Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Belcher, 26 April 1754

From Jonathan Belcher

Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society

Elizabeth Town (N.J.) April 26: 1754


As you are not only a lover of Learning but without a Compliment an Ornoment to it in the Age wherein you live you will forgive the freedom I take in Recommending to your Favour and Friendship2 Mr. John and Samuel Winthrop two worthy young Gentlemen3 making a Journey this Way partly for their Health as also to see this Country. The elder is Professer of Phylisophy at Harvard College in New England and the other is an Officer of the Supreme Court of the Massachusetts Bay. They are descended from one of the first families in New England and their deceas’d Father was my Particular Friend and Acquaintance and after saying these things I will only add that any Respect or Civility you are pleas’d to shew them I shall take as a fresh Instance of your Real Regard for Sir Your hearty Friend and Servant.

Mr. Franklin per Messrs: Winthrops

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2The letterbook copy to BF ends at this point, where a direction is inserted that the remainder of the letter was the same as a similar introduction to one Mr. James, also in the letterbook.

3Professor John Winthrop (1714–1779) of Harvard (see above, IV, 261 n), and his brother Samuel (1716–1779), clerk of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. Though hardly “young” men at 40 and 38, they must have seemed so to the aged and ailing Belcher, who was 72. Professor Winthrop may have made the trip to ease his sorrow and loneliness after his wife’s death in August 1753. Lawrence S. Mayo, The Winthrop Family in America (Boston, 1948), pp. 167–96; Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, IX, 246–7.

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