Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Wharton, 13 November 1764

From Thomas Wharton

AL: American Philosophical Society

Philad[elphia, November 13, 1764]8

Much Esteem’d Friend Benjamin Franklin

Thy very kind Letter of the 9th. Instant9 I [had the pleasure] of receiving yesterday the Contents whereof afforded Matter of real Satisf[action, and] on being shewn to my honoured Father gave Him that just Sensation, which [warms the] Breast of every true Friend.

I have done myself the pleasure of visiting [thy Wife] and Daughter1 since thy departure; Who express’d their tender, and filial [Affection?] towards thee, sufficient to warm the coldest Heart: And be assured, if it Liys [in my] Power to contribute to their Ease and Pleasure, I shall be chearfull to do it.

The Party at present seem very [quiet, nor] can I, with any degree of Certainty learn, that They intend to give a formal A[nswer to] thy Remarks.2 W A—has been heared to say, that He was sorry to find [Mr. Frank]lin so warm, and did not know, He had given sufficient Cause therefor; We are [informed?] it sticks very close by Him, his Children and Friends being very uneasy about the Charge.3 Many of the Pr—ns express their Surprise at their signing the protest,4 when [such] Proofs could be brought in Opposition to it, And say that Had their Society been [left] unnoticed by thee—it might be well enough.5 Some of Us, the last Evening determined to have thy Remarks translated into Dutch, and gave Orders for it’s being distributed with Miller’s Newspaper, and expect to have it published in Bradford’s this Week.6

On the 9th an Express passed through this City from Colo. Bouquet to General Gage—giving as I am informed, an Account of his being mett between the Tuscorora Hill, and the Shawanae’s Town, by a considerable Number of the Delaware and Shawanae Indians. Who intreated Him for Peace, which He absolutely refused Unless They would first deliver up all the Captives, and their Offspring, which [They] have promised to do; They requested Him to stop his March down, and give them [Time to?] perfect this Matter. But He knowing their perfidy, told them, He should continue on if They did not comply in Twelve days, He would destroy everything in his Way. [It] appears that they were destitute of Ammunition, and every Necessary of Life, So that We hope a Peace is near at hand;7 And as I am not able to give thee a circumsta[ntial] Account of this Matter, and being informed that [it is gone] home by the Packet shall refer [you th]ereto.

Captain Friend it’s [said] will sail in a Week, but can not learn that [Governor] Hamilton has taken his Passage.8 I am thy Sincere and Aff[ectionate]

Addressed: For / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Agent for the Province of / Pennsilvania / in / London

Endorsed: Tho. Wharton Nov. 13. and 20. 1764 answer’d Jan. 129

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The upper corner and right-hand edge of the sheet are badly torn. The endorsement on the address page apparently does not mean that the present letter was a double letter, begun on November 13 and continued on November 20, but that Wharton wrote separate letters on these two dates. The letter of November 20 has not been found.

9See Above, p. 451.

1Alternatively, Wharton may have written “thy Son and Daughter,” indicating a visit to WF and his wife in N.J., but the indicated rendering seems more probable.

2For BF’s Remarks on a Late Protest Against the Appointment of Mr. Franklin an Agent for this Province, Nov. 5, 1764, see above, pp. 429–41. For William Smith’s An Answer to Mr. Franklin’s Remarks, on a Late Protest, Dec. 7, 1764, see below, pp. 486–516.

3BF attacked Allen on several accounts in his Remarks; the charge at which he was uneasy was probably that of acting traitorously by denigrating royal government.

4For a “Protest against the Appointment of Benjamin Franklin as Agent,” Oct. 26, 1764, see above, pp. 408–12.

5In his Remarks BF had alluded to the Presbyterians who opposed him as “religious Bigots, who are of all Savages the most brutish.”

6BF’s Remarks appear first to have been published on Nov. 7, 1764; they appeared as a supplement to the Nov. 22, 1764, issue of William Bradford’s Pa. Jour. The Remarks and the “Protest” to which they were an answer were published as a pamphlet in German by Christopher Saur (above, II, 358 n). “Miller’s Newspaper” was Der Wöchentliche Staatsbote, published in Philadelphia by John Henry Miller (above, VIII, 99 n).

7A similar account of Bouquet’s negotiations appeared in Pa. Jour., Nov. 15, 1764. For the colonel’s expedition and its successful issue, see above, pp. 445–6 n.

8Pa. Gaz., Nov. 29, 1764, reports the clearance of the Carolina, Capt. James Friend. In a letter of Dec. 4, 1764 (below, p. 483), Wharton wrote BF that Hamilton was a passenger aboard the Carolina; he was going to England on the advice of physicians, who feared that he might have cancer. William Allen to David Barclay & Sons, Nov. 20, 1764, in Lewis B. Walker, ed., The Burd Papers Extracts from Chief Justice William Allen’s Letter Book ([Pottsville, Pa.], 1897), pp. 62–3.

9In BF’s hand. His letter of Jan. 12, 1765, has not been found.

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