Front Page Titles (by Subject) DXXXVI: TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775
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DXXXVI: TO WILLIAM FRANKLIN - 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 WILLIAM FRANKLIN
London, 1 September, 1773.
I have now before me yours of July 5th and 6th. The August packet is not yet arrived. Dr. Cooper of New York’s opinion of the author of the sermon, however honorable to me, is injurious to the good bishop; and therefore I must say, in justice and truth, that I knew nothing of his intention to preach on the subject, and saw not a word of the sermon till it was printed. Possibly some preceding conversation between us may have turned his thoughts that way; but, if so, that is all.
I think the resolutions of the New England townships must have the effect they seem intended for, viz., to show that the discontents were really general, and their sentiments concerning their rights unanimous, and not the faction of a few demagogues, as their governors used to represent them here; and therefore not useless, though they should not as yet induce government to acknowledge their claims; that people may probably think it sufficient for the present to assert and hold forth their rights, secure that sooner or later they must be admitted and acknowledged. The declaratory law here had too its use, viz., to prevent or lessen at least a clamor against the ministry that repealed the Stamp Act, as if they had given up the right of this country to govern America. Other use indeed it could have none; and I remember Lord Mansfield told the Lords, when upon that bill, that it was nugatory. To be sure, in a dispute between two parties about rights, the declaration of one party can never be supposed to bind the other.
It is said there is now a project on foot to form a union with Ireland, and that Lord Harcourt is to propose it at the next meeting of the Irish Parliament. The eastern side of Ireland are averse to it; supposing that when Dublin is no longer the seat of their government it will decline, the harbor being but indifferent, and that the western and southern ports will rise and flourish on its ruins, being good in themselves, and much better situated for commerce. For these same reasons, the western and southern people are inclined to the measure, and it is thought it may be carried. But these are difficult affairs and usually take longer time than the projectors imagine. Mr. Crowley, the author of several proposals for uniting the colonies with the mother country, and who runs about much among the ministers, tells me the union of Ireland is only the first step towards a general union. He is for having it done by the Parliament of England, without consulting the colonies, and he will warrant, he says, that if the terms proposed are equitable, they will all come in one after the other. He seems rather a little cracked upon the subject.
It is said here that the famous Boston letters1 were sent chiefly, if not all, to the late Mr. Whately. They fell into my hands, and I thought it my duty to give some principal people there a sight of them, very much with this view, that, when they saw the measures they complained of took their rise in a great degree from the representations and recommendations of their own countrymen, their resentment against Britain on account of those measures might abate, as mine had done, and a reconciliation be more easily obtained. In Boston they concealed who sent them, the better to conceal who received and communicated them. And perhaps it is as well that it should continue a secret. Being of that country myself, I think those letters more heinous than you seem to think them; but you had not read them all, nor perhaps the Council’s remarks on them. I have written to decline their agency, on account of my return to America. Dr. Lee succeeds me. I only keep it while I stay, which perhaps will be another winter.
I grieve to hear of the death of my good old friend, Dr. Evans. I have lost so many since I left America, that I begin to fear that I shall find myself a stranger among strangers when I return. If so, I must come again to my friends in England. I am ever your affectionate father,
[1 ]Governor Hutchinson’s letters.