Benson John Lossing.

Harper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) online

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and two other members of the Directory

resigned, leaving France without an execu-
tive authority, and Bonaparte with its
strong arm, the military, firmly in his
grasp. The Council of the Ancients, de-
ceived by a trick, assembled at St. Cloud
the next day. Bonaparte appeared before
them to justify his conduct. Perceiving
their enmity, he threatened them with ar-
rest by the military if they should decide
against him. Meanwhile Lucien had read
the letters of resignation of the three
directors to the Council of Five Hun-
dred. A scene of terrible excitement oc-
curred. There were shouts of " No Crom-
well! no dictator! the constitution for-
ever!" Bonaparte entered that chamber



with four grenadiers, and attempted to
speak, but was interrupted by cries and
execrations. The members seemed about
to offer personal violence to the bold sol
dier, when a body of troops rushed in and
bore him off. A motion was made for his
outlawry, which Lucien refused to put,
and left the chair. He went out and ad
dressed the soldiers. At the conclusion
of his speech, Murat entered with a body
of armed men, and ordered the council
to disperse. The members replied with
defiant shouts and execrations. The
drums were ordered to be beaten; the
soldiers levelled their muskets, when all
but about fifty of the Council escaped by
the windows. These, with the Ancients,
passed a decree making Sieyes, Bona
parte, and Ducros provisional consuls.
In December, Bonaparte was made first
consul, or supreme ruler, for life. New
American envoys had just reached Paris
at this crisis, and very soon Bonaparte
concluded an amicable settlement of all
difficulties between the two nations.
Peace was established ; the envoys re-

and paused; and, through letters to
Pinchon (August and September, 1798),
information was conveyed to the United
States government that the Directory
were ready to receive advances from the
former for entering into negotiations.
Anxious for peace, President Adams,
without consulting his cabinet or the na
tional dignity, nominated to the Senate
William Vans Murray (then United
States diplomatic agent at The Hague)
as minister plenipotentiary to France.
This was a concession to the Directory
which neither Congress nor the people
approved, and the Senate refused to
ratify the nomination. This advance,
after unatoned insults from the Directory,
seemed like cowardly cringing before a
half-relenting tyrant. After a while the
President consented to the appointment
of three envoys extraordinary, of which
Murray should be one, to settle all dis
putes between the two governments.
Oliver Ellsworth and William K. Davie
were chosen to join Murray. The latter
did not proceed to Europe until assur-


turned home; and the provisional army ances were received from France of their

of the United States which had been or- courteous reception. These were received

ganized was disbanded. from Talleyrand (November, 1799), and

Circumstances humbled the pride of the the two envoys sailed for France. The

French Directory, and the wily Talley- some month the Directory, which had be-

rand began to think of reconciliation with ccme unpopular, was overthrown, and the

the United States. He saw the unity of government of France remodelled, with

the people with Washington as leader, Napoleon Bonaparte as first consul, or



supreme ruler, of the nation. The en- 1814 they published the American Altdi-
voys were cordially received by Talley- cal and Philosophical Register. He oc-
rund, in the name of the first consul, cupied the chair of materia medica in
and all difficulties between the two na- the College of Physicians and Surgeons,
tions were speedily adjusted. A conven- and, visiting Europe, was a pupil of the
tion was signed at Paris (Sept. 30, 1800) celebrated Abernethy. After filling vari-
by the three envoys and three French cus professorships until 1826, he devoted
commissioners which was satisfactory to himself to the practice of his profession
both parties. The convention also made and to literary pursuits. Dr. Francis
a decision contrary to the doctrine avowed was probably the author of more biog-
and practised by the English government, raphies and memoirs than any American
that " free ships make free goods." This of his time, and was active, as one of
affirmed the doctrine of Frederick the the founders, in the promotion of the
Great, enunciated fifty years before, and objects of the New York Historical So-
denied that of England in her famous ciety and of other institutions. He was
" rule of 1756." the first president of the New York

France, THREATENING ATTITUDE OF. See Academy of Medicine, and was a member

ADAMS, JOHN. of numerous scientific and literary so-

Franchere, GABRIEL, pioneer; born in cieties. He died in New York City, Feb.

