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[420] stipendiaries of the Crown, was selected as the crisis
Chap. XLVII.} 1772. Aug.
of revolution.

Meantime Hillsborough was left with few supporters except the herd of flatterers who had soothed his vanity, and by their misrepresentations made him subservient to their selfishness. The King, having become convinced that he had weakened the respect of the Colonies for a royal Govern ment, was weary of him; his colleagues disliked him, and conspired to drive him into retirement.1 The occasion was at hand. Franklin had negotiated with the Treasury for a grant to a Company of about twenty-three millions of acres of land, south of the Ohio and west of the Alleghanies; Hillsborough, from the fear that men in the backwoods would be too independent, opposed the project.2 Franklin persuaded Hertford, a friend of the King's, Gower the President of the Council, Camden, the Secretaries of the Treasury,3 and others to become shareholders in his scheme; by their influence, the Lords of Council disregarded the adverse report of the Board of Trade, and decided in favor of planting the new Province.4 Hillsborough was too proud to brook this public insult; and the King, soothing his fall by a patent for a British Earldom, accepted his resignation. But his system remained behind him. When he was gone, Thurlow5 took care that the grant for the Western Province

1 Franklin to his Son, 17 August, 1772.

2 De Guines, French Ambassador, to Aiguillon, 11 August, 1772.

3 W. Duer to Robert R. Livingston Jr., London, 3 August, 1772.

4 Order in Council, 14 Aug. 1772. Compare Propositions for the Settlement of Pittsylvania, and the Memorial of Franklin and Wharton to the American Congress.

5 Knox: Extra Official State Papers, II. 45.

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