From Seth Paddock.8
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Illing[ton, Decem]ber: 21st: 17739
I Was Very Well Received Here By our Kinsman and Family1 and a Number of Gentlemen Farmers Who Intend to Settle in Ameria I have Given Them my Best Advice of the Country Which is to land att New Yourk Which is in the Center of America and a Fine Country all Round them. I Am Prevaild upon to Stay Here and Keep Christmass. I Have addressd: Mr: Benjn: Stead for His assistance for a Ship in the Carolina Trade as His Connections are Very Large in that Trade2 and Should Be Extremely obligd: to you to Send Him a line With the Inclosd: if it is no more than To lett Him Know you are my Friend. Mr: Foulger and Family Presents their Compliments to you and Mrs. Stephenson likewise mine to that Lady and am Very Respectfully Sir your most Humble Servant
Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Craven Street Strand / London
8. A Nantucket relative who, we believe, had visited BF in London months before; see BF to Jane Mecom above, July 7. In March, 1774, BF lent Paddock £15 on the latter’s note: Jour., p. 53.
9. The letter is torn, but for reasons discussed in the next note we have no doubt about the place. The date is at least highly probable because of the reference to Christmas. Paddock was on an enforced vacation: his ship, the Duke of Cumberland, had been lost off the Scilly Islands on Sept. 22 on a voyage from New England. Public Advertiser, Oct. 4; Mass. Gaz.; and the Boston Weekly News-Letter, Dec. 2, 9, 1773.
1. We assume that these were the same as the “Mr. Foulger and Family” in Paddock’s final sentence, in other words that he was staying with some of his and BF’s distant English relatives, and that “Mr.” was the Thomas Foulger who appears a number of times in the next volume. The Nantucket Folgers came originally from Norfolk, and a family of the name had been living in Illington in 1759: above, VIII, 277. BF, to judge by Paddock’s conclusion, had been in touch with them.
2. Benjamin Stead, a London merchant of Threadneedle St., had lived in South Carolina and married there before returning to England in 1759, and his home was a center for visitors from the colony; he apparently died early in 1776. Lothrop Withington, “South Carolina Gleanings in England,” S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., IV (1903), 237; Mabel L. Webber, “Extracts from the Journal of Mrs. Ann Manigault,” ibid., XX (1919), 58 n, 123 n.