Benjamin Franklin Papers

Charles Somerset Woodham to Samuel Soumain, 22 July 1762

Charles Somerset Woodham to Samuel Soumain6

ALS: American Philosophical Society7

Kingston Jamaica July 22. 62

Dear Friend

My long Silence has no doubt made you conclude, I had quite forgot my old acquaintance, but the Motive of this cessation has not been owing to disrespect, but rather Idleness, therefore hope you will Excuse it; I some time ago Sent you a Power of Attorney to recover Some plate of mine in the hands of Mr. Franklan but you have never been kind enough to write me, if said plate is in [his] Possession, shoud therefore Esteem it a Singular [Favour] you would inform me how things are Situated, whether Mr. Franklan if you have got the plate obliged you to pay what they said was owing to ’em from Mr. Danills Estate, for that was the reason they refused sending the plate to me if you have advanced the Money I hope you have made Mr. Franklan make Path to his Debt, otherwise I cannot charge it to Mr. Daniells Estate, to whom I am the administrator;8 in Short advice me of your Proceedings, at same time Send an Account Current, that I may see what Ballance is due to you, and whatever it is, I will faithfully transmit it you, and give direction at same time, where I woud have you send my Plate. Mrs. Woodham joins in our best Respects to Self and Family Remains me Your Sincere Friend

Charles Somerset Woodham

I am just come from England propose seeing it again next year Via Philadelphia.

Addressed: To / Mr. Samuel Soumain / Goldsmith / Philadelphia

Endorsed: Recd Octr 13–1762

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Woodham succeeded William Daniell (above, V, 355 n) in 1756 as printer to the Jamaica Assembly, but served only one year. Frank Cundall, A History of Printing in Jamaica from 1717 to 1834 (Kingston, 1935), pp. 10, 11. Samuel Soumain (Soumien, Soumaine) (1718–1765?), one of BF’s neighbors while he lived at 325 Market Street, was a silversmith. He worked at Annapolis and at Philadelphia for the remainder of his life. Stephen G. C. Ensko, American Silversmiths and their Marks, III (N.Y., 1948), 123.

7The presence of this letter among BF’s papers indicates that Soumain gave it to him after BF’s return from England.

8The plate had been given to BF as security for a debt owed by Daniell for paper. An undated entry in BF’s Ledger D, p. 114 (described above, II, 232–4), explains the outcome: “Memo. Mr. Woodham, Successor of Mr. Daniel sent me a Box of Plate, which he redemanded when I was in England by his Power of Attorney to Mr. Soumaine who receiv’d the same, and paid the above Sum of £5615s. 0d. by Part of the said Plate, viz. 126 oz. 2 dwt. at 9s. But with this Condition that if Mrs. Woodham chose to have the Plate again it should be delivered to her on her paying £56 7s. 0d.”

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