Benjamin Franklin Papers

Pennsylvania Assembly Committee of Correspondence to Richard Jackson and Benjamin Franklin, 21 January 1766

Pennsylvania Assembly Committee of Correspondence to Richard Jackson and Benjamin Franklin

Printed in Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania . . ., v (Philadelphia, Henry Miller, 1775), p. 454.

Philadelphia, January 21, 1766.


Inclosed is a Copy of our last, with a Duplicate of the Address to the House of Commons therein mentioned, on the Subject whereof, and the other Matters recommended to your Attention in the said Letter, we have nothing more to add.3

We have laid Mr. Richard Jackson’s Letter, of the Ninth of November, before the Assembly, now sitting,4 who observing that he informs them, that the Petitions for a Change of this Government, from Proprietary to Royal, “may be dropped, by proper Instructions for that Purpose, notwithstanding they are presented,” have directed us to assure you, that they are by no Means inclined to withdraw the Petitions; but, on the contrary, desire that you will prosecute them with the utmost Expedition to an Issue, provided it may be done with Safety to all those Rights and Privileges, to which the People of this Province are entitled, under their Charters and Acts of Assembly, agreeable to the Instructions heretofore sent you, a Triplicate whereof is also inclosed.5 We are, with great Respect, Gentlemen, Your most obedient, and most humble Servants,

Joseph Richardson, Isaac Pearson,
Joseph Galloway, Giles Knight.
Thomas Livezey,
[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The text of the Committee’s “last” letter has not been found. On April 12, 1766 (below, p. 236), BF acknowledged receiving its letters of January 13 and 20, although he may have given each letter a date one day too early. On January 14 the speaker of the Assembly signed a petition to the House of Commons seeking repeal of the Currency Act of 1764 and restoration of the right to issue bills of credit that would pass as legal tender. The Assembly thereupon directed its Committee of Correspondence to transmit the petition to the agents in London “by the first Opportunity.” 8 Pa. Arch., vii, 5824–7. In response to an order of January 14, the Committee of Correspondence laid the present letter before the Assembly on the 21st and it was promptly approved. Ibid., pp. 5828, 5837. Perhaps the Committee, anticipating favorable action, had in each instance prepared and signed its letter to the agents one day in advance of such action, in which case BF’s dating would be correct.

4The Committee of Correspondence laid Jackson’s letter of Nov. 9, 1765, before the Assembly on January 14 immediately after the action mentioned in the note directly above, concerning the petition to the House of Commons. “After some Debate” the members ordered the Committee to draft “further Instructions” to the agents on the matter of the proposed change of government. 8 Pa. Arch., vii, 5827–8.

5See above, XII, 321–3.

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