Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Robert Towers and Joseph Leacock, 22 August 1772

To Robert Towers and Joseph Leacock9

ALS (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Augt. 22. 1772


I received yours and should readily have afforded the Assistance in my Power you desire, to Mr. Crafts, in sending Hands to you for the Glass-house, if he could have found any willing to go on reasonable Terms. It is always a Difficulty here to meet with good Workmen and sober that are willing to go abroad.1 I heartily wish you Success in your laudable Undertaking to supply your Country with so useful a Manufacture, and am, Your most obedient Servant

B Franklin

Messrs Towers and Leacock

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Towers (d. c. 1779) was a Philadelphia tanner, who served for a time during the War of Independence as Pennsylvania commissary of stores. Pa. Col. Recs., X, passim; 3 Pa. Arch., XIV, 500. Joseph Leacock (F. 2.2.9: above, VIII, 140) was David Hall’s brother-in-law and DF’s cousin. In the fall of 1771 Towers and Leacock had started a glass factory on what is now Richmond Street; a few months later they advertised for workmen (Pa. Gaz., Jan. 23, 1772) and presumably asked BF’s help at about the same time; the letter to which he is replying has been lost. Their venture was not a success, and before the end of 1772 the property was sold. Harrold E. Gillingham, “Pottery, China, and Glass Making in Philadelphia,” PMHB, LIV (1930), 125–6; Rhea M. Knittle, Early American Glass (New York and London, [1927]), p. 144.

1BF had already had trouble with a man whom Stiegel was trying to recruit for his glassworks; see Bache to BF above, May 16. We have been unable to identify Crafts.

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