Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, 23 August 1763

From Peter Collinson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Londn: 23d: Augst 1763

My Dear Friend

I am Just come from an Entertainment given your New Governor7 per our Society8 a Respect shown to all Governors where our Friends are Setled. Your Proprietor Thos. was there and Great Civilities pass’d on all Sides, I believe exact the Same Deputation that attended your Son who I hope is now well Setled in his Government and Sees Clearly the Coast he is to Steer. Pray when you write give my respects to Him and His Lady with my best Wishes.

Proprietor Thos. Took Mee Asside. Sayes He—I hear Mr. Franklins comeing Over to Solicit a revival of Doctor Coxs Grant for Lands on the Missisipi.9 Do you know any thing of It, No not I, He Seemed uneasie about It.

On the 21st: Wee lost Lord Agrement.1 I wish Wee may be So happy in a New appointment of an able unbiassed Man of Weight to conciliate all parties. He has fairly Bilked Champion Welks non est inventis [sic]2 the Suits at an End.

Wee are concerned at the new rupture of the Indians,3 French Emessaries may have had Some Share in it but I am afraid it is more owing to our Neglect and Misconduct.

There is Orders and In[s]tructions gone Over by the last Pacquets. I heartyly Wish they may prove Effectual to Bring about an Accomodation.

Your Friutefull Able Genius I hope will Exert it Self on this Weighty Occation. I Shall be pleased to Hear the Carolina is come Safe with the Books for thee and Library Company and J. Bartram.4 Our Friend Mr. Canton5 is conce[r]ned that he is forgott. Mr Clark Chaplain to our Ambassador Earl of Bristol has published a Modern History of Spain in 4to which I believe you would Like.6 In Hast I am my Dear Friend Sincerely Yours

P Collinson

If I may Judge from aperances your New Governor dos not Seem to have Strikeing abilities then He’l be the Easier govern’d per his unkle.

Our Friend Hamilton gives a great Many Thanks and His Humble Service for your In[s]tructions.7 He Hopes you will be tempted over by many Considerations and flatters himself with the pleasure of your Company at Pains Hill.

Addressed: To / Benn: Franklin Esqr / Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Thomas Penn’s nephew John Penn (above, IV, 458 n) was commissioned lieutenant governor of Pa., June 18, 1763, to succeed James Hamilton. His sailing was noted in London Chron., Sept. 13–15, 1763; he arrived in Philadelphia toward the end of October and read his commission before the Pa. Council, October 31. Pa. Col. Recs., IX, 71–2; Pa. Gaz., Nov. 3, 1763.

8Presumably the Society of Friends.

9For BF’s interest in the Coxe grant of “Carolana,” see above, pp. 212–14. Penn’s information was, of course, false.

1Charles Wyndham (1710–1763), 2d Earl of Egremont, secretary of state for the Southern Department in the ministry which he, Grenville, and Lord Halifax directed, died on Aug. 21, 1763. Egremont had sanctioned the use of general warrants for which Wilkes had brought suit against him and threatened to challenge him to a duel. His death, however, “bilked” Wilkes of satisfaction either in court or on the field of honor. On Aug. 29, 1763, Wilkes wrote his supporter, the poet Charles Churchill: “What a scoundrell trick has Lord Egremont played me? I had form’d a fond wish to send him to the Devil, but he is gone without my passport.” George Nobbe, The North Briton (N.Y., 1939), p. 238.

2Non est inventus: the return made by a sheriff when a defendant is not to be found in his jurisdiction.

3The Indian uprising led by Pontiac.

4For the Carolina’s arrival in Philadelphia, Sept. 22, 1763, and for the books she carried, see above, p. 274 n.

5John Canton, the English electrical experimenter; see above, IV, 390 n.

6Edward Clarke (1730–1786), clergyman, traveler, and author, was chaplain to George William Hervey, 2d Earl of Bristol (1721–1775), during the latter part of the earl’s service as ambassador to Spain, 1758–61. Clarke’s Letters Concerning the State of Spain … Written at Madrid during the Years 1760 and 1761 (London, 1763) is replete with details and statistics.

7For Charles Hamilton of Painshill, see above, p. 151 n. The instructions which BF sent him almost certainly dealt with the erecting of lightning rods.

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