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seized the traders and their goods, which were your manufactures; they took a fort which a company of your merchants, and their factors and correspondents had erected there, to secure that trade. Braddock was sent with an army to re-take that fort (which was looked on here as another incroachment on the king's territory) and to protect your trade. It was not till after his defeat that the colonies were attacked.* They were before in perfect peace with both French and Indians; the troops were not therefore sent for their defence. The trade with the Indians, though carried on in America, is not an American interest. The
people of America are chiefly farmers and planters, scarce any thing that they raise or produce is an article of commerce with the Indians. The Indian trade is a British interest; it is carried on with British manufactures, for the profit of British merchants and manufacturers; therefore the war, as it commenced for the defence of territories of the crown (the property of no American) and for the defence of a trade purely British, was really a British war---and yet the people of America made no scruple of contributing their utmost towards carrying it on, and bringing it to a happy conclusion.
Q. Do you think then that the taking possession of
* When this army was in the utmost distress from the want of wag. gons, &c. our author and his son voluntarily traversed the country, in order 10 collect a sufficient quantity; and they had zeal and address enough to effect their purpose, upon pledging themselves, to the amount of many thonsand pounds, for payment. It was but just before Dr. Franklin's last return to America, that the ascounts in this transaction were passed at home. , B. V. T2
the king's territorial rights, and strengthening the frontiers, is not an American interest?
A. Not particularly, but conjointly a British and an American interest.
Q. You will not deny that the preceding war, the war with Spain, was entered into for the sake of America; was it not occasioned by captures made in the American seas?
A. Yes; captures of ships carrying on the British trade there with British manufactures.
Q. Was not the late wur with the Indians, since the peace with France, a war for America only?
A. Yes; it was more particularly for America than the former ; but it was rather a consequence or remains of the former war, the Indians not having been thoroughly pacified; and the Americans bore by much the greatest share of the expence. It was put an end to by the army under General Bouquet; there were not above three hundred regulars in that army, and above one thousand Pensylvanians.
Q. Is it not necessary to send troops to America, to defend the Americans against the Indians?
A. No, by no means; it never was necessary. They defended themselves when they were but an handful, and the Indians much more numerous. They continually gained ground, and have driven the Indians over the mountains, without any troops sent to their assistance from this country. And can it be thought necessary now to send troops for their defence from those dininished Indian tribes, when the coloniesare becoine so populous, and so strong! There is not the least occasion for it, they are very able to defend themselves.
Q. Do you say there were no more than three hundred regular troops employed in the late Indian war?
A. Not on the Ohio, or the frontiers of Pensylvania, which was the chief part of the war that affected the colonies. There were garrisons at Niagara, Fort Detroit, and those remote posts kept for the sake of your trade; I did not reckon them; but I believe that on the whole the number of Americans, or provincial troops, employed in the war, was greater than that of the regulars. I am not certain, but I think so.
Q. Do you think the assemblies have a right to levy money on the subject there, to grant to the crown?
A. I certainly think so, they have always done it.
Q. Are they acquainted with the declaration of rights ? And do they know that, by that statute, money is not to be raised on the subject but by consent of parliament?
A. They are very well acquainted with it.
Q. How then can they think they have a right to levy money for the crown, or for any other than local purposes ?
d. They understand that clause to relate to subjects only within the realın ; that no money can be levied on them for the crown, but by consent of parliament. The colonies are not supposed to be within the realm; they have assemblies of their own, which are their parliaments, and they are, in that respect, in the same situation with Ireland. When money is to be raised for the crown upon the subject in Ireland, or in the colonies, the consent is given in the parliament of Ireland, or in the assemblies of the colonies. They think the parliament of Great Britain cannot properly give that consent, till it has representatives from Ame
rica; for the petition of right expressly says, it is to be by common consent in parliament; and the people of America have no representatives in parliament, to make a part of that common consent.
Q. If the stamp act should be repealed, and an acť should pass, ordering the assemblies of the colonies to indemnify the sufferers by the riots, would they obey it :
A. That is a question I cannot answer.
Q. Suppose the king should require the colonies to grant a revenue, and the parliament should be against their doing it, do they think they can grant a revenue to the king, without the consent of the parliament of Great Britain ?
A. That is a deep question. As to my own opinion, I should think myself at liberty to do it, and should do it, if I liked the occasion.
Q. When money has been raised in the colonies, upon requisitions, has it not been granted to the king?
A. Yes, always; but the requisitions have generally been for some service expressed, as to raise, clothe, and pay troops, and not for money only.
Q. If the act should pass, requiring the American assemblies to make compensation to the sufferers, and they should disobey it, and then the parliament should, by another act, lay an internal tax, would they then obey it?
A. The people will pay no internal tax; and I think an act to oblige the assemblies to make compensation is unnecessary; for I am of opinion, that as soon as the present heats are abated, they will take the matter into consideration, and if it is right to be done, they will do it of themselves,
Q. Do not letters often come into the post-offices in America directed to some inland town where no post goes?
Q. Can any private person take up those letters and carry them as directed ?
A. Yes; any friend of the person may, do it, paying the postage that has accrued.
Q. But must not he pay an additional postage for the distance to such inland town?
Q. Can the post-master answer delivering the lettet, without being paid such additional postage ?
A. Certainly he can demand nothing, where he does no service.
Q. Suppose a person, being far from home, finds a letter in a post-office directed to him, and he lives in a place to which the post generally goes, and the letter is directed to that place, will the post-master deliver him the letter, without his paying the postage receivable at the place to which the letter is directed ?
A. Yes; the office cannot demand postage for a letter that it does not carry, or farther than it does
Q. Are not ferrymen in America obliged, by act of parliament, to carry over the posts without pay?
A. They do not consider it as such, as they have an advantage from persons travelling with the post.
Q. If the stamp-act should be repealed, and the crown should make a requisition to the colonies for a sum of money, would they grant it?
4. I be