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Letters from Dr. Franklin. cannot conceive how much good the cordial saluWe offer to our readers extracts from some unpub. tations of an old friend do to the heart of a man so lished letters of Dr. Franklin, which may be con
far from home, and hearing frequently of the abuse sidered as properly belonging to the general brown on him in his absence by the enemies that stock of materials for the determination of his party has raised against him., character; and for the natural history. We have “In the mean time I hope I have done even those added to them an extract of a letter of Silas enemies some service in our late struggle for Ame. Deane, in relation to him, containing an interest. rica. It bas been a hard one, and we have been of ing anecdote which we bave not seen in print. ten between hope and despair; but now the day be. The letter of Franklin to his son, on the subject gins to clear: the ministry are fixed for us, and we of the stamp act, is important; as is, indeed, al. have obtained a majority in the house of commons most every particular, however small, connected for repealing the stamp act, and giving us ease in with that measure—the immediate cause of the every commercial grievance. God grant that "no most momentous and exemplary of political re. bad news of farther excesses in America may arrive lations.
Nat. Gaz. to strengthen our adversaries and weaken the Ertract of a letter from Dr. Franklin to I. R. esq.
hands of our friends, before this good work is quite
completed. of Philadelphia.
LONDOx, Feb. 26, 1761. “The partisans of the late ministry bave been “You tell me you sometimes visit the ancient strongly crying out rebellion, and calling for force Junto. I wish you would do it oftener; I know they to be sent against America. The consequence all love and respect you, and regret your absenting might have been terrible! but milder measures yourself so much.-People are apt to grow strange have prevailed.” and not understand one another so well, when they Extraci of a letter from Benjamin Franklin to his 8Jn meet but seldom. Since we have held that club
: William Franklin, esg. till we are grown grey together, let us hold it out
London, Nuv. 9, 1765. to the end. For my own part, I find I love com
“Mr. Cooper, secretary of the treasury, is our old pany, chat, a laugh, a glass, and even a song, as well as ever; and, at the same time, relish better acquaintance, and expresses a hearty friendship for
us both. Enclosed I send you his billet proposing than I used to do, the grave observations and wise
to make me acquainted with lord Röckingham. I sentences of old men's conversation. So that I am
dine with him tomorrow. sure the Junto will be still as agreeable to me as it ever has been: I therefore bope it will not be "I had a long audience on Wednesday with lord discontinued as long as we are able to crawl toge- Dartmouth. He was highly recommended to me ther.
by lords Grantham and Besborough, as a young
man of excellent understanding, and the most amia. To the same.
ble dispositions. They seemed extremely intent LONDON, July 7, 1765.
on bringing us together. I had been to pay my "I wish you would continue to meet the Junto, potwithstanding that some effect of our public po- side at the board of trade; but during the summer
respects to his lordship on his appointment to pre. litical misunderstandings may sometimes appear
he has been much out of town, so that I had not, therc. 'Tis now perhap, one of the oldest clubs,
till now, the opportunity of conversing with him. as I think it was formerly one of the besi, in the king's dominions; it wants but about two years led the expectations they had raised in me.
I found him all they said of him. He even exceeda
If he of forty since it was established; we loved and
continues in that department, I foresee much hap. still love one another, we are grown grey together, and yet it is too early to part. Let us sit till the piness from it to the American affairs. He enquired
kindly after you, and spoke of you handsomely. I evening of life is spent; the last hours were always the most joyous; when we can stay no longer Lion of the stamp act would be impracticable, with.
gave it him my opinion, that the general erecu. 'tis time enough then to bid each other good night,
out occasioning more 'mişchief than it was worth, separate, and go quietly to bed.”
by totally alienating the affections of the AmeriTo the same.
