Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Francis Hopkinson, 16 December 1767

To Francis Hopkinson

ALS: Associates of the Late Rev. Dr. Bray

London, Dec. 16. 1767

Dear Sir

I received yours of Nov. 6. with the Account of your safe Arrival, which gave me and your Friends here great Pleasure.7

I have sent your Letter to Mr. Morgann, and by some Discourse I have had with him I am inclin’d to think you will find it no great Difficulty to agree for the Office when you see him on the Spot; and he is now preparing for the Voyage, intending for Maryland or Virginia in the first Ship.8

The Associates of Dr. Bray have lately a £1000 promis’d them for the Support of Negro Schools in America, the Money to be laid out in Ground Rents or other safe Estate in or near Philadelphia; and they have appointed you, Mr. E. Duffield and myself to make and hold the Purchase for that Use.9 £200 of the Money is already in their Hands, and they desire that we may immediately proceed to purchase as far as that Money will go. I wish therefore that you and Mr. Duffield would look out for such kind of Purchases, and make them, drawing on the Revd. Mr. John Waring,1 at Mr. Bird’s in Ave Mary Lane for the Sum you lay out. You will draw a Deed of Trust and execute it for your selves, if any thing is done in the Affair before I come over.

Mr. Sturgeon2 had the Care of the Negro School; but the Associates having had no Line from him, nor any Account of the School these two years past, they pray that you two would visit it, enquire into the State of it, and send them some Account of it, directed as above, by the first Opportunity. Mr. Waring is Secretary to the Associates.

I hope to be at home pretty early in the Summer, and to have the Pleasure of finding you and your good Mother well. My best Wishes attend you, being with sincere Regard Your affectionate Friend and humble Servant

B Franklin

Mrs. Stephenson and Miss present their Compliments I shall remember the Telemachus.3

F. Hopkinson Esqr

Endorsed: Docr. Franklin to Fras. Hopkinson Decr. 16. 1767

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Hopkinson arrived in Philadelphia on Oct. 23, 1767, aboard the Philadelphia Packet, Capt. Nathaniel Falconer. Pa. Gaz., Oct. 29, 1767.

8Maurice Morgann, Lord Shelburne’s private secretary and at this time under-secretary of state for the Southern Department, had been appointed secretary of New Jersey in 1767; above, XIII, 430 n. In June 1767 Morgann appointed Joseph Reed his deputy to execute the office; whether Hopkinson was hoping to supplant Reed or to obtain some other office from Morgann is not clear. On May 10, 1768, WF wrote BF that Morgann was expected to land at New York, but had not yet arrived. By August 1768 he was in Canada, investigating on Shelburne’s orders the laws of Quebec. There he remained until the fall of 1769, when he came to New York and returned to England. By this time Hopkinson was selling dry goods at Philadelphia. See above, p. 141 n; WF to BF, May 10, 1768, APS; W.S. Wallace, The Maseres Letters (Univ. of Toronto Studies in History and Economics, vol. III, no. 2, Toronto, 1919), pp. 118–19, 130–1; 1 N.J. Arch., X, 113–34.

9For the Rev. Abbot Upcher’s intended gift of £1,000 to the Bray Associates, see above, XIII, 442. Originally Jacob Duché, Jr., and David Hall were proposed as additional trustees to administer the bequest.

1Waring was the secretary of the Bray Associates; see above, VII, 98 n.

2For the Rev. William Sturgeon, curate and assistant minister at Christ Church and St. Peter’s, Philadelphia, and catechist at the Bray Associates’ school for Negro children, there, see above, VII, 252 n; X, 298. He had resigned his positions on July 31, 1766, because of ill health; see above, XIII, 406, 483.

3Almost certainly a copy of Fenelon’s famous work, which Hopkinson evidently wanted BF to procure for him.

Index Entries