Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Jackson, 16 January 1764

To Richard Jackson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. Jan. 16. 1764

Dear Sir

I have just now receiv’d your Favour of Nov. 12.4 and hear the Packet is to return directly from New York, while I have scarce time to write a Line before the Post goes.5 The House have past a Bill to pay the other Colonies what was over-receiv’d by us; which Bill is now before the Governor.6 We have lately had horrid Rioting on our Frontiers.7 The Inhabitants came down armed into Lancaster County, and at two several times murdered 20 Innocent Indians, who had been settled on Conestogoe Mannor many Years, under the Protection of this Government. 140 converted Delawares, who refus’d to engage with their Nation in this War, and took Refuge in this Province, have been sent by the Governor into the Jerseys, he being apprehensive he should not be able to protect them from the Murderers who threatned them also. I hope, during your Session, to hear some true political News from you. The News papers only confound us. I am not much alarm’d about your Schemes of raising Money on us.8 You will take care for your own sakes not to lay greater Burthens on us than we can bear; for you cannot hurt us without hurting your selves. All our Profits center with you, and the more you take from us, the less we can lay out with you. I had lodg’d some Money with Mr. Sargent to pay for my Part of the Carolana Purchase, if we had made it; but begin to think it will come to nothing.9 I can now only add that I am, with sincerest Esteem and Respect, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Richard Jackson Esqr / Member of Parliament for Weymouth / London / Free to N York / B Franklin

Endorsed: 16 Janry 1764 Benjn. Franklin Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See above, X, 368–72.

5Pa. Gaz., Feb. 2, 1764, printed a N.Y. dispatch of January 25 saying that the Harriot had sailed “yesterday” for Falmouth. London Chron., Feb. 18–20, 1764, reported its arrival at Falmouth on February 16.

6The parliamentary grant for 1760 was distributed in 1762 before General Amherst’s return had been received showing what various colonies’ contributions of troops had been in 1760. The agents had agreed that the money should be distributed in the same proportions as that for the campaign of 1759; if Amherst’s return showed that any colony had been overpaid, then an adjustment would be made when the grant for the campaign of 1761 was received. It later developed that Conn. and Pa. had been overpaid, the latter colony owing £10,947 sterling. According to Amherst’s return for 1761, however, Pa. was not entitled to any share of the grant for that year, and since its agents had transmitted to the colony the whole of what they had received for 1760, they had no way of making good the overpayment. The obligation was therefore transferred from London to Philadelphia. The Assembly passed a bill to pay the amounts due to six other colonies on Jan. 13, 1764, but the governor delayed approving it until March 23. Pa. Col. Recs., IX, 47–52; Votes, 1763–64, pp. 22, 25–7, 68; Statutes at Large, Pa., VI, 329–31.

7For accounts of these matters relating to the Indians, see below, pp. 22–9, 42–55.

8In his letter of November 12 Jackson had written of the proposed reduction in the duty on foreign molasses to make the law more effective, and had prophesied that Parliament would “infallibly” raise £200,000 annually on the colonies. BF’s preoccupation with problems in Pa. at this time may have made him less concerned over this prospect than he might otherwise have been.

9On this land scheme and the part BF and Jackson considered playing in it, see above, X, 208–9, 212–15, 254–5, 341–2, 369–71.

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