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and circulation of France. I grant, however, much of this 300,0001. would be expended in British manufactures. Perhaps too, a few of the land owners of Guadaloupe might dwell and spend their fortunes in Britain (though probably much fewer than of the inhabitants of North America.) I admit the advantage arising to us from these circumstances (as far as they go) in the case of Guadaloupe, as well as in that of our other West-India settlements. Yet even this consumption is little better than that of an allied nation would be, who should take our manufactures and supply us with sugar, and put us to no great expence in defending the place of growth. But though our own colonies expend among us almost the whole produce of our sugar*, can we, or ought we to promise ourselves this will be the case of Guadaloupe? One 100,000l. will supply them with British manufactures; and supposing we can effectually prevent the introduction of those of France (which is morally impossible in a country used to them) the other 200,0001. will still be spent in France, in the education of their children and support of themselves; or else be laid up there, where they will always think their home to be.
Besides this consumption of British manufactures, much is said of the benefit we shall have from the situation of Guadaloupe ; and we are told of a trade to the Caraccas and Spanish Main. In what respect Guadaloupe is better situated for this trade than Jamaica, or even any of our other islands, I am at a loss to guess. I believe it to be not so well situated for that of the windward coast, as Tobago and St. Lucia; which, in this, as well as other respects, would be more valuable posses sions, and which, I doubt not, the peace will secure to us. Nor is it nearly so well situaied for that of the rest of the Spanish Main as Jamaica. As to the greater safety of our trade by the possession of Guadaloupe, experience has convinced us, that in reducing a single island, or even more, we stop the privateering business but little. Privateers still subsist, in equal if not greater numbers, and carry the vessels into Martinico, which before it was more convenient to carry into GuadaJoupe. Had we all the Caribbees, it is true, they would in those parts be without shelter.
* Remarks, p. 47.
Yet, upon the whole, I suppose it to be a doubtfu point, and well worth consideration, whether our obtaining possession of all the Caribbees would be more than a temporary benefit: as it would necessarily soon fill the French part of Hispaniola with French inhabitants, and thereby render it five times more valuable in time of peace, and little less than impregnable in time of war, and would probably end in a few years in the uniting the whole of that great and fertile island under a French government. It is agreed on all hands, that our conquest of St. Christopher's, and driving the French from thence, first furnished Hispaniola with skilful and substantial planters, and was consequently the first occasion of its present opulence. On the other hand, I will hazard an opinion, that valuable as the French possessions in the West Indies are, and unde. niable the advantages they derive from them, there is somewhat to be weighed in the opposite scale. They cannot at present make war with England, without exposing those advantages, while divided among the numerous islands they now have, much more than they
would, were they possessed of St. Domingo only; their own share of which would, if well cultivated, grow more sugar, than is now grown in all their West-India islands.
I have before said, I do not deny the utility of the conquest, or even of our future possession of Guadaloupe, if not bought too dear. The trade of the West Indies is one of our most valuable trades. Our possessions there deserve our greatest care and attention. So do those of North America. I shall not enter into the invidious task of comparing their due estimation. It would be a very long, and a very disagreeable one, to run through every thing material on this bead. It is enough to our present point, if I have shown, that the value of North America is capable of an immense increase, by an acquisition and measures, that must necessarily have an effect the direct contrary of what we have been industriously taught to fear; and that Guadaloupe is, in point of advantage, but a very small addition to our WestIndia possessions ; rendered many ways less valuable to us, than it is to the French, who will probably set more value upon it, than upon a country (Canada) that is much more valuable to us than to them.
There is a great deal more to be said on all the parts of these subjects; but as it would carry me into a detail, that I fear would tire the patience of my readers, and which I am not without apprehensions I have done already, I shall reserve what remains till I dare venture again on the indulgence of the public*.
* Dr. Franklin bas often been heard to say, that in writing this pamplalet he received considerable assistance from a learned friend, who was not willing to be named. B.V.
Remarks * The best account I can give of the occasion of the Report, to which this paper is a reply, is as follows. During the war there had been a considerable and unusual trade to America, in consequence of the great feets and armies on foot there, and the clandestine dealings with the enemy who were cut off from their own supplies. This made great debts. The briskness of the trade ceasing with the war, the merchants were anxious for payment, which occasioned some confusion in the colonies, and stirred. up a clamour here against paper money. The board of trade, of which Jord Hilsborough was the chief, joined in this opposition to paper money, as appears by the report. Dr. Franklin being asked to draw up an answer to their report, wrote the paper given above, B.V.
Remarks and Facts relative to the American Paper-money. *
IN the Report of the Board of Trade, dated Feb. 9, 1764, the following reasons are given for restraining the emission of paper-bills of credit in America, as a legal tender.
1. “. That it carries the gold and silver out of the province, and so ruins the country; as experience has shewn, in every colony where it has been practised in any great degree.
2. “ That the merchants trading to America have suffered and lost by it.
3. “That the restriction (of il] has had a beneficial effect in New England.
4. “ That every medium of trade should have an intrinsic value, which paper-money has not. Gold and silver are therefore the fittest for this medium, as they are an equivalent; which paper never can be.
5. “ That debtors in the assemblies make paper-money with fraudulent views:
6. “ That in the middle colonies, where the credit of the paper-money has been best supported, the bills
have never kept to their nominal value in circulation; but have constantly depreciated to a certain degree, whenever the quantity has been increased.”
To consider these reasons in their order; the first is,
1. “ That paper-money carries the gold and silver out of the province, and so ruins the country; as experience has shewn, in every colony where it has been practised in any great degree.”—This opinion, of its ruining the country, seems to be merely speculative, or not otherwise founded than upon misinformation in the matter of fact. The truth is, that the balance of their trade with Britain being greatly against them, the gold and silver are drawn out to pay that balance; and then the necessity of some medium of trade has induced the making of paper-money, which could not be carried away. Thus, if carrying out all the gold and silver ruins a country, every colony was ruined before it made paper-money.-But, far from being ruined by it, the colonies that have made use of paper-money have been, and are all, in a thriving condition. The debt indeed to Britain has increased, because their numbers, and of course their trade, have increased; for all trade having always a proportion of debt outstanding, which is paid in its turn, while fresh debt is contracted, the proportion of debt naturally increases as the trade increases ; but the improvement and increase of estates in the colonies have been in a greater proportion than their debt. New England, particularly in 1696, (about the time they began the use of paper-money) had in all its four provinces but 130 churches or congrega. tions ; in 1760 they were 530. The number of farms and buildings there is increased in proportion to the numbers of people; and the goods exported to them VOL. III,