Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Strahan, 4 May 1765

From William Strahan

AL: Pierpont Morgan Library

New Street Saturday May 4. [1765 or 1771]7

Mr. Strahan presents his affectionate Respects to Dr. Franklin, and begs leave, (as is now the Custom in Affairs of Importance,) to remonstrate with him upon his forgetting his Appointment to drink Tea and spend the Evening with him in New Street last Night. In full Dependance upon the Drs. Promise, Mr. S. engaged Dr. Hawkesworth to give him the Meeting, which was a double Disappointment, as two were thereby disappointed instead of one. If Dr. F. is disengaged tonight, he will find Mr. S. at home, where he has been all Day, and where he will be very happy to see him. If not, he shall have the Pleasure of meeting him on Monday at Mr. Cadell’s.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7During BF’s second mission to England May 4 fell on Saturday in both 1765 and 1771. There is nothing in this note to indicate in which of these two years it was written. The term remonstrate, which Strahan claims is in vogue, offers no clue because in both 1765 and 1771 Americans and native Englishmen were remonstrating to the Crown about a variety of real and fancied injustices. Dr. John Hawkesworth (above, IX, 265–6 n) was a friend and companion of BF during both his first and second missions to England. Mr. Cadell is hardly more helpful. Thomas Cadell (1742–1802) was apprenticed in 1758 to the London bookseller and publisher, Andrew Millar, became Millar’s partner in 1765, and took over his business in 1767. Cadell was a close friend of Strahan and joined him in many printing ventures, one of which was the publication in 1773 of a collection of South Sea voyages, edited by Hawkesworth. Perhaps Cadell was too young in 1765 to enjoy the friendship with Strahan which this note suggests, but in accordance with editorial policy it is printed here at its earliest possible date. The strong possibility that it was written in 1771, however, should be born in mind. For Cadell, see DNB and J. A. Cochrane, Dr. Johnson’s Printer The Life of William Strahan (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), pp. 138–41.

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