Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Barclay, [22 December 1774]

From David Barclay

AL: Library of Congress

Cheapside 22d. Inst. [December 22, 1774]

D. Barclay presents his Respects and acquaints Dr. Franklin, that the Merchants in general highly disaproving of Attendance on anonymous Advertizements, (as no Person would own that inserted in the paper to Day), Agreed to disaprove it, by another to be published Tomorrow, on a more liberal Plan, with an Invitation for All Merchants and others interested in the Commerce of America to meet on Wednesday the 4th. Jany.6 DB will nevertheless expect to see Dr. Franklin to Dinner Tomorrow at Three ’Clock.7

Addressed: Dr. Franklin / Cravenstreet

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Weeks earlier Barclay had talked with BF about a merchants’ petition to Parliament; see below, p. 550. On the 22nd the Public Advertiser published an anonymous call to a meeting the next day of the merchants trading with North America, to consider such a petition. This notice seems to have been the outgrowth of an earlier meeting on the 21st, and may have produced one on the 23rd: Dartmouth MSS, II, 240–41, 244. But if so it was a rump meeting. Barclay concluded that action should be delayed until after the holidays, to give time for the news from the Congress to take effect (above, p. 391); he and others therefore drafted another notice on the 22nd, which the Public Advertiser printed the next day, that the meeting was postponed. These maneuvers indicate how poor the communication was among the merchants. For later developments see the headnote on Barclay’s letter below, Jan. 12.

7Barclay had just returned to town. At their dinner BF learned that Lord Hyde thought the “Hints” too demanding: below, p. 564.

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