Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 185

remittance to Britain; which, together with
all the profits on the industry of our merchants and mariners, arising
in those circuitous voyages, and the freights made by their ships,
centre finally to Britain to discharge the balance, and pay for British
manufactures continually used in the provinces, or sold to foreigners by
our traders.

_Q._ Have you heard of any difficulties lately laid on the Spanish

_A._ Yes, I have heard that it has been greatly obstructed by some new
regulations, and by the English men-of-war and cutters stationed all
along the coast in America.

_Q._ Do you think it right that America should be protected by this
country, and pay no part of the expense?

_A._ That is not the case. The colonies raised, clothed, and paid,
during the last war, near twenty-five thousand men, and spent many

_Q._ Were you not reimbursed by Parliament?

_A._ We were only reimbursed what, in your opinion, we had advanced
beyond our proportion, or beyond what might reasonably be expected from
us; and it was a very small part of what we spent. Pennsylvania, in
particular, disbursed about L500,000; and the reimbursements, in the
whole, did not exceed L60,000.

_Q._ You have said that you pay heavy taxes in Pennsylvania; what do
they amount to in the pound?

_A._ The tax on all estates, real and personal, is eighteen pence in
the pound, fully rated; and the tax on the profits of trades and
professions, with other taxes, do, I suppose, make full half a crown in
the pound.

_Q._ Do you know anything of the _rate of exchange_ in Pennsylvania, and
whether it has fallen lately?

_A._ It is commonly from one hundred and seventy to one hundred and
seventy-five. I have heard that it has fallen lately from one hundred
and seventy-five to one hundred and sixty-two and a half, owing, I
suppose, to their lessening their orders for goods; and when their debts
to this country are paid, I think the exchange will probably be at par.

_Q._ Do not you think the people of America would submit to pay the
stamp duty if it was moderated?

_A._ No, never, unless compelled by force of arms. * * * *

_Q._ What was the temper of America towards Great Britain _before the
year_ 1763?

_A._ The best in the world. They submitted willingly to the government
of the crown, and paid in their courts obedience to acts of Parliament.
Numerous as the people are in the several old provinces, they cost you
nothing in forts, citadels, garrisons, or armies, to keep them in
subjection. They were governed by this country at

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