Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Jackson, 2 December 1762

To Richard Jackson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. Dec. 2. 1762

Dear Sir,

I arrived here well on the 1st. ultimo and had the Pleasure to find all false that Dr. Smith had reported about the Diminution of my Friends.4 My House has been fill’d with a Succession of them from Morning to Night almost ever since I landed to congratulate me on my Return; and I never experienc’d greater Cordiality among them. The new Assembly had met and adjourn’d before my Arrival;5 but expecting me, had omitted nominating a new Agent till they could have my Opinion and Advice as the Speaker tells me.6 I was also unanimously chosen at the October Elections a Member for the City as heretofore; and am to take my Place in the House in the January Sitting, after which you may soon expect to hear from me on the Affair I mention’d to you.7 I purpose writing to you more fully per Capt. Friend, who is to sail in a few Days.8 This goes per N York Packet,9 and I have only time to add, that I am, with the greatest Esteem and Affection, Dear Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

My best Respects to your good Father and Sisters, and to Mr. Bridges.1

Addressed: To / Richard Jackson Esqr / Counsellor at Law / King’s Bench Walks / Temple / London

Endorsed: Philad. Decr. 2d. 1762 B. Franklin Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The Rev. William Smith had gone to England in March 1762 to raise money for the College of Philadelphia and apparently could not resist the temptation to spread rumors about BF’s decline in popularity. Before Smith left London in May 1764 he had collected £7231 17s. 6d. Albert F. Gegenheimer, William Smith (Phila., 1943), pp. 72–3.

5The Assembly convened on Oct. 14, 1762, and on October 16 adjourned until January 10. 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5367–71.

6The Assembly appointed Jackson agent on April 2, 1763, Ibid., p. 5425.

7BF appeared in the House and qualified on January 11; he had already been appointed the day before on a committee to notify the governor that the Assembly was in session. Ibid., p. 5371. The “Affair” may have concerned either Jackson’s appointment as agent or possibly land grants in the Ohio Valley which BF and some of his friends were interested in acquiring. See below, pp. 208–9.

8Pa. Gaz., Dec. 9, 1762, reported the clearance of the Carolina, Capt. James Friend, for London. Friend was captured by the Spanish on Feb. 21 or 22, 1763, and carried into Bilboa, but since the capture was made after the peace treaties had been signed (Feb. 10, 1763), he was released. Jackson acknowledged the receipt of letters by the Carolina on April 4, 1763; see below, p. 241.

9This letter missed the Harriot packet, which sailed from N.Y. on December 1. Pa. Gaz., Dec. 9, 1762. Jackson, however, acknowledged receipt of the letter “by the Packet,” so that it must have reached England in the Earl of Halifax packet, Capt. Bolderson, which sailed from N.Y., December 16. N.-Y. Mercury, Dec. 20, 1762.

1Richard Jackson, Sr., of Weasenham, Norfolk, a London merchant; Elizabeth Jackson, who died unmarried in 1788, aged 67; Anne Jackson, who married first Thomas Bridges of Hedley, Surrey, and Binham Abbey, Norfolk (d. 1768), and second Admiral George Darby. She and her second husband both died in 1790. DNB; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, II, 299, 669–72; Gent. Mag., LVII (1787), 454; LX (1790), 282, 373, 473; G. A. Carthew, The Hundred of Launditch … in the County of Norfolk, III (Norwich, 1789), 445.

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