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were not much relished ; and it has been with difficulty that we have carried another humble petition to the crown, to give Britain one more chance, one opportunity more of recovering the friendship of the colonies ; which however I think she has not sense enough to embrace, and so I conclude she has lost them for ever.
6 She has begun to burn our sea-port towns; secure, I suppose, that we shall never be able to return the outrage in kind. She may doubtless destroubisy them all; but if she wishes to recover our comm e rce, are these the probable means? She mustgn certainly be distracted; for no tradesman out of her 'bedlam ever thought of increasing the number sé of hi by knocking them (on) the healad; or of enabling them to pay their debts by burr raing their houses.
“ If she wishes to have us subjects, and that we should submit to her as our compound sovereign, she is now giving us such miserable specimens of her government, that we shall ever detest and avoid it, as a complication of robbery, murder, famine, fire and pestilence.
“ You will have heard before this reaches you, of the treacherous conduct of *** to the remaining people in Boston, in detaining their goods, after stipulating to let them go out with their effects; the defeat of a great body of his troops, by the country people at Lexington; some other small advantages gained in skirmishes with their troops ; and the action at Bunker's hill, in which they were twice repulsed, and the third time gained a dear victory. Enough has happened, one would think, to convince your ministers, that the Americans will fight, and that this is a harder nut to crack than they imagined.
“ We have not yet applied to any foreign power for assistance, nor offered our commerce for their friendship. Perhaps we never may ; yet it is natural to think of it, if we are pressed.
“We have now an army on the establishment which still holds yours besieged.
- " My time was never" more fully employed. In the morning at six, I am at the committee of safety, appointed by the Assembly to put the province in a state of defence, which committee holds till nine, when I am at the Congress, and that sits till after four in the afternoon. Both these bodies proceed with the greatest unanimity, and their meetings are well attended. It will scarce be credited in Britain, that men can be as diligent with us from zeal for the public good, as with you for thousands per annum. Such is the difference between uncorrupted new states, and corrupted old ones.
6 Great Wality and great industry are now become fashionabiu ere: gentlemen who used to entertain with two or three courses, pride themselves now in treating with simple beef and pudding. By these means, and the stoppage of our consumptive trade with Britain, we shall be better able to pay our voluntary taxes for the support of our troops. Our savings in the article of trade amount to near fiye millions sterling per annum.
"I shall communicate your letter to Mr Winthrop, but the camp is at Cambridge, and he has as little leisure for philosophy as myself.*** Believe me ever, with sincere esteem, my dear friend,
“Your's most affectionately."
· The American Congress anticipating no favourable result from England, adopted vigorous measures for defence. They resolved that all the colonies then in league to resist the claims of British usurpation, should be called the United States, and issue a paper currency, for which the resources and fortunes of all should be considered as pledged: that a new posta office should be erected, of which Dr Franklin was to take the management; that the whole of their forces should be under the direction of the illustrious Wash ington, as commander in chief; that its charter being gruken, all connexion was dissolved between the province of Massachusetts and the British government, fire
and that the province should immediately proceed to
Washington, feeling that there was no time to lose,
The first efforts of the Americans under their new leader, were attended with the most flattering success. On the morning of the 16th of June, the English who made themselves perfectly secure, were alarmed by an unexpected cannonade of the shipping in Boston harbour, and to their astonishment observed a redoubt and other works which had been thrown up by Wash
ington in the night, on an eminence called-2.2-Bunker's hill. A useless cannonade was commenced on the part of the British, and general Howe embarked on O'harles River with a considerable force to drive them from their station, but as they approached the redoubt, so hot a fire was opened upon them, that they fell in great numbers, and were compelled to retire, but afterwards rallying with fixed bayonets, the Americans retreated, having no intentions at present to come to å regular engagement. The latter reached Cambridge without much inconvenience, The loss of the British was two hundred and twenty-six killed, including nineteen commissioned officers, eight hundred and twenty-eight wounded, including seventy officers. The number of Americans killed and wounded was about four hundred and fifty. *** : General Washington visited the camp before Boston in July, and continued the blockade; he threw up works on another hill on the side of Charlestown Neck, secured with good strong redoubts, and ex: tended the lines of fortification as far as Boston, thus enclosing the British troops in the Peninsula, where they kept them hlockaded through the year. Franklin afterwards learned from the general, that the American army were so short of ammunition during part of this time, that they could not supply more than five rounds a man for the small fire-arms. Artillery were out of the question. They were fired now and then, just to show that they had them, and yet Washington kept the secret with so much spirit and address, that he continued the blockade.
The legislature of the incipient republic was not idle during these scenes of military activity. Principally at Franklin's suggestion, various emissions of paper money took place. In July 1775, three millions of dollars were issued, and in the latter end of 1776, twenty-one millions more, under a promise of ex changing the paper for gold and silver within the space of three years. In the close of the former year we find Dr Franklin appointed on the committee of Congress to visit the camp at Cambridge, with a view to re-enlisting the troops whose term of service was about to expire; and when general Schuyler and Montgomery afterwards invaded Canada, he accompanied the army to' circulate addresses of Congress, and endeavour to gain over that province to the American cause. In the object of his first mission he was successful, but in the latter he failed.
In December he was empowered by Congress to correspond with Mr Dumas, of Holland, on the subject of the disposition of foreign courts towards America, who was anxious to conciliate the governments of Europe, to her meditated independence. Congress also now circulated various preparatory tracts for the purpose of ascertaining the mind of their constituents on the subject of their future measures. They forcibly exhibited the natural union between protection and allegiance, and that Great Britain having not only withdrawn the one, but exerted all her force for their destruction, could have little claim to the other. They quoted the prohibitory act as an actuai renunci átion of its sovereignty on the part of the British government, and insisted that authority so abused, if not already resigned, onght to be forthwith suppressed, and taken without further delay into the people's own hands.
No pen was more constantly or more effectually at work at this period than Franklin's, who had the great wisdom throughout life, as we have seen, to appear only to act with others, when he was in fact acting for them. Jointly with the celebrated Thomas Paine, he now produced the popular pamphlet entitled Common Sense; and while fleets and armies were pouring in upon their shores, America saw exi hibited the sight, unparalleled in history, of fifty or sixty intrepid senators sitting down to originate a new and supreme government, in opposition to the united councils and strength of one of the first empires of the world.
The important Declaration of Independence, after the