Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Sargent Aufrere & Co., 8 January 1762

From Sargent Aufrere & Co.1

ALS and copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania


Mincing Lane 8 Jany 1762.

Dear sir,

Mr. Barclay is not come to Town yet, and it is uncertain whether we may be able to confer with him, and give you the result time enough for your writing by this packet, we will therefore take our own Resolution, and undertake to pay, ourselves, what part of the Colony’s drafts on you (by means of the deficiency of the Stock) you shall not have wherewithall to discharge3—there needs no more than the reason of the Thing to justifye it, you’ll be so kind to explain our Motives for doing it, and to let the Assembly know it was your advice to us, which we think Ourselves obliged to conform to: We make no doubt but that Mr. Barclay will readily concur with us when the Business is imparted to him.4

You’ll be pleased to give us notice in due time of all the necessary particulars of such bills as you may refer to us for Payment. We return you the Letters you favour’d us with the Perusal of, much obliged to you for the friendly Offices that gave occasion to the mention of us in Them.5 We think ourselves much honour’d by the Colonys Employ of us and shall be glad on any Occasion to shew our true Zeal for its Interests. The Act of Assembly6 as it may be of some use to us, we take the Liberty of keeping, till we have the pleasure of seeing you next, which we hope will be soon. We remain with perfect Regard, Dear sir, Your most obedient Servants

Sargent Aufrere & Co.

directed. To Benja Franklin Esqr In Craven Street—Strand.

Endorsed: London Janry. 8. 1762 John Sargent & Compa. to Benja Franklin

1John Sargent and George Aufrere (above, IX, 359 n) had been appointed, along with John and David Barclay (above, IX, 190–1 n), by an act of the Pa. Assembly, Sept. 26, 1761, to receive the province’s share of the parliamentary grant for the campaign of 1759 and to deposit it in the Bank of England. Statutes at Large, Pa., VI, 114–18. It is not certain which of the Barclays is referred to in the first paragraph below.

2This letter and nearly all those which follow relating to the parliamentary grant for the campaign of 1758 bear these initials, showing that they ultimately found their way into Isaac Norris’ files. The “I.N.” will not hereafter be explained in each instance.

3For the Assembly’s order to the trustees of the Provincial Loan Office to draw on BF for the province’s share of the parliamentary grant for 1758, see above, IX, 358. For BF’s sale of stocks, in which he had invested the grant, to pay the trustees’ drafts, see above, IX, 392, and below, p. 34.

4BF had proposed that Sargent Aufrere and the Barclays use the parliamentary grant for 1759 to pay the drafts which the proceeds from his sales of stock could not cover. The Barclays, at Thomas Penn’s direction, refused to join the scheme. See below, pp. 4, 7–8.

5BF’s letters, in which he apparently recommended that the Assembly appoint Sargent Aufrere to receive the parliamentary grant for 1759 have not been found. Possibly also, letters from the Assembly committee or trustees of the Loan Office (not found) approving his suggestion.

6The act of Sept. 26, 1761, mentioned in the first note to this letter.

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