Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Samuel Finley, 21 March 1763

From Samuel Finley

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Princeton. March. 21. 1763

Dear Sir,

The Bearer, Mr: James Lyon,5 who is well known in Philadelphia, desired me to introduce him to you by a Line. He waits on you for your Opinion of a Scheme for a Settlement on Mississipi, which he will Show you;6 and for your Directions, and, if you Shall see Cause to approve any thing to that Purpose, your assistance. He is a young Gentleman of a very good moral Character, and well respected and beloved where he is known. I am perswaded your candid Opinion and Advice wou’d be of great Importance, and Service to him, as he depends much upon it, and is disposed to give it a just Weight.

This is a different application from the one I mentioned in my Letter the other Day, which I hope you received by the Post. The Complements presented in it I beg Leave humbly to renew, and am dear sir, Your most respectful and obedient

Saml. Finley

Endorsed: Mr President Finley’s Letters. March 1763

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5James Lyon (1735–1794) graduated from the College of N.J. in 1759, when he composed the music for the class ode. In 1761 he published a hymnal, Urania, which went through a second edition in 1767, and on which his fame as a psalmodist chiefly rests. He was ordained by the Synod of New Brunswick in 1764 and in the following year went to Nova Scotia, where he and several groups of associates were granted 570,000 acres. He preached at Halifax and Onslow, before taking a church at Machias, Maine, in 1772. He remained at Machias for the rest of his life. DAB. W. O. Raymond, “Colonel Alexander McNutt and the Pre-Loyalist Settlements of Nova Scotia,” Royal Society of Canada Proc. and Trans. 3d ser., V (1911), section II, 86–92.

6Nothing is known of Lyon’s scheme. In his letter to Richard Jackson of March 8, 1763, BF called it “very crude.” See above, p. 215.

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