Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Isaac Norris, 27 September 1760

From Isaac Norris

Letterbook copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philada. Septr. 27th. 1760

Dear Friend B Franklin

I wrote Yesterday4 but Joshua Howell5 calling to let me know he was just going to N York to take his leave of our Friend Christopher Kilby,6 I shall enclose this and request my old Friend C. Kilby to take the trouble of delivering it and wish him a good Voyage. I sent by way of Bristol in my above mentiond Letter a Copy of our Bill for appointing Agents to receive the Mony granted to this Province by Parliament and the Governors Amendments. We have returned the Bill with our Dissent to all his Amendments except Two triffling Ones and do not expect the Bill to pass, so that the House will probably rise this Day.

I will endeavour to get the Commissioners and Assessors Vindication against the Receiver General and Secretary’s Charge in relation to their taxing the Proprietary Estate in Cumberland County.7

I send herewith a Second Bill of Exchange No. 1770 for £100. sterling (the First in mine Yesterday) Col. Hunter on Messrs. Thomlinson &c.

I have been to the House since writing the above and the Governor adhering to his Amendments as to the Principal Intention, and the House adhering to their Bill, the Bill is droped, And the House propose before they rise to give you all the Powers they can to receive and dispose of the Share already allotted to this Province by a Resolve of Assembly.8 I am obliged to Close Your Affectionate Friend


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See above, pp. 224–7.

5Joshua Howell was a Quaker merchant and, at least until the end of 1758, a sub-contractor for the London firm of Baker, Kilby, & Baker, provision contractors for the British forces in North America. According to a contemporary, he was an able man, but “was frequently under the greatest difficulties, and could have never have carried on the business, but for the assistance the whole body of Quakers from time to time afforded him.” Alfred E. James, ed., Writings of General John Forbes (Menasha, Wis., 1938), pp. 108, 111, 183–4, 213. Thomas Balch, ed., Letters and Papers Relating Chiefly to the Provincial History of Pennsylvania (Phila., 1855), p. 176.

6Christopher Kilby (1705–1771), a wealthy New England merchant who settled in London, was agent for Massachusetts Bay (1741–48), and provision contractor for the British forces in America during both the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War. DAB, Supplement One; Charles W. Tuttle, “Christopher Kilby, of Boston,” New-Eng. Hist. and Gen. Reg., XXVI (Jan. 1872), 43–8; above, III, 213 n; VI, 492 n.

7For Richard Hockley’s and Richard Peters’ allegations that the proprietors had been unfairly taxed in Cumberland Co., see above, pp. 192–3 n. An address from the commissioners and assessors defending their conduct, was read before the Pa. Assembly on Sept. 23, 1760. 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5140. Writing to Peters, June 9, 1760, Penn expressed his high approval of Hockley and Peters’ remonstrance, which he expected to be very useful. Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa.

8For the next Assembly’s actions on this matter at its first session in October 1760, see below, pp. 236–7 n.

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