Imatges de pàgina




sisted. It is for the interest of humanity in general, common sense! If the maxim had been, that private that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, mischiefs, which prevent a national calamity, ought to should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of be generously compensated by the nation, one might the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace understand it—but that such private mischiefs are only therefore more likely to continue and be lasting. to be borne with patience, is absurd.

The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas Ib. “ The expedient,” &c. “ And,” &c. (paragraphs - remnant of the ancient piracy—though it may be 2 and 3.)Twenty ineffectual or inconvenient schemes accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is far from will not justify one that is unjust. being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that * 1b.“ Upon the foot of,” &c.—Your reasoning, indeed, authorises it. In the beginning of a war some rich ships like a lie, stands but upon one foot; truth upon two. are surprised and taken. This encourages the first adven- Page 160. “ Full wages.”—Probably the same they turers to fit out more armed vessels; and many others had in the merchant's service. to do the same. But the enemy at the same time be- Page 174. “I hardly admit,” &c. (paragraph 5.) come more careful, arm their merchant ships better, -When this author speaks of impressing, page 158, and render them not so easy to be taken: they go also he diminishes the horror of the practice as much as more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the possible, by presenting to the mind one sailor only sufprivateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels sub- fering a hardship(as he tenderly calls it) in some jected to be taken, and the chances of profit, are dimi-“ particular cases only; and he places against this nished; so that many cruises are made wherein the private mischief the inconvenience to the trade of the expenses overgo the gains; and, as is the case in other kingdom. But if, as he supposes often the case, the lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the mass sailor who is pressed and obliged to serve for the deof adventurers are losers; the whole expense of fitting fence of trade, at the rate of twenty-five shillings aout all the privateers during a war being much greater month, could get three pounds fifteen shillings in the than the whole amount of goods taken.

merchant's service, you take from him fifty shillings Then there is the national loss of all the labour of so a-month; and if you have 100,000 in your service, many men, during the time they have been employed in you rob this honest industrious part of society and their robbing-who, besides, spend what they get in riot, poor families of £250,000 per month, or three millions drunkenness, and debauchery—lose their habits of in-a-year, and at the same time oblige them to hazard dustry-are rarely fit for any sober business after a their lives in fighting for the defence of your trade; to peace and serve only to increase the number of high- the defence of which all ought indeed to contribute waymen and housebreakers. Even the adventurers (and sailors among the rest) in proportion to their prowho have been fortunate, are by sudden wealth led into fts by it; but this three millions is more than their expensive living, the habit of which continues when the share, if they did not pay with their persons; and when means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them: a you force that, methinks you should excuse the other. just punishment for their having wantonly and unfeel. But, it may be said, to give the king's seamen meringly ruined many honest, innocent traders, and their chant's wages, would cost the nation too much, and call families, whose substance was employed in serving the for more taxes. The question then will amount to this common interest of mankind.

-Whether it be just in a community, that the richer part should compel the poorer to fight in defence of them and their properties, for such wages as they think

fit to allow, and punish them if they refuse? Our auON THE IMPRESS OF SEAMEN.

thor tells us that it is legal.I have not law enough Notes copied from Dr Franklin's writing in pencil in the mar. to dispute his authorities, but I cannot persuade myself gin of Judge Foster's celebrated argument in favour of the im- that it is equitable. I will, however, own for the prepressing of seamen (published in the folio editions of his works). sent, that it may be lawful when necessary; but then JUDGE FOSTER, p. 158. “ Every man.”—The conclu. I contend that it may be used so as to produce the sion here from the whole to a part, does not seem to be same good effects the public security~without doing so good logic. If the alphabet should say, Let us all fight much intolerable injustice as attends the impressing for the defence of the whole, that is equal, and may common seamen.

In order to be better understood, I therefore be just. But if it should say, Lét A, B, C, would premise too things :—First, That voluntary seaand D, go out and fight for us, while we stay at home men may be had for the service, if they were suffiand sleep in whole skins, that is not equal, and therefore ciently paid. The proof is, that to serve in the same cannot be just.

