Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Charles Norris and Thomas Leech, 9 January 1762

To Charles Norris and Thomas Leech1

ALS and copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

London, Jany. 9. 1762


When your Drafts upon me first came to hand, the Form appearing new to me and very particular,2 containing as I thought an Alternative at my Choice to pay the Money in 30 Days or in 12 Months, I accepted some of them with the long Day, expecting that a Letter from you would explain your Intention in that Form; but receiving no Line on the Subject, and being soon inform’d that the Bill was merely a Copy of that us’d by the northern Governments,3 I concluded, for Reasons which I have mention’d to the Speaker,4 to retract that Acceptance and pay in 30 Days. I have accordingly now accepted near £22,000 and can assure you that altho’ the Sale of the Province Stocks will not produce a Sum equal to what you have probably drawn for, yet all the Trustees Bills will be duly honoured and punctually paid.5 I am, with the greatest Respect and Deference for yourselves and the other Trustees Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Messrs. Norris and Leech

Endorsed: London Janry 9th 1762 Benjamin Franklin To Chas Norris and Thos Leech

1Norris and Leech, mentioned frequently in earlier volumes, were trustees of the Pa. Loan Office.

2For one of the trustees’ bills on BF, see above, IX, 372–3.

3That is, New England.

4None of BF’s letters written about this time to Isaac Norris have been found.

5BF was forced to revise this optimistic statement in his letter of January 14; see below, p. 8. The trustees drew on BF for £25,000 sterling. The sale of stock netted only £21,936 10s., sterling, however, and Sargent Aufrere made up the difference from “their private Fortunes.” 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5341, 5365; below, pp. 34 n, 36.

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