Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 16 September 1758

To Joseph Galloway

ALS: Yale University Library

London, Sept. 16. 1758

Dear Sir,

I wrote you a few Lines on the 6th Inst. in which I omitted acknowledging the Receipt of your several Favours of April 17. May 9. and June 16.2 They all got safe to hand with the several Papers as mention’d; but the Votes, except what related to Smith’s Affair, I have not yet received. No Report has yet been made by the Attorney and Solicitor General, nor any now expected. The Expence to Smith must have been considerable. Moore’s Petition, tho’ talk’d of, was, I believe, never presented.3

I heard, with great Pleasure, that the Assembly had pass’d a Bill for so large a Supply and raising so great a Body of Men for the Service of the current Year. God send your Forces Success. For if this Year’s Service proves as fruitless as the last, I know not how you will bear such a Burthen for another. You have however shown your Zeal for the King’s Service; and the Proprietor, by the first Refusal of the Bill has shewn, that all is to be risqu’d rather than his Purposes not serv’d.4

The Commissioners I think fully justify’d themselves, from the Governor’s mean Accusations.5 I believe there never was a Set of Commissioners since the Time of the old Romans, that acted with more Integrity and Uprightness, and less Regard to private Interest.

Mr. Thomson has, as you desired, sent me constantly Copies of the Treaties with Tedyuskung.6 They are very Satisfactory, and must be of great Use when the important Affair of doing those People Justice comes under Consideration here. Sundry Circumstances have prevented it for some time, but it will now speedily be brought on.7

You will probably soon have a Change of Governors, (as I wrote you the 10th. of June last, when I wrote also to the Committee)8 but as to a Change of Government, that perhaps is at some Distance, unless the Province, heartily tir’d of Proprietary Rule, should petition the Crown to take the Government into its own Hands.9

I have not lately seen the Proprietaries. Their Conduct in Smiths Affair, abetting the Abuses thrown on the Assembly at the Hearing, and soliciting in favour of his Cause, was look’d upon by every body as an open Declaration of War; and having no longer any Hopes of an Accommodation, I have never since desired an Audience of them.1 Some Ship before Winter will probably bring me full Directions from the Assembly as to my future Proceedings. How far the Cause may be drawn into Length, is impossible to foresee; but you need be under no Apprehension of its suffering for want of Money; when I see any likelyhood of that, I shall give you timely Notice; and in the mean time, on occasion, could advance of my own; for the Remittances I have received since my being here, have greatly exceeded my Expences.2

The Taking of Louisburg gave great Joy here, and to me the more, as it will tend to rivet the Patriot Minister3 in the Seat of Power.

It is said the Proprietor has taken great Offence at some Letter of my writing into Pensilvania.4 I know not what it is, but Copies are somehow obtain’d for him of such of my Letters as are laid before the Assembly; which must make me cautious how I speak freely of Persons and Measures here, lest he should have a Handle to create me Enemies. But as to his own Resentment against me, it gives me very little Concern.

Billy is gone to Portsmouth, so cannot write to you per this Opportunity. I have sent him your Letter which came with yours of July 28 to me. The Affidavits mention’d in the Council’s Defence of the Proprietor, are not annext to the Copy you favour’d me with. If you have any Affidavits on the other side of the Question, I should be glad to have them with the others.5 The Proprietor’s E[stimate] of his Estate is a curious Paper, and will be of good Use.6 I thank you for the Account of the Forces in North America.7

I long to hear the Event of your Expedition against Fort Duquesne. Since the Repulse at Ticonderago, I have been in pain for my Countrymen.8

Present my best Respects to the rest of the Committee9 and the Members of the House, and believe me, with great Esteem, Dear Sir, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Mr. Galloway

Sept. 19. I enclose you one of the latest Papers, communicate it to the Speaker.1

Endorsed: Letter Sept. 16. 1758 Benjamn. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2See the document next but one above for BF’s letter of September 6, and above, pp. 106–8, for Galloway’s of June 16; the others have not been found.

3The records of the Privy Council show that Smith’s and Moore’s petitions were both presented to that body and referred to its committee on April 1, 1758, and that the committee referred both to the attorney general and solicitor general on April 10. Acts Privy Coun., Col., IV, 375. Ferdinand Paris stated, however, that only “Many days after Mr. Smith’s petition had been presented, and referred” had Daniel Moore brought his brother’s petition to Paris. “With some difficulty I got that put into the same Channel, as Mr. Smith’s, And at length, got sight of Mr. Moore’s Case and paper.” He was surprised to find that it was accompanied by no supporting papers and so he could not bring it to a hearing at the same time as Smith’s. Later he did procure some facts, since both cases were closely related, and hoped to bring the Moore petition to a hearing. Paris to William Allen, May 13, June 10, 1758. Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa. The Privy Council acted finally on the Smith case, June 26, 1759 (for the report of its committee, see Acts Privy Coun., Col., IV, 375–85), but no evidence has been found that Moore’s petition was ever pressed to a conclusion.

4For the Supply Act of April 22, 1758, see above, pp. 54–5.

5Denny had accused the provincial commissioners of ignoring him in spending public funds. Pa. Col. Recs., VIII, 42, 64, 67–8. Galloway and four of his colleagues published a long report in defense of their conduct in Pa. Gaz., April 27, 1758. This report was probably one of the “several Papers” which BF acknowledged receiving from Galloway.

6See above, p. 69.

7“The important Affair” was a petition to the King on Teedyuscung’s behalf; see below, pp. 264–76.

8See above, p. 89.

9See below, p. 157, for BF’s own remarks on “a Change of Government.”

1See below, pp. 178–88, for BF’s final dealings with the Proprietors.

2How much BF had available in London at this time is not clear, but a memorandum of April 12, 1759, records that on that day he completed payment on an investment of £1480 19s. 8d. in government stock and the associated lottery tickets with a total face value of £1725. “Account of Expences,” p. 26; PMHB, LV (1931), 117. For details of this stock issue, see above, p. 148 n.

3William Pitt. News of the capture of Louisbourg, July 26, 1758, appeared in London Chron., Aug. 19, 1758.

4See above, VII, 360–4.

5Galloway’s letter of July 28 has not been found; for BF’s low opinion of the Council’s defense of proprietary land purchases, see below, p. 158.

6This is the paper entitled “My Estimate of the Province, T. Penn,” printed in the appendix of Richard Jackson’s An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pensylvania in May 1759 with BF’s remarks upon it; see below, pp. 360–79. Apparently Galloway had included it with his letter of July 28, 1758, to BF.

7Galloway may have sent a private account of all the forces, but information about particular groups appeared frequently in colonial newspapers. For example, on June 8, 1758, Pa. Gaz. named the ships of the Royal Navy in the Louisbourg expedition and on June 15 listed the regiments taking part in the same attack with the number of men in each.

8News of the British defeat at Ticonderoga, July 8, was in London Chron., Aug. 22, 1758.

9The Assembly Committee of Correspondence.

1Probably London Chron., Sept. 19, 1758, containing BF’s “A.B.” letter, see below, pp. 162–8.

Index Entries