Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Parsons, 25 August 1756

From William Parsons

Draft: American Philosophical Society

Easton Augt. 25. 1756

Dear Sir

The inclosed is the Copy of a Bill which I had given over for lost as Mr. Kilbey4 protested it the next Fall after it was drawn. But I have lately heard that Richd. Nugent5 the Drawer is still an Officer in one of the Regiments now in the Service either against Crown Point or at Oswego. And I have been informed that Mr. Stevens (or Stevenson)6 at Albany has the Paying the Troops and is the likeliest Person to inform in what Regiment Mr. Nugent now is.

As the Bill and Damages will amount to a Sum which to me, in these perilous times especialy, will be very considerable and as I have no other way to come to the Knowledge of Mr. Nugent than by the Means of my Friends I must beg the Favour of you to take so much Trouble upon you as to enquire in what Regiment he is. You will observe when he drew the Bill he was in Colonel Shirley’s Regiment. Perhaps he may still be in that or Colonel Pepperell’s.7 I understand that Mr. Kilby is at New York, but perhaps it may not be consistant with his Interest to find out Mr. Nugent. Dear Sir I need not tell you how acceptible the Money will be if I can recover it; And I flatter my self that I need not say how much I shall be obliged to you for the trouble you will be at in enquiring after Mr. Nugent. You know that I have not the Art of flattering and I hope I shall never be without Gratitude to acknowledge your Kindness. If I can learn where he is I will send the Bill and Protest to some person as you shall advise to recover the Money. I have been told that Mr. Stevens will, by being applied to, stop his pay till the Bill is satisfied. I am Dear Sir Your obedient humble Servant

B. Franklin Esqr.

Endorsed: Major Parsons Lettr Augt. 25. 1756 Draft Lettr. to Mr. Franklin in New York; inclosing a Copy of Richd. Nugent’s Bill Exch.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Christopher Kilby (above, III, 213 n), Boston and London merchant, had recently arrived in New York to fulfill his contract as “agent victualler” to Loudoun’s army. DAB, Supplement I; The Papers of Sir William Johnson, II (Albany, 1922), 505. The enclosure has not been found, nor is the nature of the debt known.

5A Richard Nugent (d. 1763?), lieutenant of marines in the Louisbourg expedition, 1745, was an officer in the 15th Regiment of Foot, stationed in Ireland before 1756, then in England, and in North America, 1758–62. Worthington C. Ford, comp., British Officers Serving in America, 1754–1774 (Boston, 1894), pp. 77–8; Richard Cannon, Historical Record of the Fifteenth … Regiment (London, 1848), pp. 35–46; N.Y. Hist. Soc. Colls. (1897), p. 233; New Eng. Hist. and Gen. Reg., XXIV (1870), 377. Though there is no record of his being in Shirley’s regiment, as Parsons states below, he could easily have so served and then later been in the 15th, as transfer of officers from regiment to regiment was not uncommon. BF’s letter to Parsons, May 3, 1757, indicates that Parsons’ information placing Nugent on the New York frontier at this time was incorrect.

6See above, p. 391 n.

7Shirley’s and Pepperrell’s regiments were decimated and disgraced at Oswego, which fell to the French, August 14. They were broken early in 1757. Pargellis, Lord Loudoun, pp. 141–66.

Index Entries