Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Cushing, 20 February 1775

From Thomas Cushing

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston February. 20. 1775


I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your Favor of the 12 November last; We have received the King’s Speech and the answer of Both Houses.2 They have made no alteration in the Sentiments of the People here they remain as firm and United as ever. The association of the Continental Congress is sacredly adhered to thro[ughout] all the Colonies. The Assembly of New York have agreed to Petition the King, address the House of Lords and remonstrate to the House of Commons relative to American Greiviances. The Petition of the Assembly of Jamaica you will have seen before this reaches you. I now Inclose you a small Pamphlet entituled Calculations on American Population, the perusal of Which on your side the Water may be of service, and convince the People there What an amazing Source of Commerce they will deprive them selves of if by any Imtemperate and rash Measures the Connexion between G B and America should be Dissolved.3 I am with respect your most humble servant

Thomas Cushing

Benja Franklin Esqr

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esq  LLD / In / London.

Endorsed: Mr Cushing  Feb. 20. 1775

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2The King’s speech to the new Parliament on Nov. 30 had deplored the situation in Massachusetts, announced that measures were in train to enforce the law, protect commerce, and restore order, and promised to maintain the supreme authority of the legislature throughout the empire. The Lords and Commons responded with assurances of support. Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVIII (1774–77), 33–4, 38–9, 45–6.

3The New York petition and remonstrances had been in preparation since Jan. 31, but were not adopted in final form until March 25. See Force, 4 Amer. Arch., I, 1288, 1313–21; Gipson, British Empire, XII, 307–8. The petition from the Jamaica Assembly, adopted the previous December, was a strong protest against the principle of the Declaratory Act: ibid., XIII, 73–6. The pamphlet was by Edward Wigglesworth, Calculations on American Population, with a Table for Estimating the Annual Increase of Inhabitants in the British Colonies … (Boston, 1775).

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