John Collins Warren.

Genealogy of Warren, with some historical sketches online

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parts of that continent, which have not been obtained from
them by purchase, cession or justifiable conquest — Tliis
truth was indeed well known and so sensibly felt by the
first settlers in our colonies, that tho protected by grants
from the Crown they appear never to have relied on those
grants, nor to have considered them as any other than
Political Distributions of Country, which gave them no
title to the soil until it should be fairly obtained from tho
Indiana tliemselves — and the same maxims were likewise
adopted by the Lords of Council, in their decision respect-
ing the a].peal of the Moheagan Indians against the colony
of Connecticut; and in truth the British Government on
many occai^ions and particularly in the negociations with
ttie Court of France in 1775 and in the purchase of lands
on the Ohio, made in behalf of the Crown from the six
- ations in 1708 has pubhckly acknowledged & confirmed

160 Some Letlers of BvnJdin's Corre^^ponJents.

the title of the Indian Nations of America to their respec-
tive Countries — The King has indeed from political views
assumed a right of restraining the Indians from conveying
their lands to any l)ut those who may be authorized by the
Crown to purchase them ; every reason however, and every
principle of justice, supporting the limited right, which is
thus allowed them, must operate as strongly in favor of
their full and unlimited right over the lands in question.
For as the property of the Indians in their respective terri-
tories is original and underived, except from the Divine
Creator, it must by a necessary consequence be full, abso-
lute, exclusive and indefeasable. — I write not indeed to
con^nnce you of these truths of which you are already
satisfied, but to suggest to you a particular apphcation of
them. — Yon know it has been generally though unthink-
ingly believed here, that the lands on which our colonies
in America have been settled, were before such settlement
the property of the British state, and that this has been
assumed as a fundamental proposition by almost every
WT-iter in favour of Parliamentary Supremacy, and that the
dependance & subjection of the colonies to the Legislature
of Great Britain has been from thence most strongly,
tliough erroneously infered and maintained — A regard
therefore to the ei\-il rights of our countrymen in America,
as well as to that equal & common justice which belongs
to the Indians demands that this fundamental & per-
nicious error should be speedily & pubUckly corrected &
exploded ; which could not be so properly and eftectually
done as by that respectable body the Congress, whose
declaration in support of the absolute right of the natives to
their territories, would for ever exterminate this Error in
America, and probably in Europe likewise — There is besides
another consideration which should, I think, induce the
Congress to this proceeding — There can be no doubt, but if
the present hostile invasion of the colonies will be the case,
so long as their is any hope of success, and if the forces to
be sent from hence should be found unequal to this unnatural

Some Lcffers of F'raiildin's 0)/Tespo)ideiifs. IGl

purpose, that endeavours v.-ill be used to excite the Indians
of America, to butcher the inhabitants of the colonies, to
tlie end, that by an accumukition of distress and carnage,
they may the sooner be reduced to submission. These exe-
craltle attempts however might I think be effectually frus-
trated and the affections of the Indians unalterably secured
if the Congress should pubhckly assert k maintain the full
and absolute right of the natives to sell & convey tlieir lanJs
to such purcluisers as may offer the best prices, without
any of tliose restraints from the Crown which have hitherto
rendered this (almost the only) property of the Indians of
but little value to them. — You know, sir, how jealous these
natives have long been of our intentions toward them on
this subject and I think an act of so much justice and so
essentiall)- conducive to tlieir most important interests could
not fail to conciliate their friendship to those who should
thus espouse their cause and assert their rights. This
indeed is now rendered the more expedient by the per-
nicious views of the Government manifested in tlie Que-
bec act and in the expressions which lately escaped from
the ministerial speakers against Lord Camden's motion. —
To bind all the future settlements of British America in
chains of despotism appears to have been the design of that
part of the act which so enormously extends the limits of
Quebec, but the ministry being conscious of the rights of the
Indians have cautiously worded this part of the act, which
declares " that all the territories islands and countries in
North America belonging to the Crown of Great Britain
bounded" within the limits therein described shall " be
annexed to and made part and parcel of the Province of
Quebec" — and therefore if it be proved, as may easily be
done, that the countries of the Indians within those limits
do not belong to the Crown of Great Britain but to the
ditferent Indian nations by whom they are possessed and
who liave been often treated with as independent allies,
these countries will then be detached from the Province of
Quebec k rescued from the despotism which must otherwise

