Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the New Jersey Assembly Committee of Correspondence, 18 February 1774

To the New Jersey Assembly Committee of Correspondence2

ALS (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Feb. 18. 1774


With this you will receive the Act for Settling the Boundary between your Province and New York.3

The Obstruction given in America to the Importation of the Tea, has occasion’d great Resentment here. Happily New Jersey is out of the Question. What Measures will be taken upon it, is not yet known, but violent Ones are apprehended. Please to present my best Respects to the Assembly, and believe me to be with great Esteem, Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble Servant


J. Kinsey and T. P. Hewlings Esqrs  Burlington4

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2BF is replying to a letter from the committee, now lost, of May 18, 1773, when the Assembly was not in session; see BF to Parker below, Sept. 7.

3For earlier references to this dispute see above, XIV, 196–201; XVI, 255–6, 268. New York passed an act confirming the boundary in 1771, and New Jersey followed suit the following year; both acts were approved in September, 1773. BF was slow in sending the confirmed act; Edmund Burke had sent the New York equivalent months earlier. Samuel Allinson, ed., Acts of the General Assembly of the Province of New-Jersey … (Burlington, N.J., 1776), pp. 368–73; Report of the Commissioners on the Boundary Line between the State of New York and the State of New Jersey (Albany, 1884), pp. 135–6; Acts Privy Coun., Col., v, 45–6; Thomas W. Copeland et al., eds., The Correspondence of Edmund Burke (9 vols., Cambridge and Chicago, 1958–70), II, 493.

4James Kinsey (1731–1803) was a lawyer who represented Burlington in the Assembly, 1772–75, and had recently assumed leadership of the opposition to Treasurer Skinner, for which see WF to BF above, Jan. 5; Kinsey was subsequently a member of the Continental Congress and, from 1789 until his death, chief justice of the New Jersey supreme court. Larry R. Gerlach, “Politics and Prerogatives: the Aftermath of the Robbery of the East Jersey Treasury in 1768,” N.J. History, XC (1972), [143–]5, 148–50; Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1971 ([Washington, D.C.], 1971), p. 1239. Thomas P. Hewlings (d. c. 1793) also represented Burlington; he was later suspected of Loyalist sympathies and even indicted for treason. 1 N.J. Arch., XXVIII, 89, 93; Minutes of the Council of Safety of … New Jersey (Jersey City, 1872), pp. 14, 16, 20; 2 N.J. Arch., II, 543–5. “Wrote at the same time to R. Bache,” BF added in a note to himself at the foot of the page, “recommending Philip Adams and his wife.” The letter to RB is above, Feb. 17.

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