From Joseph Galloway
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Philada. June 28. 1765
Permit me to introduce to your Acquaintance Mr. John Williams,7 a gentleman recommended to me from London, who lately came over to this Place on Business of the Treasury by order of the Ministry. An Acquaintance with him I apprehend will be so full a recommendation that I need add nothing in his Favor. Believe me very Sincerely your Affectionate humble Servant,
7. The brother of BF’s nephew by marriage, Jonathan Williams, Sr. (C.5.3), apparently American born, was later described by John Adams as “sly, secret, and cunning.” He was receiver general of Martinique during the British occupation of that island and had later been sent to America by Grenville to secure funds in payment to the Crown of a debt owed by John Scott & Co. He was appointed inspector general of customs under the American Board of Customs Commissioners, established in 1767. Residing in Boston, Williams was threatened by the Sons of Liberty during the disturbances created by the seizure of John Hancock’s ship Liberty in 1768. He removed to England in 1771 and during the Revolution was suspected of supplying information to both sides. After the war he returned to America. He was sometimes referred to as “the inspector,” to distinguish him from other members of the Williams family. BF to Jane Mecom, March 1, 1766; to Jonathan Williams, April 28, 1766 (both in APS); and to WF, Nov. 25, 1767, Yale Univ. Lib.; L.H. Butterfield et al., eds., Diary and Autobiography of John Adams (Cambridge, Mass., 1961), I, 344; Dora Mae Clark, “The American Board of Customs, 1767–1783,” Amer. Hist. Rev., XLV (1939–40), 784 n.