Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Parker, 22 July 1769: résumé

From James Parker

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[New York, July 22, 1769. Repeats the substance of his letter of June 28. Encloses a bill of exchange for £50 from Luke & Prettyjohn, Barbados, drawn on Richard Gosling of London2 and endorsed by Mrs. Moore of New York; bills are rising and now stand at 72½, and he bought this one for 70. Has received Franklin’s letters by the packet and by Dr. Rush.3 Captain Davis4 has arrived; he spoke Captain Falconer in the Downs on May 30, and brings word that Mr. Foxcroft has safely reached England.

Mr. McGruder has sent him the book of Mr. Scott, of Upper Marlboro, Md.; Scott owes a considerable balance, but McGruder fears none of it can be got out of him. Mr. Hubbart writes that nothing is yet done in Mr. Huske’s affair,5 and fears nothing will come of it. The same with Mr. Walker of Hartford, who is still in jail.6 Parker also despairs of the arrears of Mr. Chace of Providence, who is almost bankrupt.7 But a former apprentice of Parker’s, now living in Providence, is in debt, and the father has asked Parker’s help so that his son can come home to New York. The young man’s Providence creditors have agreed to take forty Spanish dollars from what Chace owes the Post Office, and the father will turn over that amount to Parker in New York. Doubts that anything more can be extracted from Chace, but will do what he can.

The summer has been dry and warm. Struggles along though feeble in body; is delighted to hear from Dr. Rush that Franklin is well. Hopes that by now Mr. Robinson has returned home, and that Franklin and Foxcroft will help him in some way that will not injure Parker; still wants to resign from the customs house.]

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Director of the Royal Exchange Assurance and a member of Richard & John Gosling, merchants of Tower Street, listed in Kent’s Directory … (London, 1768), p. 72. He was probably the Richard Gosling whose death on Dec. 14 was reported in the Gent. Mag., XXXIX (1769), 609.

3Young Dr. Rush, who has appeared in this and previous volumes, had finished his medical training at Edinburgh, made a trip to the Continent, and returned to New York on July 14. See Carl Binger, Revolutionary Doctor: Benjamin Rush … (New York [c. 1966]), p. 69.

4Undoubtedly Capt. Benjamin Davies, master of the Hope, who arrived in New York on July 20: Gaine’s N.-Y. Gaz., July 24, 1769.

5Ellis Huske, the postmaster of Boston, had died bankrupt in 1755 and left his post office accounts unsettled. See above, XI, 338 n.

6John Walker had been appointed postmaster of Hartford in 1764. Because of irregularities in his accounts he was displaced and jailed in 1767; see William DeL. Love, The Colonial History of Hartford … (Hartford, 1935), p. 230.

7Samuel Chace, born in Newport in 1722, was the first postmaster of Providence (1754–64) and held various other local offices; he also served a term in the provincial assembly. Daniel Beckwith, “The Lippitt Family of Rhode Island,” New England Hist. and Geneal. Register, XXVII (1873), 71; Thomas W. Bicknell, The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (3 vols., New York, 1920), II, 770.

Index Entries