Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Parker, 2 May 1767

From James Parker

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Newyork May 2. 1767

Honoured Sir

This incloses the 2d Bill for £300 Sterl,2 the first of which was sent per Packet, who sail’d Thursday last, which I got of Mr. Colden pursuant to a Request of Mr. Foxcroft.

I having been one Year in the Service of the Custom-House here, I enquired what Methods I should take to get any Pay, what Information I can get is as follows: A Power of Attorney must be sent by me to some Person in London, to receive the Pay due: And that such Power enables the Person to receive it, but that, unless the Person be one of the Custom-House Officers, it generally meets with Difficulties and Delays: Mr. Colden tells me, his Power is to one Mr. Stanley an Officer there, who has 2½ per Cent always for receiving and paying it to his Order and he recommends this Method to me: for tho’ his Friend would do it for Nothing, yet for those Obstacles, he chuses this Way, and the Money is then always paid: He thinks with me, I had better write to you, that perhaps you might chuse to recommend some other Person: for tho’ I don’t doubt but Mr. Strahan would do it, yet as it will be paid best, if one in the Custom-House be appointed: so it will be equal to me if Mr. Stanley or another of your Acquaintance or Friend, and Should rather chuse to give the 2½ to your Friend than to a Stranger: so that now before I send any Power home, or draw for any of it, I will wait your Advice: I would send you a Power; but in as much as you are about to return it will be troublesome without answering the End.

I sent you per Packet also a Copy of Mr. Holt’s Account exhibited to the Auditors at New Haven, as also Mr. Ingersoll’s Letter to me on the Subject: I sent also a Copy of the same to Mr. Foxcroft; who is expected up from Virginia in a short Time. Holt is returned to New York, and I must Still try to apprehend him: but he eludes every Thing I can do: and from his Exhibition of that Account, I begin to think him a downright Villain; for if he can swear to such an Account as that, what can I expect, but that when obliged to settle, he will trump up similar Ones against me his Chicanry with me, forebodes as much. He is but a little Man: but a very great Lump of soft tongued Deceit and Hypocrisy: God will reward him according to his Works.

I told you the Stationary came to Hand: Shall I expect any new Letter this Summer: I would send the Money if I had it: but I don’t know which way to turn myself to get it yet: I have a Job of Work, that will be something when done: tho’ I shall eat part of the Calf in the Cow’s Belly. But I yet hope all will do well: at least I am determined to Struggle hard and conquer or die’s the Word. We all beg our Respectful Complements may be acceptable, from Your most obliged Servant

James Parker

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This bill and the other matters mentioned in this letter are discussed in Parker’s letter to BF of April 29, 1767; it should be consulted for explanatory notes. Parker sent the present letter by the New York, Capt. E. Lawrence, whose clearance from New York was reported in Pa. Chron. May 4–11, 1767; see below, p. 168.

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