Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, 27 June 1760

To David Hall

ALS: Edward Laurence Doheny Memorial Library, St. John’s Seminary5

London, June 27. 1760

Dear Mr. Hall,

By the last Pacquet I sent you the Protests of two of your Bills, one for £200 the other for £100 drawn by Scot and McMichael on Messrs. Portis.6 My Banker informs me, that they now offer to pay the Money; and tho’ the Protests intitle us to 20 per Cent. from the Drawers, yet as I conceive from some Circumstances I have heard, that they have been hardly us’d by their Correspondent, I think it a neighbourly Act to accept the Money now ’tis offer’d here, and forego that Advantage. I shall therefore direct my Banker to receive it; not doubting but you will approve my acting the generous and friendly Part towards them, and not insist on the Damages, nor on being paid the principal Money there, till you hear from me whether it is or is not paid here.

I hope the Fount of Brevier, which went from hence last Winter in Capt. Gibbon, is long since in your Hands, tho’ I have not yet heard of his Arrival.7 I suppose he was long detain’d in the Channel, with the other Ships waiting for a Convoy.

I am very sensible that we do, as you say, suffer a great deal of Loss in our Debts, for want of getting them regularly in. I wish therefore you would endeavour to find a proper Person to be entrusted and employ’d in the Collection. I shall willingly bear my Proportion of the Expence.

I was in great Hopes of seeing you and my other Friends this Summer; but I now find it impracticable.8 I hope however to be with you early in the Spring.

As yet we know nothing of Certainty concerning a Peace. It is only in general conjectur’d that the Want of Money with all the Powers at War, must compel a Peace in the ensuing Winter.9 But even this Reason is perhaps not solid. For my own Part, I think that for ½ per Cent. more, the Money wanted here may be raised as readily for next Year, as it was for this.1 And perhaps the same may hold good with our Enemies.2

I order’d you some Copies of a Pamphlet3 that went by way of New York. I suppose Mr. Strahan who sent them wrote to you with them. Please to sell them for my Account. It sold here extreamly well, and your Friend has gain’d some Reputation by it: But has more Pleasure in the Hopes of its doing some Service to the Colonies.

Mr. Potts, now Secretary of the Post Office,4 show’d me a Letter of yours lately, (when I met him at Dinner with the Postmasters-General,5 relating to the Chronicle6 to be sent you per Pacquet; and I agreed to be answerable to him for the Expence.

If in any thing I can serve you before I leave London, let me know in your next, and I shall do it with Pleasure; being with sincere Esteem, Dear David, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr David Hall / Printer / Philadelphia

Endorsed: B. Franklin June 27. 1760

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5From the Estelle Doheny Collection of the Edward Laurence Doheny Memorial Library, St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, Calif.

6For BF and Hall’s subsequent actions in regard to these bills, see above, p. 34 n.

7For the shipment and receipt of the brevier type, see above, p. 34 n.

8The delay was due to the prolonged hearings before the Board of Trade and the Privy Council on the confirmation of the acts passed by the Pa. Assembly, 1758–59.

9The British and French governments conducted conversations directed towards a peace settlement in the spring and summer of 1761, but these proved abortive and the preliminaries of peace were not concluded until November 1762.

1For one of BF’s earlier schemes for increasing British revenues, see above, VIII, 214–15.

2Hall printed this paragraph in Pa. Gaz., Sept. 11, 1760, as an extract from a letter from London.

3The Interest of Great Britain Considered; see above, pp. 47–100. It was reprinted in Philadelphia by William Bradford, who advertised it as “Just published” in Pa. Gaz., Dec. 4, 1760.

4Henry Potts (d. 1768), sorter in the Post Office, 1723; controller of the Inland Office, 1744; secretary, 1760–62, 1765–68. Kenneth Ellis, The Post Office in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1958), pp. 83–4, 87–90, 94.

5The joint postmasters general, 1759–65, were Lord Bessborough (above, p. 118 n) and the Honorable Robert Hampden-Trevor (1706–1783; born Robert Trevor; succeeded as Baron Trevor, 1764).

6The London Chronicle.

Index Entries