Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Shipley, 12 January 1775

From Jonathan Shipley

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Twyford. Jan: 12th [17752]

Dear Sir

I think as You do that the highest Pitch of human Honour is the approbation of a free and virtuous People. I have had much more of it than falls to my share but that pleasure is temperd as it ought to be with a proper sense of my own Unworthiness. But I can only be consider’d by them as a distant unconnected Well wisher. Your Name will justly be reverd by them as their first Patriot, whose abilities have servd and defended their Country; and as their first Philosopher, who has taught and enlighten’d America.

I thank You most cordially for the Copy of the Petition to the King, which I approve and admire. They have set forth their Grievances with a serious and manly decency, in the very language which a free People ought to use to their Sovereign. But We I suppose shall advise his Majesty to support the Legislative Authority of the Mother Country. Yet I am perswaded that Government at present would be very glad of a Reconciliation, and if any method could be contrivd to save their honour I doubt not but they would come down to your Terms. I am sorry that your Business which I can easily conceive may at present be of the most important nature has made us lose so valuable a Guest. My intention is to be in Town next Monday se’n night. No great Question, I think, can be brought on earlier.3 Mrs. Shipley and all our disappointed Family join in kindest Respects. I am, Dear Sir Your obligd and affectionate

J St Asaph

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2The Bishop is answering BF’s letter of five days before.

3He intended to return on Jan. 23, and first attended Parliament on the 25th: Lords Jours., XXXIV (1774–76), 294. Hence he missed what he might have considered a great question, Chatham’s motion on the 20th to withdraw the troops from Boston.

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