Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Potts, 10 December 1766

From Jonathan Potts

AL: American Philosophical Society

Edinburgh December 10th: 1766

I wrote to you upon my arrival in Liverpool as did my Friend and Relation Mr. Benjamin Rush,4 we also sent you some Letters from your Friends in Philadelphia in our favour,5 the design of which Letters was that you would be so kind as to write to any of your Friends in this place in our behalf, as I am somewhat apprehensive you have not received those Letters, I have taken the liberty to repeat my request, as I find since my arrival here that Letters from you in our favour would be of infinite service to us.6 I am Sir with the utmost respect your most obedient and very humble Servant

Jonathan Potts

To Benjamin Franklin Esqr.

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / in Craven Street / London

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Potts and Rush arrived in Liverpool, Oct. 21, 1766, and went immediately to Edinburgh to pursue their medical studies. For their letters see above, pp. 468, 471.

5See above, pp. 387–8, 404, 404–5.

6For BF’s letters of recommendation for Potts and Rush, all written on Dec. 20, 1766, see below, pp. 531–3. Mrs. Thomas Potts James, a genealogist of the Potts family, published a postscript to the present letter, which she noted as being “written on a separate slip of paper and enclosed,” but which the present editors have not found, in which Potts observed that “Just after sealing this, news of the packet arrived this morning, I got yours of Nov. 11th. I shall answer it by the packet which I suppose will sail in a few days.” The present editors have found no letter from BF to Potts of Nov. 11, 1766. Mrs. James published what purported to be such a letter but it is indubitably BF’s letter to Potts and Rush of Dec. 20, 1766. There may have been a November 11 letter, but it appears more likely that the postscript which Mrs. James published belonged to another letter to another correspondent. The present editors find it highly unlikely that Potts would have sent a letter from Edinburgh to London by sea when an efficient overland postal service operated between the two places. See Mrs. Thomas Potts James, Memorial of Thomas Potts, Junior (Cambridge, 1874), pp. 172–3.

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