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, Etc.

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by Benjamin Franklin

Interest of Great Britain Considered

Title page from Interest of Great Britain Considered, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Benjamin Franklin with Richard Jackson
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed for T. Becket
Date 1761
Edition Second
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [2], 58
Desc. 8vo (20 cm.)
Location Shelf C-2
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) was a natural philosopher, writer, and revolutionary American politician.[1] In 1757 Franklin went to Great Britain as a delegate from the Pennsylvania Assembly to negotiate terms of taxation. While in London, he found the British ignorant about the American colonies, and began a campaign to educate them.[2] His first work in this line, "A Defence of the Americans", was published in the London Chronicle and was considered "the grandest statement of Americanism in the colonial period."[3] A second pamphlet, The Interest of Great Britain Considered, first published in 1760, "was partly responsible for convincing the British authorities to retain Canada rather than Guadeloupe at the conclusion of the Seven Years' War."[4] Franklin's longest writing, historians consider it to be his "most influential."[5]

Headpiece, first page of text.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

According to the J. Royle Daybook, George Wythe purchased "Franklin's Pamphlet" in February of 1764.[6] Both Goodwin's pamphlet[7] and Brown's Bibliography[8] suggest that this purchase represents Cool Thoughts on the Present Situation of our Public Affairs, "published ca.1763."[9] Dean's Memo[10] identifies the "Franklin Pamphlet" as The Interest of Great Britain Considered, With Regard to Her Colonies, and the Acquisition of Canada and Guadaloupe. George Wythe's Library[11] on LibraryThing includes both titles, but links the "Franklin's Pamphlet" reference to Cool Thoughts. In his bibliography of early American imprints, Charles Evans seems to justify Dean's conclusion.[12] Evans indicates that the first date of publication for Cool Thoughts was April 26, 1764, which would mean Wythe could not have purchased it in February of the same year.

We do not know what edition of The Interest of Great Britain Considered Wythe owned. Dean listed publication information for three editions—London, 1760; Philadelphia, 1760; and the second London edition, 1761. The Wolf Law Library purchased a copy of the second edition (1761).

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in period style faux half-calf with marbled boards.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

Full text

See also


  1. J. A. Leo Lemay, "Franklin, Benjamin (1706–1790)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed October 2, 2013.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. J. A. Leo Lemay, "Franklin, Benjamin" in American National Biography Online, accessed October 2, 2013.
  6. J. Royle Ms Daybook, Williamsburg Printing Office, 1764.
  7. Mary R. M. Goodwin, The George Wythe House: Its Furniture and Furnishings (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, 1958), LI.
  8. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  9. Goodwin, The George Wythe House, LI.
  10. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 7 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  11. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.
  12. The WorldCat record for Franklin's Cool Thoughts contains the bibliographic note: "Attributed to Benjamin Franklin by Evans. First published as a supplement to the Pennsylvania journal, Apr. 26, 1764." In this note, "Evans" refers to the 14 volume opus, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets, and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from the Genesis of Printing in 1639 Down to and Including the Year 1820.