Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Lord Dartmouth, 21 August 1773

To Lord Dartmouth

Printed in a broadside, Proceedings of His Majesty’s Privy-Council on the Address of the Assembly of Massachusetts-Bay, to Remove His Governor and Lieutenant-Governor … [Boston, 1774]: Massachusetts Historical Society.

London, August 21, 1773.

My Lord,

I have just received from the House of Representatives of the Massachusett’s-Bay, their Address to the King, which I now enclose, and send to your Lordship, with my humble request in their behalf, that you would be pleased to present it to his Majesty the first convenient opportunity.3

I have the pleasure of hearing from that province by my late letters, that a sincere disposition prevails in the people there to be on good terms with the Mother Country; that the Assembly have declared their desire only to be put into the situation they were in before the stamp act; they aim at no novelties.4 And it is said, that having lately discovered, as they think, the authors of their grievances to be some of their own people, their resentment against Britain is thence much abated.5

This good disposition of their’s (will your Lordship permit me to say) may be cultivated by a favourable answer to this Address, which I therefore hope your goodness will endeavour to obtain. With the greatest respect, I have the honor to be, my Lord, &c.

B. Franklin.
Agent for the House of Representatives.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The petition for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver, enclosed in Cushing to BF above, June 25, led directly to BF’s humiliation before the Privy Council five months later; see the headnote on the Council’s report below, Jan. 29, 1774. The timing of this letter to Dartmouth and the one from BF and Bollan above, Aug. 20, is discussed in the headnote on the latter.

4This was certainly the purport of the letter from the House that BF and Bollan had forwarded to Dartmouth the day before; see the headnote on Cushing to BF above, June 30. If BF had himself received letters to the same effect, we know nothing of them.

5This had been BF’s expectation, or so he said, in sending the Hutchinson letters; and he apparently believed that events since then had proved him right.

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