Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Alexander, 12 November 1755

From William Alexander7

ALS: New York Public Library

Albany Novr: 12: 1755


Genl. Shirley being informed by Mr. Scott8 one of [the] Waggon-Masters, that he has brot with him to this place all your Original Contracts for Waggons and Horses for the Late Genl. Braddock’s Army, with the receipts of the Money advanced in part payment of them, has directed them to be sent to you, to enable you to settle that account.9 I now send them to Mr. P V B Livingston at New York, to be forwarded to you.1

The General continues in very good health, but excessively hurry’d with Busyness, which he begs you will take in excuse for his not writeing to you at present.

Be pleased to give my Compliments to your son, and Am Sir your Very Humble servant

Wm. Alexander

Addressed: To / Benjamen Franklin Esqr. / att / Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7William Alexander (1726–1783), later known as Lord Stirling, son of BF’s friend James Alexander (see above, III, 32), was at this time acting as aide and secretary to Gen. William Shirley during the unsuccessful expedition against Fort Niagara. Like his father, Alexander was interested in scientific pursuits, and, though he held a series of offices under the Crown, was a determined foe of excessive British authority in the colonies. He served with distinction in the Continental Army, and rose to the rank of major general, taking part in most of the major battles in the Middle States, 1776–1780. DAB.

8Thomas Scott, wagon master general of Braddock’s forces. His voucher, dated Oct. 1, 1755, is in APS.

9See above, pp. 13–17, 190, for BF’s role in securing wagons for Braddock’s army.

1The contracts and receipts have not been found. They were sent via Peter Van Brugh Livingston (1710–1792), New York merchant and doubly Alexander’s brother-in-law, each man having married the other’s sister. DAB. Wagon Master General Scott was in Pennsylvania the following February settling these accounts. I Pa. Arch., II, 567.

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