Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Alexander Colden, 7 October 1772: résumé

To Alexander Colden

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

<London, October 7, 1772. Has acknowledged in previous letters the receipt of bills amounting to £372 10s. and another of £56 12s.d.; has since received three totaling £328 2s. 3d., one of Mackie on Molleson and two of Carr on James Russell, and by the last packet, with Colden’s letter of September 3, four more: Boylstone on Lane, Son & Frazer, Hothersall on Frederick Russell, Williams on Boddington, and Godard on Todd, which add up to £545 0s. 8d. Is glad to hear that the accounts may be expected by the next packet.8 Inquires in a postscript about the advertising for Mrs. Holland; asks for copies of the printed advertisements, and Colden’s affidavit stating whether or not they have elicited any knowledge of her whereabouts.9>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Colden’s letter of Sept. 3 is missing; it must have contained a promise to send the annual accounts for 1771–72. The merchants on whom these bills for postal receipts were drawn, all Londoners, we presume were the following: either John or Thomas Boddington, one an agent in the Tower and the other a linen draper in Cheapside; Lane, Son & Fraser, a firm at 11 Nicholas Lane; William Molleson in Gould Square, Crutched Friars; Frederick Russell at 3 Watling St.; either the James Russell who was a merchant of Hylord’s Court, Crutched Friars, or the agent of the same name in Noel St., Soho. Kent’s Directory … (London, 1770); see also, for the second James Russell, The Royal Kalendar … (London, [1772]), p. 170. Todd was doubtless Anthony Todd, the secretary of the Post Office. Four of the Americans who drew the bills were in all likelihood the following: Thomas Boylston, the prominent Boston merchant; Norris Goddard of New York; Ebenezer Mackie, a Baltimore trader who was leaving the country and whose bill was protested (Pa. Gaz., March 26, 1772; BF to Colden below, Nov. 3); and Jonathan Williams, Sr. or Jr. Carr and Hothersall we cannot identify. For the postal accounts see BF to Colden below, Dec. 2.

9See the preceding and following documents.

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