Abbildungen der Seite

of the money; sixty thousand pounds. I had It was the beginning of January when we been active in modelling the bill

, and procur- set out upon this business of building forts; I ing its passage; and had at the same time sent one detachment towards the Minisink, drawn one for establishing and disciplining a with instructions to erect one for the security voluntary militia ; which I carried through of that upper part of the country; and another the house without much difficulty, as care to the lower part with similar instructions: was taken in it to leave the quakers at liberty. and I concluded to go myself with the rest of To promote the association necessary to form my force to Gnadenhutten, where a fort was the militia, I wrote a dialogue stating and thought more immediately necessary. The answering all the objections I could think of Moravians procured me five wagons for our to such a militia; which was printed, and tools, stores, baggage, &c. Just before we had, as I thought, great effect. While the left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who had been several companies in the city and country driven from their plantations by the Indians, were forming, and learning their exercise, came to me requesting a supply of fire-arms, the governor prevailed with me to take charge that they might go back and bring off their of our north-western frontier, which was in cattle. I gave them each a gun with suitable fested by the enemy, and provide for the de- ammunition. We had not marched many fence of the inhabitants by raising troops, and miles before it began to rain, and it continued building a line of forts. I undertook this raining all day; there were no habitations on military business, though I did not conceive the road to shelter us, till we arrived near myself well qualified for it. He gave me a night at the house of a German, where, and commission with full powers, and a parcel of in his barn, we were all huddled together as blank commissions for officers, to be given to wet as water could make us. It was well we whom I thought fit. I had but little difficulty were not attacked in our march, for our arms in raising men, having soon five hundred and were of the most ordinary sort, and our men sixty under my command. My son, who had could not keep the locks of their guns dry. in the preceding war been an officer in the The Indians are dextrous in contrivances for army raised against Canada, was my aid-de- that purpose, which we had not. They met camp, and of great use to me. The Indians that day the eleven poor farmers abovemenhad burned Gnadenhutten, a village settled tioned, and killed ten of them; the one that by the Moravians, and massacred the inhabi- escaped, informed us, that his, and his comtants; but the place was thought a good situa- panions' guns would not go off, the priming tion for one of the forts. In order to march being wet with the rain. The next day bethither, I assembled the companies at Bethle- ing fair we continued our march, and arrived hem, the chief establishment of those people; at the desolate Gnadenhutten; there was a I was surprised to find it in so good a posture mill near, round which were left several pine of defence: the destruction of Gnadenhutten boards, with which we soon hutted ourselves; had made them apprehend danger. The an operation the more necessary at that incleprincipal buildings were defended by a stock- ment season, as we had no tents. Our first ade; they had purchased a quantity of arms work was to bury more effectually the dead and ammunition from New York, and had we found there, who had been half interred even placed quantities of small paving stones by the country people; the next morning our between the windows of their high stone fort was planned and marked out, the circumhouses, for their women to throw them down ference measuring four hundred and fifty-five upon the heads of any Indians that should at- feet, which would require as many palisades tempt to force into them. The armed bre- to be made, one with another of a foot diamethren too kept watch, and relieved each other ter each. Our axes, of which we had seventy, on guard as methodically as in any garrison were immediately set to work, to cut down town. In conversation with the bishop, trees; and our men being dextrous in the use Spangenberg, I mentioned my surprise ; for of them, great despatch was made. Seeing knowing they had obtained an act of parlia- the trees fall so fast, I had the curiosity to ment exempting them from military duties look at my watch when two, men began to in the colonies, I had supposed they were cut at a pine: in six minutes they had it upon conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms. the ground, and I found it of fourteen inches He answered me, " That it was not one of diameter: each pine made three palisades of their established principles; but that at the eighteen feet long, pointed at one end. While time of their obtaining that act it was thought these were preparing, our other men dug a to be a principle with many of their people. trench all round of three feet deep, in which On this occasion, however, they to their sur- the palisades were to be planted; and the

bo prise, found it adopted by but a few." It dies being taken off our wagons, and the fore seems they were either deceived in them- and hind wheels separated by taking out the selves, or deceived the parliament: but com- pin which united the two parts of the perch, mon sense aided by present danger will some we had ten carriages with two horses each, times be too strong for whimsical opinions. to bring the palisades from the woods to the

no cannon.

