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mony between Great Britain and the colonies, so necessary to the happiness of both, and so ardently desired of them, will, zcith the usual intercourse, be immediately restored.'
"If it has been thought reasonable here, to expect that, previous to an alteration of measures, the colonies should make some declaration respecting their future conduct, they have also done that, by adding, 'That when the causes of their apprehensions are removed, their future conduct will prove them not unworthy of the regard they have been accustomed in their happier days to enjoy?
"For their sincerity in these declarations, they solemnly call to witness the Searcher of all hearts.
"If Britain can have any reliance on these declarations, (and perhaps none to be extorted by force can be more relied on than these which are thus freely made,) she may without hazard to herself try the expedient proposed, since, if it fails, she has it in her power at any time to resume her present measures. "It is then proposed,
"That Britain should show some confidence in these declarations, by repealing all the laws or parts of laws that are requested to be repealed in the petition of the congress to the king.
"And that at the same time orders should be given to withdraw the fleet from Boston, and remove all the troops to Quebec or the Floridas, that the colonies may be left at perfect liberty in their future stipulations.
"That this may, for the honor of Britain, appear not the effect of any apprehension from the measures entered into and recommended to the people by the congress, but from good-will, and a change of disposition towards the colonies, with a sincere desire of reconciliation; let some of their other grievances, which in their petition they have left to the magnanimity and justice of the king and parliament, be at the same time removed, such as those relating to the payment of governors' and judges' salaries, and the instructions for dissolving assemblies, &c. with the declarations concerning the statute of Henry VIII.
"And to give the colonies an immediate opportunity of demonstrating the reality of their professions, let their proposed ensuing congress be authorized by government, (as was that held at Albany in 1754,) and a person of weight and dignity of character be appointed to preside at it on behalf of the crown.
"And then let requisition be made to the congress, of such points as government wishes to obtain, for its future security, for aids, for the advantage of general commerce, for reparation to the India company, &c, &c.
"A generous confidence thus placed in the colonies, will give ground to the friends of government there, in their endeavors to procure from America every reasonable concession, or engagement, and every substantial aid, that can fairly be desired." *
On the Saturday evening I saw Mrs. Howe, who informed me she had transcribed and sent the paper to Lord Howe in the country, and she returned me the original. On the following Tuesday, January 3d, I received a note from her, (enclosing a letter she had received from Lord Howe the last night,) which follows.
"Mrs. Howe's compliments to Dr. Franklin, she encloses him a letter she received last night, and returns him many thanks for his very obliging present,1 which has already given her great entertainment. If the Doctor has any spare time for chess, she will be exceedingly glad to see him any morning this week, and as often as will be agreeable to him, and rejoices in having so good an excuse for asking the favor of his company." Tuesday.
[Letter enclosed in the foregoing.]
"Porter's Lodge, Jan. 2d, 1775.
"I have received your packet; and it is with much concern
that I collect, from sentiments of such authority as those of our worthy friend, that
the desired accommodation threatens to be attended with much greater difficulty
\ than I had flattered myself, in the progress of our intercourse, there would be reason
"I shall forward the propositions as intended. Not desirous of trespassing further on our friend's indulgence; but returning sentiments of regard, which his candid and obliging attention to my troublesome inquiries, will render ever permanent in the memory of your affectionate, &c. Howe.
"I ought to make excuses likewise to you.
i "Hon. Mrs. Howe, Grafton Street."
1 His philosophical writings.
His lordship had, in his last conversation with me, acknowledged a communication between him and the ministry, to whom he wished to make my sentiments known. In this letter from the country he owns the receipt of them, and mentions his intention of forwarding them, that is, as I understood it, to the ministers; but expresses his apprehensions that such propositions were not likely to produce any good effect. Some time after, perhaps a week, I received a note from Mrs. Howe, desiring to see me. I waited upon her immediately, when she showed me a letter from her brother, of which having no copy, I can only give from the best of my recollection the purport of it, which I think was this; that he desired to know from their friend, meaning me, through her means, whether it might not be expected, that if that friend would engage for their payment of the tea as a preliminary, relying on a promised redress of their grievances on future petitions from their assembly, they would approve of his making such engagement; and whether the proposition in the former paper, (the Hints,) relating to aids, was still in contemplation of the author. As Mrs. Howe proposed sending to her brother that evening, I wrote immediately the following answer, which she transcribed and forwarded.
"The proposition in the former paper relating to aids, is still in contemplation of the author, and, as he thinks, is included in the last article of the present paper.
