Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Penn, 30 May 1754

To Thomas Penn

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philada. May 30. 1754


Mr. Peters has communicated to me a Paragraph of your Letter of Feby. 1. relating to a Plan desired by Sir Everard Fawkener,4 for the Extension of Correspondence, without any View to present Advantage.5 Immediately after the Treaty at Albany, Mr. Hunter and I are to proceed on a Journey thro’ all the Northern Colonies, to visit all the Post Offices, and see every thing with our own Eyes; after which we may be able to project some Plan of that kind, less imperfect than the best we can at present offer.

I beg Leave to return you my Thanks for your favourable Character of me to Sir Everard, and for the Assurances you are pleas’d to give me of your friendly Offices. If in any thing I could possibly be serviceable to you, it would give me great Pleasure, as I am, with the sincerest Respect and Esteem, Sir, Your Honour’s most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

Honble. Thos Penn, Esqr

Addressed: To  The honourable Thomas Penn Esqr  Proprietor of the Province of Pennsyl-  vania  London  per the Carolina Capt. Mesnard

Endorsed: Benjamin Franklin May 30th: 1754
  P Collinson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Sir Everard Fawkener (1684–1758), London merchant and public official, was appointed ambassador to Turkey, 1735, became secretary to the Duke of Cumberland, and in 1745 received the lucrative post of joint postmaster general with the Earl of Leicester. DNB.

5This plan may have related to the mail packet service established between Falmouth and New York in 1755. William Smith, The History of the Post Office in British North America 1639–1870 (Cambridge, 1920), pp. 29–30, 34. Informing Penn of BF’s appointment, Fawkener asked whether the Proprietor “thought it could be better executed. I informed him I thought Mr. Franklyn as capable as any man in America to serve the Crown, and find he [Fawkener] desires some Plan for the extension of correspondence, without any view to present advantage, which I desire you will consult Franklyn upon. …” Penn to Peters, Feb. 1, 1754, Penn Letter Book, III, 295, Hist. Soc. Pa. Penn’s opinion of BF soon radically changed.

6These last two endorsements are in Peter Collinson’s hand.

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