Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 26 December 1772

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston Decemr 26. 1772

Dear and honoured Sir

This being the last month in the Year, I have been ’till now busily employed in casting up and settling my affairs, and as I never form’d very great Expectations, I find myself very content with the result. It appears that I have good enough to pay all I owe, and £300 Sterling left being the clear profits of last years Business. In the last Account I gave you of my Affairs with Mr. Warren1 the Ballance in his favour was £87

since I have received Goods which become due not till Janry next 761 12s.
Ballance 848 12s.
I have paid him as follows
Bill Holder on Smith £100
Higington on Elton 119
Saunders on Hog 160
Hodge on Newman 86 2s. 8d.
Newman on Newman 62 6s. 8d.
Brooks on Brooks2 32 5s.
559 14s. 4d.
Ballance Due Janry next 288 17s. 8d.
848 12s. 0d.
please to turn over
I have had Goods since to the amount of £295 10s.
Which become due in May next.
 Ballance on the other side
288 17s. 8d.
the whole sum I stand indeted to Mr. Warren 584 7s. 8d.

You will please to excuse my troubeling you with such Circumstances but I think it my duty to inform you of the State of my Affairs.

As this is the Season of the Year, when Business is almost entirely stagnated, and my Father having some Accounts in Phila. which require the presence of one of us, I shall set out next week, and hope soon to pay my Respects to your good Lady and Family. Please to remember me to all enquiring Friends and believe me to be your Dutifull and affectionate Kinsman

J Williams junr

Addressed: To / Doctr Benja Franklin / at Mrs Stevensons In Craven Street / Strand / London

1In his letter above, under the end of June.

2None of the names on the list can be positively identified, but some are worth conjecture. Bill Holder was probably a young man from Bristol who later became a tobacco merchant there, trading with Virginia: Walter E. Minchinton, ed., The Trade of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century (Bristol Record Soc. Pub., XX; Bristol, 1957), p. 65, and Politics and the Port of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century … (Bristol Record Soc. Pub., XXIII; Bristol, 1963), p. 216. Higington was perhaps Paul Bevan Higgington, “a very eminent Dutch Merchant” who died in London in 1774 (Public Advertiser, June 17, 1774); Elton was in all likelihood Isaac Elton, father or son, both Bristol bankers, for whom see Minchinton, Trade of Bristol, pp. 185–6; Charles H. Cave, A History of Banking in Bristol … (Bristol, 1899), pp. 9, 44–5, 232–3. Hog may have been Robert Hogg of Hogg & Campbell, Wilmington, N.C.: Charles C. Crittenden, The Commerce of North Carolina, 1763–1789 (New Haven, 1936), pp. 96 n, 142; but a more likely candidate is Thomas Hogg (d. 1784), the Edinburgh banker: George W. Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush … (Princeton, 1948), p. 47. Hodge could have been Capt. Michael Hodge (1743–1816), a prominent citizen of Newburyport: John Quincy Adams, Life in a New England Town … (Boston, 1903), p. 98 n; Benjamin W. Labaree, Patriots and Partisans: the Merchants of Newburyport, 1764–1815 (Cambridge, Mass., 1962), pp. 75, 78, 85. One of the so-called Newmans might have been Samuel Newnam, partner in a Bristol bank (Cave, op. cit., pp. 11, 87–8), and the other a son or brother traveling on business in the colonies. The same applies to the Brookses: Robert was a tea-dealer and Samuel a broker, both at 69 Watling Street, London: Kent’s Directory … (London, 1772).

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