Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, 9 May 1763

To William Strahan

ALS: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery

Virginia, May 9. 1763

Dear Sir,

I have been from Philadelphia about 3 Weeks on a Journey hither upon the Business of the Post Office,5 but am now returning home, where I hope to find some Letters from you, as I hear that two Pacquets are arrived at New York since I came out. I have answer’d the Letters receiv’d from you by my Son,6 and have little to add. I congratulate you sincerely on the signing of the Definitive Treaty, which if agreable to the Preliminaries, gives us a Peace the most advantageous as well as glorious, that was ever before obtain’d by Britain.7 Throughout this Continent I find it universally approved and applauded; and am glad to find the same Sentiments prevailing in your Parliament, and the unbias’d Part of the Nation. Grumblers there will always be among you, where Power and Places are worth striving for, and those who cannot obtain them are angry with all that stand in their way. Such would have clamour’d against a Ministry not their particular Friends, even if instead of Canada and Louisiana they had obtain’d a Cession of the Kingdom of Heaven. But Time will clear all Things, and a very few Years will convince those who at present are misled by Party Writers, that this Peace is solidly good, and that the Nation is greatly oblig’d to the wise Counsels that have made it.

My affectionate Regards to Mrs. Strahan and your Children; and believe me ever, My dear Friend, Yours sincerely

B Franklin

Please to put Mr. Becket in mind to send me the French Work on the Arts as it comes out. Also any new Pieces that are thought good.8

Have you put the Cato Majors into his Hands?9

Mr. Strahan

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5For this trip, see above, p. 252 n.

6Those of Oct. 20 and Nov. 1, 1762 (not found); see above, p. 235.

7For BF’s enthusiastic comments on the peace in earlier letters to Strahan, see above, pp. 200, 236. The definitive treaty was signed at Paris, February 10.

8Thomas Becket of Tully’s Head in the Strand had published BF’s Canada Pamphlet, and while in England BF had engaged him to send books to Lib. Co. Phila.; see above, IX, 274. The “French Work on the Arts” was the multivolume Descriptions des arts et sciences (Paris, 1761–88). BF bequeathed his folio edition to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston and his quarto edition to Lib. Co. Phila.

9BF had sent Strahan 300 copies of his 1744 edition of James Logan’s translation of Cicero’s Cato Major; see above, II, 404. Strahan remembered in 1782 that he had turned them over to someone; he thought it was Becket, but Becket had become bankrupt “some time ago” and Strahan did not know what had become of any copies remaining unsold. Strahan to BF, May 27, 1782, APS.

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