General Post Office: Appointment of Franklin and Hunter
MS Order Book: General Post Office, London
August 10th: 1753
Ordered that Mr. Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelphia, in Pensylvania, and Mr. William Hunter of Williamsburgh, in Virginia,2 be appointed Deputy Postmasters and Managers of all His Majesty’s Provinces and Dominions, on the Continent of North America, in the stead of Elliott Benger Esqr: Deceased, to commence this day, at an Allowance or Salary of £600 per annum to be paid out of the Money arising from the Postage of Letters passing and repassing through the said provinces and Dominions of North America.
In the margin: For their Commissions, vide, Commission Book.3
2. William Hunter (d. 1761), printer; born at Yorktown, Va.; probably an apprentice and journeyman of William Parks, whom he succeeded at Williamsburg. Hunter published the Virginia Gazette (re-established after Parks’s death), a series of Virginia almanacs (prepared by Theophilus Grew), the laws of Virginia and the journals of its House of Burgesses, and such items as a cook book (E. Smith’s Compleat Housewife, 1752) and George Washington’s journal of his mission to the French on the Ohio in 1753–54. He visited England for his health, 1756–59. Hunter’s brothers-in-law included the Virginia printers Joseph Royle and John Dixon and the New York printer John Holt. Douglas C. McMurtrie, A History of Printing in the United States, II (N.Y., 1936), 284–8; 1 Wm. and Mary Quar., VII (1898), 12–14. For the complicated story of the settlement of his estate, see James Parker’s letters in 2 Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., XVI (1902), 193–220. BF took charge of Hunter’s natural son’s education. See BF to Benjamin Waller, Aug. 1, 1763, and young Hunter’s letters to Mrs. Franklin in APS.
3. BF’s and Hunter’s commission has not been found. The appointment was noticed in Gent. Mag. for August, XXIII (1753), 393. On BF’s solicitation of this appointment, see above, IV, 134. See also Ruth L. Butler, Doctor Franklin: Postmaster General (Garden City, N.Y., 1928), pp. 38–42.