Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Peters, 3 February 1777

From Richard Peters5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Baltimore Feby 3d 1777


I leave the enclosed open for your Perusal and beg if you can assist me on the Subject of it you will be so kind as to do it. I know not what Part of England Mr. Penn6 is in but perhaps on Enquiry you can supply that Defect. I am with great Esteem Your obedient Servant

Richard Peters

Hon. B Franklin Esq

Addressed: The Honble Benjamin Franklin Esq / Paris

Notation: From Richd Peters Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The nephew of the clergyman of the same name who appears frequently in earlier volumes. Young Peters (1744–1828) was a graduate of the College of Philadelphia, a lawyer, and formerly an adherent of the proprietary faction. Since June, 1776, he had been secretary of the continental board of war. DAB.

6Without the lost enclosure its subject remains conjectural. William Peters, Richard’s father, was in England, no one in Pennsylvania knew where; if still alive he had no financial resources. At some time during this winter the son heard that he was dead, and later wrote BF about the report: May 31, 1778, APS. Our guess is that this is a covering note for a letter to Penn, left open for BF to read, asking help to find the father. Richard Penn, the former lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, had gone to England in 1775, carrying the Olive Branch Petition, and stayed there: above, XII, 94 n.

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