16 December 2004
[FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790)]. The Interest of Great Britain Considered, with Regard to her Colonies, and the Acquisitions of Canada and Guadaloupe. To which are added, Observations concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, &c. London: Printed for T. Becket, 1760.
8o (198 x 113 mm). Modern quarter red morocco.
FIRST EDITION. At the time of its publication, the authorship of this pamphlet was attributed to Franklin, although in the nineteenth century it was credited to Richard Jackson. In 1966 The Papers of Benjamin Franklin returned it to Franklin's oeuvre: "in recent years Franklin's authorship has been reestablished in the minds of all but a few doubters, though, as Franklin himself seems to have acknowledged, he received some help from his friend and ally Jackson." Franklin anticipates a British victory in the French and Indian wars and debates which territory is more important for Great Britain to retain: Canada or sugar-rich Guadelope.
Most interesting is a passage where Franklin discusses the possibility of the colonies may grow and this "may render them dangerous. Of this I own, I have not the least conception, when I consider that we have already fourteen separate governments ... and if we extend ... shall probably have as many more ... Those we now have, are not only under different governors, but have different forms of government, different laws, different interests, and some of them different religious persuasions and different manners. Their jealousy of each other is so great that however necessary an union of the colonies has long been, for their common defence and security against their enemies, ... yet they have never been able to effect such an union among themselves ... Nothing but the immediate command of the crown has been able to produce even the imperfect union but lately seen there, of the forces of some colonies." (pp.39-40). Ford 268; Howes J-26; Sabin 35450.
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