Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Sir Alexander Dick, 17 September 1760

To Sir Alexander Dick

ALS: Western Reserve Historical Society

London, Sept. 17. 1760

Dear Sir Alexander

It gave me great Pleasure to learn from Dr. Robertson,4 that you and Lady Dick and your lovely Bairns,5 were all well and happy. Now that the long Litigation between our Province and the Proprietaries, which I had the Care of, is finished,6 I hope to be a better and more punctual Correspondent. My Time will be more my own. I am in debt to my Friends in Scotland for their kind Letters, which I shall endeavour to discharge as soon as I return from a Journey I am just going.7 Will, too, intends to grow good; and as an Earnest of it, remembers his Promise to Lady Dick and sends the Chapter.8

The Bearer, Mr. Shippen, I beg Leave to recommend to your Countenance and Protection, as an ingenious worthy young Man, and the Son of my Friend.9 He goes to Edinburgh to improve himself in Physic and Surgery, and hopes to obtain there the Sanction of a Degree, if found to merit it. Your friendly Advice with regard to his Studies, and kind Influence and Interest in facilitating his Affair, will, I am persuaded, be a Favour conferr’d not improperly. With the sincerest Wishes of Health and Happiness to you and yours, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

Sir Alexr. Dick

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4William Robertson (1721–1793), famous Scottish historian, published by Strahan; principal of Edinburgh University, 1762; moderator of the General Assembly, 1763. He was a robust Presbyterian, but defended John Home in the controversy over the play Douglas (above, p. 4 n.). He was a close friend of Hume and Gibbon, and Walpole called his History of Scotland “the best modern history.” See above, VI, 94 n, on his interest in American Indian language. DNB. Direct correspondence between BF and Robertson will appear in later volumes.

5On the Dicks and their children, see above, VIII, 440 n. Lady Dick died about three months after this letter was written.

6See above, pp. 196–211.

7On this journey see below, p. 231 n.

8BF’s “Parable against Persecution,” above, VI, 114–24. The copy sent is in WF’s hand.

9On Shippen, see the document immediately above.

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