BUDDING: ROYAL GOVERNMENT, REVITALIZED IMPERIALISM, AND THE EMERGENCE OF NEW POLITICS
On July 26, 1757, Benjamin Franklin made his second entry into London. Almost a quarter of a century earlier he had arrived as the disappointed protégé of a whimsical lieutenant governor; now he was the official agent of a legislature determined to bend the proprietor to its will. Then a nobody, he had been grateful for the advice of a Quaker merchant; now he was a chieftain of the Quaker party and, as deputy postmaster general, a royal official as well. In 1724, alone and poor, he had tried without success to meet Sir Isaac Newton. In 1757, a member of the Royal Society, he contemplated meeting the many friends he had gained through his lively correspondence. Behind him lay the factional disputes of provincial politics, so inimical to his conciliatory nature. That would be the domain of his legislative lieutenant, Joseph Galloway, a handsome, socially prominent lawyer, just the age of William Franklin. Galloway was elected to the Assembly in 1756 through a bit of Franklinian subterfuge, and he had proven to be a trusty aide whose legalistic, provincial outlook could be expected to keep him at his assigned task.
While Galloway wrestled with public affairs and the reformist Quakers confronted their consciences and their colleagues, Franklin confidently strode into the London arena, center of an empire at war. "Mr. Franklin's popularity is nothing here," Thomas Penn wrote in response to Richard Peters' warnings. "He will be looked very coldly upon by great People." The