The Franklin Institute's Resources for Science Learning Made possible by Unisys
Home (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)For Learners (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)For Educators (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)Leadership (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)Partnership (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)About Us (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)

The Hutchinson Letters Affair

The Hutchinson Letters Affair began in December, 1772 when Ben anonymously received a packet of letters. The letters were written to the British government by Thomas Hutchinson, the royal Governor of Massachusetts. In the letters, Hutchinson urged his superiors to send more troops to Boston to fight the American rebels. Ben felt that his friends in Boston should know what Hutchinson was planning. He allowed his American friends and colleagues to read the letters on the condition that they not be circulated or published. However, the content of the letters did get published in the Boston Gazette in June of 1773.

The citizens of Boston were furious and forced Hutchinson to flee to England. The British government demanded to know who leaked the letters. In December of 1773, three innocent men were accused. In order to protect them, Ben admitted his guilt. As a result, Ben's reputation in England suffered. In January of 1774, Ben was publicly reprimanded. Later that year, Ben left England and returned to America to help write the Declaration of Independence.

Back to the Last Will