From William Neate3
AL:4 Library of Congress
St Mary Hill 24th Decemr. 1774
Mr. William Neate presents his most respectfull Compliments to Dr. Franklin, and as a report prevailed yesterday Evening that all the disputes between Great Britain and the American Colonies were thro’ his application and influence with Lord North amicably setled, conformable to the wish and desire of the late Congress. W N desires the favor of Dr. Franklin to inform him by a line per the bearer, whether there is any credit to be given to the report.5
3. A merchant who was an old acquaintance; see above, XII, 192 n. He had recently been a candidate for alderman, and died the following spring: London Chron., Oct. 25–27, Dec. 6–8, 1774; May 2–4, 1775.
4. Removed from BF’s journal of negotiations below, March 22.
5. We have not found this rumor in the press. But William Molleson mentioned it in a letter to Dartmouth, apparently of the same date; and BF said in his reply to Neate, which he paraphrased in the journal, that it was being confidently disseminated and was favorably affecting the stock market, although he himself knew nothing of it. Dartmouth MSS, II, 244; below, p. 565.