Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Ezra Stiles, 22 July 1772

To Ezra Stiles

ALS: Yale University Library

London, July 22. 1772

Dear Sir

This will be deliver’d to you by our common Friend Mr. Marchant. He has had a difficult Negociation here, to obtain Money from a poor Board; to get an old Debt paid by those who are daily put to their Shifts for Excuses to avoid or postpone the Payment of new ones. He has done much more in it than I expected, or indeed than I think almost any other Man could have done, such has been his Perseverance, Assiduity and Address.3 I write this to you, because I know that what is honourable to your Friends gives you Pleasure. I cannot now write more, nor to any more of my Friends in your Colony, being in a Fit of the Gout which harasses me greatly. I am, my dear Friend, Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

Revd Dr Stiles.

Endorsed: Recd Oct 17. 1772.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Henry Marchant, the new Attorney General of Rhode Island and BF’s traveling companion on his Scottish tour, had come to England with a letter of introduction from Stiles; see above, XVIII, 145. As noted there, part of the reason for Marchant’s trip was to obtain reimbursement for Rhode Island’s expenses in the Crown Point expedition of 1756; although he also had private business, BF is almost unquestionably referring to his negotiations with the government. Marchant left London on July 24 and reached Newport just two months later: Franklin B. Dexter, ed., The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles … (3 vols., New York, 1901), I, 321–2.

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