Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, [1764–1765]

From Peter Collinson

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library

Fryday [1764–1765]6

My Dear Friend.

I think you[r] Vindication is admirably well drawn up You make Mee Smile now and then with a keen back Stroke and then with a Home Thrust. It must Mortifie Allen for it cuts Him to the Quick.7 He has poisoned the Barclay Family.8 I wish you had one to spare to send my penny post Directed to Mr. David Barclay Junior in Cheapside.

If you have them not to spare I think they Should be reprinted Here you’l find them of great Service to remove prejudices.

I am much yours

P Collinson

Addressed: To / Ben Franklin Esqr. / at / Mrs Stephensons / in Craven Street / Strand

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6So dated because of Collinson’s discussion of BF’s “Vindication,” his Remarks on a Late Protest, Nov. 5, 1764 (above, pp. 429–41), which BF probably put in Collinson’s hands soon after arriving in London on Dec. 10, 1764. See George S. Wykoff, “Peter Collinson’s Letter Concerning Franklin’s ‘Vindication,’” PMHB, LXVI (1942), 99–105.

7In his Remarks BF had attacked William Allen on a number of counts.

8The Barclays, John and David, Jr. (above, IX, 190–1 n), were important London merchants who were on good terms with both the Assembly and the Proprietary party. They were grandsons of Robert Barclay, the famous apologist for the Quakers. In the fall of 1764 Allen had written them a stream of letters attacking BF with such epithets as the “Disturber of the Peace” (Sept. 25) and “the grand Incendiary” (Nov. 20) and had even asked David Barclay, Jr., to expose BF to his superior at the Post Office, Lord Hyde (Oct. 24). Lewis B. Walker, ed., The Burd Papers Extracts from Chief Justice William Allen’s Letter Book ([Pottsville, Pa.], 1897), pp. 57, 62, 63. In his Remarks BF had printed a letter from the Barclays to James and Drinker expressing the hope that when Allen arrived in Philadelphia he would use his influence, “added to the Power and Commissions the Proprietaries have invested him with,” to restore harmony and tranquillity. Allen had, however, joined the other proprietary leaders in concealing the news of the Penns’ concession on the taxation of their located but uncultivated lands, the announcement of which was the one action by which he might have significantly reduced the animosities building up during the election campaign.

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