From Isaac Garrigues1
ALS: American Philosophical Society
New England Coffee House Thereadneedle Street
Friday Afternoon one O Clock [1762?]2
You will please to Excuse my thus addressing as I am personally an intire Stranger to you and I can find nobody at present that knows me or my Family.
You have been pleased once to do a great favour for my Mother with Respect to her finding her Father the late Mr. Ralph for which you have laid us all under a lasting Obligation to you. And as my Mother is still very anxious to know many particulars concerning his death she has laid her Commands upon me upon my Arrival here to Satisfy her as far as is my power with Respect to his leaving any Children or Will at his decease3 and as you are the only Gentleman from America that knows any thing concerning her Father you will please to pardon my Troubling you at this time. I should be extremely thankful to you for an Answer either by writing or waiting upon you which may suit you best. And in the Interim I am Worthy Sir with the Greatest Respect your much Obliged and most Obedient Servant
Addressed: To / Benjamin Frankling Esqr. / Craven Street / The Strand
Endorsed: Mr Isaac Garrigues
1. Isaac Garrigues (b. 1741), the son of Samuel and Mary Garrigues, was the Philadelphia-born grandson of James Ralph, the friend who had accompanied BF to England in 1724 and had remained there, deserting his American family and marrying again; see above, I, 58 n.
2. There would have been time for news of Ralph’s death, Jan. 24, 1762, to have reached Philadelphia and for this grandson to have arrived in London with his mother’s instructions before BF’s departure in August. While it is possible that this letter belongs to the period of BF’s second English mission, such a dating seems unlikely; Mrs. Garrigues would have had ample opportunity to get the information she wanted directly from BF during his stay in Philadelphia, 1762–64.
3. On Ralph’s death and that of his English-born daughter, both during the first months of 1762, see above, IX, 404 n. On the evenings of April 5 and 6, 1762, BF attended an auction of Ralph’s library and bought 55 titles (about 115 volumes), paying a total of £6 5s. He failed to get a collection of some 80 pamphlets, for which the agent of Lord Bute outbid him, running the price to more than £25 for the lot. John B. Shipley, “Franklin Attends a Book Auction,” PMHB, LXXX (1956), 37–45.