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letter, as tho' what he had so asserted were facts! will your Honors be pleased to look into the said memorial now on the files of the General Court (copy of which I did not reserve to myself) and signify whither or not I have avered either that I did procure & send the said letters to this country? or that I have demanded any kind of reward or compensation for having sent them?
In the memorial I had the honor of presenting to the two Houses I believe your Honors will find it set forth that Doctor Franklin and myself were dismissed from all the employments we held under the Crown of England expressly for our attachment to the cause of our country, and particularly for having obtained & transmitted to the State of Massachusetts, as the Brittish Ministry were pleased to say, certain original letters & papers written by the late Gov' Hutchinson, Oliver, & others, which opinion of the Ministry is so notoriously known to have been the cause of our dismission that I imagine the most abandon'd to falshood will not attempt to deny it, but my memorial is totally & designedly silent by what means the letters were obtained in England, or at whose desire they were transmitted to this country.
'Tis not yet three weeks since I publickly detected this same Mr Sullivan in as willful and perhaps a more malicious falshood when he asserted that I & my friends were bitter enemies to Dr Franklin; and I then took occasion to say, that "by what means the letters he had busied himself about were obtained in England, and at whose desire they were transmitted under certain possitive injunctions for the perusal of seven gentlemen only of this commonwealth, was an important secret not yet lowered down to the level of Mr Sullivan's rank & consideration." These words I again repeat, and I also reassert that when the time comes for unfolding this secret which hath excited the curiosity of perhaps more than half Europe and all North America, the employers of said Sullivan, their partizan,
will appear in BLACK. I assert this from personal knowledge, because Dr Franklin consulted me upon every step he took in that memorable & important transaction! He shewed me every line he wrote and every line written to him upon the occasion, & commented upon one of the letters written to him, in which was an attempt to palliate the violation of his injunctions, with more asperity than I ever before knew him to discover. His correspondents were the Revd Dr Cooper of Boston, & the Hon. Tho Cushing, Esq, then Speaker of the House of R. One or two of their original letters upon the subject I have among some papers I left in Europe, which by mere accident or casual forgetfullness was left in my hands by Doctor Franklin.
I am very sensible, honorable Gentlemen, that the request I have now made will be giving you some little trouble, but that manly & honorable desire of supporting truth, & of detecting falshood wheresoever they may be found, which must be predominant in your minds will powerfully & abundantly plead my excuse.
I have the honour to be, with all deference & respect, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient and most humble servant,
BOSTON, 2d Septr, 1782.