ship, and incur the same danger, you have no occasion 16.“ Employ."-If you please, the word signifies to impress captains, lieutenants, second lieutenants, engaging a man to work for me, by offering him such midshipmen, pursers, nor many other officers. Why, wages as are sufficient to induce him to prefer my ser- but that the profits of their places, or the emoluments exvice. This is very different from compelling him to pected, are sufficient inducements? The business then work on such terms as I think


is, to find money, by impressing, sufficient to make the Ib. “ This service and employment,” &c. — These sailors all volunteers, as well as their officers; and this are false facts. His employment and service are not without any fresh burden upon trade. The second of the same. Under the merchant he goes in an unarmed my premises is, that twenty-five shillings a-month, with vessel, not obliged to fight, but to transport merchan- his share of the salt beef, pork, and peas-pudding, dise. In the king's service he is obliged to fight, and being found sufficient for the subsistence of a hardto bazard all the dangers of battle. Sickness on board working seaman, it will certainly be so for a sedentary of kings' ships is also more common and more mortal. scholar or gentleman. I would then propose to form The merchant's service, too, he can quit at the end of a treasury, out of which encouragements to seamen the voyagenot the king's. Also, the merchant's should be paid. To fill this treasury, I would impress wages are much higher.

a number of civil officers, who at present have great Ib. “I am very sensible," &c. Here are two things salaries, oblige them to serve in their respective offices put in comparison that are not comparable, viz.-in- for twenty-five shillings a-month, with their shares of jury to seamen, and inconvenience to trade. Incon- mess provisions, and throw the rest of their salaries venience to the whole trade of a nation will not justify into the seamen's treasury. If such a press-warrant injustice to a single seaman. If the trade would suffer were given me to execute, the first I would press should without his service, it is able, and ought to be willing, be a recorder of Bristol, or a Mr Justice Foster, beto offer him such wages as may induce him to afford cause I might have need of his edifying example to his service voluntarily.

show how much impressing ought to be borne with; Page 159. “ Private mischief must be borne with for he would certainly find, that though to be reduced patience, for preventing a national calamity.” Where to twenty-five shillings a-month might be a “private is this maxim in law and good policy to be found? And mischief, yet that, agreeably to his maxim of law and how can that be a maxim which is not consistent with good policy, it " ought to be borne with patience," for

70 LETTER ON THE CRIMINAL LAWS, AND PRIVATEERING. preventing a national calamity. Then I would press | innocence? In this light, how vast is the annual quanthe rest of the judges; and, opening the red book, Itity, of not only injured, but suffering innocence, in would press every civil officer of government, from almost all the civilised states of Europe ! £50 a-year salary up to £50,000, which would throw But it seems to have been thought, that this kind of an immense sum into our treasury: and these gentle- innocence may be punished by way of preventing crimes. men could not complain, since they would receive I have read, indeed, of a cruel Turk in Barbary, who, twenty-five shillings a-month and their rations; and whenever he bought a new Christian slave, ordered him this without being obliged to fight. Lastly, I think I immediately to be hung up by the legs, and to receive would impress

a hundred blows of a cudgel on the soles of his feet, that the severe sense of the punishment, and fear of incurring it thereafter, might prevent the faults that

should merit it. Our author himself would hardly apON THE CRIMINAL LAWS, AND THE prove entirely of this Turk’s conduct in the governPRACTICE OF PRIVATEERING. ment of slaves; and yet he appears to recommend LETTER TO BENJAMIN VAUGHAN, ESQ.

something like it for the government of English sub

jects, when he applauds the reply of Judge Burnet to

March 14, 1785. the convict horse-stealer; who, being asked what he My Dear FRIEND,—-Among the pamphlets you lately had to say why judgment of death should not pass sent me, was one entitled Thoughts on Executive against him, and answering, that it was hard to hang a Justice. In return for that, I send you a French one man for only stealing a horse, was told by the judge on the same subject Observations concernant l'Exe- “ Man, thou art not to be hanged only for stealing a cution de l'Article II. de la Declaration sur le Vol. horse, but that horses may not be stolen." The man's They are both addressed to the judges, but written, as answer, if candidly examined, will, I imagine, appear you will see, in a very different spirit

. The English reasonable, as being founded on the eternal principle author is for hanging all thieves-the Frenchman is of justice and equity, that punishments should be profor proportioning punishments to offences.

portioned to offences; and the judge's reply brutal and If we really believe, as we profess to believe, that unreasonable, though the writer“ wishes all judges to the law of Moses was the law of God—the dictate of carry it with them whenever they go the circuit, and to Divine wisdom, infinitely superior to human-on what bear it in their minds, as containing a wise reason for principles do we ordain death as the punishment of an all the penal statutes which they are called upon to offence, which, according to that law, was only to be put in execution. It at once illustrates," says he, “the punished by a restitution of fourfold! To put a man true grounds and reasons of all capital punishments to death for an offence which does not deserve death, whatsoever, namely, that every man's property, as well is it not a murder?-and, as the French writer says, as his life, may be held sacred and inviolate.” Is there “ Doit-on punir un delit contre la société par un crime then no difference in value between property and life? contre la nature?"

