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[376] the people in the colonies, or even so much as ex-
chap. XVI.} 1760.
pressed an opinion that they were more in fault than the champions of prerogative. So little did he interest himself in the strifes of Pennsylvania, that, during his whole ministry, Franklin was never once admitted to his presence. Every one of his letters which I have seen—and I think I have seen every considerable one to every colony—is marked by liberality and respect for American rights; and the governor of Maryland, who desired taxation by parliament, and had appealed to the secretary, ‘in hopes that measures would have been taken to end the dispute’ between the officers of the crown and the Assembly, was left to complain ‘that his Majesty's ministers had not as yet interfered,’ that Pitt would ‘only blame both houses for their failure to make appropriations.’ The threat of interference, on the close of the war, was incessant from Halifax and the Board of Trade; I can trace no such purpose to Pitt.1

Yet a circular from the secretary, who was informed by Amherst that the French islands were supplied during the war with provisions from America, was connected with the first strong expressions of discontent in New England. American merchants

1 In the history of the American Revolution by the inquisitive but credulous Gordon, Pitt is said to have told Franklin, that, ‘when the war closed,’ he should take measures of authority against the colonies. This is erroneous. Pitt at that time had not even seen Franklin, as we know from a memoir by Franklin himself. Gordon adds, that Pitt, in 1759 or 1760, wrote to Fauquier, of Virginia, that ‘they should tax the colonies when the war was over,’ and that Fauquier dissuaded from it. I have seen Fauquier's correspondence; both the letters to him, and his replies; and there is nothing in either of them giving a shadow of corroboration to the statement. Gordon may have built on rumor, or carelessly substituted the name of Pitt for Halifax and the Board of Trade. The narrative in the text I could confirm by many special quotations, and still more by the uniform tendency of the correspondence at that time between England and America.

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