spot. When they were set up, our carpen- punctually served out to them, half in the ters built a platform of boards all round with morning, and half in the evening; and I ob in, about six feet high, for the men to stand served they were punctual in attending to reon when to fire through the loop-holes. We ceive it: upon which I said to Mr. Beatty, “it had one swivel gun, which we mounted on is, perhaps, below the dignity of your profession one of the angles, and fired it as soon as fixed, to act as steward of the

rum; but if you were to let the Indians know if any were within to distribute it out only just after prayers, you hearing, that we had such pieces; and thus our would have them all about you.' He liked the fort (if that name may be given to so misera- thought, undertook the task, and with the help ble a stockade) was finished in a week, though of a few hands to measure out the liquor, exeit rained so hard every other day that the cuted it to satisfaction; and never were praymen could not well work.

ers more generally and more punctually atThis gave me occasion to observe, that tended. So that I think this method preferable when men are employed they are best con- to the punishment inflicted by some military tented; for on the days they worked they laws for non-attendance on divine service. were good-natured and cheerful: and with I had hardly finished this business, and got the consciousness of having done a good day's my fort well stored with provisions, when I work, they spent the evening jollily; but on received a letter from the governor, acquaintour idle days, they were mutinous and quar- ing me that he had called the assembly, and relsome, finding fault with the pork, the bread, wished my attendance there, if the posture &c., and were continually in bad humour; of affairs on the frontiers was such that my which put me in mind of a sea captain, whose remaining there was no longer necessary. rule it was to keep his men constantly at My friends too of the assembly pressing me work; and when his mate once told him that by their letters to be, if possible, at the meetthey had done every thing, and there was ing; and my three intended forts being now nothing farther to employ them about; “ 0,"completed, and the inhabitants contented to said he, “ make them scour the anchor.remain on their farms under that protection,

This kind of fort, however contemptible, is I resolved to return; the more willingly, as a a sufficient defence against Indians who had New England officer, colonel Clapham, expe

Finding ourselves now posted rienced in Indian war, being on a visit to our securely, and having a place to retreat to on establishment, consented to accept the comoccasion, we ventured out in parties to scour mand. I gave him a commission, and paradthe adjacent country. We met with no In- ing the garrison, had it read before them; dians, but we found the places on the neigh- and introduced him to them as an officer, who bouring hills where they had lain to watch from his skill in military affairs, was much our proceedings. There was an art in their more fit to command them than myself; and contrivance of those places, that seems worth giving them a little exhortation, took my mentioning. It being winter, a fire was ne- leave. I was escorted as far as Bethlehem, cessary for them: but a common fire on the where I rested a few days to recover from surface of the ground, would, by its light, the fatigue I had undergone. The first night have discovered their position at a distance: lying in a good bed, I could hardly sleep, it they had therefore dug holes in the ground was so different from my hard lodging on the about three feet diameter, and somewhat floor of a hut at Gnadenhutten, with only a deeper; we found where they had with their blanket or two. While at Bethlehem, l'inhatchets cut off the charcoal from the sides quired a little into the practices of the Moraof burnt logs lying in the woods. With these vians; some of them had accompanied me, coals they had made small fires in the bottom and all were very kind to me. I found they of the holes, and we observed among the worked for a common stock, eat at common weeds and grass the prints of their bodies, tables, and slept in common dormitories, great made by their lying all round with their legs numbers together. In the dormitories 1 ob hanging down in the holes to keep their feet served loop-holes at certain distances all along warm; which, with them, is an essential | just under the ceiling, which I thought judipoint. This kind of fire, so managed, could ciously placed for change of air. I went to not discover them either by its light, flame, their church, where I was entertained with sparks, or even smoke: it appeared that the good music, the organ being accompanied number was not great, and it seems they saw with violins, hautboys, flutes, clarinets, &c. we were too many to be attacked by them I understood their sermons were not usually with prospect of advantage.

