Benjamin Franklin Papers

Deborah Franklin: Power of Attorney, 14 October 1768

Deborah Franklin: Power of Attorney

DS: American Philosophical Society

October 14, 1768

Whereas my Husband Benjamin Franklin late of this City of Philadelphia but now of London Esqr. by his Letter of Attorney dated the Fourth Day of April, ADomi. 1757, did constitute and appoint me the Subscriber his Attorney to negotiate settle and transact all his private Affairs and Business in America with power to substitute an Attorney under me for that purpose2 Now in pursuance of the said power to me given I do hereby substitute authorize and appoint James Wilson of Reading in Berks County Esqr.3 to acknowledge Satisfaction on Record of the Mortgage Moneys due to the said Benjamin Franklin from the Estate of William Maugridge deceased4 by Virtue of an Indenture of Mortgage executed by the said William Maugridge bearing Date the Ninth Day of December ADomi. 1763 provided always and upon this Condition that Sarah Drury5 doth before the said Acknowledgement of Satisfaction pay unto my said Attorney the Sum of One hundred and four pounds and doth assign over so many Bonds to the said Benjamin Franklin to be payable to him from [blank] Ferree6 purchaser of the Mortgaged premises as shall amount in Value to the Sum due to the said B. Franklin. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this fourteenth Day of October 1768.

D Franklin

Sealed and Delivered
  In the presence of

Nicholas Waln7 Berks ss. The 14 Day of Octr. 1768 appeared the abovenamed Deborah Franklin and acknowledged the above writing to be her Act and Deed Coram

John Patton8

Berks County ss Entered of Record in the office for Recording of Deeds at Reading in and for the said County of Berks in Mortgage Book B a[t?] page 165 In Testimony Whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and the seal of the said County the Twenty first Day of November Anno Domini 1768.

James Read9 Rec. ib.

Endorsed: Power of Attorney from Mrs Franklin to Jas Wilson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2See above, VII, 169–70.

3James Wilson (1742–98) was born in Scotland and came to Philadelphia in 1765. He studied law under John Dickinson, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Reading in the summer of 1768. He later became a land speculator, prominent politician, and in 1789 justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. DAB.

4For William Maugridge and his estate see above, XIV, 135.

5Maugridge’s daughter and the wife of Edward Drury of Reading. Ibid.

6Henry Feree, who completed the purchase of the Maugridge farm on Nov. 21 for £900. J. Bennett Nolan, “Ben Franklin’s Mortgage on the Daniel Boone Farm,” APS Proc., LXXXVII (1943–44), 397.

7For Nicholas Waln, lawyer and preacher, see above, XII, 311 n.

8John Patton was a Reading landowner and iron-manufacturer, and the stepfather of James Wilson’s wife. PMHB, XXXI (1907), 48. He was no relative of Col. John Patton (1745–1804), another Pennsylvanian who after the War of Independence also went into the iron business.

9For James Read, a resident of Reading and the son of DF’s cousin, see above, III, 39 n.

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