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M. Le Roy, in a letter annexed to Abbe Fauchet's eulogium of Dr. Franklin, states that the ill success of this negociation was occasioned, in a great de. gree, by religious animosities, which subsisted be. tween the Canadians and their neighbors, some of whom had at different times burnt their chapels. ,
When Lord Howe came to America, in 1776, vested with power to treat with the colonists, a correspondence took place between him and Franklin, on the subject of a reconciliation. Dr. Franklin was afterwards appointed, together with John Adams and Edward Rutledge, to wait upon the commissioners, in order to learn the extent of their powers. These were found to be cnly to grant pardons upon submission. These were terms which would not be accepted; and the object of the com. missioners could not be obtained. "
The momentous question of independence was shortly after brought into view, at a time when the fleets and armies, which were sent to énforce obe. dience, were truly formidable. With an army, numerous indeed, but ignorant of discipline, and entirely unskilled in the art of war, without money, without a fleet, without allies, and with nothing but the love of liberty to support them, the colonists determined to separate from a country, from which they had experienced a repetition of injury and insult. In this question, Dr. Franklin was decidedly in favor of the measure proposed, and had great influence in bringing over others to his senti. ments.
The public mind had been pretty fully prepared for this event, by Mr. Paine's celebrated pamphlet, Common Sense. There is good reason to believe that Dr. Franklin had no inconsicherable share, at .. Icast, in furnishing materials for this work.
In the convention which assembled at Philadele
phia in 1776, for the purpose of establishing a news form of government for the state of Pennsylvania, Dr. Franklin was chosen president. The late constitution of this state, which was the result of their deliberations, may be considered as a digest of his principles of government. The single legislature, and the plural executive, seem to have been his far vorite tenets.
In the latter end of 1776, Dr. Franklin was appointed to assist in the negociations which had been set on foot by Silas Deane at the court of France. A conviction of the advantages of a commercial intercourse with America, and a desire of weaken. ing the British empire by dismembering it, first induced the French court to listen to proposals of an alliance. But they shrwed rather a reluctance 10 the measure, which, by Dr. Franklin's address; and particniarly by the success of the American arms against general Burgoyne, was at length overcon : ; and in Fibruary 1778, a treaty of alliance, off.nsivi. ad lefensive, was concluded; in coise. qu-nre of which France became involved in the war with Great Britain,
Perhaps no person could have been found, more capable of rendering essencial services to the Unito ed States at the court of France, than Dr Franklin. He was well known as a philosopher, and his cha. ractor was helso in the highest estimation. He was reseiver with the greatest marks of respect by all the literary characters; and this respect was exa tended among all classes of men. His personal in. frence was hence v. su considerable. To the em fects of this were added those of various perforin. ances which he published, tending to establish the credit and character of the Unitert Sates. To his exertions in this way, mav, in no small degree, be
ascribed the success of the loans - negociated in Holland and France, which greatly contributed to bringing the war to a happy conclusion.
The repeated ill success of their arms, and more particularly the capture of Cornwallis and his army,' at length convinced the British nations of the impossibility of reducing the Americans to subjection. The trading interest particularly became very cia.. morous for peace. The ministry were unable longer to oppose their wishes. Provincial articles of peace were agreed to, and signed at Paris on the 30th of November, 1782, by Dr. Franklip, Mr. Adams, Mr. Jav and Mr. Laurens, on the part of the U. S. and Mi. Oswald on the part of G. B. These formed the basis of the definitive treaty, which was concluded the 30th of September 1783, and signed Dr. Franklin, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Jay, on the one part, and by Mr. David Hartley on the other.
On the 3d of April 1783, a treaty of amity and commerce, between the United States and Sweden, was concluded at Paris, by Dr. Franklin and the Count Von Krutx. .
A similar treaty with Prussia was concluded in 1785, not long before Dr. Franklin's departure froin Europe.
Dr. Franklin did not suffer his political pursuits to engross his whole attention. Some of his per. formances made their appearance in Paris. The object of these was generally the promotion of industry and economy.
In the year 1784, when animal magnetism made great noise in the world, particularly at Paris, it was thought a matter of such importance, that the king appointed commissioners to examine into the foun. dation of this pretended science. Dr. Franklin was one of the number. After a fair and diligent et
ámination, in the course of which Mesmer repeated a number of experiments, in the presence of the commissioners, some of which were tried upon themselves, they determined that it was a mere trick, intended to impose upon the ignorant and credu. lous.--Mesmer was thus interrupted in his career to wealth and fame, and a most insolent attempt to impose upon the human understanding baffled.
The important ends of Dr. Franklin's mission being completed by the establishment of American independence, and the infirmities of age and disease coming upon him, he became desirous of return. ing to his native country. Upon application to congress to be recalled, Mr. Jefferson was appointed to succeed him, in 1785. Sometime in September of the same year, Dr. Franklin arrived in Philadelphia. He was shortly after chosen member of the supreme executive council for the rity; and soon after was elected president of the same.. . When a convention was called to meet in Philadelphia, in 1787, for the purpose of giving more energy to the government of the union, by revising and amending the articles of confederation, Dr. Franklin was appointed a delegate from the state of Pennsylvania. He signed the constitution which they proposed for the union, and gave it the most unequivocal marks of his approbation. .
A society for political enquiries, of which Dr. Franklin was president, was established about this period. The meetings were held at his house, Two or three essays read in the society were published. It did not long continue.
In the year 1787, two societies were established - in Philadelphia, founded on principles of the most
liberal and refined humanity — The Philadelphia Socieiy for alleviating the miseries of public prisons &
and the Pennsylvaniu Society for promoting the abo bition of slavery, the relief of free negroes unlawfulh held in bonduge, and the improvement of the con. dition of the African race. Of each of these Dr. Franklin was president. The labors of these bo. dies have been crowned with great success ; and they continue to prosecute, with unwearid dili. gence, the laudable designs for which they were Established.
· Dr. Franklin's increasing infirmities prevented his regular attendance at the council chamber ; and in 1778, he retired wholly from public life.
His constitution had been a remarkable good one. Hc had been little subjeci to disease, except an at. tack of the gout occasionally, until the year 1781, when he was first attacked wiih symptoms of the . calculous complaint, which continued during his life. During the intervals of pain from this griese . ous disease, he spent many cheerful hours, converse ing in the most agreeable and instructive manner.
His faculties were entirely uniinpaired, even to the · hour of his death.
His name, as president of the Abolition Society, was signed to the memorial presented to the House of Representatives of the United States, of the 12th, of February 1789, praying them to exert the full extent of power vested in them by the constitution, in discouraging the traffic of the human species. 1 his was his last public act. In the deb.its to which this memorial gave rise, several attenripts'. were made to justify the trade. In the Federal Gazette of March 25th, there appeared an essay, signed Historicus, written by Dr. Franklin, in which he communicated a speech, said to have been ; delivered in the Divan of Algiers in 1687; in opa position to the prayers of the petition of a sect calle