cans, and thereby lessening their commerce. I Loxpox, Feb. 27, 1766. therefore wished that advantage might be taken of "I received your kind letter of Nov. 27th; you the address espected over, (if expressed, as I
hoped it would be, in humble and dutiful terms) to ing the dominion, than all its forces, and be much suspend the execution of the act for a term of cheaper. years, till the colonies should be more clear of
"A great deal more I said on our American af. debt, and better able to bear it; and then drop it fairs; too much to write. His lordship beard all on some decent pretence, without ever bringing with great attention and patience. As to the the question of right to decision.
address expected from the congress, he doubted "And I strongly recommended either a thorough some difficulty would arise about receiving it, as anion with America, or that government here would it was an irregular meeting, unauthorized by any proceed in the old method of requisition, by which American constitution. I said, I hoped goveroment I was confident more would be obtained in tbe here would not be too nice on that bead; that an way of voluntary grant, than could probably be got address of the whole there seemed necessary, their by compulsory taxes laid by parliament. I stated separate petitions last year being rejected. And that particular colonies might at times be back.; to refuse hearing complaints and redressing griev. Ward, but at other times, when in better temper, ances, from punctilios about form, had always an they would make up for that backwardness, so that ill effect, and gave great handle to those turbulent, on the whole it would be nearly equal: That to factious spirits who are ever ready to blow the send armies and fleets to enforce the act, would coals of dissention. He thanked me politely for not, in my opinion, answer any good end: That the the visit and desired to see me often. inhabitants would probably take every method to It is true that inconveniences may arise to ge. encourage the soldiers to desert, to which the high vernment here by a repeal of the act, as it will be price of labor would contribute, and the chance of deemed a tacit giving up the sovereignty of parliabeing never apprehended in so extensive a country, ment, and yet I think the inconveniences of persist. where the want of hands, as well as the desire of ing much greater, as I have said above. The prewasting the strength of an army come to oppress, sent ministry are truly perplexed how to act on would incline every one to conceal deserters, so the occasion: as, if they relax, their predecessors that the officers would probably soon be left alone: will reproach them with giving up the honor, That fleets, indeed, might easily obstruct their dignity, and power of their nation. And yet even trade, but withal must ruin great part of the trade they, I am told, think they have carried things too of Britain; as the properties of American and Bri- fur; s. that if it were indeed true that I had planned tish or. London merchants were mixed in the same the act (as you say it is reported with you) i bevessels, and no remittances could be received here; lieve we should soon hear some of them exculpatbesides the danger, by mutual violences, excesses ing themselves by saying I had misled them. I and severities, of creating a deep rooted aversion need not tell you, that I had not the least concern between the two countries, and laying the founda. in it. It was all' cut and dried, and every resolve tion of a future total separation.
framed at the treasury ready for the house, before “? added, that, notwithstanding the present dis. I arrived in England, or knew any thing of the matcontents, there still remained so much respect in ter; so that if they had given me a pension on that America for this country, that wisdom would do account, (25 is said by some,), it would bave been more towards reducing things to order, than all very dishonest in me to accept it. I wish an enquiry our forces, and that, if the address expected from was made of the Dutch parsons how they came the congress of the colonies should be unhappily by the letter you mention, which is undoubetdly a such as could not be made the foundation, three forgery, as not only there were no such facts, but or four wise and good men, personages of some there is no such person as the queen's chaplain. I rank and dignity, should be sent over to America, think there is no doubt, but that, though the stamp with a royal coa mission to enquire into grievances, act should be repealed, some mulct or punishment hear complaints, learn the true state of affairs, will be inflicted on the colonies, that bave suffered giving expectations of redress where they found the houses of officers, &c. to be pulled down; the people really aggrieved, and endeavoring to especially if their respective assemblies do not convince and reclaim them by reason, where they immediately make reparation." found them in the wrong: That such an instance Extract of a letter from Silas Deane, at Paris, ren of the considerateness, moderation, and justice
specting Dr. Franklin. of this country towards its remote subjects would “Gratitude, as well as justice, to that truly great contribute more towards securing and perpetual.lman, to whose friendship, and counsel, Iowe much,
oblige me to say on this occasion, that I only establishment of lasting peace and union with the believe, but know that the reports of his enemies, colonies: but, if :he deep rooted prejudices of Ame. to say no more, are directly the reverse of the rica, and the necessity of preventing her trade frota character which Dr. Franklin has ever sustained, passing into foreign channels, must keep us still and which he now most eminently supports. It a divided people, 1 shall, from every private as well gives me pleasure to reflect on the honors and as public motive, most heartily lament that this respect universally paid him by all orders of peo. is not the moment wherein those great objects of ple in France, and never did I enjoy greater satis- my ambition are to be attained; and that I am to faction, than in being the spectator of the public be longer deprived of an opportunity to assure you honors paid him.
