Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Franklin, 28 June 1753

From William Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. June 28. 1753

Honoured Sir,

I wrote you last Week;9 since which Nothing new has occurr’d, worth communicating save a [paper?] publish’d by Chattin, that has made a great Noise here; one of which I inclose for your Perusal. It has given great Pleasure to many, and only [angered?] those, as I can learn, whose Approbation of it would be a Condemnation of their own Conduct. There are many Conjectures in Town about its Author; most People, however, seem to attribute it to a Gentleman now out of the Province, and, indeed, I can’t help thinking they have judg’d right; if so, there was no great Occasion of the Inclosed being sent you.1

I have ship’d the 50 Ream of Paper, you order’d, to Minott & Hatton, in Jamaica.2 The Capt. would not take it under Nine [Pence per?] Ream. I sent Holland3 the Cuts and Copy of the Almanack. He writes me word that he has two Forms of it ready to impose, and hopes to [have] the whole done by the Middle of August. [He] has likewise wrote to me for a Pound of Vermilion, and desires to know if you left [?] any Orders about sending him some [Payment?] for the Almanack, and if you have not [to] enquire whether Schutz4 has left any [of?] the Buck for him. I have not seen [Schutz?] as yet, and as you left no Orders on that [I] can say Nothing now about it; but I [shall?] send him the Vermilion per this Post. [If?] I find Schutz has not sent any Paper, shall [take?] Care that he has some.

Yesterday agreeable to your Directions, I took the Management of the Post-Office upon me:5 I trust my Conduct therein, and in all other Respects, will be such as to give you no Cause to regret my having that Mark of your Favor.

The whole Family are well, and, with many of your Friends, desire to be kindly remember’d to you. Mr. Kinnersley return’d last Week; he tells me he has discover’d Nothing new in the Electrical Way; and I understand he has [clear’d?] about £200 Sterling.6

If it would not be too much Trouble, I should be glad you wou’d cause my Name to be put down as one of the Subscribers, for the 2d Vol. of Prince’s Chronology; also to purchase the first Volume for me, together with the 3 Vols. of the American Magazine.7 Aunt Mecom has some Money in her Hands for a Ticket I sent her, which she will pay you [as?] I believe it will be sufficient to defray the Cost. I am Your obliged and dutiful Son

Wm: Franklin

Addressed: To  Mr Benjn. Franklin  now at  Boston

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF left Philadelphia for Boston soon after June 14 (he was in New Haven on June 26) and was back in Philadelphia by August 25.

1Neither the title nor the subject of this pamphlet or broadside, which WF thought his father wrote, is known. James Chattin, one of BF’s apprentices, conducted a printing shop and bookstore in Lancaster, Pa., 1751, and in Philadelphia, 1752–70, but lost it and became a conveyancer and then a journeyman again. A Quaker, he was disowned by the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, 1756. Thomas, Printing, I, 246–7; Albert C. Myers, ed., Hannah Logan’s Courtship (Phila., 1904), p. 100; William W. Hinshaw, comp., Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, II (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1938), 485.

2Minot & Hatton, merchants of Jamaica. Eddy, LedgerD,” p. 72.

3Samuel Holland, printer of Lancaster, Pa. See above, p. 506 n.

4Johann Conrad Shütz, Philadelphia paper maker. See above, II, 363 n, and Eddy, LedgerD,” pp. 30–3, 102–3.

5Before making his long New England trip BF appointed his son deputy postmaster in Philadelphia. William moved the post office from BF’s house in Market Street “to a House in Third-street, next but one above Church-Alley.” Pa. Gaz., July 5, 1753.

6Ebenezer Kinnersley lectured on electricity in the West Indies in the winter of 1752–53. Cohen, BF’s Experiments, pp. 406–7.

7Thomas Prince, A Chronological History of New-England in the form of Annals, Vol. I, Boston, 1736; Vol. II, entitled simply Annals of New-England, in three parts, 1754–55. The American Magazine and Historical Chronicle ceased publication after three volumes, 1743–46.

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