Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Samuel Wharton, [on or after 7 April 1779]

From Samuel Wharton2

AL: American Philosophical Society

Hotel de Rome Wednesday afternoon [on or after April 7, 1779]3

Mr Wharton presents his Respects to his Exellency Mr. Franklin, & sends Him the News paper, and a correct List of all the regular Forces in Ireland. The letter He has just received from a Friend; Who has the best Opportunity of officialy, acquiring a State of the Army. Mr. Wharton did not receive A News paper by the last post.

Addressed: A’ Son Excellence / Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / &c &c &c / Passy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2BF’s old friend, who arrived from England sometime before March 17. On that date WTF wrote JA that Wharton and his son had come and were planning to return to America in a few weeks (Mass. Hist. Soc.). On April 9 Samuel Wharton signed an oath of allegiance as did his son Joseph and a business associate, Joseph Dobson; all are at the APS. For the younger Wharton (not to be confused with his uncle of the same name) see his letter, below, May 31; for his dealings with Dobson see “Selections from the Letter-Books of Thomas Wharton, of Philadelphia, 1773–1783,” PMHB, XXXIII (1909), 320, 437, 442; XXXIV (1910), 41, 44, 45.

3The first Wednesday after the date of what we believe to have been the enclosure, a one-page memorandum in an unknown hand labeled “Army in Ireland, April 2d. 1779.” It lists 11,030 troops by regiment (with an additional 1,816 still to be recruited). APS. Ireland continued to be a subject of interest to BF, who eventually selected Wharton’s fellow stock speculator Edward Bancroft for an intelligence-gathering mission to the island; see the instructions to him, below, May 31.

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