Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Franklin, 30 March 1771

From [William Franklin]

AL: American Philosophical Society

Burln. Mar. 30, 1771

I wrote a few Lines to you by this Packet and enclosed a Letter to L.H.9 I have several other Letters to write to him by this Opportunity which prevents my writing fully to you. I have just had the Pleasure of hearing from Mr. W. Logan that you were well the first of Janry. his Son having seen you at that Time.10

Addressed: To / Benjn. Franklin, Esqr / Depy. Postmaster General of / N. America / Craven Street / London / Via New York per Packet / On His Majesty’s Service

Opened by W.F.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9For WF’s habit of writing to Hillsborough via BF see above, XVI, 36 n. The letter he enclosed, of March 15, is apparently unpublished; an incomplete copy in his hand is in the APS, and is worth attention. The Board of Trade had rebuked him in July, 1770, for having consented to a New Jersey act that contained a suspending clause. Board of Trade Jour., 1768–75, pp. 203–4; 1 N.J. Arch., X, 214. In the letter to Hillsborough that he sent his father, WF justified himself on a number of grounds. The interesting one was constitutional practice in the colonies: when a governor received a bill that was neither illegal nor disrespectful, he argued, and that contained a suspending clause, he ought to agree to it and send it on for the King’s approval or rejection; for such bills were regarded as petitions cast in the form of laws. If WF had refused assent to this one, he continued, he would have been charged before the King of “having arbitrarily and unnecessarily stopp’d the Petitions and Applications of his Subjects in their way to the Throne.”

10For William Logan, Sr., see above, III, 456 n; XII, 97 n. His son William, who had received his M.D. from Edinburgh in 1770, died in 1772 at the age of twenty-four. Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania... (Philadelphia, 1883), pt. 2, p. 16.

Index Entries