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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 172

if our money is to be given
by others, without asking our consent? And if the parliament has a
right thus to take from us a penny in the pound, where is the line
drawn that bounds that right, and what shall hinder their calling
whenever they please for the other nineteen shillings and eleven
pence? Have we then any thing that we can call our own? It is more
than probable, that bringing representatives from the colonies to sit
and act here as members of parliament, thus uniting and consolidating
your dominions, would in a little time _remove_ these objections
and difficulties, and make the future government of the colonies
easy: but, till some such thing is done, I apprehend no taxes, laid
there by parliament here, will ever be collected, but such as must
be stained with blood: and I am sure the profit of such taxes will
never answer the expence of collecting them, and that the respect and
affection of the Americans to this country will in the struggle be
totally lost, perhaps never to be recovered; and therewith all the
commercial and political advantages, that might have attended the
continuance of this respect and this affection.

In my own private judgment I think an immediate repeal of the
stamp-act would be the best measure for _this_ country; but a
suspension of it for three years, the best for _that_. The _repeal_
would fill them with joy and gratitude, re-establish their respect
and veneration for parliament, restore at once their ancient and
natural love for this country, and their regard for every thing
that comes from it; hence the trade would be renewed in all its
branches; they would again indulge in all the expensive superfluities
you supply them with, and their own new assumed home industry
would languish. But the _suspension_, though it might continue
their fears and anxieties, would at the same time keep up their
resolutions of industry and frugality; which in two or three years
would grow into habits, to their lasting advantage. However, as the
repeal will probably not be now agreed to,[81] from what I think a
mistaken opinion, that the honour and dignity of government is better
supported by persisting in a wrong measure once entered into, than
by rectifying an error as soon as it is discovered; we must allow
the next best thing for the advantage of both countries is, the
suspension; for as to executing the act by force, it is madness, and
will be ruin to the whole.

The rest of your friend's reasonings and propositions appear to me
truly just and judicious; I

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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 2
Causes of the American discontents before 1768 225 Letter concerning the gratitude of America, and the probability and effects of an union with Great Britain; and concerning the repeal or suspension of the stamp act .
Page 14
In some, both governor and council are appointed by the crown.
Page 28
It is very possible, that this general government might be as well and faithfully administered without the people, as with them; but where heavy burdens are to be laid upon them, it has been found useful, to make it as much as possible their own act; for they bear better, when they have, or think they have, some share in the direction; and when any public measures are generally grievous, or even distasteful, to the people, the wheels of government move more heavily.
Page 86
The additional demand then, and consumption of goods from England, of 13 parts in 17 more than the additional number would require, must be owing to this; that the people having by their industry mended their circumstances, are enabled to indulge themselves in finer clothes, better furniture, and a more general use of all our manufactures than heretofore.
Page 94
He preferred the acquisition of Canada, to acquisitions in the West Indies.
Page 150
Let them do justice to the people of Pensylvania, act honourably by the citizens of Philadelphia, and become honest men; my enmity, if that's of any consequence, ceases from the "_very moment_;" and, as soon as I possibly can, I promise to love, honour and respect them.
Page 168
I am, yours, &c.
Page 173
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The inhabitants live so scattered and remote from each other in that vast country, that posts cannot be supported among them, and therefore they cannot get stamps per post.
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[107] [i.
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Come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations.
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Multitudes of poor people from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany, have by this means in a few years become wealthy farmers, who, in their own countries, where all the lands are fully occupied, and the wages of labour low, could never have emerged from the mean condition wherein they were born.
Page 333
Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, &c.
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What then may be expected, now those forces are, by orders from the crown, to be disbanded, when our boasted expedition is laid aside, through want (as it may appear to them) either of strength or courage; when they see, that the French and their Indians, boldly, and with impunity, ravage the frontiers of New York, and scalp the inhabitants; when those few Indians, that engaged with us against the French, are left exposed to their resentment: when they consider these things, is there no danger that, through disgust at our usage, joined with fear of the French power, and greater confidence in their promises and protection than in ours, they may be wholly gained over by our enemies, and join in the war against us? If such should be the case, which God forbid, how soon may the mischief spread to our frontier countries? And what may we expect to be the consequence, but desertion of plantations, ruin, bloodshed and confusion! Perhaps some in the city, towns, and plantations near the river, may say to themselves, "An Indian war on the frontiers will not affect us; the enemy will never come near our habitations; let those.
Page 360
Should we conjure them by all the ties of neighbourhood, friendship, justice, and humanity, to consider these things; and what distraction, misery, and confusion, what desolation and distress, may possibly be the effect of their _unseasonable_ predominancy and perseverance; yet all would be in vain: for they have already been, by great numbers of the people, petitioned in vain.
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_Parliament_ of England, opinions in America, in 1766, concerning, iii.
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Pg 361.