Benjamin Franklin Papers

Extract from a Pamphlet, [9 April 1767]

Extract from a Pamphlet

Printed in The London Chronicle, April 7–9, 17671

[April 9, 1767]

To the Printer of the London Chronicle.

As the bare letter of a Governor of one of our provinces, accusing his People of rebellious intentions,2 is by many here thought sufficient ground for inflicting penalties on such province, unheard, without farther evidence, and without knowing what it may have to say in its justification: I wish you would give the Public the following Extract of a Letter, in which, Accusations of the Colonies from Officers of Government residing there, are set in a light very different from that they have usually been considered in. It was written here at the time of our last year’s disputes, by one who had lived long in America,3 knew the people and their affairs extremely well—and was equally well acquainted with the temper and practices of government officers. Speaking of the opinion entertained in Britain of the Americans, he says,

[Here appears an extract from Section 2 of Franklin’s projected Stamp Act Pamphlet of 1766 beginning at “Much has been said of a virtual representation.” above, XIII, 79–80, and ending at “snubbed, curb’d, shackled and plundered,” above, XIII, 81. The letter to the London Chronicle then concludes:]

This seems a very natural, and I believe is a very true account of the matter. I am, Sir, yours, &c.


1This piece was reprinted in Goddard’s Pa. Chron., June 8, 1767, without the signature. The compiler of the MS list of BF’s writings in that paper overlooked it.

2Evidently a reference either to New York Governor Henry Moore’s letter to the Board of Trade, Dec. 10, 1766, accompanying a petition from 240 local merchants that contained a sweeping attack on the Navigation Acts, or to Moore’s letter to the Board, Dec. 19, 1766, containing word of the New York Assembly’s refusal to comply with the Quartering Act of 1765. See above, p. 71 n; Board of Trade Journal, 1764–1767, pp. 360, 363; Gipson, British Empire, XI, 52–5.

3In the Franklin Papers at APS there is a heavily corrected draft of this first paragraph. At this point in the draft BF described the writer of the extract as “an ingenious Gentleman of America,” a description which was evidently dropped in the interest of modesty.

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