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Fortifications on the Delaware River.

Monday Noon, [4 December, 1747.]

I am heartily glad you approve of our proceedings. We shall have arms for the poor in the spring, and a number of battering cannon. The place for the batteries is not yet fixed; but it is generally thought that near Red Bank will be most suitable, as the enemy must there have natural difficulties to struggle with, besides the channel being narrow. The Dutch are as hearty as the English. "Plain Truth" and the "Association" are in their language, and their parsons encourage them. It is proposed to breed gunners by forming an artillery club, to go down weekly to the battery and exercise the great guns. The best engineers against Cape Breton were of such a club, tradesmen and shopkeepers of Boston. I was with them at the Castle* at their exercise in 1743.

I have not time to write larger, nor to wait on you till next week. In general all goes well, and there is a surprising unanimity in all ranks. Near eight hundred have signed the Association, and more are signing hourly. One company of Dutch is complete. I am with great respect, Sir, &c.

* Castle William, in Boston harbour.


An account of the proceedings, to which this letter relates, may be found at the beginning of the third Volume.


Procuring Cannon for Defence. - Sale of Books. — Opinion of Mr. Colden's "History of the Five Na



Philadelphia, 27 January, 1748.

I received your favor relating to the cannon. We have petitioned our Proprietors for some, and have besides wrote absolutely to London for a quantity, in case the application to the Proprietors should not succeed; so that, accidents excepted, we are sure of being supplied some time next summer. But, as we are extremely desirous of having some mounted early in the spring, and perhaps, if your engineer should propose to use all you have, the works he may intend will not very soon be ready to receive them, we should think ourselves exceedingly obliged to your government, if you would lend us a few for one year only. When you return to New York, I hope a great deal from your interest and influence.

Mr. Read, to whom Osborne consigned your books,* did not open or offer them for sale till within these two weeks, being about to remove, when he received them, and having till now no conveniency of shelves, &c. In our two last papers he has advertised generally, that he has a parcel of books to sell, Greek, Latin, French, and English, but makes no particular mention of the Indian History; it is therefore no wonder that he has sold none of them, as he told me a few days since. I had one of them from London, which I sent you before any of my friends saw it. So, as no one here has read

Mr. Colden's "History of the Five Indian Nations," which was pub lished in London, and copies of which were sent over to be sold in Philadelphia.

it but myself, I can only tell you my own opinion, that it is a well written, entertaining, and instructive piece, and must be exceedingly useful to all those colonies. which have any thing to do with Indian affairs.

You have reason to be pleased with the mathema tician's envious expression about your tract on gravitation.* I long to see from Europe some of the deliberate and mature thoughts of their philosophers upon it.

To obtain some leisure I have taken a partner † into the printing-house; but, though I am thereby a good deal disengaged from private business, I find myself still fully occupied. The association, lottery, and batteries fill up at present a great part of my time.‡

I thank you for communicating the sheet on the first principles of morality, the continuation of which I shall be glad to see. I am, &c.


* For an account of this work, see Vol. VI. p. 95.

David Hall, a Scotchman by birth, and a friend of Mr. Strahan, worked in the same office with him as a journeyman printer in London. His partnership with Franklin continued eighteen years, during which time he had the principal charge of the business, and proved himself an nonest, industrious, and worthy man. He conducted the Pennsylvania Gazette with prudence and ability. He was likewise a bookseller and stationer. He died on the 17th of December, 1772, at the age of fiftyeight years. See THOMAS's History of Printing, Vol. II. p. 54.

In his autobiography Franklin says; "I proposed a Lottery to defray the expense of building a battery below the town, and furnishing it with cannon. It filled expeditiously, and the battery was soon erected." "Mr. Logan put into my hands sixty pounds, to be laid out in lottery tickets for the battery, with directions to apply what prizes might be drawn wholly to that service." The following memoranda, found in Franklin's handwriting, show his manner of proceeding on this occasion.