Montreal, Canada, Nov. 3, 1786; was con- 8, 1861.

nected with the American fur company Francis, JOSEPH, inventor ; born in
organized by John Jacob Astor, and did Boston, Mass., March 12, 1801 ; invented
much to develop the fur trade in the a number of life-boats, life-cars, and surf-
Rocky Mountains and the northern Pa- boats, which came into general use. In
cific coast. He published a History of the 1850, when the British ship Ayrshire was
Astor Expeditions, in French, which was wrecked off New Jersey, 200 persons were
the first work containing detailed accounts saved by means of his life-car. He died
of the Northwest Territory. When he in Cooperstown, N. Y., May 10, 1893.
died, in St. Paul, Minn., in" 1856, he was Francis, TURBUTT, soldier; born in
the last survivor of the Astor expedition. Maryland in 1740; a son of the noted

Franchise. See ELECTION BILL, FED- Tench Francis; was a colonel in the Brit-

ERAL; ELECTIVE FRANCHISE; SUFFRAGE. i- c h army previous to the Revolutionary

Francis, CONVERS, clergyman; born in War, but resigned to fight on the side of

West Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 9, 1785; the Americans. He died in 1797.

graduated at Harvard in 1815; became Frankfort Land Company. See

pastor of the Unitarian Church in Water- PASTORIUS, F. U.

town, Mass., in 1819. Among his writings Franking- Privilege, THE, was a privi-

are Historical Sketch of Watcrtown; Life lege of sending and receiving letters post

of John Eliot in Sparks s American Biog- free given to members of the British Par-

rtiphies; Memoirs of Rev. John Allyn, Dr. liament and of the Congress of the United

Gamaliel Bradford, Judge Davis, etc. He States, and to certain public functiona-

died in Cambridge, Mass., April 7, 1863. ries. This privilege was abused, and it

Francis, DAVID ROWLAXD, merchant: was abolished in Great Britain in 1840.
born in Richmond, Ky., Oct. 1. 1850: Congress bestowed upon Washington, on
graduated at Washington University, St. his retirement from the office of President
Louis, in 1870; governor of Missouri in of the republic, the privilege of free post-
1889-93; appointed Secretary of the In- age for the remainder of his life. This
terior in 1896; president Louisiana Pur- privilege has been extended to all subse-
clinso Fvriosition Commission in 1904. quent Presidents, and also to their wid-

Francis, JOHN WAKEFIELD, physician; ows. The franking privilege was abolished
born in New York City, Nov. 17, 1789; in the United States in 1873, and each of
graduated at Columbia College in 1809; the executive departments was supplied
began business life as a printer, but with a special set of postage-stamps for
commenced the study of medicine, in its official communications. This plan
1810, under Dr. Hosack, and was his also was abolished, and now official corn-
partner until 1820. From 1810 until munications are sent by the departments
in. 2 D 417


in unstamped " penalty " envelopes, and
Senators and Representatives are per
mitted to have mail packages forwarded
simply bearing their name or frank. Let
ters of soldiers and sailors in active ser
vice or inconvenient stations are forward
ed free of postage, when properly marked.
Frankland. In 1784, North Carolina
ceded her western lands to the United
States. The people of east Tennessee,
piqued at being thus disposed of, and feel
ing the burdens of State taxation, alleg
ing that no provision was made for their
defence or the administration of justice,
assembled in convention at Jonesboro, to
take measures for organizing a new and
independent State. The North Carolina
Assembly, willing to compromise, repealed
the act of cession the same year, made
the Tennessee counties a separate military
district, with John Sevier as brigadier-
general, and also a separate judicial dis
trict, with proper officers. But ambitious
men urged the people forward, and at a
second convention, at the same place, Dec.
14, 1784, they resolved to form an inde
pendent State, under the name of Frank-
land. A provisional government was
formed; Sevier was chosen governor
(March, 1785) ; the machinery of an in
dependent State was put in motion, and
the governor of North Carolina (Martin)
was informed that the counties of Sulli
van, Washington, and Greene were no
longer a part of the State of North Caro
lina. Martin issued a proclamation, ex
horting all engaged in the movement to

