Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Kinsey, 26 March 1775

From James Kinsey6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Burlington March 26 1775.


By the favor of Mr. Wister I transmitt the Votes and Laws of the last Session of Assembly, Which I hope will be delivered safely to you together with this inclosing a Duplicate of the petition to the King.7

In my last I Stated Mr. Wilmotts Affair fully, hope he will see by it that the Colony has not been to blame and that he will speedily receive his Money.8

It Woud give us pleasure to hear of the Approbation of the Crown to the Law for instituting a suit against the late Eastern Treasurer: If there shoud be any Opposition made pray do the Committee of Correspondence the favor to Acquaint them therewith.9 With great Respect I am Your Most humble Servant

J Kinsey

Addressed: To / Dr Benjamin Franklin / Craven Street / London

Notation by Jonathan Williams, Jr.: J Kinsey New Jersey Mar. 26. 1775 recd July 7 1775 Answd 12th & 19th July 1775

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The Burlington lawyer identified above, XXI, 112 n. He was writing as a member of the N.J. Assembly’s committee of correspondence.

7Bartholomew Wistar (1754–96), the grandson of Caspar Wistar (above, III, 114), left for London in late March or early April with a certificate from a Friends’ meeting, and apparently stayed for three years. Hinshaw, Quaker Genealogy, II, 438, 691; Negly K. Teeters, They Were in Prison . . . (Philadelphia, [1937]), p. 119. He carried with him Votes, N.J. (Jan.–Feb., 1775), and a petition to the King, approved by the Assembly on Feb. 13, which listed colonial grievances and was in part drawn verbatim from the petition sent by the Continental Congress: Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey (Trenton, 1879), pp. 88–92. Wistar, when he found that BF had returned home, delivered the duplicate to JW, who endorsed this letter. The original petition reached London soon after BF’s departure. Arthur Lee, who was acting informally as N.J. agent, received and presented it to Dartmouth, but it was returned to him on the ground that he was not authorized to act for the colony. Dartmouth MSS, II, 288; Lee to Kinsey, April 17, 1775, 4 Force, Amer. Arch., II, 339. JW, unaware of this development, tried in turn to present the petition; see his letter to BF below, July 19.

8See above XXI, 404.

9Ibid., p. 260 n. No opposition had been recorded when the law, with others from New Jersey, had come before the Board of Trade the previous December: Board of Trade Jour., 1768–75, pp. 403–5.

Index Entries