Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Greene, 31 January 1781

From William Greene

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Warwick State Rhode Island &c. 31st January 1781


This will be handed to you by Mr. John Murray a young Gentleman whose Friends are in England from whom he has been absent in America ever since his infancy, he having resided Principlely within this State,2 have had an oppertunity of being informed with respect to his Charecter. Do therefore recommand him to your Perticular Notice.

Have nothing very material that I think will be prudent to communicate as it is uncertain into whose hands this may fall, save that one of the British Ships a few Days pass’d being the Coloden of seventy four guns went on shore upon long Island and is stranded. Likewise a fifty gun Ship is dismasted.3

Your sister is with her Grand Daugter Greene and two great Grand Children, they together with my Family are well, who desire their sincere regards and pleas to axcept the same from your sincere Friend and most Humble Servant.

W. Greene

Doctr: Franklin.

Addressed: Doctr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Murray was also provided a letter of recommendation, dated Jan. 30, by two prominent Providence residents, Joseph and William Russell (for whom see Naval Docs., III, 677–8). They express “particular Esteem & regard” for him, a merchant of the house of Sterry and Murray of Providence who is going to Europe on mercantile business. APS. (He must thus have been associated with Cyprian Sterry, for whom see XXX, 303n.) BF cashed copies (notarized in Providence) of eighteen bills of exchange worth $1,734 for Murray at Passy; on March 31 he signed a promise to “make good the same” should the originals appear (APS).

3In a gale during the night of Jan. 22–23, the Culloden, 74, was driven aground in Gardiner’s Bay and the Bedford, 74, dismasted. Although the Culloden could not be salvaged her masts were transferred to the Bedford: John A. Tilley, The British Navy and the American Revolution (Columbia, S.C., 1987), pp. 212–15.

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