Benjamin Franklin Papers

Israel Pemberton to John Fothergill, 4 April 1757

Israel Pemberton to John Fothergill3

Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

[April 4, 1757]

Dear Friend

As I am sensible thou art well acquainted with Benja. Franklin’s Character a recommendation of him seems unnecessary, yet as I would not be deficient in respect to him and am Sincerely desirous he may succeed in the important Service he is engag’d in, I cannot but desire he may have some Share of thy Friendship and so far as his views and measures tend to the restoring peace and promoting the real Interest of Pensilvania I wish him all the assistance and hearty Concurrence thou and all my Friends can give him.4 Our meeting for Sufferings writes to yours by this Packet and I think of saying something to thy dear Brother.5 I am with true love and respect Thy real Friend

Endorsed: 4. 4mo. 1757 To Jno: Fothergill by B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3See above, V, 424 n, for Pemberton, and IV, 126 n, for Fothergill.

4Pemberton later explained the restrained tone of this letter; he wrote Fothergill that he hoped BF would “be capable of removing some difficulties you have been under on our Account, tho’ I am sensible, as a religious Society we can expect little more from him than a more candid representation of our Conduct, in Public transactions than has been made by some others.” Letter of July 1, 1757; Etting-Pemberton Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa. See below, p. 376 n, for the continuing coolness of leading Quakers toward BF’s agency.

5Samuel Fothergill (1715–1772), brother of Dr. John Fothergill, merchant, and itinerant Quaker preacher, had been in America on a religious mission, 1754–56, when he developed close ties with the Pembertons and other American Friends. The Philadelphia Meeting for Sufferings had been organized in 1756 on the model of one in London to give support to Friends who “suffered” for reasons of conscience. DNB; James Bowden, The History of the Society of Friends in America (London, 1854), II, 277–8, 283–4; Sydney V. James, A People among Peoples, Quaker Benevolence in Eighteenth-Century America (Cambridge, Mass., 1963), pp. 141–215.

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