paid any thing to that of Britain: we were government was to be administered by a pre
sident general, appointed and supported by thought not very fair,) and reprobated it withthe crown; and a grand council, to be chosen out paying any attention to it at all, to my no by the representatives of the people of the small mortification. several colonies, met in their respective as- In my journey to Boston this year, I met at semblies. The debates upon it in congress, New York with our new governor, Mr. Morwent on daily hand in hand with the Indian ris, just arrived there from England, with business. Many objections and difficulties whom I had been before intimately acquaintwere started, but at length they were all ed. He brought a commission to supercede overcome, and the plan was unanimously Mr. Hamilton, who, tired with the disputes agreed to, and copies ordered to be transmit- his proprietary instructions subjected him ted to the board of trade and to the assemblies to, had resigned. Mr. Morris asked me if I of the several provinces. Its fate was singu- thought he must expect as uncomfortable an lar: the assemblies did not adopt it, as they administration. I said, “ No, you may on the all thought there was too much prerogative contrary have a very comfortable one, if you in it; and in England, it was judged to have will only take care not to enter into any distoo much of the democratic ; the board of trade pute with the assembly.” “ My dear friend,” did not approve of it; nor recommend it for said he, pleasantly,“ how can you advise my the approbation of his majesty: but another avoiding disputes? You know I love disscheme was formed, supposed to answer the puting, it is one of my greatest pleasures; same purpose better, whereby the governors however, to show the regard I have for your of the provinces, with some members of their counsel, I promise you I will, if possible, respective councils, were to meet and order avoid them.”. He had some reason for loving the raising of troops, building of forts, &c. to dispute, being eloquent, an acute sophister, and to draw on the treasury of Great Britain and therefore generally successful in argufor the expense, which was afterwards to be mentative conversation. He had been brought refunded by an act of parliament laying a tax up to it from a boy, his father, as I have on America. My plan, with my reasons in heard, accustoming his children to dispute support of it, is to be found among my politi- with one another for his diversion, while sitcal papers that were printed. "Being the ting at table after dinner ; but I think the winter following in Boston, I had much con- i practice was not wise; for, in the course of versation with governor Shirley upon both my observation, those disputing, contradictthe plans. Part of what passed between us ing, and confuting people, are generally unon this occasion, may also be seen among fortunate in their affairs. They get victory
The different and contrary sometimes, but they never get good will, reasons of dislike to my plan, makes me sus- which would be of more use to them. We pect, that it was really the true medium, and parted, he going to Philadelphia, and I to I am still of opinion it would have been hap- Boston. In returning, I met at New York py for both sides, if it had been adopted. The with the votes of the assembly of Pennsylcolonies so united would have been sufficiently vania, by which it appeared, that notwithstrong to have defended themselves: there standing his promise to me, he and the house would then have been no need of troops from were already in high contention; and it was a England, of course the subsequent pretext for continual battle between them, as long as he taxing America; and the bloody contest it retained the government. I had my share of occasioned, would have been avoided: but it, for as soon as I got back to my seat in the such mistakes are not new: history is full of assepıbly, I was put on every committee for the errors of states and princes.
answering his speeches and messages, and by “ Look round the habitable world, how few
the committees always desired to make the Know their own good, or knowing it pursue !"
