Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Franklin, 30 June 1772

From William Franklin

LS: American Philosophical Society

Burlington June 30: 1772

Honoured Sir,

I have recieved your Remarks on our Account8 on which I have only to observe, That

The Ten Guineas must have been paid by you for Nelson’s Passage, and you expressly say you paid it, I find, in your Letter of the 21st: of Septbr: 1765. which probably you kept no Copy of, as you mention the Vessel to be just upon the Point of Sailing. The 8 Guineas being in Strahan’s Account should not be charged. I recollected the Capt: made a Demand for some more Money on her Account after her Arrival, and as you did not charge for the Passage Money, I did not know when I wrote my Remarks on your Account but that I might have paid it, but I since have discovered that it was for Stores.9

I forgot to enquire about the Number of Stoves when I was last in Philadelphia.1

The Tea is right as you state it, and I have given myself Credit for the £11 9s. 5d. as an Error.2

The Ballance due to me as Comptroller was never settled. The Articles of the Account were not entered in the Post-Office Book till after you returned from Virginia, and I never saw it till long after you went to England.3 The Bond was given on the 29th: of March 1763, and in the Summer following I purchased the Furniture of Governor Moncton at New York which Mr: Colden paid £330 3s. 9d. for. The Manner the £1000 was made up (as appears by Figures of your Writing which I have on the Back of your Account of Expences on our Journey to Amboy) is thus,4 vizt

£500 0s. 0d. } This is for a £500 Sterling Bill which I remitted to England at 72½ per Cent.
250 0s. 0d.
100 0s. 0d.
12 10s. 0d.
£862 10s. 0d.
82 6s. 5d. Expences to Amboy paid by B. F.
£944 16s. 5d.
55 3s. 7d. Recd. in Cash to make up the Sum
£1000 0s. 0d.

I have never received any Thing on the Lodge Account since you went away, but I have desired Mr: Bache to enquire of Mr: Swift what is due to us.5

Mrs: Franklin wrote to Mrs: Clarke to send her a Cloak, Bonnet, and Cap for this Summer, which I desired you to pay for, but as they are not come, she concludes Mrs: Clarke never got her Letter, which was dated Janry: 6: and we think enclosed in mine to you of that date.6

I can’t find the Account of the £259 5s. 10½d. which I paid you just before we went to England, but I dare say it is among your Papers, and I am well Convinced that I settled with you for what I received of the Trenton Office,7 and all other Accounts to the Time of our Departure. Betsy joins in Duty with Honoured Sir, Your ever dutiful Son

Wm: Franklin

P.S. I have wrote you 6 Letters by this Opportunity to make up for past Deficiencies.

Notation: To B. F June 30, 1772 (N. 6)

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8BF’s remarks, unless they are the jottings mentioned below, have been lost. So has the original account, which BF had sent more than a year before. WF had responded with two detailed comments upon it; see above, XVIII, 74–5 and n. These documents, on which BF made a few penciled jottings, and the Memorandum Book cited below, n. 4, are our only source of information for the following notes.

9WF had undertaken to pay the passage money for Margaret Nelson, a domestic servant (above, XIII, 30 n, 34), and to provide her through William Strahan with eight guineas for expenses. The latter sum, WF thought, had already been taken care of in a settlement with Strahan; BF had agreed.

1Presumably Franklin or Philadelphia stoves. WF had been charged with six, but wished to be credited for either one or two that he had given to DF; he could not remember which.

2WF thought that his father had undercharged him for the tea, and was still owed £1 16s.; BF agreed. How and why that sum became £11 9s. 5d. we have no idea.

3WF was comptroller of the Post Office for some years before 1757; BF inspected the Virginia postal service in 1763. Above, VII, 191–2; X, 252 n. WF must be referring to BF’s departure for England in 1764; the accounts took an unconscionable time to settle. WF had been left with a balance of £48 13s. due him from the General Post Office, which BF had presumably collected for him and should have credited to his account.

4BF’s and WF’s trip to Amboy was in February, 1763, just after WF and his bride had reached Philadelphia from England; and Gen. Monckton left New York the following June. Above, X, 152 n, 202, 301 n. The newlyweds must have bought the Governor’s furniture to set up an establishment worthy of WF’s new eminence as a governor himself. He had not yet received any salary, and the Assembly was proving recalcitrant about providing and furnishing an official residence for him. 1 N.J. Arch., IX, 385–6. He obtained the money from Alexander Colden, the New York postmaster; BF presumably credited Colden’s account and added the £330 3s. 9d. to WF’s account. On March 28, 1763, BF had drawn a bill of exchange on London in WF’s favor for £500 sterling, which in local currency amounted to £862 10s.; the next day his son gave him a bond for £1000 in the same currency. Memorandum Book, 1757–1776 (for which see above, VII, 167–8), p. 13. The bill of exchange, the expenses of the Amboy trip, and the cash from BF made up the amount of the bond.

5John Swift was a leading member of the Masonic Lodge in Philadelphia: above, V, 236.

6Mary Clarke often made purchases in London for WF’s wife; see BF to WF above, May 5.

7At the end of WF’s term as comptroller the Trenton accounts had been lost or mislaid; see above, VII, 198. Father and son seem to have been equally casual about keeping financial records.

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