The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

incredible meanness
instructed their deputies to pass no act for levying the necessary
taxes, unless their vast estates were in the same act expressly
excused; and they had even taken bonds of these deputies to observe
such instructions. The Assemblies for three years held out against
this injustice, tho' constrained to bend at last. At length Captain
Denny, who was Governor Morris's successor, ventured to disobey those
instructions; how that was brought about I shall show hereafter.

[13] My acts in Morris's time, military, etc.--[Marg. note.]

But I am got forward too fast with my story: there are still some
transactions to be mention'd that happened during the administration of
Governor Morris.

War being in a manner commenced with France, the government of
Massachusetts Bay projected an attack upon Crown Point, and sent Mr.
Quincy to Pennsylvania, and Mr. Pownall, afterward Governor Pownall, to
New York, to solicit assistance. As I was in the Assembly, knew its
temper, and was Mr. Quincy's countryman, he appli'd to me for my
influence and assistance. I dictated his address to them, which was
well receiv'd. They voted an aid of ten thousand pounds, to be laid out
in provisions. But the governor refusing his assent to their bill
(which included this with other sums granted for the use of the crown),
unless a clause were inserted exempting the proprietary estate from
bearing any part of the tax that would be necessary, the Assembly, tho'
very desirous of making their grant to New England effectual, were at a
loss how to accomplish it. Mr. Quincy labored hard with the governor
to obtain his assent, but he was obstinate.

I then suggested a method of doing the business without the governor,
by orders on the trustees of the Loan Office, which, by law, the
Assembly had the right of drawing. There was, indeed, little or no
money at that time in the office, and therefore I propos'd that the
orders should be payable in a year, and to bear an interest of five per
cent. With these orders I suppos'd the provisions might easily be
purchas'd. The Assembly, with very little hesitation, adopted the
proposal. The orders were immediately printed, and I was one of the
committee directed to sign and dispose of them. The fund for paying
them was the interest of all the paper currency then extant in the
province upon loan, together with the revenue arising from the excise,
which being known to be more than sufficient, they obtain'd instant
credit, and were not

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

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] [Footnote 68: A celebrated physician and naturalist.
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letter founder in America.
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| * | * | * | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | R[esolution] | | | * | | | * | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | F[rugality] | | * | | | * | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | I[ndustry] | | | * | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | S[incerity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | J[ustice] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | M[oderation] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[leanliness] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | T[ranquillity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | C[hastity] | | | | | | | | |----------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----| | H[umility] | | | | .
Page 86
, to be made use of in it, some of which I have still by me; but the necessary close attention to private business in the earlier part of my life, and public business since, has occasioned my postponing it; for, it being connected in my mind with a great and extensive project, that required the whole man to execute, and which an unforeseen succession of employs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remained unfinished.
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* * * * * (_In the following notes the numerals refer to the pages of the text.