To Hugh Roberts3
ALS: R. Sturgis Ingersoll, Penllyn, Pa. (1956)
Boston July 16. 1753
By a Vessel yesterday from London I receiv’d the enclos’d from the Agent Rd. Patridge,4 which please to communicate to the Speaker.
I had a delightful Journey hither, and have felt but one hot Day since my Arrival. On the Road I often thought of you and wish’d for your Company, as I pass’d over some of the best punning Ground perhaps in the Universe.5
My Respects to Mrs. Roberts, and to all our old Friends of the Junto, Hospital, and Insurance. I purpose to set out on my Return in about ten Days, to have the Pleasure of seeing them and Philadelphia again. I am, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately
Addressed: To Mr Hugh Roberts at Philadelphia Free B Franklin
3. The name of Hugh Roberts (c. 1706–1786), Philadelphia merchant, has appeared frequently in these volumes. He was one of BF’s closest friends and active with him in the Junto, Library Company, Union Fire Company, and Pennsylvania Hospital. They were both elected to the Assembly, 1751. His father, Edward, was mayor of Philadelphia, 1739 (see above, II, 153 n), and his brother-in-law was Thomas Bond.
4. Richard Partridge (1681–1759), born in New Hampshire, but a merchant in London, had been agent for Pennsylvania since 1740. He also represented Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut at various times. DAB. The dispatch was laid before the Pennsylvania Assembly, Aug. 28, 1753. Votes, 1752–53, p. 28.
5. For BF’s enjoyment of Roberts’ puns and his claim to “having had some hand in making you a Punster,” see his letter to Roberts, Sept. 16, 1758. The “punning Ground” may have been Connecticut and Rhode Island, with their odd place names, or possibly the company of Jared Eliot and Joshua Babcock, whose humor BF enjoyed.