Richard Price to the Commissioners
London Jany. 18. 1779
Dr. Price returns his best thanks to the Honourable Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and John Adams Esquires, for conveying to him the resolution of Congress of the 6th. of October last, by which he is invited to become a member of the united States, and to give his assistance in regulating their Finances.1 It is not possible for him to express the Sense he has of the honour which this resolution does him, and the Satisfaction with which he reflects on the favourable opinion of him which has occasioned it. But he knows himself not to be Sufficiently qualified for giving Such assistance; and he is So connected in this country, and also advancing So fast into the evening of life, that he cannot think of a removal. He requests the favour of the honourable Commissioners to transmit this reply to Congress, with assurances that Dr. Price feels the warmest gratitude for the notice taken of him, and that he looks to the American States as now the hope, and likely Soon to become the refuge of mankind.2
RC (PHi: Franklin Papers).
1. Richard Price of Newington Green was a dissenting minister and friend of Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Priestly, and later JA. His strong support of the American cause in pamphlets and sermons, as well as his writings on extinguishing the national debt, led congress to seek his assistance in putting its finances in order (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1900; 63 vols. plus supplements. description ends ). In their letter of 7 Dec. 1778 (CtY: Franklin Papers), the Commissioners had transmitted the congress’ resolution and offered to pay Price’s expenses to America. Benjamin Franklin informed the congress of Price’s refusal in his letter to the Committee for Foreign Affairs of 26 May (PCC, No. 82, I, f. 135).
2. For an elaboration of the sentiments expressed here, as well as Price’s compliments to Franklin and JA, see a copy of his letter to Arthur Lee of this date in PCC, No. 102, II, f. 362–365.