If I think it right that the crime of murder should be Superfluous property is the creature of society. punished with death, not only as an equal punishment Simple and mild laws were sufficient to guard the pro- of the crime, but to prevent other murders, does it perty that was merely necessary. The savage's bow, follow that I must approve of inflicting the same his hatchet, and his coat of skins, were sufficiently se punishment for a little invasion on my property by cured, without law, by the fear of personal resentment theft? If I am not myself so barbarous, so bloodyand retaliation. When, by virtue of the first laws, minded, and revengeful, as to kill a fellow-creature for part of the society accumulated wealth and grew power- stealing from me fourteen shillings and threepence, iul, they enacted others more severe, and would pro- how can I approve of a law that does it! Montesquieu, tect their property at the expense of humanity. This who was himself a judge, endeavours to impress other was abusing their power, and commencing a tyranny. maxims. He must have known what human judges If a savage, before he entered into society, had been feel on such occasions, and what the effects of those told“ Your neighbour, by this means, may become feelings; and, so far from thinking that severe and owner of a hundred deer; but if your brother, or your excessive punishments prevent crimes, he asserts, as son, or yourself, having no deer of your own, and being quoted by our French writer, that hungry, should kill one, an infamous death must be L'atrocité des loix en empeche l'execution. the consequence," he would probably have preferred Lorsque la peine est sans mesure, on est souvent his liberty, and his common right of killing any deer, obligé de lui préférer l'impunité. to all the advantages of society that might be proposed La cause de tous les relachemens vient de l'impunité to himn.

des crimes, et non de la modération des peines." That it is better a hundred guilty persons should It is said by those who know Europe generally, that escape than that one innocent person should suffer, is there are more thefts committed and punished annually a maxim that has been long and generally approved in England, than in all the other nations put together. never, that I know of, controverted. Even the san. If this be so, there must be a cause or causes for such guinary author of the Thoughts agrees to it, adding depravity in our common people. May not one be the well, “ that the very thought of injured innocence, and deficiency of justice and morality in our national gomuch more that of suffering innocence, must awaken vernment, manifested in our oppressive conduct to suball our tenderest and most compassionate feelings, and, jects, and unjust wars on our neighbours? View the at the same time, raise our highest indignation against long-persisted in, unjust, monopolising treatment of the instruments of it. But,” he adds, “ there is no Ireland, at length acknowledged !" View the plundering danger of either, from a strict adherence to the laws." government exercised by our merchants in the Indies; Really !- Is it then impossible to make an unjust law? the confiscating war made upon the American colonies ; and if the law itself be unjust, may it not be the very and, to say nothing of those upon France and Spain, “instrument which ought to raise the author's and view the late war upon Holland, which was seen by every body's highest indignation?" I see in the last impartial Europe in no other light than that of a war newspapers from London, that a woman is capitally of rapine and pillage—the hopes of an immense and easy convicted at the Old Bailey, for privately stealing out prey being its only apparent, and probably its true and of a shop some gauze, value fourteen shillings and real, motive and encouragement ! Justice is as strictly threepence. Is there any proportion between the in- due between neighbour nations, as between neighbour jury done by a theft, value fourteen shillings and three- citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when pence, and the punishment of a human creature, byl he plunders in a gang, as when single; and a nation death, on a gibbet? Might not that woman, by her that makes an unjust war is only a great gang. After labour, have made the reparation ordained by God in employing your people in robbing the Dutch, it is paying fourfold? Is not all punishment inflicted be- strange, that being put out of that employ by peace, yond the merit of the offence, so much punishment of | they still continue robbing, and rob one another: pira.

