Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Franklin, 27 June 1766

From William Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Perth-Amboy June 27, 1766

Honoured Sir

I wrote to you a few Days ago by the Packet, since which I have receiv’d Mr. Kearny’s Opinion on the State of the Case sent over by Sir Alexr. Dick, and now enclose it. I sent you Mr. Smyth’s Answer to the Queries before.8

I sent to you by Capt. Falconer9 for some Table China, but as I have since purchas’d some from Capt. Wms. who is going to England which match mine extremely well,1 I should be glad you would not send any over, unless you have already bought it. I must beg you to send me over two more Silver Bottle Sliders to match those you sent before, and a Silver Cross for the Table of a middling Size.2 [I have] bought some Silver Salts of Capt. Wms. and he has promised to get me a Pair more in England to match these, and deliver them to you. If he should please to pay him the Cost on my Account. I am likewise in Want of Tea, and should be glad you would speak to Miss Smith to send me Nine Pound of the best Green Tea, in 3 lb. Canisters, and pay her for it.3 I’ll send you a Bill as soon as I return. Please to let me know how young Temple does, and his present Situation.4

The Assembly are upon the Point of breaking up, and I am excessively hurried.5

Sally and Betsy6 join in Duty with Your dutiful Son

Wm. Franklin

Endorsed: Billy. Amboy June 27. 66

Sends Kearney’s Opinion on Swinton’s Affair.


 A Silver Table Cross

 Two Bottle Sliders

 9 lb of Tea.—in 3 lb Canisters

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8In 1765 BF had sent WF a letter and memorandum, transmitted to him by Sir Alexander Dick on behalf of his fellow Scotsman, John Swinton, requesting information about lands in New Jersey and Pa. to which he, Swinton, believed he was entitled; see above, XII, 156–7, 197. WF had submitted Swinton’s case to two eminent N.J. lawyers, Philip Kearny (1721–1775) and chief justice Frederick Smyth (the Mr. Smyth may possibly have been John Smyth of Perth Amboy, however), had obtained their opinions and, as he here states, sent them to his father in London. See 1 N.J. Arch., x, 420–2; xxxiv, 281–3; N.J. Hist. Soc. Colls., x, 203–4; W.A. Whitehead, Contributions to the Early History of Perth Amboy (N.Y., 1856), pp. 90–1.

9Pa. Gaz., June 19, 1766, reported the clearance of the Elizabeth, Capt. Nathaniel Falconer, for London.

1Capt. John Williams of the Engineers advertised in both Pa. Gaz. and Pa. Jour., July 3, 1766, the sale of his household goods, plate, china, and other effects.

2On Aug. 19, 1766, BF paid £4 14s. 6d. for “Bottle Stands” for WF. An earlier entry, May 29, 1766, recorded the payment of £1 4s. for a “Dish Cross” for WF, but no record of a further purchase of such an article for WF appears in BF’s accounts. Journal, 1764–1776, pp. 8, 9; Ledger, 1764–1776, pp. 7, 9, 20. Simply described, a “dish cross” is a stand consisting primarily of two crossed bars raised on feet. At their intersection is a spirit lamp to keep warm the contents of a dish placed on the stand.

3BF does not record paying Miss Susannah Smith for nine pounds of tea for WF until May 23, 1767, the charge being £5 14s. Journal, 1764–1776, p. 12; Ledger, 1764–1776, pp. 9, 28.

4This appears to be the first mention of William Temple Franklin, WF’s illegitimate son, in the Franklin correspondence, although in his Journal, Nov. 9, 1765, BF records paying Mr. Small, probably his friend, Dr. Alexander Small, £10 10s. for inoculating the boy. Journal, 1764–1776, p. 5; Ledger, 1764–1775, pp. 7, 9.

5The N.J. Assembly adjourned June 28, 1766, having been in session since June 12. 1 N.J. Arch., ix, 555–63, 567; xvii, 448–53.

6BF’s daughter and daughter-in-law.

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