Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Bache, 25 July 1773

To Richard Bache

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, July 25. 1773

Dear Son,

I wrote to you per Capt. Osborne, and have little to add, but that I had yesterday a Line from Preston expressing their Joy on the News I had communicated to them of their new Relation,8 that they were all well, and should write to you in a few Days via Liverpoole.

This will be delivered to you by Messrs. John Hewson and Nathaniel Norgrove, who are recommended to me as sober industrious young Men, and very ingenious in their Business of Calico or Linen Printing; I wish they may meet with Encouragement to carry it on among us,1 as there is a great deal of Linen worn in our Country, and a great deal of printed goes from hence. I therefore recommend them to your Civilities and Advice, as they will be quite Strangers there. I imagine some of the neighbouring Villages will suit best for them to work in, perhaps Germantown, or Derby. I am, Your affectionate Father

B Franklin

Mr Bache

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8William, a new grandson; see BF’s earlier letter to Bache, July 15.

1The young men were well received. John Hewson, as far as we know no relative of William, was a London printer and bleacher of calicoes. Although BF is said to have persuaded him to emigrate, to have given him numerous letters of introduction, and to have arranged a leasehold for him in Pennsylvania, this is BF’s only known reference to him. Hewson reached Philadelphia in September and promptly established a print works for calicoes and linens, then joined the American army in 1775; his business suffered losses thereafter, but he and it eventually throve. Nathaniel Norgrove stayed with Hewson until 1777, when he set up his own printing works; it apparently failed soon afterward. PMHB, XXXVII (1913), 118–19, where the reference to the leasehold is suspect and at least in part erroneous (see above, III, 23–5); Harrold E. Gillingham, “Calico and Linen Printing in Philadelphia,” ibid., LII (1928), 99–105, 108.

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