The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 105

Gold and silver are therefore the fittest
for this medium, as they are an equivalent; which paper never can be.

5. "That _debtors_ in the assemblies make paper-money with
_fraudulent views_.

6. "That in the middle colonies, where the credit of the paper-money
has been best supported, the bills have _never kept to their nominal
value_ in circulation; but have constantly depreciated to a certain
degree, whenever the quantity has been increased."

To consider these reasons in their order; the first is,

1. "_That paper-money_ carries the gold and silver out _of the
province, and so ruins the country; as_ experience has shewn, _in
every colony where it has been practised in any great degree_."--This
opinion, of its ruining the country, seems to be merely speculative,
or not otherwise founded than upon misinformation in the matter of
fact. The truth is, that the balance of their trade with Britain
being greatly against them, the gold and silver are drawn out to
pay that balance; and then the necessity of some medium of trade
has induced the making of paper-money, which could _not_ be carried
away. Thus, if carrying out all the gold and silver ruins a country,
every colony was ruined before it made paper-money.--But, far from
being ruined by it, the colonies that have made use of paper-money
have been, and are all, in a thriving condition. The debt indeed to
Britain has increased, because their numbers, and of course their
trade, have increased; for all trade having always a proportion
of debt outstanding, which is paid in its turn, while fresh debt
is contracted, the proportion of debt naturally increases as the
trade increases; but the improvement and increase of estates in
the colonies have been in a greater proportion than their debt.
New England, particularly in 1696 (about the time they began the
use of paper-money) had in all its four provinces but 180 churches
or congregations; in 1760 they were 530. The number of farms and
buildings there is increased in proportion to the numbers of people;
and the goods exported to them from England in 1750, before the
restraint took place, were near five times as much as before they
had paper-money. Pensylvania, before it made any paper-money, was
totally stript of its gold and silver; though they had from time to
time, like the neighbouring colonies, agreed to take gold and silver
coins at higher nominal values, in hopes of drawing money into, and
retaining it, for the internal uses of the province. During that
weak practice, silver got up by degrees to 8s. 9d. per ounce, and
English crowns were called six, seven,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 9
Thomas Jefferson to the late Dr.
Page 86
of trade, and transmitted to that board by the respective governors; of which accounts I shall select one as a sample, being that from the colony of Rhode-Island;[45] a colony that of all the others receives the least addition from strangers.
Page 88
The same may be observed of France.
Page 107
The Massachusets, therefore, were not dissatisfied with the restraint, as it restrained their neighbours as well as themselves; and perhaps _they_ do not desire to have the act repealed.
Page 123
" Whereas in fact there were _nineteen_ of them, and several of those must have been good laws, for even the proprietaries did not object to them.
Page 135
P---- should preach your funeral sermon, and S----, the poisoner of other characters, embalm your memory.
Page 145
_ _Remarks on a late Protest against the Appointment of Mr.
Page 159
LA BAY.
Page 190
_ I do think they would, as far as their circumstances would permit.
Page 202
_ DEAR SIR, Being just returned to town from a little excursion, I find yours of the 21st, containing a number of queries, that would require a pamphlet to answer them fully.
Page 219
10.
Page 221
But the system of commissioners of customs, officers without end, with fleets and armies for collecting and enforcing those duties, being continued; and these acting with much indiscretion and rashness (giving great and unnecessary trouble and obstruction to business, commencing unjust and vexatious suits, and harassing commerce in all its branches, while that minister kept the people in a constant state of irritation by instructions which appeared to have no other end than the gratifying his private resentment[121]) occasioned a persevering adherence to their resolutions in that particular; and the event should be a lesson to ministers, not to risque, through pique, the obstructing any one branch of trade; since the course and connection of general business may be thereby disturbed to a degree, impossible to be foreseen or imagined.
Page 256
The drawing was but moderately executed.
Page 283
[168] Numbers, chap.
Page 321
I believe all who have common sense, as soon as they have learnt from this paper that it is day-light when the sun rises, will contrive to rise with him; and, to compel the rest, I would propose the following regulations: First.
Page 325
has kindly sent me word, that he sets out to-morrow to see you; instead of.
Page 339
By observing the degree of heat obtained by different kinds of motion we may form an estimate of the quantity of exercise given by each.
Page 346
_Editor.
Page 364
21, 1784.
Page 368
Fifteen years have passed since the last account, and probably it may now amount to one half.