Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Barclay & Sons, 21 April 1767

From David Barclay & Sons

AL: American Philosophical Society

Cheapside 21 April 1767

David Barclay & Sons present their Respects to Dr. Franklin and acquaint him that they received yesterday a letter from Charles Read relative to treating with M: Morgan Esqr. and desire to know what has passed between them on the subject.3

Addressed: For / Benjamin Franklin Esqr:

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The secretaryship of New Jersey, an office under Crown appointment, became vacant in 1766 and the place went to Maurice Morgann (above, XIII, 430 n), private secretary to Lord Shelburne. Like his predecessor, Morgann planned to remain in England and execute the office by deputy. Charles Read (above, X, 313 n) had been deputy secretary for more than twenty years and hoped to continue in this office of dignity and profit and in other posts associated with it: clerk of the Council, of the Supreme Court, and of the Common Pleas, surrogate, and keeper and register of the colonial records. Joseph Reed, recently a student in the Middle Temple and now practicing law in Trenton (above, XI, 391), also wanted the appointment. Apparently the candidates were expected to “treat” with Morgann; the Barclay firm, acting for Charles Read, wanted to know what information BF might have about the matter. His reply is unknown. In June young Joseph Reed was appointed, much to the disappointment and vexation of the older man. Carl R. Woodward, Ploughs and Politicks Charles Read of New Jersey And His Notes on Agriculture 1715–1774 (New Brunswick, 1941), pp. 153–7; John F. Roche, Joseph Reed a Moderate in the American Revolution (N.Y., 1957), p. 26.

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