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will be seen, that Dr. Franklin endeavoured | honour to send to Gloucester, I have just re

to obtain from the dean, an open and fair communication of the grounds and reasons upon which the latter had relied, in making certain charges against the former; and that he did this in the fullest confidence of being able completely to justify himself against them. But Dr. Tucker most uncandidly endeavours to avoid that communication, and that discovery of the truth which it was likely to produce.

"To Dean Tucker.

"LONDON, February 12, 1774. "REVEREND SIR,-Being informed by a friend, that some severe strictures on my conduct and character had appeared in a book published under your respectable name, I purchased and read it. After thanking you for those parts of it that are so instructive on points of great importance to the common interest of mankind, permit me to complain, that if by the description you give in pages 180, 181, of a certain American patriot, whom you say you need not name, you do, as is supposed, mean myself, nothing can be further from the truth than your assertion, that I applied or used any interest directly or indirectly to be appointed one of the stamp officers for America. I certainly never expressed a wish of the kind to any person whatever, much less was I, as you say, more than ordinarily

no

ceived in London, where I have resided many
weeks, and am now returning to Gloucester.
On inquiry I find, that I was mistaken in
some circumstances relating to your conduct
about the stamp act, though right as to sub-
stance. These errors shall be rectified the
first opportunity. After having assured you,
that I am no dealer in anonymous newspaper
paragraphs, nor have a connection with any
who are, I have the honour to be, sir, your
humble servant,
J. TUCKER."

66

"To Dean Tucker.

REVEREND SIR,-I received your favour of yesterday. If the substance of what you have charged me with is right, I can have but little concern about any mistakes in the circumstances: whether they are rectified or not, will be immaterial. But knowing the substance to be wrong, and believing that you can have no desire of continuing in an error, prejudicial to any man's reputation, I am persuaded you will not take it amiss, if I request the information you have received, that I may you to communicate to me the particulars of have an opportunity of examining them; and I flatter myself, I shall be able to satisfy you that they are groundless. I propose this method as more decent than a public altercation, and suiting better the respect due to your

character.

"With great regard, I have the honour to be, reverend sir, your most obedient humble

servant,

B. FRANKLIN.”

"To Dr. Franklin.

"GLOUCESTER, Feb. 27. 1774.

assiduous on this head.' I have heretofore seen in the newspapers, insinuations of the same import, naming me expressly; but being without the name of the writer, I took notice of them. I know not whether they were yours, or were only your authority for your present charge. But now that they have the weight of your name and dignified character, I am more sensible of the injury; and I beg leave to request, that you would re"SIR,―The request made in your last letconsider the grounds on which you have ter, is so very just and reasonable, that I shall ventured to publish an accusation, that, if be- comply with it very readily. It has long aplieved, must prejudice me extremely in the peared to me, that you much exceeded the opinion of good men, especially in my own bounds of morality in the methods you purcountry, whence I was sent expressly to op- sued for the advancement of the supposed inpose the imposition of that tax. If on such terests of America. If it can be proved, that reconsideration and inquiry, you find, as I am I have unjustly suspected you, I shall acpersuaded you will, that you have been im- knowledge my error, with as much satisfacposed upon by false reports, or have too light- tion as you can have in reading my recantaly given credit to hearsays in a matter that tion of it. As to the case more immediately concerns another's reputation,. I flatter my-referred to in your letters, I was repeatedly self that your equity will induce you to do me justice, by retracting that accusation. "In confidence of this, I am with great esteem, reverend sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant,

From

informed, that you had solicited the late Mr. George Grenville for a place or agency in the distribution of stamps in America. which circumstance, I myself concluded, that you had made interest for it on your own account: whereas, I am now informed, there are no positiye proofs of your having solicited to obtain such a place for yourself, but there is sufficient evidence still existing of your having applied for it in favour of another per"SIR,―The letter which you did me the son. If this latter should prove to be the fact,

"B. FRANKLIN.”

"To Dr. Franklin.

"MONDAY, February 21, 1774.

as I am assured it will, I am willing to suppose, from several expressions in both your etters, that you will readily acknowledge, *hat the difference in this case between yourself and your friend, is very immaterial to the general merits of the question. But if you should have distinctions in this case, which are above my comprehension, I shall content myself with observing, that your great abilities and happy discoveries deserve universal regard; and that as on these accounts I esteem and respect you, so I have the honour to be, sir, your very humble servant,

"J. TUCKER.”

