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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 195

to be taxed, who ought to make a part of that common

_Q._ Are there any words in the charter that justify that

_A._ The common rights of Englishmen, as declared by Magna Charta,
and the petition of right, all justify it.

_Q._ Does the distinction between internal and external taxes exist
in the words of the charter?

_A._ No, I believe not.

_Q._ Then may they not, by the same interpretation, object to the
parliament's right of external taxation?

_A._ They never _have_ hitherto. Many arguments have been lately
used here to show them that there is no difference, and that if you
have no right to tax them internally, you have none to tax them
externally, or make any other law to bind them. At present they do
not reason so; but in time they may possibly be convinced by these

_Q._ Do not the resolutions of the Pensylvania assembly say--all

_A._ If they do, they mean only internal taxes; the same words have
not always the same meaning here and in the colonies. By taxes they
mean internal taxes; by duties they mean customs; these are their
ideas of the language.

_Q._ Have you not seen the resolutions of the Massachusett's Bay

_A._ I have.

_Q._ Do they not say, that neither external nor internal taxes can be
laid on them by parliament?

_A._ I don't know that they do; I believe not.

_Q._ If the same colony should say, neither tax nor imposition could
be laid, does not that province hold the power of parliament can lay

_A._ I suppose that by the word imposition, they do not intend to
express duties to be laid on goods imported, as _regulations of

_Q._ What can the colonies mean then by imposition as distinct from

_A._ They may mean many things, as impressing of men, or of
carriages, quartering troops on private houses, and the like; there
may be great impositions that are not properly taxes.

_Q._ Is not the post-office rate an internal tax laid by act of

_A._ I have answered that.

_Q._ Are all parts of the colonies equally able to pay taxes?

_A._ No, certainly; the frontier parts, which have been ravaged by
the enemy, are greatly disabled by that means; and therefore, in such
cases, are usually favoured in our tax-laws.

_Q._ Can we, at this distance, be competent judges of what favours
are necessary?

_A._ The parliament have supposed it, by claiming a right to make
tax-laws for America; I think it impossible.

_Q._ Would the repeal of the stamp act be any discouragement of your
manufactures? Will the people that have begun to manufacture

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
In 1732 he began to issue his famous "Poor Richard's Almanac" for the enrichment of which he borrowed or composed those pithy utterances of worldly wisdom which are the basis of a large part of his popular reputation.
Page 4
The account we received of his life and character from some old people at Ecton, I remember, struck you as something extraordinary, from its similarity to what you knew of mine.
Page 8
At his table he liked to.
Page 18
Encourag'd, however, by this, I wrote and convey'd in the same way to the press several more papers which were equally approv'd; and I kept my secret till my small fund of sense for such performances was pretty well exhausted and then I discovered it, when I began to be considered a little more by my brother's acquaintance, and in a manner that did not quite please him, as he thought, probably with reason, that it tended to make me too vain.
Page 22
However, I proceeded the next day, and got in the evening to an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington, kept by one Dr.
Page 23
put toward the shore, got into a creek, landed near an old fence, with the rails of which we made a fire, the night being cold, in October, and there we remained till daylight.
Page 58
I perceive that I am apt to speak in the singular number, though our partnership still continu'd; the reason may be that, in fact, the whole management of the business lay upon me.
Page 64
I was often invited there and consulted in their affairs, wherein I sometimes was of service.
Page 72
" Continuation of the Account of my Life, begun at Passy, near Paris, 1784.
Page 77
Page 87
I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix'd opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc.
Page 91
Whenever I was solicited to insert anything of that kind, and the writers pleaded, as they generally did, the liberty of the press, and that a newspaper was like a stagecoach, in which any one who would pay had a right to a place, my answer was, that I would print the piece separately if desired, and the author might have as many copies as he pleased to distribute himself, but that I would not take upon me to spread his detraction; and that, having contracted with my subscribers to furnish them with what might be either useful or entertaining, I could not fill their papers with private altercation, in which they had no concern, without doing them manifest injustice.
Page 95
, and without informing them of the connection with the Junto.
Page 114
Previously, however, to the solicitation, I endeavoured to prepare the minds of the people by writing on the subject in the newspapers, which was my usual custom in such cases, but which he had omitted.
Page 117
The honour of this public benefit has also been ascrib'd to me but it belongs truly to that gentleman.
Page 136
They were intimidated by this, and sent orders to their receiver-general to add five thousand pounds of their money to whatever sum might be given by the Assembly for such purpose.
Page 140
I had hardly finish'd this business, and got my fort well stor'd with provisions, when I receiv'd a letter from the governor, acquainting me that he had call'd the Assembly, and wished my attendance there, if the posture of affairs on the frontiers was such that my remaining there was no longer necessary.
Page 144
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Page 157
They then by his advice put the paper into the hands of the Attorney and Solicitor-General for their opinion and counsel upon it, where it lay unanswered a year wanting eight days, during which time I made frequent demands of an answer from the proprietaries, but without obtaining any other than that they had not yet received the opinion.
Page 162
1763 Makes a five months' tour of the northern colonies for the Purpose of inspecting the post-offices.