Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg, 29 January 1756

From Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg7

Copy: Archives of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem8

Beth. Jan: 29th. 1756.

Honorable Sir

When I think of the Multitude of Things, which now surrounds you; I wish that God may be with you; and then surely all will go well and prosper in your Hands.

As you like to keep Mr. Edmonds a little longer, he being a good Hand to you; and as he himself is very willing to assist you in what he can; it would be ungenerous of us to take him from you now. However I wish that he may come with you, if not sooner, back again.9

In the mean while I can’t help giving you a little Trouble with the inclos’d Address. It is intended to be sent to Philadelphia together with an Address sign’d by the poor Sufferers,1 residing for this Time at the Brethren’s, for the same Purpose. One Word of Yours to the Commissioners in Favour of the poor distress’d People, will have the greatest Weight with them; you being not only one of the Commissioners, but also Capt. in Chief of this our County, and what is most an Eye-Witness of their lamentable Condition.2

Give me Leave, to beg for a favourable Answer with the very first Opportunity, and you’l oblige Honorable Sir Your humble Servant


P.S. Here is a Copy of the intended Address of our poor Neighbours, which will be signed by them to Day.

Endorsed: Copy. To Mr. Benj. Francklin.
 Diaconat Die Flüchtlinge im Wilden-Krieg betr[effend].

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7See above, p. 362 n.

8This and other letters from or to Bishop Spangenberg are printed in this edition by special permission of the Archives Committee of the Moravian Church in America and may not be reproduced without permission of the Committee.

9William Edmonds traveled with BF throughout his service in Northampton Co., and did come to Bethlehem with him on February 4, but they both continued on to Philadelphia to attend the Pa. Assembly then in session. Moravian Diary, PMHB, XVIII (1894), 378.

1Not found.

2Following a December 1755 plea by Spangenberg to Anthony Benezet for aid to the refugees crowded in the Moravian settlements, the latter immediately raised £200 among his Quaker friends, and bought two chests of shoes, warm clothing, blankets, etc., which he sent to Bethlehem. After another appeal on January 18 in which Spangenberg asked for public as well as private assistance, Benezet replied on the 24th, after consultation with Isaac Norris, that the commissioners were not inclined to respond to any appeals for funds, except those endorsed by BF. Thus, Spangenberg was aware of the importance of BF’s approval when he made this request. In the meantime, Benezet and his associates had sent up 47 axes, 1000 needles, 15 kettles, 96 combs, £15 with which to buy grain, and more of the personal goods supplied earlier. George S. Brookes, Friend Anthony Benezet (Phila., 1937), pp. 212–19. See below, pp. 379, 424, for BF’s reply to this appeal and later relief work by Spangenberg.

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