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money, become absolutely necessary to their internal commerce, from their constant remittance of their gold and silver to Britain. But not only the interest of a particular body of merchants, but the interest of any small body of British tradesmen or artificers, has been found, they say, to outweigh that of all the king's subjects in the colonies. There cannot be a stronger natural right than that of a man's making the best profit he can of the natural produce of his lands, provided he does not thereby hurt the state in general. Iron is to be found everywhere in America, and beavers are the natural produce of that country: hats, and nails, and steel, are wanted here. It is of no importance to the common welfare of the empire, whether a subject of the king gets his living by making hats on this or on that side of the water. Yet the hatters of England have prevailed to obtain an act in their own favour, restraining that manufacture in America, in order to oblige the Americans to send their beaver to England to be manufactured, and purchase back the hats, loaded with the charges of a double transportation. In the same manner have a few nail-makers, and a still smaller body of steel makers (perhaps there are not half a dozen of these in England) prevailed totally to forbid, by an act of parliament, the erecting of slitting-mills, or steel furnaces, in America ; that the Americans may be obliged to take all their nails for their buildings, and steel for their tools, from these artificers, under the same disadvantages.
“I say, reflecting on these things, they said one to another (their newspapers are full of such discourses) · These people are not content with making a monopoly of us (forbidding us to trade with any other country of Europe, and compelling us to buy every thing of them, though in many articles we would furnish ourselves ten, twenty, and even to fifty, per cent. cheaper elsewhere) but now they have as good as declared they have a right to tax uş ad libitum, internally and externally; and that our constitutions
and liberties shall all be taken away, if we do not submit to that claim.
66. They are not content with the high prices at which they sell us their goods, but have now begun to enhance those prices by new duties, and, by the expensive apparatus of a new set of officers, appear to intend an augmentation and multiplication of those burdens, that shall still be more grievous to us. Our people have been foolishly fond of their superfluous modes and manufactures, to the impoverishing of our own country, carrying off all our cash, and loading us with debt; they will not suffer us to restrain the luxury of our inhabitants, as they do that of their own country, by laws: they can make laws to discourage or prohibit the importation of French superfluities : but though those of England are as ruinous to us as the French ones are to them, if we make a law of that kind, they immediately repeal it. Thus they get all our money from us by trade; and every profit we can anywhere make by our fisheries, our produce or our commerce, centres finally with them ;-but this does not satisfy. It is time then to take care of ourselves by the best means in our power. Let us unite in solemn resolution and engagements with and to each other, that we will give these new officers as little trouble as possible, by not consuming the British manufactures on which they are to levy the duties. Let us live frugally, and let us industriously manufacture what we can for ourselves: thus we shall be able honourably to discharge the debts we already owe them; and after that, we may be able to keep some money in our country, not only for the uses of our internal commerce, but for the service of our gracious sovereign, whenever he shall have occasion for it, and think proper to require it of us in the old constitutionalmanner. For, notwithstanding the reproaches thrown out against us in their public papers and pamphlets, notwithstanding we have been reviled in their senate, as rebels and traitors, we are truly a · loyal people. Scotland has had its rebellions, and
England its plots against the present royal family; but America is untainted with those crimes; there is in it scarce a man, there is not a single native of our country, who is not firmly attached to his king by principle and by affection. But a new kind of loyalty seems to be required of us, a loyalty to parliament; a loyalty, that is to extend, it is said, to a surrender of all our properties whenever a House of Commons, in which there is not a single member of our choosing, shall think fit to grant them away without our consent, and to à patient suffering the loss of our privileges as Englishmen, if we cannot submit to make such surrender. We were separated too far from Britain by the ocean, but we were united to it by respect and love; so that we could at any time freely have spent our lives and little fortunes in its cause : but this unhappy new system of politics tends to dissolve those bands of union, and to sever us for ever.'
