Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Hall, 4 July 1757

From David Hall

Letterbook copy: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia July 4th. 1757

Dear Sir.

My last to you was by the Rebecca, Captain Arthur (via Liverpool) covering the second Copy of the £100. Bill.4 Inclosed you have now the third Copy of the same Bills, in Case of Miscarriages; and you have likewise inclosed the first Copy of another Bill for the same Value, on the same Gentlemen,5 which I hope will come safe to Hand. The Exchange of this last the same as the first 67½.

In my letter per Arthur, I promised to send you the Copy of a Letter, I lately received from Mr. James Hunter of Fredericksburgh,6 relating to our Virginia Customers which is as follows.

Fredericksburgh 26th May 1757.


Whenever you are pleased to send me a list of the Ballances due on your Gazettes, I will collect the Same for you and Mr. Franklin without any Gratuity. I would recommend to you in future to discontinue the Gazettes to those who do not pay for the whole Year at Entrance, and I am of Opinion you will find no considerable decline in your Customers thereby. I am sure the Subscribers on my list would readily agree.

Thomas Franklin7 is the Rider between Williamsburgh and this place, and he hath not shown me the Names of his Subscribers, if they be good, it may not be so convenient for him to finger the Entrances If you be inclineable to serve them. You may load a Waggon with Papers for Virginia if the Pay is not demanded till the Year’s End.

From what you see this Gentleman writes, I believe it will be best to follow his Advice, and take none but those who pay as he directs.

By the last Post I receiv’d a letter from Mr. Christopher Chamney8 in Virginia wherein he tells me he has lately paid, Eight Pounds Sixteen Shillings that Currency to Mr. John Stretch, Money received by him from different People on Account of our Gazette. I answered him that we were much obliged to him for the Trouble he had taken about our Affairs; but, as I had heard, from several Gentlemen, that that Person had refused to take Money for us, or to be concern’d at all with our Papers, should take it kind if, for the future, he would send any Thing he might receive for us by Letter, or order his Correspondent here (if he had any in this Place) to pay us. This I thought proper to do, as I heard you say you did not like Mr. Stretch’s receiving for us. I am, Yours,


To Benjamin Franklin Esqr London
Via NY per Halifax Packet Boat9
Original per the Pennsylvania Cap Lyon1

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The Rebecca, Capt. Joseph Arthur, Sr., cleared Philadelphia at the expiration of the embargo, June 27, and arrived in Liverpool before August 11. Pa. Gaz., June 30, 1757; London Chron., Aug. 9–11, 1757. See facing page for Hall’s payments to BF in England.

5Messrs. Thomlinson, Hanbury, Colebrooke, & Nesbitt, merchants in London. Record of Hall’s Remittances, APS.

6Probably James Hunter (d. 1785), Scots merchant, later an iron founder and wealthy slaveholder, not to be confused with numerous other Hunters, mostly also named James, or William, of Fredericksburg. R. Walter Coakley, “The Two James Hunters of Fredericksburg,” Va. Mag. Hist. and Biog., LVI (1948), 3–21.

7Not identified; certainly not a relative of BF.

8Neither Chamney(?) nor Stretch has been identified. See below, p. 390, for instructions to postmasters about delivery of and payment for newspapers.

9The packet Halifax was scheduled to leave N.Y. for Falmouth Aug. 4, 1757, but did not sail until the 27th. Pa. Gaz., July 28, 1757; Colden Paps., V, 180.

1The Pennsylvania, Capt. Charles Lyon, left Philadelphia before July 7, was taken by a French privateer and then recaptured by an English one, but finally late in August was again taken by the French and carried into St. Malo. Pa. Gaz., July 7, Oct. 20, and Nov. 24, 1757; London Chron., Aug. 30–Sept. 1, 1757. This capture resulted in the loss of one letter from DF to her husband (see below, p. 274), as well as a packet of valuable papers Richard Peters sent Thomas Penn including records of Lord Loudoun’s meetings in Philadelphia, March 15–27, 1757; see above, pp. 145–53. Penn to Peters, Sept. 5, 1757, Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa.

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