Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Garth, [22 January 1775]

From Charles Garth5

AL: American Philosophical Society

Piccadilly Sunday Evening. [January 22, 17756]

Mr. Garth’s Compliments to Dr. Franklin, is sorry that he can’t wait upon him to Morrow Morning at the Hour mention’d to consider of the Draft of a general Letter, he has by no Means understood that such Letter was expected, only that the Agents Letters should be wrote to the Speakers, for which heretofore he has frequently had similar Directions, when Matters of Importance to the People were to be the Subject of his Dispatches, and on such Occasions has wrote to the Speaker of the Commons House and not to the Committee of Correspondence. Mr. Garth understanding the Request from the Congress in this Light has last Week addressed his Dispatches to the Speaker of So. Carolina. Should Doctr. Franklin and the other Gentlemen be of a different Opinion, and have been present in the House of Lords last Friday, Mr. Garth hopes they will be so good as to transmitt to the Speaker of So. Carolina such Account as they may judge material for Information, which would not be so authentic from him, his Intelligence of that Debate being only from Relation. A Vessel for that Colony will depart from the River in a few Days.7

Addressed: To / Doctr. Franklin / Craven Street

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5His career is sketched in a note on the letter from the Congress above, Oct. 26.

6Garth is writing about a proposed second circular letter to the speakers of the colonial assemblies, which is clearly that below, Feb. 5; at the time of the first one, Dec. 24, he was out of town. He speaks about reporting a debate in the House of Lords “last Friday,” which was the one on Friday, Jan. 20, upon Chatham’s motion to withdraw the troops. Garth’s reference to his dispatches to South Carolina is to his letters of Jan. 20, one of which is cited above, p. 395 n. The date is important because the present letter is our only evidence that BF consulted the other agents, Burke, Garth, Life, and Wentworth, about the second circular letter as well as the first, and that he did so immediately after Chatham’s initial conciliatory effort. We assume that they agreed with Garth’s position, and responded as they had before. In any case BF and Bollan and Lee were once more left to act alone.

7The Martha and Mary, which was at Deal on Jan. 31 and did not reach Charleston till mid-April. London Chron., Jan. 31–Feb. 2; S.-C. and Amer. General Gaz., April 18–21, 1775.

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