"The people of America, conceiving that parliament has no right to tax them, and that therefore all that has been extorted from them by the operation of the duty acts, with the assistance of an armed force, preceding the destruction of the tea, is so much injury, which ought in order of time to be first repaired, before a demand on the tea account can be justly made of them; are not, he thinks likely to approve of the measure proposed, and pay in the first place the value demanded, especially as twenty times as much injury has since been done them by blocking up their port; and their castle also seized before by the crown, has not been restored, nor any satisfaction offered them for the same."
At the meeting of parliament after the holidays, which was on the of January, (1775), Lord Howe returned to town, when we had another meeting, at which he lamented that my propositions were not such as probably could be accepted; intimated, that it was thought I had powers or instructions from the congress to make concessions on occasion that would be more satisfactory. I disclaimed the having any of any kind but what related to the presenting of their petition. We talked over all the particulars in my paper, which I supported with reasons; and finally said, that if what I had proposed would not do, I should be glad to hear what would do; I wished to see some propositions from the ministers themselves. His lordship was not, he said, as yet fully acquainted with their sentiments, but should learn more in a few days. It was, however, some weeks before I heard any thing further from him.
In the mean while, Mr. Barclay and I were frequently together on the affair of preparing the merchants' petition, which took up so much of his time that he could not conveniently see Lord Hyde; so he had no information to give me concerning the Hints, and I wondered I heard nothing of them from Dr. Fothergill. At length, however, but I cannot recollect about what time, the Doctor called on me, and told me he had communicated them, and with them had verbally given my arguments in support of them, to Lord Dartmouth, who, after consideration, had told him, some of them appeared reasonable, but others were inadmissible or impracticable. That having occasion to see frequently the speaker,1 he had also communicated them to him, as he found him very anxious for a reconciliation. That the speaker had said it would be very humiliating to Britain to be obliged to submit to such terms: but the Doctor told him she had been unjust; and ought to bear the consequences, and alter her conduct; that the pill might be bitter, but it would be salutary, and must be swallowed. That these were the sentiments of impartial men, after thorough consideration and full information of all circumstances, and that sooner or later these or similar measures must be followed, or the empire would be divided and ruined. The Doctor on the whole hoped some good would be effected by our endeavors.
On the 19th of Jan. I received a card from Lord Stanhope, acquainting me, that Lord Chatham having a motion to make on the morrow in the house of lords, concerning America, greatly desired that I might be in the house, into which Lord S. would endeavor to procure me admittance. At this time it was a rule of the house that no person could introduce more than one friend. The next morning, his lordship let me know by another card, that if I attended at two o'clock in the lobby, Lord Chatham would be there about that time, and would himself introduce me. I attended, and met him there accordingly. On my mentioning to him what Lord Stanhope had written to me, he said, "Certainly; and I shall do it with the more pleasure, as I am sure your being present at this day's debate will be of more service to America than mine;" and so taking me by the arm, was leading me along the passage to the door that enters near the throne, when one of the door-keepers followed and acquainted him that by the order, none were to be carried in at that door, but the eldest sons or brothers of peers; on which he limped back with me to the door near the bar, where were standing a number of gentlemen waiting for the peers who were to introduce them, and some peers waiting for friends they expected to introduce ; among whom he delivered me to the doorkeepers, saying aloud, this is Dr. Franklin, whom I would have admitted into the house; when they readily opened the door for me accordingly. As it had not been publicly known that there was any communication between his lordship and me, this I found occasioned some speculation. His appearance in the house, I observed, caused a kind of bustle among the officers, who were hurried in sending messengers for members, I suppose those in connection with the ministry, something of importance being expected when that great man appears; it being but seldom that his infirmities permit his attendance. I had great satisfaction in hearing his motion and the debate upon it, which I shall not attempt to give here an account of, as you may find a better in the papers of the time. It was his motion for withdrawing the troops from Boston, as the first step towards an accommodation. The day following, I received a note from Lord Stanhope expressing, that "at the desire of Lord Chatham was sent me enclosed, the motion he made in the house of lords, that I might be possessed of it in the most authentic manner, by the communication of the individual paper which was read to the house by the mover himself." I sent copies of this motion to America, and was the more pleased with it, as I conceived it had partly taken its rise from a hint I had given his lordship in a former conversation. It follows in these words.
'Sir Fletcher Norton.
Lord Chatham s Motion/June 20, 1775.
"That an humble address be presented to his majesty, most humbly to advise and beseech his majesty, that, in order to open the way towards an happy settlement of the dangerous troubles in America, by beginning to allay ferments and soften animosities there; and above all, for preventing in the mean time any sudden and fatal catastrophe at Boston, now suffering under the daily irritation of an army before their eyes, posted in their town, it may graciously please his majesty, that immediate orders may be dispatched to General Gage for removing his majesty's forces from the town of Boston, as soon as the rigor of the season and other circumstances, indispensable to the safety and accommodation of the said troops, may render the same practicable."