Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Jackson, 11 April 1763

To Richard Jackson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. April 11. 1763.

Dear Sir,

I am now to acquaint you that the Assembly of this Province have unanimously made Choice of you as their sole Agent, and have united the two Salaries of £100, which they formerly paid to Mr. Partridge and Mr. Charles, by voting £200 Sterling as your Salary.7 I hope this Appointment will not be disagreable to you, as I think I had your Permission to name you on the Occasion. If you accept, you will keep and exhibit yearly an Account of any Disbursements you find necessary to make for the Province, which will be paid besides the Salary.

Being myself appointed one of the Committee of Correspondence, I shall shortly send you the Minutes of the late Session, and from time to time whatever may be necessary to inform you of our Affairs. And I hope to receive from you early Notice of such Proceedings at home, as it may be useful for our Assembly to be acquainted with.

Be so good as to present my respectful Compliments to your Speaker,8 whom I honour greatly, and to his worthy Brothers, whose Friendship and many Civilities I bear strongly in Memory. Please to remember me also very affectionately to your good Brother and Sister Bridges,9 and any others of your Family that may do me the Honour to enquire after me. My Son is in his Government, where he seems to have a Prospect of being very comfortably settled. I know he intends to write you as soon as his Hurry is a little over. I am, with the sincerest Esteem: Dear Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

Account of the Number of Churches form’d in the 4 Governments of New England, as they stood at different Periods1—viz

Anno 1637 — 16 Churches
1643 — 34 Do
1650 — 40 Do
1680 — 80 Do
1696 — 130 Do
1760 — 530 Do

An amazing Increase within the Memory of Man, 400 upon 130!

R. Jackson Esqr

Endorsed: Philad April 11th 1763 B Franklin Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The Assembly resolved, April 2, 1763: “That Richard Jackson, Esq; of the Inner Temple, be, and he hereby is appointed, Agent for the Province of Pennsylvania, to solicit the Affairs thereof at the Court of Great-Britain for the ensuing Year; and that the said Gentleman be allowed for his Services as aforesaid the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds Sterling per Annum.” Votes, 1762–63, pp. 41–2. At the same time the Assembly ordered that this resolve, under the great seal, be transmitted to Jackson and that BF be added to the Committee of Correspondence. Governor Hamilton refused to apply the seal, probably because he had been allowed no part in the appointment, and Thomas Penn commended his refusal, adding that Jackson “told me he did not know he might accept it if he liked their manner of desiring it, but he must have one he liked under him, for that he had an affluent fortune and did not want it, he is now a Member of Parliament and Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.” Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Susquehannah Company Papers, II (Wilkes-Barré, Pa., 1930), 257. Apparently Jackson asked for some change in the wording of his appointment (below, pp. 341, 404), but what he wanted is not known; in any case, he continued to serve as Pa. agent until 1770, when he was appointed counsel to the Board of Trade and felt obliged to resign his colonial agencies.

8Sir John Cust.

9Thomas and Ann Bridges, Jackson’s brother-in-law and sister.

1With one exception, BF procured the figures below from Ezra Stiles, A Discourse on the Christian Union (Boston, 1761), pp. 102, 112–17, 129–39. The exception was the figure for 1680, and he inserted this information between the lines in the letter, showing that it was a later addition; its source has not been identified. On Stiles’s Discourse, see below, pp. 266–7.

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