From John Foxcroft
ALS: American Philosophical Society
New york Septr. 15th. 1775
My Dear Friend
By Mr. Dashwood6 who arrived Yesterday in the Harriott Packet Captn. Lee I rec’d a most Friendly and Polite Letter from our mutual good Friend Ld. Le Despencer wherein He approves of every step I have taken in those troublesome times, which if I mistake not will give you pleasure. I am very sorry to find by a Letter from your Son that some People has had the Curiosity to pry into our Correspondence. There was nothing of Politicks. I told you that whenever business would permitt you to comply with your promise that you would make the Family at Bellview Happy perticularly your Daughter,7 you would have oblijed me by a Line on your intented Visit to amboy. I would have met you if I had been able but I believe I was confined to my Room about that time and for upwards of three Weeks with a constant Fever and Ague, it has pull’d me down but I can bear it. Inclosed you have his Majestys Answer to the City Address.8 Ld. Le Despencer concludes his Letter as follows. “Whenever you write to Dr. Franklin assure him of my Sincere good will and Esteem. I fear much I shall not see him here so soon as he assured me I should.” Mr. Dashwood begs his Compliments. I am and ever shall be Your assured Friend and oblijed humble Servant
To Benjn: Franklin Esqr
Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / at / Philadelphia / J: Free: Foxcroft
Endorsed: J. Foxcroft
6. Francis Dashwood (d. 1793), a relative of Le Despencer, had been appointed Foxcroft’s secretary, and in 1776 was imprisoned with him in Philadelphia; Dashwood was paroled and then exchanged, and spent the war in New York. He was later deputy postmaster general of Jamaica, where he died. [Whitfield J. Bell, Jr.,] Benjamin Franklin at West Wycombe Park . . . ([Philadelphia,] 1977), pp. 24–5.
7. The old joke about Foxcroft’s wife Judith; see above, XVII, xxviii n.
8. The petition from the City of London protested the use of force against the Americans; the King replied that he must continue to use it while his authority was defied, in order to protect the interests of his other subjects. Public Advertiser, July 15, 1775; the petition and answer were reprinted in the Pa. Gaz., Sept. 13, 20, 1775.