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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 soune money. In the colonies, he might be able to proceed in the West India Islands indeed, it was with diffexpedition : 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 professcd 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. Fa being superseded by captain Denny.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 f 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 those 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 philosoLondon, 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 new ones. 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 I Vol II. of this edition
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 expres the royal academy of sciences, took up my sions of his esteem for me, having, as he said, canse 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 ly. 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 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- frauds. His securities are bound in one thousand lish physician, when at Paris, wrote to a like to lose the reat. 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
he admitted; and a recommendatory certificate in fa. 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 had afterwards expressing that he is desirous of that honour, and is so
and so qualified. As I had never asked or expected 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 transactions: and some members of the so- Willoughby; that the election was by an unanimous ciety in London, particularly the very inge- vote ; 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 of council by a pointed rod, and acquainted them with that I was not to pay any thing. And,
. 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 contribu Without my having made case a substantial favour accompanied the honour.
before treated me.
good disposition towards the province, and petition the king against them, and appointed of the advantage it would be to us all, and to me their agent to go over to England, to preme in particular, if the opposition that had sent and support the petition. The house been so long continued to his measures was had sent up a bill to the governor, granting a dropped, and harmony restored between him sum of sixty thousand pounds for the king's and the people; in effecting which, it was use, (ten thousand pounds of which was sub thought no one could be more serviceable jected to the orders of the then general, lord than myself; and I might depend on adequate Loudon,) which the governor, in compliance acknowledgments and recompenses, &c. The with his instructions absolutely refused to drinkers finding we did not return iinmedi- pass. I had agreed with captain Morris, of ately to the table, sent us a decanter of Ma- the packet at New York, for my passage, and deira, which the governor made liberal use my stores were put on board; when lord of, and in proportion became more profuse of Loudon, arrived at Philadelphia, expressly as his solicitations and promises. My answers he told me, to endeavour an accommodation were to this purpose; that my circumstances, between the governor and assembly, that his thanks to God, were such as to make pro- majesty's service might not be obstructed by prietary favours unnecessary to me; and that their dissensions. Accordingly he desired being a member of the assembly, I could not the governor and myself to meet him, that he possibly accept of any; that, however, I had might hear what was to be said on both sides. no personal enmity to the proprietary, and We met and discussed the business : in bethat whenever the public measures he pro half of the assembly, I urged the various arguposed, should appear to be for the good of the ments that may be found in the public papers people, no one would espouse and forward of that time, which were of my writing, and them more zealously than myself; my past are printed with the minutes of the assembly; opposition had been founded on this, that the and the governor pleaded his instructions, the measures which having been urged, were bond he had given to observe them, and his evidently intended to serve the proprietary ruin if he disobeyed ; yet seemed not unwilinterest with great prejudice to that of the ling to hazard himself if lord Loudon would people. That I was much obliged to him advise it. This his lordship did not choose to (the governor) for his profession of regard to do, though I once thought I had nearly preme, and that he might rely on every thing in vailed with him to do it; but finally he rather my power to render his administration as easy chose to urge the compliance of the assembly; to him as possible, hoping, at the same time, and he intreated me to use my endeavours that he had not brought with him the same with them for that purpose, declaring that he unfortunate instructions his predecessors had would spare none of the king's troops for the been hampered with. On this he did not defence of our frontiers, and that if we did not then explain himself, but when he afterwards continue to provide for that defence ourselves, came to do business with the assembly, they they must remain exposed to the enemy. I appeared again; the disputes were renewed, acquainted the house with what had passed, and I was as active as ever in the opposition, and presenting them with a set of resolutions being the penman, first of the request to have I had drawn up, declaring our rights, that we a communication of the instructions, and then did not relinquish our claim to those rights, of the remarks upon them, which may be but only suspended the exercise of them on found in the Votes of the Times, and in the this occasion, through force, against which HISTORICAL REVIEW I afterwards published; we protested; they at length agreed to drop but between us personally no enmity arose, that bill, and frame another conformably to we were often together; he was a man of let- the proprietary instructions; this of course ters, had seen much of the world, and was the governor passed, and I was then at liberty entertaining and pleasing, in conversation. to proceed on my voyage. But in the mean He gave me information that my old friend time the packet had sailed with my sea stores, Ralph, was still alive, that he was esteemed which was some loss to me, and my only reone of the best political writers in England; compense was his lordship's thanks for my had been employed in the dispute between service; all the credit of obtaining the acprince Frederick, and the king, and had ob- commodation falling to his share. tained a pension of three hundred pounds a He set out for New York before me; and year; that his reputation was indeed small as as the time for dispatching the packet boats a poet, Pope having damned his poetry in the was in his disposition, and there were two Dunciad; but his prose was thought as good then remaining there, one of which, he said, as any man's.
