Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Peters, [c. 1 August 1755]

To Richard Peters

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[c. August 1, 1755]3


The House is not yet together: But the Speaker and a Number of the Members are of Opinion that a Common Messenger will be sufficient to carry the Letters;4 and are not inclin’d that any Gentlemen should be charg’d with them in Behalf of the Publick. They hope the Colonel5 does not mean to come to Philadelphia but only into this Province, to be near the Magazine at Shippensburgh, &c. Your humble Servant

B Franklin

I should be glad of an Opportunity of sending a Line by the Messenger.

Addressed: To / Richd Peters Esqr

Endorsed: Ben: Franklyn Augt 1755

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The dating of this document is problematical. The Assembly convened on July 23; word of Colonel Dunbar’s intention to march to Philadelphia first reached Governor Morris on July 28 and he communicated the news to the Assembly the same day. Votes, 1754–55, pp. 113, 116; Pa. Col. Recs., VI, 449, 511–18. BF probably wrote this note a few days later; Peters’ endorsement indicates that it may have been about the beginning of August. The opening words suggest that BF wrote during the morning hours before the House had met for the day but after the speaker and some members had reached the State House, had conferred informally on a message from Peters to BF, now lost, and had asked the latter to reply expressing their views.

4Whether the messenger was used to carry dispatches to Dunbar, the other governors, General Shirley, or elsewhere does not appear.

5Col. Thomas Dunbar (see above, p. 28 n), who succeeded to the command of Braddock’s remaining forces following the general’s death. On his abandonment of the campaign and retreat to Philadelphia, see above, pp. 111–12.

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