preached to mixed congregations of men, wcWe had for our chaplain a zealous Presby- men, and children, as is our common practice; terian minister, Mr. Beatty, who complained but that they assembled sometimes the marto me that the men did not generally attend ried men, at other times their wives, then the his prayers and exhortations. When they young men, the young women, and the little enlisted, they were promised, besides pay and children; each division by itself. The serprovisions, å gill of rum a day, which was mon I heard was to the latter, who came in

and were placed in rows on benches, the being about to set out on a journey to Virboys under the conduct of a young man their ginia, the officers of my regiment, took it into tutor; and the girls conducted by a young their heads that it would be proper for them woman. The discourse seemed well adapted to escort me out of town, as far as the Lowerto their capacities, and was delivered in a ferry; just as I was getting on horseback they pleasing, familiar manner, coaxing them as it came to my door, between thirty and forty, were to be good. They behaved very orderly, mounted, and all in their uniforms. I had but looked pale and unhealthy, which made not been previously acquainted with their me suspect they were kept too much within project, or I should have prevented it, being doors, or not allowed sufficient exercise. I naturally averse to the assuming of state on inquired concerning the Moravian marriages, any occasion ; and I was a good deal chagrinwhether the report was true that they were ed their appearance, as I could not avoid by lot; I was told that lots were used only their accompanying me. What made it in particular cases: that generally, when a worse was, that as soon as we began to move, young man found himself disposed to marry, they drew their swords and rode with them he informed the elders of his class, who con- naked all the way. Somebody wrote an acsulted the elder ladies that governed the count of this to the proprietor, and it gave young women. As these elders of the differ- him great offence. No such honour had been ent sexes were well acquainted with the tem- paid him, when in the province; nor to any pers and dispositions of their respective pupils, of his governors; and he said it was only they could best judge what matches were proper to princes of the blood royal ; which suitable, and their judgments were generally may be true for aught I know, who was, and acquiesced in. But if, for example, it should still am ignorant of the etiquette in such happen that two or three young women were cases. This silly affair, however, greatly infound to be equally proper for the young man, creased his rancour against me, which was bethe lot was then recurred to. I objected, if fore considerable on account of my conduct in the matches are not made by the mutual the assembly, respecting the exemption of his choice of the parties, some of them may estate from taxation, which I had always opchance to be very unhappy. “And so they posed very warmly; and not without severe may,” answered my informer, " if you let the reflections on the meanness and injustice in parties choose for themselves." Which in- contending for it. He accused me to the deed I could not deny.

ministry, as being the great obstacle to the Being returned to Philadelphia, I found the king's service: preventing by my influence association went on with great success, the in the house, the proper form of the bills for inhabitants that were not quakers, having raising money; and he instanced the parade pretty generally come into it, formed them with my officers, as a proof of my having an selves into companies, and chose their cap intention to take the government of the protains, lieutenants, and ensigns, according to vince out of his hands by force. He also apthe new law. Dr. Bond visited me and gave plied to sir Everard Faukener, the post-mas me an account of the pains he had taken to ter-general, to deprive me of my office; but spread a general good liking to the law, and it had no other effect than to procure from sir ascribed much to those endeavours. I had Everard a gentle admonition. the vanity to ascribe all to my dialogue; how- Notwithstanding the continual wrangle ever, not knowing but that he might be in between the governor and the house, in which the right, I let him enjoy his opinion; which I as a member had so large a share, there still I take to be generally the best way in such subsisted a civil intercourse between that

The officers meeting, chose me to be gentleman and myself, and we never had any colonel of the regiment; which I this time personal difference. I have sometimes sir.ce accepted. I forget how many companies we thought, that his little or no resentment had, but we paraded about twelve hundred against me for the answers it was known I well-looking men, with a company of artille- drew up to his messages, might be the effect ry, who had been furnished with six brass of professional habit, and that being bred a field-pieces, which they had become so expert lawyer, he might consider us both as merely in the use of, as to fire twelve times in a advocates for contending clients in a suit; he minute. The first time I reviewed my regi- for the proprietaries, and I for the assembly: ment, they accompanied me to my house, and he would therefore sometimes call in a friendwould salute me with some rounds fired be-ly way to advise with me on difficult points ; fore my door, which shook down and broke and sometimes, though not often, take my several glasses of my electrical apparatus. advice. We acted in concert to supply BradAnd my new honour proved not much less dock's army with provisions, and when the brittle; for all our commissions were soon shocking news arrived of his defeat, the after broken, by a repeal of the law in Eng- governor sent in haste for me, to consult with land.

him on measures for preventing the desertion During this short time of my colonelship, of the back counties." I forget now the advice


