Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Cushing, 16 June 1773

From Thomas Cushing

AL: Massachusetts Historical Society; copy: Library of Congress

Boston June 16. 1773


Inclosed you have a report of a Committee upon the Letters lately laid before our House of Representatives, they have not as yet pass’d upon them. The Time assigned for Considering this Report is at 3 o Clock this afternoon. It is probable the most if not all of them will Pass by a great Majority.1

To Benj Franklin Esq.

Notation: Thos Cushing to Dr. Franklin June 16. 1773

1They did indeed. On June 15 the committee of nine delivered the report that Cushing enclosed. It contained a number of resolutions, which the House adopted on the 16th by a vote of eighty-three to twenty-eight. Hutchinson, History, III, 291; see also pp. 289–90. An extract of the resolutions, now incomplete, is among BF’s papers in the APS. They declared that the letters were designed to influence British policy by turning it against Massachusetts and preventing redress of grievances; the writers were trying to further their own fortunes through implementation of the Townshend Acts, by the military force that had destroyed the peace of the colony and subverted its morals and good government. The letters from the two Rhode Islanders, Moffatt and Rome, were malicious slanders on the administration of that colony. Whitehall had received and acted upon inflammatory and self-serving letters from individuals and, on the pretext that BF was not a duly constituted agent, had prevented the remonstrances of the House from reaching the throne. Hutchinson and Oliver had lost the confidence of the people, and the King should be asked to remove them. Smyth, Writings, VI, 276–9. The resultant petition was enclosed in Cushing to BF below, June 25.

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