VOL. XXVII. — 11

102 Some Letters of Frankluvs Correspondents.

be imposed upon tlicm and also from those quit rents and
other reservations wliich have lately accompanied all Royal
grants in America i*t which are so frequently adduced to
support the Supremacy of Parliament, as has lieen already

I shall .however respectfully submit the justice of these
observations, the us*.' to which they may be capable of being
applied, and the time and manner of their application to
'your superior wisdom — and have only to add to the com-
munications of my former letter that five regiments con-
taining in all about fifteen hundred men are soon to proceed
from Ireland to America. — I strongly hope however, that the
ill success which I am persuaded will attend all the attempts
of the Army & ZSTavy in Anierica this summer may at the
commencement of next winter compel the present ministry
to quit the helm, which they have so un^nsely and wickedly
conducted and that they may be succeeded by others who
will contribute to a permanent and equitable reconciliation
between Great Britain and the Colonies. I shall be happy
at all times to hear of your welfare & to receive & execute
any commands M^ith which you may think fit to honour me.
I am with great esteem & respect
Dear Sir

Your much obliged

& most devoted Hub. Serv*
DowNiyo Street London Edw^^ Bancroft.

Aug" 7"- 1776.

D« Franklin.

^ ^ London 12"' Aug" 1775.

Dear S'' ^

With pleasure your friends received the agreable intelli-
gence of your safe arrival and health.

Inclos'd I return a Letter for you directed to our care —
From different accounts I am pleased to observe the great
unanimity that prevails thro the Continent; your advice was
never more wanted, hope it will tend to restore that invalu-
able blessing to which our unhappy Colonies have been so

Seme Letters of Fran fd his Oyrrespondents. 1G3

long etraiigers, from tlic best accounts wo can collect think
the Ministry still seera determined to pursue rigorous meas-
ures, more troops <.t men of War are going to protect tlio-c
already there till the spring, when a large reinforcement
of fresh ones are to accomplish all these designs, (little
thinking) what we must naturally suppose ^^•ili hapi^on
hefore that period arrives, from a total stoppage in the
Trade to America ; hut supposing it possible to be other-
ways, it is my Opinion, these Attempts to inforce these
measures by the sword is impracticable — it is ON-ident
they liave got so far in the mire as not to be able to return
back with any degree of Credit to themselves, therefore
seem determined to pursue, tho it may terminate in the
ruin of both Countries — since the battle of the 17 Juno our
reproch of Cowardice however is wiped oif.

The Publick papers would inform you of the death of
our poor friend ^r Quincy, it was great concern to us ; we
lament him as an agreable acquaintance and a sincere
friend to the interest of his Country; had a satisfaction
however to think his papers fell into the hands of the

I sincerely wish a continuance of your unanimity — May
Peace he esta.blished upon a firm and lasting basis, so
ardentl}- wishes your sincere

friend & most hum*'* Ser'

To Tho^ Bromfield.

Doctor Franklin

Cajit. Newman who is ^ Philadelphia
desired to deliver this
with hjs own hand.

Perth-Amboy, Aug-" 14, 1775.
Honoured Father,

I wrote" to you by the Stage on Thursday last since
which I have not heard from you.

As you were so kind as to say that you had no objection
to doing anything for me that might be in your Power re-
fpecting the Lands in the Traders Grant from the Indians,

•164 Some Letters of Franklin's C-orrespondents.

I send yon enclosed a Copy of a Letter on that Subject
from M"" George Morgan, together Avith my Answer open,
which, after Perusal, please to Seal and Deliver. — I should
be glad of your Sentiments respecting the Contents as soon
as your Leisure will permit.

I have read Mess" Walpole & Sargent's Letter to you,
and observe that since you left England they have received
the strongest assurances that our Grants shall be perfected;
and that, they request that their Plan of Possessing &
Leasing the Lands contracted for with Government may be
"kept as private as possible, for should it be known on
their side of the Water it might rather prejudice us than
do us any service." I think it proper therefore to suggest
to you that, in my opinion, it is hardly possible that such
a Transaction will be kept so secret as they think necessary,
and consequently that you and ^lajor Trent ought to weigh
well the Consequences before you adopt the Measure.

