was elected by the legislature of Pennsylvania a delegate
to congress. Not long after his election a committee was appointed,
consisting of Mr. Lynch, Mr. Harrison, and himself, to visit the camp
at Cambridge, and, in conjunction with the commander in chief, to
endeavour to convince the troops, whose term of enlistment was about
to expire, of the necessity of their continuing in the field, and
persevering in the cause of their country.
In the fall of the same year he visited Canada, to endeavour to unite
them in the common cause of liberty; but they could not be prevailed
upon to oppose the measures of the British government. M. Le Roy,
in a letter annexed to Abbé Fauchet's eulogium of Dr. Franklin,
states, that the ill success of this negociation was occasioned, in a
great degree, by religious animosities, which subsisted between the
Canadians and their neighbours, some of whom had at different times
burnt their chapels.
When Lord Howe came to America, in 1776, vested with power to treat
with the colonists, a correspondence took place between him and
Dr. Franklin, on the subject of a reconciliation. Dr. Franklin was
afterwards appointed, together with John Adams, and Edward Rutledge,
to wait upon the commissioners, in order to learn the extent of their
powers. These were found to be only to grant pardons upon submission.
Such terms which could not be accepted; and the object of the
commissioners was not obtained.
The momentous question of independence was shortly after brought
into view, at a time when the fleets and armies, which were sent to
enforce obedience, were truly formidable. With an army, numerous
indeed, but ignorant of discipline, and entirely unskilled in
the art of war, without money, without a fleet, without allies,
and with nothing but the love of liberty to support them, the
colonists determined to separate from a country, from which they had
experienced a repetition of injury and insult. In this question, Dr.
Franklin was decidedly in favour of the measure proposed, and had
great influence in bringing others to his sentiments.
The public mind had been prepared for this event, by Mr. Paine's
celebrated pamphlet, _Common Sense_. There is good reason to
believe that Dr. Franklin had no inconsiderable share, at least, in
furnishing materials for this work.
In the convention which assembled at Philadelphia in 1776, for
the purpose of establishing a new form of government for the
state of Pennsylvania, Dr. Franklin was chosen president. The
late constitution of this state, which was the result of their
deliberations, may be considered as a digest of his principles of
government. The single legislature, and the
Although the American owners of these copies did not allow them to be transcribed, Mr.Page 1
Charles, Professor of experimental Philosophy at Paris.Page 2
Among the Pleasanteries Conversation produces on this Subject, some suppose Flying to be now invented, and that since Men may be supported in the Air, nothing is wanted but some light handy Instruments to give and direct Motion.Page 4
The Duke de Crillon made a feast last week in the Bois de Boulogne, just by my habitation, on occasion of the Birth of two Spanish Princes; after the Fireworks we had a Balloon of about 5 feet Diameter filled with permanent inflammable Air.Page 5
If I am well at the Time, I purpose to be present, being a subscriber myself, and shall send you an exact Account of Particulars.Page 6
It was however much damaged.Page 7
_ That is, in plain English, _burning more straw_; for tho' there is a little Mystery made, concerning the kind of Air with which the Balloon is filled, I conceive it to be nothing more than hot Smoke or common Air rarify'd, tho' in this I may be mistaken.Page 8
I am sorry this Experiment is totally neglected in England where mechanic Genius is so strong.Page 9
FRANKLIN Sir JOSEPH BANKS.Page 10
I had a Pocket Glass, with which I follow'd it, till I lost Sight, first of the Men, then of the Car, and when I last saw the Balloon, it appear'd no bigger than a Walnut.Page 11
Le Chevalier de Cubiere qui a suivi la marche du Globe est arrive chez M.Page 12
In paragraph three, for "Post," in Smyth, read "Port;" in paragraph six for "Adventures," in Smyth, read "Adventurers;" in paragraph thirteen.Page 13
Faujas de Saint-Fond on Nov.Page 14