return to their duty; and the Assembly
passed an act of oblivion as to all who
should submit. But the provisional con
stitution of Frankland, based upon that
of North Carolina, was adopted (Novem
ber, 1785) as a permanent one, and the
new State entered upon an independent
career. Very soon rivalries and jealousies
appeared. Parties arose and divided the
people, and at length a third party, favor
ing adherence to North Carolina, led by
Colonel Tipton, showed much and increas
ing strength. The new State sent William
Cocke as a delegate to the Congress, but
he was not received, while the North Caro
lina party sent a delegate to the legislat
ure of that State. Party spirit ran high.
Frankland had two sets of officers, and
civil war was threatened. Collisions be
came frequent. The inhabitants of south
western Virginia sympathized with the
revolutionists, and were inclined to secede
from their own State. Finally an armed
collision between men under Tipton and
Sevier took place. The latter were de
feated, and finally arrested, and taken to
prison in irons. Frankland had received
its death-blow. The Assembly of North
Carolina passed an act of oblivion, and
offered pardon for all offenders in Frank-
land in 1788, and the trouble ceased. Vir
ginia, alarmed by the movement, hastened
to pass a law subjecting to the penalties
of treason any person who should attempt
to erect a new State in any part of her
territory without previous permission of
her Assembly. See SEVIER ; TENNESSEE.


Franklin, BENJAMIN, statesman ; born
in Boston, Jan. 17, 1706. His father was
from England ; his mother was a daughter
of Peter Folger, the Quaker poet of Nan-
tucket. He learned the art of printing
with his brother; but they disagreeing,
Benjamin left Boston when seventeen
years of age, sought employment in New
York, but, not succeeding, went to Phila
delphia, and there found it. He soon at
tracted the attention of Governor Keith
as a very bright lad, who, making him a
promise of the government printing, in
duced young Franklin, at the age of
eighteen, to go to England and purchase

printing material. He was deceived, and
remained there eighteen months, working
as a journeyman printer in London. He
returned to Philadelphia late in 1726, and
in 1729 established himself there as a
printer. He started the Pennsylvania Ga
zette, and married Deborah Read, a young
woman whose husband had absconded.
For many years he published an almanac
under the assumed name of Richard
Saunders. It became widely known as
Poor Richard s Almanac, as it con
tained many wise and useful maxims,
mostly from the ancients. Franklin was
soon marked as a wise, prudent, and saga-



cious man, full of well-directed public peal of the Stamp Act. He tried to avert
spirit. He was the chief founder of the the calamity of a rupture between Great
Philadelphia Library in 1731. He became Britain and her colonies; but, failing in
clerk of the Provincial Assembly in 1730, this, he returned to America in 1775, after
and postmaster of Philadelphia the next which he was constantly employed at
year. He was the founder of the Uni- home and abroad in the service of his
versity of Pennsylvania and the Philo- countrymen struggling for political in-
sophical Society of Philadelphia in 1744, dependence.

and was elected a member of the Provin- In Congress, he advocated, helped to
cial Assembly in 1750. In 1753 he was prepare and signed the Declaration of
appointed deputy post
master for the Eng
lish-American colonies;
and in 1754 he was a
delegate to the Colonial
Congress of Albany, in
which he prepared a
plan of union for the
colonies, which was the
basis of the Articles of
Confederation (see
CLES OF) adopted by
Congress more than
twenty years after

Franklin had b?gun

his investigations and
experiments in elec
tricity, by which hi 1
demonstrated its iden
tity with lightning as
early as 1746. The
publication of his ac
count of these experi
ments procured for him
membership in the
Royal Society, the Cop
ley gold medal, and the
degree of LL.D. from
Oxford and Edinburgh
in 1702. Harvard and
Yale colleges had pre-

l f -t HK.VJ AM I .N IK V.NKL1N

vionsly conferred upon
him the degree of Mas
ter of Arts. Franklin was for many years Independence; and in the fall of 1770 he
a member of the Assembly and advocated was sent as ambassador to France, as
the rights of the people in opposition to the colleague of Silas Deane and Arthur
the claims of the proprietaries; and in Lee. To him was chiefly due the success-
1704 he was sent to England as agent of ful negotiation of the treaty of alliance
the colonial legislature, in which capacity with France, and he continued to repre-
he afterwards acted for several other colo- sent his country there until 1785, when
nies. His representation to the British he returned home. While he was in
ministry, in 1705-00, of the temper of the France, and residing at Passy in 1777, a
Americans on the subject of taxation by medallion likeness of him was made
Parliament did much in effecting the re- in the red clay of that region. The



for the defence of the prov
ince in 1744; and was colo
nel of a regiment, and built
forts for the defence of the
frontiers in 1755. He was
the inventor of the FRANK
LIN STOVE (q. v.), which in
modified forms is still in use.
He was also the inventor of
the lightning-rod. Franklin
left two children, a son, Will
iam, and a daughter. He
died in Philadelphia, Pa.,
April 17, 1790.

