David Hall’s Remittances to England, 1757–1765
MS account book: American Philosophical Society
[June 2, 1757]
The partnership agreement with David Hall, Jan. 1, 1748, provided that Hall was to pay one half the net income of the printing office to Franklin at every monthly clearing of accounts.5 Apparently such strict regularity did not prove feasible and Franklin did not insist upon it. During his prolonged trip to England, however, he did expect Hall to send him bills of exchange at reasonable intervals covering, in round figures, the amounts due. In the record book labeled “Accounts Current Book David Hall Commencing Anno 1748,” Hall devoted folios 19, 24, and 29 to a listing of the bills of exchange he sent to his senior partner in England. In each instance he noted the drawer of the bill he had bought, the English firm or public office on which it was drawn, the amount in pounds sterling, and the ships (usually with the captains’ names) by which he had sent the original bill and other copies. The dates run from June 2, 1757, to April 12, 1762, with one single entry of Feb. 25, 1765, soon after Franklin had gone back on his second mission as agent for the Pennsylvania Assembly. With the exception of this final item all the bills of exchange are mentioned in the surviving correspondence between the partners during Franklin’s absence.6 While the particulars of the individual bills hardly need to be printed here, a summary of Hall’s remittances may be useful in connection with that correspondence, which will appear at appropriate dates in this and later volumes:
5. See above, III, 265.
6. A few of these bills are also recorded in BF’s “Account of Expences.”
7. This bill, drawn by William Cooper of Boston on Messrs. Yeldin, White & Smith, merchants and ironmongers of London, was protested. BF returned it, June 10, 1758, and Hall credited his account accordingly. It is therefore not included in the total of the remittances shown in this listing.
8. This was included in a bill for £325 which Hall sent to William Strahan with instructions to pay £ 100 of the proceeds to BF.
9. In James Parker’s report on the state of the account between BF and Hall, June 14, 1765, he credited Hall with “Account of Money paid by D. Hall for Bills of Exchange sent to England to B.F. from June 1757. to Feb. 1765. as per D. Hall’s Accounts examined per JP £4776 19s. 6d.” Parker’s figures represented Pa. currency, not sterling.