Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Peter Timothy, 7 September 1774

To Peter Timothy6

ALS (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Sept. 7. 1774

Dear Sir,

I received your Favour of May 26. and am much oblig’d by your kind Invitation to your House, which I should certainly accept with Pleasure, if I should ever go to Carolina.

You wish me to correspond with you on publick Affairs. Those relating to America have been and still continue in so disagreable a Situation, that I cannot write upon them with Pleasure. Much depends on yourselves. If at the intended Congress your Deputies are nearly unanimous in Declaring your Rights; and in Resolving firmly against all Importations from hence till those Rights are acknowledged here; you cannot well fail of carrying your Point: This Ministry must go out, and give Place to Men of juster and more generous Principles.

If you divide you are lost.7

I believe I shall Stay here another Winter, and shall be glad to hear of the Welfare of you and yours. My Love and Blessing to my little Namesake:8 If you send me any of your papers per Packet I shall receive them free of Expence; for tho’ I now pay for my Letters, they do not charge me for Newspapers.9 I am ever, Dear Sir, Your affectionate humble Servant

B Franklin

A War with Spain begins seriously to be apprehended.1

You will much oblige me by sending what Information you can obtain relating to the enclos’d Letter.

Mr Peter Timothy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6For the Charleston printer see above, XV, 199 n; this is the first extant letter between them since Nov. 3, 1772.

7An echo of the famous “Join, or Die” cartoon in 1754: above, V, 275. BF was furnishing Timothy with a passage that could be extracted and published, and went on to ask the printer for copies of the S.C. Gaz. for his own purposes. His letter thus illustrates the two-way exchange of material that was the function of what Verner Crane calls “the Craven Street publicity office.” Letters to the Press, p. xxxiii; see also pp. xxxii, xlvi.

8For Benjamin Franklin Timothy, pushing three by this time, see above, XIX, 284.

9Timothy responded with a large packet of newspapers, but it arrived almost two months after BF had left for home. Williams to BF below, May 20, 1775.

1This and the comments in the second paragraph repeat substantially what BF wrote to WF and to Galloway on the same day.

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