Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, 26 February 1766

To David Hall

ALS: Maryland Historical Society

London, Feb. 26. 1766.

Dear Mr. Hall

I wrote to you on the 22d Instant, via Maryland.9 I now congratulate you again on the Prospect of having the Stamp Act repeal’d. The Grand Committee reported on Monday.1 Mr. Conway mov’d that Leave should be given to bring in a Bill for repealing the American Stamp Act. The Motion being seconded and agreed to, one of the late Ministry mov’d, that a Clause should be inserted in the Bill, to prevent the Repeal taking Place till every Colony Assembly had eras’d out of its Minute Book the Resolves that militated against the Right of Parliament: The Debate lasted till one a Clock next Morning, when it was carried again the last Motion 240 to 133.2 I write in great haste; but am as ever, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

I received yours of Oct. 14 and Nov. 5.3

Addressed: To / Mr David Hall / Printer / Philadelphia / Mr P Campbell.

Endorsed: Franklin Feby 26. 1766.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF should probably have written “24th” (not “22d”) in reference to the letter printed next but one above.

1Rose Fuller (above, VIII, 132 n) served as chairman of the Committee of the Whole during the debates and so brought in its report on February 24.

2BF here somewhat confused the sequence of events. After the resolution asking leave to bring in a bill repealing the Stamp Act had been introduced, a motion to recommit the resolution was defeated 240 to 133. This was the decisive vote of the day on this matter. The House thereupon accepted the resolution, granted leave for the bill, and appointed a committee of twenty members to prepare it. Only then did William Blackstone, M.P. for Hinton, a supporter of the former Grenville ministry but not a member of it, move for an instruction to the committee to include a provision in the bill to require the expunging of the assemblies’ offensive resolves. The Commons defeated Blackstone’s motion without a division. Journals of the House of Commons, xxx, 602–3.

3For the first of these letters, see above, XII, 319–21; the second has not been found.

Index Entries