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devolved. With some difficulty they brought their little body to a place of safety ; but they found it necessary to destroy their waggons and baggage, to prea vent their falling into the hands of the enemy. For the waggons which he had furnished, Franklin had given bonds to a large amount. The owners declared their intentions of obliging him to make a restitution of their property. Had they put their threats into execution, ruin must inevitably have been the consequence. Governor Shirley, finding that he had incurred these debts for the service of government, made arrangements to have them discharged, and released Franklin from his disagreeable situation.
The alarm spread through the colonies, after the defeat of Braddock, was very great. Preparations to arm were every where made. In Pennsylvania, the prevalence of the quaker interest prevented the adoption of any system of defence, which would compel the citizens to bear arms. Franklin introduced into the assembly a bill for organizing a militia, by which every man was allowed to take arms or not, as to him should appear fit. The quakers, being thus left at liberty, suffered the bill to pass ; for althyugh their principies would not suffer them to fight, they had no objections to their neighbours figliting for them. In consequence of this act a very respectable militia was formed The sense of impending danger infused a military spirit in all, whose religious tenets were not opposed to war. Franklin was appointed colonel of a regiment in Philadelphia, which consisted of 1200 men. • The north western frontier being invaded by the enemy, it became necessary to adopt measures for its defence. Franklin was directed by the governor to take charge of this business. A power of raising men and of appointing officers to command them, was vested in-him. He soon levied a body of troops, with which he repaired to the place at which their presence
was necessary. Here he built a fort, and placed the garrison in such a posture of defence, as would enable them to withstand the inroads, to which the inhabitants had previously been exposed. He remained here for some time, in order the more completely to discharge the trust committed to him. Some business of importance rendered his presence necessary in the assembly, and he returned to Philadephia.
The defence of her colonies was a great expence to Great Britain. The most effectual mode of lessenmg this was, to put arms into the hands of the inhabitants, and to teach them their use. But England wishod not that the Americans should become acquainted with their own strength. . She was apprehensive, that, as soon as this period arrived, they would no longer submit to that monopoly of their trade, which to them was highly injurious, but extremely advantageous to the mother country. In comparison with the profits of this, the expence of maintaining armies and Heets to defend them was trifling. She sought to keep them dependent upon her for protection, the best plan which could be devised for retaining them in peaceable subjection. The least appearance of a military spirit was therefore to be guarded against, and, although a war then raged, the act organizing a militia was disapproved of by the ministry. The regiments which had been formed under it were disbanded, and the defence of the province entrusted to regular troops.
The disputes between the proprietaries and the pecple continued in full force, although a war was raging on the frontiers. Not even the sense of danger was sufficient to reconcile, for ever so short a time, their jarring interests. The assembly still insisted upon the justice of taxing the proprietary estates, but the governors constantly refused to give their assent to this measure, without which no bill could pass into a law. Enraged at the obstinacy, and what they conceived to be unjust proceedings of their opponents, the assembiy at length determined to apply to the mother country for relief. A petition was addressed to the King in council, stating the inconveniences under which the inhabitants laboured, from the attention of the proprietaries to their private interests, to the neglect of the general welfare of the community, and praying for redress. Franklin was appointed to present this address, as agent for the province of Penn sylvania, and departed from America in June 1757, In conformity to the instructions which he had received fi'om the legislature, he held a conference with the proprietaries, who then resided in England, and endeavoured to prevail upon them to give up the long, contested point. Finding that they would hearken to no terms of accommodation, he laid his petition before the council. During this tirne Gov. Denny assented to a law imposing a tax, in which no discrimination was made in favour of the Penn family. They, alarmed at this intelligence, and Franklin's exertions, used their utmost exertions to prevent the royal sanction being giv. en to this law, which they represented as highly iniquit, ous, designed to throw the burden of supporting gove ernment on them, and calculated to produce the most ruinous consequences to them and their posterity. The cause was amply discussed before the privy coun. cil. The Penns found here some strenuous advocates; nor were there wanting some who warmly espoused the side of the people. After some time spent in de. bate, a proposal was made, that Franklin should solemnly engage, that the assessment of the tax should be so made, as that the proprietary estates should pay no more than a due proportion. This he agreed to perform, the Penn family withdrew their opposition, and tranquility was thus once more restored to the province.
The mode in which this dispute was terminated is a striking proof of the high opinion entertained of Franklin's integrity and honour, even by those whe considered liim as inimical to their views. Nor was their confidence ill-founded. The assessment was made upon the strictest principles of equity; and the proprietary estates bore only a proportionable share of the expences of supporting government.
After the completion of this important business, Franklin remained at the court of Great Britain, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania. The exten. sive knowledge which he possessed of the situation of the colonies, and the regard which he always mani. fested for their interests, occasioned his appointment to the same office by the colonies of Massachusetts, Dlaryland, and Georgia. His conduct, in this situa. eion, was such as rendered him still more dear to his countrymen.
He had now an opportunity of indulging in the society of those friends, whom his merits had procured him while at a distance. The regard which they had entertained for him was rather encreased by a personal acquaintance. The opposition which had been made to his discoverics in philosophy gradually ceased, and the rewards of literary merit were abundantly conferred upon him. The Royal Society of London, which had at first refused his performances admission into its transactions, now thought it an honour to rank him among its fellows. Other societies of Europe were equally ambitious of calling him a member. The university of St. Andrew's in Scotland, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. Its example was followed by the Universities of Edinburgh and of Oxford. His correspondence was sought for by the most eminent Philosophers of Europe. His letters to these abound with true science, delivered in the most simple unadorned manner.
The province of Canada was at this time in the possession of the French, who had originally settled it. The trade with the Indians, for which its situation was
very convenient, was exceedingly lucrative. The French traders here found a market for their commodities, and received in return large quantities of rich furs, which they disposed of at a high price in Europe. Whilst the possession of this country was highly advantageous to France, it was a grevious inconvenience to the inhabitants of the British colonies. The Indians were almost generally desirous to cultivate the friendship of the French, by whom they were abun. dantly supplied with arms and ammunition. Whenever a war happened, the Indians were ready to fall upon the frontiers : and this they frequently did, even when Great Britain and France were at peace. From these considerations, it appeared to be the interest of Great Britain to gain the possession of Canada. But the importance of such an acquisition was not well understood in England. Franklin about this time published his Canada pamphlet, in which he, in a very forcible manner, pointed out the advantages which would result from the conquest of this province.
An expedition against it was planned, and the com mand given to General Wolfe. His success is well known. At the treaty in 1762, France ceded Canada to Great Britain, and by her cession of Louisiania, at the same time relinquished all her possessions on the. continent of America.
Although Dr. Franklin was now principally occupied with political pursuits, he found time for philosophical studies. He extended his electrical researches, and made a variety of experiments, particularly on the tourmalin. The singular properties which this stone possesses of being electrified on one side positively, and on the other negatively, by heat alone, without friction, had been but lately observed.
Some experiments on the cold produced by evapo ration, made by Dr. Cullen, had been communicated to Dr. Franklin by Professor Simpson of Glasgow. These he repeated, and found, that, by the evaporation .