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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 156

Trade is a
voluntary thing between buyer and seller; in every article of which,
each exercises his own judgment, and is to please himself. Suppose
either Indian or trader is dissatisfied with the tariff, and refuses
barter on those terms, are the refusers to be compelled? if not, why
should an Indian be forbidden to take more goods for skins than your
tariff allows, if the trader is willing to give them, or a trader
more skins for his goods, if the Indian is willing to give them?
Where there are a number of different traders, the separate desire
of each to get more custom will operate in bringing down their goods
to a reasonable price. It therefore seems to me, that trade will
best find and make its own rates; and that government cannot well
interfere, unless it will take the whole trade into its own hands (as
in some colonies it does) and manage it by its own servants, at its
own risque.

38. I apprehend, that if the Indians cannot get _rum_ of fair
traders, it will be a great means of defeating all these regulations,
that direct the trade to be carried on at certain posts. The
countries and forests are so very large, it is scarce possible to
guard every part, so as to prevent unlicensed traders drawing the
Indians and the trade to themselves, by rum and other spiritous
liquors, which all savage people are so fond of. I think they will
generally trade where they can get rum, preferably to where it is
refused them; and the proposed prohibition will therefore be a great
encouragement to unlicensed traders, and promote such trade. If the
commissaries, or officers at the posts, can prevent the selling of
rum during the barter for other goods, and until the Indians are
about going away, it is perhaps all that is practicable or necessary.
The missionaries will, among other things, endeavour to prevail with
them to live soberly and avoid drunkenness.

39. The Indian trade, so far as _credit_ is concerned, has hitherto
been carried on wholly upon honour. They have among themselves no
such things as prisons or confinements for debt. This article seems
to imply, that an Indian may be compelled by law to pay a debt of
fifty shillings or under. Our legal method of compulsion is by
imprisonment: the Indians cannot and will not imprison one another;
and if we attempt to imprison them, I apprehend it would be generally
disliked by the nations, and occasion breaches. They have such
high ideas of the value of personal liberty, and such slight ones
of

Last Page Next Page

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

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 13
73 Poimeen—Shepherd—Evangelist—Overseer 25 Policy in Preaching .
Page 32
God can make either the one, or the other.
Page 43
“He was quickened by the Spirit.
Page 73
In the same way, preaching on.
Page 80
It ended at once and was not enjoined nor continued.
Page 89
We all die the same as those not Christians.
Page 123
The wickedness and selfishness of men, also, are in the way, so that the civil institutions of the country can never be perfected; and he has studied Christianity to but little purpose, who thinks its aim to be the perfection of the human contrivances of the world.
Page 129
In this invisible state, the book of God reveals two distinct, or separate apartments.
Page 133
We know of a case where an infidel has recently covered himself all over with slime, but nothing of consequence is said about it.
Page 152
Such procedure is intended as a show of liberality, broad and liberal views.
Page 181
They have been prospered, and gained wealth; gone to the cities, and thus augmented the churches there; but, in many instances, they are not the good people they were, nor loving and maintaining the truth as they once did.
Page 185
But here come Moody and Sankey, Whittle and Bliss, or Hammond, without ever having been tried by the _clerical standard_, or ever having passed through the regular process to holy orders, and never made clergymen at all, preaching and exercising ministerial functions.
Page 208
His very nature was amiable and lovely; and, in his devotions, he was as humble as a child.
Page 274
Let a man of talent, influence and energy, fall from his station, and become an apostate and enemy, let the cause be made to bleed and suffer from his want of reputation, while he hurls back his javelins.
Page 280
The negative is longer than the affirmative in this enumeration.
Page 290
John viii.
Page 293
Not only so, but if we allow those who are determined to run their length in all these amusements, to hang upon us, they will sink us all.
Page 311
If he had seen the Lord in person he would have found occasion for caviling.
Page 321
We may repent, obtain forgiveness and do good in time to come, but all that good could have been done just as well had there been no previous neglect, and would have been more liable to have been done, for one delinquency opens the way for another and has a tendency to induce it.