Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from [Robert] Crafton, 12 April 1767

From [Robert] Crafton1

AL: American Philosophical Society

Broad Street Buildings, Apr. 12. [17672]

Mr. Crafton’s Compliments to Dr. Franklin has made an Appointment with Mr. Paxton of Boston,3 for Thursday or Friday next and desires Dr. Franklin will send Word [by the] Bearer, or to morrow, which Day will be more agreeable; that he may fix with Mr. Paxton in Conformity. Dinner at 3 o’Clock.

1Identified as Robert Crafton by the agreement of handwriting and address with other, fully signed letters to BF. Crafton was one of the partners in a firm of hosiers, Crafton & Colson, 166 Fenchurch Street, from whom BF sometimes bought stockings. [Henry] Kent’s Directory For the Year 1770 (London, 1770), p. 46; Gent. Mag., XLVIII (1778), 191; Journal, 1764–1776, pp. 1, 16; Ledger, 1764–1776, pp. 5, 8. He appears also to have been a leading member of a club BF helped to form that met to “dine every Thursday at the Dog Tavern on Garlick Hill.” Crafton to BF, March 11, 1771. APS.

2The year is determined by the mention of Charles Paxton, who was in London from the summer of 1766 until the fall of 1767.

3Charles Paxton (1708–1788), surveyor and searcher of the port of Boston, 1760, marshal of the Vice Admiralty Court, was on friendly terms with Charles Townshend and visited the Townshend family while in England, 1766–67. He shares with Townshend (rightly or wrongly) the credit for planning the establishment of the American Board of Customs and was appointed one of its five original members. Dora Mae Clark, “The American Board of Customs Commissioners, 1767–1783,” Amer. Hist. Rev., XLV (1939–40), 777–82.

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