Front Page Titles (by Subject) DXXI: TO SAMUEL COOPER - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775
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DXXI: TO SAMUEL COOPER - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775 
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. VI (Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775).
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TO SAMUEL COOPER
London, 7 July, 1773.
I received your very valuable favors of March 15th and April 23d. It rejoices me to find your health so far restored that your friends can again be benefited by your correspondence.
The governor was certainly out in his politics, if he hoped to recommend himself there, by entering upon that dispute with the Assembly. His imprudence in bringing it at all upon the tapis, and his bad management of it, are almost equally censured. The Council and Assembly on the other hand have, by the coolness, clearness, and force of their answers, gained great reputation.
The unanimity of our towns in their sentiments of liberty gives me great pleasure, as it shows the generally enlightened state of our people’s minds, and the falsehood of the opinion, much cultivated here by the partisans of arbitrary power in America, that only a small fraction among us were discontented with the late measures. If that unanimity can be discovered in all the colonies, it will give much greater weight to our future remonstrances. I heartily wish, with you, that some line could be drawn, some bill of rights established for America, that might secure peace between the two countries, so necessary for the prosperity of both. But I think little attention is like to be afforded by our ministers to that salutary work, till the breach becomes greater and more alarming, and then the difficulty or repairing it will be greater in a tenfold proportion.
You mention the surprise of gentlemen to whom those letters have been communicated,1 at the restrictions with which they were accompanied, and which they suppose render them incapable of answering any important end. One great reason of forbidding their publication was an apprehension, that it might put all the possessors of such correspondence here upon their guard, and so prevent the obtaining more of it. And it was imagined that showing the originals to so many as were named, and to a few such others as they might think fit, would be sufficient to establish their authenticity, and to spread through the province so just an estimation of the writers as to strip them of all their deluded friends, and demolish effectually their interest and influence. The letters might be shown even to some of the governor’s and lieutenant-governor’s partisans, and spoken of to everybody; for there was no restraint proposed to talking of them, but only to copying. However, the terms given with them could only be those with which they were received.
The great defect here is, in all sorts of people, a want of attention to what passes in such remote countries as America; an unwillingness to read any thing about them if it appears a little lengthy, and a disposition to postpone the consideration even of the things they know they must at last consider, that so they may have time for what more immediately concerns them, and with all, enjoy their amusements, and be undisturbed in the universal dissipation. In other respects, though some of the great regard us with a jealous eye, and some are angry with us, the majority of the nation rather wish us well, and have no desire to infringe our liberties. And many console themselves under the apprehension of declining liberty here, that they or their posterity shall be able to find her safe and vigorous in America. With sincere and great esteem, I am, etc.,
[1 ]Governor Hutchinson’s letters.