Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to George Washington, 19 August 1756

To George Washington

ALS: Yale University Library

Philada. Augt. 19. 1756


I have your Favours of July 23. and Aug. 3. but that you mention to have wrote per Mr. Balfour, is not come to hand.2 I forwarded the Pacquet inclos’d in that of July 23. as directed;3 and shall readily take care of any other Letters from or for you, that pass thro’ my hands.

The Post between this Place and Winchester was established for the Accommodation of the Army chiefly, by a Vote of our Assembly; they are not willing to continue the Charge, and it must I believe be dropt, unless your Assembly and that of Maryland will contribute to support it, which perhaps is scarce to be expected. I am sorry it should be laid down as I shall my self be a Loser in the Affair of Newspapers: But the Letters per Post, by no means defray the Expence. If you can prevail with your Assembly to pay the Rider from Winchester to Carlisle, I will endeavour to persuade ours to continue Paying the Rider from Carlisle hither: My Agreement with the House was, to carry all publick Dispatches gratis; to keep Account of Postage receiv’d for private Letters; charge the Expence of Riders and Offices, and they were to pay the Ballance.4 I am, Sir, with great Esteem and Respect, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

P.S. We have just receiv’d News, that the Delaware Indians with whom we treated lately at Easton, have burnt the Goods they receiv’d as Presents, and resolv’d to continue the War.5

Col. Washington

Endorsed: From Benja. Franklin Esq 19th. Augt. 1756.6

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2None of these documents has been found. On James Balfour; see above, p. 482 n.

3Not found; possibly a bundle of papers for Lord Loudoun, to whom Washington as commander in Virginia would have had frequent occasion to forward military reports and requests.

4See above, p. 12 n, for the post route from Winchester, Va., to Philadelphia. At the end of its 1755–56 session, the Assembly reimbursed BF £210 13s. 9½d., apparently the deficit for one year’s post service, after which it allowed the arrangement to lapse. Votes, 1755–56, p. 165; and below, p. 536. Nothing seems to have come of BF’s new plan for legislative cooperation in the postal service.

5See the preceding document.

6In Washington’s hand. This is the earliest letter between the two men which has been found.

Index Entries