Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 6 April 1773

To Joseph Galloway

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, April 6. 1773.

Dear Sir,

I wrote to you of the 14th Feby. and 15th of March, since which I have receiv’d no Line from you.

This just serves to cover a Sermon of my Friend the Bishop of St. Asaph. You will find it replete with very liberal Sentiments respecting America. I hope they will prevail here, and be the Foundation of a better Understanding between the two Countries. He is the more to be honour’d by us for this Instance of his Good Will, as his Censure of the late Conduct towards the Colonies, however tenderly express’d, cannot recommend him at Court, or conduce in the least to his Promotion.7

The Parliament is busy about India Affairs, and as yet see no End of the Business. It is thought they will Sit till the End of June An Alliance with France and Spain is talk’d of; and a War with Prussia.8 But this may blow over. A war with France and Spain would be of more Advantage to American Liberty: Every Step would then be taken to conciliate our Friendship, Our Grievances would be redress’d and our Claims allow’d. And this will be the Case sooner or later. For as the House of Bourbon is most vulnerable in its American Possessions, our hearty Assistance in a War there must be of the greatest Importance.

The Affair of the Grant goes on, but slowly. I do not yet clearly see Land. I begin to be a little of the Sailors Mind when they were handing a Cable out of a Store into a Ship, and one of ’em said, ’Tis a long heavy Cable, I wish we could see the End of it. D—n me, says another, if I believe it has any End: Somebody has cut it off.9

I beg leave to recommend to your Civilities Mr. Robert Hare1 who does me the Favour to carry this Letter. He bears an excellent Character among all that know him here, and purposes Settling in America to carry on there the Brewing Business. With the sincerest Esteem and Affection I am ever Yours,

B Franklin

Mr Galloway
per Loxley

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7BF said much the same thing in the preceding document.

8For the affairs of the East India Co. see above, BF to Galloway, Feb. 14, and to Cushing, March 9; and the headnote on BF to Cushing below, June 4. Parliament had been debating those affairs since early March, and the “End of the Business” did not come until the statutes passed in May and June: 13 Geo. III, c. 44, 63, 64. The opposition, to provide a red herring for the public, was circulating the rumor that North sought a French alliance against the three powers that were engaged in partitioning Poland. Thomas W. Copeland et al., The Correspondence of Edmund Burke (9 vols., Cambridge and Chicago, 1958–70) II, 429.

9Galloway told this story to Thomas Wharton, who soon afterward sent him a covering note to enclose the letter to both of them from Samuel Wharton of April 9, 1773. The note has been lost, but WF copied an extract of it at the foot of Samuel’s letter (APS). “I hear Dr. Franklin has wrote his Son more favourable of the Prospect in finishing the Affairs of the New Colony,” Thomas wrote Galloway, “and that there was some Hopes of getting to the ‘End of the Cable.’ I am sure he knows Nothing of the Matter but from Second Hand, therefore do not admire at the Intimations from Time to Time given.” BF indeed was out of touch with developments; see the next to last paragraph of the preceding document.

1See BF to Richard Bache above, April 6.

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