I wonder Trent should make as an Excuse for not clear-
ing the Judgments to Tilghman, or paying the Jersey Debt
for Croghan, that he has nothing of Croghan's in his
hands, when by Croghan's letter to me the judgment to
Tilghman was principally, if not solely for a debt of Trent's
own, and, by his Ace' against Trent, there is a Ballance
due to him of about 17 or 1800£. M^ Bernard Gratz
(your iS'eighbour) has the Ace' & a Power to receive the
Ball. & to pay it to me. Do send for liim and he will shew
to you and make you acquainted with the Aflair of the
Judgment. He lately promised to write to me as soon as
he could get Trent's Answer. Do let him know that I
have not yet had a line from him.

We are all well & join in atlectionate Duty to you and
Love to the Family

I am, Hon'^ Sir,

Your ever dutiful Son

W« Franklin

P.S. — I should be glad to have a line from you by the
Post to let me know if I may expect to see you here —

Soinc Letters of I^ranJdoi's Ccrrcsponcknts. 165

whctlicr you approve of luy coming to Pliihid. — ^vheu it
will be proper Billy sliould be there in order to go to the

The nbovc & enclosed were copied by him.

London Sep' 6. 1775.
Dear Sir:

I have your Favour of July 7th acknowledging the
receipt of mine of April 8th and May 5th and am very
sorry you seem to think matters are now gone so far as to
be past all Accomodation. But as you tell me that AYords
k Argun:ients are now of no use, I shall not trouble you
with many, only permit me to express my surprise and
concern at your saying, all tends to a separation. Pcrhajis
the wisest Reads and honestest Hearts on your side the
Water do not see all the Consequences of such an Eveiit;
for it cannot be denied, that you have [torn] to [torn]
present Strength, Riches & Consideration by your [torn]
with [torn] and the protection you have received from the
[torn] of this Country. Nobody can say what will be
your [torn] when that Protection is not only \\'ithdrawn,
but that very [torn] exerted against you. We may not
indeed recover you for Customers, and in that Case I hope
we shall, as w^e do now, find other markets for the Com-
modities we can spare, but it should not be forgotten on
your Part that at the Commencement of our Commercial
Intercourse, and for many years after, the Merchants of
tliis Country supplied you with a Variety of Goods which
were then absolutely necessary to your Subsistance and
Comfort (and what perhaps you cannot yet well do wholly
without) at no inconsiderable Eisque, and with a Liberality
of Credit, which probably no other European Nation would
or could afford to give you. It has indeed turned out to
be a very beneficial Commerce to Britain as well as to you.
But does she not deserve it ? Surely she does. As for the
Colonies paying their Debts, nobody here seems to give
themselves any Concern on that Head. Whatever be the

166 Some Letters of Ihjnldin's Correspondents.

Convulsions of States, private Men will always discharge
their just Debt if tliey are honest and able. Of your Integ-
rity we have had long Experience, and of your Ability
there can be little Doubt when you can make such a sacri-
fice of present Interest, and such expensive preparations for
Kesistance, when you think the sacred voice of Liberty
calls for it. Certain it is, that the Parliament were igno-
rant of your present Opulence when, at the conclusion of
the late AVar, they refunded you a large Sum, which they
conceived you had expended beyond your Ability : But
this, while it discovered how little they knew of your real
Wealth, shewed at the same time how little disposed
they were to fleece or oppress you. Xor should this be
altogether forgotten.

I own the Unanimity k Firmness you discover in the
Prosecution of this Quarrel cxcells my Expectation. But
this is not much to be wondered at, when one considers,
how easy it is for a few violent men with you (counte-
nanced & encouraged as they were by the Clamors of the
Opposition here) to spirit up the great mass of the People
under the specious Pretence that they had no alternative
but to die Freemen or to live Slaves. This how [torn]
well know, is by no means the case. You know your
friends have been constantly increasing ever since the Re-
peal of the Stamp Act ; in particular, you will remember,
the Distinction you then made between external & internal
Taxes, the former of which you admitted we had a right to
impose, and which was precisely the Case of the Tea Duty,
now so odious with you. So that at length you have
brought the Matter to this simple Question, "Shall the
British Colonies remain any longer a part of the British
Empire ?" — This is the simple point you have now drawn
the Swords to decide. For not to talk of Taxation and
Kepresentation of which I see no End, I believe there is no
Precedent of the Inhabitants of any Province however
distant, belonging to a state, having as you have the same
Privileges with those born in the Mother Country and

