Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Hartley, 3 February 1778

From David Hartley

Copy: Library of Congress

Golden Square February 3 1778

Dear Sir,

The enclosed letters will explain themselves. Mr. Wren8 is a very worthy man (I believe a dissenting Minister) at Portmouth who has devoted his attention in the most charitable manner towards the relief of the prisoners at Forton. When Mr. Thornton went to Forton I advanced him £50 according to your desire. If you approve the Continuance of his plan I can easily transact it here, in concurrence with Mr. Wren. I suppose by Mr. Wren’s letters that the whole of the dinners may come to 4 or 5 Guineas a week. If therefore you will transmit £100 to me by any banker or Merchant we shall have 8 or 10 weeks in hand, and when that is expended I will transmit to you the account. Mr. Thorntons visit and donation to the poor prisoners was most acceptable for it was before the Subscription.9 He was very popular amongst them and gave them I believe about £40 or 50 in Tobacco tea Sugar &c. &c. They are very comfortably appointed now. I will write again soon. I have not time to write more by this packet, but I cannot quit this paper without Subjoining one earnest caution and request. Let nothing ever persuade America to throw themselves into the Arms of France. Times may mend. I hope they will. An American must allways be a Stranger in france. Great Britain may for ages to come be their home.1 Yours most affectionately


Notation: David Hartley to Benjamin Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8See Thornton’s report above, Jan. 5.

9On Dec. 11 Lord Abingdon had announced in the House of Lords his intention of raising a subscription for the prisoners, and a meeting had subsequently been held in London for the purpose; Hartley was in touch with the committee. Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XIX (1777–78), 594–5; George H. Guttridge, David Hartley, M.P: an Advocate of Conciliation . . . (University of Cal. Pub. in History, XIV, no. 3; [Berkeley, Cal., and London, 1926]), p. 276.

1See BF’s reply below, Feb. 12.

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