Franklin Replies

Each week the Library of America sends out its story of the week. This one is a particularly appropriate letter from Ben Franklin to a British Admiral of his acquaintance. It gives a spirit of the times around the revolution.

It is impossible we should think of Submission
to a Government, that has with the most wanton Barbarity
and Cruelty, burnt our defenceless Towns in the midst of
Winter, excited the Savages to massacre our Farmers, and our
Slaves to murder their Masters, and is even now bringing for-
eign Mercenaries to deluge our Settlements with Blood.
These atrocious Injuries have extinguished every remaining
Spark of Affection for that Parent Country we once held so
dear: But were it possible for us to forget and forgive them, it
is not possible for you (I mean the British Nation) to forgive
the People you have so heavily injured; you can never confide
again in those as Fellow Subjects, and permit them to enjoy
equal Freedom, to whom you know you have given such just
Cause of lasting Enmity. And this must impel you, were we
again under your Government, to endeavour the breaking our
Sprit by the severest Tyranny, and obstructing by every means
in your Power our growing Strength and Prosperity.

Read the rest here.

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