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Letter from Governour Franklin to the Earl of Dartmouth




Burlington, 31st May, 1774.

Since my last I have received two circular despatches from Mr˙ Pownall, dated March 10th and April 6th, enclosing copies of his Majesty' s Message to both Houses of Parliament relative to the late disturbances in America, their Resolutions thereupon, and the Act of Parliament respecting the port of Boston. The latter has been published in the usual manner, though the people in this Colony are not concerned in carrying on any commerce with the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

It is difficult as yet to foresee what will be the consequence of the Boston Port Act. It seems as if the merchants of Philadelphia and New-York, at their late meetings, were inclined to assist or co-operate with those of Boston, in some degree, but not to carry matters so far as to enter into a general non-importation and exportation agreement, as was proposed to them by the town of Boston. However, I believe it may be depended upon, that many of the merchants, on a supposition that a non-importation agreement (so far as respects from Great Britain) will be certainly entered into by next autumn, have ordered a much greater quantity of goods than common to be sent out by the next fall ships from England.

A Congress of members of the several Houses of Assembly has been proposed in order to agree upon some measures on the present occasion; but whether this expedient will take place it is as yet uncertain. The Virginia Assembly, some time ago, appointed a Committee of correspondence to correspond with all the other Assemblies on the Continent, which example has been followed by every other House of Representatives. I was in hopes that the Assembly of this Province would not have gone into the measure; for though they met on the 10th of November, yet they avoided taking the matter into consideration, though frequently urged by some of the members, until the 8th of February, and then I believe they would not have gone into it, but that the Assembly of New-York had just before resolved to appoint such a Committee, and they did not choose to appear singular.