Benjamin Franklin Papers

Memorandum on Allowances for Officers’ Quarters, 20 January 1757

Memorandum on Allowances for Officers’ Quarters

Draft: Library of Congress

Jan. 20. 1757.

The Commissioners voted to allow the Officers of the King’s Forces, instead of Quarters3

Quarters were demanded of the City of Philadelphia for a Number of Officers of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Americans and one Independent Company.

Billets were accordingly delivered out by the Mayor, on the Inns and other Publick Houses of the City, for the Number of Officers required.

The Officers express’d some Dissatisfaction with the Quarters assigned, as not being convenient or suitable to their respective Ranks. Private Gentlemen were dispos’d to take a Number of the Officers and accommodate them gratis in their own Houses; but the Officers to whom it was mention’d, declin’d accepting such Quarters as it would be laying themselves under an Obligation for a Matter to which they had an undoubted Right.

The Provincial Commissioners being inform’d of the Dissatisfaction of the Officers with their Quarters, and desirous that they should be agreably accommodated, propos’d to give Money in Lieu of Quarters, that every Officer might provide himself with such as he should approve of.

The Sums they propos’d to allow were Per Week
For a Colonel’s Quarters £1 0 0
For a Lieut. Colonel’s Do. 19 0
For a Major’s Do. 16 0
For a Captain’s Do. 9
For a Lieut.’s or Ensign’s Do. 6
For a Surgeon or Chaplain’s Do. 6
For a Quarter-master or Adjutant’s Do. 6

It was thought convenient Lodgings with Firing, and the other Necessaries in Quarters, (Provision only excepted) might easily be had in the City at these Rates. This Proposal was some Weeks since by the Commissioners laid before the Governor for his Approbation, and by him, communicated to the Officers. They have not yet express’d their Acceptance or Refusal of the Offer.4

B Franklin

Endorsed: Officers Quarters &c.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3In this heading bf first wrote “for the Payment of” after “Forces,” then struck out the words and substituted “instead of.” For the dispute over quartering British troops in Philadelphia, see above, pp. 38–66.

4The officers apparently accepted this proposal; on March 29 an order was signed to pay Lieut. Lewis Ourry £246 9s. for their allowances according to this scale. See below, p. 156.

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