In 1752 the Pennsylvania
Assembly, yielding to the
urgency of public affairs in
the midst of war, voted a
levy of $500,000 without in
sisting upon their claim to
tax the proprietary estates.
They protested that they did
it through compulsion; and
they sent Franklin to Eng
land as their agent to urge
their complaint against the
proprietaries. This was his
first mission abroad.

At the beginning of the
French and Indian War
(1754) the colonists, as well
as the royal governors, saw
the necessity of a colonial
union in order to present a
solid front of British sub
jects to the French. Dr.
Franklin labored earnestly
to this end, and in 1755 he

engraving of it given is about half went to Boston to confer with Governor
the size of the original. He took an Shirley on the subject. At the govern-
important part in the negotiation of the or s house they discussed the subject
treaties of peace. In 1786 he was elected long and earnestly. Shirley was favor-
governor of Pennsylvania, and served one able to union, but he desired it to be
term ; and he was a leading member in effected by the fiat of the British govern-
the convention, in 1787, that framed tho ment and by the spontaneous act of the
national Constitution. His last public colonists. Franklin, on the contrary, ani-
act was the signing of a memorial to Con- mated by a love of popular liberty, would
gress on the subject of slavery by the not consent to that method of forming a
Abolition Society of Pennsylvania, of colonial union. He knew the true source
which he was the founder and president, of power was lodged with the people, and
Dr. Franklin performed extraordinary that a good government should be formed
labors of usefulness for his fellow-men, by the people for the people; and he left
In addition to scientific and literary in- Shirley in disappointment. Shirley not
stitutions, he was the founder of the first only condemned the idea of a popular
fire-company in Philadelphia in 1738; or- colonial government, but assured Franklin
gaiiized a volunteer military association that he should immediately propose a plan




of union to the ministry and Parliament, the removal of Governor Hutchison and

and also a tax on the colonies. Chief - Justice Oliver from office. - They

In February, 1766, Dr. Franklin was ex- were charged with conspiracy against -the

amined before the House of Commons rela- colony, as appeared by certain letters

tive to the STAMP ACT (q. v.). At that which had been published. A rumor

examination he fairly illustrated the found utterance in the newspapers that

spirit which animated the colonies. When the letters had been dishonestly obtained

asked, " Do you think the people of through John Temple, who had been per-

j_ j_ _ j j , t __

would submit to the stamp mitted to examine the papers of the ~ de-
it were moderated?" he an- ceased Mr. Whately, to whom the letters

duty if

swered, " No, never, unless compelled by were addressed. That permission had
force of arms." To the question, " What been given by William Whately, brother
was the temper of America towards Great and executor of the deceased. Whately
Britain before the year 1763?" he replied, never made a suggestion that Temple had
" The best in the world. They submitted taken the letters away, but he published
willingly to the government of the crown, such an evasive card that it seemed not
and paid, in their courts, obedience to the to relieve Temple from the implication,
acts of Parliament. Numerous as the peo
ple are in the old provinces, they cost you
nothing, in forts, citadels, garrisons, or
armies, to keep them in subjection. They
were governed by this country at the ex
pense only of a little pen, ink, and paper;
they were led by a thread. They had not
only a respect but an affection for Great
Britain, for its laws, its customs, and
manners, and even a fondness for its fash
ions that greatly increased the commerce.
Natives of Britain were always treated
with peculiar regard. To be an Old Eng
land man was of itself a character of
some respect, and gave a kind of rank
among us." It was asked, " What is their
temper now?" and Franklin replied, "Oh,
very much altered." He declared that all
laws of Parliament had been held valid by
the Americans, excepting such as laid in
ternal taxes; and that its authority was
never disputed in levying duties to regu
late commerce. When asked, " Can you
name any act of Assembly or public act of
your government that made such distinc
tion?" Franklin replied, "I do not know
that there was any; I think there never
was occasion to make such an act till now
that you have attempted to ta,x us ; that
has occasioned acts of Assembly declaring
the distinction, on which, I think, every
Assembly on the continent, and every mem
ber of every Assembly, have been unani
mous." This examination was one of the
causes which led to a speedy repeal of the
Stamp Act.

