Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Strahan, [4 February? 1770]

From William Strahan

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Sunday Even. 9 o’Clock [February 4, 1770?5]

Dear Sir

I inclose this unfinished that I may have your Opinion whether it is, or is not, the thing. I can add or alter what you shall point out. Please to let me have it early in the Morning. I will call in the Afternoon and bring it with me finished, with what I can recollect of Politics, and of that Days Debate.6 Pray send also the other Paper for the Chronicle which we must have very early, or it will not be time enough.7 I am sorry I missed you in the House of Lords.8 I am Dear Sir Your most obedient Servant


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The letter mentions four things: an essay, apparently by Strahan, that cannot be identified; a debate in Parliament; a contribution by BF to the London Chron.; a session of the House of Lords that Strahan attended. The last three, as noted below, would have been natural references in a letter written on the day we have assigned.

6Perhaps the debate in the House of Commons, Feb. 5, on Wilkes’s expulsion; see Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 830–1.

7Perhaps BF’s brief tribute to Pownall, printed on the first page of the London Chron., Feb. 6–8; see below.

8Perhaps the debate on the night of Feb. 2–3 on Wilkes’s expulsion; see Cobbett, op. cit., XVI, 814–30. Whether or not BF attended, Strahan did: “Correspondence between William Strahan and David Hall, 1763–1777,” PMHB, XI (1887), 108–9.

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