Sofm Letters of D-anklin's O^^res/mnJcnts. 1C7

enjoying tlie Protection of its Laws and its Power, not
iK'ing subject to the Legislature of that State. Li what
nianiier our Legislature could best exercise their Power in
taxing you, in Consistence with the Principles of the Cun-
stitution, which more amply than in any other State njion
Earth provides for and guards the Liberty of the Subject,
it might perhaps be still no difficult matter to discover,
were you seriously disposed to acknowledge that the Par-
liament of England has any Eight at all to make Laws to
bind you, a Eight, which tho you have hitherto submitted
to the Exercise of, in a Variety of the most essential and
important Acts of Legislation, you now wholly renounce
and disclaim.

You see how soon I have forgot that ^Vords and Argu-
ments are out of the Question, but I have insensibly drawn
out this Letter to a Length which I did not intend when I
begun it, as for this once forgive me. Perhaps these may
be my last TTords to you upon this Subject, and should
th.ey turn out to be my last in every Sense, I can truly say
they come from an unprejudiced Mind, always open to
better information, and from a Heart sincerely disposed to
promote the Happiness of my Fellow Creatures.

I am glad you are this Year blest as we are with a plen-
tiful Harvest. Corn has been of late a very benelicial
article of Commerce to you (for the Benefits of Com-
merce are [torn] you have generally much more than
is necessary for [torn] Consumption ; but as it is a Com-
modity that will not keep [torn] you, and one from the
Produce of which your Farmers are enabled to purchase all
the other necessaries of Life, will not the present Obstruc-
tion to their Exportation of it be severely felt by that useful
part of the Community ? — The Evils of War are extensive
and innumerable. May the present and all Wars (if AVars
there must be) terminate so as to leave the greatest possible
numbers of human Beings free and happy. In this par-
ticular I am sure we are of one Mind.

There is nothing new here nor can there be till the Par-

168 Some Ldkis of Franldiiis CoiTcspondcnts.

liament reassembles whicli will be the 26tli of next month.
I shall then, as 1 have done always, have my Ears open to
all that is eaid pro and con. I hope still (for I never cease
to hope even in the greatest Extremities) that something
may be luckily liit on to stop the Progress of this unnatural
and destructive Quarrel, which I must o^^^l the Declaration
of the Congress you inclosed to me, seems more calculated
to perpetuate than any of your Publications I have yet seen.
They say, among other things that Foreign Assistance, if
necessary, is undoubtedly attainable. Alas I do you consider
the Danger of calling in Foreign Assistance ? Where is
the Foreign State you can with Safety and Propriety apply
to ? How many Nations have been ruined and enslaved by
calling in Foreign Assistance! But I suppose this is only
thrown out in terrorem and was never meant to be seriously
put in Practice.

I am very happy to hear from yourself that you are well
and hearty. That you are busier than ever I can easily
believe. I flatter njyself you will live till the Peace and
Liberty and Happiness of your native Country are estab-
lished upon the surest and most lasting foundations, and
that you will not have the unspeakable ^lortification to
leave it in the State of Anarchy in which it is now in-
volved. More has it already suffered and much more it is
likely to suffer in a few Years from this Contest, than the
amount of all the Taxes the British Parliament (always
considering themselves as the Representatives of every
British subject) should probably have imposed on them for
a Century to come.

My Family are all well and desire to be remembered to
jou. I am

•Dear Sir

Your affectionate humble Servant
Will : Strahax.

Since writing the above I have read the last Petition of the
Congress to the King, to which your name is annexed. It
appears to me to be couched in very loose Terms, neither

i%}nc Letters of l<)-aiikl(n's Corresj)ondcn(s. 1G9

making any Concessions, or pointing out any feasible Plan
of Keconciliation. It plainly appears, indeed, to be written
after yon was convinced that Words and Arguments were
of no Use. I dare say none of the Persons who sign it,
expected it could have any Effect here, tho it may have a
good deal with the ignorant Part of your Provincials. By
the way, may it not be justly apprehended that the People
of Property in America, after having put Arms into the
Hands of the inferior Class, and taught them the Use of
them, will one Day find it no easy Matter to persuade them
to lay them down again ? In my Opinion you have much
more Keason to dread being enslaved by some of your own
Citizens, than by the British Senate. You will smile at my
Folly perhaps, but I am fully persuaded that this Contest
will not only give a deadly Check to your gro-uing Power
and Prosperity, but greatly endanger those very Liberties
you have now taken up Arms to defend.

