Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Daniel Fisher, [4 June 1755]

To Daniel Fisher4

MS not found; reprinted from The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, XVII (1893), 271.

[June 4, 1755]

Mr. Franklin’s compliments to Mr. Fisher and desires the favor of his Company to drink Tea at 5 o’clock this afternoon.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Daniel Fisher (fl. 1720–1755) visited America in 1722, returned to England, but came back, settling with his family at Williamsburg, Va., 1750. He came to Philadelphia in May 1755 with an introduction to Chief Justice William Allen. When Allen did nothing for him, Fisher communicated his “unhappy condition” to BF, who replied the same day in the letter printed here. At tea, Fisher wrote, BF “expressed concern for my afflictions and promised to assist me into some business provided it was in his power.” BF was as good as his word: he entertained Fisher several times, gave him jobs copying letters and papers and arranging records in the post office, and promised to recommend him for a position in the English school of the Academy. But Fisher preferred to return to Williamsburg, which he did, August 1755. His account of Deborah Franklin’s temper and her dislike of William Franklin has been often quoted. “Extracts from the Diary of Daniel Fisher, 1755,” PMHB, XVII (1893), 263–78; Louise P. duBellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families (Lynchburg, Va., 1907), II, 751–811; Va. Mag. Hist. Biog., XXV (1917), 14; and see below, p. 113.

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