Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft: Power of Attorney to Tuthill Hubbart6
Printed form with MS insertions in blanks: New Hampshire Historical Society
[September 17, 1764]
Know all Men by these Presents, That we Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft Esquires his Majesty’s Deputy Postmaster General for North America, have made, ordained and constituted, and by these Presents do make ordain and constitute, and in our Place and Stead put and depute our trusty and loving Friend Tuthill Hubbard Esqr., Postmaster of Boston in New England to be our true and lawful Attorney, for us, and in our Name, and for his Majesty’s Use, to ask, demand, sue for, recover and receive all such Sum and Sums of Money, Debts, Goods, Wares, Dues, Accounts and other Demands whatsoever, which are or shall be due, owing, payable and belonging to us, as Receivers for his Majesty of the Revenue of the Post Office in America or detained from us by any Manner of Ways or Means whatsoever, by John Sherburne Esquire, of Portsmouth in New hampshire Executor of the Testament of the late Ellis Huske, Esqr. Postmaster of Boston aforesaid;7 hereby revoking and making null and void all former Powers for the same purpose by us given to any Person whatsoever, and giving and granting unto our said Attorney, by these Presents, our full and whole Power, Strength and Authority in and about the Premises, to have, use and take all lawful Ways and Means, in our Name for the Recovery thereof. And upon the Receipt of any such Debts, Dues, or Sums of Money aforesaid, Acquittances, or other sufficient Discharges, for us and in our Name, to make, seal and deliver. And generally, All and every other Act or Acts, Thing and Things, Device and Devices in the Law whatsoever needful and necessary to be done in and about the Premises, for the Recovery of all or any such Debts or Sums of Money aforesaid, for us and in our Name to do, execute and perform, as fully, largely and amply, to all Intents and Purposes, as we ourselves might or could do, if we were personally present, or as if the Matter required more special Authority than is herein given. And attornies, one or more, under him for the Purpose aforesaid to make and constitute, and again at Pleasure to revoke. Ratifying, allowing, and holding for firm and effectual all and whatsoever our said Attorney shall lawfully do in and about the Premises by Virtue hereof. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our Hands and Seals, this Seventeenth Day of September Annoque Domini, 17 64
Signed, sealed and delivered in the Presence of
Philadia. Sept. 18. 1764. The within named Benjamin Franklin and John Foxecroft personally appearing, acknowledged the within Instrument to be their Act and Deed. Before me
6. Tuthill Hubbart, stepson of BF’s brother John (C.8), had been appointed postmaster of Boston in 1756 to succeed his stepfather. See above, VI, 286 n; VII, 223 n. He himself spelled his surname with a “t,” though others often wrote it “Hubbard.”
7. Ellis Huske, former postmaster in Boston, had died bankrupt in 1755, leaving his post office accounts unsettled. BF had been trying ever since to get his debt settled, and as early as March 5, 1756, had sent directions to Hubbart to put Huske’s bond in suit. Above, VI, 422; VII, 197. On Sept. 24, 1763, a Probate Court in New Hampshire, where Huske was residing at the time of his death, had granted a petition by Matthew Livermore, acting on behalf of the deputy postmasters general, for payment of a claim of £352 18s. 8d. on Huske’s debt to the Crown. Otis G. Hammond, ed., Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire, IV (n.p., 1933) [The State Papers of New Hampshire, XXXIV], 185–6.
8. The fourth group of words italicized in this document was inserted above the printed line, with a caret at the point of insertion.
9. The third group of words italicized was similarly inserted above the line in place of the printed word “our,” which was struck through.
1. The witnesses were probably: the former Molly Yeldhall, wife of one Pitts, who had owned property in Philadelphia, which was subject to a mortgage held by Joseph Grant of Boston (above, V, 16; X, 250–1); and Jenny Parker, daughter of James Parker, secretary and comptroller of the Post Office. She later married Gunning Bedford, Jr. (1747–1812), a delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787. DAB.
2. The signature is nearly indecipherable but appears to be as given here. Isaac Jones was justice of the peace for Philadelphia Co. from 1757 until his death in 1773, and mayor, 1767–69. 2 Pa. Arch., IX, 728–31, 748; Pa. Gaz., Oct. 30, 1773.