Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Noble Wimberly Jones, 10 October 1770

To Noble Wimberly Jones

ALS: Blumhaven Library and Art Gallery, Philadelphia

London, Oct. 10. 1770


The within is a Copy of mine that went with the Gowns and Mace, which I hope got safe to hand.9 One of the Bills, (that for the Mace) contain’d, by the Silversmith’s Mistake, an Article of Buckles that should not have been in it. The true Amount of that Bill,

on Account of your Province, is only - - - - - - - - - - £88 8s. 1d.
That for the Gowns was - - - - - - - - - - 19 4s. 9d.
107 12s. 10d.

A War with Spain is just now talk’d of here as inevitable.1 And a Disposition to accommodate amicably all Differences with the Colonies begins to shew itself more strongly among Persons in Power. The American Agents will not fail, as it is both their Duty and Interest, to cultivate as much as possible that Disposition. With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant,

B Franklin

Honble. N. W. Jones, Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9See BF to Jones above, July 6.

1This is the first mention in the correspondence of a crisis that had been brewing for months. In the 1760’s France and Britain both laid claim to the Falkland Islands, and established small settlements. In 1767 France ceded her claim to Spain, and in June, 1770, a Spanish force from Buenos Aires attacked and captured the British post at Port Egmont. The news reached London in the late summer, when Lord North was out of town; Lord Weymouth, the Secretary of State for the Southern Department, took matters into his own hands, and protested so belligerently to Madrid that war seemed for some months to be inevitable. North gradually succeeded in regaining control, in securing the good offices of France, and in moderating the tone of British diplomacy. In December Weymouth resigned in disgust. In January, 1771, Spain disavowed the expedition and agreed to restore Port Egmont. Alan Valentine, Lord North (2 vols., Norman, Okla., [1967]), I, 208–11. In August, September, and October, 1770, the London Chron. constantly reported preparations for war; the general opinion in the City, according to its issue of Oct. 6–9, was that expressed by BF.

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