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terie, as the French call it, or privateering, is the uni- i chants, whether a war be just or unjust ; and it cau versal bent of the English nation, at home and abroad, hardly be just on both sides. They are done by Engwherever settled. No less than seven hundred priva- lish and American merchants, who, nevertheless, com. teers were, it is said, commissioned in the last war! plain of private theft, and hang by dozens the thieves These were fitted out by merchants, to prey upon other they have taught by their own example. merchants, who had never done them any injury. Is It is high time, for the sake of humanity, that a stop there probably any one of those privateering merchants were put to this enormity. The United States of Amneof London, who were so ready to rob the merchants of rica, though better situated than any European nation Amsterdam, that would not as readily plunder another to make profit by privateering (most of the trade of London merchant, of the next street, if he could do it Europe with the West Indies passing before their with the same impunity? The avidity, the alieni ap- doors), are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abo. petens, is the same; it is the fear alone of the gallows lish the practice, by offering, in all their treaties with that makes the difference. How then can a nation, other powers, an article, engaging solemnly, that in which among the honestest of its people, has so many case of future war, no privateer shall be cominissioned thieves by inclination, and whose government encou. on either side ; and that unarmed merchant ships, on raged and commissioned no less than seven hundred both sides, shall pursue their voyages unmolested.* gangs of robbers—how can such a nation have the face This will be a happy improvement of the law of nations. to condemn the crime in individuals, and hang up The humane and the just cannot but wish general suctwenty of them in a morning? It naturally puts one cess to the proposition. With unchangeable esteem in mind of a Newgate anecdote. One of the prisoners and affection, I am, my dear friend, ever yours. complained, that in the night somebody had taken his buckles out of his shoes. • What the devil !” says another, “ have we then thieves amongst us? It must not be suffered. Let us search out the rogue, and pump him


NORTH AMERICA. There is, however, one late instance of an English SAVAGES we call them, because their manners differ merchant who will not profit by such ill-gotten gain. from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; fle was, it seems, part-owner of a ship, which the other they think the same of theirs. owners thought fit to employ as a letter of marque, and Perhaps, if we could examine the manners of differ

which took å number of French prizes. The booty ent nations with impartiality, we should find no people cha being shared, he has now an agent here inquiring, by so rude as to be without any rules of politeness ; nor

an advertisement in the Gazette, for those who have any so polite as not to have some remains of rudeness.

suffered the loss, in order to make them, as far as in The Indian men, when young, are hunters and war2 him lies, restitution. This conscientious man is a riors, when old, counsellors; for all their government is At Quaker. The Scotch Presbyterians were formerly as by the counsel or advice of the sages: there is no force,

tender; for there is still extant an ordinance of the there are no prisons, no officers to compel obedience, town-council of Edinburgh, made soon after the Refor- or inflict punishment. Hence they generally study mation," forbidding the purchase of prize goods, under oratory—the best speaker having the most influence. pain of losing the freedom of the burgh for ever, with The Indian women till the ground, dress the food, other punishment at the will of the magistrates; the nurse and bring up the children, and preserve and practice of making prizes being contrary to good con- hand down to posterity the memory of public transacscience, and the rule of treating Christian brethren as tions. These employments of men and women are acwe would wish to be treated; and such goods are not counted natural and honourable. Having few artificial to be sold by any godly man within this burgh.The wants, they have abundance of leisure for improvement race of these godly men in Scotland is probably extinct, by conversation. Our laborious manner of life comor their principles abandoned, since, as far as that na- pared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and tion had a hand in promoting the war against the colo- the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard nies, prizes and confiscations are believed to have been as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred a considerable motive.

at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, in 1744, It has been for some time a generally received opi- between the government of Virginia and the Six Nanion, that a military man is not to inquire whether a tions. After the principal business was settled, the war be just or unjust ; he is to execute his orders. All commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians princes who are disposed to become tyrants, must probably approve of this opinion, and be willing to establish *[This offer having been accepted by the late King of Prussia, a it; but is it not a dangerous one-since, on that prin treaty of amity and commerce was concluded between that mociple, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and narch and the United States, containing the following humane, destroy not only an unoffending neighbour nation, but philanthropic article; in the formation of which Dr Franklin,

as one of the American plenipotentiaries, was principally coneven his own subjects, the army is bound to obey ? A master to rob or murder a neighbour, or do any other parties, the merchants of either country, then residing in the negro slave, in our colonies, being commanded by his cerned, viz. :

