Benjamin Franklin Papers

Franklin and Hall: Notice to Debtors, 25 April 1765

Franklin and Hall: Notice to Debtors

Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette, April 25, 1765.

[April 25, 1765]

As the Partnership of Franklin and Hall, Printers of this Paper, is now near expired,1 a Settlement of the Accounts betwixt them is become absolutely necessary; and there being a very considerable Number of Sums, both great and small, due to said Partnership, and many of them of a long Standing, this serves earnestly to request all indebted to them to make speedy Payment, otherwise they will be under the disagreeable Necessity of taking such Measures as cannot be pleasing to either Party. Such, in particular, as are at a Distance, are desired to send, or pay, their Arrears to those who may be impowered to receive the same, and thereby not only prevent that Trouble which cannot be longer delayed, but greatly oblige their very humble Servants,

Franklin and Hall.2

1The agreement between BF and David Hall, dated Jan. 1, 1748, provided that the partnership was to commence Jan. 21, 1748, and continue for a term of eighteen years if both men survived. Above, III, 263–7. In some of the later announcements, cited in the next footnote, Hall indicated that the partnership would expire on Feb. 1, 1766, a date probably chosen merely for reasons of convenience in accounting.

2This notice was repeated unchanged in Pa. Gaz., June 27, July 4, and Oct. 31, 1765. A similar notice, more threatening in tone to delinquents but expressing gratitude to the “worthy Customers” who had “regularly paid” the printers for their labor, appeared in the issues of Jan. 9, 23, and 30, 1766. The last two of these added an “N.B.” to the effect that Hall would carry on the Gazette “and all other Business, in the Printing Way” at the same place, beginning on February 1. The issues of Feb. 6, 13, and March 13, 1766, asked the remaining debtors to settle with Hall, “who is possessed of the Books, and has full Authority, for that Purpose.” From time to time during this entire period Hall also printed notices advising persons in Virginia and Maryland of the names and locations of agents with whom they might settle their debts to the partnership. In May 1766 Hall formed a new partnership with William Sellers, an English-born bookseller and printer on Arch Street, and the Gazette appeared for the first time with their joint imprint on May 8, 1766.

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