Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to [George Whitefield], 6 December 1768

To [George Whitefield]

ALS: Huntington Library

Craven street Dec. 6. 68

Judge Smith’s Recommendation of Mr. Rodgers, 2 sent me by my dear Friend, is a high one indeed! More need not be said in a Man’s favour if he were to be set up as a Candidate for the Title of Arch-Angel. I have not yet had an Answer from Edinburgh.3 There is sometimes in these Affairs a Delay of two or three Months, when there happens to be no Meeting of the Professors, &c. but I flatter my self we shall not be disappointed. Thanks for your Prayers and Blessings. With the greatest Esteem and sincerest Affection, I am, my dear Friend, Yours ever

B Franklin

[In the margin:] Can you inform me by the Bearer Mr. Coomb4 when a Vessel goes for Georgia?

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2William Smith (1697–1769) was a prominent N.Y. lawyer, former attorney general and member of the council of the province, one of its representatives at the Albany Congress in 1754, and since 1763 a judge of its superior court. DAB; Maturin L. Delafield, “William Smith …,” Magazine of American History, VI (1881), 264–71. The Rev. John Rodgers (1727–1811) was a well known Presbyterian minister, who had taken a church in New York in 1765; he received a doctorate of divinity from Edinburgh in 1768 at Whitefield’s instigation and through BF’s good offices. DAB.

3The answer was written six days later: William Robertson to BF below, Dec. 12, 1768. In BF’s papers, and in his hand, is a “List of Gentlemen with their Degrees,” which is a roster of the professors at Edinburgh at some time between 1768 and 1773; opposite a single name is the notation, “I don’t know this [gentleman].” It is a reasonable conjecture that BF compiled the list in connection with his effort to get a degree for Rodgers.

4Young Thomas Coombe had come to England to take holy orders, which he did in 1769; meanwhile he was staying with BF. See DAB; BF to DF above, Feb. 20, and below, Dec. 21, 1768.

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