Late in 1773 Dr. Franklin presented to
Lord Dartmouth, to be laid before the


The latter challenged Whately to mortal
combat. They fought, but were unhurt.
Another duel was likely to ensue, when

King, a petition from Massachusetts for Dr. Franklin, to prevent bloodshed, pub-



licly said: "I alone am the person who word, and, as commissioner for ncgoti-

obtained and transmitted to Boston the ating peace almost ten years afterwards,

letters in question." This frank and he performed the act that permitted him

courageous avowal drew upon him the to wear the garments again,
wrath of the ministry. He was summoned Franklin, in England in 1774, was a

before the privy council (Jan. 8, 1774) perfect enigma to the British ministry,

to consider the petition. He appeared with They were perplexed with doubts of the

counsel. A crowd was present not less intentions of the defiant colonists. They

than thirty-five peers. Wedderburn, the believed Franklin possessed the coveted

solicitor-general (of whom the King said, secret, and tried in vain to draw it from

at his death. " He has not left a greater him.
knave behind him in my kingdom")

He was an expert chess-player, and

well known as such. Lord Howe (after
wards admiral on our coast) was inti
mate with leading ministers. His sister-
in-law, Mrs. Howe, was also an expert
chess-player, and an adroit diplomatist.
She sent Franklin an invitation to her
house to play chess, with the hope that
in the freedom of social conversation she
might obtain the secret. He went; was
charmed with the lady s mind and man
ners; played a few games; and accepted
an invitation to repeat the visit and the
amusement. On his second visit, after
playing a short time, they entered into
conversation, when Mrs. Howe put ques
tions adroitly to the sage, calculated to
elicit the information she desired. He
answered without reserve and with appar
ent frankness. He was introduced to her
bi other, Lord Howe, and talked freely
with him on the subject of the great dis
pute; but, having early perceived the de
signs of the diplomatists, his usual cau
tion had never allowed him to betray a
single secret worth preserving. At the

abused Franklin most shamefully with un- end of several interviews, enlivened by
just and coarse invectives, while not an chess-playing, his questioners were no
emotion was manifested in the face of the wiser than at the beginning,
abused statesman. The ill-bred lords of While the Continental Congress was in
that day seconded Wedderburn s abuse by session in the fall of 1774, much anxiety
derisive laughter, instead of treating \vas felt in political circles in England
Franklin with decency. At the end of concerning the result. The ministry, in
the solicitor s ribald speech the petition particular, were anxious to know, and
was dismissed as " groundless, scandal- Franklin was solicited by persons high in
ous, and vexatious." " I have never been authority to promulgate the extent of
so sensible of the power of a good con- the demands of his countrymen. So
science," Franklin said to Dr. Priestley, urgent were these requests that, without
with whom he breakfasted the next morn- waiting to receive a record of the pro-
ing. When he went home from the coun- ceedings of the Congress, he prepared a
cil he laid aside the suit of clothes he paper entitled Hints for Conversation
wore, making a vow that he would never upon the Subject of Terms that may
put them on again until he should sign probably produce a durable Union be-
the degradation of England by a dismem- tween Britain and the Colonies, in
berment of the British Empire and the in- seventeen propositions. The substance of
dependence of America. He kept his the whole was that the colonies should




Le reinstated in the position which they our people. Look upon your hands;

held, in relation to the imperial govern- they are stained with the blood of your

ment, before the obnoxious acts then relations! You and I were long friends;

complained of became laws, by a repeal, you are now my enemy, and I am yours.

and by a destruction of the whole brood B. FRANKLIN."

of enactments in reference to America Late in the autumn of 1776 Dr. Frank-
hatched since the accession of George III. lin was sent as a diplomatic agent to
In a word, he proposed that English sub- France in the ship Reprisal. The passage
jects in America should enjoy all the es- occupied thirty days, during which that
scntial rights and privileges claimed as vessel had been chased by British cruisers

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 65 of 76)