"To Dean Tucker.

"LONDON, Feb. 26, 1774.

"REVEREND SIR,-I thank you for the frankness with which you communicated to me the particulars of the information you had received, relating to my supposed application to Mr. Grenville for a place in the American stamp office. As I deny that either your former or latter informations are true, it seems incumbent on me, for your satisfaction, to relate all the circumstances fairly to you, that could possibly give rise to such mistakes.

"Some days after the stamp act was passed, to which I had given all the opposition I could, with Mr. Grenville, I received a note from Mr. Whately, his secretary, desiring to see me the next morning. I waited upon him accordingly, and found with him several colony agents. He acquainted us that Mr. Grenville was desirous to make the execution of the act as little inconvenient and disagreeable to America as possible; and therefore did not think of sending stamp officers from this country, but wished to have discreet and reputable persons appointed in each province from among the inhabitants, such as would be acceptable to them; for as they were to pay the tax, he thought strangers should not have the emolument. Mr. Whately therefore wished us to name for our respective colonies, informing us that Mr. Grenville would be obliged to us for pointing out to him honest and responsible men, and would pay great regard to our nominations. By this plausible and apparently candid declaration, we were drawn in to nominate; and I named for our province Mr. Hughes, saying at the same time, that I knew not whether he would accept of it, but if he did, I was sure he would execute the office faithfully. I soon after had notice of his appointment. We none of us, I believe, foresaw or imagined that this compliance with the request of the minister, would or could have been called an application of ours, and adduced as a proof of our approbation of the act we had been opposing; otherwise I think few of us would have named at all—I am sure I should not. This, I assure

you, and can prove to you by living evidence, is a true account of the transaction in question, which, if you compare with that you have been induced to give of it in your book, I am persuaded you will see a difference that is far from being 'a distinction above your comprehension.'

"Permit me further to remark, that your expression of there being no positive proofs of my having solicited to obtain such a place for myself, implies that there are, nevertheless, some circumstantial proofs, sufficient at least to support a suspicion; the latter part, however, of the same sentence, which says, 'there are sufficient evidence still existing, of my having applied for it in favour of another person,' must, I apprehend, if credited, destroy that suspicion, and be considered as positive proof of the contrary; for, if I had interest enough with Mr. Grenville to obtain that place for another, is it likely that it would have been refused me, had I asked it for myself?

"There is another circumstance which I would offer to your candid consideration.You describe me as 'changing sides, and appearing at the bar of the house of commons to cry down the very measure I had espoused, and direct the storm that was falling upon that minister.' As this must have been after my supposed solicitation of the favour for myself or my friend, and Mr. Grenville and Mr. Whately were both in the house at the time, and both asked me questions, can it be conceived, that offended as they must have been with such a conduct in me, neither of them should put me in mind of this my sudden changing of sides, or remark it to the house, or reproach me with it, or require my reasons for it? and yet all the members then present, know that not a syllable of the kind fell from either of them, or from any of their party.

"I persuade myself, that by this time you begin to suspect you may have been misled by your informers. I do not ask who they are, because I do not wish to have particular motives for disliking people, who, in general, may deserve my respect. They, too, may have drawn consequences beyond the information they received from others, and hearing the office had been given to a person of my nomination, might as naturally suppose I had solicited it; as Dr. Tucker, hearing that I had solicited it, might conclude' it was for myself.

"I desire you to believe that I take kindly, as I ought, your freely mentioning to me 'that it has long appeared to you, that I much exceeded the bounds of morality in the methods I pursued for the advancement of the supposed interests of America.'. I am sensible there is a good deal of truth in the adage that our sins and our debts are always more than we take them to be; and though I can

not at present, on examination of my conscience, charge myself with any immorality of that kind, it becomes me to suspect, that what has long appeared. to you, may have some foundation. You are so good as to add, that if it can be proved you have unjustly suspected me, you shall have a satisfaction in acknowledging the error.' It is often a thing hard to prove, that suspicions are unjust, even when we know what they are; and harder when we are unacquainted with them. I must presume, therefore, that in mentioning them, you had an intention of communicating the grounds of them to me, if I should request it, which I now do, and, I assure you, with a sincere desire and design of amending what you may show me to have been wrong in my conduct, and to thank you for the admonition.

