Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, 28 March 1760

To David Hall

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

London, March 28. 1760

Dear Mr. Hall,

I receiv’d yours of Dec. 15. with the Bill for £200 drawn by W Plumsted on Nesbit & Cheesbrook. Also yours of Feb. 8.5

The Brevier went in Capt. Gibbon, and I hope will get safe to hand.6 I order’d the Fount all Roman, as it will hold out better in the same Quantity of Work, having but half the Chance of Wanting Sorts,7 that the same Weight of Rom. and Ital. would have; and the old Italic is not so much worn as the Roman, and so may serve a little longer.

I am oblig’d to Mr. Colden8 for his useful Correspondence with you, which you mention to me.

I am amaz’d at the great Price of Wood among you, and the high Rents I hear are given for Houses.9 The first I suppose must be owing to the Want of Hands to cut it; the last to the Encrease of Trade and Business, and Number of Inhabitants.

I think you have done very well with the Almanacks. I see there are others advertis’d: but doubt not Poor Richard will hold his Ground.1

I begin to see a Prospect of returning home this Summer, as I think our Affairs here will now soon be brought to a Conclusion.2 It will be a great Pleasure to me to see you and my other Friends, and to find all well.

There are abundant Rumours just now of a Peace; but it is thought it can hardly take Place till next Winter.3

My Love to Cousin Molly and your Children.4 I am, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr David Hall / Printer / Philadelphia

Endorsed: B. Franklin March 28. 1760.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5See above, VIII, 448–9, for Hall’s letter of Dec. 15, 1759; for Plumsted’s bill, see this volume, p. 33 n; Hall’s letter of Feb. 8, 1760, has not been found. The firm name was Nesbit and Colebrooke; BF inadvertently wrote “Cheesbrook.”

6For BF’s purchase and shipment of Brevier type to Hall, see above, p. 34 n. Arrival of the Beulah, Capt. James Gibbon, was reported in Pa. Gaz., June 5, 1760.

7Characters or pieces in a font of type.

8Probably Alexander Colden (above, VI, 113 n), N.Y. postmaster. This correspondence may have related to the prompt sending to Hall of London newspapers received by packet.

9In a letter to BF of June 4, 1759, Isaac Norris had observed that the war had driven up the price of houses in Philadelphia; see above, VIII, 391.

1In a letter of Dec. 15, 1759, Hall mentions sending BF Poor Richard’s Almanack for 1760 and the Pocket Almanack for 1760; see above, VIII, 448. In the fall of 1759 Pa. Gaz. advertised, among others, Father Abraham’s Almanack, The Pennsylvania Almanac by Thomas Thomas, The American Almanac by John Jerman—all printed by William Dunlap—and The Universal American Almanack printed by William Bradford. Pa. Gaz., Oct. 18, Nov. 15, 1759.

2A hearing before the Board of Trade on the Pa. acts passed in 1758–59 was scheduled for April 18, 1760, but owing to numerous complications, BF’s “long Litigation” with the proprietors was not finished until the end of the summer. See below, pp. 125–73, 196–211.

3The rumors were probably inspired by an Anglo-Prussian declaration, Nov. 25, 1759, proposing a peace conference to France, Russia, and Austria. Three months later these three powers responded with a counter-declaration which led to “interminable diplomatic maneuvers” but nothing else. Britain and France did not sign a definitive peace treaty until Feb. 10, 1763. Gipson, British Empire, VIII, 204–7, 309.

4“Cousin Molly” was Mary Leacock Hall (F.2.2.3), DF’s second cousin. The Hall children were William (1752–1834), Deborah (1754–1770), and David, Jr. (1755–1821).

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