Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Jackson, 29 March 1764

To Richard Jackson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. March 29. 1764

Dear Sir

In my last3 I inform’d you that the Agreement between the Governor and Assembly was not likely long to continue. The enclos’d Paper4 will show you that the Breach is wider now than ever. And ’tis thought there will be a general Petition from the Inhabitants to the Crown, to take us under its immediate Government. I send you this early Notice of what is intended that you may prepare Minds for it, as they fall in your Way. If I can have time I will send you a Copy of the Bill we last sent up,5 and which was refused. But if it goes not by this Vessel, we shall send it via Lisbon in one that sails in a few Days.

Be assured, that we all think it impossible to go on any longer under a Proprietary Government. By the Resolves you will see, that never was greater Unanimity in any Assembly. Enclos’d I send you a Draft of what I think will be pretty nearly the Petition, that you may see the Tenor of it.6 Note, There was an Agreement between the First Proprietor W. Penn, and the Crown, for the Sale of the Government at £11,000 of which £2,000 was paid him.7 Note also, that the Crown has a great Sum in the Proprietaries Hands, half the Quitrents of the Lower Counties belonging to the Crown, of which the Proprietaries are Receivers, and I believe have never render’d any Account.

You will endear yourself to us forever, if you can get this Change of Government compleated.

I write in great haste; but am Dear Friend, Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

P.S. Besides the general Petitions of the Inhabitants the Assembly will present an Address to the same Purpose.8

Endorsed: 29 Mar 1764 Benjn Franklin Esq

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3That of March 14, 1764; see above, pp. 105–9.

4Almost certainly Pa. Gaz., March 29, 1764, which printed the messages that had passed between the governor and the Assembly between March 14 and 24 on the £55,000 Supply Bill. Among the documents printed were the Assembly’s messages to the governor, March 22 and 24, 1764, and its Resolves of the 24th, for all of which, see above, pp. 111–33.

5The £55,000 Supply Bill of March 14, 1764; see above, pp. 111–12.

6See immediately above.

7In 1712 William Penn and the Board of Trade agreed to the sale of the government of Pennsylvania for £12,000, but although Penn received £1000, the contract was never formally executed. William R. Shepherd, History of Proprietary Government in Pennsylvania (N.Y., 1896), pp. 540–4. See also below, p. 151.

8See below, p. 193–200.

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