From Charles Wilcox2
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Bristol, 13th Septr. 1773.
You was so kind as to assure Me in Your Letter to Me of the 3d Febry last that if I had Occasion to trouble You, You would Serve Me. The Case now Sir is this I am apply’d to by the Heirs of one Colonel William Cole who had an Estate in Maryland and Philadelphia to recover the same for them. You will Extreamly Oblige Me Sir to let Me know if You knew any such Person. He died about 13 Years since at Coles Creek in Maryland. I beg You will excuse the Trouble I give You to answer this Letter,3 it will be serving a poor Family and Oblige Sir Your most Humble Servant
PS. A Vessell will sail in about 10 days for Phila. if you have any dispatches I will take Care to forward them
Addressed: Benja. Franklin Esqr LLD / In / Craven Street / London
2. An American who had arrived in Bristol earlier in the year and gone into business there. He seems to have been a middleman in the hardware trade between Birmingham and New England; see his letter to Samuel and Stephen Salisbury, April 21, 1773, Salisbury Papers, II (5), Amer. Antiquarian Soc. BF was in intermittent correspondence with him for some time; three of Wilcox’s letters have survived, of which this is the first, and none of BF’S.
3. We are as ignorant of Col. Cole as were Wilcox and BF. The latter apparently suggested inquiring of the Annapolis postmaster; see Wilcox’s acknowledgment below, Nov. 8.