Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Bowden, 29 August 1772

From William Bowden6

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

St. Thomas’s Hospital 29th. August 1772


The great regard I have for my friend M Skey the bearer of this, engages me to take the liberty to introduce him to you.7 He wants some information with respect to the new Settlement intended at the Ohio, and as I am very sensible your opinion will be of great use, I presume to ask your favoring him with your sentiments on that head, for a guide to him in pursuing his scheme. I hope you will excuse this freedom, and believe me to be with great regard Sir Your most Obedient humble Servant

W. Bowden

Addressed: To / Dr Benjamin Franklin / In / Craven Street / Strand

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6A London merchant trading with America, and a prominent dissenter. He had just been elected governor of the New England Co., and was a member of the Presbyterian Board and a trustee of Dr. Williams’ charity; he was also a director of the Bank of England and the treasurer of St. Thomas’s Hospital. See William Kellaway, The New England Company, 1649–1776: Missionary Society to the American Indians ([London, 1961]), pp. 171, 173.

7No Skey appears in Kent’s Directory … (London, 1770). A George Skey was a Russia merchant in London, but all we know about him is that he had a son, born in 1798, who later became a famous surgeon; see the DNB under Frederick Carpenter Skey. If the father married late in life, he might have been in his younger days a business acquaintance of Bowden.

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