Benjamin Franklin Papers

Intelligence from London, [after 8 March 1782]

Intelligence from London7

Printed in William Duane, ed., The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin … (6 vols., Philadelphia, 1808–18) V, 325–6.

[after March 8, 1782]8

No. III.

1. The nation has spent in this war, since 1775 an hundred millions of sterling money.

2. The nation has lost by this war fourteen colonies on the continent of America, several Islands in the West Indies, and Minorca.

3. The nation is at war with three powerful states in Europe.

4. The nation has no ally.

5. All these evils have happened from want of foresight and abilities in the ministry. These propositions were moved and seconded, and after a long debate, two hundred and sixteen members voted for them, two hundred and twenty-six against. As many members of the oppostion were absent, even sir George Saville, Mr. Wilkes, and others, they are determined to bring them on again.9

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7William Duane published this item among a selection of BF’s papers which he labeled as “Diplomatic Miscellaneous Correspondence.” The now-missing manuscript may have been in BF’s hand, but even if it was not, it concerned a subject of great interest to him.

8The date of Lord John Cavendish’s unsuccessful motion to remove the North ministry (for the reasons listed below): Ian R. Christie, The End of North’s Ministry, 1780–1782 (London and New York, 1958), pp. 345–50.

9Sir George Saville (XI, 480n) did not vote on Cavendish’s motion for reasons of illness; John Wilkes also missed the vote: ibid., pp. 396, 402. The London papers reported only on the vote total.

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