was to sail very soon, I requested to know the The assembly finally finding the proprie- precise time, that I might not miss her, by tary obstinately persisted in shackling the any delay of mine. The answer was, “I deputies with instructions, inconsistent not have given out that she is to sail on Saturday only with the privileges of the people, but next, but I may let you know, entre nous, with the service of the crown, resolved to that if you are there by Monday morning,
you will be in time, but do not delay longer!" to join the fleet there, the passengers thought By some accidental hindrance at a ferry, it it best to be on board, lest by a sudden order,
was Monday noon before I arrived, and I was the ships should sail, and they be left behind. 2 much afraid she might have sailed, as the There, if I remember, we were about six
wind was fair ; but I was soon made easy by weeks, consuming our sea stores, and obliged
the information that she was still in the har- to procure more. At length the fleet sailed, 22 bour, and would not move till next day. One the general and all his army on board bound
would imagine that I was now on the very to Louisburg, with intent to besiege and take
point of departing for Europe; I thought so, that fortress ; all the packet-boats in company, game but I was not then so well acquainted with ordered to attend the general's ship, ready to
his lordship’s character, of which indecision receive his dispatches when they should be was one of the strongest features; I shall give ready. We were out five days before we some instances. It was about the beginning got a letter with leave to part; and then our of April, that I came to New York, and I ship quitted the fleet and steered for England. think it was near the end of June before we The other two packets he still detained, sailed. There were then two of the packet- carried them with him to Halifax; where he boats which had been long in readiness, but staid some time to exercise his men in sham were detained for the general's letters, which attacks upon sham forts; then altered his
were always to be ready tomorrow. An- mind as to besieging Louisburg, and returned the other packet arrived, she too was detained, to New York, with all his troops, together # and before we sailed a fourth was expected. with the two packets abovementioned, and all
Ours was the first to be dispatched; as hav- their passengers ! During his absence the ing been there longest. Passengers were French and savages had taken Fort George,
engaged for all, and some extremely impatient on the frontier of that province, and the In2: to be gone, and the merchants uneasy about dians had massacred many of the garrison
their letters, and for the orders they had given after capitulation. I saw afterwards in Loni ve for insurance (it being war time) and for au- don, captain Bound, who commanded one of ni tumnal goods; but their anxiety availed no those packets; he told me that when he had
thing, his lordship's letters were not ready: been detained a month, he acquainted his
and yet whoever waited on him found him lordship that his ship was grown foul, to a & always at his desk, pen in hand, and conclud- degree that must necessarily hinder her fast et edhe must needs write abundantly. Going sailing, (a point of consequence for a packet
myself one morning to pay my respects, I boat,) and requested an allowance of time to na found in his anti-chamber, one Innis, a mes heave her down and clean her bottom. His
senger of Philadelphia, who had come thence lordship asked how long time that would re* express, with a packet from governor Denny, quire. He answered three days.
for the general. He delivered to me some eral replied, “ if you can do it in one day, I letters from my friends there, which occasion- give leave; otherwise not; for you must cer
el my inquiring when he was to return, and tainly sail the day after to-morrow.” So he 2'* where he lodged, that I might send some let- never obtained leave, though detained after
ters by him. He told me he was ordered to wards from day to day during full three call to-morrow at nine for the general's an- months. I saw also in London, one of Bonell's swer to the governor, and sho set off im- passengers, who was so enraged against his mediately ; I put my letters into his hands lordship for deceiving and detaining him so the same day. A fortnight after I met him long at New York, and then carrying him to again in the same place. “So you are soon Halifax and back again, that he swore he
returned, Innis!" « Returned; no, I am not would sue him for damages. Whether he A gone yet.” “ How so?" "I have called here did or not I never heard ; but as he represent
this and every morning these two weeks past ed it, the injury to his affairs was very confor his lordship's letters, and they are not yet siderable. On the whole, I wondered much ready." "Is it possible, when he is so great how such a man came to be intrusted with so a writer ; for I see him constantly at his important a business as the conduct of a great excritoir.” “ Yes," said Innis, “ but he is like army: but having since seen more of the great St George, on the signs, always on horseback world, and the means of obtaining, and mobut never rides on." This observation of tives for giving places and employments, my the messenger was it seems well founded; wonder is diminished. General Shirley, on for when in England, I understood, that Mr. whom the command of the army devolved Pitt, (afterwards lord Chatham,) gave it as upon the death of Braddock, would in my me reason for removing this general, and opinion, if continued in place, have made a sending generals Amherst and Wolf, that the much better campaign than that of Loudon, minister never heard from him, and could in 1756, which was frivolous, expensive, and not know what he was doing.
