Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William and Robert Molleson, 21 December 1774

To William and Robert Molleson

ALS (draft3): Library of Congress

Cravenstreet Dec. 21. —74


I am much obliged by your friendly Offer of accompanying me in presenting the Petition. It is committed to the Care of sundry Gentlemen who meet this Day to consider the Mode of presenting it.4 What they will agree on is uncertain. If it were a Petition from Merchants in America on the Subject of Commerce there might be more Propriety in its being accompanied to the Throne by the American Merchants here; but as it chiefly relates to the political Grievances of the Americans, perhaps it will be thought best not to give Merchants here the Trouble of accompanying it, as probably they will form a Petition of their own, on the mischievous Interruption their Commerce is likely to sustain by a Continuance of the present Measures.5 I am Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servant

B F.

Messrs W. & R Molleson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Written on the back of the preceding letter, to which BF is replying.

4Who attended is not clear. Life’s note of the 19th said only that he would try to be present on the 20th; Burke and Wentworth may have come, or declined in writing. BF’s note to Garth went by a servant, who brought it back when he learned that the agent was in Wiltshire for the holidays: Garth to the Speaker of the S.C. Assembly, Jan. 20, 1775, S.C. Department of Archives and History, Charles Garth letterbook, 1766–75, p. 185. Bollan, Lee, and BF were perhaps the only ones at the meeting. For their decision see the headnote on their circular letter below, Dec. 24.

5For the next development in planning the merchants’ petition see the letter that follows.

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