Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Foxcroft, 18 February 1774

To John Foxcroft

AL (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Feb. 18. 1774

Dear Friend,

It is long since I have heard from you. I hope nothing I have written has occasion’d any Coolness.9 We are no longer Colleagues, but let us part as we have liv’d so long, in Friendship.

I am displac’d unwillingly by our Masters, who were oblig’d to comply with the Orders of the Ministry. It seems I am too much of an American. Take care of yourself, for you are little less.1

I hope my Daughter continues well.2 My Blessing to her. I shall soon, God willing, have the Pleasure of seeing you, intending homewards in May next. I only wait the Arrival of the April Pacquet with the Accounts, that I may settle them here before I go.3 I beg you will not fail of forwarding them by that Opportunity, which will greatly oblige Dear Friend, Yours most affectionately

Mr Foxcroft

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Foxcroft’s most recent letter of which we have record was the missing one of June 7, 1773: above, XX, 298. BF doubtless feared that he had alienated his friend by his perennial efforts to clear up their accounts, for which see idem, pp. 299, 399.

1Foxcroft, born in England, was asked while there in 1770 whether he now considered himself an American. He answered that he did, “and Gloried in the Name, for that I look’d upon a Good Englishman and a good American to be synonimous terms it being impossible to be one without being the other also.” Above, XVIII, 9. BF may well have remembered this remark, which his friend forwarded to him, and certainly appreciated—who better?—the tension that now existed between the “synonimous terms.” The tension continued for Foxcroft during the war, and apparently until his death in 1790: Sabine, Loyalists, I, 434–5.

2For the old joke about Foxcroft’s wife see above, XVII, xxviii.

3This hope proved groundless; see BF’s next letter below, Sept. 7.

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