Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Isaac Norris, 1 March 1760

From Isaac Norris

Letterbook copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

March 1st. 1760

Dear Friend B Franklin

I wrote on the 27th of February last3 by a Gentleman to N York. This will inform you that the Assembly have resolved to grant £100,000 for the raising paying and cloathing 2,700 Men to Act in Conjunction with his Majestys Forces during the ensuing Campaign and have got their Bill into the Hands of a Committee for those Purposes.

As we shall follow the Plan of the Law enacted last Year we hope to get it with the Governor very soon,4 and reserve a Bill for settling the Quotas for each County to the latter End of the Session at which Time we hope to be furnished with the Duplicates of the last Year’s Taxation throughout the Province, but as this difficult Work of proportioning the several Counties may be imperfect on the first Essay the House agree generally to continue it for One Year only.5

I send inclosed a Second Bill of Exchange John Hunter on Messrs. Thomlinson &c. No. 3638 for a Hundred Pounds Sterling which please to receive.6 I am Your Assured Friend


Carolina appears to be in great Distress and under the apprehensions of an Indian War.7 I send inclosed at your Request a Power of Attorney to which Our Friend Charles Beatty8 is an Evidence and who will be on the Spot to prove it if he has a prosperous Voyage which I heartily wish him.


per favr of Ch Beatty—per Captn Grant9

[Endorsed:] B Franklin received this Letter ackd June 14th 17601
Omitted entry in the proper Place


To all People to whom these Presents shall come I Isaac Norris of the City and County of Philadelphia in the Province of Pensylvania in N America Esquire send greeting Know ye that I the said Is Norris have made and ordained and by these Presents do make ordain and in my Place and Stead put and constitute Benjamin Franklin at present residing in the City of London Esquire to be my true and lawful Attorney for me and in my Name and to and for my proper Use to demand and receive of and from all and every person and persons of what Degree or Quality soever whom it now doth shall or may concern all and every such Sum and Sums of mony Dividends Payments and Profits which now are and which shall hereafter become due and payable to me for and respect of all or any Annuities Yearly or other payments payable and belonging to me for and in Respect of all and every or any such Capital Stock or Stocks which I now have or hereafter shall have in the Bank of England or in any other Fund or Stock whatever. Also for me and in my Name to accept of all such Capital Stock or Stocks which I have already bought or contracted to buy or shall hereafter buy or contract to buy of any person or persons whatsoever upon the transferring thereof according to the usual Manner of transferring the said Stock or Stocks and to pay such Sum or Sums of Mony or Consideration for the Purchase of all such Capital Stock or Stocks upon the transferring thereof from Time to Time as I shall in that Behalf order. And upon receipt of the premises or any part thereof for me and in my Name from Time to Time to make and give sufficient Acquittances and Discharges. And I do hereby give and grant unto my said Attorney full Power and Authority to do and perform all Matters and Things relating to the Premises as fully as I my self might or could do was I personally present. And I do hereby ratify and confirm all and whatsoever my said Attorney shall legally do or procure to be done in and touching the Premises.2In Witness whereof I the said Isaac Norris have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the First Day of March in the Year of Our Lord One thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty.

I Norris LS

Sealed and delivered in the presence of us

Charles Beatty

James Johnston


Endorsed: Mar. 1. 1760 Copy of my Power of Attorn. to B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3See immediately above.

4On Feb. 27, 1760, the Pa. Assembly resolved to raise 2700 men and the next day voted to grant £100,000 to levy, pay, and clothe them. On March 1 a committee was appointed to prepare the necessary bill; it was reported on March 4, passed the House on March 8, and was sent to Governor Hamilton the same day. After some demur he signed it on April 12. The measure was modeled on the Supply Act of April 17, 1759 (above, VIII, 326–7 n); 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5109–33; Pa. Col. Recs., VIII, 460–3, 472–84.

5On March 5, 1760, the Assembly appointed a committee “to prepare and bring in a Bill for ascertaining the proportional Sum to be yearly paid by the several Counties” toward sinking the £100,000 voted on February 28. On March 25 the committee presented “a Draught for that Purpose” which was debated several times and on April 12 a new committee was appointed to meet on May 19 “to examine and consider the Returns of Assessments from the several Counties, and to make an Essay towards ascertaining, in the most equitable Manner, the Sum to be raised annually by each. …” On September 25 this committee presented a report, proposing quotas for each county, but the Assembly took no further action before its final adjournment. 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5114, 5118–19, 5121, 5133–4, 5141.

6For this bill, see the letter immediately above.

7Pa. Gaz. reported, Feb. 28, 1760, that “open Hostilities” had broken out between disaffected Cherokee and the government of South Carolina over incidents reaching back to the expedition against Fort Duquesne in 1758 (above, VIII, 76–7 n). On the return journey the Cherokee had stolen horses and fought several small engagements with frontiersmen in Bedford Co., Va., where they incurred losses. In April 1759 they retaliated by killing about a score of settlers in the back country of South Carolina, whereupon Gov. William H. Lyttelton cut off trade with them and got his Assembly to vote 1500 men for a punitive expedition. Some of their chieftains concluded a peace treaty, Dec. 26, 1759, but this did not prevent an Indian offensive in January 1760, which took the lives of 40 to 50 settlers, and depopulated the South Carolina upcountry. The Cherokee captured Fort Loudoun (in present-day Tennessee), but were finally subdued in the fall of 1761 by two expeditions of regulars sent by General Amherst from the north. John Richard Alden, John Stuart and the Southern Colonial Frontier (Ann Arbor, 1944), pp. 78–88.

8Charles Clinton Beatty (c. 1715–1772), a popular Presbyterian clergyman, had been chaplain of the forces under BF, building forts in Northampton Co., Pa., during the winter of 1756; see above, VI, 358, 382; Autobiog. (APS-Yale edit.), p. 235. He was now sailing to England and Ireland to raise money for the support of his poor colleagues and their families. See below, p. 174.

9Pa. Gaz., March 6, 1760, reported the clearance of the Rachel, Capt. Thomas Grant, for Liverpool.

1No letter from BF to Norris of this date has been found.

2For BF’s investments on Norris’ behalf, see above, VIII, 147–8.

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