Benjamin Franklin Papers

Miscellaneous Lottery Papers, 1748

Miscellaneous Lottery Papers

DS: nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Yale University Library; no. 5, Edgar Fahs Smith Library, University of Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Lottery Papers in the Yale University Library contain many orders by the Managers to their treasurer William Allen3 to pay for gun carriages and repairs or for personal services and expenses.4 Franklin was not one of the managers of either lottery; he was, however, a member of a committee which joined them in spending the money (see above, p. 222). Documents illustrating this participation are grouped together here rather than in their respective chronological places.


March 21. 1748,9

Pay to John Pass5 or Order the Sum of Seventy Pounds, out of the Lottery-Money in your Hands, on his Account for making the Field Carriages.

} Wm: Clymer
To William Allen, Esqr Samuel M’call senr
Treasurer of the Philadelphia Lottery. B Franklin

Recd. March 22d. 1748/9 of William Allen Seventy pounds being in full of the within Order

per John X Pass

Memd. he gave three Receipts which were for parts of the seventy pound above mentioned to be cancelled now.

Endorsed: John Pass’s Receipt £70.


March 21. 1748/9

Pay to Mr. Samuel M’call6 or Order Nine Pounds, being for Powder he furnish’d to try the Guns brought from N York.

To William Allen Esqr } Wm: Clymer
Treasurer of the first Philadelphia Lottery B Franklin

Recd the 21st. March 1748/9 of Willm. Allen Esqr. payment of the above Order.

per Samuel M’call SENR

Endorsed: Managers Order pd. S. M’call senr. £9.


June 6. 1749.

We whose Names are hereunto subscribed are of Opinion, that Jno Pass should be paid the Ballance of his Account for making the Field Carriages.

Wm: Clymer
B Franklin


In Consequence of the within opinion of two of the Managers for the Lottery, you will please to pay the Ballance of Mr. Pass’s Account.

Samuel M’call senr.

To Wm. Allen Esqr

Recd. Philadelphia June 7th. 1749 of William Allen Seventeen pounds Seventeen Shillings and eleven pence being the full Ballance of my Account of Field Pieces against the Lottery Managers.

Test. Alexr. Stuart per John X Pass

Nov. 23. 1749


Mr. Kent serv’d at the last Lottery as one of the Clerks,7 for which he has not yet receiv’d any thing. He is just going to N. England. It is scarce worth while to call the Managers together on this Occasion. We suppose they will not disapprove of his being allow’d the same Pay as he had for his Service in the first Lottery, especially as the latter requir’d more Days Attendance.

To Wm. Allen Esqr B Franklin
  Treasurer of the Lottery Phil Syng

Recd. Philadelphia Novr. 23d. 1749 of William Allen the sum of Ten pounds in pursuance of the within Order being in full for my Service as Clerk to the second Philadelphia Lottery.

Joseph Kent

Endorsed: Lotty Order


To The menagers of The Lottery Dr.

To painting four Field cariages £4. 0. 0

Gustavus Hesselius8

Jan. 10. 1749,50


The above has been long due, and I think it should be paid. Your humble Servant

B Franklin

To Majr. M’Call

Recd. Jany 11th. 1749/50 of William Allen four pounds in full of the above Account

John Hesselius


Recd. Apl. 25th. 1750 of William Allen Three hundred and fourteen pounds ten Shillings being to pay for the Guns brought from Boston per me

B Franklin

Endorsed: Mr. Franklin’s Receipt £314.10

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3William Allen (1704–1780), recorder of Philadelphia; member of the City Council; member of the Assembly, 1731–39; mayor of Philadelphia, 1735; chief justice of the Province, 1750–74; Provincial Grand Master of Masons, 1750; a principal representative of the proprietary interests. Educated at the Middle Temple, London, sometime pensioner of Clare Hall, Cambridge, this wealthy, cultivated gentleman was distinguished for public service and philanthropy. He was the largest contributor of the first trustees of the Academy of Philadelphia, a trustee of the Loganian Library, a manager of the Pennsylvania Hospital; he advanced money to purchase the lot for the statehouse, and he underwrote the costs of European study and travel for several promising young Philadelphians, notably the artist Benjamin West, believing it wrong that “such a Genius should be cramped for want of a little Cash.” By his will he freed his slaves. He remained a Loyalist during the Revolution. His wife was the daughter of Speaker Andrew Hamilton; Governor James Hamilton was his brother-in-law; one of his daughters married John Penn, and another James DeLancey of New York. Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh, Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin (N.Y., 1942), pp. 184–91; DAB.

4Page 221. The accounts in these papers were published in a pamphlet, Philadelphia Lottery Accounts (Phila., 1752). The MS Ledger and Journal of the Second Philadelphia Lottery, as well as some other papers in the Yale collection, include accounts of receipts and expenditures in behalf of the Association of 1755–56.

5Payments to John Pass, ironmonger, are recorded in Philadelphia Lottery Accounts. One of £258 5s. 6d., Dec. 2, 1748, was “for Spikes, and other Iron-work, &c.” and there are five more, totaling £87 17s. 11d., in 1748–49.

6Samuel McCall (1710–1761), major of the Associated Regiment, 1748; member of the Library Company and one of the original members of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia, 1748; merchant, partner of John Inglis. His business ledger (Hist. Soc. Pa.) shows that he sold BF “a Sett of small moulds for Printing Ships, Sloops &c.,” i.e., the devices used in Pa. Gaz. to advertise ships’ sailings. Usually designated “senior,” his brother-in-law was Samuel McCall, “junior” (1721–1762). PMHB, V (1881), 341–2.

7Not further identified.

8Gustavus Hesselius (1682–1755), portrait painter and craftsman, builder of the first organ in America, advertised in 1740 that he would paint coats of arms on coaches and chaises. The amount of his bill indicates that something more than plain paint was spread on the gun carriages. His son John (1728–1778), also a painter, was itinerant in Maryland and Virginia from about 1748 until 1763, when, having married, he settled in Annapolis, Md. PMHB, XXIX (1905), 129–33; LXII (1938), 442.

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