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largely of his valuable journal, and on various grounds it is to be regretted that he never brought it farther. He himself, however, wisely reflects at this time, that the period of life to which he had continued would embrace that which would be most useful to general readers, as illustrating the general effect of a prudent or imprudent conduct in the opening of life.
Dr Franklin and his family considered that the general government of the United States never properly remunerated his services. He more than once quotes the old observation* respecting the tendency of republics to ingratitude, and enclosed to a private friend, at about this period, the following able paper, which forms, in fact, a complete summary of his public history. "Sketch of the services of B. Franklin to the United States
of America. : * In England, he combated the Stamp Act, and his writings in the papers against it, with his examination in parliament, were thought to have contributed much to its repeal..
“ He opposed the Duty Act, and though he could not prevent its passing, he obtained of Mr Townshend an omission of several articles, particularly salt.
* In the subsequent difference, he wrote and pubtished many papers, refuting the claim of parliament to tax the colonies.
“ He opposed all oppressive acts.
“ He had two secret negotiations with the ministers for their repeal, of which he has a written narrative. In this he offered payment for the destroyed tea at his own risk, in case they were repealed.
“ He was joined with Messrs Bolland and Lee in all the applications made to government for that purpose. Printed several pamphlets at his own considerable expense, against the then measures of government, whereby he rendered himself obnoxious; was dis• Ploravere suis non respondere favorem,
Hor. lib. 2. Ep. I.
graced before the privy-council, deprived of place in the post-office of 300l. sterling a year, and obliged to resign his agencies, viz. .
Of Pennsylvania . . .£500
In the whole 1500l. sterling per annum.
“ Orders were sent to the king's governors not to sign any warrants on the treasury for the orders of his salaries ; and though he was not actually dismissed by the colonies that employed him, yet thinking the known malice of the court against him rendered him less likely than others to manage their affairs to their advantage, he judged it to be his duty to withdraw from their service, and leave it open for less exceptionable persons, which saved them the necessity of removing him.
“Returning to America, he encouraged the Revolution. Was appointed chairman of the committee of safety, where he projected the chevaux-de-frise for securing Philadelphia, then the residence of Congress.
"Was sent by Congress to head-quarters near Boston, with Messrs Harrison and Lynch in 1775, to settle some affairs with the northern governments and general Washington.
“In the spring of 1776, was sent to Canada with Messrs Chase and Carrol, passing the lakes while they were not yet free from ice. In Canada was with his colleagues instrumental in redressing sundry griev. ances, and thereby reconciling the people more to our cause. He there advanced to general Arnold and other servants of Congress, then in extreme necessity, 3531. in gold out of his own pocket, on the credit of Congress, which was of great service at that juncture in procuring provisions for our army.
“ Being at the time he was ordered on this service upwards of seventy years of age, he suffered in his health by the hardships of this journey; lodging in the woods, &c. in so inclement a season; but being recovered, the Congress in the same year ordered him to France. Before his departure he put all the money he could raise (between three and four thousand pounds) into their hands; which demonstrating his confidence, encouraged others to lend their money in support of the cause.
“He made no bargain for appointments, but was promised by a vote the net salary of 5001. sterling per annum, his expenses paid, and to be assisted by a secretary, who was to have 1,000l. per annum, to include all contingencies.
“When the Pennsylvania assembly sent him to England in 1764, on the same salary, they allowed him one year's advance for his passage, and in consideration of the prejudice to his private affairs, that must be occasioned by his sudden departure and absence. He has had no such allowance from Congress, was badly accommodated in a miserable vessel, improper for those Northern seas, (and which actually foundered in her return,) was badly fed, so that on his arrival he had scarcely strength to stand.
“ His services to the states as commissioner, and afterwards as minister plenipotentiary, are known to Congress, as may appear in his correspondence. His extra services may not be so well known, and therefore may be here mentioned. No secretary ever arriving, the business was in part before, and entirely when the other commissioners left him, executed by himself, with the help of his grandson, who at first was only allowed clothes, board, and lodging, and afterwards a salary never exceeding 300l. a year, (except while he served as secretary to the commissioners of peace, by which difference in salary, continued many years) the Congress saved, if they accept it, 7001. sterling a-year. “He served as consul entirely several years, till the arrival of Mr Barclay, and even after, as that gentleman was obliged to be much and long absent in Holland, Flanders, and England; during which absence, what business of the kind occurred, still came to Mr. Franklin.
“He served, though without any special commission for the purpose, as a judge of admiralty; for the Congress having sent him a quantity of blank commissions for privateers, he granted them to cruisers fitted out in the ports of France, some of them manned by old smugglers, who knew every creek on the coast of England, and running all round the island, distressed the British coasting-trade exceedingly, and raised their general insurance. One of these privateers alone, the Black Prince, took in the course of a year seventyfive sail. All the papers taken in each prize brought in, were in virtue of an order of council sent up to Mr Franklin who was to examine them, judge of the legality of the capture, and write to the admiralty port, that he found the prize good, and that the sale might be permitted. These papers, which are very voluminous, he has to produce.
“ He served also as merchant to make purchases, and direct the shipping of stores to a very great value, for which he has charged no commission.
“ But the part of his service which was the most fatiguing and confining, was that of receiving and accepting, after a due and necessary examination, the bills of exchange drawn by Congress for interest money, to the amount of two millions and a half of livres annually; multitudes of the bills very small, each of which, the smallest, gave as much trouble in examining, as the largest. And this careful examination was found absolutely necessary, from the constant frauds attempted by presenting seconds and thirds for payment, after the firsts had been discharged. As these bills were arriving more or less by every ship and every post, they required constant attendance. Mr Franklin could make no journey for exercise, as
had been annually his custom, and the confinement brought on a malady that is likely to afflict him while he lives. · " In short, though he has always been an active man, he never went through so much business during eight years, in any part of his life, as during those of his residence in France, which however he did not decline till he saw peace happily made, and found himself in the eightieth year of his age; when, if ever, a man has some right to expect repose.”
Habits of usefulness were however Franklin's second nature. In the midst of his increasing infirmities, a society for Political Inquiry and Information was established in Philadelphia, the meetings of which were held in his house. We are not sure whether these meetings.closed with his presidency, but the society did not last long. His latest efforts for the public were as head of two other benevolent societies. One for alleviating the miseries of public prisons, and the other, entitled the Pennsylvania Society, for promoting the abolition of slavery, the relief of free negroes unlawfully held in bondage, and the improvement of the condition of the African race. For the latter he wrote the plan for improving the condition of the free blacks, and the address to the public, which are inserted in our Appendix, No. 8.
The latest public act of his life, was to affix his name as president of the Abolition Society to the memorial presented 12th February, 1789, to the house of Representatives of the United States, praying them to discourage and put down the slave-trade. In the Federal Gazette of the following month, appeared his last-printed essay, signed Historicus, and which after the method which he had now practised for more than half a century, contained an excellent parody on the speech of Mr Jackson of Georgia, in the disguise of one stated to have been delivered at Algiers, in 1687. This able piece of satire very characteristically concluded the literary labours of Franklin.