disgraceful to our nation beyond conception. This daily expectation of sailing, and all For though Shirley was not bred a soldier, he the three packets going down to Sandy Hook, was sensible and" sagacious in himself, and
attentive to good advice from others, capable | vanced, as I charged no commission for my of forming judicious plans, and quick and ac- service; “O,” said he, “ you must not think tive in carrying them into execution. Lou- of persuading us that you are no gainer: we don, instead of defending the colonies with understand better those matters, and know his great army, left them totally exposed, that every one concerned in supplying the while he paraded idly at Halifax; by which army, finds means in the doing it, to fill his means Fort George was lost; besides, he de- own pockets.” I assured him that was not ranged all our mercantile operations, and dis- my case, and that I had not pocketed a fartressed our trade by a long embargo on the thing: but he appeared clearly not to believe exportation of provisions, on pretence of keep- me; and, indeed, I afterwards learned, that ing supplies from being obtained by the enemy, immense fortunes are often made in such embut in reality for beating down their price in ployments: as to my balance, I am not paid favour of the contractors, in whose profits, it it to this day; of which more hereafter. was said, (perhaps from suspicion only,) he Our captain of the packet, boasted much had a share ; and when at length the embargo before we sailed of the swiftness of his ship; was taken off
, neglecting to send notice of it unfortunately, when we came to sea, she to Charleston, where the Carolina fleet was proved the dullest of ninety-six sail, to his no detained near three months; and whereby small mortification. After many conjectures their bottoms were so much damaged by the respecting the cause, when we were near worm, that a great part of them foundered in another ship, almost as dull as ours, which their passage home. Shirley was, I believe, however gained upon us, the captain ordered sincerely glad of being relieved from so bur- all hands to come aft, and stand as near the densome a charge, as the conduct of an army ensign staff as possible. We were, passenmust be to a man unacquainted with military gers included, about forty persons; while we business. I was at the entertainment given stood there, the ship mended her pace, and by the city of New York, to lord Loudon, on soon left her neighbour far behind, which his taking upon him the command. Shirley, proved clearly what our captain suspected, though thereby superseded, was present also. that she was loaded too much by the head. There was a great company of officers, citi- The casks of water, it seems, had been placed zens, and strangers, and some chairs having forward; these he therefore ordered to be been borrowed in the neighbourhood, there moved further aft, on which the ship recoverwas one among them very low, which fell to ed her character, and proved the best sailer the lot of Mr. Shirley. I sat by him, and in the fleet. The captain said she had once perceiving it, I said, they have given you a gone at the rate of thirteen knots, which is very low seat.
“No matter, Mr. Franklin, accounted thirteen miles per hour. We had said he, I find a low seat the easiest." on board, as a passenger, captain Archibald
While I was, as beforementioned, detained Kennedy, of the royal navy, afterwards earl at New York, I received all the accounts of of Cassilis, who contended that it was impos the provisions, &c., that I had furnished to sible, and that no ship ever sailed so fast, and Braddock, some of which accounts could not that there must have been some error in the sooner be obtained from the different persons division of the log-line, or some mistake in I had employed to assist in the business; I heaving the log. A wager ensued between presented them to lord Loudon, desiring to the two captains, to be decided when there be paid the balance. He caused them to be should be sufficient wind : Kennedy, therefore examined by the proper officer, who, after examined the log-line, and being satisfied comparing every article with its voucher, with it, he determined to throw the log himcertified them to be right; and his lordship self. Some days after, when the wind was promised to give me an order on the paymas very fair and fresh, and the captain of the ter for the balance due to me. This was, packet (Lutwidge) said, he believed she then however, put off from time to time, and though went at the rate of thirteen knots; Kennedy I called often for it by appointment, I did not made the experiment, and owned his wager get it. At length, just before my departure, lost. The foregoing fact I give for the sake he told me he had, on better consideration, of the following observation: it has been reconcluded not to mix his accounts with those marked, as an imperfection in the art of shipof his predecessors “ And you," said he, building, that it can never be known till she "when in England, have only to exhibit your is tried, whether a new ship will, or will not accounts to the treasury, and you will be paid be a good sailer; for that the model of a good immediately." I mentioned, but without ef- sailing ship has been exactly followed in a fect, a great and unexpected expense I had new one, which has been proved on the conbeen put to by being detained so long at New trary remarkably dull. I apprehend that this York, as a reason for my desiring to be pre- may partly be occasioned by the different sently paid; and, on my observing that it was opinions of seamen respecting the modes of not right I should be put to any further trou- loading, rigging, and sailing of a ship; each ble or delay in obtaining the money I had ad- has his method, and the same vessel laden by