Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the Pennsylvania Assembly Committee of Correspondence, 6 January 1773

To the Pennsylvania Assembly Committee of Correspondence.

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, Jan. 6. 1773


I have received your respected Favour of Oct. 16. with the enclos’d Resolve of the House appointing you the Committee of Correspondence for the current Year.7 And you may rely on my faithful Observance of the Instructions transmitted to me by you, in opposing strenuously every thing that I apprehend may prejudice the Commerce or Rights of America, and promoting by every means in my Power what may seem likely to restore that Harmony between Great Britain and her Colonies so necessary, as you justly observe, to their mutual Safety and Happiness.

Inclos’d is a List of thirty of your Acts, which were presented the 22d of December past. It becomes more important of late, to keep an exact Note of the Time of Presentment, as the Six Months is more frequently than heretofore suffered to expire without any Determination upon the Acts presented.8 I shall attend them diligently while they are under Consideration, and use my best Endeavours in supporting them.

Be pleased to make my thankful Acknowledgements to the Assembly for the Allowance you mention,9 and believe me to be, with sincere Esteem and Respect Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Jos Galloway, Saml Rhoads, Saml Shoemaker Wm Rodman, and Isaac Pearson Esqrs.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The enclosure is not extant; for the letter and the members of the committee see above, XIX, 338–9.

8The thirty acts, passed in March and September, 1772, were referred to the Board of Trade on Jan. 15, 1773; in April the Privy Council allowed all but two. 8 Pa. Arch., VIII, 7028–31; Board of Trade Jour., 1768–75, pp. 334, 344, 347; Acts Privy Coun., Col., V, 365–8. See also BF to Galloway below, Feb. 14, March 15. The Pennsylvania charter stipulated that all provincial laws became valid if the crown did not act upon them within six months, and legal opinion held that that period began when the laws were first presented to the Privy Council. George Chalmers, Opinions of Eminent Lawyers … (2 vols., London, 1814), I, 348–9.

9A graceful way of acknowledging the cut in his salary, for which see above, XIX, 339 n.

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