Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Bache, 10 September 1774

To Richard Bache

ALS: Yale University Library

London, Sept. 10. 1774.

Dear Son

The Bearer Mr. Ralph Westley, goes to Pennsylvania to look out a proper Tract of good Land, on which to settle some able Norfolk Farmers, who are about to remove thither with their Families. One of whom, Mr. Foulger, is a Relation of mine.3

As the Farmers of that Country are reckoned the most skilful in England, and the comfortable Settling of these first Adventurers may be a means of drawing over many others, I cannot but have it at heart that they should be well accommodated; I therefore recommend it earnestly to you to assist him with your best Advice in his Search and Enquiry, that he may be able to fix on such Lands as are in a healthy Situation, and commodious on other Accounts. I recommend him also to those Civilities with which you usually entertain Strangers of good Character. My Love to Sally and the Children. I am ever Your affectionate Father

B Franklin

Mr Bache

Notation: B F to R B  Sept. 1774.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The emigration from Norfolk had been in the planning stage the previous December: above, XX, 512–13. Ralph Westley was the first to go, apparently to find a place for them all to settle. His family and the Foulgers and others followed at some time in the late autumn, and reached Philadelphia to find that Westley was not there; he had gone to Schenectady, no doubt on his search for land. Below, Wilcox to BF, Dec. 17; WF to BF, Dec. 24; RB to BF, Jan. 31. He must have returned with favorable reports, for the group seems to have settled in northern New York: a Thomas Folger and his family were living near Saratoga in 1790, and a Ralph Westley and his were near Schenectady. Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States … New York (Washington, 1908), pp. 14, 24.

Index Entries