ePub 版

considerations, it a. peared to be the interest of Great Britain to gain the possession of Canada. But the importance of such an acquisition was not. well undersotood in England. Franklin about this: tine published his Canada pamphlei, in which he, in a forcible manner, pointed out the advantages: which would result from the conquest of this pro.. vince.

An expedition against it was planned, and the command given to Generat Wolfe. His success is well known. At the treaty of 1762, France ceded Canada to Great Britain, and by her cession of Louisiana, at the same time, relinquished all her possessions on the continent of America.

Although Dr. Franklin was now principally occu. pied with political pursuits, he found time for philosophical studies. He extended his electrical re. scarches and made a variety of experiments, partia cularly on the tourmalin. The singular properties which this stone possesses of being electrified on one side positively and on the other negatively, by h at alone, without friction, had been but lately observed.

Some experiments on the cold produced by evaporation, made by Dr. Cullen, had bern cominy.. ni ated to Dr. Franklin by Professor Simpson of Glasgow. These he repeaterl, and found, that, by the evaporation of æther in the exhausted receiver of an air-pump, so great a degree of cold was produced in a suminer's day, that water was converter ed into ice. This discovery he applied to the solu. tion of a number of phenomena, particulariy a singular fact, which philosophers had endeavored in vain to account for, viz- that the temperature of the human bod., when in health, ni vis exceeds 90 deri grees of Farenhcit's thermometer, although ihe ato

mosphere which surrounds it may be heated to a much greater degree. This he attributed to the increased perspiration, and consequent evaporation, produced by the heat. : In a letter to Mr. Small of London, dated in May 1760, Dr. Franklin makes a number of observations, tending to shew that, in North America, north-east storms begin in the south-west parts. It appears, from actual observation, that a northeast storm, which extended a considerable distance, commenced at Philadelphia nearly four hours before it was felt at Boston. He endeavored to account for this, by supposing that, from heat, some rarefaction takes place about the gulph of Mexico, that the air further north being cooler rushes in, and is succeeded by the cooler and denser air still further north, and that thus a continued current is at length produced.

The tone produced by rubbing the brim of a drink' ing glass with a wet finger had been generally known. A Mr. Puckeridge, an Irishman, by placing on a table a number of glasses of different sizes, and tuning them by partly filling them with water, endeavored to form an instrument capable of plaving tunes. He was prevented by an untimely end, from bringing his invention to any degree of perfection, After his death some improvements were made upon his plan. The sweetness of the tones induce t Dr. Franklin to make a variety of experiments; and he at length formed that elegant instrument, which he has called the Armonica.

In the summer of 1762 he returned to America. On his passage he observed the singular effeet produced by the agitation of a vessel, 'containing oil floating on the water. The surface of the oil remains smooth and andisturbed, whilst the water is agitated with the utmost commotion. No satisface tory explanation of this appearance has, we believe, ever been given.

Dr. Franklin received the thanks of the assembly of Pennsylvania, “as well for the faithful discharge of his duty to that province in particular, as for the many and important services done to America in ge. neral, during his residence in Great Britain.” A compensation of 5000l. Pennsylvania currency, was also decreed him for his services during six years.

During his absence he had been annually elected member of the assembly. On his return to Pennsylvania he again took his seat in this body, and continued a steady defender of the liberties of the people.

In December 1762, a circumstance which caused great alarm in the province took place. A number of Indians had resided in the county of Lancaster, and conducted themselves uniformly as friends to the white inhabitants. Repeated depredations on the frontiers had exasperated the inhabitants to such a degree, that they determined on revenge upon every Indian. A number of persons, to the amount of 120, principally inhabitants of Donnegal and Peckstang or Paxton townships, in the county of York, assembled ; and, mounted on horseback, proceeded to the settlement of these harmless and defenceless Indians, whose number had now reduced to ahout twenty. The Indians received intelligence of the attack which was intended against them, but disbelieved it. Considering the white people as their frends, they apprehended no dan. ger from them. When the party arrived at the In. dian settlement, they found only sonie women and children, and a few old men, the rest being absent at work. They murdered all whom they found, and amongst others the Shahaese who had been als ways distinguished for his friendship to the whitesa This bloody deed excited much indignation to the well-disposed part of the community. · The remainder of these unfortunate Indians, who, by absence, had escaped the massacre, were con. ducted to Lancaster, and lodged in the gaol, as a place of security. The goverrior issued a proclamation expressing the strongest disapprobation of the action, off ring a reward for the discovery of the perpetrators of the deed, and prohibiting all in. juries to the peaceable Indians in future. But, notwithstanding this, a party of the same men shortly after marched to Lancaster, broke open the gari, and inhumanely butchered the innocent Indians who had been placed there for security. Another proclamation 'was issued but had no effect. A detachment marched down to Philadelphia, for the express purpose of murdering some friendly India ans, who had been removed to this city for safety. A number of the citizens armed in their defence. The Quakers, whose principles were opposed to fighting, even in their own defence, were most active upon this occasion. The rioters came to Germantown. The governor fled for safety to the house of Dr. Franklin, who, with some others, ad. vanced to meet the Paxton boys, as they were calle ed, and had influence enough to prevail upon them to relinquish their undertaking, and return to their homes.

The disputes between the proprietaries and the assembly, which, for a time, had subsided, were ågain revived. The proprietaries were dissatisfied with the concessions made in favor of the people, and made great struggles to recover the privilege of exempting their estates from taxation, which they had been induced to give up.

wie .. In 1763, the assembly passed a militia bill, to which the governor refused to give his assent, und less the assembly would agree to certain amend, ments which he proposed. These consisted in increasing the fines, and, in some cases, substituting d. ath for fines. He wished too that the officers should be appointed altogether by himself, and not be nominated by the people, as the bilı had propose ed. These amendments the assembly considered as inconsistent with the spirit of liberty. They wold not adopt them; the governor was obstinaie, and the bill was lost. · These, and various other circumstances, increase ed the uneasiness which subsisted between the proprietarics and the assembly, to such a degree, that in 1764, a petition to the king was agreed to by the house, praying an alteration from a proprietary to a regal government. Great opposition was made to this measure, not only in the house but in the pube lic prints. A speech of Mr. Dickenson, on the subjs ct, was published with a preface by Dr. Smith, in which great pains were taken to shew the impropri ety and impolicy of this proceeding. A speech of Mr. Galloway, in reply to Mr. Dickenson, was pube lished, accompanied with a preface by Dr. Frank. ljn; in which he ably opposed the principles laid down in the preface to Mr. Dickenson's speech. This application to the throne produced no effect. The proprietary government was still continued..

At the election for, a new assembly, in the fall of 1764, the friends of the proprietaries, made great exertions to exclude those of the adverse party and obtained a small majority in the city of Philadelphia. Franklin now lost his seat in the house, which he had held for fourteen vears. On the meeting of the assembly, it appeared that there was still a de

« 上一頁繼續 »