the range, the vitality, the vigor of this admirable craftsman who chose a style “smooth, clear, and short,” and made it serve every purpose of his versatile and beneficent mind.
When the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 startled the American
colonies out of their provincial sense of security and made them aware of their real attitude toward the mother country, Franklin
was in London
Eleven years earlier, in 1754, he had offered a plan for the Union of the colonies
, but this had not contemplated separation from England
It was rather what we should call a scheme for imperial federation under the British Crown
We may use his word union, however, in a different field from that of politics.
How much union of sentiment, of mental and moral life, of literary, educational, and scientific endeavor, was there in the colonies when the hour of selfexamination came?
Only the briefest summary may be attempted here.
As to race, these men of the third and fourth generation since the planting of the colonies were by no means so purely English as the first settlers.
The 1,600,000 colonists in 1760 were mingled of many stocks, the largest non-English elements being German and Scotch-Irish
--that is, Scotch