Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to David Hartley, 7 January 1784

To David Hartley

Copy:4 William L. Clements Library

Passy Jan 7 1784

My Dear friend

I have this moment recd your favour of the 25th past acquainting me with the change in administration. I am sure that in reforming the Constitution wch is sometimes talked of, it wd not be better to make your great offices of State hereditary, than to suffer the inconvenience of such frequent & total changes. Much Faction & Cabal wd be prevented, by having a hereditary first Ld of the Treasury, a hereditary Ld Chancellor, Privy Seal President of the council, Secretary of State, first Ld of the Admiralty &c &c &c— It will not be said that the Duties of these offices being important, we cannot trust to nature for the chance of requisite talents, since we have an hereditary set of judges in the last resort, the House of Peers; an hereditary King, and in a certain German university an hereditary professor of Mathematics.— We have not yet heard of the arrival of our Express in America who carried the definitive treaty. He sailed the 26 of September.5 As soon as the Ratification arrives I shall immediately send you word of it.

With great Esteem I am ever My Dear friend Yours most affectely

B Franklin

To D Hartley Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In Hartley’s hand.

5BF would soon learn of Thaxter’s arrival from a letter Jay wrote to WTF on Dec. 30, 1783. Jay, in Bath, had learned the news from a private source (APS).

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