Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Greenwood, 6 April 1763

From Joseph Greenwood4

ALS: Harvard College Library

Philadelphia 6th of April 1763

Dear Sir

As I knowing of you to be a gentle-man that can doe a great deal to help a poor man to his Wrights and as I am much reduced and have a large family have made bold to Beg the Assistance of soe good a Gentleman to see me rightified who has it not in my own power without applying for your Assistance in geting of me Justice don against Collo. John Armstrong who has taken an Improvement from me in the last purchase of Lands5 which I hope Mr. Franklin will take into Consideration and help me to my Wright as I am not able to help myself and have a Large family to maintain by my Labour which is but small as I never was brought up to it untill nesessity brought me to it for an honest lively hood and I shall in Duty Bound to pray for your wellfare. I am Sir your most Obedient humble Servant

Joseph Greenwood

Addressed: To / Benjn. Franklin / Esqr

Endorsed: Patterson’s6 Complaint VS Col: Armstrong

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4For Greenwood, an Indian trader who made maps of the areas he traversed and who sent Peter Collinson a description of the bones and skeleton of a “Great Buffalo” which he had seen in the vicinity of the Ohio River, see above, IV, 318 n, 334, 342; and this volume, p. 165 n. In 1762 Collinson described him as “well known” to BF (it is not clear how the acquaintance came about) and hence the plea for assistance in the present letter. Collinson to John Bartram, July 25, 1762, Darlington, Memorials, p. 239.

5John Armstrong (above, VII, 104 n), victor over the Indians at Kittanning in 1756, surveyed and laid out the town of Carlisle. When his house burned in 1763, many land records were destroyed and great difficulties in adjusting land claims ensued. Greenwood probably conceived himself ill-used in the adjustment of claims and asked BF to intercede on his behalf.

6Neither his identity nor his relationship to the Greenwood case is known.

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