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perhaps could reasonably be expected; though not with all that was wished. He has fully justified your character of him, and returns thoroughly possessed of my esteem; but that cannot and ought not to please him so much as a little more money would have done for his beloved army. This court continues firm and steady in its friendship, and does every thing it can for us. Can we not do a little more for ourselves? My successor (for I have desired the congress to send me one) will find it in the best disposition towards us, and I hope he will take care to cultivate that disposition. You, who know the leading people of both countries, can perhaps judge better than any member of congress of a person suitable for this station. I wish you may be in the way to give your advice, when the matter is agitated in that assembly. I have been long tired of the trade of minister, and wished for a little repose before I went to sleep for good and all. I thought I might have held out till the peace; but as that seems at a greater distance than the end of my days, I grow impatient. I would not, however, quit the service of the public, if I did not sincerely think that it would be easy for the congress, with your counsel, to find a fitter man. God bless you, and crown all your labors with success. With the highest regard and most sincere affection, I am, dear Sir, &c. &c.
Notwithstanding Dr. Franklin's various and important occupations, he occasionally amused himself in composing and printing, by means of a small set of types, and a press he had in his house, several of his light essays, bagatelles, or jeux d'esprit, written chiefly for the amusement of his intimate friends. Among these 'were the following; printed on it half sheet of coarse paper, so as to imitate, as much as possible, a portion of a Boston newspaper.
The repeated accounts received from America of the horribly cruel manner in which the Indian allies of Great Britain prosecuted the war against the peaceable inhabitants of the United States; murdering defenceless farmers, with their wives and children, and carrying off their scalps, for the reward promised in proportion to the number, (said already to have amounted to two thousand),1 was the foundation of the first fictitious article in this pretended "Supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle."
The other article is a jeu d'esprit of a gayer turn, originating from a memorial of the British ambassador, Sir Joseph Yorke, reclaiming the king's ships the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, prizes carried into Holland by the American squadron under Commodore Jones; whom Sir Joseph designated, "the Pirate Paul Jones of Scotland; a rebel subject, and a criminal of the state."
The deception intended by this supposed "Supplement," (which was very accurately imitated with respect to printing, paper, the insertion of advertisements, &c.) was, that by transmitting it to England, it might actually be taken for what it purported to be, and the two prominent articles contained in it, consequently, copied into the English papers, as genuine intelligence from America.
The end proposed thereby, was to shame the British government. It is uncertain whether this artifice succeeded as well as a similar one of Dr. Franklin's, the "Prussian Edict," did, as related in his Private Correspondence.1
The following is a copy of the present intended deception, as printed; with the omission only of the advertisements, and some of the names, titles, and epithets, in the latter article.
TO THE BOSTON
BOSTON, March 12, 1782. with horror to find among the packages, 8
„ . ~ , r ,, _, . . „ large ones containing SCALPS of our un
Extract of a Letter from Capt. Gerrish, of . ° , „ . , , >
happy country-folks, taken in the three last
the New England Militia, dated Albany, March 7
years by the Senneka Indians from the inhabitants of the frontiers of New York, New THE Peltry taken in the expedition (See the Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and sent by account of the expedition to Oswegatchie on them as a present to Col. Haldimand, goverthe river St. Laurence, in our paper of the nor of Canada, in order to be by him transit instant), will as you see amount to a good mitted to England. They were accompanied deal of money. The possession of this booty by the following curious letter to that gentleat first gave us pleasure; but we were struck man.
'Part II. Letter to Governor Franklin, Oct. 6, 1773.
Teoga, Jan. 3d, 1782.
May it please your Excellency,
"At the request of the Senneka chiefs I send herewith to your Excellency, under the care of James Boyd, eight packs of scalps, cured, dried, hooped, and painted, with all the Indian triumphal marks, of which the following is invoice and explanation.
No. 1. Containing 43 scalps of congress soldiers killed in different skirmishes; these are stretched on black hoops, 4 inches diameter; the inside of the skin painted red, with a small black spot to note their being killed with bullets. Also 62 of farmers, killed in their houses ; the hoops red ; the skin painted brown, and marked with a hoe; a black circle all round, to denote their being surprized in the night; and a black hatchet in the middle, signifying their being killed with that weapon.
No. 2. Containing 98 of farmers killed in their houses; hoops red; figure of a hoe, to mark their profession; great white circle and sun, to show they were surprized in the day-time; 9. little red foot, to show they stood upon their defence, and died fighting for their lives and families.
No. 3. Containing 97 of farmers; hoops green, to show they were killed in their fields; a large white circle with a little round mark on it for the sun, to show that it was in the day-time; black bullet-mark on some, hatchet on others.
No. 4. Containing 102 of farmers, mixed of the several marks above; only 18 marked with a little yellow flame, to denote their being of prisoners burnt alive, after being scalped, their nails pulled out by the roots, and other torments: one of these latter supposed to be of a rebel clergyman, his
band being fixed to the hoop of his scalp. Most of the farmers appear by the hair to have been young or middle-aged men ; there being but 67 very grey heads among them all; which makes the service more essential.
No. 5. Containing 88 scalps of women; hair long, braided in the Indian fashion, to show they were mothers; hoops blue; skin yellow ground, with little red tadpoles to represent, by way of triumph, the tears or grief occasioned to their relations; a black scalpingknife or hatchet at the bottom, to mark their being killed with those instruments. 17 others, hair very grey; black hoops; plain brown colour; no mark but the short club or cassetete, to show they were knocked down dead, or had their brains beat out.
