Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Abel James, 19 July 1770

From Abel James3

LS: American Philosophical Society

London 19 July 1770

Dear Friend

I take the Liberty to repeat my Request to thee that Thou wilt lay before James West Esqr. the Inclos’d Paper, hoping that, that worthy Gentleman will give Orders to the Executor of Peter Razor deceased to let me dispose of the Trunk of Cloaths as he desir’d me to do by the within mention’d Paper, which I got proved before I left Philada. The other Trunk referr’d to was never deliver’d to me, but this is in my Custody, and I can [torn] our Friend West that Peter Razor repeatedly requested [torn] his mind fulfill’d therein.4 Thy Attention hereto will [torn] Addition to the many Benevolent Actions of thy Life, [torn] him that is with perfect Esteem Thy Affectionate Friend

Abel James

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3BF’s old Philadelphia acquaintance, who was in London on business. See BF to Evans above, March 17.

4“Our friend West” was presumably the James West (1703–72) who was president of the Royal Society and M.P. for Boroughbridge, and who had spent many years at the Treasury. Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, III, 624–5; DNB. Peter Razor’s financial affairs in 1759 appear briefly above in Vol. VIII, where he is not identified. He was presumably the Peter Razer who was at that time a customs collector at Lewes, Del., and who was corresponding with West in 1755. I Pa. Arch., III, 546; IV, 76; PMHB, LXXXIII (1959), 130 n. In that case his customs accounts may well have been still unsettled, so that no part of his estate—even clothes—could be disposed of without consent of the Treasury.

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