Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 6 January 1773

To Joseph Galloway

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, Jan. 6. 1773

Dear Friend,

I have received your Favours of Oct. 18 and 30. I am oblig’d greatly to you and Mr. Rhoads for your friendly Interposition in the Affair of my Salary.8 As I made never any Bargain with the House, I accept thankfully whatever they please to give me; and shall continue to serve them as long as I can afford to stay here: Perhaps it may be thought, that my other Agencies contribute more than sufficient for that purpose; but the Jersey Allowance tho’ well-paid is a very small one; that from Georgia, £100 only, is some Years in Arrear; and will not be continued, as the Appointment is by a Yearly Act, which I am told the Governor will not again pass with my Name in it.9 And from Boston I have never receiv’d a Farthing, perhaps never shall, as their Governor is instructed to pass no Salary to an Agent whose Appointment he has not assented to.1 In these Circumstances, with an almost double Expence of Living by my Family remaining in Philadelphia, the Losses I am continually suffering in my Affairs there through Absence, together with my now advanced Age, I feel renewed Inclinations to return,2 and spend the remainder of my Days in private Life; having had rather more than my Share of publick Bustle. I only wish first to improve a little for the general Advantage of our Country, the favourable Appearances arising from the Change of our American Minister, and the good Light I am told I stand in with the Successor.3 If I [can] be instrumental in [torn] Things in good train, with a Prospect of their [being?] on a better Footing than they have had for some Years past I shall think a little additional Time well spent, tho’ I were to have no Allowance for it at all.

I must however beg you will not think of retiring from Publick Business.4 You are yet a young Man, and may still be greatly serviceable to your Country. It would be I think something criminal, to bury in private Retirement so early, all the usefulness of so much Experience and such great Abilities. The People do not indeed always see their Friends in the same favourable Light; they are sometimes mistaken, and sometimes misled; but sooner or later they come right again, and redouble their former Affection. This I am confident will happen in your Case, as it often has in the Case of others. Therefore preserve your Spirits and persevere, at least to the Age of 60, a Boundary I once fix’d for my self, but have gone beyond it.

I am afraid the Bill, Wilcocks on Col. Alexander Johnstone for £166 15s.d. must be return’d with a Protest.5 I shall know in a Day or two.

I shall consult Mr. Jackson, and do in the Island Affair, what shall be thought best for securing your Interest and that of all concerned.6

By our Spring Ships I shall write you more fully. At present I can only add that I am, with unalterable Esteem and Affection, Yours most sincerely

B Franklin

Jos. Galloway Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Neither of Galloway’s letters has survived to throw light on the mysterious business of BF’s salary, for which see above, XIX, 338–9. Samuel Rhoads, re-elected to the Assembly in 1770, had been put on its committee of correspondence.

9BF had received no salary from Georgia since 1770, but had continued to serve as agent and to charge the province for expenses incurred in transacting its business. Attempts in 1773 to reappoint him failed, if we read the evidence aright, because of Governor Wright’s opposition. See below, the headnote on the letter to BF from the Commons House committee of correspondence, March 14, 1774, and his accounts with the province, May 2, 1774. Wright had been in England on leave in 1772, and had doubtless expressed his views to BF or some mutual acquaintance.

1See above, XIX, 209–10 n.

2BF here deleted “which I believe I shall execute the ensuing Summer, and hope the Assembly will not take it amiss.”

3Lord Dartmouth, who had succeeded Hillsborough the previous August.

4In the aftermath of the election of 1772, which had been disastrous for him: above, XIX, 331 n.

5See idem., p. 418 n, and BF to Galloway below, Feb. 14.

6Lord Rochford’s attempt to secure title to islands in the Delaware had stirred up a controversy over their status. In the previous summer BF had argued to Galloway that the settlers were the rightful owners; and Richard Jackson, counsel to the Board of Trade, seems to have taken a similar position. Above, XIX, 276–7. Galloway must have continued the discussion in one of his missing letters, of Oct. 18 or 30. He may even have suggested a plan, to which BF is responding here, for confirming the rights of the inhabitants. For the conflicting claim of the Trustees of the Burlington Free School see their letter to BF above, Jan. 5.

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