From William Franklin8
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Burlington May 16, 1767
I have this Moment heard of Mr. Francis’s being to embark To morrow Morning for England. His unfortunate Connection with Mr. Hagen, a considerable Merchant in London, who has lately fail’d is the Occasion of his sudden Departure. The Distress which must be necessarily brought on him and his Family, in case Hagens’s Affairs should prove as bad as represented, gives all his Friends and Acquaintance great Concern. I am sure that the Humanity of your Disposition will naturally prompt you to assist the Unfortunate; more especially a Gentleman who has in all his extensive Dealings as a Merchant, preserv’d an unblemish’d Reputation. I shall therefore only add, that if you can either by your Advice, Interest, or Influence, render Mr. Francis any Services on this unhappy Occasion, you will afford great Pleasure to several of our good Friends, and particularly to, Honoured Sir, Your dutiful Son
To Benjn: Franklin, Esqr. London
8. On the occasion for this letter, see the one from DF of the same date immediately above. WF wrote this letter in consequence of receiving one from the Franklins’ merchant friend, Abel James, written from Philadelphia the same day and sent to Burlington by special messenger. APS. All Tench Francis’ friends, James said, wanted to enlist BF’s help in the case and he thought “A few Lines” from WF to his father and sent by Francis himself would be the best way to do so. Francis’ immediate money needs were being taken care of, but the friends wanted BF’s help “in obtaining the most favourable Terms for him from the Assignees of Hagen, and perhaps otherwise if Tench’s concerns with Hagen should prove very bad.” James said that Francis did not know of this application to WF.