Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Almon, 7 November 1774

To John Almon9

AL: Harvard University Library

Cravenstreet, Nov. 7. –74

Dr. Franklin presents his Compliments to Mr. Almon, and sends him a M.S. which he has perus’d and thinks well written so as probably to be acceptable to the Publick at this time. If Mr. Almon should be of the same Opinion, it is at his Service.1

Addressed: Mr Almon

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9This note and the one from Almon below, Dec. 6, are the only extant communications between BF and the noted bookseller and journalist (1737–1805), for whom see the DNB.

1Almon was of the same opinion, and published the pamphlet; it is identified in his anonymous Memoirs of a Late Eminent Bookseller (London, 1790), p. 92, as [Arthur Lee,] An Appeal to the Justice and Interests of the People of Great Britain, in the Present Disputes with America ... (London, 1774). Lee’s authorship, although generally accepted, has been questioned; and Ford cites Almon as claiming somewhere that BF had “a considerable share in the composition.” Samuel Halkett and John Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature (new ed.; 9 vols., Edinburgh, etc., 1926-[62]), I, 128; Paul Leicester Ford, Franklin Bibliography ... (Brooklyn, N.Y., 1889), p. 315. Lee was on the Continent at the time of publication. BF may have revised the MS for the press, but we have found no evidence.

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