Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Alexander Lunan, 31 July 1765

From Alexander Lunan7

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. 31st. July 1765.

Dear Sir,

I just beg Leave to accquaint You that Gilbert Elliot8 Esqr. is my Friend, and by a Letter I have received lately, from my Cousin, Lord Pitfour,9 one of the Senators of the College of Justice at Edinburgh dated the 1st. May. He1 has promised his Interest, to any Gentleman, who will be kind enough to point out to Him; any thing Wherein he Can Serve me.

I Would Willingly beg of you, My Dear Sir, to see him on my Account, as Im perswaded, You could point out some thing; that would be agreeable and pleasing to me. But I dare not desire it, as your time, I know, is too much engaged otherwize, But perhaps, May be good enough to spare a few Moments some morning. I am My Dear Sir: Your most obedient Servant.

Alexr. Lunan

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Alexander Lunan (d. 1770) was a Philadelphia merchant whose occasional advertisements in Pa. Gaz. (e.g., April 18 and 25, 1765) show that his store offered for sale such varied goods as British red herring in kegs and japanned copperware. His obituary in Pa. Gaz., Aug. 1770, called him “a reputable Merchant in this City,” whose “Integrity in Trade, and courteous Behavior to Strangers, renders his Death a public Loss.”

8Gilbert Elliot (1722–1777), son of a Scottish baronet and jurist, was M.P. for Selkirkshire, 1753–65, and for Roxburghshire, 1765–77. He was extremely active in behind-the-scenes political maneuvering and held a variety of public offices, though none of cabinet rank. He strongly opposed the repeal of the Stamp Act. DNB; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, II, 390–4.

9James Ferguson, Lord Pitfour (1701?–1777), was admitted an advocate, 1722; was chosen dean of the Faculty, 1760; and was appointed one of the lords of Session and of the lords of Justiciary, 1764, when he assumed the title of Lord Pitfour. He resigned his judicial offices in 1776. Scots Mag., XXXIX (1777), 335.

1The pronouns here are somewhat ambiguous. Lunan probably meant that Lord Pitfour had reported Elliot’s prospective gratitude to anyone who would point out how Elliot could serve Lunan. No letter by BF has been found to any of these men or otherwise relating to this matter.

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