Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Sherwood, 21 July 1767

From Joseph Sherwood5

AL: University of Pennsylvania Library

21st. July 1767

Joseph Sherwood’s respects to Benjn. Franklyn Esqr., Sherwood has applied to the Plantation, and Secretary of States Office (where the Patents &c. are Recorded) both of whom Absolutely refuse to give Copies, being as they say totally unusual and Extra Official;6 Sherwood has Perused and Considered the Papers very Attentively, and from his own Ideas of the Case Apprehends, there is very little Foundation to Support the Claim of Registrar &c. in Opposition to the Grant of the Crown; But will call on B Franklyn Esqr. the first opportunity.

Addressed: To / Benjn. Franklyn Esqr. / at Mrs. Stevensons / in Craven Street / Strand

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Joseph Sherwood (c.1708–1773) was a London Quaker attorney who served as New Jersey agent from 1759 to 1766 and as Rhode Island agent from 1759 to 1773. Michael G. Kammen, A Rope of Sand (Ithaca, 1968), pp. 325–6.

6Apparently Sherwood had been retained to pursue and defend Charles Read’s right to the office of registrar of New Jersey when this office was claimed by Joseph Reed as having been included within his own appointment as deputy secretary of the province under the newly designated non-resident secretary, Maurice Morgann. Above, p. 141 n. Among the Franklin Papers, APS (LVI, i, 4), is an undated set of instructions to get copies of the patents of Morgann and his predecessor, to procure certain other pertinent papers, and to submit them to the attorney general for an opinion. These instructions almost certainly relate to Charles Read’s asserted—but unsuccessful—claim to the office of registrar. See the document immediately below.

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