I gave, but I think it was that Dunbar should were well attended, and gave great satisfacbe written to and prevailed with, if possible, tion; and after some time he went through to post his troops on the frontiers for their the colonies exhibiting them in every capital protection, until by reinforcements from the town, and picked up some money. In the colonies, he might be able to proceed in the West India Islands indeed, it was with diffiexpedition : and after my return from the culty the experiments could be made, from frontier, he would have had me undertake the general moisture of the air. the conduct of such an expedition with pro- Obliged as we were to Mr. Collinson, for vincial troops, for the reduction of fort Du- the present of the tube, &c., I thought it quesne ; (Dunbar and his men being other right he should be informed of our success wise employed ;) and he proposed to commis- in using it, and wrote him several letters consion me as general. I had not so good an taining accounts of our experiments.* Ile opinion of my military abilities as he professed got them read in the Royal Society, where to have, and I believe his professions must they were not at first thought worth so much have exceeded his real sentiments: but pro- notice as to be printed in their transactions. bably he might think that my popularity would One paper which I wrote for Mr. Kinnersly, facilitate the business with the men, and in- on the sameness of lightning with electricity, fluence in the assembly the grant of money I sent to Mr. Mitchel, an acquaintance of to pay for it; and that perhaps without taxing mine, and one of the members also of that sothe proprietary. Finding me not so forward ciety; who wrote me word that it had been to engage as he expected, the project was read, but was laughed at by the connoisseurs. dropt ; and he soon after left the government, The papers however being shown to Dr. Fobeing superseded by captain Denny. thergill, he thought them of too much value

Before I proceed in relating the part I had to be stifled, and advised the printing of them. in public affairs under this new governor's Mr. Collinson then gave them to Cave for administration, it may not be amiss to give publication, in his Gentleman's Magazine ; here some account of the rise and progress but he chose to print them separately in a of my philosophical reputation.

pamphlet, and Dr. Fothergill wrote the preIn 1746, being at Boston, I met there with face. Cave, it seems, judged rightly for his a Dr. Spence, who was lately arrived from profession, for by the additions that arrived Scotland, and showed me some electric ex- afterwards, they swelled to a quarto volume; periments. They were imperfectly perform- which has had five editions, and cost him ed, as he was not very expert; but being on nothing for copy-money. a subject quite new to me, they equally sur- It was, however, some time before these prised and pleased me. Soon after my re- papers were much taken notice of in Engturn to Philadelphia, our library company re- land. A copy of them happening to fall into ceived from Mr. Peter Collinson, F. R. Š. of the hands of the count de Buffon, (a philoso London, a present of a glass tube, with some pher deservedly of great reputation in France, account of the use of it in making such ex- and indeed all over Europe,) he prevailed with periments. I eagerly seized the opportunity monsieur Dubourg to translate them into of repeating what I had seen at Boston; and French; and they were printed at Paris. by much practice acquired great readiness in The publication offended the Abbé Nollet, performing those also which we had an ac- preceptor in Natural Philosophy to the royal count of from England, adding a number of family, and an able experimenter, who had

I say much practice, for my house formed and published a theory of electricity, was continually full for some time, with per- which then had the general vogue. He could sons who came to see these new wonders. not at first believe that such a work came To divide a little this incumbrance among my from America, and said it must have been friends, I caused a number of similar tubes to fabricated by his enemies at Paris, to oppose be blown in our glass-house, with which they his system. Afterwards, having been assured furnished themselves, so that we had at length that there really existed such a person as several performers. Among these the prin- Franklin, at Philadelphia, (which he had cipal was Mr. Kinnersly an ingenious neigh- doubted,) he wrote and published a volume bour, who being out of business, I encouraged of letters, chiefly addressed to me, defending to undertake showing the experiments for his theory, and denying the verity of my exmoney, and drew up for him two lectures, in periments, and of the positions deduced from which the experiments were ranged in such them. I once purposed answering the Abbé, order, and accompanied with explanations in and actually began the answer; but on consuch method, as that the foregoing should as-sideration that my writings contained a desist in comprehending the following. He scription of experiments, which any one might procured an elegant apparatus for the pur- repeat and verify, and if not to be verified, pose, in which all the little machines that I could not be defended; or of observations had roughly made for myself, were neatly

* See Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. formed by instrument makers. His lectures | Vol II. of this edition.

new ones.

