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 192

that the stamps should be so
protected as that every one might have them. The act requires
sub-distributors to be appointed in every county town, district, and
village, and they would be necessary. But the _principal_ distributors,
who were to have had a considerable profit on the whole, have not
thought it worth while to continue in the office; and I think it
impossible to find sub-distributors fit to be trusted, who, for the
trifling profit that must come to their share, would incur the odium and
run the hazard that would attend it; and if they could be found, I think
it impracticable to protect the stamps in so many distant and remote

_Q._ But in places where they could be protected, would not the people
use them rather than remain in such a situation, unable to obtain any
right, or recover by law any debt?

_A._ It is hard to say what they would do. I can only judge what other
people will think and how they will act by what I feel within myself. I
have a great many debts due to me in America, and I had rather they
should remain unrecoverable by any law, than submit to the stamp-act.
They will be debts of honour. It is my opinion, the people will either
continue in that situation, or find some way to extricate themselves,
perhaps by generally agreeing to proceed in the courts without stamps.

_Q._ What do you think a sufficient military force to protect the
distribution of the stamps in every part of America?

_A._ A very great force, I can't say what, if the disposition of America
is for a general resistance.

_Q._ What is the number of men in America able to bear arms, or of
disciplined militia?

_A._ There are I suppose, at least....

[_Question objected to. He withdrew. Called in again._]

_Q._ Is the American stamp-act an equal tax on the country?

_A._ I think not.

_Q._ Why so?

_A._ The greatest part of the money must arise from lawsuits for the
recovery of debts, and be paid by the lower sort of people, who were too
poor easily to pay their debts. It is, therefore, a heavy tax on the
poor, and a tax upon them for being poor.

_Q._ But will not this increase of expense be a means Of lessening the
number of lawsuits?

_A._ I think not; for as the costs all fall upon the debtor, and are to
be paid by him, they would be no discouragement to the creditor to bring
his action.

_Q._ Would it not have the effect of excessive usury?


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Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 4
393 A Suggestion 99 A Working Ministry 130 Activity in the Ministry 453 Adhering to the Bible 207 Affirmative Gospel 428 All Things Common 94 Annihilation—Future Punishment 100 Anointing with Oil 396 Apology for Creeds 120 Authority of a Single Congregation 243 Baptism of the Holy Spirit 407 Be firm in the Right .
Page 12
Divine Plan 246 No Preachers on Dancing 12 No Side Structure 59 Not of One Class 295 Not Receiving the Reformation, but Christ 68 Not to Keep Company 419 Observing the Sabbath 333 One Baptism 190 One Idea Ism 56 One Immersion 410 One Religion 235 One Way to God .
Page 28
This “firmament,” that God made, and “called Heaven,” is not the same as mentioned in the first verse, but is included in the words: “The heavens and the earth.
Page 39
“Chief-Pastor,” or “Arch-Pastor,” and not “Chief-Shepherd?” Why not style the Lord “the Pastor of the sheep,” and not “Shepherd of the sheep?” _Pastor_ would not read well as the correlative of _sheep_.
Page 56
Page 69
Universalism had its day in this country; has run its course and is going by.
Page 104
We have not written this for any preacher older than ourself, but for the sake of young men, whom we desire to see useful, influential, and well sustained ministers of the Word of God.
Page 110
The more gifted the man, the more learned and powerful, the better, if all his powers are engaged in setting forth and honoring the Lord, sanctifying _Him_ in the eyes of the people.
Page 114
If he required one man to “be baptized in the name of Christ,.
Page 118
In precisely the same spirit, here comes Rev.
Page 127
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living, for all live unto him.
Page 130
Let us now turn our attention to the righteous—the good and virtuous of all ages—those who feared God and worked righteousness in every nation.
Page 158
Look back over the ground and see what has followed every man that has stranded among us.
Page 160
To be “in Christ” is to be in this _one body_, to be “in the kingdom of God,” “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” to be in union with the Father and with the Son, with the whole family in heaven and on earth.
Page 208
His terms, in addressing our heavenly Father, were characterized with a sense of the absolute dependence, profound awe and reverence of us, the creatures of mercy, and the simplicity of a child.
Page 242
“Pray without ceasing, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.
Page 266
Page 299
These will certainly give a most strict account.
Page 302
Page 306
We fell in company with a bishop of this kind a few evenings since, on the cars, who informed us, if our memory is not.