Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Parker, James (fl. 1766) Examination of Doctor Benjamin Franklin, before an August Assembly, relating to the Repeal of the Stamp-Act, &c.

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01719 Author/Creator: Parker, James (fl. 1766) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Pamphlet Date: 1766 Pagination: 16 p. ; 19 x 13 cm.

Records Franklin's testimony before the House of Commons concerning American grievances about the Stamp Act, internal levies, the debts from the French and Indian War, costs and origins of that war, American manufactures, and American sentiments towards Britain and Parliament. Among the questions and answers are: "Q. What used to be the pride of Americans? / A. To indulge in the fashions and manufactures of Great-Britain. / Q. What now is their pride? / A. To wear their old cloaths over again, till they can make new ones." Copyright and libel laws prohibited any indication of the "august assembly" being identified as the House of Commons. James Parker was the publisher of this pamphlet.

His is one of the most remarkable success stories in American history. The eighteenth child of a Boston candlemaker and soapmaker, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was apprenticed to his brother, a printer, but ran away. As a publisher in Philadelphia, he was so successful that he was able to retire at the age of 42 and devote the rest of his life to science and politics.
While serving in England as a representative of the colonies of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Georgia, Franklin promoted the idea of American liberties and testified against the Stamp Act. He had been out of touch with sentiment in the colonies, and in his testimony before Parliament, Franklin suggested that the colonists objected only to direct taxes, not to duties placed on imported goods. His testimony helped to secure the repeal of the Stamp Act and greatly enhanced his reputation both in England and America.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources