Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Timothy Horsfield, 16 January 1756

To Timothy Horsfield5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Hayes’s6 Jan. 16. 1756

Dear Sir

I received your Favour,7 and thank you for your kind Cautions.

The Bearer, Mrs. McClean, is recommended to me as an Object of Charity, proper to receive some part of that sent from below. She requests a Line from me to you, which I give, not doubting but you will consider her in the Division, so far as may be proper.8 My Respects to good Mrs. Horsefield, Mr. Spangenberg,9 Mrs. Edmonds,1 Mr. Bomper,2 &c. I am, Sir Your humble Servant

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Timothy Horsfield Esqr / Bethlehem

Endorsed: Mr: Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Timothy Horsfield (1708–1773), born in Liverpool, England, emigrated to New York in 1725, and married Mary Doughty of Long Island in 1731. A few years later he came under the influence of the Moravians, and moved to Bethlehem in 1749, where his facility in English made him their unofficial agent in intercourse with provincial officials. He was one of the first justices of the peace in Northampton Co., 1752, and was a militia colonel in 1763. William H. Egle, ed., Notes and Queries, Historical and Genealogical, Chiefly Relating to Interior Pennsylvania, 3d ser., III (Harrisburg, 1896), 166–8.

6The tavern of John Hays, about ten miles northwest of Bethlehem on the road to Gnadenhütten.

7Not found.

8The Moravians distributed food and clothing, sent by the provincial government and by Quaker committees, to refugees in Bethlehem. See below, pp. 412–13, 414–15.

9Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704–1792), “Brother Joseph,” born in Germany, studied at the University of Jena, where he was influenced by Count Zinzendorf and other Moravians, and came to America in 1735. For nearly 30 years he was a dynamic force in Moravian settlement and missionary work in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Between trips to Europe and other parts of the colonies, he lived in Bethlehem, but finally returned to Germany in 1762. DAB. BF found his moderation, common sense, and leadership most useful during his own mission on the frontier.

1William Edmonds (1708–1786), born in Gloucestershire, England, came to New York in 1736. He also came under Moravian influence and moved to Bethlehem in 1749, where he was variously a tanner, ferryman, storekeeper, and Indian agent. His first wife, Rebecca de Beauvoise, a Huguenot, died in 1747, and in March 1755 he married Margaret Anthony (1721–1773) of New York. A member of the Pa. Assembly, 1755, 1770–74, he moved to Nazareth in 1763 where he was buried. (Egle, ed., Notes and Queries, 3d ser., III, 537–40, 542–4.) He was BF’s constant companion during the troubles in Northampton Co.

2Abraham Boemper (c. 1706–1793), a Moravian officeholder and silversmith who came to Bethlehem in 1748. His son, Christian, was killed by the Indians the day after this letter was written. J. M. Levering, A History of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Bethlehem, 1903), pp. 38, 368, 568; H. M. M. Richards, “The Indian Forts of the Blue Mountains,” in Thomas L. Montgomery, ed., Report of the Commission to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, 1916), I, 260; below, p. 382 n.

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