"In your writings I appear a bad man; but if I am such, and you can thus help me to become in reality a good one, I shall esteem it more than a sufficient reparation to, reverend sir, your inost obedient humble servant, "B. FRANKLIN."

[Note by Dr. Franklin, on the rough draft of the foregoing letter.]

Feb. 7, 1775. No answer has been received to the above letter. B. F.

tinually added, further to exasperate the colonies, render them desperate, and drive them into open rebellion.

In a paper written by Dr. Franklin, "On the rise and progress of the differences between Great Britain and her American colonies," and supposed to have been published about this time (1774,) he states, that soon after the late war, it became an object with the British ministers to draw a revenue from America: the first attempt was by a stamp act. It soon appeared, that this step had not been well considered; and that the rights, the ability, the opinions, and temper of that great and growing people, had not been sufficiently attended to. They complained, that the tax was unnecessary, because their assemblies had ever been ready to make voluntary grants to the crown in proportion to their abilities, when duly required so to do; and unjust, because they had no representative in the British parliament, but had parlaments of their own, wherein their consent was given, as it ought to be, in grants of their own

money.

The parliament repealed the act as inexpedient, but in another asserted a right of taxing the colonies, and binding them in all cases whatsoever! . In the following year they laid duties on British manufactures exported to America. On the repeal of the stamp act, the Americans had returned to their wonted good humour and commerce with Great Britain; but this new act for laying duties renewed their uneasiness. These and other grievances complained of by the colonies are succinctly enumerated in Dr. Franklin's paper abovementioned; and the progressive history of the causes of the American discontents in general.

From the preceding correspondence, it is fully evident, that this reverend divine was not willing to acknowledge, or even find that he had substantially erred in regard to Dr. Franklin. His prejudices indeed, appear to have been so deeply rooted, and his desire to do justice to one whom he had wronged, appears to have been so dormant, that he betrays an evident disinclination to ascertain the truth, or allow it to approach him, in opposition to these prejudices. With other more equitable dispositions, it would have been impossible for the dean to abstain so pertinaciously from giving any answer to Dr. Franklin's last letter. The facts and explanations which it contained were so important, and they were stated with so much Even those colonies which depended most candour and civility, that the dean must have upon the mother country for the consumption felt it to be highly incumbent on him, either of their productions, entered into associations to meet those facts by others equally conclu- with the others; and nothing was to be heard sive, or to acknowledge that he had wrong- of but resolutions for the encouragement of fully accused Dr. Franklin. The former he their own manufactures, the consumption of could not do, the latter be would not. The home products, the discouragement of foreign only expedient then remaining, was the un-articles, and the retrenchment of all superworthy and evasive one of giving no an

swer!

But to return to cbjects of more public interest. All the expectations that Dr. Franklin had then entertained from the good character and disposition of the then minister, lord Dartmouth, in favour of America, began to wither: none of the measures of his predecessor had even been attempted to be changed, but on the contrary new ones had been con

The whole continent of America now began to consider the Boston port bill, as striking essentially at the liberty of all the colonies; and these sentiments were strongly urged and propagated in the American newspapers.

fluities.

Virginia resolved not to raise any more tobacco, unless the grievances of America were redressed. Maryland followed that example: Pennsylvania, and almost all the other colonies, entered into resolutions in the same spirit, with a view to enforce a general redress of grievances.

During these disputes between the two countries. Dr. Franklin invented an emble

matical design, intended to represent the such compulsory attempts, will contribute to supposed state of Great Britain and her colo-unite and strengthen us; and, in the mean nies, should the former persist in her oppres- time, all the world will allow that our prosive measures, restraining the latter's trade, ceeding has been honourable." and taxing their people by laws made by a legislature in which they were not represented. It was engraved on a copper-plate, from which the annexed is a fac simile. Dr. Franklin had many of them struck off on cards, on the back of which he occasionally wrote his notes. It was also printed on a half sheet of paper, with the explanation and moral which follow it. [See p. 104.]

These sentiments, applied to the picture which they are annexed to, were well calculated to produce reflection; they form part of the same system of political ethics, with the following fragment of a sentence, which Dr. Franklin inserted in a political publication of one of his friends:-"The attempts to establish arbitrary power over so great a part of the British empire, are to the imminent hazard of our most valuable commerce, and of that national strength, security, and felicity, which depend on union and liberty;"-The preservation of which, he used to say, "had been the great object and labour of his life; the WHOLE being such a thing as the world before never saw!"

