Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Nicholas Waln, 11 October 1765

From Nicholas Waln6

ALS (incomplete):7 American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia October 11th 1765

Honoured Friend

You may remember that when I waited on you last at your Lodgings you were kind enough to make Offers of your Service, otherwise I can not presume on any Merits of my own with you to sollicit your kind Offices in Case an Oppertunity should offer. From your and Mr. Jackson’s Letters I have no Doubt that you will be able to bring about a Change of Government, which with our Priviledges secured will constitute an Event, worthy the persons employed in its Negotiation.8 Should it be effected in all Probability there will be Offices of Proffit in the Disposition of the Crown, to any one of which I should be obliged to you for your Recommendation to, provided you think it would be proper for my Execution. I am now engaged in the Practice of the Law, my own Fortune is but small, but I can obtain [any] Security that shall be desired.

[Torn] great Success your [several lines missing9] Party in Case they should procure a Majority in the House, was immediately to recall you, to revoke the Petition for a Change and to give the back Counties more Members, by which Means say they we shall always have a Majority. However thank God their Design is defeated. A few Hours ago I saw Mr. Galloway who told me he has wrote you 8 or 9 pages,1 in which I dare say he has very fully informed you of our Transactions. I will not detain you therefore any longer but wish you long Life and Success in your Agency. I am very sensible the Number of your Correspondents here, is already so great as to be somewhat Troublesome to you, for which Reason I would not by any Means obtrude myself upon you. I hope you will pardon the Liberty I have taken and be assured that I am with the greatest Respect Your assured Friend

Nicholas Waln

My Uncle Jacob Shoem[aker]2 desires me to present [torn] to you.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Nicholas Waln (1742–1813) was at this time a young lawyer who had studied with Joseph Galloway before being admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1762. In 1763 he went to London and became a student at the Middle Temple. While there he had evidently visited BF. In 1772 Waln experienced a striking religious conversion, gave up his lucrative law practice, and devoted the rest of his life to preaching the Quaker faith. A powerful preacher whose reputation and travels extended to the British Isles, Waln was appointed clerk of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1789. DAB; E. Alfred Jones, American Member of the Inns of Court (London, 1924), pp. 212–13.

7Approximately the bottom third of the sheet has been torn off.

8Evidently BF and Jackson had written detailed letters about the prospects for a change of government; none, unfortunately, has survived.

9The last missing words at the bottom of the first page were probably something like: “The intention of the proprietary.”

1See above, pp. 304–6.

2A maternal uncle who had helped Waln’s mother bring up her family after the early death of her husband.

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