Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCCXXXII: TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768
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CCCXXXII: TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. IV (Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768).
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TO JOSEPH GALLOWAY
London, 14 May, 1768.
I received your favor of March 31st. It is now, with the messages, in the hands of the minister, so that I cannot be more particular at present in answering it than to say I should have a melancholy prospect in going home to such public confusion, if I did not leave greater confusion behind me. The newspapers, and my letter of this day to Mr. Ross, will inform you of the miserable situation this country is in. While I am writing, a great mob of coal porters fills the street, carrying a wretch of their business upon poles, to be ducked and otherwise punished at their pleasure for working at the old wages. All respect to law and government seems to be lost among the common people, who are moreover continually inflamed by seditious scribblers, to trample on authority and every thing that used to keep them in order.
The Parliament is now sitting, but will not continue long together, nor undertake any material business. The court of King’s Bench postponed giving sentence against Wilkes on his outlawry till the next term, intimidated, as some say, by his popularity, and willing to get rid of the affair for a time, till it should be seen what the Parliament would conclude as to his membership. The Commons, at least some of them, resent that conduct, which has thrown a burthen on them it might have eased them of, by pillorying or punishing him in some infamous manner, that would have given better ground for expelling him the House. His friends complain of it as a delay of justice, say the court knew the outlawry to be defective, and that they must finally pronounce it void, but would punish him by long confinement. Great mobs of his adherents have assembled before the prison, the guards have fired on them; it is said five or six are killed, and sixteen or seventeen wounded; and some circumstances have attended this military execution, such as its being done by the Scotch regiment, the pursuing a lad, and killing him at his father’s house, &c., &c., that exasperate people exceedingly, and more mischief seems brewing. Several of the soldiers are imprisoned. If they are not hanged, it is feared there will be more and greater mobs; and, if they are, that no soldier will assist in suppressing any mob hereafter. The prospect either way is gloomy. It is said the English soldiers cannot be confided in to act against these mobs, being suspected as rather inclined to favor and join them.
I am preparing for my return, and hope for the pleasure of finding you well, when I shall have an opportunity of communicating to you more particularly the state of things here relating to our American affairs, which I cannot so well do by letter. I enclose you a report of Sir M—— L——, counsel to the Board of Trade, on one of your late acts. I suppose it has had its effect, so that the repeal will be of little consequence. In the meantime, I am with sincere esteem and affection, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,