Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 9 January 1760

To Joseph Galloway

Duplicate: Yale University Library


London, Jany. 9. 1760

Dear Sir

The enclos’d are Copies of my last1 to you per the Pacquet: Capt. House, who talk’d of sailing two Months ago is still here, but probably will now go in a Day or two, and by him I purpose to send this Letter.

Since Govr. Denny and the Assembly have at length come to so good an Agreement, I cannot but join with you in Wishes that he had been continued. But before that Agreement was known here, Mr. Hamilton’s Appointment had taken Place.2 I know not on what Terms he accepted the Government; I wish they may be such as will allow him to make the People and himself easy: But I doubt, from some Tokens appearing here, that the Storm is still to continue longer.

The Acts pass’d are in themselves so just and reasonable, that I at first flatter’d myself the Proprietor would either not have the Face to oppose them, or that if he did oppose them it would be without Effect. I thought too, that the Death of Paris, to whose evil Influence most of his indiscreet Measures have been ascribed by his Friends, would have left him open to better Counsels.3 But I this Day learn, that he is determin’d to oppose the Supply and Re-Emitting Acts and some of the others, but which of the others, I am not inform’d, except that he has already put in a Caveat at the Exchequer against paying me the Parliamentary Grant in Pursuance of your Act, till the King’s Pleasure on that Act is known, which if possible he will get refus’d.4 The Exchequer, as it does not at present abound in Money, are not displeas’d to see any Dispute, that gives a Colour for delaying Payment; and as it may be some time before this Matter is settled, I hope the Committee will not be over-hasty in Drawing for the Money.5 What the Event of the other Bills may be, none can foresee: Only from some other Particulars I have of late observed, I have not all the Confidence I could wish, that what appears right and reasonable to me, may easily be made appear the same to others.

I have an equal Esteem with you for our Friend Mr. Davy,6 but doubt my being able to do him any Service in the Affair you Mention. Those kind of Things are generally promis’d long before they fall. You cannot conceive the Swarm of Expectants there are lying in wait for all Offices even the least valuable, and what powerful Interest is made for them. The Member of Parliament is oblig’d to a Number of People for their Votes; each of these has a Number of Sons or Cousins or other Relations, for whom the Member must get little Places in the Army, the Navy, the Excise or the Customs; and to a Member nothing must be deny’d that is not ask’d for by another Member. I shall however have an Opportunity in a few Days of trying what may be done, and will advise you if I have any Prospect of Success.

As soon as the Event of these Bills is known, I shall beg leave to turn my Face homeward, as I grow weary of so long a Banishment, and anxiously desire once more the happy Society of my Friends and Family in Philadelphia. With sincere Esteem I am, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9This copy was prefixed to BF’s letter to Galloway of Feb. 26, 1760 (below, p. 26). The original may never have reached Philadelphia, because the ship which carried it, the Juliana, Capt. House, was taken in West Indian waters by Capt. Sebière du Chateleau (above, VIII, 220–1 n) and carried into Cape François, Santo Domingo. On the other hand, Chateleau, after “diverting himself” with the letters carried on the Juliana, permitted some of them to be carried to Philadelphia and BF’s may have been one of these. See below, pp. 221–2; see also Pa. Gaz., May 22, 1760.

1Probably not the letter of April 7, 1759 (above, VIII, 309–16), but a later one that has not been found.

2The “Agreement” between Denny and the Assembly, procured by bribes of £3,000, produced the passage of several acts of an anti-proprietary character, the most important of them being the £100,000 Supply Act of April 17, 1759, which realized the Assembly’s long-standing objective of taxing the proprietary estate. See above, VIII, 326–7 n, 419–20 n. WF had written Galloway, Dec. 28, 1759, that James Hamilton had been dissatisfied with his instructions and made difficulties with the Proprietors. Yale Univ. Lib., Hist. Soc. Pa.

3The Penns’ agent, Ferdinand John Paris (above, VII, 247–8 n), died on Dec. 16, 1759; upon the recommendation of James Hamilton and with the approval of Lord Mansfield and the attorney and solicitor general, they appointed Henry Wilmot (c. 1710–1794) of Gray’s Inn, secretary to the lord keeper of the great seal, and agent for the Leeward Islands, to succeed him. Thomas Penn to Richard Peters, Jan. 12, 1760, Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa. WF had remarked to Galloway, Dec. 28, 1759, that “it may be some time before he [Thomas Penn] can find another Person infamous enough to do his Dirty work.”

4Beside the “Supply and Re-Emitting Acts” (above, VIII, 326–7 n, 419 n), and the act authorizing BF to receive Pa.’s share of the £200,000 voted by Parliament to compensate the colonies for their war expenditures (above, VIII, 333, 442 n), the proprietors opposed eight other acts passed by the Pa. Assembly in 1758–59. For the Board of Trade and Privy Council Committee hearings on these acts, see below, pp. 125–73, 196–211.

5The act appointing BF agent to receive the parliamentary grant directed him to deposit the money in the Bank of England where it was to “remain subject to the drafts and bills of exchange of the trustees of the general loan office.” Statutes at Large, Pa., V, 461.

6Possibly the Hugh Davey who died June 15, 1773, aged 68, inspector of lumber at the port of Philadelphia. Pa. Gaz., June 30, 1773. Galloway was apparently trying to get some appointment for his friend.

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