Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Isaac Norris, 5 October 1760

From Isaac Norris

Letterbook copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Fairhill 8br. 5. 1760

Dear Friend BF

I wrote on the 26 and 27 of 7 br. last9 the First via Bristol and the other intended by our Friend C Kelby who is taking shipping at NY. in the 1st I sent our Agent Bill and the Governors proposed Amendments copied by the Clerk and in the other the Vindication of the Commissioner and Assessors of Cumberland County against the Representation of RH. and RP1 the Proprietary Rec. General and Secretary in relation to their taxing the Proprietary Estate in that Co. I have not the Opportunity or Time to send Copies—I hope the Original will get to your Hands.

Our Elections are over2 and the Old Members, that were alive, generally chosen as far as I have heard the Ch. Justice told me at the last sitting that he should not be in the House this Year—I have not heard from that County.3 I send inclosed a 3d. Bill of Exchange N 1770 for £100 Sterl. drawn by Col. Hunter on Messrs. Thomlinson &c.4 and like wise a 1st Bill No. 1798 drawn by the same on the same Gentleman for £100 sterling which I have endorsed payable to your Self5—please to receive them.

The Bill for appointing Agents to receive our Part of the Mony granted by Parliament drop’d upon the Governors proposed Amendments.6 The Design of those Amendments is too obvious to need any Remarks upon them. The Members of the last Assembly were Unanimous in rejecting them except the C.J. who thought they were reasonable and accordingly reasoned and Voted by himself on that Occasion. It would have been a Noble Fund for paying the present Governor the Salary of his former Administration and the Proprietary Expences in solicting the repeal of our late Acts &c. &c. It is probable the Assembly at their next Setting may make some Order upon it in the best manner they can.7 It was not proposed at our last Sessions for some prudential Reasons. I am Your Affectionate Friend


By the Ship American Captn. Stiles8 BF recd this—See Letter datd Novr. 22. 1760

First Bill Excha No 1798 £100.0.0

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9See above, pp. 224–7, 232–3, for these letters and for the matters mentioned in this paragraph.

1Richard Hockley and Richard Peters.

2Elections for the Pa. Assembly were held on Oct. 1, 1760. Pa. Gaz., Oct. 2, 1760.

3Chief Justice William Allen was returned to the Assembly from Cumberland Co., but did not take his seat until Jan. 27, 1761. On Oct. 20, 1760, he wrote an English correspondent that he was contemplating a trip to London, if peace were concluded during the winter and this intention may account for his statement to Norris. 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5157, 5175. Lewis B. Walker, ed., The Burd Papers. Extracts from Chief Justice William Allen’s Letter Book (1897), p. 43.

4For this bill, see above, p. 227.

5BF recorded the receipt of this bill on Nov. 20, 1760. “Account of Expences,” p. 56; PMHB, LV (1931), 129.

6For this bill and for the governor’s amendments, see above, pp. 225 n, 232–3.

7The “next Setting” commenced on Oct. 14, 1760. For the actions of the Assembly and governor during this session, see below, pp. 236–8.

8Pa. Gaz., Oct. 9, 1760, reported the clearance of the ship America, Capt. Henry Stiles, for London. London Chron., Nov. 18–20, 1760, reported its arrival at Portsmouth, but it passed Gravesend on its way up the Thames only on December 28, according to the same paper’s issue of December 27–30.

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