offered as conjectures, and not delivered dog- any application for that honour, they chose matically, therefore not laying me under any me a member; and voted that I should be exobligation to defend them; and reflecting that cused the customary payments, which would a dispute between two persons, written in have amounted to twenty-five guineas; and different languages, might be lengthened ever since have given me their transactions greatly by mistranslations, and thence mis- gratis* They also presented me with the conceptions of another's meaning, much of gold medal of sir Godfrey Copley, for the one of the Abbé's letters being founded on an year 1753, the delivery of which was accomerror in the translation; I concluded to let my panied by a very handsome speech of the papers shift for themselves; believing it was president, lord Macclesfield, wherein I was better to spend what time I could spare from highly honoured. public business, in making new experiments, Our new governor, captain Denny, brought than in disputing about those already made. over for me the beforementioned medal from I therefore never answered monsieur Nollet; the Royal Society, which he presented to me and the event gave me no cause to repent my at an entertainment given him by the city silence; for my friend, monsieur Le Roy, of He accompanied it with very polite expresthe royal academy of sciences, took up my sions of his esteem for me, having, as he said, cause and refuted him: my book was trans- been long acquainted with my character. lated into the Italian, German, and Latin lan- After dinner, when the company, as was cusguages; and the doctrine it contained was by tomary at that time, were engaged in drinkdegrees generally adopted by the philosophers ing, he took me aside into another room, and of Europe, in preference to that of the Abbé; acquainted me that he had been advised by so that he lived to see himself the last of his his friends in England to cultivate a friendsect; except monsieur B- of Paris, his ship with me, as one who was capable eléve and immediate disciple.

of giving him the best advice, and of conWhat gave my book the more sudden and tributing most effectually to the making his general celebrity, was the success of one of administration easy. That he therefore deits proposed experiments, made by messieurs sired of all things to have a good understandDalibard and Delor, at Marly; for drawing ing with me, and he begged me to be assured lightning from the clouds. This engaged the of his readiness on all occasions to render me public attention every where. Monsieur De- every service that might be in his power. lor, who had an apparatus for experimental He said much to me also of the proprietors' philosophy, and lectured in that branch of science, undertook to repeat, what he called * Dr. Franklin gives a further account of his election, the Philadelphia experiments; and after in the following extract of a letter to his son, governor they were performed before the king and

London, Dec. 19, 1767. court, all the curious of Paris flocked to see “We have had an ugly affair at the Royal Society late. them. I will not swell this narrative with !y. One Dacosta, a Jew, who, as our clerk, was en. an account of that capital experiment, nor of ful as to embezzle near thirteen hundred pounds in

trusted with collecting our monies, has been so unfaith. the infinite pleasure I received in the success four years. Being one of the council this year as well of a similar one I made soon after with a kite as the last, I have been employed all the last week in

attending the inquiry into and unravelling his acat Philadelphia, as both are to be found in the counts, in order to come at a full knowledge of his histories of electricity. Dr. Wright, an Eng- pounds to the society, which they will pay, but we are lish physician, when at Paris, wrote to a like to lose the rest. He had this

year received

twenty. friend who was of the Royal Society, an ac- six admission payments of twenty-five guineas each, count of the high esteem my experiments which he did not bring to account.

“While attending this affair, I had an opportunity of were in among the learned abroad, and of looking over the old council books and journals of the their wonder that my writings had been so society, and having a curiosity to see how I came in, little noticed in England. The society on for the minutes relating to it. You must know it is this resumed the consideration of the letters not usual to admit persons that have not requested to that had been read to them; and the cele-vour of the candidate, signed by at least three of the brated Dr. Watson drew up a summary ac- members, is by our rule to be presented to the society, count of them, and of all 'I hai afterwards expressing that he is desirous of that honour, and is so

and so qualified. As I had never asked or expecced the sent to England on the subject; which he honour, I was, as I said before, curious to see how the accompanied with some praise of the writer. business was managed. I found that the certificate, This summary was then printed in their worded very advantageously

for me, was signed by

lord Macclesfield, then president, lord Parker, and lord me. transactions: and some members of the so- Willoughby; that the election was by an unanimous ciety in London, particularly the very inge- yote; and the honour being voluntarily conferred by nious Mr. Canton, having verified the expe- demand or receive the usual fees or composition; so that riment of procuring lightning from the clouds my name was entered on the list with a vote

or council

, by a pointed rod, and aequainted them with nothing has

ever been demanded of me. Those who are the success; they soon made me more than admitted in the common way, pay five guineas

admisamends for the slight with which they had sion fees, and two guineas and a half

yearly contribubefore treated me. Without my having made case a substantial favour accompanied the honour.


« ZurückWeiter »