Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Grey Cooper, 24 June 1768

To Grey Cooper5

ALS: Yale University Library

Saturday June 24. 1768

Dear Sir

Inclos’d I send, for the Ladies, a Piece of the Bark Cloth with which the new-discover’d People dress themselves. It was fast together, but I have split it, as you see; and it will still split farther into its original thin Pieces like Lace.

You once express’d a little Partiality for Things of my Writing, which encourages me to send you two; one to which you have a kind of Right, it being written under your Roof in favour of the Treasury, to discountenance, among honest People, the Practice of Smuggling or using contraband Goods. The other was intended to lessen the Effect of the late numerous inflammatory Papers on the Minds of the labouring Poor.6 They may show at least that the Writer wishes well to Government and Order.

I attended at the Duke of Graftons yesterday Morning at ½ after Ten, agreable to your kind Note. His Grace being very busy, referr’d me to Tuesday next at 12 o’Clock, to be then at the Treasury.7 I am extreamly sensible of your Friendship, and of the Dukes Goodness in thinking of me. With sincere Esteem, I am, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Grey Cooper Esqr / Treasury

Endorsed: 1768  Dr. B. Francklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Grey Cooper (c. 1726–1801), M.P., secretary to the Treasury, 1765–82, whom Sir John Pringle called “the honestest man of a courtier that he ever knew.” Below, p. 162; see also above, X, 185 n.

6For the two pamphlets, “On Smuggling” and “On the Labouring Poor,” see above, respectively, XIV, 315–19, and [April, 1768].

7Augustus Henry Fitzroy, third Duke of Grafton (1735–1811), was acting head of the administration during Chatham’s illness, and first minister after the latter’s resignation in the following October. For Grafton’s negotiations, which were conducted through Cooper and were intended, BF believed, to obtain him a post in England, see BF to WF below, July 2, 1768. Nothing came of the idea, and BF apparently never even had an interview with the Duke.

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