LoxDOX, 13 Feb' 1776.
Dear Sir

I lament this unhappy war, as on more serious accounts,
60 not a little that it renders my correspondence \vith you
60 precarious. I have had three letters from you, and have
written as often, but the last, by Mr. Temple, I have been in-
formed he could not take. AVhat is become of it I cannot tell.

This accompanies a copy of my second volume of Obser-
vations on air, and of a pamphlet, which may perhaps make
you smile. Major Carleton, brother to the Governor of
Quebec, has undertaken to convey the parcel to you.

By the same hand you will receive a most excellent
pamphlet by Dr. Price, which, if anything can, ^\'ill, I hope,
make some impression upon this infatuated nation. An
edition of a thousand has been nearly sold in two days.
But when L** G. Germaine is at the head of affairs, it cannot
be expected that anything like reason or moderation should
be attended to. Everjiihing breathes rancour and despera-
tion and nothing but absolute impotence \vill stop their

170 Some Letters of Fi'anklin's Corres2)omknts.

proceedings. We therefore look upon a final separation from
you as a certain and speedy event. If anything can unite us,
it must be tlie immediate adopting of the measures proposed
by L*^ Shelburne, and mentioned in Dr. Price's pamphlet.

As, liowever, it is most probable tliat you will be driven
to the necessity of governing yourselves, I hope you have
wisdom to guard against the rocks that we have fatally split
upon, and make some better provision for securing your
natural rights against the incroachment of power, in whom-
soever placed.

Amidst the alarms and distresses of war, it may perhaps
give you some pleasure to be informed that I have been
very successful in the prosecution of my experiments since
the publication of my second volume. I have lately sent to
the Royal society some observations on blood (which I be-
lieve have given great satisfaction to my medical friends)
proving that the use of it in respiration is to discharge
phlogiston from the system, that it has the same power of
affecting air when congealed and out of the body that it
has when fluid and in the body and acts thro a bladder and
a large quantity of serum, as well as in immediate contact
with the air. In pure air it becomes of a florid red, and in
phlogisticated air black; and the air to which it has been
exposed is aftected in the same manner as it is by respiration,
the calcination of metals, or any other phlogistic process.

I am now in a very promising course of experiments on
metals, from all of which, dissolved in spirits of nitre, I get
first nitrous air as before, and then distilling to dryness from
the same materials fixed air, and dephlogisticated air. This
proves that fixed air is certainly of the nitrous acid. I have,
however, got no fixed air from gold or silver. You will
smile when I tell you I do not absolutely despair of the
transmutation of metals.

In one of your letters you mention your having made a
valuable discovery on your passage to America, and promise
to write me a particular account of it. K you ever did this,
the letter has miscarried, for which I shall be sorry and the

S'Viu JL-:ii<.TS of JTranklin's Gjrrespondcnts. 171

more so as I liow almost do'ipair of lieaiing ftvun yoii nny
moio till these troubles be serJed.

The club of honest whig-s, i\s you justly call thoin, thinlc
themselves much honoured by your having been one ul'
them, and also by your kind remembrance of them. Our
zeal in the good cause is not abated. You are often the
subject of our conversation.

Xot to burden my friend too much, I give him only one
copy of my book, but I hope you will communicate it to
Professor Wiutlu-op, with my most respectful compliments.

I am, as ever,

truly yours

Joseph Priesti.ev.

P.S, — ^Lord Shelburue and Col' Barre were pleased with
your remembrance of tliem, and desire their ])est respc-ts
and good wishes in return. The best thing I can v.ish the
friendly bearer of tliis letter is that he may fall into your
hands, as I am sure he will meet with good treatinent,
and perhaps have the happiness of conversing with you, a
hapi)iness which I now reg-ret. Your old servant, Fevre,
often mentions you with affection and respect. He is, in all
respects, an excellent servant. I value him much both ou
liis own account and yours. lie seems to be very haii['y.
AY° Stephenson is much a.> usual. He can talk about

Online LibraryJohn Collins WarrenGenealogy of Warren, with some historical sketches → online text (page 13 of 39)