Imatges de pÓgina


Disputes with the Proprietaries. Franklin sent by the

Assembly to London. Appointed general Agent for the Colonies. University Honors. The Armonica. Murder of the friendly Indians.

1. Soon after his return to Philadelphia, Franklin was appointed by the assembly upon a very important mission. From the earliest establishment of Pennsylvania, there seems to have been a spirit of dispute among its inhabitants. During the lifetime of William Penn, the constitution had been three times altered. After this time quarrels were continually arising between the proprietaries or their governors and the assembly.

2. The proprietaries were the descendants of those to whom the lands were originally granted by the king. They claimed particular privileges for their estates; and among other things that they should be free from taxés. To this the assembly would by no means consent. This subject of dispute interfered in almost every question, and prevented the passage of the most necessary laws.

3. The assembly at length resolved to appeal to the king against the unjust claims of the proprietaries, and appointed Franklin as their agent, to go over to England and present their petition. After some delay and detention by the governor, under the pretence of bringing about an accommodation, Franklin sailed from New York towards the end of June, and arrived in London on the twenty-seventh of July, 1757.

2. Who were the proprietaries? What did they claim ? How did the assembly treat their claim ? 3. What course did the v.ssembly pursue ?

4. According to the instructions which he had received from the legislature, Franklin had a meeting with the proprietaries who then resided in EngJand, and endeavored to prevail on them to give up their pretensions. Finding it impossible to derive any satisfaction from them, he laid his petition before the council. During this time, the governor of Pennsylvania had consented to a law imposing a tax, in which no distinction was made in favor of the estates of the Penn family.

5. Alarmed at this intelligence, and by Franklin's exertions, they used their utmost endeavors to prevent this law from receiving the royal approbation. They represented it as highly unjust, designed to throw the burden of supporting government upon them, and tending to produce the most ruinous consequences to them and their posterity.

6. The cause was very fully examined before the king's privy council. The Penn family here found

Why was Franklin sent to England ? When did he arrive in London ? 4. What course did Franklin pursue in respect to the petition ? What law had been passed in Pennsylvania ? 5. How did the Penn family represent this law ? 6 Where was the cause examined ?

some very earnest advocates, while those were not wanting ready to espouse the side of the people. After some time spent in debate, a proposal was made that Franklin should solemnly engage that the tax should be so made, that the proprietary estates should pay no more than a fair proportion. This he agreed to perform, and the Penn family withdrew their opposition to the passage of the law.

7. After this business was thus happily concluded, Franklin remained at the court of Great Britain, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania. The extensive knowledge which he possessed of the situation of the colonies, and the regard which he had always shown for their interests, occasioned his appointment to the same office by the colonies of Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia. His conduct in this situation increased the reputation and esteem in which he was held among his countrymen.

8. Franklin was now in the midst of those friends whom he had acquired by his fame as a philosopher. He was very much sought after by them. Honors from learned societies and colleges were continually heaped upon him. The university of St. Andrew's, in Scotland, conferred on him the degree of doctor of laws. Its example was followed by the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford. His correspondence was sought by the most distinguished philosophers of Europe.

How was it settled ? 7. In what capacity did Franklin remain in London after the conclusion of this business ? 8. How was Franklin received ? What honors were conferred upon him ?


9. Although Franklin was now principally occupied with political pursuits, he found time for his favorite studies. He extended his researches in electricity, and in other interesting subjects of natural philosophy.

10. The tone produced by rubbing the brim of a drinking-glass with a wet finger is familiar to every

An Irish gentleman, by the name of Puckeridge, 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 upon which he could play tunes. He died before he had completed his invention. Some improvements were afterwards made upon his plan. The sweetness of the tones induced Franklin to try a number of experiments, and he at length formed the instrument which he has called the Armonica

11. In the summer of 1762 he returned to America. He 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 general, during his residence in Great Britain." A compensation of five thousand pounds, Pennsylvania currency, was decreed him for his services during six years.

9. How was Franklin chiefly occupied at this time? 10. What was the musical instrument which Franklin formed ? 11. When did he return to America ? How was he received by the assembly? What compensation did they allow him ?


2. During his absence, Franklin had been annually elected member of the assembly. On his return to Philadelphia, he again took his seat in that body, and continued steadily to protect the rights and interests of the people.

13. In December, 1762, great alarm was excited in the province by the following circumstance. Several Indians resided in the county of Lancaster, who had always conducted themselves as friends to the white men. A number of inhabitants upon frontiers, who had been irritated by repeated injuries, determined to seek revenge on all the Indians who fell in their way.

14. About a hundred and twenty persons assembled, and proceeded on horseback to the settlements of the defenceless Indians. These were now reduced in number to about twenty. They had received information of the intended attack, but did not believe it. As the white people had always been their friends, they feared no danger from them. When the party arrived at the Indian settlement, they found only some women and children and a few old men. The rest were absent at work. The wretches murdered all whom they found, and among others the chief Shahehas, who had been always distinguished for his friendship to the whites.

15. The remainder of these unfortunate Indians, who, by their absence, had escaped the massacre,

13. What alarm was excited in the province in 1762? 14. Relate the substance of this paragraph.

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