Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Lord Bessborough, 13 July 1765

To Lord Bessborough

AL: Yale University Library

Cravenstreet July 13. 65.

Mr. Franklin begs Leave to present his dutiful Respects, and his Congratulations to Lord Bessborough on his Return to the Post-Office.3 Would have waited on his Lordship, but that he is confined with a little Fit of the Gout.

Mr. F. has just receiv’d from America the enclos’d very late Indian Treaty, by which a general Peace was establish’d with the Western Nations on the Ohio, and a Passage granted us thro’ their Country to the Ilinois on the Missisipi.4 As this is perhaps the first Account of that important Transaction, it may be agreeable to the Ministry to be acquainted with it:5 Mr. F. therefore sends it that his Lordship may communicate it if he thinks proper.

Endorsed: Benjamin Franklin Esqr July 1765 Conway southern Province america in the Province6

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3William Ponsonby, 2d Earl of Bessborough (above, IX, 188 n), joint postmaster general, 1759–62, was appointed to the same office by the Rockingham administration on July 12, 1765. He served until November 1766.

4BF may have received the treaty from George Croghan, who conducted the negotiations with the northern and western Indians at Fort Pitt, May 8–11, 1765. Croghan’s journal of these negotiations, sent to Gov. John Penn on May 12, 1765, was read before the Pa. Council on June 4, 1765; it is printed in Pa. Col. Recs., IX, 249–64.

5A letter from Gen. Thomas Gage to Lord Halifax, June 1, 1765, reporting the issue of Croghan’s negotiations had been received by Halifax (or a secretary in his office) by July 12, 1765. Clarence E. Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage, I (New Haven, 1931), 58–61.

6Gen. Henry Seymour Conway (1719–1795) was appointed secretary of state for the Southern Department, July 10, 1765, succeeding Lord Halifax. For Conway, an extremely important political figure throughout the era of the American Revolution, see DNB and Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, II, 244–7. This badly scrawled endorsement was probably intended as a reminder that America lay within the province of the secretary of state for the Southern Department, and Bessborough was going to transmit the Indian treaty to Conway accordingly.

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