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
Addressed: To / Benn: Franklin Esqr / in / Philadelphia
Endorsed: Mr Collinson Sept. 9. 1763
9. Neither letter has been found.
1. Probably 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.
2. For the “Cherokee War” along the frontiers of So. Car., 1759–61, see above, IX, 30 n.
3. That is, depredations by Pontiac and his followers; see above, p. 273 n.
4. Probably the Royal Society.
5. John Canton, the English electrical experimenter; see above, IV, 390 n.
6. Apparently 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.