Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Dunlap, 4 April 1757

To William Dunlap

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. April 4. 1757

Mr. Dunlap

I now appoint you Postmaster of Philadelphia, during our Absence, as it will be some present Employment for you till our Return; when I hope to put you in a better Way, if I find you diligent, careful and faithful.1

I would not have the Office remov’d on any Account from my House during my Absence, without my Leave first obtained.2

And as Mrs. Franklin has had a great deal of Experience in the Management of the Post Office, I depend on your paying considerable Attention to her Advice in that Matter.

As I leave but little Money with Mrs. Franklin for the Support of the Family,3 and have [torn] all [torn] of the Post Office for the [torn] Absence, I expect and [torn] account with her for, and pay her, every Monday Morning, the Postage of the preceding Week, taking her Receipt for the same, and retaining only your Commissions of Ten per Cent.4 You should have a little Book for such Receipts.

Wishing you Health and Happiness I am, Your affectionate Uncle

B Franklin

1On the circumstances of this appointment and Dunlap’s failure to live up to these expectations see above, p. 158.

2Pa. Gaz., March 31, 1757, announced that the post office was now removed to the house of the postmaster general in Market St. The issues of May 19 and later advertised books to be sold by William Dunlap at the post office. On June 10, 1758, BF wrote to Deborah: “The Post-Office, if ’tis agreable to you, may be removed to Mr. Dunlap’s House, it being propos’d by our good Friend Mr. Hughes.” Dunlap had acquired Chattin’s printing house and began advertising his publications “at the Newest-Printing-Office.” Pa. Gaz., June 15, 1758. He announced in the issue of Dec. 21, 1758, that the post office was removed to his dwelling for the winter season.

3The torn passage which follows may be conjecturally restored as: “and have left all the Receipts of the Post Office for the Payment of her Expenses during my Absence, I expect and require that you account with her, …”

4For the record of these payments see note on “Mr. Dunlap’s Payments to Mrs. Franklin,” above, p. 162 n.

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