Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, 3 July 1749

To William Strahan

MS not found; reprinted from Bigelow, Works, X, 252–3.

Philadelphia, July 3, 1749

Dear Sir,

I wrote to you very fully per Arthur concerning your affair with Mr. Read,3 and shall have nothing to add on that subject till I hear further from you. I acquainted you that he had given his bond for the balance due to you, and that I do not look on the debt as desperate.

Enclosed I send you several second bills, having sent the firsts per Arthur. I hope to hear per next ship that you have received my son’s pay, since I understand there was a [Bill of]4 Parliament in March last, for a sum to defray all the charges of the Canada expedition.5 If it should prove otherwise, I will send the balance from hence in the fall, and make you satisfaction for the delay and disappointment.

The Library Company send to Mr. Collinson by this ship for a parcel of books. I have recommended you to him on the occasion, and hope you will have the selling of them. If you should, and the Company judge your charges reasonable, I doubt not but you will keep their custom.

I fear I shall not have the pleasure of seeing you this year, perhaps the next I may.

Please to send me a book lately advertised; I think it is called A Collection of Sentences, Wise Sayings, etc., by some officer about the Parliament House; his name I have forgot.6

With all our best respects to you and yours, I am, dear sir, your most obliged friend and servant,

B. Franklin

What is the price of printing paper in London?

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3See above, p. 377.

4Missing words supplied from extract in Rosenbach Company, 1776 Americana … (Phila., 1926), p. 28, no. 53.

5The Secretary at War, March 10, 1749, laid before Parliament bills for expenses incurred during the war in America, including Clinton’s accounts. This is probably what BF referred to. Additional accounts, including the charges for supporting the troops from Pennsylvania, were presented to Parliament, March 12, 1750; a committee recommended payment; and the bill passed. Leo F. Stock, ed., Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliaments respecting North America, V (Washington, 1941), 299–300, 416, 425; below, p. 479.

6A Collection of select Aphorisms and Maxims (London, 1748), by Charles Palmer, deputy-serjeant of the House of Commons. BF drew many aphorisms for Poor Richard from it. See above, I, 282.

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