Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Parker, 5–9 October 1769

From James Parker

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nyork, Octob 5 [–9]. 1769

Honoured Sir

Ever since my last of the 11th Sept. have I been laid up, by the most excruciating Fit of the Gout, that ever I had: and I have now but scarce Ability to write a Line or two. Nothing worthy of Note has happen’d since in Relation to the Post-Office, except that Mr. Babcock has left New-Haven, and I sent a Commission to Mr. Kilby in his Stead, who has given Bond, and taken the Oath according to Law. I have received no Money or Bills since; altho’ I have hinted to Mr. Colden, who is a good deal in Arrear again, that as Bills are low now, it would be agreeable to send, but he has not regarded it.7 I should have been glad to have heard from you about resigning my Place in the Custom-House, as I find myself every Day less able than other to execute that Office, and I suppose it is expected that I resign this Quarter Day, which is to-morrow: for if I don’t resign, now I can’t do my Duty, it is probable they will suspend or turn me out, and should you be able to procure an Appointment for Mr. Robinson, it would not disappoint any other, so much as it would, were another actually appointed. I send the Book of Accounts, as copied exactly and examined by Mr. Robinson for the future, I keep a Day-Book, wish Heaven may give me more Health to enable me to be more exact. Mr. Foxcroft, has not given me his Direction, and I am also, so very poorly, that I hope you will make my Excuse to him, with my most respectful Complements, whilst I am Your most obliged Servant

James Parker

The Book goes by Capt. Th: Miller8

PS. Octob 9. This Letter I open’d again to inclose the 2d of each of two Bills just received from Mr. Hubbart—the first of which I sent per Packet Saturday Night: one is for £105 Sterling drawn by Hays & Polock, on Mr. David Milligan of London, dated Newyork, Aug 15. 1769—the other for £15 2s. 10d. drawn by Cary Mitchel, on Samuel Blythe,9 dated Virginia 11 Octob. 1768. Wishing them safe to hand, not able to add more than Respect &c


Addressed: For / Dr Benjamin Franklin / Craven-Street / London / per Capt. Miller

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7For Luke Babcock and Christopher Kilby see Parker to BF above, May 31. For Alexander Colden, the New York postmaster and eldest son of Cadwallader Colden, see above, VI, 113 n.

8The merchant captain who in 1767 had witnessed Parker’s power of attorney to BF for collecting the former’s salary: above, XIV, 284.

9Baruch, or Barrak, Hays and Issachar Polock were partners in a mercantile firm of New York and Newport. J. Solis-Cohen, Jr., “Barrak Hays: Controversial Loyalist,” American Jewish Hist. Soc. Publications, XLV (1955–56), 54–7. David Milligan & Co. were merchants and insurance brokers of Billiter Square and Samuel Blythe a merchant of Basinghall Street, London. Kent’s Directory … (London, 1770), p. 123. Cary Michell, as he spelled his name, was apparently the son of the customs collector at Hampton, Va.; and by 1774 he was himself the collector. See Tyler’s Quarterly Hist. and Geneal. Mag., X (1929), 205; and a certificate signed by Michell, Jan. 2, 1774, APS.

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