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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 143

mentioned in the preface, which I find I omitted
to take notice of as I came along, _the refusal of the house to enter
Mr. Dickinson's protest_ on their minutes. This is mentioned in such
a manner there and in the newspapers, as to insinuate a charge of
some partiality and injustice in the assembly. But the _reasons_
were merely these, that though protesting may be a practice with
the lords of parliament, there is no instance of it in the house of
commons, whose proceedings are the model followed by the assemblies
of America; that there is no precedent of it on our votes, from the
beginning of our present constitution; and that the introducing
such a practice would be attended with inconveniences, as the
representatives in assembly are not, like the lords in parliament,
unaccountable to any constituents, and would therefore find it
necessary for their own justification, if the reasons of the minority
for being against a measure were admitted in the votes, to put there
likewise the reasons that induced the majority to be for it: whereby
the votes, which were intended only as a register of propositions and
determinations, would be filled with the disputes of members with
members, and the public business be thereby greatly retarded, if ever
brought to a period.

As that protest was a mere abstract of Mr. Dickinson's speech, every
particular of it will be found answered in the following speech of
Mr. Galloway, from which it is fit that I should no longer detain the


[59] As I am very much unacquainted with the history and principles
of these provincial politics, I shall confine myself to some
imperfect anecdotes concerning the parties, &c. A speech, which Mr.
Dickinson had delivered in the Pensylvania assembly against the
abolition of the proprietary government, having been published, and
a preface having been written to it, as I think by a Dr. Smith, Mr.
Galloway's speech was held forth as a proper answer to that speech,
while the preface to it appeared balanced by the above preface from
Dr. Franklin. Mr. Galloway's speech, or probably the advertisement
that attended it, urged, I believe, Mr. Dickinson first to a
challenge, and then to a printed reply.--The controversy was quickly
republished in England, or at least the principal parts of it; and
it is from the English edition of Mr. Galloway's speech (printed in
London by Nichols in 1765) that I have copied the above.

These several gentlemen however seem, for a time, to have better
agreed in their subsequent opinions concerning American taxation
by Great Britain; Mr. Dickinson, in particular, having taken a

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Text Comparison with 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

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And without an estate, or any gainful employment, By constant labour and honest industry, maintained a large family comfortably, and brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren respectably.
Page 62
And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature, that for a subscription library; I drew up the proposals, got them put into form by our great scrivener, Brockden, and, by the help of my friends in the junto, procured fifty subscribers of forty shillings each to begin with, and ten shillings a year for fifty years, the term our company was to continue.
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a page for each of the virtues.
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Partnerships often finish in quarrels; but I was happy in this, that mine were all carried on and ended amicably; owing, I think, a good deal to the precaution of having very explicitly settled in our articles everything to be done by, or expected from, each partner, so that there was nothing to dispute, which precaution I would therefore recommend to all who enter into partnership; for whatever esteem partners may have for, and confidence in, each other at the time of the contract, little jealousies and disgusts may arise, with ideas of inequality in the care and burden, business, &c.
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The best public measures are, therefore, seldom _adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion_.
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In their first march, too, from their landing till they got beyond the settlements, they had plundered and stripped the inhabitants, totally ruining some poor families, besides insulting, abusing, and confining the people if they remonstrated.
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the two parts of the perch, we had ten carriages, with two horses each, to bring the palisades from the woods to the spot.
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This summary was then printed in their transactions: and some members of the society in London, particularly the very ingenious Mr.
Page 150
Shortly after, Franklin, from his principles of the plus and minus state, explained, in a satisfactory manner, the phenomena of the Leyden vial, first observed by Mr.
Page 151
While Franklin was waiting for the erection of a spire, it occurred to him that he might have more ready access to the region of clouds by means of a common kite.
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Franklin's experiment was made in June, 1752, and his letter, giving an account of it, is dated October 19, 1752.
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Franklin attended as agent for the Assembly; and here a torrent of the most violent and unwarranted abuse was poured upon him by the solicitor-general, Wedderburne, who was engaged as counsel for Oliver and Hutchinson.
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"There is in the character of every distinguished person something to admire and something to imitate.
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* * * * * "During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became due to me, for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected, when, in 1757, I was sent by the Assembly to England as their agent, and by subsequent appointments continued there till 1775; when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of Congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning till 1785; and the said debts not being demanded in such a length of time, have become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless justly due.
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_ They will think them unconstitutional and unjust.
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Fifty of them, armed as before, dismounting, went directly to the workhouse, and by violence broke open the door, and entered with the utmost fury in their countenances.
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