Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 8 November 1766

To Joseph Galloway

ALS: William L. Clements Library

London, Nov. 8: 1766

Dear Friend,

I received your kind Letter of Sept. the 22d.5 and from another Friend a Copy of that lying Essay in which I am represented as the Author of the Stamp Act, and you as concern’d in it.6 The Answer you mention is not yet come to hand.7 Your Consolation, my Friend, and mine, under these Abuses, must be, that we do not deserve them. But what can console the Writers and Promoters of such infamously false Accusations, if they should ever come themselves to a Sense of that Malice of their Hearts, and that Stupidity of their Heads, which by these Papers they have manifested and exposed to all the World. Dunces often write Satyrs on themselves, when they think all the while that they are mocking their Neighbours. Let us, as we ever have done, uniformly endeavour the Service of our Country, according to the best of our Judgment and Abilities, and Time will do us Justice. Dirt thrown on a Mud-Wall may stick and incorporate; but it will not long adhere to polish’d Marble.8 I can now only add that I am, with Sincerest Esteem and Affection, Yours,

B Franklin

The Town begins to fill, and the Parliament sits down next week.

J. Galloway Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Not found.

6The Supplement to Pa. Jour., Sept. 18, 1766, contained a long piece entitled “An Essay discovering the Authors and Promoters of The Memorable Stamp Act. In a Letter from a Gentleman in London, to his Friend in Philadelphia.” The author, generally believed to be Hugh Williamson, undertook to “prove” that BF and his friends had been active abettors of the passage of the Stamp Act. He admitted that BF had declaimed against the act in his examination before the House of Commons, but argued that by that time BF could have done nothing else.

7Galloway published a reply to the “Essay” and other attacks in both Pa. Gaz. and Pa. Jour., Sept. 25, 1766.

8“Act uprightly, and despise Calumny; Dirt may stick to a Mud Wall, but not to polish’d Marble.” Poor Richard, 1757; above, VII, 85.

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