From Thomas Gordon
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Philada, Feby. 5th. 1769
It is a Tax on Superior Merrit and Benevolence, to be troubled with Importunities of every kind of People, who want Assistance. Your kindness formerly to my own Son,6 Encourages me now to Apply in behalf of my Son in Law Henry Benbridge, a very Deserving youth who has been Several Years in Italy for his improvement in Painting, and is now going to London for Business.7 As I am Sensable your Acquaintance must be large, and of the best fashion, Pardon me Sir, for Begging you’ll be kind enough (if he has merrit in his Profession) to Recommend him to such of your Acquaintance as you think may be likely to employ him: and I hope my Son will always have the Gratitude properly to Acknowledge with me the obligation Confer’d on us both. I am Sir with the greatest Esteem and Regard your most obedient humble Servant To Command.
Addressed: To Benjamin Franklin Esqr
6. For Thomas Gordon, a Scottish merchant of Philadelphia, and his son Alexander see above, VII, 392–3. The son had run out of money in England in 1758 and had appealed successfully to BF for help.
7. Henry Benbridge (1744?–1812), Gordon’s stepson and a relative of BF’s friends the Benjamin Wests, had been in Italy for some four years; he was coming to England via Corsica with a portrait of Pasquale Paoli that he had painted on commission from James Boswell. DAB.