To Joseph Galloway
ALS: Yale University Library
New York, April 11. 1757
I received the Exemplifications of the Royal Grant, Charter and Commissions at Bristol, and by the Post Copies of the two £100,000 Bills under Seal, and a Copy of the Indian Trade Bill, with Amendments, all in good Order.6
I am sorry the Indian Trade Bill is lost;7 but it is some Advantage that the iniquitous Views of the Proprietor and his Creatures of the Council are so clearly discover’d by their Conduct on this Occasion. The Spirit that makes them so ardently aim at the Disposition of Money not their own, is the same with that which inclines lesser Knaves to rob and pick Pockets. They seem to have no Regard to the Publick Welfare, so the private Point maybe gained. ’Tis like Firing a House to have an Opportunity of Stealing a Trencher.
I wish Success to the Negociations with the Indians. Tis a good Sign that so many are come down.8 The next Post will probably find us here; pray favour me with any farther Intelligence concerning them or our other Publick Affairs, that comes to your Knowledge.
I leave some Enemies in Pensilvania, who will take every Opportunity of injuring me in my Absence. However, as they are my Enemies, not on my own private Account but on that of the Publick, I seem to have some Right to ask the Care of my Friends, to watch ’em and guard my Reputation and Interest as much as may be from the Effects of their Malevolence.9 I chearfully leave my dearest Concerns under that Care, having no Reason to doubt the Continuance of the Friendships I have so long experienc’d.
Your kind Wishes demand my sincerest Thanks. I suppose Billy writes.1 I will not now take Leave of you, as I intend another Line or two per next Post. With great Esteem and Affection, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant
The List of Servants is not come.2
Endorsed: Benja. Franklin’s Letter April 11. 1747 [sic]. N York.
6. In Penn Official Correspondence, Hist. Soc. Pa., is a paper headed “Extract from Mr. Peters’s Letter of 5. April 1757” and endorsed “An Account of what Papers B. Franklin brings over.” Peters stated that, the day before he wrote, the Assembly obtained the governor’s certificates to Recorder Charles Brockden’s exemplifications of the following documents: the royal charter to William Penn; the Charter of Privileges of 1701; Governor Denny’s commission and commission of property; a deed “Wm. Penn &c. to John Penn &c.”; a quadripartite indenture of Sept. 23, 1731, between William Penn, Letitia Aubrey, John and Thomas Penn; and commissions to William Plumsted as register general, William Allen as chief justice, James Hamilton as prothonotary, Nicholas Scull as surveyor general, and Richard Hockley and Edmund Physick as receivers general. The governor’s certificates were to the effect that faith and credit should be given to Brockden’s exemplifications as recorder of deeds for the city and county of Philadelphia “in any Justice Court and thereout.” On the Assembly’s bills, see above, pp. 106, 121, 175.
7. See above, p. 175.
8. BF knew before he left Philadelphia that 150 or more Indians, mostly Iroquois, had come to Harris’s Ferry for a treaty, and on April 3 William Parsons wrote Denny from Easton that 50 of Teedyuscung’s followers were at Fort Allen. Pa. Col. Recs., VII, 462; I Pa. Arch., III, 104. In a letter to WF, June? 1757, APS, intended for BF’s attention, Charles Thomson described the lengthy but inconclusive negotiations with the Indians at Lancaster in May; the minutes are in Pa. Col. Recs., VII, 505–51.
9. Perhaps a hint that BF expected Galloway to write in his defense if necessary. Newspaper controversy, in which Galloway probably took part anonymously, resumed in the spring of 1758.
1. WF and Galloway were intimate friends and corresponded regularly while the Franklins were in England, but no letter of this date has been found.
2. See below, p. 227 n.