Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Hartley, 12 September 1775

To David Hartley

AL (draft): Library of Congress

Philada. Sept. 12. 1775

Dear Sir,

I have this Day received your Favours per Capt. Falconer, of which more in my next.3 With this I send you a number of Newspapers and Pamphlets, by which you will see Things are become serious here.4 Your Nation must stop short, and change its Measures, or she will lose the Colonies for ever. The Burning of Towns, and firing from Men of War on defenceless Cities and Villages fill’d with Women and Children: The exciting the Indians to fall on our innocent Back Settlers, and our Slaves to murder their Masters; are by no means Acts of a legitimate Government: they are of barbarous Tyranny and dissolve all Allegiance. The Insolence of your Captains of Men of War is intolerable.5 But we suppose they know whom they are to please. I shall endeavour to procure the Petitions so that you may have them against Winter: they cannot be collected suddenly. With the highest Esteem, I am Yours most affectionately

Pray present my Respects to Mr. Burke, to whom, and to you I shall write fully by the first safe hand.6

Addressed: To / David Hartley Esqr / Golden Square / London

Endorsed: from Dr F

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Falconer sailed from Deal on July 16: Public Advertiser, July 18. The favors were therefore not Hartley’s letters above of July 22 and 31, but earlier ones that have disappeared. BF’s “next,” of Oct. 3, 1775, survives only in an extract.

4The only enclosure that can be identified with any assurance is Duché’s pamphlet, The Duty of Standing Fast. . ., for which see the note on the first of Hartley’s letters below of Nov. 14.

5For the burning of Charlestown and the inciting of Indians and slaves see BF to Shipley above, July 7. Since then British men-of-war had fired on Gloucester, Mass., New York, and Stonington, Conn. The “Insolence” of their captains was illustrated by the treatment of Benjamin Mumford described in Cooke’s letter to BF above, Aug. 15.

6If BF wrote again to Edmund Burke after May 15, 1775, his letter or letters vanished.

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