Art. XXIII. If war should arise between the two contracting immoral act, may refuse; and the magistrate will pro- Other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to collect their tect him in his refusal. The slavery then of a soldier debts and settle their affairs, and may depart freely, carrying off is worse than that of a negro! A conscientious officer, all their effects without molestation or hindrance; and all women if not restrained by the apprehension of its being in and children, scholars of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, puted to another cause, may indeed resign, rather than artizans, manufacturers, and fishermen, unarmed, and inhabitbe employed in an unjust war; but the private men are ing unfortified towns, villages, or places, and in general, all others slaves for life: and they are, perhaps, incapable of whose occupations are for the common subsistence and benefit of judging for themselves. We can only lament their fate, mankind, shall be allowed to continue their respective employand still more that of a sailor, who is often dragged by ments, and shall not be molested in their persons, nor shall their force from his honest occupation, and compelled to im- houses or goods be burnt, or otherwise destroyed, nor their fields brue his hands in perhaps innocent blood. But, me- wasted, by the armed force of the enemy into whose power, by the thinks, it well behoves merchants (men more enlight- events of war, they may happen to fall; but if any thing is neened by their education, and perfectly free from any cessary to be taken from them for the use of such armed force, such force or obligation) to consider well of the justice the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price. And all merof a war, before they voluntarily engage a gang of ruf- chant and trading vessels employed in exchanging the produets fians to attack their fellow-merchants of a neighbouring niences, and comforts of human life more easy to be obtained,

of different places, and thereby rendering the necessarios, conveDation, to plunder them of their property, and perhaps and more general, shall be allowed to pass free and unmolested: ruin them and their families, if they yield it; or to and neither of the contracting powers shall grant or issue any wound, maim, and murder them, if they endeavour to commission to any private armed vessels, empowering them to defend'it. Yet these things are done by Christian mer- take or destroy such trading vessels, or interrupt such commcree.] 72 REMARKS CONCERNING THE SAVAGES OF NORTH AMERICA. by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on with a fund for educating Indian youth; and if the which our religion is founded-such as the fall of our chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen first parents by eating an apple—the coming of Christ of their sons to that college, the government would take to repair the mischief-his miracles and sufferings, care that they should be well provided for, and in- &c. When he had finished, an Indian orator stood up structed in all the learning of the white people. It is to thank him. “What you have told us,” says he,“ is one of the Indian rules of politeness not to answer a all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples; it is public proposition the same day that it is made ; they better to make them all into cider. We are much think it would be treating it as a light matter, and that obliged by your kindness in coming so far to tell us they show it respect by taking time to consider it, as of those things which you have heard from your mothers. a matter important. They therefore deferred their an- In return, I will tell you some of those which we have swer till the day following ; when their speaker began by heard from ours. expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Vir. In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of ginia government, in making them that offer: “ For we animals to subsist on; and if their hunting was unsueknow," says he, “that you highly esteem the kind of cessful, they were starving. Two of our young hunters learning taught in those colleges, and that the main- having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to broil tenance of our young men, while with you, would be some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy very expensive to you. We are convinced, therefore, their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman that you mean to do us good by your proposal ; and we descend from the clouds, and seat herself on that hill thank you heartily. But you who are wise, must know which you see yonder among the blue mountains, that different nations have different conceptions of They said to each other, ' It is a spirit that perhaps has things: and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our smelt our broiled venison, and wishes to eat of it; let ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same us offer some to her. They presented her with the with yours. We have had some experience of it: tongue: she was pleased with the taste of it, and said several of our young people were formerly brought - Your kindness shall be rewarded. Come to this up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they place after thirteen moons, and you shall find somewere instructed in all your sciences; but when they thing that will be of great benefit in nourishing you came back to us, they were bad runners-ignorant and your children to the latest generations. They of every means of living in the woods—unable to bear did so; and, to their surprise, found plants they had either cold or hungerknew neither how to build a never seen before, but which, from that ancient time, cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy--spoke our lan- have been constantly cultivated among us, to our great guage imperfectly—were neither fit for hunters, warri- advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ors, nor counsellors: they were totally good for nothing. ground they found maize—where her left hand had We are, however, not the less obliged by your kind offer, touched it they found kidney-beans—and on the spot though we decline accepting it ; and to show our grate- where she had sat they found tobacco.” The good ful sense of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send us missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said—What a dozen of their sons, we will take great care of their I delivered to you were sacred truths, but what you education, instruct them in all we know, and make men tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood.” The Inof them."