draughts. Our answers, as well as his mes
sages, were often tart, and sometimes indeThose who govern, having much business cently abusive; and as he knew I wrote for on their hands, do not generally like to take the assembly, one might have imagined that the trouble of considering and carrying into when we met we could hardly avoid cutting execution new projects. The best public throats. But he was so good-natured a man, measures are therefore seldom adopted from that no personal difference between him and previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion. me was occasioned by the contest, and we
The governor of Pennsylvania, in sending often dined together. One afternoon, in the it down to the assembly, expressed his appro- height of this public quarrel, we met in the bation of the plan “as appearing to him to be street; " Franklin," said he, "you must go drawn up with great clearness and strength home with me and spend the evening, I am of judgment, and therefore recommended it to have some company that you will like;" as well worthy their closest and most serious and taking me by the arm, led me to his attention." The house, however, by the house. In gay conversation over our wine, management of a certain member, took it up after supper, he told us jokingly that he when I happened to be absent, (wliich I much admired the idea of Sancho Panza,
who, when it was proposed to give him a time in the office, and therefore I proposed government, requested it might be a go that the orders should be payable in a year, vernment of blacks; as then, if he could not and to bear an interest of five per cent. : with agree with his people, he might sell them. these orders I supposed the provisions might One of his friends, who sat next me, said, easily be purchased. The assembly, with “ Franklin, why do you continue to side with very little hesitation, adopted the proposal; those damned Quakers ? had you not better the orders were immediately printed, and I sell them ? the proprietor would give you a was one of the committee directed to sign and good price.” “ The governor,” said I, “ has dispose of them. The fund for paying them, not yet blacked them enough.”—He, indeed, was the interest of all the paper currency had laboured hard to blacken the assembly in then extant in the province upon loan, të all his messages, but they wiped off his colour-gether with the revenue arising from the exing as fast as he laid it on, and placed it in re- cise, which being known to be more than turn thick upon his own face; so, that finding sufficient, they obtained credit, and were not he was likely to be negrofied himself, he, as only taken in payment for the provisions; but well as Mr. Hamilton, grew tired of the con- many monied people who had cash lying by test, and quitted the government.
them, vested it in those orders, which they These public quarrels were all at bottom, found advantageous, as they bore interest owing to the proprietaries, our hereditary while upon hand, and might on any occasion governors; who, when any expense was to be be used as money; so that they were eagerly incurred for the defence of their province, all bought up, and in a few weeks none of with incredible meanness, instructed their them were to be seen. Thus this important deputies to pass no act for levying the neces- affair was by my means completed. Mr. sary taxes, unless their vast estates were in Quincy returned thanks to the assembly in the same act expressly exonerated ; and they a handsome memorial, went home highly had even taken the bonds of these deputies pleased with the success of his embassy, and to observe such instructions. The assemblies ever after bore for me the most cordial and for three years held out against this injustice, affectionate friendship. though constrained to bend at last. At length The British government, not choosing to captain Denny, who was governor Morris's permit the union of the colonies, as proposed successor, ventured to disobey those instruc- at Albany, and to trust that union with their tions; how that was brought about, I shall defence, lest they should thereby grow too show hereafter.
military, and feel their own strength, (susBut I am got forward too fast with my picion and jealousies at this time being enstory: there are still some transactions to be tertained of them,) sent over general Bradmentioned, that happened during the admi- dock with two regiments of regular English nistration of governor Morris.
troops for that purpose. He landed at AlexWar being in a manner commenced with andria, in Virginia, and thence marched to France, the government of Massachusetts Frederick-town, in Maryland, where he haltBay projected an attack upon Crown Point, ed for carriages. Our assembly, apprehendand sent Mr. Quincy to Pennsylvania, and ing from some information, that he had reMr. Pownal, (afterwards governor Pownal,) ceived violent prejudices against them as to New York to solicit assistance. As I was averse to the service, wished me to wait
in the assembly, knew its temper, and was upon him, not as from them, but as post-masMr. Quincy's countryman, he applied to me ter-general, under the guise of proposing to for my influence and assistance: I dictated settle with him the mode of conducting with his address to them, which was well received. most celerity and certainty, the dispatches They voted an aid of ten thousand pounds, to between him and the governors of the several be laid out in provisions. But the governor provinces, with whom he must necessarily refusing his assent to their bill, (which in- have continual correspondence; and of which cluded this with other sums granted for the they proposed to pay the expense. My son use of the crown,) unless a clause were in- accompanied me on this journey. We found serted, exempting the proprietary estate from the general at Frederick-town, waiting imbearing any part of the tax that would be patiently for the return of those whom we necessary; the assembly, though very desi- had sent through the back parts of Maryland rous of making their grant to New England and Virginia to collect wagons. I staid with effectual, were at a loss how to accomplish him several days, dined with him daily, and it. Mr. Quincy laboured hard with the go- had full opportunities of removing his prejuvernor to obtain his assent, but he was obsti- dices, by the information of what the assemnate. I then suggested a method of doing bly had before his arrival actually done, and the business without the governor, by orders were still willing to do, to facilitate his operaon the trustees of the loan office, which by tions. When I was about to depart, the relaw the assembly had the right of drawing. turns of wagons to be obtained were brought There was, indeed, little or no money at the in, by which it appeared, that they amounted