Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Pownall, 13 May 1782

From Thomas Pownall

ALS: American Philosophical Society; press copy of copy:3 Library of Congress

Richmond Surrey May. 13. 82.

Dr Sir.

I have long been seeking an oportunity of doing what I have long desired to do. The Sending you on the poor Widow Barry’s Account. Mr Almon’s Acct of the Publication & Sale of my Topographical Description of America with the enlarged & corrected Map annexed—4 The Following is Copy of the Account deliverd to me by him. The Ballance of which is made up by the Copies of that Work delivered in at the same time.

Copy. State of the Account of Gov Pownall’s Description of America.

1776 April 6. Printing 17 Sheets at £2 pr Sheet

Number 1,000 34: 0: 0
Paper for Do 34 Rhms. at 16/ 27: 4: 0
12 Sheets of the Impression burnt in the fire at the Savoy 43: 4
Old Plate repeatedly altering & engraving the new Plate 53: 10: 0
Paper for the Plates 7: 4: 0
Printing the Plates 10: 0: 0
Colouring & joining the Maps at 9d 37: 10: 0
Sewing 900 in blue paper at 6d 22: 10: 0
5 Rhms of hand-bills for sewing in different Magazines 15: 10: 0
Advertisements in the Country Papers viz Norwich Hereford Leicester &c &c 22: 10: 0
Advertisements in the London Papers 27: 9: 0
300: 11: 0
June 81 * 96 Copies Delivd to Gov’ Pownall
April 82— 112 not sewed
12 to Mr S Wharton.
14 in hand
7765 sold at 8/6 312: 16: 0

I have gott packed up this day 75 Copies Sewed & 112 unsewed—. Which Mr Bridgen of Pater Noster Row will forward to Mr Bowen6 as You desired—& I hope he will give you advice thereof— I hope Events will once more open by peace the Communications & Correspondence of Friends. I was in hopes to have had legal authority to have communicated with You on this Subject of Peace But as there is one Person who always objects to me I now see I shall never be employed in Europe. I must not therefore venture to write either what steps I took or what the operation & effect of the steps I took in consequence of your Letter which I communicated to his Majestys Ministers.7 I am Dr Sir Your very humble Servant & I hope that Peace between our Countries will again before either You or I dye permett me to say how much I have been Your old invariable friend of four or five & twenty Years Standing8

T Pownall.

P.S. I am puzzled about sending the Plate. I don’t care to venture it in the Package with the Printed Copies I do not know how farr it may endanger their Safety in the passage

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3This copy appears to be in BFB’s hand and may have been enclosed in a letter from BF to Pownall, March 1, 1785 (Library of Congress), which contained another enclosure in the same hand.

4Since at least 1779, BF and Pownall had been trying to help Amelia Barry secure proceeds from John Almon’s publication of the map made by her father, Lewis Evans. Pownall had arranged the publication of the edition and contributed text to it: XXXI, 302; XXXVI, 101–2, 208n.

5Below this number BF inserted a rule and, below it, “1010”, the total of the column of numbers.

6François Bowens.

7For BF’s letter of November 23, 1781, and Pownall’s subsequent actions see XXXVI, 101–2; Pownall to BF, July 5, below.

8On the back of this letter BF multiplied 776 (the number of copies sold) by 8 s. 6 p. (the price per copy), arriving at a total of £329 16 s.—not the £312 16 s. listed in the account.

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

º *N.B. from these 96 I took out for presents 8 & three more which I have in my own hands. TP

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