From Sir Alexander Dick
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Prestonfield Octr. 28. 1766
I return you and your Son my most hearty thanks for the very great friendship you have shown to me and my friend Mr. Swinton in taking so much effectual pains to be at the bottom of what he wishd to know about his claim.2 He was not come to Edinburgh when your Letter arrivd else I had sooner made this return to you, but so soon as he came and got the papers you enclosd than he very joyfully said I thank God I have now got by your means a real friend in America to put me at my witts end whither my Family shall lose their Estate there or not. You may depend on Mr. Swinton as being most gratefull excellent man and will long to return this great favour. Lord Kaims has a great regard for him and indeed he is his near neighbour in the Country.3 A propos our worthy friend Kaims is in the Country Still else I had shown him your Letter: I know he puts the greatest value upon a Letter from you of any of all his numerous correspondents. He is more active if possible than ever and the great accession to his Estate by the death of Lady Kaimss Brother Mr. Drummond of near 2 thousand pounds a year4 has only given a keene edge to his Love for his Country and his friends.
I beg that my most hearty good wishes and all my familys may be made acceptable to you and yours and in a particular manner to your Son the Governor who I hear is the darling of the World. I ever remain Dear Sir your most obligd and obedient humble Servant
9. Not found.
1. BF’s last known letters to Dick are those of June 2 and July 5, 1765 (above, XII, 156–8, 197–8).
2. Dick’s friend, John Swinton (above, XII, 156–7 n), was a claimant to certain lands in New Jersey and Pa. WF had obtained legal opinion from two prominent New Jersey attorneys about the validity of his claims and had sent them to BF, who had forwarded them to Scotland. See above, p. 322 n.
3. Kames and Swinton both came from Berwickshire.
4. Upon the death of her brother’s infant son in May 1766 Kames’s wife, the former Agatha Drummond, inherited the family estate of Blair-Drummond in Perthshire, which henceforth became the country residence of the Kames family. BF visited Lord Kames at Blair-Drummond in 1771. A.F. Tytler, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry Home of Kames (2d edit., Edinburgh, 1814), i, 148; ii, 37–43. J. Bennett Nolan, Benjamin Franklin in Scotland and Ireland 1759 and 1771 (Phila., 1938), pp. 182–7.
5. Not found.
6. Probably Robert Alexander (above, VIII, 444–5), who had previously carried letters between Dick and BF; see above, XII, 70–1, 156, 165.