Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Foxcroft, 7 September 1774

To John Foxcroft

ALS (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Sept. 7. 1774

Dear Friend,

Mr. Todd call’d to see me yesterday. I perceive there is a good deal of Uneasiness at the Office concerning the Delay of the Accounts. He sent me, in the Evening, to read and return to him a Letter he has written to you for this Mail. Friendship requires me to urge earnestly your Attention to the Contents, if you value the Continuance of your Appointment; for these are times of Uncertainty, and I think it not unlikely that there is some Person in view ready to step into your Shoes if a tolerable reason could be given for dismissing you. Mr. Todd is undoubtedly your Friend. But every thing is not always done as he would have it.9 This to yourself; and I confide that you will take it as I mean it, for your Good.

Several Packets are arriv’d since I have had a Line from you: But I had the Pleasure of seeing by yours to Mr. Todd, that you and Mrs. Foxcroft with your little Girl,1 are all in good Health, which I pray may continue. I am ever, my dear old Friend, Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

Mr Foxcroft

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF had expected the accounts by the April packet: to Foxcroft above, Feb. 18. The fiscal year at the General Post Office ended on April 5, and the packet left New York on the 7th: Todd to Foxcroft and Finlay below, Dec. 9; N.-Y. Gaz., and the Weekly Mercury, April 11, 1774. We therefore assume that the accounts in question ran through April 5, but do not know why they were delayed; no BF-Foxcroft correspondence survives between Feb. 18 and this letter. In February BF had warned that Foxcroft’s position was precarious; now it was more so. Anthony Todd was losing patience because the accounts had not arrived, and he lost it completely when they did; see his letter, just cited, of Dec. 9. He nevertheless proved himself a friend. Almost everything at the Post Office was done as he would have it, as explained above, XIX, 359 n; and Foxcroft was not dismissed.

1For Sarah Foxcroft’s birth and christening see idem., pp. 54, 83. BF either did not know, or had forgotten, that by now she had a younger sister: above, XX, 299 n.

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