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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 182

among
them; and must they not in the mean while suffer greatly?

_A._ I think not. They have made a surprising progress already. And I
am of opinion, that before their old clothes are worn out, they will
have new ones of their own making.

_Q._ Can they possibly find wool enough in North America?

_A._ They have taken steps to increase the wool. They entered into
general combinations to eat no more lamb; and very few lambs were
killed last year. This course, persisted in, will soon make a
prodigious difference in the quantity of wool. And the establishing
of great manufactories, like those in the clothing towns here, is not
necessary, as it is where the business is to be carried on for the
purposes of trade. The people will all spin, and work for themselves,
in their own houses.

_Q._ Can there be wool and manufacture enough in one or two years?

_A._ In three years, I think there may.

_Q._ Does not the severity of the winter, in the northern colonies,
occasion the wool to be of bad quality?

_A._ No, the wool is very fine and good.

_Q._ In the more southern colonies, as in Virginia, don't you know,
that the wool is coarse, and only a kind of hair?

_A._ I don't know it. I never heard it. Yet I have been sometimes
in Virginia. I cannot say I ever took particular notice of the wool
there, but I believe it is good, though I cannot speak positively of
it; but Virginia, and the colonies south of it, have less occasion
for wool; their winters are short, and not very severe; and they
can very well clothe themselves with linen and cotton of their own
raising for the rest of the year.

_Q._ Are not the people in the more northern colonies obliged to
fodder their sheep all the winter?

_A._ In some of the most northern colonies they may be obliged to do
it, some part of the winter.

_Q._ Considering the resolutions of parliament[89], _as to the
right_; do you think, if the stamp act is repealed, that the North
Americans will be satisfied?

_A._ I believe they will.

_Q._ Why do you think so?

_A._ I think the resolutions of _right_ will give them very little
concern, if they are never attempted to be carried into practice. The
colonies will probably consider themselves in the same situation, in
that respect, with Ireland: they know you claim the same right with
regard to Ireland, but you never exercise it. And they may believe
you never will exercise it in the colonies, any more than

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