No. 6. Containing 193 boys' scalps, of various ages; small green hoops; whitish ground on the skin, with red tears in the middle, and black bullet-marks, knife, hatchet, or club, as their deaths happened.
No. 7. 211 Girls' scalps, big and little; small yellow hoops ; white ground ; tears ; hatchet, club, scalping-knife, 8tc.
No. 8. This package is a mixture of all the varieties above-mentioned, to the number of 122; with a box of birch bark, containing 29 little infants' scalps of various sizes; small white hoops ; white ground ; no tears; and only a little black knife in the middle, to show they were ript out of their mothers' bellies.
With these packs, the chiefs send to your Excellency the following speech, delivered by Conejogatchie in council, interpreted by the elder Moore, the trader, and taken down by me in writing.
Father, We send you herewith many scalps, that you may see we are not idle friends.
A blue Belt. Father, We wish you to send these scalps over the water to the great king, that he may regard them and be refreshed; and that he may see our faithfulness in destroying his enemies, and be convinced that his presents have not been made to ungrateful people.
A blue and white Belt with red Tassels.
Father, Attend to what I am now going to say: it is a matter of much weight. The great king's enemies are many, and they grow fast in number. They were formerly like young panthers: they could neither bite nor scratch: we could play with them safely: we feared nothing they could do to us. But down their bodies are become big as the elk, and strong as the buffalo: they have also got great and sharp claws. They have driven us out of our country for taking part in your quarrel. We expect the great king will give us another country, that our children may live after us, and be his friends and children, as we are. Say this for us to the great king. To enforce it, we give this belt.
A great white Belt with blue Tassels.
Father, We have only to say farther that your traders exact more than ever for their goods: and our hunting is lessened by the war, so that we have fewer skins to give for them. This ruins us. Think of some remedy. We are poor: and you have plenty of every thing. We know you will send us powder
and guns, and knives and hatchets: but we also want shirts and blankets.
A little white Belt.
I do not doubt but that your Excellency will think it proper to give some farther encouragement to those honest people. The high prices they complain of, are the necessary effect of the war. Whatever presents may be sent for them through my hands, shall be distributed with prudence and fidelity. I have the honor of being
Your Excellency's most obedient
And most humble servant,
It was at first proposed to bury these scalps: but Lieutenant Fitzgerald, who you know has got leave of absence to go for Ireland on his private affairs, said he thought it better they should proceed to their destination; and if they were given to him, be would undertake to carry them to England, and hang them all up in some dark night on the trees in St. James's Park, where they could be seen from the king and queen's palaces in the morning; for that the sight of them might perhaps strike Muley Ishmael (as he called him) with some compunction of' conscience. They were accordingly delivered to Fitz, and he has brought them safe hither. To-morrow they go with his baggage in a waggon for Boston, and will probably be there in a few days after this letter.
I am, 8cc.
BOSTON, March 20. Monday last arrived here Lieutenant Fitzgerald above-mentioned, and yesterday the waggon with the scalps. Thousands of pecpie are flocking to see them this morning, and all mouths are full of execrations. Fixing them to the trees is not approved. It is now proposed to make them up in decent little packets, seal and direct them; one to the king, containing a sample of every sort for his museum; one to the queen, with some of women and little children: the rest to be distributed among both houses of parliament; a double quantity to the bishops.
Please to insert in your useful paper, the following copy of a letter, from Commodore Jones, directed
T0 • ** ****** ***** £c- £c.
Ipswich, New England, Sir, March 7, 1781.
I HAVE lately seen a memorial, said to have been presented by your Excellency to their high mightinesses the States General, in which you are pleased to qualify me with the title of pirate.
A pirate is defined to be hostis humani generis, [an enemy to all mankind]. It happens, Sir, that I am an enemy to no part of mankind, except your nation, the English; which nation at the same time comes much more within the definition; being actually an enemy to, and at war with, one whole quarter of the world: America, considerable part of Asia and Africa, a great part of Europe, and in a fair way of being at war with the rest.
A pirate makes war for the sake of rapine. This is not the kind of war I am engaged in against England. Ours is a war in defence of liberty—the most just of all wars; and of our properties, which your nation would have taken
from us, without our consent, in violation of our rights, and by an armed force. Yours, therefore, is a war of rapine; of course, a piratical war: and those who approve of it, and are engaged in it, more justly deserve the name of pirates, which you bestow on me. I t is, indeed, a war that coincides with the general spirit of your nation. Your common people in their ale-houses sing the twenty-four songs of Robin Hood, and applaud his deerstealing and his robberies on the highway: those who have just learning enough to read, are delighted with your histories of the pirates and of the buccaniers: and even your scholars in the universities, study Quintus Curtius ; and are taught to admire Alexander, for what they call " his conquests in the Indies." Severe laws and the hangman keep down the effects of this spirit somewhat among yourselves, (though in your little island you have, nevertheless, more highway robberies than there are in all the rest of Europe put together): but a foreign war gives it full scope. It is then that, with infinite pleasure, it lets itself loose to strip of their property honest merchants, employed in the innocent and useful occupation of supplying the mutual wants of mankind. Hence, having lately no war with your ancient enemies, rather than be without a war, you chose to make one upon your friends. In this your piratical war with America, the mariners of your fleets and the owners of your privateers were animated against us by the act of your parliament, which repealed the law of God—"Thou shalt not steal,"—by declaring it lawful for them to rob us of all our property that they could meet with on the ocean. This act too had a retrospect, and, going beyond bulls of pardon, declared that all the robberies you had committed, previous to the act, should be