personally of tbe regard with which I am," &c.
DR. FRANKLIX answered: “A celebrated cause being to be beard before
"I received safe the letters your lordship 80 the parliament of Paris, and the house and street
kindly forwarded to me, and beg you to accept leading to it crowded with people, on the appear.
thanks. ance of Dr. Franklin, way was made for him in the most respectful manner, and he passed through the “The official despatches, to which you refer me, crowd to the seat reserved for him, amid the contain nothing more than what we had seen in acclamations of the people—an honor seldom paid the act of parliament; viz. “Offers of pardon upon to their first princes of the blood.
submission;" which I am sorry to find, as it must
give your lordship pain to be sent so far on so “When he attended the operas and plays similar
hopeless a business. honors were paid him, and I confess I felt a joy and pride which was pure and honest, though not
"Directing pardons to be offered to the color disinterested, for I considered it an honor to be nies, who are the very parties injured, expresses known to be an American and his acquaintance. 1 indeed that opinion of our ignorance, baseness and am unable to express the grief and indignation 1 insensibility, which your uninformed and proud na. feel at finding such a character represented as the tion has long been pleased to entertain of us; but worst that human depravity is capable of exbibit it can have no other effect than that of increasing ing, and that such a representation should be made our resentments. It is impossible we should think esen by Americans.”
of submission to a government that has, with the
most wanton barbarity and cruelty, bumed our DR. FRANKLIN AND LORD HOWE. defenceless towns in the midst of winter; excited (Lord Howe was one of the commissioners sent out, the savages to massacre our peaceful farmers, and
in 1775, to prevent the revolution. On his ar. our slaves to murder their masters; and is even rival he addressed the following note to Dr. now bringing foreign mercenaries to deluge our Franklin-the reply of the latter is truly a mas- settlements with blood. These atrocious injuries ter.piece. Is has been frequently published, but have extinguished every spark of affection for that it seemed as if we could not dispense with its parent country, that we ouce held so dear, but insertion in this volume.]
were it possible for us to forget and forgive them, Lord Howe to Dr. Franklin.
it is not possible for you, I mean the Britisb nation, "I cannot, my worthy friend, permit the letters to forgive the people you have so heavily injured. and parcels, which I have sent, to be landed, with. You can never confide again in those, as fellow subout adding a word upon the subject of the in-jects, and permit them to enjoy equal freedom, to jurious extremities, in which our unhappy disputes whom you know you have given such just causes of have engaged us.
