From Robert Alexander7
ALS: American Philosophical Society
3 Sepr. 1770
Since my return to Scotland, I have been some days in the Country by which means I did not receive your Letter before yesterday. I return you a Thousand Thanks for the Trouble you have taken about the Harpsichord, the one you describe at 33 Guineas is precisely what is wanted and therefore you will please give orders to have it immediately packt up and Sent down, after putting it in the best order and I desire you will give Mr. Barron who has assisted you whatever you think he deserves.8 Both my Brothers9 desire to be remembr’d to you in the kindest manner and with my best Compliments to Mrs. Stevenson and your other Friends I remain Dear Sir, Your most humble and most obedient Servant
[In the margin:] There are every Week Ships going from London to Leith.
Addressed: To / Dr Ben. Franklin / Craven Street / London
7. An Edinburgh merchant and banker, for whom see above, VIII, 444 n; XIV, 75 n.
8. Possibly one of the Barron Brothers, Hugh and William Augustus, both of whom were mediocre painters and excellent violinists. DNB. Either one might have met BF through the Wests or otherwise, although we have no evidence that he did. The harpsichord was cheap; for prices at the time see Frank Hubbard, Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), p. 160.
9. One was William, whose daughter later married Jonathan Williams, Jr. (above, XIV, 75 n), and the other was Alexander John. Both were bankers, like Robert; in later years they were in France during BF’s mission there, and corresponded with him at length.