Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Wolrich, 1 August 1774

To Thomas Wolrich8

ALS: Dietrich Brothers Americana Corporation, Philadelphia (1977)

London, Augt. 1. 1774

Dear Sir,

The Bearer, Mr. Jona. Williams, once partook with me of your Hospitality at Leeds, but it being near 4 Years since, he apprehends you may have forgot him, and has therefore requested a Line from me to re-introduce him to you. He has been ever since you saw him, settled in Business in America as a Merchant, and acquits himself with Reputation for his Industry, Integrity, Punctuality and Correctness. He is now on a Tour thro’ the manufacturing Parts of the Island with Views of extending his Correspondence, when Matters shall be settled between the two Countries. I beg leave to recommend him to your Civilities, as I have myself a great Regard for him, not merely as my Nephew, but on Account of his real Merit. With great Esteem, I am, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Mr Woolrich

Addressed: To / Mr Woolrich / at / Leeds

Endorsed: B Franklin 1st. Augt. 1774.

Notation: the Benjamin Franklin of Electricity fame.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Wolrich, whom BF and his grandnephew spelled Woolrich, was a woolen manufacturer who lived at Armley House, outside Leeds, and died in 1791. Thoresby Soc. Pub., XXXVIII (1937), 150; XLIV (1955), 3. BF and Williams had dined with him, and he had shown them the cloth hall and his mill, during their northern tour in 1771: Williams’ MS journal (Yale University Library), pp. 13–14. This note, in response to Jonathan’s request in his letter above of July 18, produced a second visit. But the young man concluded that Wolrich’s goods were too high-priced for the American market, and placed no order; see his journal entries of August 19 and 20, 1774.

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