From Anthony Armbruster: Chattel Mortgage and Inventory7
DS: American Philosophical Society
[October 29, 1765]
Know all Men by these Present Whereas I Anthony Armbruster of the City of Philadelphia Printer by a certain Obligation bearing Date the thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and sixty four became bound to Benjamin Franklin of the same City Esquire in the Sum of One hundred and seventy six pounds and Ten Shillings Conditioned for the Payment of Eighty Eight pounds and five Shillings like money with lawful Interest for the same on the thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty five Now Know Ye that I the said Anthony Armbruster in consideration of the Premisses and the better to secure the Payment of the said Debt or Sum of Eighty Eight pounds and five Shillings with the Interest thereof to the said Benjamin Franklin his Executors Administrators and Assigns according to the Condition of the said Obligation and also for and in consideration of the further Sum of Five Shillings like Money to me in hand paid by the said Benjamin Franklin the Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge Have granted bargained sold and delivered and by these Presents in fair and open Market in the presence of sundry of my Neighbours Do grant bargain sell and deliver to the said Benjamin Franklin his Executors Administrators and Assigns the Goods and Chattels mentioned in a Schedule and Inventory thereof to which I have subscribed my Name and annexed to these presents at the Prices in the same Schedule ascertained To Have AND To Hold the said Goods and Chattels to the said Benjamin Franklin his Executors Administrators and Assigns To his and their Use for ever Provided always nevertheless that if I the said Anthony Armbruster my Executors and Administrators shall well and truly pay the said Debt of Eighty Eight pounds and five Shillings with the Interest thereof according to the true Intent and Meaning of the said Condition on or before the thirty first Day of October one thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Six that this Grant and Sale shall be void and of none Effect In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand Seal this twenty ninth day of October in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Sixty five.
Sealed and Delivered in presence of
J. F. Davenport8
NB: the interlination done before Signing.
Philadelphia County to wit
Be it remembered that on the thirtieth day of October in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty five Before Me Saml Shoemaker9 Esquire one of the Justices of our Lord the King who now is to keep the Peace in Philadelphia County aforesaid Assigned came the within named Anthony Armbruster and acknowledged the within Bill of Sale to be his Act and Deed In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal at Philadelphia the same day and year.
A Schedule and Inventory of the Goods and Chattels referred to in and granted by the annexed Bill of Sale, as follows to wit,
A List of Types in Cases and Boxes together with the Press Vizt.
To[ge]ther with four Chases the Frames, Galleys and Composing Sticks
J. F. Davenport
Endorsed: Bill of Sale and Mortgage—Anthony Armbruster to Benjamin Franklin
7. For Anthony (or Anton) Armbruster, formerly BF’s partner in the unsuccessful Philadelphische Zeitung, see above, V, 421–2 n. On Nov. 26, 1763, BF lent Armbruster £50, only part of which was repaid before he sailed for England in November 1764, and on Oct. 31, 1764, he sold Armbruster “the Dutch Printing Office with the English Letters therein” for both of which debts Armbruster gave the bond of £176 10s. mentioned in the present instrument; above, X, 289 n. Being unable to satisfy this obligation when it fell due on Oct. 31, 1765, Armbruster executed the chattel mortgage we have here, agreeing to deliver to BF certain stipulated printing materials in case his debt was not paid by Oct. 31, 1766. On Jan. 20, 1773, Richard Bache wrote BF that Armbruster had “never paid any thing, nor is it likely that he will ever pay any thing, he has been in Jail, and is an idle, drunken good for nothing Fellow.” Bache went on to say that the printing materials which Armbruster had agreed to give BF in case he failed to discharge his debt had been distrained for rent and that DF had been obliged to pay £35 to get possession of them. APS. In 1785 and 1786 Armbruster wrote BF begging letters from prison, where he was confined for failure to pay debts.
8. Evans was probably a Moravian who was one of the trustees of the New Building in Philadelphia. Josiah Franklin Davenport (C.12.4) was BF’s nephew who had recently returned from Fort Pitt where he had kept a store.
9. Samuel Shoemaker (c.1725–1800), a Philadelphia merchant, was a justice of the peace in Philadelphia County from 1761 until 1776. He was also a member of the Phila. Common Council, mayor of the city, 1769–71, and a member of the Assembly, 1771–73. Shoemaker was a Loyalist, who went with the British to New York in 1778, then on to England, where he lived for a few years before returning to America. See Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania (Phila., 1883), pp. 244–5.