Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, 25 September 1746

To William Strahan

ALS (2): Western Reserve Historical Society and Pierpont Morgan Library; also duplicate: Yale University Library

Philada. Sept. 25. 1746


Your Favours of Feb. 11. and May 1. are come to hand. Mesnard arrived safe this Morning, and I suppose I shall have the Trunks out in a Day or two. Our other Ships Lisle and Houston not yet come, but daily expected. I am much oblig’d to you for your ready Compliance with my Requests. I sent you in the Spring a Bill on Messrs. Hoare and Arnold for £15 which I hope came to hand, and will be as readily paid as that on George Rigge for £15.7.1. I now send you the following Bills, viz.

John Dening’s for 3. 5. 7
George Copper for 2. 8. 0
J. Bordely’s for 4. 3. 3
Ra. Page’s for 4. 15. 0
Sarah Gresham’s for 4. 10. 0
Jno. Bond’s for 13. 17. 9
£32: 19: 7

I wish the Sum had been all in one Bill, as the Trouble to you would be less; but Bills have been scarce lately, and we were glad to get any. I think however to send you no more such small ones.

I shall as you desire deliver one of Ainsworth’s Dictionaries6 to Mr. Read. You will please to take the Charge of it, off my Account in your Book, and add it to his.

Please to send me per next Vessel 6 Dozen of Dyche’s Spelling Books, and as many of Owen’s,7 with a Dozen of Post-Horns of different Sizes. I shall speedily send you another Bill.

My Wife joins with me in Thanks to you and good Mrs. Strahan and young Master, for your great Kindness to our Daughter.8 She shall make her Acknowlegements herself as soon as she is able.

I congratulate you on the Defeat of Jacobitism by your glorious Duke, and the Restoration of Peace and Good Order within the Kingdom.9 We have just now an Account that a French Fleet of about 30 Sail were lately seen off Cape Sables; They are suppos’d to be from Brest.1 I hope they are follow’d by a superior Force from England, otherwise a great Deal of Mischief may be done in North America.

I am sorry it so happen’d that Mr. Collinson had bespoke the Books. The next Catalogue sent to him will be accompanied with a Request that he should purchase them of you only.2

Our Friends Messrs. Hall and Read continue well.3 I am Sir Your most obliged humble Servant

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Robert Ainsworth, Thesaurus linguae Latinae compendiarius; or, a compendious dictionary of the Latin tongue, 2d edit., London, 1746.

7The books ordered were probably Thomas Dyche, A Spelling Dictionary (3d edit., London, 1731), and John Owen, The Youth’s Instructor in the English Tongue; or a Spelling Book (London, 1732).

8Strahan’s eldest son, William, then a boy of six. BF’s daughter Sarah was three.

9Charles Stuart’s forces were decisively defeated at Culloden Moor, April 16. BF printed the first news of the “glorious Duke” of Cumberland’s victory in a supplement to Pa. Gaz., July 5. Fuller accounts appeared in the issue of July 10 and the supplement of July 12.

1The Duke d’Anville, commanding a squadron of 11 ships of the line, 30 smaller vessels, and transports carrying land forces of 3130 men, sailed from Brest on June 22, to recapture Louisbourg and Cape Breton Island. Storm and sickness reduced the force; d’Anville died four days after the fleet reached Chebucto; an attack on Annapolis was frustrated when the ships were scattered in a storm; and the remnant of the fleet limped back to France. Thomas Hutchinson, The History of Massachusetts Bay (3d edit., Boston, 1795), II, 383–5.

2BF had earlier suggested that Strahan might solicit the Library Company’s business from Collinson. The Library’s new catalogue was printed by BF in 1746.

3Thus in the ALS in the Western Reserve Hist. Soc. and the duplicate in Yale Univ. Lib.; the ALS in Pierpont Morgan Lib. reads: “Our Friends Hall and Read are well, and desire to be remember’d to you. Mr. Hall will write via New York.”

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