Benjamin Franklin and Catharine Ray Greene: Their Correspondence, 1755-1790

By William Greene Roelker | Go to book overview
Save to active project

III. The Eve of Independence 1775-1776

WHEN Franklin sailed for England in November, 1764, he expected to return to America within a year; it turned out that he remained there for eleven years, until the spring of 1775. In 1764 he represented the Colony of Pennsylvania as agent in one particular matter; by 1775 he was the general colonial agent for Pennsylvania, and for Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts as well. With each passing year it seemed to the ministry that he became more and more a general agent representing all the colonies, whose relations with the mother country meanwhile were steadily deteriorating. Van Doren has written that the feelings of the ministry towards Franklin "were both irritation and boredom. . . . Irritating as it was for unphilosophical British politicians to listen to distant Americans who, it must have seemed, could find philosophical excuses even for riots, it was still more irritating to have an American philosopher almost at court, almost an ambassador. There might be temporary quiet overseas, but there was never any relief from Franklin. Touch American interests at any point, and he was instantly aware and active." 1

Because of these feelings the ministry had sought for some time to find an excuse to get rid of him. The publication of the letters from Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts written to an unidentified member of Parliament provided the occasion for his dismissal. Franklin was haled before the Privy Council, where Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn insulted him by calling him a thief and accused him of stealing the letters. The next day Franklin was removed from his position as Deputy Postmaster General. Left with no official connection with the government, he nevertheless tarried a while longer in London vainly seeking some means of preventing a break between Great Britain and the

-48-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Benjamin Franklin and Catharine Ray Greene: Their Correspondence, 1755-1790
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 152

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?