Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, 9 September 1763

From Peter Collinson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Londn Sepr 9: 1763

I reced both Yours from Boston9—it is a Pleasure to hear from the Man I Love.

I Submit the Inclosed to your perusal.1 Your Free remarks on them will be acceptable. I that Live so remote am not so good a Judge of the Reasonabl[n]ess and practibility of Them.

They were drawn up at the breaking out of the Cherokee Warr2 and presented to those at the Helm.

Its possible Some Hints (if attended to) might have been Drawn from Them and prevented these Cruel Recent Depredations.3

I am in perfect Health to hear the Like from you and yours will be a Peculiar Satisfaction to your Affectionate Friend

P Collinson

To Morrow I go to the Society.4 If I see Canton5 will show him the Letter. The Bad News is Just Arrived of our Defeat which Gives much Concern.6

Addressed: To / Benn: Franklin Esqr / in / Philadelphia

Endorsed: Mr Collinson Sept. 9. 1763

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Neither letter has been found.

1Probably Collinson’s “Two Proposals for establishing a lasting Peace and Friendship with the Indians in North America,” dated Sept. 17, 1763, and printed in that month’s issue of Gent. Mag., XXXIII (1763), 419–20. The premise underlying Collinson’s proposals was the customary Quaker one that Indian troubles in North America were caused by mistreatment of the redmen by the whites, land fraud being singled out as the most persistent form of injustice practiced against the Indians. Collinson’s remedies were the appointment of surveyors in each colony whose job it would be to “ride the boundaries” and see that squatters on Indian lands were removed, forcibly if necessary, and the appointment of “advocates” from the Council in each province “to be impowered by the Assembly to act speedily and finally, in settling all complaints from the Indians.” He would also have had the sale of rum to the Indians made a felony.

2For the “Cherokee War” along the frontiers of So. Car., 1759–61, see above, IX, 30 n.

3That is, depredations by Pontiac and his followers; see above, p. 273 n.

4Probably the Royal Society.

5John Canton, the English electrical experimenter; see above, IV, 390 n.

6Apparently a reference to a defeat inflicted by Pontiac, but it is difficult to tell which one. London Chron., Sept. 15–17, 1763, prints letters about the fighting around Detroit and Collinson may be referring to the discouraging news in general.

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