To David Hall4
ALS: American Philosophical Society
London, Nov. 9. 1765
Dear Mr. Hall
I have only time to acknowledge the Receipt of yours of Sept. 6. and thank you for the Intelligence it contains.5 The Disturbances in the Colonies give me great Concern, as I fear the Event will be pernicious to America in general. But I hope the Address expected home from the Congress you mention, will be couch’d in such humble and dutiful Terms, as that the Friends of America may support it with some Prospect of Success, to the Healing of all Breaches.6 Assure yourself nothing can be falser than the Reports you mention that I had any even the least hand in framing the Stamp Act, or procuring any other Burthen on our Country.7 I am, as ever, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately
Addressed: To / Mr David Hall / Printer / Philadelphia / via New York / per Packet / Free B Franklin
Endorsed: Novr. 9. 1765.
4. Although BF had told DF on this day that he would not have time to write Hall, among others, by the packet, he apparently did find a few minutes for this short letter.
5. In his letter of this date, above, pp. 255–9, Hall had given BF a summary of events in several colonies leading to the resignations of their stamp distributors.
6. The Stamp Act Congress adopted a declaration of the rights and grievances of the colonists, consisting of a series of fourteen resolutions, and separate petitions to the King, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The petitions stated the colonial case in much more moderate and dutiful language than did the declaration. Since the Congress was a wholly unofficial body, the petitions were stated to be from the “freeholders and other inhabitants” of the colonies specifically named. Of course, BF had not yet heard of what the Congress had done.
7. In his letter of September 6 Hall had reported the “Notion” held in the colony that BF “had a Hand” in framing the Stamp Act. But this comment suggests that BF did not yet realize the extent of the feeling against him caused by this belief.