Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to James Bowdoin, 18 October 1753

To James Bowdoin

ALS: J. William Middendorf, Jr., Ruxton, Md. (1955)

Philada. Oct. 18. 1753

Dear Sir

I recollect that I promis’d to send you Dr. Brownrigg’s Treatise on Common Salt.1 You will receive it herewith. I hope it may be of use in the Affair of your Fishery. Please to communicate it to Capt. Erwin, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Boutineau,2 or any other of your Friends who may be desirous of seeing it.

Since my Return from Boston, I have been to our Western Frontiers on a Treaty with the Ohio Indians.3 They complain’d much of the Abuses they suffer from our Traders, and earnestly requested us to put the Trade under some Regulation. If you can procure and send me your Truckhouse Law and a particular Account of the Manner of executing it, with its Consequences, &c. so that we may have the Benefit of your Experience, you will much oblige me; and if you have found it a useful Law, I am in hopes we shall be induc’d to follow your good Example.4

My Compliments to Mrs. Bowdoin, and all enquiring Friends. With much Respect and Esteem I am, Dear Sir, Your most humble Servant

B Franklin

Mr. Bowdoin

Addressed: To  Mr James Bowdoin  Mercht  Boston

1William Brownrigg, The Art of Making Common Salt (London, 1749).

2Capt. John Erving (c. 1690–1786) was Bowdoin’s father-in-law. James Pitts (1710–1776), A.B., Harvard, 1731, merchant, married Bowdoin’s sister. James Boutineau (1710–1778), lawyer, was Bowdoin’s cousin. “The Affair of your Fishery” was probably the commercial undertaking at Pulling Point which was inaugurated by Governor Shirley, Sept. 8, 1753 (when the place was renamed Point Shirley). Pitts was a member of the company. The plan was not carried through, and the area became a social fishing club. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, IX, 77; Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston (Boston, 1871), pp. 437–8.

3Richard Peters, Isaac Norris, and BF were sent, Sept. 22, 1753, to treat with the Ohio Indians at Carlisle; they reached there Sept. 26; the conference was held Oct. 1–4; and the commissioners made their report, Nov. 1 (see below, pp. 84–107).

4See above, IV, 120, and below, pp. III, 154.

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