Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Franklin, 5 January 1774

From William Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Burlington Janry. 5th. 1774

Honoured Father,

I Yesterday sent down to Philadelphia two Half Barrels of choice Pork, and a Keg of dryed Apples, to be sent to you in a Vessel which I see has just entered out for London, vizt. the Brig John, J. Ashmead Master. One of the Barrels I should be glad you would order to be sent to Mr. Sargent with my Compliments, and Thanks for his Present of Wine, which came safe to hand and is much admired; And as you mention that Sir John Pringle would like some of our dryed Apples, I beg he would accept of the Keg. I have just received your Letter of the 3d. of Novr. enclosing his Opinion on my Case for which I am greatly obliged to him, and shall follow his Advice as closely as I am able.6 It is too late to get any Newtown Pippins to send him, and indeed they have been in general but very indifferent this Year. I am at present a good deal engaged with the Business of the Assembly;7 but if the Vessel at Philadelphia does not sail soon, I am in hopes I shall be able to write you fully by her.

We are all well. Betsy joins in Duty and in wishing you many happy Returns of the Season with, Honoured Sir, Your ever dutiful Son

Wm: Franklin

Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin / Craven Street / London / Via New York / per Packet

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The brig John cleared Philadelphia at the beginning of the year and was off the Solent by Feb. 21. Pa. Gaz., Jan. 5; Public Advertiser, Feb. 24, 1774. BF had mentioned John Sargent’s gift of wine in his letter of July 25, but in that of Nov. 3 had said nothing about an enclosed medical opinion from Sir John Pringle: XX, 328, 461.

7Indeed he was, although the Assembly was not in session. The theft from the East Jersey Treasury in 1768 (above, XVIII, 135) had touched off repercussions that were now bringing on a crisis between WF and the representatives. From the start the latter had been suspicious of Stephen Skinner, the Treasurer, and had first demanded that he repay the money lost, then that the Governor dismiss him and bring suit for recovery. WF refused. The Assembly thereupon adjourned for Christmas, to meet again on Feb. 3; for the outcome of the dispute see below, p. 260.

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