Benjamin Franklin Papers

Provincial Commissioners to George Croghan, [17 December 1755]

Provincial Commissioners to George Croghan

MS not found; reprinted from Pennsylvania Archives, 1st series, II (Philadelphia, 1852), 536.

[Philadelphia, Dec. 17, 1755]3


You are desired to proceed to Cumberland County and fix on proper Places for erecting three Stockadoes, vizt., One back of Patterson’s, One upon Kishecoquillas, and one Near Sideling Hill; Each of them Fifty feet Square, with a Block-house on two of the Corners, and a Barrack within, capable of Lodging Fifty Men. You are also desired to agree with some proper Person or Persons to oversee the Workmen at each Place, who shall be allowed such Wages as you shall agree to give, not exceeding one Dollar per Day; and the Workmen shall be allow’d at the Rate of Six Dollars per Month, and their Provisions, till the Work is finished.4

B. Franklin5
Jos. Fox,
Jos. Hughes,6
Evan Morgan

To Capt. George Croghan

Endorsed: Orders to George Croghan. Entd.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The date is taken from I. Daniel Rupp, comp., History and Topography of Northumberland, Huntington, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Columbia, Juniata and Clinton Counties, Pa. (Lancaster, 1847), p. 118, where the letter is printed, though otherwise less accurately.

4On November 28 the Assembly passed a bill relieving Croghan of the threat of imprisonment for his considerable debts in order that he might come safely to Philadelphia and advise the province on dealing with the Indians, defense, etc. Votes, 1755–56, pp. 47–9. James Hamilton wrote Morris (then in New York) on December 18: “I have given Geo. Croghan a Captain’s Commission; He is to raise the men immediately, and Superintend the building over Sasquehannah, as I knew not whom else to employ, and upon Supposition that He is honest, no body is fitter for that Service.” I Pa. Arch., II, 538. Croghan accomplished the task “in a very Expeditious manner, but not so frugally as the Commissioners for disposing of the Publick money thought he might have done,” and then he resigned his commission, March 1756. Morris to Sir Charles Hardy, July 6, 1756, ibid., pp. 689–90; Nicholas B. Wainwright, George Croghan Wilderness Diplomat (Chapel Hill, 1959), pp. 99–106; Hunter, Forts, pp. 189, 372–9, 410–13.

5BF’s autograph on the MS which Rupp copied, is noticed by the compilers of Pa. Arch. as having been cut out.

6I.e., John Hughes.

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