From Amelia Evans4
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Tuesday 18 [February 1766]5 12 o’clock
This morning I have had my difinitive answer from the family I am in,6 and am to go with them. The Ship in which they are to sail is now ready at Portsmouth and they only wait for the Consuls Credential letters which are hourly expected. The reason therfore Sir for my troubling you in this manner is to beg you will endeavour to have some estimation put on the Copper plate but I would most willingly refer that to you.
I have had a letter a day or two ago from my Guardian in Philadelphia7 and am disappointed of receiving some money I have there but he says he expects to receive it very soon as it is at interest upon undoubted security. You do not Sir perhaps think the money I have due to me from the Estate in Boston secure enough to advance me anything upon it—if you do Sir and would oblige me so far I should esteem it as the greatest favor in the world,8 as I am obliged to lay in many articles before I leave England there being very few things to be purchased at Tunis of wearables and I am to expect very little from my Uncle9 than severity. The money I have due to me from the Boston estate1 has been fully proved and the account acknowledged by the Executors of that Estate and perhaps my draught on them they will be obliged to answer.
If the above request you do not think proper to comply with I hope you will pardon the boldness of it and believe that nothing but the necessity of my situation could drive me to it therefore from the knowledge I have of Mr. Franklin I may flatter myself he will not only excuse but pity his most obliged and obedient Servant
Please to direct to me at Mr. Norris King street Golden square. I [would] have waited upon you Sir but had not the confidence upon such an errand.
Addressed: For / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Craven-street / Strand
4. For Amelia Evans, daughter of the cartographer Lewis Evans and goddaughter of DF, see above, XII, 64 n. As she relates in the present letter, she was just on the point of leaving England as a governess in the family of James Traill, the British consul-designate at Tunis.
5. This letter can be dated by the document immediately following. Writing on “Tuesday 18,” Miss Evans here asked BF to appraise “the Copper plate” —the plate for Miss Evans’ father’s 1755 map, his General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America (see above, VI, 173)—and to advance her some money. The next day, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 1766, she gave BF a receipt for five guineas for the plate, showing that he had responded to her request immediately. Since Tuesday the 18th fell in February 1766, the present letter can be confidently dated Feb. 18, 1766.
6. The Traill family.
7. Thomas Gay had been appointed Miss Evans’ guardian upon the death of her uncle, John Evans, in 1759.
8. The next day BF gave £11 11s., of which five guineas was in payment for the map plate and six guineas was a loan. Journal, 1764–1776, p. 7; Ledger, 1764–1776, pp. 5, 7, 21. The endorsement of her receipt for the five guineas shows that she repaid the loan in 1771.
9. Apparently a brother of Lewis Evans who remained in England.
1. Nothing is known about Miss Evans’ property in Boston.