lasting comity; and this must impel you, were we
again under your government, to endeavor to break sou will learn the nature of my mission from our spirit by the severest tyranny, and obstructing the official despatches, which I have recommend by every means in your power, our growing strength od to be forwarded by the same conveyance.- and prosperity. Retaining all the earnestness, I ever expressed, to see our differences accommodated, I shall con “Your lordship mentions “the king's paternal ceire, if I meet with the disposition in the colonies, solicitude for promoting the establishment of last. which I was once tanght to expect, the most flatter. ing peace and union with the colonies.” If, by ing hopes of proving servicable in the objects of peace, he here meant a peace, to be entered into the king's paternal solicitude, by promoting the by distinct states, now at war, and bris majesty
has given your lordsbip powers to treat with us, described in your letter, is "the necessity of preof such a peace, I may venture to say, though with-venting the American trade from passing into out authority, that I think a treaty for that pur. foreign channels.” To me it seems that neither pose not quite impracticable, before we enter into the obtaining or retaining any trade, low valuable foreign alliances; but I am persuaded you have no soever, is an object for which men may justly spill sucb powers. Sour nation thought, by punisbing each other's blood; that the true and sure neans those American governors, who have fomented the of extending and securing commerce are the gooddiscord; rebuilding our barnt towns, and repairing, ness and cheapness of commodities: and that the as far as possible, the mischiefs done us, she might profits of no trade can ever be equal to the es. récover a great share of our regard, and the greatest pense of compelling it, and bolding it by feets share of our growing commerce, with all the ad. and armies. I consider this wa against us, therevantages of that additional strength to be derived fore, as both unjust and unwise; and I am per. from a friendship with us; yet, I know too well ber suaded that cool and dispassionate posterity will abounding pride and deficient wisdom, to believe condemn to infamy those who advised it: and that she will ever take such salutary measures. Her even success will not save from some degree of fondness for conquest, as a warlike ra!ion; ber lust dishonor those who have voluntarily engaged to of dominion, as an ambitious one; and be thirst for conduct it. a gainful monopoly, as a commercial one, none of them legitimate causes of war, will join to hide
"I know your great motive in coming hither from her eyes every view of her true interest, and
was the hope of being instrumental in a reconcilia. continually goad her on, in these ruinous distant tion; and, I believe, when you find that to be inespeditions, so destructive both of lives and of possible, on any terms given you to propose, you treasure, that they must prove as pernicious to her will then relinquish so odious a command, and in the end, as the crusades formerly were to most return to a more honorable private station. of the nations of Europe.
“With the greatest and most sincere respect, i
have the honor to be," &c. "I have not the vanity, my lord, to think of intimidating by thus predicting the effects of this
DR. FRANKLIN. war: for I know that it will, in England, have the
FROX THE SOUTHERS PATRIOT. file of all my former predictions, not to be believed
Introduction of Dr. Franklin into the Frenchecademy. till the event shall verify it.
The people of France bare, on various occasions, “Long did I endeavor, with unfeigned and un- evinced that they partook of our political senti. wearied seal, to preserve from breaking that fine ments and feelings. When the death of Washington and noble porcelain vase, the British empire: for, was announced, Bonaparte and the national repreI knew that, being once broken, the separate parts sentatives wore mourning. On the death of Frankcould not retain even their share of the strength llin, the national assembly put on the emblems of and value that existed in the whole, and that a grief
, and appointed one of their members, Abbe perfect re-union of those parts could scarce ever Pouchett, to pronounce his eulogy; the place in be hoped for. Your lordship may possibly remem- which he spoke was hung with black, and decoratber the tears of joy that wetted my cheek, when, ed with the most expensive devices. In the st your good sister's, in London, you once gave course of the oration the orator burst forth in this me expectations, that a reconciliation might take apostrophe. "Thou bright luminary of freedom, place. I had the misfortune to find these expecta. why should I call thee great? Grandeur is too often tions disappointed, and to be treated as the cause the scourge of the human kind, wbose felicity thy of the mischief I was laboring to prevent. My goodness was ever exerted to promote. Thou consolation, under that groundless and malevolent hast been the benefactor of the universe; be thy treatment, was that I retained the friendship of
name ever revered. May it be the comfort of the many wise and good men in that country, and wretched, the joy of the free. What man is more among the rest, some sbare in the regard of lord entitled to our gratitude! It was nol sufficient to Howe.
control the ligbtning of Heaven, and to avert the "The well founded esteem, and permit me to fury of the growling tempest; thou hast rendered say, affection, which I shall always have for your onto mankind a service still greater; thou extinJordship, make it painful to me to see you engaged guishest the thunder of earthly despots, which was in conducting a war, the great ground of which, as ready to be burled upon their trembling subjects.
