Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from R[obert] A[lexander], 8 March 1767

From R[obert] A[lexander]6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Sunday Morning
Leicester Fields 8 March 1767

Dear Sir,

I send my [sic] by the Bearer the Portfolio containing my Papers7 the Key to which you will find here inclosed, I shall send for them back betwixt twelve and one in order to convey them to our other Friend8 who is so kind as to keep himself disengaged thorough [sic] the day in order to give them a serious Perusal. There is a Letter I received from my Brother9 by yesterday’s post of the 3 Inst. to shew you his further sentiments. I am ever most affectionately Dear Sir, your &c.


Addressed: To / Dr Franklyn / Craven Street

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Identified by initials, handwriting, and subject matter. For Robert Alexander, Edinburgh merchant and banker, see above, VIII, 444–5 n. It was he who in 1766 commissioned David Martin to paint the “Thumb Portrait” of BF reproduced as the frontispiece of this volume.

7Alexander had unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat for Anstruther Easter Burghs in the corrupt election of January 1766; above, XII, 252 n. He petitioned the House of Commons and was again defeated. Actions followed in the Scottish courts against the burghs on account of the bribery that had taken place. The Court of Sessions disfranchised Pittenweem, which had supported Alexander, and the House of Lords upheld this decision on March 27, 1767. Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, 1, 498–500. It appears highly probable that the papers on which Alexander wanted to consult BF were connected with the case before the Lords.

8Not identified.

9William Alexander (1729–1819), whose daughter, Mariamne, married BF’s grand-nephew, Jonathan Williams, Jr., in France in 1779.

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