Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Galloway, 12 August 1769

From Joseph Galloway

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[Phila]da. Augt. 12. 1769

Dear Sir

Mr. James Adair, the Bearer of this Letter, intending to Publish Essays on the Origin, Language, Religion, Customs, Policy &c, of the American Indians, particularly of those residing to the Southward, has obtaind Subscriptions and Encouragment from many Gentlemen of this and the other Provinces in America. He thinks he can better execute his Design in England than in this Country which is the Cause of his Present Voyage.6 I am well assured from his long Residence among the Natives and many Observations he has already committed to writing, he is very capable of Executing his Design. But as he may stand in Need of the Assistance and Judgment of Men of Letters, I beg leave to recommend him to your Notice and Encouragment. I am Dear Sir your most Obedient humble Servant

Jos. Galloway

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Deputy Post Master General / of North America / in / Craven Street / London

Endorsed: Galloway Aug. 12 1769

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6James Adair (c. 1709–c. 1783) was one of the ablest of Indian traders, but little is known about him except what he tells of himself. He appears to have been an Irishman, who came to America in 1735 and engaged in trade with the Catawbas and Cherokees and later with the Chickasaws and Choctaws; he was a friend of Sir William Johnson and George Croghan, and may have been briefly in partnership with the latter. After he reached London in 1769 he spent years on his book, The History of the American Indians, Particularly Those Nations Adjoining to the Mississippi, East and West Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina and Virginia (London, 1775). The book, despite its thesis that the Indians are descendants of the ancient Jews, has great value for the astuteness and accuracy of its observations. DAB.

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