Front Page Titles (by Subject) DLIII: FROM THOMAS CUSHING - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775
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DLIII: FROM THOMAS CUSHING - 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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FROM THOMAS CUSHING
Boston, 10 December, 1773.
I have duly received your several favors of August 24th and September 1st, with the papers inclosed, which I shall communicate to the House as soon as they meet.
Capts. Hall, Bruce, and Coffin are arrived with a quantity of tea shipped (in pursuance of a late act of Parliament) by the East India Company, to the address of Richard Clark & Sons, Thos. and Elisha Hutchinson, Benjamin Faneuil, and Joshua Winslow, Esq. Capt. Loring is hourly expected with more of the same article consigned to the same persons; this has greatly alarmed the people here, who have had several meetings upon the occasion. Inclosed you have a paper containing their proceedings and resolutions, by which you will perceive that they insist upon the consignees sending back the tea, and have determined it never shall be landed or pay any duty here. The colonists have been long complaining of the Parliament’s taxing them without their consent. They have frequently remonstrated against the exercise of a power they deem unconstitutional; their petitions have been neglected if not rejected. However, within about twelve or fifteen months past they have, by administration and by their friends in Great Britain, been led to expect that their grievances would be redressed and the revenue acts repealed, and from some accounts received the last winter from your side the water, they had reason to expect the Tea Act would have been repealed the very last session, instead of which the Parliament, at that very session when the people expected to have obtained relief, passed an act empowering the East India Company to ship their tea to America. This they considered as a new measure to establish and confirm a tax on the colonists, which they complained of as unjust and unrighteous, and consequently has renewed and increased their distress, and it is particularly increased by this act, as it is introductive of monopolies and of all the consequent evils thence arising. But their greatest objection is from its being manifestly intended more effectually to secure the payment of the duty on tea laid by an act passed in the 7th of George the Third, which act in its operation deprives the colonists of the exclusive right of taxing themselves; they further apprehend that this late act was passed with a view not only to secure the duty aforesaid, but to lay a foundation of enhancing it, and in a like way, if this should succeed, to lay other duties, and that it demonstrates an indisposition in ministry that the Parliament should grant them relief. Impressed with these sentiments, the people say they have been amused, they have been deceived, and at a time when they had reason to expect they should have been relieved they find administration pursuing fresh measures to establish and confirm those very acts which, if persisted in, must reduce them to abject slavery. This is the source of their distress, a distress that borders upon despair, and they know not where to fly for relief. This is the cause of the present great uneasiness and has been the occasion of the extraordinary measures pursued by the people here and in several of the principal colonies, for you must observe the same spirit prevails in Philadelphia and New York. Philadelphia began and passed their resolutions above a month ago, New York catched it from them, and so it passed on to this government, and if administration had put their invention upon the utmost stretch to contrive a plan of union for the colonies, I cannot well conceive of any one measure that would tend more effectually to unite the colonies than the present act empowering the East India Company to export their tea to America, and if they should have it in contemplation to show any marks of resentment upon the colonies for their conduct relative to this matter, it is thought they ought to begin with the people among yourselves, as many of them have for these three of four months past been repeatedly notifying our merchants of this manœuvre and advising them not by any means to suffer tea to be landed; if they designed to preserve their freedom, they have been blowing the coals. We have got into a flame, and where it will end God only knows. In short, sir, our affairs are brought to a very serious crisis; and the court party themselves, as I am informed, plainly see that the people are so thoroughly roused and alarmed, and discover such a determined resolution not any longer to suffer these impositions, that they begin to think it absolutely necessary the measures of administration with respect to America should be altered; they find that the spirit runs higher than in the time of the Stamp Act, and that the opposition is more systematical, so that they fear nothing less than the repeal of the revenue acts and a radical redress of American grievances will save us from a rupture with Great Britain, which may prove fatal to both countries.
The people here are far from desiring that the connection between Great Britain and America should be broken. Esto perpetua is their ardent wish, but upon terms only of equal liberty. May the Great Governor of the Universe overrule the councils of the nation and direct and influence to such measures as may be productive of such a happy connection.
This will be delivered you by Mr. John Sprague, a young gentleman who goes for London with a view to improve himself in the study of physic. I must refer you to him for a more particular and circumstantial account of the state of affairs here, and recommend him to your friendly notice.
I conclude with great respect, your most obedient humble servant.
Benjamin Franklin, Esq.