dian, offended, replied—“My brother, it seems your Having frequent occasion to hold public councils, friends have not done you justice in your educationthey have acquired great order and decency in con- they have not well instructed you in the rules of comducting them. The old men sit in the foremost ranks, mon civility. You saw that we, who understand and the warriors in the next, and the women and children practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do hindmost. The business of the women is to take exact you refuse to believe ours ?” notice of what passes, imprint it in their memories When any of them come into our towns, our people for they have no writings and communicate it to the are apt to crowd round them, gaze upon them, and inchildren. They are the records of the council, and commode them where they desire to be private: this they preserve tradition of the stipulations in treaties a they esteem great rudeness, and the effect of the want hundred years back; which, when we compare with of instruction in the rules of civility and good manners. our writings, we always find exact. He that would “We have,” said they, “as much curiosity as you, and speak rises. The rest observe a profound silence. when you come into our towns, we wish for opportuWhen he has finished, and sits down, they leave him nities of looking at you; but for this purpose we hide five or six minutes to recollect, that if he has omitted ourselves behind bushes where you are to pass, and any thing he intended to say, or has any thing to add, never intrude ourselves into your company.”. he may rise again and deliver it. To interrupt another, Their manner of entering one another's villages has even in common conversation, is reckoned highly in- likewise its rules. It is reckoned uncivil in travelling decent. How different this is from the conduct of a strangers to enter a village abruptly, without giving polite British House of Commons, where scarce a day notice of their approach; therefore, as soon as they passes without some confusion, that makes the Speaker arrive within hearing, they stop and halloo, remaining hoarse in calling to order !—and how different from the there till invited to enter. Two old men usually come mode of conversation in many polite companies of out to them and lead them in. There is in every vilEurope, where, if you do not deliver your sentence lage a vacant dwelling, called the stranger's house: with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it here they are placed, while the old men go round from by the impatient loquacity of those you converse with, hut to hut, acquainting the inhabitants that strangers and never suffered to finish it!

are arrived, who are probably hungry and weary-and The politeness of these savages in conversation is every one sends them what he can spare of victuals, indeed carried to excess, since it does not permit them and skins to repose on. When the strangers are reto contradict or deny the truth of what is asserted freshed, pipes and tobacco are brought; and then, but in their presence. By this means they indeed avoid not before, conversation begins, with inquiries who disputes ; but then it becomes difficult to know their they are, whither bound, what news, &c.; and it usuminds, or what impression you make upon them. The ally ends with offers of service-if the strangers have missionaries who have attempted to convert them to occasion for guides, or any necessaries for continuing Christianity, all complain of this as one of the great their journey; and nothing is exacted for the enterdifficulties of their mission. The Indians hear with tainment. patience the truths of the Gospel explained to them, The same hospitality, esteemed among them as a and give their usual tokens of assent and approbation principal virtue, is practised by private persons; of You would think they were convinced: no such mat- which Conrad Weiser, our interpreter, gave me the ter-it is mere civility.

following instance :—“He had been naturalised among A Swedish minister having assembled the chiefs of the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohuck language. the Susquehannah Indians, made a sermon to them, In going through the Indian country, to carry a mes





sage from our governor to the council at Onondaga, he

TO M. DUBOURG, called at the habitation of Canassetego, an old acquaintance, who embraced him, spread furs for him to sit on, placed before him some boiled beans and venison, and mixed some rum and water for his drink. When

London, October 2, 1770. he was well refreshed, and had lit his pipe, Canassetego I SEE, with pleasure, that we think pretty much alike began to converse with him-asked him how he had on the subjects of English America. We of the colonies fared the many years since they had seen each other, have never insisted that we ought to be exempt from whence he then came, what occasioned the journey, &c. contributing to the common expenses necessary to sup. Conrad answered all his questions; and when the dis- port the prosperity of the empire. We only assert, course began to flag, the Indian, to continue it, said, that having parliaments of our own, and not having "Conrad, you have lived long among the white people, representatives in that of Great Britain, our parliaand know something of their customs; I have been ments are the only judges of what we can and what we sometimes at Albany, and have observed, that once in ought to contribute in this case; and that the English seven days they shut up their shops, and assemble all Parliament has no right to take our money without our in the great house ; tell me what it is for. What do consent. In fact, the British empire is not a single they do there?' They meet there,' says Conrad, “to state; it comprehends many; and though the Parliahear and learn good things.? “I do not doubt,' says the ment of Great Britain has arrogated to itself the power Indian, that they tell you so--they have told me the of taxing the colonies, it has no more right to do so same; but I dou

the truth of what they say, and I than it has to tax Hanover. We have the same king, will tell you my reasons. I went lately to Albany, to but not the same legislatures. sell my skins, and buy blankets, knives, powder, rum,

