Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Noble Wimberly Jones, 13 January 1773

From Noble Wimberly Jones

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Savannah 13. Jany: 1773

Dear Sir

I am realy ashamed at my remissness in neglect of Writing after your repeated favours, And this now can only serve as an Appology the Captn: being ready to go down. Your much esteemed of the 5th. May containing the curious Seed from India I received safe, also yours of the 3d. of August and a few days since that of the 7th. of October,9 which repeated marks of kindness fills me with pleasure and gratitude, shall do all in my power that they may answer your laudable Intentions, the Rice there is little doubt of doing well, the others may fail for want of a proper knowledge of the kind of Land necessary the time of sowing and method of Treatment, tho hope they will succeed. I have not seen Mr. Jonathan Bryan since receiv’d your last, shall take care when I do that your and Mr. Ellis’s request be fulfill’d which cant be many days, as our Assembly is to meet Monday next (of which he is a member)1 am glad to hear tho he and I never agreed in politics that Mr. Ellis still thinks of us, and I heartily wish him well, the Province certainly throve under his Administration.2 Our present Assembly met the 9th. Decr. last (tho many new Members) did me the Honour of Electing me Speaker which must gaul such arbitrary Men as we have been blest with but my private business making it so very inconvenient determined me to decline accepting, it gave me however real pleasure to see the sentiment of them and that they would not be dictated to.3 I trust notwithstanding every obsticle that the Province will have the Hapiness of your continuance and Assistance.4 Time Obliges to conclude with the Honour of subscribing myself with the greatest Respect Dear Sir Your Most Obedient and Very Humble Servant.

N W Jones

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The letter of May 5 may well have ended with the fragment printed above XVIII, 65, in which case we were wrong in accepting the date in the endorsement and right in guessing the recipient. BF’s other letters are above, XIX, 226–7, 323–4.

1For the gifts of seed and rice to Jones and Bryan see idem. Bryan was a member of the Georgia Council.

2Jones, as BF pointed out in his reply below, Aug. 4, was confusing John Ellis, the naturalist, with Henry Ellis (1721–1806), the former governor of Georgia.

3The perennial choice of Jones as speaker had long been both a cause and an effect of the ongoing quarrel between the Governor and the Assembly. See above, XIX, 55, 95–6. The quarrel was now in abeyance, though Jones did not admit it here; his faction had been weakened in the elections at the end of 1772, and the new Assembly was in a mood to abandon recriminations and get down to business. William W. Abbot, The Royal Governors of Georgia, 1754–1775 (Chapel Hill, N.C., [1959]), pp. 157–8. This change in the political climate, rather than his own affairs, presumably led Jones to leave the speaker’s chair.

4The “obsticle” was to obtaining a salary for the agent; see BF to Galloway above, Jan. 6.

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