Such had been the advice of Dr. Franklin; and, as he observes somewhere, "a good motion never dies," so this was eventually acted upon in all its bearings, and was the first step to the union of the colonies, and their final emancipation from Great Britain.

The first congress assembled at Philadelphia, September 17, 1774. Their first public act was a declaratory resolution, expressive of their disposition with respect to the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and immediately intended to confirm and encourage that people in their opposition to the oppressive acts of the British parliament. This, and other analogous resolutions relative to Massachusetts, being passed, the congress wrote a letter to general Gage, governor and commander of the king's troops in that province, in which, after repeating the complaints formerly made by the town of Boston, they declared the determined resolution of the colonies to unite for the preservation of their common rights, in opposition to the late acts of parliament, under the execution of which the unhappy people of Massachusetts were oppressed; that the colonies In June, 1774, a general congress of depu- had appointed them the guardians of their ties from all the colonies, began to be univer-rights and liberties, and that they felt the sally looked forward to. This had a year before been suggested by Dr. Franklin, in a letter to Thomas Cushing, dated July 7, 1773, in which he says,-"But as the strength of an empire depends, not only on the union of its parts, but on their readiness for united exertion of their common force; and as the discussion of rights may seem unseasonable in the commencement of actual war, and the delay it might occasion be prejudicial to the common welfare; as, likewise, the refusal of one or a few colonies, would not be so much regarded if the others granted liberally, which perhaps by various artifices and motives they might be prevailed on to do; and as this want of concert would defeat the expectation of general redress, that otherwise might be justly formed; perhaps it would be best and fairest for the colonies, in a GENERAL CONGRESS, now in peace to be assembled, (or by means of the correspondence lately proposed,) after a full and solemn assertion and declaration of their RIGHTS, to engage firmly with each other, that they will never grant aids to the crown in any general war, till those rights are recognised by the king and both houses of parliament; communicating to the crown this their resolution. Such a step, I imagine, will bring the dispute to a crisis; and whether our demands are immediately complied with, or compulsory measures thought of to make us rescind them, our ends will finally be obtained; for even the odium accompanying

deepest concern, that whilst they were pursuing every dutiful and peaceable measure to procure a cordial and effectual reconciliation between Great Britain and the colonies, his excellency should proceed in a manner that bore so hostile an appearance, and which even the oppressive acts complained of did not warrant. They represented the tendency this conduct must have to irritate, and force a people, however well disposed to peaceable measures, into hostilities, which might prevent the endeavours of the congress to restore a good understanding with the parent state, and involve them in the horrors of a civil war.

The congress also published a DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, to which they asserted the English colonies of North America 'were entitled, by the immutable laws of nature, the principles of the English constitution, and their several charters or compacts.

They then proceeded to frame a petition to the king, a memorial to the people of Great Britain, an address to the colonies in general, and another to the inhabitants of the province of Quebec.

These several acts were drawn up with uncommon energy, address, and ability: they well deserve the attention of statesmen, and are to be found in the annals of American history.

The petition to his majesty contained an enumeration of the grievances of the colonies, humbly praying redress. It was forwarded to

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GREAT BRITAIN is supposed to have been placed upon the globe; but the COLONIES, (that is, her limbs,) being severed from her, she is seen lifting her eyes and mangled stumps to heaven: her shield, which she is unable to wield, lies useless by her side; her lance has pierced New England: the laurel branch has fallen from the hand of Pennsylvania: the English oak has lost its head, and stands a bare trunk, with a few withered branches; briars and thorns are on the ground beneath it; the British ships have brooms at their topmast heads, denoting their being on sale; and BRITANNIA herself is seen sliding off the world, (no longer able to hold its balance,) her fragments overspread with the label, DATE OBOLUM BELLISARIO.

THE MORAL.

History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favour of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy; it being a matter of no moment to the state, whether a subject grows rich and flourishing on the Thames or the Ohio, in Edinburgh or Dublin. These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favoured and the people oppressed: whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connexions, necessarily ensue, by which the whole state is weakened, and perhaps ruined for ever!

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