Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Galloway, [8–14 October? 1765]

From Joseph Galloway

ALS (incomplete): American Philosophical Society

[October 8–14?, 1765]2

[First part missing] It seems to me, from their present Temper that they will never be made easy without it. It can no way Affect, but rather promote the Interest of the Mother Country, as a new door of Information, which her Parliament really wants to enable it to make just Laws for the Plantations, will be opend. It will strike at, nay destroy, the Equity, and foundation, of their present Complaints, and shoud they after be tumultuous and rebellious, render them inexcusable and justify the Most rigorous Measures against them. But I am convinced it will remove all uneasiness and restore the Colonies to their former Obedience.3

I wrote you, via Bristol, the Success of our late Election,4 I think we have now in the House 28. Members out of 36, for the Change.5 One half of the Protesters are out, and that half too who were chose in the Principal Counties, a strong proof of the peoples Disapprobation of their Conduct.6 As soon as the Assembly meet you may be assured Your and Mr. Jacksons Agencies will be Continued and New orders to prosecute the most Expeditious Measures for a Change.7

Mr. Hughes has informed the Governor of his Resignation, and as he dare not take the Stamp Paper &ca. into his Custody, desired he woud take Care of them. They are by his Orders on Board of Capt. Hawker, whose ship now rides in this Port.8

The 1st. of November is near.9 No Buisiness can be legally Transacted, no Law suits prosecuted, No vessels sail, no Securities for Moneys taken; The Merchant of Course will not purchase Flower, The Millers Wheat, the farmer cannot pay the Labourer, nor can the Labourer get Bread &c &c &ca. The Difficulties the present Madness of the Americans, have plunged their Country into is beyond the reach of my Conception. Tis a pity the Innocent and Loyal must suffer with the Guilty and Disloyal. I see no Prospect of an Immediate removal of them, Unless the same Madmen shoud Come to their Senses and oblige Mr. Hughes to break his Engagement with them and Execute the Law. Which I have told several of them I suspect will be the Case.

Mr. Hughes is now on the recovery and perhaps may Write before this Vessel sails,1 least he shoud not I write what relates to him at his request. The Sup. Court Sitting it is with difficulty I have found time for this Scrawl. My best Compliments to Mr. Jackson, and beleive me to be Dear Sir Your Truly Affectionate Friend and humble Servant

Jos. Galloway

Benj. Franklin Esq.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Since this letter mentions that John Hughes had “informed the Governor of his Resignation,” it must have been written on or after Oct. 8, 1765, the day on which Hughes wrote John Penn with regard to the stamped paper and said “My resignation is accordingly made.” Pa. Jour., Sept. 4, 1766, Supplement. (Actually, however, what Hughes had done on October 7, when the delegation waited on him to demand his resignation, was not formally to resign but to pledge that he would do nothing with regard to the Stamp Act “until it should take place generally in the neighbouring Colonies.” See above, pp. 291–2 n. The present letter cannot have been written any later than Oct. 14, 1765, because Galloway speaks of the renewal of BF’s and Jackson’s appointments as agents “As soon as the Assembly meet,” and the Assembly did not convene until October 14.

3In his recent “Americanus” letter, published in Pa. Jour., Aug. 29, 1765, Galloway had proposed that to obviate some of the objections against parliamentary taxation Americans should either form “an united legislature of the colonies” or petition to send representatives to Parliament. Evidently, he was defending one of these two proposals here.

4Galloway’s letter has not been found. There is, however, in the Franklin Papers at APS a sheet of election returns from Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, and Lancaster counties, as well as from Philadelphia city, bearing an endorsement in what appears to be BF’s hand, that it was “a True Copy taken from the Sheriffs Returns E[x]amined per J. Galloway.” It may be that Galloway sent this paper to BF in his letter via Bristol. The election returns are analyzed in some detail in the document immediately above.

5That is, for changing the government of Pennsylvania from proprietary to royal.

6Of the ten men who signed the Protest against BF’s appointment as agent, Oct. 26, 1764 (above, XI, 408–12), five, John Dickinson, Amos Strettell, and Henry Keppele of Philadelphia County, Isaac Saunders of Lancaster County, and David McConaughy of York County were defeated outright in the Assembly elections. Another signer, George Bryan of the city of Philadelphia, was tied by James Pemberton and was defeated in a special election, Oct. 23, 1765. 8 Pa. Arch., VII, 5788–9, 5795, 5798, 5799.

7On Oct. 15, 1765, the Assembly reappointed Richard Jackson agent by a vote of 27 to 3 and BF joint agent by a vote of 22 to 8. 8 Pa. Arch., VII, 1791.

8After learning of the arrival of the stamped paper aboard a ship at Newcastle (see the document immediately above) John Hughes wrote Gov. John Penn, Oct. 8, 1765, that although the stamped paper had been consigned to him and he had the bill of lading, he was in no position to do anything about it. He therefore asked the governor where it was deposited. Penn returned a message saying that it had been put on board H.M.S. Sardine, Capt. James Hawker. Hughes to Penn, Oct. 8, 1765, Pa. Jour., Sept. 4, 1766, Supplement; Penn to Henry Seymour Conway, Feb. 19, 1766, Pa. Col. Recs., IX, 299–300.

9The date on which the Stamp Act was supposed to go into effect.

1No letter from Hughes, written about this date, has been found.

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