“ These are the wild ravings of the, at present, half-distracted Americans. To be sure, no reasonable man in England can approve of such sentiments, and, as I said before, I do not pretend to support or justify them; but I sincerely wish, for the sake of the manufactures and commerce of Great Britain, and for the sake of strength, which a firm union with our growing colonies would give us, that these people had never been thus needlessly driven out of their senses.
“ I am yours, &c.
“F. S. *» Mr Strahan, the king's printer, and Dr Franklin had been intimate for many years, a circumstance which induced the former to endeavour to ascertain from Franklin the best method of bringing these disputes to an amicable conclusion. He therefore, sent him a series of queries, to which Dr Franklin very promptly and candidly replied. The importance of this document in regard to the whole of the matters
• Meaning it is supposed, “ Franklin's seal," as it is well known the amphlet was written by bio.
in dispute, in addition to its characteristie exposition of the information and sagacity of Dr Franklin, en titles it to an admission in the APPENDIX*.
The earl of Hillsborough was appointed an additional secretary of state in 1769, entirely with a viene to colonial affairs'; one of the first acts of whose administration was to write to all the colonies, expresso ing his majesty's displeasure at the general congress, as an unlawful combination. But these circulars produced nothing but insolent replies: governor Bernard insisted upon the assembly at Boston rescind. ing their act respecting this circular, or he should dissolve the house, and send their transactions for the inspection of the British parliament.
The new secretary and Franklin had frequently had conferences upon American affairs, and it was even rumoured at this time, that the latter would be offered the under-secretaryship of state, but such a design, if even entertained, was never carried into effect, and the only issue of these conferences was to produce some conciliatory instructions from that minister to the governors of the colonies. It is supposed that about this time Dr Franklin delivered to the new minister his celebrated and often-quoted “Rules for reducing a great empire to a small onet.'! . On the whole there seems to have been much in. sincerity in his lordship. Under his auspices commissioners were sent out to enforce the new taxes, and general Gage, who was strengthened with two regiments from Ireland, was directed to quarter one of them in Boston, to assist the levying of these im• posts. Franklin's knowledge of the colonies, and experience of their general dispositions, convinced him of the utter folly and inexpediency of these mea. sures. He particularly deprecated the sending troops at this time to Boston, which he foresaw would be to precipitate the explosion that so soon followed.
In 1772 lord Hillsboroagh was dismissed. Affairs had finally proceeded so unpropitiously between him
* See Appendix, No. 3. + See Appendix, No.4.
and Franklin, that once or twice privately, and finally at a levée day, his porter was instructed to refuse him to Dr Franklin's coachman, when numerous carriages were at the door. The Doctor however was asked, on his removal from office, by a party high in eourt favour, whether he could recommend a successor that would be more acceptable to the Americans, on which he nominated lord Dartmouth, who was a great favourite in the colonies, and it is singular, but he was soon after appointed. · Hopes were at this period entertained in both countries, of an adjustment of the differences between the colonies and Great Britain ; and Dr Franklin had some thoughts of returning to America in 1773, to aid in this good work; but an affair of a most singular description suddenly involved him personally with the government, and exasperated the public mind, in Massachusetts in particular, to the utmost degree.
This province considered itself more deeply aggrieved by the stationing of a permanent military force there, with the avowed design of enforcing submission. As early as March 1770, a quarrel had taken place be. tween the towns-people, and the soldiers, in which several of the former were killed. This event was commemorated for two or three years with great solemnity, when the ablest popular leaders harangued them on the horrors of slavery and arbitrary power. In the course of this period the judges of the province, to preserve them in the interest of the mothercountry, were made independent of the people, and paid entirely by the crown. This the assembly, who had hitherto voted them an annual income, resented as a kind of bribery, and in 1772 impeached chief justice Oliver as receiving corrupt and illegal fees. Governor Bernard could find no mode of defeating this measure, but the dissolving the assembly,
In this province the popular leaders had not the discretion and good-humour of Franklin, but personal animosities exasperated the public discontents,