Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, 10 June 1763

To William Strahan

ALS: Yale University Library

Woodbridge New Jersey June 10. 1763.

Dear Straney

I am here in my Way to New England, where I expect to be till towards the End of Summer. I have writ to you lately and have nothing to add.6 ’Tis against my Conscience to put you to the Charge of a Shilling for a Letter that has nothing in it to any Purpose, but as I have wrote to some of your Acquaintance by this Opportunity,7 I was afraid you would not forgive me if I did not write also to you. This is what People get by not being always as good-natured as they should be. I am glad however that you have this Fault; for a Man without Faults is a hateful Creature, he puts all his Friends out of Countenance: but I love you exceedingly.

I am glad to hear that Friend was dismiss’d and got safe with his Ship to England;8 for I think I wrote you a long Letter by him, and fear’d it was lost; tho’ I have forgot what was in it, and perhaps it was not very material, but now you have it. Tell me whether George is to be a Church or Presbyterian Parson?9 into know you are a Presbyterian yourself, but then I think you have more Sense than to stick him into a Priesthood that admits of no Promotion. If he was a dull Lad it might not be amiss, but George has Parts, and ought to aim at a Mitre. God bless you and Farewell. If I write much more, I must use a Cover, which will double the Postage. So I prudently cut short (thank me for it) with, Dear Straney, Your affectionate Friend and humble Servant

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr William Strahan / Printer / Newstreet Square / Shoe Lane / London

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6See above, pp. 271–2.

7See the letters immediately above to Richard Jackson and Polly Stevenson.

8For the capture of the Carolina, Captain Friend, by the Spanish and her release, see above, p. 160 n. BF’s letters to Strahan of Dec. 2 and 7, 1762, had gone by the Carolina.

9For the plans of George Strahan (1744–1824) to become a clergyman, see above, p. 271 n. As BF facetiously recommended here, he entered the Anglican ministry, but he never became a bishop. He was vicar of St. Mary’s, Islington, 1773–84, and thereafter was rector of a succession of parishes in Essex and Kent, and was appointed a prebendary of Rochester in 1805. Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses … 1715–1886, IV (Oxford, 1888), 1363.

Index Entries