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After the repeal of the late American Stamp Act, we were happy in the pleasing prospect of a restoration of that tranquility and unanimity among ourselves, and that harmony and affection between our parent country and us, which had generally subsisted before that detestable Act. But with the utmost grief and concern, we find that we flatter’d ourselves too soon, and that the root of bitterness...
You have, once more received, the highest Testimony of the Confidence and Affection of your Constituents, which the Constitution has impowered them to exhibit; the Trust of representing them in the great and general Court or Assembly of this Province. This important Trust is committed to you, at a time when your Country demands the Exertion of all your Wisdom Fortitude and Virtue; and...
Reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., The Works of Benjamin Franklin … (10 vols., Boston, 1836–40) VII , 492–4. In his letter to Samuel Cooper six months before, Franklin had put more emphasis on loyalty to the King than was perhaps welcome to leaders of the Massachusetts House. During the debate over the agency he had been criticized for being, as a postal official and the father of a colonial...
Reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., The Works of Benjamin Franklin ... (10 vols., Boston, 1836–40), VII , 501–6. In 1770 Franklin, in a series of letters to American friends, began a commentary on various aspects of the imperial constitution. The letter below is part of this series. It discusses the current state of the American controversy and prospects for the future, and in the process...
ALS : Public Record Office During Franklin’s correspondence with leading Bostonians over the past year, the gap between his views and theirs had been gradually narrowing; but this letter shows that it had not yet closed. He deplored the exercise of the King’s prerogative through instructions to governors, he denied that Parliament might bind the colonies without their consent, he believed that...
ALS : Public Record Office; incomplete draft: American Philosophical Society I am now return’d again to London from a Journey of some Months in Ireland and Scotland. Though my Constitution, and too great Confinement to Business during the Winter, seem to require the Air and Exercise of a long Journey once a Year, which I have now practiced for more than 20 Years past, yet I should not have...
Reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., The Works of Benjamin Franklin … (10 vols., Boston, 1836–40), VIII , 7–8. I wrote to you in January last a long letter, by Meyrick, and at the same time wrote to the Committee, since which I have received no line from any one in Boston, nor has Mr. Bollan yet received the answer we wait for, respecting the eastern settlements on the crown land. The Parliament...
AL (letterbook draft): Library of Congress I write this Line just to acknowledge the Receipt of your several Favours of July 15 and 16, enclosing the Resolves of the House relating to the Governor’s Salary, and the Petition to the King. Lord Dartmouth, now our American Minister, will probably not be in Town till the Season of Business comes on, I shall then immediately put the Petition into...
ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress; AL (copy): Public Record Office Lord Dartmouth our new American Minister came to Town last Week, and held his first Levee on Wednesday, when I paid my Respects, acquainting him at the same time that I should in a few Days wait upon him on Business from Boston, which I have accordingly since done and have put your Petition to the King into his Hands,...
ALS and incomplete copy: Public Record Office; letterbook draft: Library of Congress The interview described in the first part of this letter involved Franklin further in the developing crisis in Massachusetts, and the enclosure he described in the second part inflamed that crisis and deeply affected the remainder of his English mission. The importance of the letter is obvious, and so are the...