Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Parsons, 10 June 1756

To William Parsons

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. June 10. 1756

Dear Friend

It is now a long time since I had the Pleasure of a Line from you; I am now return’d from Virginia, where I was near too Months. I should be glad to learn from you the present State of the Forces in your County, and of the People.6 If in any Thing I can serve you, command freely your old Friend and most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Governor Pownall7 is daily expected at New York, with Lord Loudon.8

Major Parsons

Addressed: To / Major William Parsons / Easton

Endorsed: June 10. 1756. B. Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6See below, p. 460.

7Thomas Pownall (see above, V, 339 n) had been commissioned lieutenant governor of New Jersey, May 13, 1755, but had no duties to perform there so long as Governor Belcher lived; he had gone to England early in 1756. Rumors were current that he would return to America as governor of Pennsylvania or of Massachusetts; actually he came as secretary extraordinary to Lord Loudoun and became governor of Massachusetts the following year. The reports about the Pennsylvania governorship caused consternation among the proprietary leaders there. Peters to Penn, June 3 and 26, 1756; William Allen to Penn, June 15, 1756; Robert H. Morris to ———, Oct. 8, 1756, all in Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa.

8John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun (1705–1782), made a career in the British army, serving in Flanders, Scotland, and the Iberian penninsula as well as in North America. Elected a fellow of the Royal Society (1738), he encouraged scientific agriculture on his Lowland estates, and as a representative peer he received and dispensed royal patronage in Scotland. He arrived in New York, July 23, 1756, as commander in chief with full civil and military powers, and put an end to the uncertainties of command which had confused operations since Braddock’s death over a year before. Pitt removed him in December 1757, and he returned to England the following spring. DAB; Pargellis, Lord Loudoun. See below, p. 472, for BF’s attendance upon Loudoun’s arrival in New York.

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