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lle's good intentions. for Jackson was a liberal member of the House of Commons, a good lawyer, not eager to increase his affluent fortune, frank, independent, and abhorring intrigue. He was, moreover, better acquainted with the state of America, and exercised a sounder judgment on questions of colonial administration, than, perhaps, any man in England. His excellent character led Connecticut and Pennsylvania to make him their agent; and he gave the latter province even better advice than Franklin himself. He was always able to combine affection for England with uprightness and fidelity to his American employers. To a mind like Grenville's, the protective system had irresistible attractions. He saw in trade the foundation of the wealth and power of his country, and embraced all the prejudices of the mercantile system; he wished by regulations and control to advance the commerce and public credit, which really owed their superiority to the greater liberty of England. He prepared
h America. On that, and on that alone, he main chap VIII.} 1763 Sept. tained an inflexible and total silence. He never was heard even to allude to it. But, though Jenkinson proposed the American tax, while private secretary to Bute, and brought it with him into the treasury for adoption by Bute's successor, he was but a subordinate without power of direction or a seat in council, and cannot bear the responsibility of the measure. Nor does the final responsibility attach to Bute; Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 6 April, 1765. Works, VII. 309. for the ministry had forced him into absolute retirement, and would not have listened to his advice in the smallest matter; nor to the king, for though the king approved the stamp tax and wished it to be adopted, he exerted no influence to control his ministry on the occasion; and besides, the ministry boasted of being free from sycophancy to the court. Hunter, one of the lords of the treasury, who ordered the minute, was but a cip
escape from the perpetual intervention of private interest in public affairs, Franklin, with the great body of the Quakers, as well as royalists, desired that the prlonies was to be a proportionable part of the aids to support the troops. And Franklin, with undaunted courage supporting popular rights against every danger, was wi to the American Stamp Act was better understood, a new debate arose, in which Franklin took the lead. It was argued, that, during the war the people of Pennsylvaniair abilities, whenever required of them in the usual constitutional manner. Franklin to Alexander, 12 March, 1778. At the elections in Autumn, the proprietary to influence the world. On the twenty-sixth day of October, they elected Benjamin Franklin their agent, and in spite of the bitter protest of his opponents, he sail all the colonies under one form of government, Rev. Dr. S. Johnson to Benjamin Franklin, November, 1764. confidently hoping that the first news in the spring wou
ondon merchants Unpublished letter of Benjamin Franklin to John Ross. found that America was in ves; and on Saturday, the second of February, Franklin, with Ingersoll, Jackson and Garth, as agentsf you can tell of a better, I will adopt it. Franklin pleaded for the usual method, by the king's , in Boston Gazette of 3 June. We might, said Franklin, as well have hindered the sun's setting. Thresolving by this act to settle the point. Franklin to Charles Thompson, Ms. On the twenty-separt of the sum to be expended in America. Franklin to Dean Tucker, 26 Feb. 1774. Tucker to FranFranklin. Grenville also resolved to select the stamp officers for America from among the Americans ted to make the nominations; and they did so, Franklin Geo. III. c. XLV. C. Jenkinson to Secretaularly hard on us lawyers and printers, wrote Franklin Franklin to Ross, 14 Feb. 1765. to a frienFranklin to Ross, 14 Feb. 1765. to a friend in Philadelphia, never doubting it would go into effect, and looking for relief to the rapid incre
he ministry some who had been their friends, took courage to solicit relief; but for many weeks Franklin That Franklin believed the Stamp Act would be carried into effect appears from the verbal reFranklin believed the Stamp Act would be carried into effect appears from the verbal remark to Ingersoll, attributed to him; from his conduct; and from his correspondence. Take, for example, this extract from his letter to Charles Thomson, never before correctly published: London, Jby Mr. Grimshaw and one of his friends. There is another version in circulation, which makes Franklin say: Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily get rid of the latter. This is not what Franklin wrote. To bear with kings and parliaments and to get rid of kings and parliaments, are very different things. FrankliFranklin was long-suffering, and waited some years yet before he advised to get rid of kings. He himself printed a part of this letter, but with amplifications, in the London Chronicle of Nov. 14 to 16, 176
question was too weighty for their decision, and required that parliament should be consulted, and yet they postponed its meeting for the transaction of business, till there had been time to see if the Stamp Act would indeed execute itself. To Franklin, who was unwearied in his efforts to promote its repeal, no hope was given of relief; and though the committee of merchants, who on the twelfth day of December waited on Rockingham, Dowdeswell, chap. XX.} 1765. Dec. Conway, and Dartmouth, werehe right to tax Americans could never be given up; and that a suspension was the most that could be expected. Letter from London of 14 Dec. 1765, in Boston Gazette, 24 Feb. 1766. Compare T. Pownall to Hutchinson, 3 Dec. 1765, and a letter of Franklin of 6 Jan. 1766. The successive accounts from America grieved the king more and more. Where this spirit will end, said he, is not to be said. It is undoubtedly the most serious matter that ever came before parliament, Geo. III. to Conwa
confusion, and it will be the policy of this country to form a plan of laws for them. If they withdraw allegiance, you must withdraw protection; and then the petty state of Genoa, or the little kingdom of Sweden, may run away with them. Benjamin Franklin Campbell's Chancellors, v. 204. stood listening below the bar, while the highest judicial magistrate of Great Britain was asserting the absolute, unconditional dependence of the colonies on parliament, and advising radical changes in themmonwealth parliament passed a resolution or act, and it is a question whether it is not in force now, to declare and establish the authority of England over its colonies. The charter of Pennsylvania, who have preposterously taken the lead, and Franklin was present to hear this, is stamped with every badge of subordination; H. Hammersley. and a particular saving as to all English acts of parliament. chap. XXII.} 1766. Feb. Could the king's bench vacate the Massachusetts charter, and ye
hursday, the thirteenth day of February, Benjamin Franklin was summoned to the bar of the House of too, was sure to learn and to weigh all that Franklin uttered. In answer to questions, Franklin d affection. Such was the form under which Franklin presented the subject to the consideration ofnville. Only what, in your opinion, answered Franklin, we had advanced beyond our proportion; and iry force carry the Stamp Act into execution? Franklin answered, Suppose a military force sent into ts. The post-office, interposed Grenville to Franklin, the deputy postmaster for America, is not thownshend repeated the question. No, replied Franklin, the money paid for the postage of letters cn which they may be laid? The people, argued Franklin, may refuse commodities, of which the duty mania? asked a friend of Grenville. No, said Franklin, chap. XXIII.} 1766. Feb. I believe not.—The parliament's light of external taxation?—And Franklin answered instantly; They never have hitherto.[3 more...]<