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 188

taxes_ to the colony on which they may be laid?

_A._ I think the difference is very great. An _external_ tax is a duty
laid on commodities imported; that duty is added to the first cost and
other charges on the commodity, and, when it is offered for sale, makes
a part of the price. If the people do not like it at that price, they
refuse it; they are not obliged to pay it. But an _internal_ tax is
forced from the people without their consent, if not laid by their own
representatives. The stamp-act says we shall have no commerce, make no
exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant, nor
recover debts; we shall neither marry nor make our wills, unless we pay
such and such sums; and thus it is intended to extort our money from
us, or ruin us by the consequences of refusing to pay it.

_Q._ But supposing the external tax or duty to be laid on the
necessaries of life imported into your colony, will not that be the same
thing in its effects as an internal tax?

_A._ I do not know a single article imported into the _northern_
colonies but what they can either do without or make themselves.

_Q._ Don't you think cloth from England absolutely necessary to them?

_A._ No, by no means absolutely necessary; with industry and good
management, they may well supply themselves with all they want.

_Q._ Will it not take a long time to establish that manufacture among
them; and must they not, in the mean while, suffer greatly?

_A._ I think not. They have made a surprising progress already; and I am
of opinion that, before their old clothes are worn out, they will have
new ones of their own making.

_Q._ Can they possibly find wool enough in North America?

_A._ They have taken steps to increase the wool. They entered into
general combinations to eat no more lamb; and very few lambs were killed
last year. This course, persisted in, will soon make a prodigious
difference in the quantity of wool. And the establishing of great
manufactories, like those in the clothing towns here, is not necessary,
as it is where the business is to be carried on for the purposes of
trade. The people will all spin and work for themselves, in their own

_Q._ Can there be wool and manufacture enough in one or two years?

_A._ In three years I think there may.

_Q._ Does not the severity of the winter in the northern colonies
occasion the wool to be of bad

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
He died on April 17, 1790.
Page 8
He had an excellent constitution of body, was of middle stature, but well set, and very strong; he was ingenious, could draw prettily, was skilled a little in music, and had a clear pleasing voice, so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sung withal, as he sometimes did in an evening after the business of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear.
Page 16
" And he might have coupled with.
Page 17
I remember his being dissuaded by some of his friends from the undertaking, as not likely to succeed, one newspaper being, in their judgment, enough for America.
Page 28
I had been absent seven months, and my friends had heard nothing of me; for my br.
Page 37
Page 43
a pint between breakfast and dinner, a pint at dinner, a pint in the afternoon about six o'clock, and another when he had done his day's work.
Page 49
I suffered a good deal, gave up the point in my own mind, and was rather disappointed when I found myself recovering, regretting, in some degree, that I must now, some time or other, have all that disagreeable work to do over again.
Page 65
We ventured, however, over all these difficulties, and I took her to wife, September 1st, 1730.
Page 70
Franklin, with a personal application to your proper self.
Page 71
Extend your views even further; do not stop at those who speak the English tongue, but after having settled so many points in nature and politics, think of bettering the whole race of men.
Page 82
Page 95
We had from the beginning made it a rule to keep our institution a secret, which was pretty well observ'd; the intention was to avoid applications of improper persons for admittance, some of whom, perhaps, we might find it difficult to refuse.
Page 115
The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded the requisite sum, and we claim'd and receiv'd the public gift, which enabled us to carry the design into execution.
Page 136
Page 147
He said much to me, also, of the proprietor's good disposition towards the province, and of the advantage it might be to us all, and to me in particular, if the opposition that had been so long continu'd to his measures was dropt, and harmony restor'd between him and the people; in effecting which, it was thought no one could be more serviceable than myself; and I might depend on adequate acknowledgments and recompenses, etc.
Page 148
[15] The many unanimous resolves of the Assembly-- what date?--[Marg.
Page 153
As to my ballance, I am not paid it to this day, of which more hereafter.
Page 156
He was against an immediate complaint to government, and thought the proprietaries should first be personally appli'd to, who might possibly be induc'd by the interposition and persuasion of some private friends, to accommodate matters amicably.
Page 161
1748 Sells out his printing business; is appointed on the Commission of the Peace, chosen to the Common Council, and to the Assembly.