Abbildungen der Seite



.Agency in procuring Walpole's Grant. Postoffice. London, 4 February, 1772. DEAR FRIEND, I have written two or three small letters to you since my return from Ireland and Scotland. Mr. Todd has not yet shown me that, which you wrote to him about the New Colony, though he mentioned it, and will let me see it, I suppose, when I call on him.” I told you in one of mine, that he has advanced for your share what has been paid by others, though I was ready to do it, and shall in the whole affair take the same care of your interest as of my own. You take notice, that “Mr. Wharton's friends will not allow me any merit in this transaction, but insist the whole is owing to his superior abilities.” It is a common error in friends, when they would extol their friend, to make comparisons, and to depreciate the merits of others. It was not necessary for his friends to do so in this case. Mr. Wharton will in truth have a good deal of merit in the affair if it succeeds, he having been exceedingly active and industrious in soliciting it, and in drawing up memorials and papers to support the application and remove objections. But, though I have not been equally active, it not being thought proper, that I should appear much in the solicitation, since I became a little obnoxious to the ministry, on account of my letters to America, yet I suppose my advice may have been thought of some use, since it has been asked on every step, and I believe, that, being longer and better known here than Mr. Wharton, I may have lent some weight to his negotiations by joining in the affair, from the greater confidence men are apt to place in one they know, than in a stranger. However, as I neither ask nor expect any particular consideration for any service I may have done, and only think I ought to escape censure, I shall not enlarge on this invidious topic. Let us all do our endeavours, in our several capacities, for the common service; and, if one has the ability or opportunity of doing more for his friends than another, let him think that a happiness, and be satisfied. The business is not yet quite completed; and, as many things may happen between the cup and the lip, perhaps there may be nothing of this kind for friends to dispute about. For, if nobody should receive any benefit, there would be no scrambling for the honor. In yours from New York, of July 3d, you mentioned your intention of purchasing a bill to send hither, as soon as you returned home from your journey. I have not since received any from you, which I only take notice of, that, if you have sent any, you may not blame me for not acknowledging the receipt of it. In mine of April 20th, I explained to you what I had before mentioned, that, in settling our private accounts, I had paid you the sum of three hundred

* See the particulars about this New Colony, Vol. IV, pp. 233, 302. WOL. VIII. l

[ocr errors][merged small]

and eighty-nine pounds, or thereabouts, in my own wrong, having before paid it for you to the general postoffice. I hope that since you have received your books, and looked over the accounts, you are satisfied of this. I am anxious for your answer upon it, the sum being too large to be left long without an adjustment. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN."


Silk produced in Pennsylvania, and sent to England jor a Bounty.

London, 6 February, 1772. DEAR DocToR,

The trunks of silk were detained at the customhouse till very lately; first, because of the holidays, and then waiting to get two persons, skilful in silk, to make a valuation of it, in order to ascertain the bounty. As soon as that was done, and the trunks brought to my house, I waited on Dr. Fothergill to request he would come and see it opened, and consult about disposing of it, which he could not do till last Thursday. On examining it, we found that the valuers had opened all the parcels, in order, we suppose, to see the quality of each, had neglected to make them up again, and the directions and marks were lost, (except that from Mr. Parke, and that of the second crop,) so that we could not find which was intended for the Queen, and which for the Proprietary family. Then, being no judges ourselves, we concluded to get Mr. Patterson or some other skilful person, to come and pick out six pounds of the best for her Majesty, and four pounds for each of the other ladies. This I have endeavoured, but it is not yet done, though I hourly expect it.

Mr. Boydell, broker for the ship, attended the customhouse to obtain the valuation, and had a great deal of trouble to get it managed. I have not since seen him, nor heard the sum they reported, but hope to give you all the particulars by the next ship, which I understand sails in about a fortnight, when Dr. Fothergill and myself are to write a joint letter to the committee, to whom please to present my respects, and assure them of my most faithful services. I am charmed with the sight of such a quantity the second year, and have great hopes the produce will now be established. The second crop silk seems to me not inferior to the others; and, if it is practicable with us to have two crops, and the second season does not interfere too much with other business in the farming way, I think it will be a great addition to the profits, as well as to the quantity.

Dr. Fothergill has a number of Chinese drawings, of which some represent the process of raising silk, from the beginning to the end. I am to call at his house and assist in looking them out, he intending to send them as a present to the Silk Company. I have now only time to add, that I am ever, yours very affectionately,


* On the same subject he subsequently wrote the following short notes to Dr. Evans.

“London, 5 May, 1772. – You write, that, besides what was sent here, fifty-four pounds had been reeled at the filature of private persons, who are getting it manufactured into mitts, stockings, and stuffs. This gives me great pleasure to hear; and I hope that practice will be rather followed, than the sending small parcels to be manufactured here, which are difficult to get done, where all goes on in the great way. Let nothing discourage you. Perseverance will conquer all difficulties; and the contributors will have the glorious satisfaction of having procured an inestimable advantage to their country.” “London, 3 June, 1772.-I have at length purchased Stringfellow's right for you, or for you and Mr. James, as you settle it between you. As it was he that immediately recommended the business to me, I have sent the writings to him by this packet. The rights cost £110, and the charges were £5 15 6. There is a letter of the Proprietary to Mr. Tilghman, which it is supposed will remove all difficulties in the office, and I hope the purchase will prove advantageous. Be so good as to acquaint the Silk Committee, to whom I wrote fully by the last packet, that I have since received the bounty from Boydell the broker. The whole sum from government was £35 19 6; the charges were £5 11 6; so the net sum received by me was £30 8 0. This, with the £12.1 5 0, which I am to receive on the 10th instant, will make the whole £152 13 0, subject to the orders of the Committee.” “London, 2 December, 1772. — I received your favor of October 21st, with the bill enclosed, drawn on me by order of the managers for promoting the culture of silk, for £152 09, in favor of James & Drinker and yourself, and am glad the purchase I made was satisfactory. As this sum exceeds my disbursement, the overplus will wait your orders; and particularly I wish to have directions what I am to pay Mr. Wheeler for his diligence and trouble in the transaction, which really was considerable.” In a letter to his wife he says; “The Silk Committee were so good as to make me a present of four pounds of raw silk. I have had it worked up, with some addition of the same kind of silk, into a French grey ducape, which is a fashionable color, either for old or young women. I therefore send it as a present to you and Sally, understanding there is enough to make each of you a negligée. If you should rather incline to sell it, it is valued here at six shillings and sixpence a yard; but I hope you will wear it.”— July 15th, 1773.


On the Prejudices against his Writings.

Edinburgh, 7 February, 1772. DEAR SIR,

1 was very glad to hear of your safe arrival in London, after being exposed to as many perils as St. Paul, by land and by water, though to no perils among false brethren; for the good wishes of all your brother philosophers in this place, attend you heartily and sin

« ZurückWeiter »