Front Page Titles (by Subject) DXCV: TO JAMES BOWDOIN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775
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DXCV: TO JAMES BOWDOIN - 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 JAMES BOWDOIN
London, 25 February, 1775.
I received your kind letter of September 6th by Mr. Quincy. I thought it might be of use to publish a part of it, which was done accordingly. But the measures it so justly censures are still persisted in, and will, I trust, continue to produce effects directly contrary to those intended. They will unite, instead of dividing us, strengthen and make us more resolute, instead of intimidating us, and work our honor and advantage, instead of the disgrace and ruin designed for us.
A bill is now in hand to confine the trade of the four New England colonies to Britain and the West Indies only, and to prohibit their fishery. Other provinces have done as offensive things, but Whiggism is thought to be more thoroughly the principle in New England, and that is now an unpardonable sin. The rest, however, are to have their punishment in their turn, though perhaps less severe. That is, if this Tory ministry continues in power; but though they have by the late deceptive motion amused many people here, so as to give an appearance as if they intended pacific measures, on which the stocks, which were falling apace, have risen again; yet, when this deceit is understood, and time proves the intended offer to America futile and ineffectual, the redoubled clamor of the trading, manufacturing, and Whig interests here will infallibly overthrow all the enemies of America, and produce an acknowledgment of her rights and satisfaction for her injuries.
If we continue firm and united, and resolutely persist in the non-consumption agreement, this adverse ministry cannot possibly stand another year. And surely the great body of our people, the farmers and artificers, will not find it hard to keep an agreement by which they both save and gain. The traders only can suffer, and where they do really suffer, some compensation should, if possible, be made them. Hitherto the conduct of the colonies has given them great reputation all over Europe. By a brave perseverance, with prudence and moderation, not forward in acting offensively, but resolute in defence when necessary, they will establish a respectable character both for wisdom and courage, and then they will find friends everywhere. The eyes of all Christendom are now upon us, and our honor as a people is become a matter of the utmost consequence to be taken care of. If we tamely give up our rights in this contest, a century to come will not restore us in the opinion of the world; we shall be stamped with the character of dastards, poltroons, and fools, and be despised and trampled upon, not by this haughty, insolent nation only, but by all mankind. Present inconveniences are therefore to be borne with fortitude, and better times expected.
I am much pleased with Mr. Quincy. It is a thousand pities his strength of body is not equal to his strength of mind. His zeal for the public, like that of David for God’s house, will, I fear, eat him up.
I hope Mrs. Bowdoin’s health is fully established. Make my respectful compliments acceptable to her; and believe me ever, with sincere and great esteem, dear sir, etc.,
P. S.—I never could learn the cause of Mr. Temple’s being displaced. The ministry refused to give any reason for it. I have imagined that it was a suspicion of his being the author of some pieces in the papers reflecting on their measures.