From James Parker
ALS: American Philosophical Society
New-York, June 13. 1767.
I think I told you, I had sent the Bond for the whole I have had of you to Mrs. Franklin. The first of the inclosed Bill I sent per last Packet, I send this lest any Accident attend it.6
I continue to rub along, all uphill Work: But I don’t yet despair. Is it not Strange, that Holt had rather keep close now above 8 Months, than exhibit his Accounts: He fights me with my own Money, I am concerned about the Affair of Hamilton & Belfour, of which I send inclosed to you a Letter for them, which when you have seen, please send to them.7 Books and Stationary in general, are grown excessive dull Articles here: Rivington being shut up, Gaine only flourishes in the Business—Noel does indifferently—Weyman declines in all Appearance.8
I had no Line from you for two Packets past, and several Londoners: nor one News-paper from any Body: Capt. Berton sails in a Day or two, by whom I shall send some Papers to Mr. Carter, but I suppose, my Papers will be of little Service or Use to him, and I had rather Pay some Body, that would be punctual: Mr. Potts used formerly to send Papers for Pay; does he do so no more?9 For if he does, there might be some Dependance.
B. Mecom stays at New-Haven yet, but I get Nothing of him, nor I fear ever shall: His Post-Office Accounts are not very large, but the Ballance is unpaid yet.1
We had a cold backward Spring and in Appearance a very dry hot Summer, Crops thin, and Grass very scarce.
Thank God my own Health is beyond my Expectation, or even my Hope; That of my Family is better than it has been known for some Time past: tho’ I have some down now, but not bad. On the whole I have reason to be thankful. With all our humble Respects remain Your most obliged Servant
Addressed: For / Benjamin Franklin, Esqr / Craven Street / London / per Capt. Goddard
5. No letter from Foxcroft to BF during 1767 has been found.
7. John Balfour of the Scottish bookselling firm, Hamilton & Balfour, had threatened to sue Parker in 1765 for payment for a shipment of books, but had been dissuaded by BF. Parker’s letter to the firm of this date, explaining his tardiness in payment and blaming it on his ex-partner, John Holt, is in APS. See above, XII, 251–2, 383 n.
8. The bookselling competitors Parker mentions here were James Rivington (above, XI, 240 n), Hugh Gaine (above, VII, 220 n), Garrat Noel, (XIII, 395 n) and William Weyman (above, VI, 374 n).
9. BF’s accounts show that with substantial regularity he paid Samuel Potts (comptroller general of the Post Office) for sending the issues of the London Chron. to William Franklin; e.g., Journal, 1764–1776, pp. 7, 8, 13, 16, 23.
1. Apparently in reaction to frequent dunning from Parker, Mecom resigned his office as postmaster of New Haven in the winter of 1767; see above, p. 61.