Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Philadelphia Merchants, 10 November 1768

From the Philadelphia Merchants

LS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia November 10th. 1768,

Esteemed Friend,

We having been appointed by the Merchants of this City to forward a Letter or Memorial from them, to the Merchants and Manufacturers of Great Britain, thought it highly proper that a Copy of the same should be transmitted to thee.

At the Time of Captain Falconer’s departure, we were closely engaged in performing this Service, 9 and thereby prevented inclosing one of the said Memorials to thyself, but our Friend Thomas Wharton undertook to forward one at our particular desire.1

And we now take the Liberty to inclose a second, Together with a Copy of our Letter, in which we forwarded said Memorial to the Merchants and Manufacturers residing in different parts of England.

Thy well known Regard, and warm Attachment to North America and Abilities to serve it, renders our taking up much of thy Time on this Occasion unnecessary.

We therefore earnestly request thy best endeavours may be exerted to obtain a Repeal of the Revenue Acts, and the Regulations so justly complain’d of, which are manifestly injurious to the Trade of America, and in their Consequence a palpable hurt to Great Britain. We are very Respectfully, Thy Assured Friends2

Joseph Swift
John Reynell
Jereah: Warder
Danl. Rundle
Thomas: Fisher
Henry Drinker
John Head
Wm. West

Benjamin Franklin Esqr.

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Agent for the Province of Pennsylvania / at the Court of Great Britain / Craven Street / London

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9I.e., completing the memorial and having it printed in time for Falconer to take copies with him in the Pennsylvania Packet, which sailed on Nov. 7. Pa. Chron., Oct. 31-Nov. 7, 1768. The memorial was conservative in tone, as might be expected from a committee dominated by great Quaker merchants, and was intended to stimulate the British mercantile community to bring pressure on Parliament for repeal of the Townshend Acts and other legislation, such as the Currency and Sugar Acts, with which BF had long been concerned. The signers of the memorial threatened a nonimportation agreement if their effort was fruitless. It was, and they signed the agreement in the following March. Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution, 1763–1776 (New York, 1918), pp. 125–9.

1See the preceding page.

2For the signers already identified see above, as follows: John Reynell, IX, 372 n; Daniel Rundle, VI, 386 n; Henry Drinker, IX, 33 n; William West, IX, 291. For the remaining merchants see references, many of them uninformative, in PMHB, as follows: Joseph Swift (1731–1806), VI (1882), 329–30; Jeremiah Warder (1711–83), LXXII (1948), 345; Thomas Fisher (1741–1810), V (1881), 365–6; John Head (1723–92), LXXXVIII (1964), 404.

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