Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Noble Wimberly Jones, 3 July 1771

To Noble Wimberly Jones

Transcript1: Harvard University Library

London July 3. 1771.


In mine of May 1. I enclosed a copy of the Petition intended to be presented to the King in Council, in behalf of the possessors of the lands claimed by Sir William Baker’s assigns. I am now to acquaint you, that it was presented accordingly, and is referred down to the Board of Trade for their opinion. But as the Board is about to adjourn for some months, we are advised not to press the consideration of it till they meet again, as they have now too little time to attend to it properly. Immediately on their return to business we shall urge for their report.2

I see by the Newspapers that your new Assembly is also dissolved,3 I am sorry for these Differences, which must be uncomfortable to you and all that wish the Welfare of the Province.

It is now thought that a Peace between the Turks and Russians is likely soon to be concluded,4 which gives a better Prospect of the continuance of Peace among the other Powers of Europe, for it seldom happens that a War, begun between any two of them, does not extend itself sooner or later till it involves the whole. Spain shew’d a strong inclination to begin with us, but France being not willing or ready to join her, she has smother’d that inclination for the present.5 With great esteem, I am Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Addressed: Noble Wimberley Jones Esq. Savannah-Georgia

1It was made for Jared Sparks by Julius T. Ducatel (1796–1849), a professor of natural science at St. John’s College and the University of Maryland, who in an accompanying note to Sparks explained that he had given the original to Dr. Joshua Cohen (1801–70), a Baltimore physician and book-collector; it was sold by Stan V. Henkels in 1907, and has since disappeared. The sale catalogue printed a portion of it, from which we have slightly amended that part of the transcript.

2For the petition see above, XVII, 148–50. The Privy Council had referred it to the Board of Trade in May, 1771: Acts Privy Coun., Col., V, 295–6; Board of Trade Jour., 1768–75, pp. 274–5. The Board seems never to have reported on it.

3On April 26: Jones to BF below, July 8.

4The Russo-Turkish war of 1768 had produced a series of Russian victories, and an Austro-Prussian offer of mediation in the spring of 1771 gave rise to the rumor of peace, for which see the London Chron., June 20–22. The war actually lasted until 1774.

5French counsels were divided during the Falkland Islands crisis, but the advocates of peace prevailed.

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