Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Lord Buchan, 22 April 1774

From Lord Buchan1

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Kirkhill, West Lothian April 22d. 1774.


Will you permit an Old acquaintance to reccomend to your Attention in the American Literary Line, a Gentleman of this Country who intends to cross the Attlantic next Spring, in Search of a Settlement in the department of a Teacher? His Abilities have been put to the Test for 9 or 10 years as a private and public teacher. He is an Honest Farmers Son and I have reason to think, he would be a good recruit over the Water, but he does not in prudence Choose to throw himself out at large; if you can point out any Situation for a Young Man in that line in any of the N: American Seminaries it will oblige your most Obedient and with great Esteem Your very Humble Servant


Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin.

1David Steuart Erskine (1742–1829) had succeeded his father in 1767 as eleventh Earl of Buchan, and was beginning to make a name for himself as a writer and antiquarian. DNB. He has not appeared before in these volumes, and does not reappear as a correspondent until 1783, when his letter tells something about the start of his relationship with BF: the American visited the University of St. Andrews, presumably in 1759, and gave some medical advice that helped to save the young Scot’s life. By approximately the time of the present letter, or at least “before the troubles commenced,” Buchan had in mind emigrating himself, to Lord Fairfax’s estate in Virginia, but gave up the idea. To BF, Feb. 18, 1783: APS.

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