Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Foxcroft, 3 November 1772

To John Foxcroft

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, Nov. 3. 1772

Dear Sir,

I received your Favour of June 22d per Mr. Finlay, and shall be glad of an Opportunity of rendring him any Service on your Recommendation. There does not at present seem to be any Disposition of the Board to appoint a Riding Surveyor, nor does Mr. Finlay seem desirous of such an Employment.9 Every thing at the Office remains as when I last wrote, only the Impatience for the Accounts seems increasing. I hope they are in the October Packet now soon expected, agreable to Mr. Colden’s last Promises.1

I spent a Fortnight lately at West Wyecomb, with our good Master Lord Le Despencer, and left him well.2

The Boards have begun to act again, and I hope our Ohio Business will again go forward.3 My Love to my Daughter, concludes from Your affectionate Friend and humble Servant


Mr Foxcroft

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The power of decision rested with Anthony Todd, the secretary of the Post Office. The Postmasters General attended occasional meetings of their Board, which was largely a ratifying body; most business was done at frequent meetings of senior officials, called Ordinary Boards, which were presided over and dominated by the secretary. Kenneth Ellis, The Post Office in the Eighteenth Century: a Study in Administrative History (London, 1958), pp. 16–17, 24–5. In this particular case both the Board and Hugh Finlay changed their minds: he was appointed within the month. BF to John Foxcroft below, Dec. 2.

1The accounts arrived on the packet but were unacceptable; see ibid., the letter preceding this one, and below, BF to Foxcroft, Nov. 19; to Colden, Dec. 2.

2For BF’s visit to the Postmaster General see Mary Hewson to BF above, Oct. 22.

3On Nov. 2 the Board of Trade received an order, pursuant to the Privy Council’s action on Aug. 14, to report on the terms of the Walpole grant and to draw up plans for civil government in the vast tract; but the report was not forthcoming until May, 1773. Board of Trade Jour., 1768–75, pp. 316, 351–2, 354, 356.

Index Entries