Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from a Committee of the Managers of the Philadelphia Silk Filature, 17 November 1772

From a Committee of the Managers of the Philadelphia Silk Filature

LS:8 American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia 17th: Novr. 1772

Dear Friend

The new Elected Managers of the Filature met last Evening with a View of acknowledging thy late letters but found the Catharine Captain Sutton would depart so suddenly,9 that there was not Time, and therefore requested us to ask their excuse for the delay. And to forward said Captain Sutton’s Bill of Loading for two Trunks of Silk, the Produce of this Year, with a Certificate from our Custom House to recover Bounty. Their request is that thou will Employ our Friend Freeman, in Gracious Street,1 or any other Person thee may think will transact the business in the best way. Also “ The Managers request thy Acceptance of four pounds of the Silk now sent of such a quality as will suit the purpose thee may chuse to put it to best.”

We are sensible how much the promoters of the Culture of Silk are Obliged to Doctor Franklin for the trouble he has taken in the business; in their behalf, we thankfully Acknowledge it, and remain with perfect Esteem, his Assured ready Friends2

Abel James
Benjn. Morgan

Benjamin Franklin Esquire.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The letter is not in James’s hand; it may be in Morgan’s.

9See Falconer to BF above, Nov. 15.

1A pleasing variant of the reality, Gracechurch Street. For James Freeman, Fothergill’s nephew, see above, XVI, 250 n.

2Abel James has appeared too frequently in recent volumes to need identification. Morgan needs it but eludes it. All we can say with assurance is that he was elected twice in 1770 as one of the twelve Managers of the Silk Filature and was re-elected, this time with James, in 1771: Pa. Gaz., March 22, Nov. 8, 1770; Nov. 14, 1771. A Benjamin Morgan was read out of the Philadelphia meeting in 1772 for marrying a non-Quaker, was chosen in the same year as a manager of the Corporation for the Relief and Employment of the Poor, was elected to the APS in 1774, was a manager of the Philadelphia Almshouse and House of Employment in 1776, and in 1791 was an iron merchant living on South Front Street. Hinshaw, Amer. Quaker Genealogy, II, 601; Pa. Gaz., May 14, 1772; APS, Early Proceedings … (Philadelphia, 1884), p. 87; Robert J. Hunter, “The Origin of the Philadelphia General Hospital,” PMHB, LVII (1933), 47; Clement Biddle, The Philadelphia Directory (Philadelphia, 1791), p. 91. We cannot determine whether these were appearances of several Benjamin Morgans or of a single person.

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