Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Isaac Hunt, 14 December 1766

From Isaac Hunt

ALS (mutilated):3 American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia December 14th: 1766.

Worthy Sir,

Your friendly and obliging Favour by Captain Falconer came safe to Hand.4 I think myself happy in so good a Friend, and shall always endeavour by an upright Conduct to deserve your Friendship.

The Judgment you have passed on my Essay does me great Honor, and [offers?] a Pleasure in reading that Part of your Letter which I want Words to express. I have not yet published it here, and if I do, shall pay due Attention to your Advice relative to the Dedication.

After great Opposition, I was admitted a few Weeks ago an Attorney of the Court of Common Pleas. The Justices struggled hard to oblige me to make Concessions to the Governor and themselves for my late political Conduct,5 and for some Time made it the Terms of my Admission. They thought as my Bread depended I would readily comply, but it was a Meaness I could not stoop to commit, and bravely stood it out. When they found my Friends beginning to stir and me obstinate, they at length dropped the Proposal of Concessions. But even [so?] then no Favour was to be shewn me! They appointed two Gentlemen of their own Party Mr. Shippen and Mr. Dickinson6 to examine me, which was accordingly done; and after Examination upon their reporting me qualified, I was sworn an Attorney of the Court, and am now getting my Bread in that Way. The [half a line torn off] be their Design what it may, as [remainder of page missing] villainous Lye of your being concerned in forming and supporting the Stamp Act.

I gratefully thank you for your good Advice and shall apply myself with great [zeal?] to my Studies, and endeavour to behave with that Diligence and Fidelity in the Prac[tice] which you so kindly recommend. I am also greatly obliged to you for recommending Capt. Falconer to Mr. Strahan. The Books are sent exactly agreeable to my Directions.7

I wish you a happy and successful new Year. May seventeen hundred and [sixty] seven be the glorious Æra on which the Change of Government might be effected. I am With Respect and Gratitude Your obliged Friend and humble Servant

Isaac Hunt

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The lower half of the sheet is torn away.

4BF’s letter has not been found; it probably replied, in part at least, to Hunt’s letter of May 21, 1766 (above, pp. 279–82), telling of the failure of his essay to win the Sargent Medal at the College of Philadelphia and of the refusal of the College Trustees to grant him the master’s degree because of his political writings. In that letter Hunt had promised to write more fully “by the Packet,” so in the missing letter BF was probably replying also to a second one from Hunt.

5Hunt’s Exercises in Scurrility-Hall attacking members of the proprietary party.

6Edward Shippen, Jr. (1729–1806), judge of the Vice Admiralty Court and practicing lawyer, and John Dickinson (1732–1808), both of whom had taken active parts in the pamphlet war of 1764 on the proprietary side.

7The matters alluded to in this and the preceding sentence would probably be clarified if BF’s letter and the one from Hunt “by the Packet” were available.

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