Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Lee, 7 April 1768

From Charles Lee

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Barton April the 7th 1768

Dear Sir.

I forgot before I left London to desire You wou’d (if Mr. Durden shoud write to me on the subject of the Springsborough estate)2 direct it to me at Sir Charles Bunbury’s3 Barton near Bury St. Edmonds Suffolk. I shoud ask ten thoushand pardons for this liberty,4 and intreat You to believe me, Dear Sir, Your most obedient Servant

Charles Lee

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Alexander Durdin, a Dublin attorney, had married Ann Penn; after her death in 1767 he was disputing with Thomas Penn the ownership of extensive lands in Pennsylvania. Above, XII, 370 n; XIV, 100 n. Lee had an avid interest in American land; see John R. Alden, General Charles Lee: Traitor or Patriot? (Baton Rouge, [1951]), pp. 25–6, 31. He was apparently considering the purchase from Durdin of one of two Penn manors of the same name, Springetsbury, for which see 3 Pa. Arch., IV; one was in Philadelphia and the other on the Susquehannah.

3Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, Bart. (1740–1821), Lee’s first cousin and close friend. For the visit to Barton see Alden, Lee, p. 33.

4BF had dined with Lee less than four weeks before; see above, BF to WF, postscript, March 13, 1768. If this was their first and only previous meeting-and there is no evidence to the contrary—Lee was indeed taking a liberty, and one that was in character.

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