Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 23 May 1767

To Joseph Galloway

ALS: Yale University Library

London, May 23. 1767

Dear Sir,

I wrote to you a few days since via New York,2 and purpose writing again by a Ship that sails from hence in a few Days. It was intended at the Post Office, as this Packet arriv’d long after the time she was expected, to keep her till next Month; but some Reasons have suddenly alter’d that Resolution, and I have just heard that the Mail is to be dispatch’d to night. So that I have only time to say, things continue here in the same uncertain State, and Changes confidently talk’d of in the Ministry, which appears not very strong, thro’ Lord Chatham’s Illness, and Divisions among the rest. But I hope they will continue. Tho’ Yesterday in a Vote on the Massachusetts Affair in the Lords House, the Opposition were within 6 of the Ministry; and the King’s Brother, the Duke of York, voted against them, which looks ill.3 I am, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Joseph Galloway Esqr

Endorsed: Benja. Franklin May 23 1767

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Probably his letter of May 20, above, pp. 163–5. The snow Amelia, Capt. Sinclair, on which Odell was a passenger, reached New York, July 18, 1767. Pa. Chron., July 20–27, 1767.

3On May 22 the House of Lords went into Committee of the Whole to debate the Massachusetts act granting pardon to the Stamp Act rioters. The Lords had called for and received a group of precedents in which acts of colonial assemblies has been declared “null, illegal, or void,” in England. These precedents included two instances of Virginia acts and one of a New Jersey act granting pardons to offenders. No final action was taken in this debate. The Duke of Grafton reported to the King the same evening that “the Turn of Argument was infinitely in favor of the King’s Servants,” although he listed only five peers speaking in the debate on his side as against eight speaking in opposition. The Duke of York, he commented somewhat cautiously, was “for unanimity.” House of Lords Journal, XXXI, 613–14; Sir John Fortescue, ed., The Correspondence of King George the Third (London, 1927), 1, 475.

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