"Proposed, That the Managers of the Lottery be applied to, to appoint suitable persons to go down the river to the Capes, and there consult with the persons in authority, and concert with them the modes of conveying intelligence to Philadelphia, whether by express or otherwise, when any enemies appear of such force as to make an alarm necessary


Cannon from Boston. - Insurance on Lottery Tickets. Philadelphia, 27 January, 1748.


I have not yet found the book, but suppose I shall to-morrow. The post goes out to-day, which allows me no time to look for it. We have a particular account from Boston of the guns there. They are in all thirty-nine, Spanish make and new; fifteen of them are twenty-eight pounders, and twenty-four are fourteen

or even such as may endanger our trade; who may likewise, in returning, land at such places as they judge suitable to give signals from, and endeavour to agree with the neighbouring inhabitants to keep watch, and give the signals that may be agreed on, and engage to furnish them with guns, tar-barrels, or whatever else may be necessary for that purpose.

"That, for the more certain alarming the country on any occasion, as soon as the commander-in-chief at Philadelphia is well informed of the approach, on our coasts, of any considerable force of the enemy, letters and orders may be despatched by expresses to the colonels of some or all of the regiments, as the occasion may require, who may immediately communicate the same to the other officers of the regiments, and they to the men of the respective companies; who are immediately to meet at their usual place of rendezvous, and from thence march to such place as the colonel shall appoint for assembling his regiment; and when all the companies are assembled, the regiment to march to such place, as the commander-in-chief shall have directed.

"That, in case of any attempt on the inhabitants of the frontiers by small parties, as the Indian custom is, the superior officers of the regiment, being well informed of the facts, may despatch away on horseback suitable bodies of active men, well acquainted with the woods, to such places or passes among the mountains, or near the conflux of rivers, by which it is probable the enemy must endeavour to make their retreat; and there to take post and lie in wait till their return, keeping proper scouts or sentinels at a distance from the body, to give notice of their approach; by which means they may be cut off, and the prisoners they take may be recovered; a few instances of which would probably much intiinidate those cowardly people, and make them afraid of attempting to attack us hereafter. And that such places may be known to more people, it might be proper for the officers beforehand to make

pounders. We offer by this post £1500, this currency, for them all, and suppose we shall get them.

The insurers, in consideration of the premium of twenty per cent, engage thus; that, if the prizes arising against the tickets insured do not, one with another, make in the whole a sum equal to the first cost of the tickets, they will make up the deficiency. They now think it a disadvantageous agreement, and have left off insuring; for though they would gain, as you observe, £1000, if they insured the whole at that rate, in one lot, yet it will not be so when they insure a number of separate lots, as ten, twenty, or one bundred tickets in a lot; because the prizes, falling in one lot, do not help to make up the deficiencies in another. The person, that insured your one hundred and twenty

a few journeys to them, guided by Indian traders or hunters, accompanied by such of their men as would be suitable to act on occasion, and are disposed that way, observing and pointing out all the proper places for ambushes, &c. The expense of which journeys might be defrayed by the managers of the lottery.

"That, if there be certain accounts of any large body of the enemy marching towards any part of the frontiers, the colonels of the nearest frontier regiments may despatch expresses to the commander-in-chief at Philadelphia, with the vouchers of the intelligence, from whom orders may issue to raise such force as may be necessary, to march to the assistance of such threatened frontier.

"That the people on the frontiers be advised to pitch on some suitable places at proper distances, and there enclose pieces of ground with palisades or stockades, so as to make them defensible against Indians, whereto, on occasion, their wives, children, and ancient persons may retire in time of danger. In parts where there may not be had sufficient voluntary labor to erect such defences, and the neighbours, being poor, cannot bear the expense, some assistance might be obtained from the lottery managers, if another lottery should go on.

"That those managers be applied to, to offer rewards by public declaration to such as should be maimed in action, and pensions to poor widows, whose husbands should happen to fall in defence of their country.

"That a number of spades, pickaxes, shovels, &c., be provided for the city regiment, to be used by the negroes and others as pioneers for casting up sudden intrenchments on occasion."

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