What pleasure must it have been to thee on earth, Condorcet thus describes this grateful and memor. to perceive others profiting by thy precepts and able ceremony:-At this same time Paris boasted, thy example. With what greater rapture must also, the presence of the celebrated Franklin, who, thou now contemplate thy own diffusion of light; in another hemisphere, had been the apostle of it will illumine the world, and man, perceiving his philosophy and toleration. Like Voltaire, be had natural dignity, will raise his soul to Heaven and often employed the weapon of humour which cor. bow to no empire but that which is founded on rects the absurdities of men, and had displayed virtue and reason. I have but one wish to utter: it their perversness as a folly more fatal but also is a wish dear to my heart; a wish always cherished worthy of pity. He had joined to the science of in thy virtuous and benevolent bosom—surely it metapbysics the genias of practical philosophy; ax will derive some favor from :he throne of God, Voltaire, that of poetry. Franklin had delivered when uttered in the name of Franklin: It is that, the vast continent of America from the yoke of in becoming free, men may become also wiser Europe, and I was eager to see a man whose reputa. and better--there is no other means of deserving tion had long been spread over both worlds.liberty."
Voltaire, altbough be had lost the babit of speak. Mr. Jefferson, in a letter to Dr. William Smith,
ing English, endeavored to support the conversa. expresses himself, “I can testify that there appear trench, he said, I could not resist the desire of
tion in that language, and afterwards resuming the ed to me more veneration and respect attached to
speaking the language of Mr. Franklin, for a mothe character of Dr. Franklin in France, than to
ment.' The American pbilosopher presented his that of any other person in the same country,
grandson to Voltaire, with a request that he would foreign or native. I had an opportunity of know.
give him his benediction. 'God and liberty,' said ing particularly how far these sentiments were felt
Voltaire, 'it is the only benediction which can be by the foreign ambassadors and ministers at the court of Versailles. The fable of his capture by
given to the grandson of Franklin.' the Algerines, propagated by the English newspa. “They went together to a public assembly of pers, excited no uneasiness, as it was seen at once the Academy of Sciences, and the public at the to be a dish cooked up to please certain readers; but same time beheld with emotion these two raen, nothing could exceed the anxiety of his diplomatic born in different quarters of the globe, venerable brethren, on a subsequent report of his death, which by their years, their glory, the employment of although premature bore some marks of authenticity. their life, and both enjoying the influence which I found the ministers of France equally impressed they had exercised over the age in which they with bis talents and integrity. The Count de lived. They embraced each other amidst public Vergenoes, particularly, gave me repeated and un acclamations, and it was said to be Solon who equivocal demonstrations of his entire confidence embraced Sophocles. But the French Sophocles in him."
had trampled on error and advanced the reign of “When he left Passy, it seemed as if the village reason; and the Solon, of Philadelphia, having had lost its Patriarch. On taking leave of the placed the constitution of his country on the court, wbich he did by letter, the king ordered immoveable foundation of the rights of man, had him to be handsomely complimented, and furnished no fear of seeing his uncertain laws, even during bim with a litter and mules of his own, the only his own life, open the way to tyranny, and prepare kind of conveyance the state of his health could fetters for his country.” bear. The succession to Dr. Franklin at the court
Case of Asgill. of France, was an excellent school of humility to me. On being presented to any one, as the minister The following narrative and letters we have copied of America, the common place question was 'Is it
from the correspondence of baron Grimm. The you, sir, who replace Dr. Franklin I generally
baron was led to notice it, from its being made the answered, “no one can replace him, sir; I am only ground work of a French tragedy called Abdir, his successor."
by Sauvigny, represented at Paris in January, But his introduction into the academy, was as
1789. Bost. Dui. Adv. high a testimonial of esteem as one great people You can well remember the general interest could offer another. As be entered D'Alembert which sir Asgill inspired, a young officer Baluted him with the celebrated line.
in the English guards, who was made prisoner and Eripuit cælo fulmen, eceptrumque tyrannis. condemned to death by the Americans in repris !