Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Parsons, 28 June 1756

To William Parsons

ALS: American Philosophical Society

New York, June 28. 1756

Dear Friend

I received here your Favour of the 19th Instant,7 with a Copy of your Remarks in Reviewing the Forts, for which I am much obliged to you; and I hope the Governor and Commissioners will immediately take the necessary Measures to remedy every thing that you found amiss. I think you hazarded your self with too small Escorts, and am glad you got safe through. It appears plainly that it will be of great Use to review the Forts frequently; the Expence must be inconsiderable compar’d to the Advantage and Security that may be deriv’d from it.

Great Part of two British Regiments are arriv’d here; the Men are all in Health and look exceeding well.8 What will be undertaken this Summer is I believe unknown or uncertain till the General’s Arrival. Some of the Officers think this Year will be chiefly spent in Preparations for the next. Others imagine there will be an Accommodation. For my Part I can make no Judgment. This only I can plainly see, that New York is growing immensely rich, by Money brought into it from all Quarters for the Pay and Subsistence of the Troops. General Shirley, it is said, is to go home in the same Ship that brings Lord Loudon, and to be made one of the Lords of Trade.9 The Indians continue to scalp now and then a Man or two close to Albany, Oswego, and the Camps. The New England Forces are not yet compleat. Those Colonies have over done themselves, and undertaken too much, more than they are able to bear or perform.1 With great Esteem, I am, Dear Friend, Affectionately yours,

B Franklin

Major Parsons

Addressed: To / William Parsons Esquire / Major of the / Pensilvania Regiment / Easton2

Endorsed: June 28. 1756  B. Franklin Esquire from New York.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7See above, p. 460.

8Over 1000 officers and men of the 35th and 42d Regiments had arrived in New York on June 15. New-York Mercury, June 21, 1756.

9After a bitter quarrel with Lord Loudoun, Shirley finally left Boston on Sept. 25, 1756. Following his near disgrace in England, he assumed the relatively minor post of governor of the Bahamas in 1759. Shirley Corres., II, 501–78 passim, 605; New-York Mercury, Oct. 4, 1756; John A. Schutz, William Shirley King’s Governor of Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, 1961), pp. 238–50.

1By mid-July, 7000 New England troops under Gen. John Winslow had gathered in the forts between Albany and Lake George for an attack on Crown Point. Shirley Corres., II, 479.

2Timothy Horsfield sent this letter on from Bethlehem, recognizing BF’s handwriting on the cover. Parsons, replying to Horsfield the same day, repeated the substance of BF’s New York news. Horsfield to Parsons and Parsons to Horsfield, July 3, 1756, APS.

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