Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Hall, 12 July 1766

From David Hall

Letterbook copy: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia July 12th. 1766

Dear Sir.

I receiv’d your kind letter of May the 9th5 by the Packet, for which I am much obliged, and observe what you say as to the Accounts; but, as you are pleased to express your Satisfaction, with respect to my Desire of settling every thing right, and my Sentiments are exactly the same as to you, we can not, as you remark, have any Difference: However, I should have been glad to have known what Articles you did not understand, and likewise those you thought there were Mistakes in, which might have been rectified before your Return; but of those, no Doubt, I shall hear, when you have more Leisure.6

I am much obliged for your Indulgence, in allowing Mr. Strahan to send my News Papers, Via Boston and New-York, under your Cover.7 I never thought of asking it with respect to Letters.

I acknowledge your Favour in writing to Mr. Grace in my Behalf and doubt not its having the desired Effect with his Widow.8

Mrs. Franklin as I wrote you formerly, may always command any small service, it may be in my Power to do her. The Account shall be presented to Mr. Bradford.9

As to the publishing these Encomiums on you; It is true, I did shew some of my Letters from London to your particular Friends; who all, as well as myself, thought what we did was right, in order to do Justice in some Degree, to your traduced Character; but as I find it is disagreeable to you shall observe your Directions for the future.1 Mrs. Franklin was well this Morning. Sally is at present in the Jerseys. I heartily condole with you on the Loss of your worthy Brother; but as he was an antient Man, and has been long in a declining State, the Shock must have been the less to his Family.2

I paid Mrs. Franklin this day Fifty one Pounds, towards purchasing a Bill of Mrs. Stevens;3 and about the Time of your Brother’s Death, she had Twenty Pounds which is all I have paid her, besides what I have already informed you of. My Wife, and Children who are all a little grown up now, send you their best Wishes. And you may believe me to be, Dear Sir Yours most Affectionately


Pray remember me kindly to Mr. Strahan and tell him, I am much obliged to him for his Favour by the Packet.4

Per the Packet
To Benjamin Franklin Esq

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Not found.

6The reader may learn (as Hall could not do at this time) the nature of BF’s questions concerning Parker’s final report on the Franklin & Hall accounts by consulting BF’s “Observations,” above, pp. 110–16.

7On May 10, 1766, William Strahan wrote Hall that he was about to send the newspapers by Boston and New York vessels, as well as directly to Philadelphia, addressed to BF. PMHB, x (1886), 217. By having the papers sent to BF, Hall would be saved the charge for postage.

8Hall had asked BF’s help in effecting a renewal of the lease of the Grace property in which the printing office was situated; above, XII, 170, and this volume, p. 259.

9An unpaid account from the Post Office; below, p. 381.

1In the issues of Feb. 27 and March 27, 1766, Pa. Gaz., printed extracts from letters by Strahan to Hall praising BF by name for his services in the crisis. BF could not have yet seen copies of the May 1 and May 8 issues containing even more laudatory reports from London.

2BF’s brother, Peter (C.9), died July 1, 1766, aged 73. He had long been in the habit of doctoring himself, a practice that BF and DF had strongly criticized; above, X, 392; and this volume, p. 117. Hall printed a highly complimentary obituary notice in Pa. Gaz., July 3, 1766.

3BF’s Ledger, 1764–1776, pp. 2, 15, under date of Aug. 13, 1766, records receipt of a bill of exchange from DF for £30 sterling from Stevens on Grant. He failed to record its receipt in his Journal, 1764–1776, p. 9, however, until October 4.

4This must be Strahan’s long letter of May 10, 1766, printed in PMHB, x (1886), 217–25. It contained much useful discussion of public affairs and was accompanied by the copy of BF’s Examination before the House of Commons that Hall read aloud to many Philadelphians that summer and printed in September.

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