Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Franklin, 27 September 1750

To John Franklin

Transcript: Vassar B. Carlton, Titusville, Florida (1955)

Philada. Sept. 27. 1750

Dear Brother

I received yours of the 17th Inst. with the Plan of Halifax for which I thank you.9 Pray send me the Heads of Shirley and Pepperill with the Price.1 I received also yours per Mr. S. Cooper [?] who arived here last Night.2 We shall look over the Town Plan to morrow (Mr. Etter and I)3 and if I can think of any Thing that may be advantageous, shall advise. I have inserted your Paragraphs and shall write to Parker as you desire.4 As you hate Prolixity and all his Works you shall have none of em to read this Post from Your Loving Brother

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9It is impossible to identify which of several available maps John Franklin sent; it may even have been a manuscript. James Turner, Boston engraver, issued a map of Nova Scotia in 1750, based on that in Charlevoix’s Histoire et Description générale, embellished by an inset showing a plan of Halifax. John Carter Brown Lib., Annual Report, 1945–46, pp. 37–9. John Franklin’s letter has not been found.

1Portraits of Gov. William Shirley and Sir William Pepperrell were engraved by Peter Pelham in Boston, 1747. David McN. Stauffer, American Engravers upon Copper and Steel (N.Y., 1907), II, 408, 409.

2Rev. Samuel Cooper, minister of Brattle Square Church, Boston. See above, p. 69 n.

3Peter Etter (1715–c.1786), stocking weaver of Braintree, Mass., founded with John Franklin, Joseph Crellius (see below, p. 77 n), and Norton Quincy a glass factory there, 1750, though it went into operation under other directors, 1752. Intending to establish a community of German artisans, the undertakers surveyed their land into lots, streets, and squares (with names like Berne, Hanover, Hague, Zurich, and Manheim). Probably it was a copy of this town plan BF promised to examine with Etter. Etter was active in local politics and friendly with John Adams, but he was a Tory during the Revolution and left Boston for Halifax with the British troops in March 1776. He named a son, born 1752, Franklin Germanus. William S. Pattee, A History of Old Braintree and Quincy (Quincy, Mass., 1878), pp. 379, 381, 474–8; E. Alfred Jones, The Loyalists of Massachusetts (London, 1930), pp. 133–4.

4This may be the letter of Sept. 17, 1750, from which an extract was printed in Pa. Gaz., Sept. 27, 1750. It reported that an English ship and a Massachusetts sloop, arriving in Boston from the eastward, brought information that no French vessels or encampments had been seen at Penobscot, that the Indians there remained firm in the English interest, and that therefore the Maine settlements were not likely to be molested. James Parker reprinted the paragraph in N.-Y. Gaz., Oct. 1, 1750.

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