Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jonathan Williams, 3 November 1764

To Jonathan Williams

ALS: Yale University Library

Philada. Nov. 3. 1764

Loving Kinsman,

The Case of the Armonica came home to Night, and the Spindle with all the rest of the Work seems well done.1 But on farther Consideration, I think it not worth while to take one of them to London to be fitted with Glasses as we intended. It will be better to send you one compleat from thence, made under my Direction, which I will take care shall be good.2 The Glasses here will serve for these Cases when I come back, if it please God that I live to return, and some Friends will be glad of them.

Inclos’d I send you that Imposter’s Letter. Perhaps he may be found by his Hand Writing.3

We sail on Wednesday.4 The Merchants here in two Hours subscrib’d £1100 to be lent the Publick for the Charges of my Voyage, &c. I shall take with me but a Part of it, £500 Sterling; any Sum is to be had that I may want.5 My love to all. Adieu. Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr Jonathan Williams / Mercht / Boston / Free / B Franklin

Endorsed: Novr 5. 1764 F

1BF had apparently undertaken to have an armonica made for Williams’ son, Josiah, a blind young man with musical aspirations; see above, X, 156 n, 295. For a bill from Benjamin Humphreys for “Two steel spendels For the Harmonica,” see below, p. 446.

2On April 28, 1766, BF wrote Williams that although he had tried “’till I am tir’d,” he had been unable to have an armonica made in London. APS.

3Neither the impostor nor his letter has been identified.

4BF sailed from Chester, aboard the King of Prussia, Capt. Robinson.

5BF carried the £500 to England in bills of exchange: one, D. Williams on John Strettel, for £300, and another, Reese Meredith on Samuel Bean, for £200. When he got to London he deposited the money with the banking firm of Brown and Collinson. Journal, 1764–1776, p. 1 (see below, pp. 518–20). On May 14, 1767, Speaker of the House Joseph Galloway signed an order for the repayment of the sum advanced for BF’s mission (£870 in Pa. currency). 8 Pa. Arch., VII, 6015.

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