Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Smith, 8 December 1770

From Joseph Smith

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Burlington December 8. 1770

Respected Friend

Thy several favours of the 19th of March 10th. and 12th. April and 11th of June have been duly received and communicated to the Committee of Correspondence and by them laid before the House of Assembly at a late sessions at Amboy where they gave very general satisfaction.

In answer to that part of thy Letter of 19th March respecting Sherwoods Accounts I may inform thee it has been determin’d by the House not to allow him the Ballance he mentions to be due to him, it was apprehended there was a considerable Ballance in his hands before his Accounts appear’d, which it was said were extravagant the services considered.2

In thy Letter of 12 April thee mentions having mov’d “for their Lordships favourable Report on the Act for Septennial Assemblys and that for giving Representatives to the Countys of Morris Cumberland and Sussex which they were pleas’d to say should be taken into speedy Consideration.” and in thy next that of 11 June after mentioning the Repeal of the Paper Money Bill and the Secaucus Law thee says “but the others have received his Majestys Royal Assent.” from which it was imagin’d by some that the two former Acts were allow’d of by the King, but the Governor not recieving any intelligence of it made it doubtful, the Committee of Correspondence would be glad to be inform’d respecting this matter in thy next.3 No particular Business of the Province that I know of make it at this time necessary for any Directions from the Committee of Correspondence respecting thy Conduct as Agent, the Laws pass’d at the late Session together with the Votes of the House I shall send thee as soon as they are printed when if any Directions should be necessary the Committee of Correspondence will without doubt give them.

I am much Obliged to thee for Gov. Pownal’s Speech &ca.4 thee was so kind as to send and am Very Respectfully Thy Friend

Jos: Smith

Benjan. Franklin Esqr.

Endorsed: New Jersey Jos. Smith Dec. 8. 1770 Recd Feb. 5. 1771 via Bristol

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2BF’s letter of March 19 has disappeared. Joseph Sherwood, a London Quaker and lawyer, had been New Jersey agent, 1760–66: above, XIII, 498; XIV, 217 n.

3The Board of Trade does not appear to have acted at all until July. Its minutes are almost as uninformative as its procedure was dilatory, but the only act approved, as far as we can discover, was that for representatives from the three counties; consideration of the act for septennial assemblies was postponed. Board of Trade Jour., 1768–75, pp. 203–4. On Dec. 12, 14, and 19 the Board discussed with Jackson and eventually took action on some New Jersey laws (ibid., pp. 219–20), but what laws and what action its minutes do not reveal.

4See BF to Smith above, April 12.

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