Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Hall, 9 February 1761

From David Hall

Letterbook copy: American Philosophical Society

Philada. Feb. 9. 1761.


I received a few Lines from you, dated September 6. by the Boreas Captain McDougall, acknowledging Payment of the Bills drawn by Scott and McMichael on the Portis’s.5 The Letters inclosed were delivered.

The Brevier seems pretty perfect; only the Lower Case r’s run short; therefore wish you would send about a Couple of Pounds of them by the first Ship.6

Inclosed I have now sent you the first Copy of a Bill of Exchange for £200 Sterling, drawn by Charles Ward Apthorp, and Company, of Boston, on Messieurs Trecothick, Apthorp, and Thomlinson, Merchants in London; the Receipt of which you will please advise me of, and give me Credit for, when paid;7 Exchange Seventy; and should have sent you more before this Time, had I not flattered myself with the Hopes of seeing you before the Spring.

I forgot to own the Receipt of Mr. Strahan’s Letter by Captain McDougall8; please to let him know it came safe to Hand; and desire him to acquaint Messieurs Johnson and Unwin I likewise received theirs by the same opportunity, but know nothing of the Condition of the Goods, as the Ship has been above a Month at the Capes, occasioned by the severe Winter we have had;9 but as there is now a Prospect of the River’s opening, hope to see the Ship in a few Days. I am, Sir, Yours, &c.

D. Hall

To Mr. Franklin

Sent by the Edward, Capt. Davis, Via New York1

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5BF’s letter referred to here has not been found. The Boreas, Capt. Henry Allan McDougall, reached Deal, outward bound, Sept. 20, 1760 (London Chron., Sept. 20–23, 1760); it was long delayed by adverse winds in the English Channel and by ice in Delaware Bay, and Pa. Gaz. reported its arrival at Philadelphia only on Feb. 19, 1761. Obviously its mail must have been brought up to the city from the Delaware Capes by land. For the Scott & McMichael bills, see above, p. 34 n.

6On July 2, 1760, Hall acknowledged the receipt of a font of brevier type which BF had shipped him in the spring of 1760. There is no record of BF shipping him more type, although in a letter of Dec. 10, 1761 (below, p. 398), he told Hall that he had “some Time since bespoke the Brevier you last desired, and hope it will now soon be ready.”

7BF acknowledged the receipt of this bill in a letter to Hall of April 9, 1761. Charles Ward Apthorp (d.1797), the son of the opulent Boston merchant, Charles Apthorp (1698–1758), was agent for the London firm of John Thomlinson and Barlow Trecothick, money contractors for the British forces in America. The son was also a provision contractor for the army. Wendell D. Garrett, Apthorp House 1760–1960 (Cambridge, 1960).

8Neither this letter nor that of Johnson and Unwin has been found.

9Pa. Gaz., Jan. 8, 1761, reported that “Our Navigation has been stopt by the Ice since Thursday” (Jan. 1). Not until Feb. 12, did the paper report entry of a ship at the port of Philadelphia.

1N.-Y. Mercury, Feb. 9, 1761, reported the clearance of the Edward, Capt. William Davis, London Chron., March 28–31, 1761, reported that the New Edward, Captain Davis, from N. Y., had passed Gravesend for London on March 29.

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