From David Finney9
ALS: American Philosophical Society
NewCastle July 10th. 1781.
If it is in your power to obtain intelligence from London, concerning the proceedings on my Appeal, which you was so kind as to negotiate for me, during your residence there, and on which a hearing was expected soon after you left England, and you can learn whether any Judgment was given thereon.— I shall esteem it a singular favor, if you will please to transmit me a Copy thereof, (if in my favor,) or an account from Mr. Thomas Life, my Solicitor, how the matter ended,1 and transmit it to me, as soon as convenient. Any expences attending the application, shall be repaid to your Order, in Philadelphia.
Please excuse this trouble, I am, Dear Sir Your obliged humble Servant
Honorable Doctor Benjamin Franklin.
Addressed: Dr: Franklin
Notation: David Finney 18 July 1781.—
9. Finney in February, 1774, had written to BF in England seeking help in appealing to the Privy Council a complicated case involving an inheritance through his mother of lands in Delaware. Evidence of the lengthy dispute is found in numerous Delaware court records of the 1740’s, 1750’s, and late 1760’s: Delaware Public Archives, Dover, Del. As we say in our annotation to Finney’s earlier letter, the Privy Council referred the appeal to a committee and the matter apparently died there after the war broke out: XXI, 128–30. We find no record that BF ever replied to the present letter.
1. Life had also served as BF’s solicitor from time to time and acted as such in matters growing out of the Hutchinson letters affair: X, 369n.