To William Franklin
MS not found; extract reprinted from [Jared Sparks, ed.], A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 1833), p. 280.
[February 14th, 1767]
Great changes being expected keeps men’s minds in suspense, and obstructs public affairs of every kind.1 It is therefore not to be wondered at, that so little progress is made in our American schemes of the Ilinois grant, and retribution for Indian losses.2
1. The chief obstruction to public affairs, as a letter from London, Feb. 14, 1767, printed in Pa. Gaz., April 23, 1767, makes clear, was the almost continual illness of the “prime minister,” William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, which prevented him from doing business over long stretches of time.
2. BF’s political associates in Pa. were the prime movers in both of these projects. WF had composed the plan for establishing a colony in the Illinois region; see above, XIII, 330 n.