The dispute between the two countries has already &c. You know I used generally to deal with 'Hans lost England many millions sterling, which it has lost Hanson; but I was a little inclined this time to try in its commerce, and America has in this respect been some other merchants. However, I called first upon a proportionable gainer. This commerce consisted Hans, and asked him what he would give for beaver. principally of superfluities_objects of luxury and He said he could not give more than four shillings a- fashion, which we can well do without—and the resolupound; but, says he, I cannot talk on business now; this tion we have formed of importing no more till our is the day when we meet together to learn good things, grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our inand I am going to the meeting. So I thought to my- fant manufactures to take root; and it will not be easy self, since I cannot do any business to-day, I may as

to make our people abandon them in future, even Fell go to the meeting too ; and I went with him. There should a connection more cordial than ever succeed stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people the present troubles. I have, indeed, no doubt, that very angrily: I did not understand what he said: but, the Parliament of England will finally abandon its preperceiving that he looked much at me, and at Hanson, sent pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoyimagined he was angry at seeing me there; so I went ment of our rights and privileges. B. FRANKLIN, out, sat down near the house, struck fire, and lit my pipe, waiting till the meeting should break up. Í thought, too, that the man had mentioned something of

A COMPARISON OF THE CONDUCT OF THE beaver; and I suspected it might be the subject of their meeting. So when they came out, I accosted my

ANCIENT JEWS, merchant. “Well, Hans,' says I, 'I hope you have agreed to give more than four shillings a-pound.' 'No,' says be, 'I cannot give so much; I cannot give more than A ZEALOUS advocate for the proposed federal constituthree shillings and sixpence. I then spoke to several tion, in a certain public assembly said, that “the repugother dealers, but they all sung the same song—three nance of a great part of mankind to good government and sixpence, three and sixpence. This made it clear was such, that he believed that if an angel from heaven to me that my suspicion was right; and that, whatever was to bring down a constitution formed there for our they pretended of meeting to learn good things, the real use, it would nevertheless meet with violent opposition." purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians in the He was reproved for the supposed extravagance of the price of beaver. Consider but a little, Conrad, and you sentiment; and he did not justify it. Probably it might must be of my opinion. If they met so often to learn not have immediately occurred to him, that the experigood things, they would certainly have learned some ment had been tried, and that the event was recorded before this time. But they are still ignorant. You in the most faithful of all histories, the Holy Bible; know our practice. If a white man, in travelling through otherwise he might, as it seems to me, have supported our country, enters one of our cabins, we all treat him his opinion by that unexceptionable authority. as I do you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up is cold, and give him meat and drink, that he may allay a single family, by continued acts of his attentive prohis thirst and hunger; and we spread soft furs for him vidence, until it became a great people: and having to rest and sleep on—we demand nothing in return.* rescued them from bondage by many miracles perBut if I go into a white man's house at Albany, and formed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered ask for victuals and drink, they say, Where is your to that chosen servant, in presence of the whole nation, money? and if I have none, they say, Get out, you a constitution and code of laws for their observance; Indian dog. You see that they have not learned those accompanied and sanctioned with promises of great little good things that we need no meetings to be in- rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the structed in, because our mothers taught them to us consequence of their obedience or disobedience. when we were children; and therefore it is impossible This constitution, though the Deity himself was to be their meetings should be, as they say, for any such at its head (and it is therefore called by political writers purpose, or have any such effect--they are only to con- a theocracy), could not be carried into execution but by trive the cheating of Indians in the price of beaver.

means of his ministers: Aaron and his sons were * It is remarkable that, in all ages and countries, hospitality established ministry of the new government.

therefore commissioned to be, with Moses, the first has been allowed as the virtue of those whom the civilised were pleased to call barbarians; the Greeks celebrated the Scythians

One would have thought, that the appointment of for it; the Saracens possessed it eminently ; and it is to this day men who had distinguished themselves in procuring the the reigning virtue of the wild Arabs. St Paul, too, in the rela liberty of their nation, and had hazarded their lives in tion of his voyage and shipwreck, on the island of Melita, says, would have retained that nation in slavery, might have

openly opposing the will of a powerful monarch who " The barbarous people showed us no little kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the prosent been an appointment acceptable to a grateful people ; rain, and because of the cold." This note is taken from a small and that a constitution framed for them by the Deity collection of Franklin's papers, printed for Dilly.

himself, might on that account have been secure of a



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