Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Sir William Johnson, 10 July 1766

From Sir William Johnson

Draft: American Antiquarian Society; copy: Massachusetts Historical Society

Johnson hall July 10th 17662


At the Request of your Son Govr. Franklyn, and several Gentlemen of Pensilvania, I now enclose you a Scheme proposed for establish[in]g a Colony at the Ilinois, together with my Letter to Mr. Secretary Conway in favour thereof, which the proposers desired might be transmitted thro’ your hands. I have accordingly sent it under a flying seal, and must request you to forward it as Addressed.3

I daily dread a Ru[p]ture with the Indians occasioned by the Licentious Conduct of the frontier Inhabitants who Continue to Rob, and Murder them. I am imediately to meet Pondiac with the Western Nations, at Ontario and wish I may be able to satisfy them.4

Altho’ I have not had an Opportunity of Cultivating your Acquaintance I shall always be Glad to render you, or yours any Service as I am &c.

To Benjn. Franklyn Esqr.

Endorsed: Johnson hall July 10 1766 To Benjn. Franklyn Esqr London, with proposals for a Colony at Ilinois, &a Letter to Mr Secy Conway thereon

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This letter is printed twice in The Papers of Sir William Johnson, v (1927), 336–7, and xii (1957), 140. The first time it is dated July 18, the second July 10. The nineteenth-century copy in the Mass. Hist. Soc. is dated July 18. The editors of the present volume believe, however, the July 10 is the correct date, the “10” in the draft being a contemporary correction, written over an “8”, giving it an erroneous impression of being “18.”

3Both the scheme for establishing an Illinois colony, written by WF, and Johnson’s letter to Conway, July 10, 1766, are printed in Johnson Papers, v, 319–30. The expression under a flying seal is “Said of a letter with a seal attached but not closed, so that it may be read by a person who is requested to forward it to its destination.” OED. See below, p. 414, for BF’s forwarding of this letter to the secretary of state.

4Johnson conferred with Pontiac and other western chiefs at Ontario (Oswego), July 23–31. N.Y. Col. Docs., vii, 854–67.

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