From Richard Nicholls Colden4
ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Genl. Post Office, New York 5th. Jany. 1774.
Inclosed is John Stute’s[?] Bill of Exchange, on Bogle, Somerville & Company, Glasgow, for £31 4s. 2½d. Sterling and John Mitchell’s Bill on Anthony Todd Esqr, for £50 4s. 2d. Sterling; which please to acknowledge the Rect. of.5
My Father is getting better, and bids me present his best Compliments to you. I have the honour to be Dear Sir Your most Obedient Servant
Rich. Nicholls Colden
Benjn. Franklin Esqr.
4. The son of Alexander and grandson of Cadwallader Colden has appeared briefly in earlier volumes. He had left America with his regiment, the 42nd Foot, in 1767, married in England, and returned to New York with his wife in 1772. N.-Y. Gaz., and the Weekly Mercury, May 11, 1772. At some time before the autumn of 1774 he was appointed surveyor and searcher of customs for the port of New York. N.Y. Col. Docs., VIII, 511; see also Sabine, Loyalists, I, 329.
5. During his father’s illness, mentioned at the close of the letter, young Colden was obviously assisting him in the affairs of the post office. We cannot confidently identify any of the men connected with the bills except Anthony Todd, the secretary of the General Post Office. John Mitchell was probably a Philadelphia merchant of that name, whose store was on Front St. between Market and Chestnut (Pa. Gaz., Oct. 14, 1772), and who was subsequently a deputy quartermaster general in the American army: PMHB, VI (1882), 126. Stute’s name is implausible, but it is the best interpretation we can put on the word as written here and in BF’s reply below, Feb. 18.