_Q._ Do the Americans pay any considerable taxes among themselves?
_A._ Certainly, many, and very heavy taxes.
_Q._ What are the present taxes in Pennsylvania, laid by the laws of the
_A._ There are taxes on all estates, real and personal; a poll tax; a
tax on all offices, professions, trades, and businesses, according to
their profits; an excise on all wine, rum, and other spirits; and a duty
of ten pounds per head on all negroes imported, with some other duties.
_Q._ For what purposes are those taxes laid?
_A._ For the support of the civil and military establishments of the
country, and to discharge the heavy debt contracted in the last war.
_Q._ How long are those taxes to continue?
_A._ Those for discharging the debt are to continue till 1772, and
longer if the debt should not be then all discharged. The others must
_Q._ Was it not expected that the debt would have been sooner
_A._ It was, when the peace was made with France and Spain. But a fresh
war breaking out with the Indians, a fresh load of debt was incurred;
and the taxes, of course, continued longer by a new law.
_Q._ Are not all the people very able to pay those taxes?
_A._ No. The frontier counties all along the continent having been
frequently ravaged by the enemy, and greatly impoverished, are able to
pay very little tax. And therefore, in consideration of their
distresses, our late tax laws do expressly favour those counties,
excusing the sufferers; and I suppose the same is done in other
_Q._ Are not you concerned in the management of the _postoffice_ in
_A._ Yes. I am deputy postmaster-general of North America.
_Q._ Don't you think the distribution of stamps _by post_ to all the
inhabitants very practicable, if there was no opposition?
_A._ The posts only go along the seacoasts; they do not, except in a few
instances, go back into the country; and if they did, sending for stamps
by post would occasion an expense of postage, amounting, in many cases,
to much more than that of the stamps themselves. * * * *
_Q._ From the thinness of the back settlements, would not the stamp-act
be extremely inconvenient to the inhabitants, if executed?
_A._ To be sure it would; as many of the inhabitants could not get
stamps when they had occasion for them, without taking long journeys,
and spending perhaps three or four pounds, that the crown might get
_Q._ Are not the colonies, from their circumstances, very able to pay
the stamp duty?
_A._ In my opinion there is
Franklin is also interesting to us because by his life and teachings he has done more than any other American to advance the material prosperity of his countrymen.Page 16
The whole appeared to me as written with a good deal of decent plainness and manly freedom.Page 26
While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic method; and soon after I procur'd Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method.Page 28
Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing-house.Page 31
Honest John was the first that I know of who mix'd narration and dialogue; a method of writing very engaging to the reader, who in the most interesting parts finds himself, as it were, brought into the company and present at the discourse.Page 45
He was to preach the doctrines, and I was to confound all opponents.Page 51
 Law schools and lawyers' residences situated southwest of St.Page 67
This gentleman, a stranger to me, stopt one day at my door, and asked me if I was the young man who had lately opened a new printing-house.Page 70
Meredith was no compositor, a poor pressman, and seldom sober.Page 84
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+ | TEMPERANCE.Page 100
He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refus'd him their pulpits, and he was oblig'd to preach in the fields.Page 111
Whitefield, in leaving us, went preaching all the way thro' the colonies to Georgia.Page 112
I happened soon after to attend one of his sermons, in the course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing from me.Page 116
] The officers of the companies composing the Philadelphia regiment, being met, chose me for their colonel; but, conceiving myself unfit, I declin'd that station, and recommended Mr.Page 120
I found they work'd for a common stock, ate at common tables, and slept in common dormitories, great numbers together.Page 158
Wright, an English physician, when at Paris, wrote to a friend, who was of the Royal Society, an account of the high esteem my experiments were in among the learned abroad, and of their wonder that my writings had been so little noticed in England.Page 169
Hanbury called for me and took me in his carriage to that nobleman's, who receiv'd me with great civility; and after some questions respecting the present state of affairs in America and discourse thereupon, he said to me: "You Americans have wrong ideas of the nature of your constitution; you contend that the king's instructions to his governors are not laws, and think yourselves at liberty to regard or disregard them at your own discretion.