Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, 8 August 1763

To William Strahan

ALS: Yale University Library

Boston, Augt. 8. 1763

Dear Friend,

I have received here your Favour of May 3. and Postscript of May 10.4 and thank you cordially for the Sketch you give me of the present State of your political Affairs. If the stupid brutal Opposition your good King and his Measures have lately met with should as you fear become general,5 surely you would not wish me to come and live among such People; you would rather remove hither, where we have no Savages but those we expect to be such. But I think your Madmen will ere long come to their Senses; and when I come I shall find you generally wise and happy. That I have not the Propensity to sitting Still that you apprehend, let my present Journey witness for me, in which I have already travelled eleven hundred and forty Miles on this Continent since April and shall make Six hundred and forty Miles more before I see home.6 No Friend can wish me more in England than I do my self. But before I go, every thing I am concern’d in must be so settled here as to make another Return to America unnecessary. My Love to every one of your dear Family, of whose Welfare I always rejoice to hear: being with the greatest Esteem and Affection, Dear Sir, Yours sincerely

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr. William Strahan / Printer / London

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Strahan’s letter of May 3 and 10 with its political “Sketch” has not been found, but judging from a letter which he wrote to David Hall on May 10 it probably expressed his growing disillusionment with the King and Lord Bute and his contempt for John Wilkes, a “contemptible, nay infamous” person. Strahan to Hall, May 10, 1763, APS.

5A reference to the furor caused by the arrest of and legal proceedings against Wilkes.

6For BF’s trips on post-office business to Va. in the spring of 1763 and to New England in the summer and early fall of the year, see above, pp. 252 n, 276–9. In the margin the figures 1140 and 640 are added together to produce the sum of 1780. Perhaps this is Strahan’s calculation of the total mileage of BF’s journeys.

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