Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Charles Thomson, 27 February 1766

To Charles Thomson

ALS: Library of Congress

London Feb. 27. 1766.

My good Friend and Neighbour,

I forget whether I before acknowledg’d the Receipt of your kind Letter of Sept. 24. I gave an Extract of it to a Friend, with an Extract of mine to which it was an Answer; and he printed both in the London Chronicle, with an Introduction of his own:5 and I have reprinted everything from America that I thought might help our common Cause. We at length, after a long and hard Struggle, have gain’d so much Ground, that there is now little Doubt the Stamp Act will be repealed, and reasonable Relief given us besides in our Commercial Grievances, and those relating to our Currency.6 I trust the Behaviour of the Americans on the Occasion, will be so prudent, decent, and grateful, as that their Friends here will have no reason to be ashamed; and that our Enemies, who predict that the Indulgence of Parliament will only make us more insolent and ungovernable, may find themselves, and be found, false Prophets. My Respects to Mrs. Thomson. I have not had the Pleasure of hearing from you by any of the late Opportunities; but am so bad a Correspondent myself that I have no right to take Exceptions, and am nevertheless Your affectionate Friend and very humble Servant

B Franklin

Mr. Cha. Thomson

Addressed: To / Mr Charles Thomson / Mercht / Philadelphia

Endorsed: Doctr B. Franklin Feby 26. 1768 [sic] a lett from B Franklin in London Feby 27 1766

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Under a short introduction of his own, William Strahan printed extracts of BF’s letter to Thomson, July 11, 1765, and of Thomson’s reply, Sept. 24, 1765, in the Nov. 14–16, issue of the London Chronicle. For these letters, see above, XII, 206–8, 278–80.

6BF was too sanguine about prospects for colonial relief from parliamentary restrictions on paper money. The Currency Act of 1764, which prevented the American colonies south of New England from issuing any more legal tender paper money, was not, as he apparently expected, repealed or extensively modified.

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