Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Cooper, 9 March 1773

To William Cooper7

ALS and copy:8 New York Public Library; ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, March 9. 1773


I received duly your Favour of Dec. 8. with a Copy for myself of the Proceedings of your Town Meeting, for which please to present my respectful Thanks to the Committee. I received also a Number more for different Persons, here, which I immediately deliver’d as directed. I have also reprinted the Pamphlet9 to make your Grievances more generally known here, a few Copies of which I send herewith. With great Esteem, I am, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin1

Wm Cooper Esqr

Endorsed: London March 9, 1773 Dr. Benjamin Franklin’s Letter to the Town Clerk recd. April 29. 1773 Recd

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7William (1721–1809), the older brother of BF’s regular correspondent, the Rev. Samuel Cooper, had represented Boston briefly in the House of Representatives, and during the Revolution did so again in the provincial congress. His long term as town clerk, which had begun in 1761 and continued till his death, made him an unofficial manager of the town meeting and a leader of the Boston Caucus and the Sons of Liberty. New England Historical and Geneal. Register, XLIV (1890), 56. “With ‘Silver-Tongued Sam’ speaking for the Deity in the General Court, and his brother William controlling Boston town meeting, it was said that the patronymic of the holy family was Cooper.” Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, XI, 197.

8The copy is in the minutebook of the Boston Committee of Correspondence.

9BF’s draft here inserts “with a Preface.” It is printed above, under the end of February, where the proceedings are identified.

1In his draft BF added and then deleted a postscript: “I have not yet seen Capt. Jenkins, but will enquire for him.” Jenkins was presumably mentioned in the lost letter from Cooper of Dec. 8, and is identified in a note on Williams to BF above, Feb. 15.

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