Benjamin Franklin Papers

Philadelphia City Regiment: Address to William Denny and Reply, [23 August? 1756]

Philadelphia City Regiment: Address to William Denny and Reply

Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette, August 26, 1756.

[August 23? 1756]2

To the Honourable William Denny, Esq; Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware,

The Address of the Officers of the Regiment and Artillery Company of the City of Philadelphia.

May it please your Honour,

We heartily congratulate your Honour on your safe Arrival and Accession to this Government.

It gives us great Pleasure, that a Gentleman of the Military Order is appointed our Governor, as we may thence promise ourselves that the Defence of the Province will be fully attended to, and every proper Measure for that End receive his Countenance and Encouragement.

We sincerely wish your Honour all imaginable Happiness and Success in your Administration; and beg Leave to assure you of the most dutiful Regard of the Militia of the City of Philadelphia, and of their ready Obedience on any Occasion to your Orders as their Captain-General.

Signed in Behalf of the Officers, and at their Request, by

Benjamin Franklin, Colonel.


I give you many Thanks for your kind Address, and shall be very happy, if my Care and Attention in my Military Capacity can contribute to the Defence and Security of this Province.

It gives me a great deal of Pleasure to find the Officers of the Regiment and Artillery Company of the City of Philadelphia so willing to serve their Country, in these Times of imminent Danger.3

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This undated address follows in Pa. Gaz. one of August 21 from Philadelphia city officials, and precedes one of the 23d from the Academy faculty; it may have been presented to Denny any time between his arrival on the 20th and the press deadline of the paper in which it appeared.

3This polite though restrained exchange occurred during renewed rivalry between military organizations in Philadelphia (see above, p. 420 n). Upon notification by BF and the other officers that the City Regiment wanted to assemble in Philadelphia to celebrate the declaration of war on France, Aug. 12, 1756, Governor Morris ignored them, apparently making it clear that he would consider any such assemblage a violation of his orders as commander-in-chief. The regiment then decided to meet at the coffee house, “drink the King’s Health,” and fire off some cannon; whereupon “some Busy-bodies” told Morris who promptly ordered the artillery withdrawn. After firing one cannon before considering the withdrawal order duly authorized, the officers repaired to Tun Tavern and “spent the Evening chearfully,” showing no disrespect to the governor other than what might be implied in drinking to the “SPEEDY” arrival of his successor. From a letter signed “A Militia Officer,” Pa. Jour., Aug. 19, 1756. Continuing his snub of BF’s regiment, Morris may have been responsible for the short notice it received of Denny’s arrival in the province. Denny, however, took notice of the City Regiment: its officers were the only recorded military escort in and out of town on his first trip to Newcastle, August 25–26, and at a review of the regiment, September 28, he “expressed himself pleased with their Appearance and Conduct.” Pa. Gaz., Aug. 26, Sept. 2 and 30, 1756.

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