[Volume 5, Page 215]
Benjamin Franklin, The Gazeteer and New Daily Advertiser2 May 1765Papers 12:119--20
The North-American agents beg you will insert the following card, in answer to Mr. C. D------'s letter in your Saturday's paper.
The agents of North-America present their most grateful compliments to Mr. C. D. (who they conceive to be the S------ at ------'s first clerk) and are extremely obliged to him for the alternative, which his right honourable master has allowed him to offer. Conceiving themselves the only representatives of America, they most chearfully acquiesce in his last proposition, and hereby declare their choice to defend themselves without any military aid. They dread no enemy but the mother country, and wish to preserve America as an asylum for the wrecks of liberty. Mr. C. D. must pardon the agents if they think his knowledge is inferior to his zeal. There are no want of barracks in Quebec, or any part of America; but if an increase of them is necessary, at whose expence should that be? What is the practice in England? All that the agents contend for is, that the same protection of property and domestic security which prevails in England, should be preserved in America. Let Mr. C. D. or his master, first try the effects of quartering soldiers on butchers, bakers, or other private houses here, and then transport the measure to America. Parental example may produce filial obedience. But no ------ at ------, or his clerk, can ever conceive, that the people of America, or those in England, (whose interest depend on a commercial connexion and strictest amity with them) will tamely submit to encroachments on so dear a part of their liberties, which they call on the bill of rights to defend. The people of England and America are the same; one King, and one law; and those who endeavour to promote a distinction, are truly enemies to both.
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. Edited by Leonard W. Labaree et al. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959--.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago