Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Franklin, 22 January 1768

From William Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Burlington Janry. 22d. 1768

Honoured Father

I wrote to you Yesterday, when I acquainted you that I had not receiv’d any Letters from you by the Pacquet, the Bag being either lost or not forwarded by the last Post, but he has since return’d and I have this Moment the Pleasure of receiving yours of Octr. 9. and Novr. 13;7 the last enclos’d in a Cover dated Novr. 17. I have but just Time to mention this, and must postpone answering them till the next Opportunity. Indeed I am apprehensive that this will hardly get over in Time to meet the Post on his Return to N. York.

Betsy joins in Congratulations on your safe Return to England with Honoured Sir Your ever dutiful Son

Wm: Franklin

P.S. I much doubt whether it will be good Policy to drop the Superintendencies, at least till the new Colonies are got into some Forwardness.8

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin, Esqr., / D. Postmaster General of / North America, &c. / Craven Street / London / On his Majesty’s Service / Via N. York / per Packet

Endorsed: W. Franklin Jan. 6. to 22. 1768

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7See above, XIV, 275, 302–3.

8BF’s letters reported Lord Shelburne’s proposals of Oct. 5, 1767, to create three new colonies in the western lands won from France and to return the control and, most important, the expense of Indian affairs to the separate colonies, eliminating Indian agents like BF’s friends Sir William Johnson and George Croghan. The proposals for new colonies complemented the long efforts of BF and his allies in Philadelphia to found a colony in the west for land speculation. In 1768, however, Lord Hillsborough’s new jurisdiction over colonial affairs threatened the whole project. If Indian agents were dropped before the new colonies were approved, Pennsylvania land speculators would lose their advantage over those in the older colonies with western claims, notably Virginia, Connecticut, and New York. This theme and related matters run through BF’s correspondence below with Thomas Wharton, George Croghan, and Joseph Galloway.

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