Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Samuel Wharton, [10 January? 1770]

From Samuel Wharton

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Wednesday Morning [January 10, 1770?4]

Dear Sir

I was informed late last Night, That a Number of your and my Letters were lying at the New York Coffee House and Therefore I went into the City early this morning and have taken up all I could find.

I send by my Boy, yours. I [am] always very respectfully your Very affectionate Friend.

S Wharton

Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The dating is purely conjectural. Capt. Falconer, in the Pa. Packet, arrived at Deal on Dec. 10, 1769 (London Chron., Dec. 9–12), and might well have carried mail for Wharton and BF, in which case this note could have been of Dec. 13; but no letters from BF’s Philadelphia correspondents, written shortly before Falconer sailed, are extant. Capt. Sparks, on the other hand, who sailed in late November and arrived in London early in January, 1770 (Pa. Chron., Nov. 27–Dec. 4, 1769; London Chron., Jan. 4–6, 1770), carried a number of letters to BF written in late November and printed in the previous volume—from DF, Hillegas, Thomson, and Evans. We are inclined to believe that Wharton was referring to the arrival of this mail, and was writing on Jan. 10, the first Wednesday after Sparks reached Dover. His use of the first person, instead of the third as in his previous notes, tells nothing except that he was erratic in his form of address. In 1768 he had even used, for the only time as far as we know, the greeting “Dear Friend”; see above, XV, 275.

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