Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Jackson, 20 September 1764

To Richard Jackson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. Sept. 20. 1764

Dear Sir

I receiv’d your Favour of June 30.3 but no Line by this Pacquet. Things are here as they have been for some time past: Except that the Proprietary Party begin to doubt the Success they promis’d themselves at the next Election. Mr. Allen has exerted himself in the House to persuade a Recall of the Petition, but as far as I can perceive, without the least Effect.4 The Bugbears he would frighten us with, are rather laught at. No Concessions, however, on the Part of the Proprietaries have yet been propos’d to us.5 This per Packet. I shall write you more fully by Budden, who sails on Sunday next.6 With great Respect, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Richard Jackson, Esqr / Inner Temple / London / via N. York / per Packet

Endorsed: from Phila: under Mr Franklin’s Cover to Alexr. Colden 20 Sept 1764 Benjn. Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Not found.

4See above, pp. 327–8. At the short September session of the Assembly only one matter relating to the petition to the King appeared on the minutes. On August 10 some of the “principal Inhabitants” of Lancaster Co. had presented an address to their representative Isaac Saunders (one of the minority members) praising his “spirited and disinterested Opposition” to the petition and the loss of privileges it might entail. The address attacked the Assembly’s proceedings as “the Offspring of Precipitation and Warmth, rather than of mature Deliberation and cool Judgment.” Saunders had replied in similar language and expressed the hope that God would protect the people of Pa. “from their domestick as well as foreign Foes.” Pa. Jour., Aug. 16, 1764, printed both documents. On September 15 the Assembly appointed a committee to “draw up a Justification of the Conduct of this House against the Misrepresentations” in the address and reply. The day after BF wrote the present letter the committee reported, severely criticizing Saunders for failing “to inform his Constituents truly of the public Business and Resolutions of the past Sitting.” The report quoted in full the resolution on instructions to Richard Jackson regarding the protection of the colony’s privileges. The House took no further action on the matter. Votes, 1763–64, pp. 99, 102–3.

5Governor Penn and his associates had kept secret the Proprietors’ directions to accept the Assembly’s interpretation of the conditions laid down in the order in council of Sept. 2, 1760. See above, pp. 213–14 n.

6Pa. Gaz., Sept. 27, 1764, reported from N.Y. that the Harriot packet boat had sailed on the 23d “with the Mail for Falmouth.” The same issue recorded the clearance from Philadelphia of the Philadelphia Packet, Capt. R. Budden, for London. Presumably it carried BF’s letter to Jackson of September 25.

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